Engineers Design Chainless Bikes for More Efficient Pedaling

Bicycle Drivetrain Redesign by CeramicSpeed

Riding a bicycle can be a messy endeavor. If you aren’t careful, your leg can slip against the greasy chain—an especially troublesome occurrence if you’re a commuter. (No one wants their clothes dirty before they get to work!) Danish company CeramicSpeed, in collaboration with the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Colorado, has a solution to this problem. They’ve created Driven, a new type of drivetrain that avoids the chain altogether and replaces it with ceramic plates.

The driveshaft concept was born out of a desire to make a bike as efficient as possible. Driven features 21 CeramicSpeed bearings that produce nearly half the friction of a conventional chain and derailleur. They do so by having low rolling friction. “The bearings,” CeramicSpeed explains, “transfer torque from the front ring through the drive shaft, then onto the 13-speed rear cog.” This differs from the conventional chain and derailleur, which contain eight points of sliding friction that come from the “articulation” of the chain as it reaches those many points—ultimately giving you less pedal for your push.

The ingenious design, coupled with its sleek aesthetics, earned Driven a Euro Bike Show Award for 2018.

Danish company CeramicSpeed worked with the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Colorado to create a bicycle drivetrain that avoids the chain.

Bicycle Drivetrain Redesign by CeramicSpeed

Called Driven, it instead uses 21 CeramicSpeed bearings that will ultimately give you a more efficient ride.

Bicycle Drivetrain Redesign by CeramicSpeedBicycle Drivetrain Redesign by CeramicSpeed

The ingenious design, coupled with the sleek look, earned Driven a Euro Bike Show Award for 2018.

Bicycle Drivetrain Redesign by CeramicSpeedCeramicSpeed: Website | Instagram
h/t: [designboom]

All images via CeramicSpeed.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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