“How would this look like if it were simple?”
This is a basic question used in engineering which might spark much needed new approaches to the otherwise plateaued design process. When the question is applied to bicycle drivetrain, some interesting observations can be made, and difficult questions asked.
If It Was Simple?
When posing the question at hand to bicycle drivetrains, and especially on e-bikes, an answer including a protruding rear derailleur with a dozen or so chainrings hardly comes to the mind. This is further accentuated by the fact that there’s plenty of operating power available since the bike is already equipped with a battery of large storage capacity, such as the Revonte AKKU.
Uniting the gears and the motor in one unit, and placing inside a housing protected from the elements make sense in every level. This is how an e-bike drivetrain should look like; simple on the outside while a lot of engineering has gone to make it so.
This is what we have set out to do with the Revonte ONE Drive System and we are glad that the industry has taken note. Our first partners were especially fast to see the benefits our system has to offer.
A Take from Lavelle
We established a partnership with Lavelle Bikes at the beginning of 2020. In this case, the collaboration is especially fitting since we share the same values and a strong will to make bicycles better. When it comes to drivetrains, and especially on e-bikes, we both feel that there’ is a lot that could be improved.
Lavelle Bikes has a very clear stance on how an e-bike drivetrain should be built. “Gears should not be located on the rear wheel, and derailleur gears are a poor choice for any consumer bicycle,” states Paul Lavelle, the CEO of Lavelle Bikes.
He further adds. “We believe the best location for gears is at the bottom bracket, and that is why we are so delighted to team up with Revonte who is manufacturing a mid-drive motor and gear system all in one unit.”
The Many Benefits
The advantages of a combined motor and gearbox built around the bottom bracket are clear and manyfold:
- Ease of installation and service. It is surprising how many bike owners can’t perform basic service operations because of the complexity of the rear derailleur and cassette.
- Elegant, and simple looks! A single-speed drivetrain consisting of a wide chain – or a belt – and one pair of sprockets is pleasing to the eye.
- Robustness. A single-speed drivetrain is durable and care-free as opposed to derailleur-based solutions. The same applies to belt drive on which the Lavelle Bikes P2R uses.
- No parts that are easily broken. The Revonte ONE Drive System does not have any external parts that are prone to damage.
- More mileage with lower costs. A single-speed chain or a belt drive will outperform derailleur-based drivetrains on durability and will give more mileage out of one set of components. On top of that, replacing the worn-out parts comes with a significantly lower price tag, especially if divided by the total mileage.
It is worth noting, that all of the listed benefits apply, no matter if it’s a regular commuter bike, a high-performance e-mtb, or a ground-breaking design as in the Lavelle Bikes P2R.
The Ride Experience
Besides the listed benefits above, one thing matters almost above all else – the ride experience. We have gone to great length in developing the hardware inside the Revonte ONE Drive Unit, but as much if not even more design work and engineering has gone into the control software.
The resulting ride experience is something that is highly valued by our partners, and finally, the customers. “The Revonte system permits a fully automatic system – just pedal, that’s all there is to it!“, Paul Lavelle lists one of the major benefits of our drive system.
The derailleur-based gears have hanged on for surprisingly long. The advent of e-bikes was the much-needed catalyst for the bike industry to move to the next level and we are doing just that with our partners.
Ps. Interestingly enough, search for the simplest approach applies to all things in life, not just in engineering.