At the end of April, we reported that Driven, a spin-off of CeramicSpeed, was hoping to crowdfund at least $300,000 USD for its chainless drivetrain.
First shown at Eurobike in 2018, Driven replaces the chain on a traditional drivetrain with a driveshaft that is claimed to offer 99% efficiency. The design was created alongside the University of Colorado Mechanical Engineering Department and Ceramic Speed claims it has all the benefits of a gearbox with none of the drag that comes along with it. More info on the concept can be found, here
Unfortunately, the cost of developing the project grew too high for CeramicSpeed to fund so it spun off the project into the Driven company and sought crowdfunding from the cycling community. The minimum amount needed to raise for the project to continue was $300,000 USD but it actually raised $1 million USD in its first 2 days and currently a further US$600,000 has been received in over-subscriptions that are now on a waitlist in case earlier investors fall through.
CeramicSpeed claims this is the fastest ever fundraise in SeedInvest's history despite a fair amount of criticism about the announcement. However, Jason Smith, Driven CEO, told Cycling Tips
he was "used to the haters" and explained, "we always come up with innovative solutions to the design challenges. And then the haters move on to something else Driven can’t do.
"People look at where Driven is right now, this second, and yes, of course, the cog teeth are too skinny. Of course, the bearings can’t hold that much load… What people forget is that this is not the final product. It’s Driven’s job to solve today’s challenges, for tomorrow’s revision, and the next revision, which I’m confident we will.”
This is the second incredibly rapid crowdfunding we've seen in recent months with Atherton Bikes raising more than $1.3 million USD and hitting their funding target in just 3 hours
. It's no secret that the cycling industry is in rude health and it's clear that investors are hoping to pick up a slice of that. We wouldn't be surprised to see a number of similar campaigns continue to crop up throughout the next couple of years but remember, investment always comes with a dose of risk and there's absolutely no guarantee you'll see a return on your money no matter the state of the industry - especially on projects where working, finished versions are yet to be shown.
As for CeramicSpeed, it is hoping to have a working prototype by the end of the year and expects to now have enough funding to see the product through to manufacturing.
Now I hear you say, “the technology doesn’t exist” and “your prototype was a cardboard box”. What people forget is that this is not the final product. It’s our job to solve today’s challenges, for tomorrow’s revision, and the next revision, which I’m confident we will.”
I bet some of the haters are bike mechanics and people like me that see nothing wrong or bad with the current available tech.
These guys raised over a million dollars, not even on snake oil, but on the promise that they will deliver on snake oil at some undetermined point in the future. What did you do this year?
but the fact original post didn't get a single neg prop amuses me a lot
The sooner we can rid the mtb world of derailleurs, the sooner we can deal with other problems like global warming. But derailleurs need to be dealt with first. Alot is riding on this, so stop the criticism and get on board.
Obviously they haven't fully enclosed it because they are showing off the technology. But even when they do, its going to jump and skip under any decent load. Bevel gears need a lot of stiffness and have low tolerances for flex. I also don't see any realistic way they are going to shift gears without a bearing-bevel spur gear AT EVERY gear, and have the selection mechanism be internal. This will mean all gears are always engaged partially, just like a regular gearbox, and would negate any efficiency claims they have.
They also have yet to show any working prototypes, other than one grainy video taken from so far away you can't see the bike at all. At this point I'd be less shocked to find a living Bigfoot specimen than for this to ever make it to market as a viable product that meets half its current claims.
That being said, they raised a million dollars and I've done nothing, so I do still give them some respect.
I can understand this if they have a working prototype but at this point it’s still an idea.......Seems a little thin skinned to me
As such, this idea should've been culled instead of being pushed as a crowdfunding proposal.
7 a : the gathering and publishing or broadcasting of news : journalism
b : newspapers, periodicals, and often radio and television news broadcasting
c : news reporters, publishers, and broadcasters
Talk about TDS.
From what I was able to look into there are 3 way to measure the “success” of kicktarters
1.It got or surpassed the amount of cash it originally requested, this is a success from kickstarter.com or crowdfunding.com or whatever the websites are called point of view, from my perspective this is BS, but to each their own.
2.The crowdfunded money was used to start or help the company grow and the company is now and has been for a few years in black numbers, operating normally with recurring customers (which is what I think @kcy4130 meant to find out). The video game Shovel Knight is the only truly successful example I was able to find.
3.The money helps start the company and then a bigger company like Facebook or Amazon buys them off to deduce taxes, it doesn’t matter if the company is in the red or making money, as longs as it is a potential tech property which could help in the future, they might as well own it and shelve it for years or maybe forever. Robert Bosch operates this way with its 50,000 patents, they don’t use all of the 50,000 patents all the time, they have them there for when is necessary, the Bosch eMTB motor would be a good example, those motors are a composite of a lot of patents that Bosch had handy and this way Bosch was able to put eMTB motors relatively fast on the market and get their relatively big market share.
IMO Driven will fall into the last case, a bigger company is going to buy their company with its patents and shelve them for when is necessary. Is it a success? for us Pinkers if it doesn’t come out to the market in our lifetime it will be not successful, for the founders and investors it depends on how much cash they get back when they get bought off.
TL/DR? There really is no free lunch.
The ratio of front and back teeth only determines total drive ratio.
1. There would be noticable drag in those little bearings if they are all sealed, if they aren't then they will sieze very easily.
2. The bearings don't positively engage with the 'chainrings', so under high torque loads the cassette, drive ring and/or chainstay will flex causing the drive to either slip or change gear unexpectedly, which will be disasterous.
3. The design can't work with suspension without introducing horrendous complexity in the design, which is a huge market limitation.
4. The design has many more moving parts than a chain drive and would be very expensive to maintain or repair, would also need repairing more often.
5. The accessibility to the gear actuator would be difficult and hard to access to service.
6. The design won't be any more efficient or less problematic than a chain drive.
7. The drive shaft basically necessitates the use of carbon for the required stiffness and weight, increasing cost and environmental impact.
8. The gears could shift unexpectedly if the chainstay flexes.
There's probably a heap more issues...
I mean, wouldn't be the most sexy, but i guess there is something to tackle that problem..
- OK little too far, but as long, as you are not a "new normal" engineer, you stop at a point when basic details are not solvable. Don´t get me wrong, that I´m really fighting on details when the concept (or better the result) looks promising as hell, like on this one. But when there are major things, that make this product too heavy or too exensive, I just need to f...ing stop. And I mean 4kg instead of 500g or 5000$ instead of 200$ for example.
- And my 2 cents for the comparrison with a normal shaft drive. This has not much in common with a normal one. Cause here (CS) we have Teeth to bearing contact and normaly 45° gear to 45°gear. Which is transferable load and wearwise a complete different case.
- And sure I´m a 100% full prove hater of the company and their products. Cause I´m an engineer and I guess every engineer here thinks the same. And I had no problem with presenting a concept that may increase the creative mind of the industry. First thought "doesn´t work but looks sweet. Nice job", but collect money from riders that may have no technical understanding, and beleave in their message is too much
I do not like change for the sake of change, but show me how the change is an improvement and i am all down with change.
Theranos' blood testing tech was vaporware, they raised hundreds of millions of dollars, and this guy sounds disturbingly similar to con queen ceo Elizabeth Holmes.
its been made and is totally functional, ive used it at core bike about 4 years ago.
How did it feel I'm really curious? Fast shifting, quick seamless, quiet? How did the gear shift lever feel too? I like the idea of the alignment and no cross-chaining, like perfect indexing. Don't know if it's ready for MTB use YET, but it could be.
Not knocking the idea, it's just a different solution to a current problem that already has a solution.
Bit like the 29er when 26 was fine for so long. Now it's been around for so long people just accept it.
It's ironic that you have jumped on this high horse of "at least I'm an engineer" but you have made exactly zero meaningful contribution to the topic so far.
Re: "Everyone knows what they are getting themselves into" that would be great but it's utopia. If that were the case, schemes like that would not exist, yet they do. And just because scam victims generally part with their money out of their own free will and due to their own lack of understanding that they are being scammed, does not mean we should be blaming them and patting the scammers on the back. A thief is a thief even if some clumsy dude forgot to lock his house that day.
1. Maybe I focused on the trash talking too much. There is indeed valid criticism posted here (which I btw never denied).
2. I dont concider this a scam, because in principle this drive train can work, just not exactly as they showed it so far.
3. Innocent till proven guilty. CC could just run away with the money, but so could any company looksing for investors. 1.000.000$ is a lot of money, but not worth getting sued to death and loosing significant portions of your sales, since riders hate you now. Its a risky investment, but imo Investors should be knowledgeble in the fields they invest in, so I see it as a calculated risk for the investor.
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