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CeramicSpeed Driven Drivetrain Review

CeramicSpeed Driven Drivetrain Review

Thinking outside the box has yielded advancements throughout human history. CeramicSpeed wants to do the same with their CeramicSpeed Driven Drivetrain, an altogether unique design that could eventually change the way people view cycling drivetrains and how cycling manufacturers produce their bikes.  CeramicSpeed has developed a chain-less drivetrain they call Driven that is claimed to be 98.5% efficient.  It’s still in prototype mode, but it looks wickedly cool.

CeramicSpeed Driven Drivetrain Review



CeramicSpeed Driven Drivetrain Review

CeramicSpeed partnered with the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Colorado to created the CeramicSpeed Driver drive shaft concept (Prototype) that utilizes 21 CeramicSpeed Bearings.  The system uses a single front chainring, a shaft and a rear cog and it eliminates the need for a chain and both the front and rear derailleur.

At 250W, CeramicSpeed Driven creates 32% less friction than the CeramicSpeed upgraded drivetrain, and 49% less friction than the standard Dura-Ace drivetrain.

What is really cool about the CeramicSpeed Driven is if it works as envisioned, a bike could use the system and not have to use a chain, or the front and rear detailer.  Presumably this would shave some weight from the bike making is a bit lighter.

Currently the CeramicSpeed Driven prototype doesn’t shift gears, but the way it should work is the rear section of the shaft will move back and forth horizontally to switch gears on the rear cog.

At higher rider output, the CeramicSpeed upgraded drivetrain calculates a 98.5% efficient drivetrain, where Driven results into 99+% efficiency. Most racers average 200-300 watts power output across a race.

The Driven system maintains its superior efficiency levels at these racing power outputs and continues leading the efficiency curve well beyond 1000+ watts. This drivetrain is perfect for a wide range of applications, from time trial bicycles to track, triathlon, e-bikes and even commuting bicycles.

CeramicSpeed Driven Drivetrain Efficiency Model.

BEYOND Advantages of Efficiency:

  • Driven is lighter than a conventional drivetrain as the chain and derailleurs are eliminated
  • There is a high potential for aerodynamic advantages
  • Lower friction in general, and the elimination of chain link stiction and chain sliding friction
  • Endless possibilities for gear range options of a 1x gear.
  • Different diameter front and rear pinions can be used to increase or decrease the overall final drive ratios.
  • The prototype contains a 13-speed rear cog, yet additional gears could be easily added At this stage.

CeramicSpeed has submitted a patent for their design.  They are also toying with the potential to put a powermeter inside the shaft.

Rear Cog CeramicSpeed Driven Drivetrain Rear Cog CeramicSpeed Driven Drivetrain

Bottom Line

CeramicSpeed certainly has a cool design for replacing the standard chain.  It will be really interesting to see if this actually takes off or turns into cycling vaporware.

Check out CeramicSpeed ( to find out more.

About The Author

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about photography, cycling, running and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of,,,, and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the photography and cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day.

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