Efneo, a Polish company run by a family, is bringing bicycle components to market to make a cyclists life easier. We covered their idea of an internally geared crank two years back, and they are now gearing up to start taking pre-orders for the x3 gearbox crank and the Active silent hub. While an internally geared crank and a silent hub are not new ideas, Efneo hopes to bring them to market for all types of bikes, and with the help of crowdsourcing.
The x3 crank is an internally geared, shiftable crankset that can be installed on any bike. While the idea is not new, as it has been seen in Hammerschmidt, Schlumpf and the Metropolis Patterson, the x3 is the first one to incorporate 3 speeds, not just two. Similar to other systems, the benefits are touted as being able to offer instant gear changes, being able to shift without pedaling and cleaning up the drivetrain so there is less maintenance. Offering a range similar to a 28/40/50 crank is impressive, and it seems to be able to mount without any strange parts or adapters.
Combine it with an internally geared rear hub and you’ve got one classy, simple and clean drivetrain with all the range you could want.
The Active silent hub uses a roller clutch system to allow for silent operation and less than 1 degree engagement. Similar to what Shimano introduced with the LX Silent Clutch hub many years ago, and which has progressed into the drive mechanism for the Shimano Alfine hub line, silent clutches can be very popular among riders who do not want to hear their hubs behind them. Efneo claims a departure from this system with a change of the design that will keep the mechanism from wearing out over time. They plan to offer the hub for all bike types and all common axle lengths. Similar to the crank, Efneo says they will be starting crowdfunding and taking preorders soon.