Valeo? Don’t worry if you haven’t heard the name before. That’s because they’re new to the bike world. But for years now the French company has been focused on “zero-emissions mobility.” Until now, that innovation has been limited to “electric small-city vehicles, electric motorcycles and scooters, and last-mile autonomous delivery droids.” Seeing the writing on the wall for the exploding future of the electric bicycle, Valeo just introduced their first e-bike drivetrain concept – which combines the motor and transmission into one unit.

Valeo smart e-bike system with integrated shifting


In a partnership with Effigear (that wild gear box system we checked out at Sea Otter 2014), the Valeo Smart E-Bike System claims to be the first system to include the motor and an adaptive automatic transmission into one unit.

Valeo smart e-bike system with integrated shifting and belt drive


We’ve seen e-bikes that offer automatic shifting before, but they rely on a special rear hub or additional electronics to control a traditional drivetrain. The Valeo system would eliminate most of the usual parts behind the motor, allowing for the use of a single speed belt drive system for ultimate durability (no more broken chains) and ease of maintenance.

Valeo smart e-bike system with integrated shifting on cargo bike


You also gain a 7 speed automatic drivetrain combined with a massive 130Nm of torque from the motor. Valeo says this is able to multiply the cyclist’s effort 8x, which could make e-cargo bikes even more capable or easy to ride around town fully loaded.

Relying on their 48V electric motor, Valeo claims these are more efficient than competing 24V or 36V motors. Additionally, the system includes an anti-theft function that will prevent the bike from being rideable.

Oh, and their cargo bike system includes a reverse function. That indicates the freewheel is in motor assembly, which would mean the rear hub is fixed.

Valeo smart e-bike system with integrated shifting controller


Valeo smart e-bike system with integrated shifting on city bike


Valeo smart e-bike system with integrated shifting on mountain bike


So where can you buy one? Well, for now, the Smart e-Bike System is limited to the prototypes shown above. Built as proofs of concept by Valeo, it seems that the goal is to get other bike manufacturers on board since the motor design will require its own mount. But given Valeo’s manufacturing abilities, and the promise of the system, it seems like we’ll see this in production sooner, rather than later.



  1. Drew Diller on

    Good. I think this is legitimate. I’ve encountered a some count of people who don’t ride bikes simply because they find shifting to be too confusing and single speeding beyond their physical power output. More people on bikes is good. I happen to be designing a gearbox transmission, and one of the signature problems is what I call a “torque downshift” where you’re pedaling uphill and you need to grab a lower gear, and you can’t because of the ramp design of a freewheel not wanting to let go along a 90 degree engagement, and even if it DID let go, damage to the tooth is likely. Experienced riders can compensate (stutter pedaling), but novice riders cannot. This is a good development even if it isn’t for everyone.

    • Dustin on

      This is the future of bikes, this is where transportation will be heading and it’s a great innovation to finally combine the motor and transmission into one unit . That being said I own over a dozen bikes, none electric, wrenched at a high volume/high end shop for years, been a product development manager and tester for a large bicycle company and this isn’t the bike I would buy… but for my parents or wife or many other people in the world this is going to get there butt on a bike and that’s progress for everyone.

    • Jacob D Felix on

      Yamaha also has a great e-bike. With a transmission I don’t think. I believe this is a great idea from get go. Nice to see others following suit. There are many who would love to get out on a bike but really cannot physically enjoy the ride. I love the transmission idea! Very compact. I raced 12 speeds. And sure would be nice. To have the assistance. For the times ” I still have to make it home! I see there can be nothing but positive come from this product!

    • Kerouac on

      Just dont be fooled by the ”extra power”, as long as your limited in EU upto 25 kmh, your still crawling. The idea is fantastic. My wife and folks would love this to be on the market for them to kick back and relax. Combine it with better batteries of course.

  2. Peter on

    As good as it may be I dont see the price being likely very cheap. Even today the cost of some E bikes is the same or more than brand new motorbikes

  3. Peter on

    Nice to see more of this type of solutions coming to market. Finnish Revonte is planning to bring their similar system to production next year with a few UK based ebike companies. One city bike and one cargo bike, I think.

  4. Kroner on

    Valeo are indeed a top brand automotive parts manufacturer. My guess is they did the research well, saw what bosch and Yamaha and Brose did on ebikes. Saw the fantastic market potential , and opted to join the money belt. If u think, its small change for a huge company like these moguls to add 5-10 R&D members and take existing tech and mold it into a light weight system. If u really dig deep, this isnt rocket science, its all auto electro syncromash tech thats been around for 20 years, and finally found its way to a new thirsty market of pedal asist consumers. Its about time too. 🙂


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