Electric bike with belt drive

Most electric bikes have a chain. This is not surprising, as a chain is strong, efficient and has proven itself on bikes for over 100 years! Another drive that we see more and more in both electric bikes and normal bikes is a belt drive, also called belt drive. We explain to you what a belt drive is and how it differs from a 'traditional' chain.

Gazelle Avignon C380 HMB

What is a belt drive?

The belt drive is an alternative to the 'old-fashioned' metal bicycle chain. The bicycle belt is made of plastic and is an innovative way of transferring tension from the bottom bracket to the rear wheel. This plastic belt is in one piece and has teeth that are equally spaced apart. When you cycle, these teeth fall exactly into the gears of the bike.

So basically, the system works exactly the same as with a 'traditional' bicycle chain. The belt drive is silent and does not need lubrication. Furthermore, there is no need for a chaincase, making your bike a lot lighter. A bicycle with belt drive only has a hub gear. This means that the gear is completely incorporated in the hub of your rear wheel. This gives you a maximum of 8 instead of 10 gears. Bikes with a belt are generally a bit more expensive than variants with a chain.

Belt drive vs. bike chain

Nowadays, more and more different electric bikes have a belt drive: from low-entry bikes to trekking bikes. We don't think this is strange because a bicycle belt brings many advantages! For instance, you maintain this plastic belt much easier. You don't need to lubricate or wax the belt like a bicycle chain does.

Also, a plastic belt does not rust, which is the case with a metal bicycle chain. Another difference is that a belt drive is silent compared to a metal chain.

Furthermore, belt drive cycles lighter and lasts longer than an ordinary bicycle chain. A belt drive also comes with some disadvantages. For instance, you cannot replace the belt yourself and it cannot be combined with a derailleur gear, giving you fewer gears than a regular bike chain. Furthermore, a belt-driven bike is also pricier than one with a metal chain.

How do I maintain my belt drive?

Do you want as little maintenance as possible on your e-bike? Then a bicycle with a drive belt is ideal. There is no need to lubricate the belt, so no dirt sticks to it. Did your drive belt get dirty after a ride? Just wipe it clean and you're done. Furthermore, there is less stretch on a belt than on a chain, so you don't have to adjust a belt-driven bike as often. Fine!

Gazelle Avignon C380 HMB

Which drive is best?

Now you're probably wondering which type of drive you should choose for your electric bike. As you have read, a belt drive has its pluses and minuses. We have listed the most important points of the different drives for you:

Belt drive:

  • Easy to maintain

  • Quiet

  • Rides lightly

  • Longer lifespan

  • No dirty hands or clothes

  • Strong

  • Does not rust


  • Self-replaceable

  • Available with all types of gears

Test it yourself!

Still unsure about the type of drive for your electric bike? Then drop by one of our Gazelle bike store. Here you can test all our electric bikes with belt drive. So after the test ride, you'll know exactly which e-bike suits you!

Make an appointment