Just like in cars and motorcycles, transmissions play a huge role in optimizing efficiency when it comes to bicycles. With the advent of electric bicycles, one would think that the conventional bicycle drivetrain would no longer be needed. However, as the demands of e-cyclists continue to evolve, it’s become clear that electric bicycles must provide more than just a supercharged cycling experience, with some models even claiming to be a replacement for a car.

As such, in order to maximize battery efficiency, compact packaging, and lightweight construction, sophisticated transmissions have become essential in ensuring that electric bicycles can maximize the power generated by their motors, as well as the juice supplied by their batteries. After all, it’s all about providing the longest range while keeping the weight down as low as possible. That being said, the innovative CVP, or continuously variable planetary technology from Enviolo seems to be a step in the right direction when it comes to achieving this.

Take A Look At Enviolo’s CVT Hub Technology

Enviolo has been a big name in the cycling world for quite some time now, and the new CVP hub is by far the most innovative piece of tech by far. Similar in concept to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) found in scooters and small cars, the CVP hub provides an infinite range of gear ratios across its range. It works with rotating balls housed in between two rings – an input ring on the right side that receives power from the pedals (or electric motor), and an output ring on the left side that sends power to the ground.

Within the hub, the system makes use of a specially designed oil ensuring the system can shift seamlessly and uninterruptedly according to the rider’s inputs on the pedals. The way the system works is through the tilting of the balls – either automatically or manually – which are profiled, and change the ratio of the input and output rings. This means that the system can shift seamlessly, whether it’s in motion or at a standstill; whether it’s loaded or unloaded.

Nevertheless, when it comes to comparing the Enviolo CVP to a standard chain-driven setup, there’s one thing we have to consider: efficiency. While a traditional gear and chain setup is universally considered the most efficient – at about 98 to 99 percent – it’s worth noting that Enviolo’s fluid-filled setup with a bunch of rotating balls inside will result in some power loss.

Take A Look At Enviolo’s CVT Hub Technology

According to a review of the Enviolo CVP hub by E-Bike Lovers, the CVP hub has an efficiency rating of about 85 percent. This means that it’s definitely more at home in an e-bike setting, rather than a non-electric bike reliant completely on muscle power. At the end of the day, it’s all about compromise, and the engineers at Enviolo surely believe that the lower efficiency of the CVP is more than made up for by the system’s intuitive nature – able to fine tune gear ratios according to the terrain and rider inputs instantly. On top of this, the stepless shifting function is undeniably smoother, and something comfort-focused riders will appreciate.

The video above from Cycling About does an excellent job of explaining how Enviolo’s innovative hub works, as well as some of the real-world applications of this technology. Indeed, thanks to its compact design, it makes fitting onto all sorts of e-bikes pretty much universal. Furthermore, it eliminates the need for complex and sometimes finicky derailleur systems, in a package that’s virtually maintenance free and completely silent.

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