Novel bike transmission wins award

By John Stevenson | Monday, August 13, 2007 11.00pm

An unusual bike transmission design has been recognized by the US magazine R&D as one of the year's 100 most technologically significant products. The Fallbrook NuVinci continuously variable planetary transmission was selected by the magazine's panel of experts and editors as one of its annual R&D 100, described by Fallbrook as "one of the most prestigious honors in the field of industrial research".

"This award is a major recognition of the NuVinci CVP's significance in the field of advanced transmission technology," said William Klehm III, president and CEO of Fallbrook. "We've always said that this technology will change the way transmission-based devices are designed and built. The R&D 100 judges obviously agree with us. We're very proud to have been chosen as one of this year's winners."

Entries in the R&D 100 are judged on a wide range of criteria, including potential to change people's lives for the better, level of improvement over competing technologies, and what the magazine describes as the "Wow! factor" - products that provide simple, elegant solutions to complex or long-standing technical or practical problems.

The NuVinci system uses a set of rotating and tilting balls positioned between the input and output components of a transmission that tilt to vary the speed of the transmission. Tilting the balls changes their contact diameters and varies the speed ratio. The practical upshot is a transmission that offers a wide gear range with no intermediate steps and therefore has huge potential for practical and city bikes.

Ellsworth and Batavus currently offer bikes using the NuVinci transmission.

For more information see Fallbrook Technologies website

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