Bike by Ellsworth, Transmission by Leonardo da Vinci

Illustration for article titled 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]

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Broken Machine


Mavic had two electronic semi-groups a few years ago...both were duds (Zap and Mektronic). The wireless signal was analog and too weak, so power lines and anything else RF could and would reek havok. Even if they found a way around this, they had an old problem resurface: That of the Simplex piston R. Derailleur - sideloading would lock the piston. So enough force and this thing coudln't shift. If the piston was reinforced by a traditional parallelogram, it might had had a chance, but would have been heavy as hell.

Im all for alternative drivetrains....anything to get rid of cables is fine for me. Rohloff hubs are amazing, but I detest the push-pull throttle type shifter....if they made a trigger shifter, I'd buy two right now! I've riden Shimano Airlines quite a few times, and that was GARBAGE.