Hydraulic drive e bike?

BrianK

Well-Known Member
Has anyone seen the “B.C. Bikes” ads on Facebook for their new “hydraulic drive” “infinite gear selection” e bikes?

Is this a new drive concept that’s actually coming to market?

If so, what’s the consensus of our resident chain / belt / derailleur/ IGH experts on its feasibility?


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indianajo

Well-Known Member
Has anyone seen the “B.C. Bikes” ads on Facebook for their new “hydraulic drive” “infinite gear selection” e bikes?
If so, what’s the consensus of our resident chain / belt / derailleur/ IGH experts on its feasibility?
Will chew up vast quantities of watt-hours and be slow at best.
I have a hydraulic drive lawnmower and a hydraulic drive crane. With 55 hp & 33 in diameter wheels the crane won't climb a 1 1/4" vine. My 60 hp tractorwith 8 geared speeds will climb the side of the barn. (when I can get it to start LOL). Winched the crane out of a hole it dug for itself in the mud last week by pulling on a tree. Winch/cable drive - new for 2020 (slower than slugs crawling).
Designed to sell, not to ride. Germany tried hydraulic drive locomotives in the seventies and abandoned them. too much heat not enough motive.
IGH was 10% slower than derailleur on the same route averaged over 2 dozen trips. Sturmey Archer S80 versus cheap 21 speed shimano derailleur. That was pedal powered, before I had electricity. Efficiency really matters when the engine (me ) produces 1/5 horsepower. on 750 W bike motors would not be as noticable.
As far as zero maintenance, hydraulics can leak. In 1982 US Army had tank retrievers with geared differentials and allison planetary geared+torque converter transmissions. when my maintenance unit chewed up all the spare trailer wheels in Europe (don't hit the curbs, guys!) the major sent me to the German tank retriever unit to beg for a ride for a forklift. Germany tank retrievers had a hydraulic pump behind the engine and hydraulic motors & planetary drives on each wheel. German unit had all their retrievers deadlined for leaks - no help there.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
That would be one you would want to ride before you buy....

Love hydraulic drives for tractors (no clutch to burn up for starters), but for a bike? I promise to keep an open mind.....
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Thieves can't lift and carry a bicycle away? LOL Curious what kind of hydraulic pump that would be. If it's a variable flow pump based on pedal cadence, or constant flow and you control a valve. It says seamless shifting, so must have valve control. Seems like you would need a cooler for the fluid on a 100 mile ride. They did crowd funding for seed money in Mar 2015. https://finder.startupnationcentral.org/company_page/chainfree-bicycle https://www.fundit.co.il/projectfil...=636964462299647976.pdf&rnd=0.346508620468205
 
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BrianK

Well-Known Member
Love hydraulic drives for tractors (no clutch to burn up for starters), but for a bike? I promise to keep an open mind.....
Definitely. I just picked up a 27hp 4x4 Ford/ New Holland tractor with hydrostatic transmission and that drive system is excellent, especially as I have a weak left leg and clutching would be a chore.

But I can see where that type drive would chew up a lot of the mid drive power on a 350w 36v system.

Maybe when it finally gets into production they’ll up it to a 750w 48v that can overcome the drag of that type drive. If so it could be a game changer for buyers with no interest in dealing with chains, belts, cassettes and derailleurs or IGH hubs.

That won’t work if their target is Eurocentric, obviously.
 

BrianK

Well-Known Member
I inquired about heat production in the hydraulic drive on their Facebook ad. They replied:
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
never heard of hydraulic drive... very interesting.

is that more efficient than chain?
 

kmccune

Well-Known Member
Thieves can't lift and carry a bicycle away? LOL Curious what kind of hydraulic pump that would be. If it's a variable flow pump based on pedal cadence, or constant flow and you control a valve. It says seamless shifting, so must have valve control. Seems like you would need a cooler for the fluid on a 100 mile ride. They did crowd funding for seed money in Mar 2015. https://finder.startupnationcentral.org/company_page/chainfree-bicycle https://www.fundit.co.il/projectfil...=636964462299647976.pdf&rnd=0.346508620468205
You would probably need an accumulator, on Caterpillar excavators accumulators on their excavators are sasid to increase their fuel efficiency by 25%.
I think an electric drive( pedal genset, accumulators and capacitors could be as efficient as mechanical drive, within reason, especially in stop and go conditions.
 

kmccune

Well-Known Member
Definitely. I just picked up a 27hp 4x4 Ford/ New Holland tractor with hydrostatic transmission and that drive system is excellent, especially as I have a weak left leg and clutching would be a chore.

But I can see where that type drive would chew up a lot of the mid drive power on a 350w 36v system.

Maybe when it finally gets into production they’ll up it to a 750w 48v that can overcome the drag of that type drive. If so it could be a game changer for buyers with no interest in dealing with chains, belts, cassettes and derailleurs or IGH hubs.

That won’t work if their target is Eurocentric, obviously.
I like a "Hydrostat" lawnmower a lot better than the clunkly "belt over gear transmissions, I believe most of the "ZT" mowers are hydrostat- even that will go away with better and lower cost batteries, you may never get as efficient as a chain and cassette system, if you even get close you will have a winner because of other attributes.
 

Kayakguy

Well-Known Member
All of you guys bad-mouthing the hydraulic drive concept should share your concerns with the people developing this idea. Otherwise, think of all the money and time they will waste. (I'm not saying you're wrong; lots of bad ideas have somehow made it to market--like the Edsel)
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Though I have my doubts, have an open mind on the topic. No positive or negative here. Just a show me!
 

kmccune

Well-Known Member
Though I have my doubts, have an open mind on the topic. No positive or negative here. Just a show me!
You never know,Elon Musk is putting us in space with "pyrotechnics" and battery breakthroughs? consider the 4680( think outside the box)
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
You never know,Elon Musk is putting us in space with "pyrotechnics" and battery breakthroughs? consider the 4680( think outside the box)
Yes, exactly! You NEVER know! A new idea/concept, even if you can't get you head wrapped around it, may be entirely possible for somebody who HAS got their head wrapped around it (or thinks they do)!

So never say never. If you don't think so, stand back out of the way for somebody that says they can. NOBODY is going to get ahead pooping in somebody else's Cheerios.