As the year draws to a close, Revonte brings itself to mind once again. At Eurobike 2019, the motor manufacturer appeared in front of a larger audience for the first time. Now the Finns illustrate their technical progress of the past months in a video. It looks like you can expect bikes with this drive in the not-too-distant future.
Iiro Peltola, CTO and co-founder of Revonte, rides through the forests of Finland on a black hardtail. The E-MTB shown illustrates how far the manufacturer has come and what integration could look like on a bike suitable for the masses. In view of the pictures, it is very likely that the name of a larger bicycle manufacturer will soon replace that of Revonte on the down tube. After all, the advantages in comparison to other drives are obvious.
Idea from the automotive sector
The Revonte ONE is a system consisting of an integrated, continuously variable planetary gear and two different electric motors mounted on the bottom bracket. One of the motors supports you while you ride, the other one provides the desired transmission. So there is a great deal of components on the inside. From the outside, little is visible. The dimensions are roughly on a par with those of market leaders like Yamaha, Brose, Shimano and Bosch. Only the down tube is extremely massive – but we’ll get to that later.
Let’s stay with the things that are visible. Or rather, the things that seem to be missing. There is no cassette, no rear derailleur and no gear hub. Chain tensioner? Also missing. If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably guess a singlespeed drive. There is little to maintain. Especially if bicycle manufacturers later decide to use a belt instead of a chain. With such a simple and robust design, Revonte collects a number of plus points in terms of reliability and durability.
The app as the control centre
It’s not much different when it comes to operability. You should be able to switch automatically or manually. In the latter case, there is a special feature: In the app, you simply select how many manual gears you want. Three and thus revive the memory of the modest rental bike from your holidays? Maybe 14 and play a little Rohloff? Or 25 because that’s your lucky number? Would all be feasible.
But much more important is the announcement that gear changes should work smoothly under load. When set in motion so smoothly, Revonte promises great things for the motor. Slowed down by the software, it currently produces 800 watts. Theoretically, even two kilowatts are possible. In addition, there is an abundance of torque. A constant 90 Newton metres are available. At peak times, it can be considerably more. Chief technician Iiro Peltola reports of tests in which it almost felt weird how strongly the motor was pushing him, even though Peltola wasn’t pedalling that hard.
Pulling the plug remotely
The Finns have also announced some technical developments regarding their app. It now records all the details of a journey without the need to carry the smartphone with you. While riding, the map always automatically aligns itself with the direction of travel. This makes the more time-consuming orientation by compass direction superfluous.
The most valuable innovation, however, is definitely the theft protection. As soon as a warning pops up in the app that someone is tampering with your bike, you can switch off the bike’s motor by remote control. In the case of the Revonte drive, this means that you completely disable the bike. Very effective, even if it doesn’t bring the bike back at that moment.
Battery to the fourth
Do you remember the beginning of the text and the remark about the voluminous down tube? Here comes the answer. The battery is located in the down tube. So far, so ordinary. Here, however, it is a particularly large one. Its capacity is a remarkable 705 watt hours. More precisely, that of the Revonte Akku7. There is also the Revonte Akku5 with 520 watt hours. To make it as easy as possible for bicycle manufacturers to integrate the system, the dimensions of both batteries are identical. This requires a compromise, which in this case is at the expense of space. The Revonte ONE is many things – but it is unlikely to be inconspicuous.
When it comes to range and overall battery management, Revonte has its sights set on e-cargo bikes. With these bikes, the general rule is: the more capacity, the better. But Revonte goes one better. Their system can be extended to up to four batteries. Whether the same size is used four times or both sizes are combined in any ratio is irrelevant. So, it is not surprising that one of the first users is the EAV Cubed. Cargobikes with three or four wheels will push more and more into urban areas in the coming years. Revonte seems well prepared for this.
Pictures: Revonte Ltd.