Automatic bicycle gearshift
Schaeffler (Germany) will introduce its FAG Velomatic automatic gearshift at the Eurobike 2014 exhibition. The company claims that the system is compatible with every type of bicycle and drive system.
WETHER GOING UPHILL, DOWNHILL, OR SIMPLY STRAIGHT AHEAD, on a conventional bike with a derailleur or hub gears, or on an e-bike, the automatic gearshift by Schaeffler calculates the fitting gear and the shifting point based on the cadence, force, wheel speed, and gradient. Due to open interfaces (CAN respectively CANopen and LIN), the gearshift system is compatible with every type of bicycle and drive system. The company is the next automotive supplier entering the light electric vehicle market, which includes pedelecs, e-bikes, wheelchairs, and similar vehicles such as caddies and Segway-type vehicles.
Cyclists can use the corresponding Velodaptic app to create customized shifting programs. The app works with both tablets and smartphones. The rider can choose between daytime and nighttime mode, depending on the light conditions. The app records the following movement data: Speed, cadence, force, torque, uphill or downhill gradient, distance, and position. It also offers a compass function. The cockpit always displays three sets of movement data, which the user can click through. GPS data for location determination and a map function are also available via the app. A statistical evaluation of kilometers traveled, meters climbed, calories burnt, forces used, cadence, torque and average and maximum speed is also possible. This data can be exported to other terminal devices.
The automatic gearshift completely replaces manual shifting. The rider can change independently from "automatic mode" to "manual mode" using an optionally available electric gearshift module in the form of a hold-to-run switch in order to shift gears manually for a sportier ride. The product determines the optimum shifting point according to the riding conditions depending on the cadence, force, wheel speed, and uphill or downhill gradient and operates the gear hub or derailleur quickly, easily and precisely. The smooth gearshift operation is hardly noticeable by the rider. The rider can conserve energy and can be more relaxed when they reach their destination or cover longer distances. In addition, reduced loads are placed on the chain and hub gear and premature wear is prevented.
The communication module connects the product with the electric drive system in an e-bike or the sensor bottom bracket in a conventional bicycle as well as the optionally available electric gearshift module and the rider's smartphone. The supported wireless sensor networks are ANT+ and BLE. Wired communication interfaces are CAN with optional CANopen support, or LIN.
E-bikes require less electrical energy if the electric drive is operated at the optimum operating point. The FAG Velomatic comprises an electric linear drive with sensors. It is equipped with its own software and is able to communicate with any e-bike control systems. The optimum gear is selected in coordination with the rider and the electric drive. The e-bike drive therefore operates at the most efficient operating point, requires less energy, and the range of the battery is significantly increased compared to conventional, mechanical gearshift applications.
Due to its light design (24 mm x 180 mm, weight approximately 200 g), the gearshift system can be fitted in the down tube or the seat tube and is not visible from the outside. This means the system does not spoil the visual appearance of the bicycle. The system is connected to the hub gear or derailleur via a short shifting cable.
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