Back in October, we showed you Efneo, a company out of Poland trying to bring a planetary gearbox crank to market. They have finally gotten the crank to crowdfunding on Indiegogo, and amazingly have already reached more than 1/3 of their goal in just 3 days.

Internal transmissions can be a love it or hate it idea for cyclists, but they are an excellent option for more casual cyclists, and the Efneo is created for these riders. Riding through a city, coming to many stop signs, and then taking off from each one, it takes time to train your mind to downshift your bike before each stop, and many casual users end up trying to take off again in a hard gear. The beauty of most internal drivetrains, and the Efneo, is that it can be downshifted without moving.

The other thing that sets the Efneo apart is a decently low price. Starting at just $220 during the campaign, it is considerably less expensive than say, the Truvativ Hammerschmidt, and still less than the similarly designed FSA Metropolis.

Take a look after the jump where the director of Manufacturing, Wictor, shows you how it works…

 

25 COMMENTS

  1. Dat beard!

    SRSLY, this looks awesome. 28/40/50 for city riding is a great range paired with something like an 18T in back. 50×18 to get to the pub, 28×18 on the way home…

  2. A different way of looking at gearing. Instead of changing gear inches, they’re leaving that alone and changing the “cadence” of the chain rotation. Notice they don’t mention weight.

    (deleted)

  3. They look as serious as if they’re about to go to war 🙂

    Very interesting product at this price. Am considering this for the commuter I plan to build. An important decision point is how good the weather protection is. With the cable entering the crank like this, will it fill with gunk and/or freeze easily?

  4. They say this about weight:
    “It will add about 200-300 grams to the weight of your bike if you remove a three-chainring crankset of good quality (with aluminum cranks) and put the Efneo gearbox on your bike.”

  5. It must be consumer direct w/ no bike shop of distributor in the middle. The Hammer Schmidt is 450, the FSA Patterson is 330 and these guys are 220. No love for consumer direct parts for IBD. Good for consumer, but not for the bike industry.

  6. @Von, not good for the bike industry? You mean not good for IBDs, there are a lot more players in the “industry” including these guys.

  7. Patrick – I mean IBD, Distributor, Reps, etc… are very important to the health of the bike industry. Efeno themselves are part of the bike industry so in that sense they are good for the bike industry since they have employees. Consumers buying from IBD supply chain is the most important part of the industry. With out the IBD anchor, the bike industry as a whole would suffer greatly… it might be more like Walmart. This crank w/ IBD would cost between the FSA and TruVativ versions. Currently Efeno and the small group of employees benefit. If they had IBD supply chain then Efeno, many IBD’s, some distributors w/ their reps and all the employees (IBD, Efeno, Distributor) would benefit from this crankset and help the industry as a whole… this was my point… good discussion for sure!

  8. I’m interpreting your statements in the same hand-rubbing fashion that Union organizers and representatives elicit.

    Competition is always good. Whether the company will grow at a lower rate with this distribution method is their choice to make, and we’ll see how it works!

  9. Von, I’m also all for IBDs but they may not even intend to go to mass market. Nobody really knows their business plan just yet. Also, if you go to IBDs right away, you have a very good chance at having doors slammed in your face. If they keep making these in-house, I see it as a good thing. They may not be able to do that without charging a lot more and maybe their goal is to get these on regular people’s bicycles and not the high end stuff. Who wants a $400 crank for a $800 bike?

  10. Beware of flexible funded projects, versus fixed-funding projects. If they don’t hit their goal, they still get all the money that was raised, even if they don’t have enough money to make all the parts people have signed up for. In addition, flexible-funded projects have a much lower success rate of getting funded than fixed funded projects. don’t get me wrong – I’ve signed up for quite a few kickstarter projects, but only because they require a fixed-funding model.

  11. Alex K, thanks for the warn, I hadn’t caught that.

    Still, excited for them. I’m riding a dinglespeed for city bike use in the form of an FSA Patterson crankset, it’s pretty sweet! Could use a touch more range though.

  12. Von…that was my point. Most people don’t want to spend more than $800 on a bike. If you could get this on an $800 bike it opens of the possibilities for a simple and low maintenance bicycle. Most people have bikes around $800 or less. They aren’t going to want to buy an aftermarket crank for $400….even $240 is a stretch but seems more reasonable.

    This is a great concept for people that just screw around on the bike a bit, have a bit of a commute but don’t maintain their gear, or people willing to ride in really terrible weather but don’t want to deal with the grime(this would be an easy system to enclose).

    As for the funding, this looks like a given. They aren’t going to be worrying about hitting their goal. If anything…they may double what they were looking for

  13. Cletus, you’re onto something. I have a fixie myself that would be perfect for this. Wonder if it can withstand backpressure, or if it requires freewheeling? Any backlash in that thing?

  14. This…. is interesting. Genuine, practical innovation that doesn’t appear to cost an arm and a leg. In the rainy/grimey commuting weather of the PNW, these could be a real hit. Best of luck to these guys!

  15. The selection of gears is based on a retractable freewheel engagement. See how a Patterson or Hammershmidt works, this likely works on a similar principle.

    The required freewheeling means fixies in the rear would be cosmetic only. On the plus side, you could run a really cheap hub in back. On the down side, having the chain moving constantly is a risk if you’re stupid about your pants being baggy while riding.

  16. von kruiser: “Currently Efeno and the small group of employees benefit. If they had IBD supply chain then Efeno, many IBD’s, some distributors w/ their reps and all the employees (IBD, Efeno, Distributor) would benefit from this crankset and help the industry as a whole… this was my point… good discussion for sure!”

    The more I read discussions regarding the IBD system the more it sounds like some sort of pyramid scheme or mafia-esque shakedown.

    “You have something that makes money! Give us a cut or else!”

    Sorry, but that will kill innovation and it has already created a closed-loop ecosystem that cuts the cycling world off from the rest of the market place. Take a look at how irrelevant our industry is compared to the rest of the sports world and ask yourself what might have caused that…

  17. I’m seeing some possibly wrong info around the web regarding the efneo, such as that it can only be installed in a 68mm english-thread bb. Anyone know if it could also possibly go in a 70mm italian-thread?

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