Bike by Ellsworth, Transmission by Leonardo da Vinci

Bicycle transmissions have clearly caught up with those of cars. We've already seen automatic transmission bikes by Shimano and others—and now there's a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in this Ellsworth bicycle that works in a similar way to our Honda Civic Hybrid.

Well, almost. It's a bit different because it's based on an invention by Leonardo da Vinci, a continuously variable planetary (CVP) drive called the NuVinci CVP. What the heck is that? You still have to shift gears, but the response is instant, and there's no clanging or clicking involved whatsoever. That bike pictured above isn't cheap; you'll pay around $3,000 for one. Jump to see a video showing how the CVP drive works.

The CVP drive will be available as a kit for other brands of bicycles later this year.

Product Page [Ellsworth Bicycles, via OhGizmo]