This is pretty cool: The Focus Urban 8 has a belt drive mated with an Alfine 8 speed internally geared hub. Talk about low maintenance.
This is, to the best of our immediate recollection, the 1st modern belt drive bike we’ve had in the store, so it was fun to check it out. Though it works essentially like a conventional single speed bike with horizontal drop outs (actually, this bike has sliding drop outs that allow for easy positioning of the disc brakes as well as belt tensioning) it’s almost silent when pedalling, and power transfer from pedal to rear wheel feels instant and almost without any loss.
Of course the belt drive also required no lube, and won’t rub grime against your leg/pants/truck/etc. It also happens to be very light weight, and extremely durable. (Editor’s note: I have a very similar belt drive on my 1300cc motorcycle – if the belt on that bike can take the torque generated by that much power my legs will be hard pressed to do damage to a bicycle belt drivetrain.)
Although the belt drive is clearly the feature of this bike, the rest of the Urban 8 looks good too: A good, no nonsense urban commuter and trail bike with a rigid alloy frame and fork and disc brakes, all for $1450.