Io DuPont is testing a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) for bicycles – intended as a replacement for derrailleur systems.
The prototype, named the Infinity Drive, has been validated in computer modelling and is currently undergoing testing with a view to releasing a retail model next year.
The Infinity Drive is DuPont's second move into the bicycle industry, following the Power Cordz brand.
"The CVT is being prototyped right now," communications and marketing manager Aaron Olson told BikeBiz. "We have three bikes that have been altered to accept the transmission and we will be testing the system over the next several months under varying conditions. Our hope is to have a small initial release sometime in 2011, though a lot is still to be determined.
"This transmission design has been evolving over many years and has taken several different variations leading up to the current one. We are all cyclists and most of us use our bikes to commute to work so we've all had chain and derailleur problems over the years. We want to see something new in cycling as much as anyone.
"While the transmission will be applicable to many different industries, cycling is our base (because of Power Cordz) and also a fantastic place to prove new technologies so, it seemed a natural fit."
Io DuPont founder Tony DuPont said: “Our aim is to reduce limitations to riders on both the low, hill-climbing end and at high speeds. Theoretically, the gearing goes so low that a person who would normally have a hard time walking under their own power could ride a bike up a vertical wall without losing their breath—if you could get the tires to stick well enough."
For details on the Infinity Drive head here.