In what may be a harbinger of things to come, lightweight parts specialist Mubea used Eurobike to unveil “Automotive Innovations for E-Bikes”. The brand has long made carbon fiber parts for the automotive industry, like this one-piece cage for race cars:
And these carbon fiber rims, which reduce unsprung and rotational weight. The idea behind these is to improve efficiency by reducing weight, two things that will make a massive difference in the future of e-bikes. Less weight means more power available for longer rides or quicker acceleration. Or both.
Translating that to e-bikes, they were showing off several full suspension models that highlighted their monocoque manufacturing expertise and small parts production techniques. Part of that is creating parts that can both fit into tight spaces and handle various torsional and bending loads.
Where we’re likely to see more bicycle-inspired technologies, though, is in the suspension designs themselves. Most motorcycles use simple single-pivot suspension designs because the excessive power and consistent delivery of it allows a simpler suspension to work just fine. With bicycles, there’s the intermittent pedaling forces to deal with, and the fact that we want lighter bikes that can resist the squat of power applied to the pedals or rear wheel.
As such, we’re still seeing a complex linkage driven design to manage the shock rate, but on a single pivot swingarm.
Another area were Mubea is bringing auto/moto tech is various multi-chainwheel systems and forward-placed gear boxes. These put the chainline mostly inline with the pivot points, but leaving a chain tensioner in place to pick up any slack.
One of their other concepts used a Enviolo (formerly Nuvinci) internally geared hub.
Supernova makes some of the finest urban/commuter cycling lights, and here they and all the rest of the electronics are fully integrated into the main power system…just like they would be in a car or motorcycle.
We’re seeing some better integration of cycling computers and displays, and here there’s room for improvement. But these bikes were here to show off the frame manufacturing tech, not the computer.
Not shown, they’re also prototyping e-cargo bikes and similar solutions for “last mile” delivery, short errands, etc. Whether or not they ever offer these particular bikes for sale, it’s worth considering the big picture they’re pitching: eMobility as a lifestyle theme, not just e-bikes.
This thing is hideous but I really like the concepts they used for rear suspension and that belt drive looks really clean.
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