Examining the best drivetrains for bicycle commuting.

You’ve no doubt ridden a bike driven by a chain. But have you tried one that’s powered by a carbon-fibre belt?

Both power a bike using the same principles, but there are some fundamental differences between them, including the fact that most bikes in the world — in fact, nearly all of them — are driven by chains.

Yet, there remains a small and (maybe) growing subset of people who swear by belts these days. So here, I examine the differences between the two types and offer some advice for your bike commute.

Derailleur vs internal hub

You all probably ride a bike with a derailleur – don’t all us North Americans? — but consider this video an argument in favour of a gearing alternative: the internal hub. These devices to change gears on your bike have long been ignored by those on the athletic side of cycling, but if you’re a commuter or urban transportation cyclist, here’s a look at why you might want to consider an internal hub.

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Tom Babin is the author of Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling.