CHICAGO (BRAIN) — SRAM is teaming up with Bosch to offer a semi-automatic drivetrain that combines Bosch's electric bicycle motor with a SRAM internally geared hub and an external rear derailleur.
The system, known as the SRAM DD3 Pulse, will appear on 2015 model bikes primarily for the European market. The system provides automatic shifting for the internal hub and manual shifting for the derailleur.
"You start out in first gear in the (internally geared hub). You ride along, you start going faster, and the automatic transmission shifts up for you. You start going a little bit faster, it shifts up again," explained Rob Cappucci, SRAM's e-bike category manager. "You get to a stop sign, it automatically shifts back down to first, which is where you want to be. And if you want to shift it manually, you can do that."
The SRAM components work with Bosch's standard mid-drive e-bike motors.
"We will combine a new form of urban comfort with growing safety demands," said Marcus Schneider, category manager for SRAM urban bikes in Germany.
Cappucci said it would be primarily up to Bosch whether to offer the DD3 system in the United States. A handful of brands have just started to roll out bikes in the U.S. market that are equipped with Bosch's second-generation mid-drive motor.
"We would love to see it in the U.S., and to the extent that e-bikes get some traction in the U.S., it will do well here," Cappucci said.
He added that he "wouldn't be surprised" to see SRAM work with Bosch on future products. "We don't have anything specific on the table," he added.
"They obviously bring stuff from outside the bike industry and we bring even more stuff from inside the bike industry," Cappucci said. "From that standpoint it's been great for both of us."
SRAM also makes its own e-bike system, a two-speed, automatic shifting system for urban bikes that it calls E-matic. Electra uses the system on an electric version of its Townie, and Cappucci said it is becoming popular as a rental bicycle.