The future of cycling may just have been revealed at Eurobike, an annual cycling trade show that is taking place right now in Germany. At the event, a company called CeramicSpeed took the wraps off a prototype bike that looks like something straight out of a science-fiction movie, complete with a revolutionary new chainless drive system that promises to be a revelation for riders, improving speed and efficiency without an increase in power.
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CeramicSpeed developed its new DrivEn system in conjunction with the University of Colorado’s mechanical engineering department. The innovative crankset does away with the traditional chain drive, replacing it with a system that uses 21 ceramic bearings to transfer power generated from the pedals through front- and rear-mounted pinions instead. This cuts down on the number of moving parts involved with the drivetrain considerably.
The DrivEn prototype does away with the chain, derailleurs, and pulleys found on most traditional bikes, which has the effect of reducing the number of friction points found in the drive system. As the chain slides through a typical cycling crankset, there are eight points where it can generate friction, lowering efficiency as a result. But CeramicSpeed’s new drive drops that number down to just two friction points, which means more of the power that is generated from pedaling goes directly into pushing the bike forward, translating into more speed for less work.