Cavalerie full sussers built for Effigear internal gearboxes

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Wider gearing than XX1- with only a 100g penalty…

All the dangly parts nicely tucked away
All the dangly parts nicely tucked away

At Sea Otter last month, we had the opportunity to spend some time chatting with the US distributors for both Effigear drivetrains and Cavalerie bikes.  Based in France, the two brands are arms of the same operation.  Having developed a reliable, reasonably lightweight internal drivetrain for mountain bikes, Effigear’s founders had trouble finding anyone to build bikes around them- so they struck out on their own.

Lots of things in a little box
Lots of things in a little box

Effigear’s trademark drivetrain is a fully enclosed unit built around the bottom bracket.  Nine gear combinations cover a wide 444% range- wider than either SRAM’s XX1 or the first two ‘rings of a Shimano 10s triple (24-32 x 11-36).  The gears themselves are partially submerged in lubricating oil and the only regular service is said to be a semi-annual oil change.

Belt-friendly design
Belt-friendly design

The gearbox’s location is low and centred between the wheels.  By moving the shifty parts to the main frame, unsprung weight is reduced and the ability of the suspension to react to impacts is improved.  The ability to centre the drive cog around a main suspension pivot removes chain tension from the forces the bike’s suspension must contend with.  Because there’s no chainring or derailleur to catch on roots or rocks, ground clearance is about as good as one can get.

Tidy and low-maintenance
Tidy and low-maintenance

An AIVEE fixed rear hub builds a standard Shimano cassette spline directly into the hub shell, keeping the rear end light and simple.  Bikes we saw were fitted with Gates Carbon Drive belts, but chains are also an option for those in dusty climates.  Engagement, within the gearbox, is said to be 48 points per revolution.

All told, Effigear claims that their system adds 100g over a comparable derailleur setup.  An Anakin 160mm Enduro frame, Squirrel 185mm freeride frame, and Falcon 200mm downhill frame (shown) are all available directly from Cavalerie.  Pricing for the frame, drivetrain, and rear hub begins at €3,900 (£3,190).

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Comments (7)

    Looks kinda agricultural. I like it.

    Looks kinda heavy until you see the Effigear gallery. It’s clearly so light it’s difficult to keep on the ground!gallery-en/cx4r

    Why does it have to be so large and industrial. Think how small a Alfine hub is in comparison. An Alfine assembly in a bespoke bottom bracket with a front mech on the drive pulley if you use a standard chain and want more than 11 gears and bobs your uncle

    I think it looks awesome and can’t wait for this tech to trickle down the price ladder a little bit. Give it a couple of years and I can definitely see myself investing in a bit of quiet, low maintenance drivetrain like this.

    ISIS BB….oh dear lord

    What’s wrong with ISIS? My Middleburn/SKF combo are fine. TA least it gives access to any number of cheap crank arms and I doubt it would be restricted to that technology anyway, it’ll just be a nice common pre-existing standard.

    I like it. Though is that +100g vs a 9/10/11sp drivetrain or a 27/30/33sp?

    Fixed rear hub, freewheel in the gearbox – flying down hill with wheel driving the belt/chain. Don’t like that aspect.

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