Driven Technologies.

Currently under development, the Driven drivetrain sets new standards in mechanical efficiency, aerodynamics and cost effectiveness, and, according to GranFondo-cycling.com, it “has the potential to revolutionise the racing world”.

Back in 1998, Jacob Csizmadia broke the world record for 24hr inline skating using skates equipped with ceramic ball bearings. Two years later, he introduced ceramic bearings to professional cycling.

Following on from that success, Csizmadia founded CeramicSpeed, a company that would go on to produce hybrid bearings out of Holstebro, Denmark, for both sports and industrial applications.

So, what made CeramicSpeed’s ball bearings so special?

CeramicSpeed created its hybrid bearings utilising technology developed as part of NASA’s space program in the 1990s. Made up of top-grade silicon nitride ceramic balls, these bearings were 58% lighter and 30-50% faster than traditional steel bearings.

From its inception, CeramicSpeed grew rapidly, distributing to more than 50 countries, with an ever expanding team located in offices across Europe, Asia and America.

Founded on innovation and a relentless desire to change the world of competitive cycling, CeramicSpeed was not content to sit on its laurels.

Enter the Driven drivetrain.

After developing and working on the Driven drivetrain concept for a number of years, CeramicSpeed decided it would create spinout entity, Driven Technologies, in order to focus solely on accelerating the drivetrain’s development.

Led by Project Manager and Lead Inventor, Jason Smith, Driven Technologies is now focussed on bringing this revolutionary drivetrain to the world.

By eliminating the need for derailleurs and chains, Driven has done more than just advance the current drivetrain – it has revolutionised it.

The team behind Driven had the initial desire to create a 99% efficient drivetrain. To do this, they knew that it would be easier to start with a blank slate, rather than try to ‘fix’ the weak points of the existing chain/rear derailleur-style drivetrain.

As such, they created a dual pinion design, comprising of a fixed front pinion and a shiftable rear split-pinion. These two pinions use a total of 21 CeramicSpeed ball bearings, which work to create the engagement interface of the drivetrain.

This is the patented engineering novelty that makes the Driven drivetrain revolutionary.

More on how that works then. The Driven drivetrain is controlled by wireless electronic shifting. Its hollow carbon fibre shaft houses a rechargeable battery, an actuator and a shift mechanism that controls the shiftable rear split-pinion.

This shiftable rear split-pinion utilises a step-and-follow shift pattern, where one half of the pinion is engineered as the lead, always stepping into position when free of the cassette, to engage it to the next gear. The trailing half follows when free of the cassette, completing the shift.

Seamless shift alignment is possible through a torque decoupler, located at the trailing half of the split-pinion. This is made up of two spring-loaded bearings that have been purposefully engineered to deliver precise meshing between the pinion and the cassette.

Developing the 99% efficient drivetrain

In 2018, CeramicSpeed launched the first version of Driven at Eurobike, the world’s largest cycling tradeshow and expo, where it won the Eurobike 2018 Innovation Award.

With the cycling world’s attention now on Driven, Jason Smith and his team of engineers went on to develop the next version of Driven, D2, the shiftable and rideable version.

From there, the team presented three Driven bikes at Eurobike 2019: the Venge, the Lux and the Hero.

• The Hero was the first shiftable version of Driven, and the result of years of hard work.

• The Venge acted as the proof that Driven was the most aerodynamic drivetrain the world had ever seen.

• The Lux was the company’s response to the claims that Driven could never work on a full-suspension bike.

 

 

 

Existing drivetrains essentially use the same design invented back in the 1920s, utilising greasy chains that snake through complex pulley systems.

These drivetrains are not optimised for speed, longevity, cleanliness or maintenance. However, big drivetrain manufacturers are comfortable in their offering, and don’t feel the need to innovate.

 

With a cycling public hungry for change, Driven Technologies is ready to revolutionise the industry, introducing a drivetrain that is less complicated and costs less to produce, while remaining more aerodynamic and more mechanically efficient.

 

As a cross-compatible platform that can be applied to all bikes, it is relevant to all cycling segments, including road bikes, mountain bikes, commuter bikes, e-bikes, and even community share and fleet programs.

Image credits & copyright Driven Technologies

 

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