You are here

Nuvinci Launches Automatic Shifting System

Published August 11, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA (BRAIN)—Nuvinci has introduced its answer to the next evolution in electric bike technology: the Harmony automatic shifting system.

Harmony is made specifically for compatibility with electric bikes. It officially debuts at Eurobike, but the company provided an early look to a group of editors in Germany in mid-July.

Harmony works with Nuvinci’s N360 continuously variable plantary (CVP) drivetrain, which came out in 2010 as an alternative to internal gear hub systems. Harmony is a separate unit that mounts inside the rear dropout and pulls power from any 12 to 48 volt DC ebike battery.

It’s designed as a solution for the common problem of e-bike riders leaving their bikes in one gear causing the electric motor to work harder than necessary.

Harmony comes in two models. With advanced rider controller, riders can set a preferred cadence and the system automatically adjusts the ratio with terrain or wind changes to maintain the cadence. Riders can also choose the manual twist-grip shift option similar to any bike currently using the N360 hub. The basic rider controller is a simpler set-up where riders have three programmable cadence settings—slow, medium, fast—that can be preset by the e-bike OEM.

The system weighs less than 250 grams, and the N360 hub is about 2,450 grams.

Al Nordin, president of the bicycle products division for Fallbrook Technologies, owner of the Nuvinci brand, said the focus for the product is primarily Europe where e-bike use continues to climb, followed by China and Japan, other hot markets for electric bikes. Harmony will not be available in the aftermarket, and Nordin doesn’t expect it to be spec’d on the limited number of e-bikes sold in the U.S. market, at least not right away.

“The interest from OEMs is growing daily as they understand that when NuVinci N360 is combined with the auto-shift capabilities of Harmony, not only can shift performance be improved, but also vehicle range, durability, and overall ride quality,” said Jack Brandsen, Fallbrook’s director of sales and business development in Europe.

Harmony is available only to OEs with first production scheduled for the fourth quarter. Production testing is ongoing now at the factory in Taiwan that makes the Harmony units, Nordin said.

—Nicole Formosa

Photo: A prototype of Harmony with the N360 hub

Join the Conversation