With the popularity of eBikes (Electric Bikes, or pedelecs) growing around the world we are often asked if our Revo systems would work on these too. The simple answer is yes, in fact, they have the potential to provide great benefits to eBikers, taking away the hassle of caring for their transmission, an important part of an eBike as it is tasked with dealing with much greater loads and forces than regular pedal driven bikes.
With mid-drive units like those from Bosch, Yamaha, Brose and Shimano’s Steps unit, the chain, cassette and chain rings will rapidly wear out if they are not properly cared for. Trying to save on cheaper replacement parts will cost you more in the long run and ultimately will ruin your ride. When riding an eBike you shift frequently under load and sometimes double shift to achieve the optimum gearing. This is why high quality components are important as they are having to deal with significantly different use parameters and under increased loading and forces.
The reason for the increased wear potential is because the power and torque provided by the rider is boosted by the mid-motor and these higher loads are then transmitted directly to the cassette by the chain. These increased forces are still mostly being transferred by standard bike transmission components that have been designed to deal with lower forces. The result is increased wear rates on the entire drive train and shorter maintenance intervals.
Many shops that sell both traditional and eBikes suggest that electric bikes see up to 10 times more use as they are often bought as utility vehicles which are more accessible to use in any conditions for any job.
Chain manufacturers state that a clean and well maintained chain ensures an efficient transfer of power and also, prolonged and extended battery life, but many traditional chain lubes are not up to the job, either wearing off too quickly or picking up dirt. This is where the Revo systems can really benefit eBikers. Our non-sticky, water washable chain fluid is continually applied while riding so your components are being actively cared for while you ride, regardless of the conditions or frequency of use. When it comes to keeping the transmission clean, Via and Terra Fluid don’t pick up as much dirt while you’re riding so your transmission will always look cleaner than with a traditional chain lube. Then when you want to clean it, just apply water and watch your components come up like new. No need for degreasers or scrubbing. Simple, quick and easy.
To combat some of the inherent issues around using a standard drive chain on an eBike, innovative drive train specialists SRAM have come up with an eBike specific alternative to deal with this. Their new EX1 e-Block has been designed to handle the specific requirements of the modern electric bike. They developed this to overcome the frequently snapped chains and excessive component wear experienced by many eBike converts. According to SRAM these problems are not solely down to the increased load being transmitted, but moreover due to multi-shifting, where people shift through multiple gears at once, doing so under load, in order to achieve the ideal gearing for the situation. On regular mountain bikes shifting generally occurs under low torque and high cadence (although this depends on the inherent mechanical sympathy of the rider!). On eBikes, due to the power and torque assistance, shifting generally occurs under much higher torque and power. SRAM have tried to overcome multi-shifting by increasing the gap between each gear ratio and offering a larger than normal gear range. When climbing, this allows you to run a higher cadence on smaller gears which should increase the battery range. All these developments still rely on a clean and well lubricated transmission for these benefits to truly play out. In addition, you’ll want this new technology to last too as replacement costs can be high.
Other manufacturers involved in the development of eBike technology have also developed methods to help improve the performance, efficiency and durability of electric bike transmissions. Bosch, for example, have integrated gear shift detection which reduces the power assistance slightly when the user is shifting gear in order to save wear on the transmission. The assistance you can receive on some eBikes is in the region of 300%, with a power of 250 watts and torque of 70-80Nm, which depending on the power unit can be delivered at zero cadence (so immediately), so these are quite significant numbers for a drivetrain to have to deal with. If you consider a motorcycle drivetrain with its greater size, thickness, gauge and raft of additional features such as o and x rings to seal in lubricants, that have been developed to deal with the even greater power and torque that they have to handle, it is clear that eBikes are looking for a solution to help overcome many of these issues and the Revo Chain Performance Systems are just that.
Applying our sound engineering principles to this problem it is inherently clear that a properly clean and lubricated transmission will help limit the chances of snapped chains, noisy shifting and excessive wear so not only will every riders’ energy be used to its fullest in driving them forward with a fully optimised transmission, but they should also no longer experience missed gear shifts, chain suck, and ghost shifting.
Moreover, for eBikers, the Revo Via and Revo Terra Chain Performance Systems will give you a cleaner, smoother, quieter, no hassle transmission, resulting in crisper gear shifts, extended component life and a longer ride time!