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No chain, no mechs, no problem: The new CeramicSpeed Driven

Joe Robinson
10 Jul 2018

A groupset that uses no chain and no mechs but a driveshaft instead: is this the future?

So far at Eurobike, one product has been spoken about more than anything else: the innovative CeramicSpeed DrivEn concept groupset. 

Developed in conjunction with the University of Colorado, the system uses a carbon fibre drive shaft in place of the usual chain, doing away with the need for a rear derailleur in the process. 

Ceramic Speed claims the system is more efficient than even the best performing derailleur-based drivetrains on the market.

It also points out that it is longer-lasting because it eliminates the wear associated with a chain and both a front and rear mech.

The 21-bearing roller pinion drive shaft system sees two bearing pinions at either end of the drive shaft provide power transfer, eliminating eight points of chain sliding friction and removing the risk of cross-chaining.

The bearings connect with teeth on the 13-speed cassette and chainring at a sideways angle to propel the bike. To change gear, the rear bearings move up and down the shaft which duly contracts and expands into the different cogs.

CeramicSpeed's chief technology officer Jason Smith heralded this advancement in groupset technology and said it was a result of the brand's constant drive to make a more efficient ride.

'CeramicSpeed has proudly accomplished what many have said couldn’t be done. We achieved a 99% efficient multi-speed drivetrain while eliminating the chain and complex rear derailleur,' said Smith

'Advancements in drivetrain technology have been evolutionary since the 1920s. DrivEn is truly revolutionary given its unique rolling element power transfer and unmatched efficiency.

The DrivEn concept has the ability to change the way the cycling industry views drivetrain design and drivetrain efficiency.'

The CeramicSpeed DrivEn groupset has already bagged itself an award at Eurobike as one of the most innovative products on show.

At this stage, however, there are no plans to bring the system to the consumer market.

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