An electric bike without a chain
Electric vehicles are changing personal mobility and even the configuration of cities. Nowadays it is already difficult not to see people using electric scooters to move from one place to another or different charging points for electric cars in commercial centers, other stores or rest areas.
For this reason, with so many advances as seen, it was rare that one of the personal mobility solutions par excellence did not come much more affected for the better. That could now change thanks to a pedal system that does not need a chain. So imagine what it could mean for the future of cycling.
The company that has managed to create these new pedals is Schaeffler, a German company that has surprised with it. Because if we told you to draw a bicycle, surely you would paint elements such as the frame, the handlebars, the wheels, the pedals … and the chain. That last detail is surely not missing. Because everything that involves pedaling is inevitably associated with the use of a chain.
Well, this new system is very similar to conventional pedals, but here there is no toothed disc where a chain is placed that usually connects with the rear wheel, although there are some bikes that today do so with the front wheel.
If you don’t have a chain, how does Free Drive work and does it manage to turn the bike wheel? Well let’s see, without falling into very technical explanations of what the system itself is like, the base is quite easy to understand. Basically it is a generator capable of producing an electric current with a 250 W power with pedaling.
Thus, with each pedaling the generator is recharged, which converts this mechanical energy into electrical energy and this in turn is stored in a battery. So the operation would already be like that of an electric bike more than it depends on a motor to turn the wheel and allow the bike to move.
Advantages of a bike without a chain
You don’t have to be an engineer to realize that a system like this can bring significant advantages to bicycles and other similar mobility systems, especially electric ones.
For starters, with fewer parts to wear out, repairs would be reduced. Which is always interesting. Because it is not complicated to repair, but when you have to change the chain or put it back because it came off, the whole process is very dirty due to its grease. The need for maintenance is also reduced.
On the other hand, in design issues not having a chain would allow new shapes and configurations. And is that by reducing the limitations involved in using very long chains, bikes with two, three and even four very attractive wheels could be created.
Then for electric bikes, in addition to all this, it would be a increased autonomy almost infinite if it works fine. Well, while you are pedaling, you are also charging the battery. And it would not have to be a very intense pedaling as commented.
Of course, in case the battery dies, would this pedal system be able to quickly provide enough energy to get moving? Because one of the advantages of the bike over an electric scooter is precisely that: it only depends on you to move.