Ad header

Schaeffler's chain-free e-bike system now in production

Author block

Richard Peace's picture

Richard Peace

Richard Peace took to full-time outdoor writing/photojournalism after stints in an office and as an English teacher abroad. His cycling route guide books include the best-selling Ultimate C2C Guide and the Ultimate UK Cycle Route Planner plus Electric Bicycles. He has written for various media about many aspects of cycling


6 months 1 week ago

I think there are a few things to consider - if you are cycling at a constant speed, then average/long term power is super important. But if you have to stop and start - at traffic lights say, then torque and peak power become more important. I used to have the luxury of a stromer speed pedelec, which definitely gave a boost when pulling away, but it the real impact was how much effort I put in. While most leaisure cyclists might struggle to put out 250w long term (I guess analogous to FTP) almost all can "stand on the pedals" to boost torque and give quite decent short term power for one or two seconds. I am not sure how that could be managed with a bike by wire hybrid. On a stromer, the power output is driven by a torque sensor on the pedals. So you get back power and torque in proportion to what you give. I am curious as to how this works with a generator. Has anyone ridden a bike like this?

6 months 1 week ago

A lot of legal ebike motors put out way more than 250w, more like 600 - 700w. Given that the human is contributing quite a small relative amount in that case, it makes sense to do away with the chain for cargo bikes, especially those with very convoluted chain routing and high efficiency losses anyway.

6 months 1 week ago

Getting rid of the chain, along with its grease grime and grit is a worthwhile goal. Losing umpteen percent of your effort along the way seems like too high a price. I'd rather go with a belt drive solution.

6 months 1 week ago

Maybe someone should cut out the inefficiencies of a generator/motor system and bring out the world's first e-cargo-penny-farthing. Either that or just accept that chains/belts are proven technology and far better than all these gimmicky concepts (and they can be put behind a chain guard if you're really worried about dirt or chain tattoos.)

6 months 1 week ago

I dont see how the maths works out on this as anything more than a hybrid epedelec with very mild human assist.

Even the low grunt ebike motors put out 250w which is well in excess of the average bike rider.  I would bet the average consumer isnt going to be inputting more than 80-120w into the system.  Which means it needs a battery to make it work.