Bmc alpenchallenge vs raleigh cadent i8


New Member
May 7, 2017
Hello everyone - new hear so this is my first post.

I'm looking to replace my current road bike, a Schwinn Le Tour from the 80s, for something more suited for my riding. Primarily my rides are 1-4 miles urban (Philadelphia) but I also enjoy recreational biking on paved gravel or wooded trails up to 40-50 miles.

The issues with the Le Tour I have are the aggressive geometry, narrow tires, drop bars, and gears on the frame make control in an urban environment tough. In addition the derailer is a pain when squeezing into my car or through the subway.

I'd be willing spend ~$1k or so and have liked the look of the following two bikes. The internal gearing, disc breaks, and belt drive are all new to me but sound nice. I've love to hear your feedback on the two but am also open to other suggestions.
Both of those bikes are only 8 speed bikes, not near the gears you had on the Le Tour which had 10 to 12 depending if the cluster was replaced from 5 to 6 gears, thus climbing hills or dirt wooded trails will be more of a struggle unless those two bikes have a really small chainring gear but then your top speed will be limited. So in the regards to the chainring the Raleigh has a 46 tooth gear while the Alpen has a 55 tooth gear so the Raleigh will be easier to climb grades and easier to pedal on dirt trails, and it will be easier on knees.

Also repairing a flat or changing a rear tire is more of a mechanical chore vs the Le Tour. With a internal hub belt drive system you have to disengage the cable which takes a fair amount of time to do, and on the road it can be a pain. See this on how it's done:
I had to leave so I couldn't finish my post. Anyways, belt drive are interesting technology, they are cleaner and never require cleaning and lubing like a chain, they are expensive to replace the belt but the belt does last longer; but the worse thing about belt drive is that they're not as efficient as a chain, a belt will lose about 10% power loss vs just 5% for a chain. Tension on a belt system is more difficult to set up and has to be set up exactly, and replacement parts for either the belt or the hub are difficult to find and expensive, and if parts are difficult to find then it is also true that it will be difficult to find a mechanic who knows how to work on them. But the bike is easier to clean, simply hose it off and ride, no need to relube anything.

All said the problem with requiring more watts to use a belt system along with limited gear range does not make it something I would consider buying personally, but you have to weigh out the pros and cons to see if it's something you might want. If you ride on mostly flat ground with some gentle rolling hills then a belt drive could work for you.

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