Belts and Shafts - Beginner's Guide to RC Drift. (Part 3)

by admin on Sep 24, 2015 Categories: REVIEW/TECH/HOW-TO
img_5942.jpg The age old question from before there was even RC Drift - What is better, Belt or Shaft? We have found the best answer is, it's all personal preference. Both have their pros and cons, but we feel either is not a bad choice. Belt Drive: The basic idea is the drivetrain is a series of belts and pullies. When compared to a shaft-drive chassis, the belt-drive feels a lot more forgiving. There is a slight bit of  slack in each belt/pulley connection, so basically the greater number of belts and pullies, the more slack that can be felt. This is not a bad thing, in fact, many people prefer this. In RC Drift, being smooth on and off the throttle translates to more traction. Belt-drive tends to be quieter running chassis, and usually have a very smooth feel. When changing CS ratios, it's as simple as changing a pully or two, and sometimes a belt. If you run where there is a lot of pebbles and debris, be aware the belts are usually exposed, and therefore exposed to this type of hazzard. Shaft-Drive: As you can probably guess, a shaft-drive chassis uses a shaft and bevel gears to transfer the energy through the drivetrain. When compared to belt-drive, you will notice the power delivery seems to be instant. There is little to no slack between the shaft and gears. On the surface it would seem to be the superior design when compared to belt-drive, but don't be fooled. Instant transfer of power means the smoothness needs to come from you. An abrupt throttle finger will mean you will have a harder time getting the power to the ground. Also, letting off the throttle quickly can be the equvilant of slamming on the brakes. Not necessarily a good thing. Most shaft drive chassis have their motors positioned front to back, which will introduce at least some level of torque-steer. (Acceleration causes the car to veer left or right) The amount noticed really depends on the chassis design and how sensitive the driver is to this phenomenom. If you run where there is a lot of debris, shaft-drive may be the choice for you. They tend to be more resilient to pebbles and debris since most of the moving parts are enclosed. Hybrid: There are also a few chassis out there that utilize both belt and shaft to drive the chassis. These are known as Hybrid chassis. The best of both worlds; maybe. Using the shaft to drive the rear wheels provides that instant punch to break the rears loose, while using a belt to drive the front gives that smooth power delivery to the front wheels to smoothly give you that assistance when it's needed. For some, this is a favorite.