A hydraulic, chain-less e-bike with automatic, “seamless” gears has raised over £30,000 via Indiegogo. The designers, BC Bikes, reckon it delivers, “the smoothest ride you’ll ever have.”
Instead of a chain, Oyo’s system uses hydraulic fluid to convert pedal power into forward motion.
A pressurised liquid is passed from the hydraulic pump to a hydraulic electric motor at the back through tubes inside the bike frame.
Built-in sensors then collect data on your speed, cadence and torque and the gear ratio is automatically changed accordingly.
This is a continuous thing, so you won’t feel shifts between distinct gears. “It’s like there are no gears, yet there are all the gears,” say BC Bikes.
The other big benefit is reduced maintenance. There are fewer moving parts and also, just as crucially, fewer exposed parts – it’s a sealed system – so all the usual chain shenanigans are eliminated.
If there’s a big question as yet unanswered, it’s to do with efficiency. How well does the rider’s physical effort translate into power?
The bike’s priced at $3,599 (about £2,600) with a $1,849 (£1,360) ‘super early bird’ offer via Indiegogo.
So far only a prototype’s been built. The aim is to start mass production next year.