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CSG Files Patent for Wild-Looking eBike Wheel with Batteries In the Rim

CSG ebike wheel with internal battery patent
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A recent patent from Cycling Sports Group details a new “Bicycle Power System” wherein a string of battery cells are located inside the circumference of the rim of a rear wheel and configured to a hub drive motor to provide pedal-assistance. The system places all the necessary components for electronic pedal-assist inside the rear wheel, offering up a way to, theoretically, convert any bike to an eBike.

While the concept isn’t entirely new, the positioning of the batteries inside the rim, so far away from the axis of rotation, is. With it comes improved heat dissipation and claimed benefits for battery efficiency and lifespan. The design is interesting from a utility perspective rather than a performance one; here’s an insight into how urban eBikes of the future may be powered…

CSG ebike wheel hub drive motor batteries inside rim hybrid commuter
An LED Display (yellow) on the rim cover (green) would create a “circle of light” to improve the rider’s visibility to other road users. All images annotated by Cory Benson.

CSG Patent for a New eBike Wheel

Cycling Sports Group is owned by PON Holdings, an industry behemoth responsible for some big name brands including Santa Cruz, Cervélo, Focus, Cannondale, and GT, but also some notable urban mobility-focused brands such as Charge, Schwinn, Gazelle, Kalkhoff, Veloretti, and Urban Arrow. To give you a sense of scale; the PON website informs us that one in five eBikes in Germany are made by a PON brand. I am no patent lawyer, but I reckon the ownership structure means the technology described within CSG’s Patent for a Bicycle Power System could foreseeably be rolled out far and wide.

csg ebike wheel internal battery patent cutaway hub drive motor wheel
The CSG Patent describes a “string” of battery cells (cyan) connected to one another, distributed underneath the rim bed (red) by a “carrier wreath” (52). The “cover” 50 is described as removable for servicing or parts replacement

The patent (US 2023068251) shows the Bicycle Power System in use on a fairly standard-looking flat bar hybrid/commuter-style eBike. But, the patent description does mention it could equally be applied to a mountain bike – hardtail or full-suspension. Though, it does seem highly unlikely it would find a home on such performance-oriented bikes where an inordinately heavy rear wheel would have its disadvantages for overall bike handling – not to mention the idea of having so much mass located toward the outer edge of the wheel where the weight would be felt even more so. No, we reckon this Bicycle Power System is very much intended for the urban mobility crowd.

csg ebike wheel internal battery rim
The Battery Management System (Dark Green) is electrically connected to the Hub Drive Motor via a cable disposed inside a hollow spoke tube (70, below). An ON/OFF switch is seen in orange.

Briefly… a hub drive motor is connected, via cables running through hollow spokes, to a “sausage-string” (cyan) or circular one-piece battery arrangement disposed within the hollow of the deeper rim (56). The batteries are positioned far away from the motor, where they cannot be affected by any heat generated by its function. And, the tandem arrangement gives a high surface area to volume ratio, which itself will encourage better heat dissipation.

csg ebike wheel internal battery rim housed
The pink nodule on the rim (68) is the charging port. Charging can occur via this port with a standard wired connection, or via inductive charging.

The main benefit here is that the batteries could run more efficiently. As compared to a system wherein the batteries are housed around the hub drive motor this one could have a much longer range, or it could have the same range in a lighter-weight package.

Isn’t this design terrible in almost every other way?

Maybe. It seems that damage to the rim could easily damage the batteries, if not the entire electrical system, sending a lot of material to the dumpster. And while it would be easier to cool, we also imagine it would be more exposed to dirt or water infiltration. That said, the patent does describe an embodiment in which the batteries held within their “carrier wreath” and the Battery Management System that is also housed within the rim, could all be removed from a damaged rim and installed within a replacement rim.

Placing so much weight so far away from the axis of rotation would also almost certainly have negative implications for general handling, too. Probably not enough to be prohibitive in the world of commuting and cargo transport, though, two areas where such technology is most likely to find its home.

csg ebike wheel circle of light led display
The patent says the rim could be made from carbon, fiber-reinforced plastic or aluminum

Could this technology be utilized to make any bike an eBike?

Sure it could, theoretically, but only if its owner wanted to engineer it that way. A benefit of this system would be that you don’t need to find space on your frame/bar to mount a separate battery pack because it comes as part of the wheel itself. And, all the wired connections are relatively self-contained.

There are plenty of eBike conversion kits on the market, and we don’t really think any of CSG’s brands would be looking to compete with those companies directly. More likely, this technology will be rolled out on a future Charge/Schwinn/Gazelle/Kalkhoff/Veloretti eBike boasting an improved range/weight ratio over its competitors. Or, they could sell it as an upgrade to one of their non-eBikes.

PON.com

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11 Comments
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Hamjam
Hamjam
11 months ago

Sweet. I’m gonna patent an ebike with batteries in the shift cables.

Sluette
Sluette
11 months ago

Sure they will offer a 400mm discbrake with 8 piston caliper to stop this monster… Maybe as an add-on?

blablabla
blablabla
11 months ago

Some people are just “engineers” in title… They think of a solution without the most important question – “why would I do something so stupid?”

uzurpator
uzurpator
11 months ago
Reply to  blablabla

With this entire electricals are contained within the rear wheel – thus it is trivial to convert to/from an ebike.

Mike
Mike
11 months ago
Reply to  uzurpator

Yes, it’s easy. But most of the advantage of having an electrical motor goes down the drain cause of the force needed to move it. Rims and tires are the worst possible place to put weight into.

Dinger
Dinger
11 months ago

Interesting idea. There have been a couple of integrated e-bike conversions with battery and motor all in the hub but this is the first I’ve seen of someone trying to imbed the batteries in the rim. With all of the battery weight in the outer circumference of the wheel it ought to make the bike very stable, maybe too much?

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
11 months ago

Finally! I’ve been waiting for someone to make a rim that’s marginally more useful while being harder to accelerate, increase brake wear, and reduce the ride quality.

It’s a win-lose-lose-lose solution!

Owen
Owen
11 months ago

Which part of the bike gets the most abuse, is most likely to get smashed on a rock, makes most difference to acceleration and handling? Yes perfect place for batteries. Idiots.
If it needs to be in the wheel, then put it in the hub!!!

Dylan
Dylan
11 months ago

It’s still not going to be a simple universal conversion because it will need to be able to brace off the seatstay/chainstay in order to drive the wheel. By the time you do this, how much harder is it to run a cable to a frame mounted battery, which is going to be far easier and cheaper to build? And if your battery dies (which is so much more likely given the abuse taken by a rim), you would now have to replace your rear wheel and motor as well.
Unless there’s some form regenerative braking (engaged like a backpedal brake?), as soon as there is any stop-start usage the energy efficiency benefit of running the batteries cooler will be well and truly offset by the energy required to bring the huge flywheel up to speed.
And that’s without even touching the handling issues.

GreenPlease
GreenPlease
11 months ago

IMO, this is a brilliant design.

Patrick McCabe
Patrick McCabe
10 months ago

Duh, increasing rotating weight of the wheel at the rim. So much for efficiency. Patenting a really bad idea!

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