German engineers presented a bicycle without a chain.
German scientists have shown a prototype of a drive system for electric bicycles without a chain. This is reported by the publication Electrek.
Schaeffler has introduced an innovative drive system for electric bikes. The invention of Free Drive consists of a generator and pedals mounted on a bicycle carriage. By pressing the pedals, the driver activates a generator that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
According to the creators, the generator makes the presence of a chain, belt, or driveshaft optional. Thus, there is no direct coupling between the rear wheel and the carriage. The generator can change the resistance of the pedals depending on the required or selected pedaling force. If the driver presses the pedals hard enough and creates excess energy-more than what is required for movement — then the electronics direct it to the bike’s battery.
According to experts, the main advantage of the new system is the low probability of damage which is present in traditional bicycles. One of the key drawbacks was called the reduced pedal rotation efficiency by 5 percent – compared to a chain-driven bicycle.