Startup Ceramicspeed has launched Driven, the first chainless bicycle: it uses a transmission system with very low friction bearings.
Breaking the chain is the nightmare of anyone who uses the bike to go to work, play sports or just have fun in their free time. The chain is in fact the “heart” of every bike because it allows the transmission to the wheels of the power impressed on the pedals. Without a chain, you don’t go anywhere. Yet, this component is so important when it is delicate and repairing (or replacing) it is a rather complex operation that requires time, skill and a good dose of patience. To free cyclists from this annoying task, the Danish startup Ceramicspeed has launched Driven, the first “exemplar” of a chainless bicycle, on the market. This is a real revolution for the two-wheeler industry. Unlike traditional bikes, Driven has no chain or front derailleur but has a bearing drive system very similar to that of roller skates. The first prototype of a chainless bicycle was already announced at Eurobike 2018, the world’s largest trade fair for the sector. Since then, Ceramicspeed has perfected its project and, in recent weeks, has started to market the product.
How does Driven, the first chainless bicycle, work?
The system that makes Driven a unique product was developed by Ceramicspeed in collaboration with the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Colorado. In the absence of the chain, the drive is via a super-light shaft equipped at each end with a series of ceramic bearings. The shaft is mounted on the front toothed wheel and, at the rear, on a system of thirteen gears (leading to thirteen different speeds) arranged on a flat surface, which replace the classic sprockets of traditional bikes. Tests carried out by the company have shown a reduction in friction of 49% compared to the best chain and derailleur system currently on the market and an overall efficiency practically doubled. The only “defect” – if we can talk about a defect – is the price. The cheapest chainless bicycle model currently available in the Ceramicspeed catalogue is on sale at a price of just under $2000: saying goodbye to the old chain is still a luxury for a few!