Drive Belt/Wear

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Generally, watch for belt damage and try to anticipate when to replace the belt to avoid an incident on the road where the belt snaps.

What to Check
  • Check the teeth for wear and cracks.
    If you see cracks in the tooth forming, the belt is getting old.
    If you see deep cracks starting, it's time to replace the belt ASAP.
When to Replace
  • When it snaps.
  • When any teeth have been ground off.
Hard Skips
  • If the belt experiences a "hard skip" from debris between the belt and a sprocket, it is likely to fail soon after. Watch it carefully if this happens.
Tension with aging
Apparently, per forum user JaimeC, belts don't wear like chains.
As they get older they'll actually get tighter, not looser like a chain.
  • When a chain ages, the little bearing points between the links and rollers wear causing the chain to hang looser.
  • When a belt ages, the rubber on the inner/toothed side begins to swell.
Since the Kevlar belt on the outer circumference won't stretch, the inner circumference will shrink making the belt tighter around the sprockets.
Generally, you want to make sure the belt hasn't gotten any tighter since you brought it home.