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.