New Motion Labs new 92t chainring and marginal gains for cargo bikes
New Motion Labs (NML) made headlines late last year with claims that its dual-engagement chain was more efficient, stronger, and more durable than anything else on the market. The brand was on the ground at Eurobike last week with a working sample of its Enduo Evolve chainring and sprocket.
The tooth profile of the Enduo Evolve design forces the rollers of a roller chain to act in pairs, with each pair of rollers engaging with an individual tooth, making contact on both sides of the tooth. NML calls this Dual Engagement.
At Eurobike NML had its Enduo Evolve combination on Swiss track rider Cyrille Thièry’s Cervelo P4, and although it was not offering test rides, NML said the system has already gone through testing on the track.
At Eurobike New Motion Labs also unveiled its latest in traditional chain-busting technology – its new 8 mm pitch track chain (chain pitch is the distance between the drive links) – as well as Cargo, Cargo+, and Super Cargo offerings. Beaten to the punch by British Cycling at the Olympics, NML had already developed an 8 mm pitch said to improve drivetrain efficiency by reducing the articulation forced on the chain. With a smaller pitch, NML can almost double the tooth count on a sprocket and chainring, thereby reducing the articulation on each link. The NML Enduo Evolve design eliminates half the teeth on a chainring or sprocket, so although the tooth count on the display chainring sounds relatively small with just 46 teeth, this is in fact the equivalent of a 92 tooth chainring.
Alternatively, NML could opt for the same number of teeth on a much smaller chainring to reduce the overall size of the chainring for a slight aerodynamic improvement. Ultimately for track racing, the efficiency gains here seem to outweigh the aerodynamic gains, and NML has for the moment gone with that 92-tooth chainring, roughly equivalent to 58-tooth standard chainring, for the reduced articulation rather than improved aerodynamics.
The differing pitch is clearly visible.The resulting increase in teeth for effectively the same sized (height) chainring is also clear.NML had two options for single-speed bikes on show: the Enduo Evolve with 12.7 mm pitch (black) and the new Enduo Evolve Track featuring 8 mm pitch (silver).
Drivetrain efficiency is just one of the claimed benefits of NML’s technology, though. Another is improved durability. That’s where the new cargo range comes in.
NML has focused on the increased chain wear and failure rates experienced by cargo bikes due to heavier loads, the drive motor, and the resulting increased forces on the chain. This is certainly an issue for the transportation e-cargo bike industry, with many bikes repeatedly off the road for service and drivetrain issues.
NML claims its new Enduo Evolve cargo range can improve the lifetime of a chain on a cargo bike, keeping the bike on the road up to 30% longer. The Enduo Evolve Cargo is designed for non-assisted cargo bikes with a standard 12.7 mm pitch chain with similar strength and weight-carrying capacity of a standard chain and a lifetime of up to 5,000 km. The Super-Cargo also features a standard 12.7 mm pitch, but with an increased chain width for improved strength and weight-carrying capacity making it suitable for cargo e-bikes with heavier loads and levels of assistance with a claimed lifetime of up to 30,000 km. Both these chains rely on NML’s Enduo Evolve design to improve drivetrain durability.
The Cargo+ chain sits between the other two offerings and features a 9.5 mm pitch plus the Enduo Evolve dual engagement system. This chain is said to be good for up to 10,000 km of e-cargo bike action.
NML pointed out that, due to standard fixings, its chain, chainring, and sprocket can be retrofitted to any cargo bike, offering the same claimed benefits to new and old bikes. NML will offer the new chain, chainring, and sprocket as a package priced at €149.99 for the Cargo, €199.99 for the Cargo+, and €249.99 for the Super Cargo option.
More information is available at NewMotionLabs.com