A new kind of drivetrain system debuts at Eurobike, and itâs shaking peopleâs belief systems.
“No chains. No derailleurs.” The future of the bike looks kind of weird, to be honest. But the new derailleur-free drivetrain showcased by CeramicSpeed at Eurobike this week has been one of the show’s highlights. And the industry is buzzing, disposing of old ideas about what a bike should look like.
Electronic, wireless shifting seems almost old-school in the wake of this odd-looking, toothy system that promises ultimate efficiency.
CeramicSpeed ‘Driven’ Bike Driveshaft
Driven, the new drivetrain concept from CeramicSpeed, won the prestigious Eurobike Award this year over 365 other entries. (Thatâs one innovation per day if youâre keeping track.)
The Driven system is still only a prototype and isn’t ready for any bike right now. Currently, the driveshaft system requires a special frame. But it offers a wicked-cool concept that could certainly make its way to production bicycles in the future.
Essentially, the company created a pinion-style driveshaft system that replaces the traditional chain and derailleur model. And 21 CeramicSpeed bearings transfer torque from the front ring through the driveshaft and onto the flat, 13-speed rear “plate.”
This method for shifting might look strange, but CeramicSpeed claims it creates 49 percent less friction compared to the market-leading chain and derailleur drivetrain. Additionally, its nearly two-dimensional profile could significantly reduce drag, making it a more aerodynamic system while also dropping it to a lower weight â all thanks to a carbon driveshaft instead of a metal chain.
To be sure, companies have dabbled with driveshaft bicycles. But these setups often offer less power efficiency than do chain-driven bicycles. Plus, early designs hampered changing out flat rear tires. It’s unclear how a production model Driven would address the latter, but the brand and some testers claim the system’s efficiency is not an issue.
BikeRumor also reported theÂ Driven system tests at 99 percent efficiency, meaning almost all your power is actually applied to the ride, not wasted. (Standard drivetrains ultimately waste energy as the chain begins to show signs of wear and tear. Not to mention sliding friction from the chain moving around the chainrings.)
CeramicSpeed: Next-Gen Bike Tech
CeramicSpeed has been at the forefront of experimental, ultra-efficient bike technology in recent years. Below, you can see its ceramic bearings spinning U.S. pro mountain biker Kate Courtneyâs cranks super smooth and fast at last yearâs Boston U.S. Cup race: