In many parts of the world, bicycles are central to the culture — both for recreation and practical transportation for everyday tasks such as shopping or commuting to and from work. Efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, concerns about climate change, and rising fossil-fuel costs in many areas (along with congested roadways) have only spurred more residents of large cities to use bicycles as a viable alternative to the automobile. Yet another perk of bike riding are the health benefits of the exercise.
So no wonder there’s also been global rise in app-based bicycle sharing — allowing users to rent bicycles at will … and avoid the risk of theft as well as the cost of purchasing and maintaining a bike. Sustainability is yet another advantage here, as the rate of use for a rideshare bicycle is about four times that of a bike owned by one person.
Bike locks and drives by FAULHABER
One key aspect of bike-rental systems is locking the bikes in smart bike racks when not in use by a registered user. In some lock systems, small FAULHABER gearmotors are installed in the bike front forks to secure bikes not checked out. Then bike sharers can have bikes unlocked (at manned rental stations) or in some cases unlock bikes on their own using a smartphone app.
Where bicycles take the form of pedal electric cycles (pedelecs) electric motors also complete drive systems to boost the bicycle speed or hill-climbing torque. Such assistance can customized to the rider’s pedal force or cadence. In most areas, bicycles with electric assist are legally equivalent to regular bicycles — so don’t necessitate that riders have a license plate or a driver’s license. No wonder the pedelec market has grown significantly in the past decade. Consider that in Germany alone, more than 1.6 million such bicycles are sold every year … and that number continues to climb.
Bicycle-drive manufacturer Schönaich uses FAULHABER motors in their designs. In fact, Schönaich wheel drives are so power dense that pedelecs with these drives just look like normal bicycles. FAULHABER 3274 … BP4 brushless dc servomotors paired with planetary gearheads maintain the design compactness to integrate into the bike frame; the battery for the drive is then camouflaged as a water bottle. Electrically assisted bicycles with this drive deliver 330 Watts (peak) for five-minute intervals.
FAULHABER 1524/1724SR series dc micromotors also ensure the right drive when shifting gears on the bicycle — both with standard bicycles as well as with pedelecs. Electronic shifting guarantees efficient riding and increase comfort and safety. At the same time, they reduce wear on the shifting components. Gear shifting is performed with the help of the small servomotors.
FAULHABER also sponsors R&D in new eBike designs — including those being investigated by engineering students and researchers leading the SmartFaraday Pedal project out of the University of Freiburg engineering department. Their design (which was a Cosima competition winner) is an intelligent bicycle pedal that lets cyclists connect the bike to a smartphone or the Internet; track their journey statistics and routes; and report theft.
For more information, visit faulhaber.com/en/markets/consumer/bike.