CeramicSpeed has developed a new drivetrain that literally frees cyclists from the chains that have bound them. The idea is the result of a desire to design and create the most efficient drivetrain possible. After partnering with the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Colorado, CeramicSpeed created a drive shaft concept that completely eliminated the need for derailleurs and chains. Instead, the drive shaft uses 21 CeramicSpeed Bearings. As the cyclist pedals, he turns the pinion style drive shaft system, which includes the bearings. Those bearings transfer the torque from the front ring through the drive shaft and onto the 13-speed rear cog, causing the wheel to turn. In traditional chain set ups, there are eight points of sliding friction that increase the workload. CeramicSpeed’s drivetrain removes those points from the equation, improving efficiency—so much so that CeramicSpeed claims the drivetrain has a 99 percent efficiency.
Currently, the drivetrain is still in concept stage, and testing needs to be one to verify that this drivetrain will indeed perform, especially under load. If CeramicSpeed is indeed going to dethrone the chain and derailleur system, they have their work cut out for them. That system has been around so long because it simply works. But then, all good things come to an end, hopefully to make way for something even better, and CeramicSpeed’s Drivetrain just might be that new, better thing.