Decathlon Introduces Stepless Automatic Transmission E-Bike

Recently, the electric bike B’TWIN LD 920 E, which Decathlon showcased in 2022, has been officially launched on their website and is now available in several European countries.

Designed for urban commuting, this bike adheres to Decathlon’s consistent minimalist design philosophy, presenting a modern and sleek intelligent e-bike with the added feature of a rear rack. Customers can customize the bike with various accessory kits to suit their needs. To cater to different user groups, Decathlon offers both high-frame and low-frame models.

Even before its launch, this model garnered widespread attention due to its revolutionary riding experience offered by the E2 Drives-designed Owuru electric system. Owuru ingeniously combines two motors and a planetary gearbox, ensuring smooth interaction between the motor shaft and the drive shaft through two synchronized belts. This innovation enables automatic seamless gear changes, allowing the vehicle to utilize different levels of assistance under any transmission ratio, with a maximum assistance level of up to 375%.

Automatic Transmission E-Bike

In the past, shifting gears on a bicycle required stopping. Later, it evolved into gear shifters, enabling more efficient uphill riding with a “click” sound when transitioning from downhill to uphill terrain. Today, automatic seamless gear changes have eliminated the need for any manual operation. Owuru’s gear shifting offers continuous, uninterrupted transitions, allowing the vehicle to smoothly adjust through an infinite number of gear ratios. Furthermore, Owuru eliminates the limitations associated with traditional gear shifters, as the gear shifting is integrated into the motor and does not require derailleur mechanisms. Instead, it employs a chain with fixed gears. This results in smooth gear changes in any circumstance.

Intelligent Assistance System

While conventional gear shifters require riders to manually adjust gears based on their rhythm, Owuru offers an alternative. By setting the desired pedaling rhythm through Owuru’s pedal frequency settings, the system continuously adjusts gear ratios based on the bike’s speed and pedaling torque.

Compact and Agile

Owuru’s entire system is controlled by a single printed circuit board, with two motor driver components and eight sensors mounted on it. This integration results in a more compact design, occupying less space. The system also includes a microcontroller to monitor the engine’s performance output. Thanks to meticulous component engineering, the system operates almost silently, with the planetary gears in perfect harmony, providing a seamless driving experience.

The drive provides three levels of assistance: Eco, Standard, and Boost, offering 100%, 235%, and 375% assistance power, respectively. The motor torque is 65 Nm, sufficient for urban commuting, with a gear range of 265%.

The B’TWIN LD 920 E comes with a 702Wh Samsung battery, providing a range of up to 150 kilometers. The bike supports Bluetooth for smart connectivity, featuring functions like automatic unlocking and location tracking. A built-in color screen displays real-time speed and remaining mileage information. The bike is also equipped with a USB-C charging port for charging smart devices.

The bike is currently available for sale at a price of 2999 euros.

Compared to the mid-drive integrated system Pinion MGU found on the market, Owuru’s performance is not as superior. In terms of gear ratios, the 9-speed gearbox-equipped MGU reaches 568%, and the 12-speed gearbox-equipped MGU goes as high as 600%. Owuru’s position in the chainring system features three pulleys in total, with two located within a traditional derailleur cage. Compared to Pinion’s solution, it’s difficult to judge the smoothness, quietness, and wear of Owuru’s system from a distance. At least, MGU with carbon belts and a single pulley appears neater compared to the E2 Drives concept.

E2 Drives revealed that after the urban commuting model is launched, they will develop a second-generation stepless transmission for mountain bikes and cargo bikes.

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