As early as 2018, Danish manufacturer CeramicSpeed presented a revolutionary Driven drivetrain, which renounces a chain, a front-derailleur and a rear-derailleur. One year later, at EUROBIKE 2019, the Danes are introducing a mtb-specific version of their futuristic concept, specifically developed for full-suspension mountain bikes. Please all welcome the CeramicSpeed Driven MTB. Read on to find out what the 1% drivetrain for mountain bikes is all about.

CeramicSpeed’s revolutionary Driven drivetrain on a newly designed rear-end of a Canyon Lux

CeramicSpeed’s unconventional idea to use a drive shaft instead of a chain, a front- derailleur and a rear-derailleur was already introduced in 2018. Our sister magazine GRAN FONDO already reported on this in 2018, explaining how the carbon shaft drive works. Whilst the concept is still a long way from serial production, the groupset is already performing its first “wireless” gear shifts.

At EUROBIKE 2019, CeramicSpeed presented a full-suspension mountain bike that features the revolutionary drivetrain. CeramicSpeed’s cooperation partner is Canyon, which have developed a brand-new rear-end for the Lux full-susser to replace the drive-side chainstay with the carbon shaft. The modified chainstay and the shaft don’t affect the geometry of the bike.

Since the carbon shaft takes up the original position of the chainstay, the rear-end had to be redesigned from scratch

By transferring their system to a full-suspension mountain bike, the engineers at CeramicSpeed faced a whole new set of challenges. Since the distance between the dropouts and the bottom bracket changes whenever the rear-end oscillates, the length and angle of the driveshaft must also change depending on the suspension travel. This is possible thanks to a telescopic arm, which ensures that the gears engage in the pinions, no matter how deep the rear-end sits in its travel.

The rear gear-wheel has currently 13 gears
Here the ball bearings meet the rear chainring…
The front driveshaft cone…
….and rear driveshaft cone

Since the drivetrain doesn’t work reliably yet, CeramicSpeed is still looking for partners to further develop their revolutionary system. Currently, it’s still far away from production – both for road bikes and full sussers.

CermicSpeed’s new Driven-project: shifting without chain, front derailleur and rear derailleur on full suspension mountain bikes

Conclusion

The technical challenge CermamicSpeed’s engineers face while trying to adapt the revolutionary system to a full-suspension MTB, begins with the use of a telescopic carbon arm. However, the system doesn’t work on a mountain bike yet. Whilst the system worked on a road bike, it’s not yet reliable enough to go into production any time soon – see our GRAN FONDO sister magazine. And yet, we’re still very excited to see how and when the Danish engineer team and their cooperation partners will implement their startling, futuristic visions.

For more information head to ceramicspeed.com

Words: Jonas Müssig Photos: Jonas Müssig, Robin Schmitt