For years a small but vocal minority have been heralding the gearbox as the next great revolution in cycling. The advantages over the traditional derailleur system are numerous, and include the ability to shift seamlessly while under load or without pedaling, and their ability to perform flawlessly with virtually no maintenance.
Unfortunately, for mountain bikers (and weight weenies), the current gearboxes on the market are rather heavy, and more expensive than some derailleur options. Unless a frame is designed specifically around a gearbox, like the Zerode, that extra weight in the rear upsets the weight distribution. Furthermore, unless you’re willing to spend over a thousand dollars on a Rohloff hub, the planetary gearboxes are just not quite as efficient. Most importantly, if the gearbox where to break, the vast majority of home mechanics or local bike shops would be unable to service it.
The creator of the Vyro system, Gregor Schuster, claims that his proprietary system “combines all the advantages of gearboxes, chain guides, chain rings, and derailleur systems.” How?
The Vyro system is a unique spin on the dual chain ring. Simply put, the segmented outer rings rest on a tilted pin which allows the the chain to shift up within a quarter turn. This allows riders to shift even while under full load. The segmented outer chain ring, and solid inner ring, are sandwiched between an outer and inner guide to prevent accidental drops. All while maintaining a similar weight to current derailleur systems. The prototype shown above weighs aprx 1400 gm, but standard models are expected to be roughly 950 gm. The current retail goal is 400 Euros.
My concerns regarding the design include its its ability to shed or function in muddy conditions, the cost of replacement chain segments, and a fear of proprietary systems.
The companies current focus is on freeride and all mountain applications, but as R&D progresses, a much lighter cross country or road version could be developed. The companies more pressing future plans include a 7 speed cassette for DH, and a 10-11 speed cassette for other applications, which will operate on the same principals.
In order to get this project off the ground, the company founder is entreating cyclists to pony up, and donate on their website. By investing in their technology the company will provide frequent updates and further insight into how the tech functions. Could some one please get these guys a Kick starter campaign?
Do you think this is a practical solution to the current drawbacks mountain bikers face with gearbox systems? Or are you still waiting for someone to manufacture a more traditional sealed, robust, and light weight gearbox?
For more visit Vyro