CeramicSpeed's Chainless Drivetrain Cuts Close To 50% Of Friction, But Questions Remain

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CeramicSpeed has revealed a revolutionary chainless drivetrain system that eliminates both front and rear derailleurs.

Partnering with the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Colorado, the company has created a drive shaft concept they say “sets a new benchmark in drivetrain efficiency.”

Known as 'Driven', CeramicSpeed say the system creates 49% less friction compared to the contemporary chain and derailleur systems it was tested against - namely Shimano Dura Ace, according to CeramicSpeed staff at Eurobike.

“A traditional chain and derailleur drivetrain contain eight points of sliding friction,” said a CeramicSpeed representative. “(This) is generated from the articulation of the chain at these points. CeramicSpeed’s new Driven concept impressively eliminates all eight points of sliding friction.”

To achieve this remarkable reduction in friction, Driven uses CeramicSpeed Bearings in a pinion style drive shaft system. 

A total of 21 bearings play a crucial role in the functionality and efficiency of Driven. The bearings transfer torque from the front ring through the drive shaft, then onto the 13-speed rear cog.

High Kudos, But Questions Remain

Currently on display at the world’s biggest bicycle industry show, Eurobike, the event’s award jury has selected Driven as one of the winners of this year’s 366 entries for the prestigious ‘Eurobike Award’. 

Regardless of the accolades and immense public interest, critical questions remain. CeramicSpeed have not detailed the weight of the system, when or if it might ever be available to the public, or how shifting would occur with the 13 speed system. 

Utilising a flat cassette, it’s not difficult to imaging a worm type drive or sliding servo in place, thus electro-mechanically moving the driveshaft fore and aft to change gears. But for that and any further developments we will have to sit, wait and imagine.


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