Billed as the world’s most efficient drivetrain, Driven is an entirely new form of bicycle drivetrain. Created by Danish bearing maker CeramicSpeed in collaboration with University of Colorado’s Mechanical Engineering Department, this groundbreaking 21-speed driveline, called Driven, uses ceramic plates in place of the traditional greasy sprocket and chains, and derailleurs, to achieve transmission and gear change. How we describe it may not be as impressive. So we suggest you catch the video of the prototype and marvel at this new invention.
Before you jump into the video, there are few bits of info you may want to pick up. CeramicSpeed claims that Driven creates 49 percent less friction over the “market leading” chain and derailleur system. The concept of achieving efficiency is actually quite straight forward; Driven basically eliminates all eight points of sliding friction found on traditional chain and derailleur drivetrain. Less or no friction means more efficiency. While I am obviously excited over this technology, I can’t help but to be concerned with the number of bearings it uses.
Driven uses no less 21 bearings, all which are exposed in the prototype and we all know how bearing’s point of view about elements. Granted, this is just a prototype and exposing the bearings is probably just to show how it works. I believe the entire driveline will be encased in the eventual production model. Even then, there appeared to have another caveat; it needs to be powered by battery. Not quite ideal if that’s the case, isn’t it? Anywho, as efficient as it is, I am also concerned about the number of parts this system has – thanks in part to the number of bearings it has to deployed.
I know all the claims of durable bearings and all, but isn’t the philosophy of less parts it have the better? Furthermore, there’s maintenance to think of too. The current 21-speed prototype is actually an updated example of the original Driven. While we are skeptical, we have to admit that Driven is indeed a groundbreaking development for bicycle drivetrain in the longest time. And not surprisingly, it has gotten its due recognition: Driven has emerged as this year’s Eurobike Show Award.
Source: Laughing Squid.