Dear PodRide Supporter,
Time for another update on PodRide’s development, just in time for Christmas.
We’ve been quiet, but working towards the production of new prototypes. We experienced some unexpected and significant technical problems in changing the format of our 3D models from that produced by our designer to that used by our guys producing the many detailed 2D drawings required for manufacturing. In the end we got it sorted out and now have three companies providing quotations for building the PodRide frames, both prototype and production. These quotations require a considerable effort on the part of the manufacturer to quote on. (About a two month turnaround). We have received one quote back and expect the other two in the next two weeks or so. We will then choose our frame maker and begin manufacturing of three prototype rolling chassis.
During this time we also made some changes that greatly simplify the ability to upgrade from a non-electric version of PodRide to an electric version. This provides those that purchase a non-electric version of PodRide an easy upgrade path to electric if their needs change going forward.
We have also redesigned the seat for PodRide making it much lighter, and allowing adjustment of the recline angle via a quick release mechanism, and can even fold the seat all the way forward allowing easy access to the rear cargo bay behind the seat. We also added a quick release mechanism to adjust the seat position back and forwards in relation to the pedals. (The original prototype seat was fixed in place, had a fixed recline angle and was significantly heavier.)
We would like to let you know more about the proposed design of the drive train on PodRide. As we mentioned in our last update, we removed the mid-drive motor to provide more room for your feet. (By reducing the Q factor.)
The new design has the pedals/crankset going to a hub motor, to the gearbox, thought to the differential, which drives the rear axle and rear wheels. This design makes it easy add or remove a motor in the configuration, and we have been able to achieve this without requiring a different chain path or additional jockey wheels for motorized and non-motorized PodRides.
Using a hub motor makes it a little cheaper than a mid-drive, and makes it quite simple to swap out to a more powerful motor if regulations change in the future.
This design also allows us flexibility with gears and the crankset.
ENVIOLO CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION (CVT)
With regards gears we have evaluated many options and chosen the Enviolo Cargo CVT Hub (formerly Nuvinci). This is Enviolo’s heavy duty Continually Variable Transmission (internal geared hub) with a 380 % ratio range. Instead of having an exposed cassette of gears as found on most bikes, the gear mechanisms are fully enclosed and protected from damaging dirt and water, and are maintenance free. Also there are no fixed gears like on a cassette that make gear changes clunky. Instead you can glide up and down the gear range, silky smooth. You can even change gears while stopped at an intersection.. try doing that with regular gears. There will also be the option of a fully automatic gear changing, so you set your preferred pedal cadence, and the gearing will automatically change so you can pedal at the same pace even up or down hill, and optimize your enjoyment.
OPTIONAL EFNEO GTRO 3 SPEED FRONT GEARBOX
PodRide will come with a standard set of pedals and cranks up front, but we will also provide the upgrade option of the Efneo GTRO geared crankset. This is a 3 speed crankset which in combination with the Eviolo Cargo Hub allows you to more easily tackle hills and get a higher top speed from pedalling. We recommend this option for those considering 4 wheel PodRide without an electric motor, and/or those that live in hilly areas.
The GTRO gives you the equivalent of 3 chainrings in one, and like the Eviolo CVT, the GTRO has a sealed and protected mechanism, and you can change gears under load.
If you choose to have the Efneo gearbox up front, this has a 1.8 times multiplying effect on the Enviolo CVT gearbox taking the gear range from 380% to 684%. That’s like having a 11-75 tooth cassette!
Regarding the hub motor, we have selected a Bafang motor, due to the fact that they provide great value for money and have good support internationally. Rather than going for the lightest motor, we have selected a heavier unit that is stronger and less susceptible to burn out.
We’re excited about PodRide’s drive train and hope you will be too. It’s designed to be capable, reliable and require minimum maintenance. You can find out more about these components via the links below..
Enviolo CVT Overview video: https://youtu.be/7QQQQGWnYPU
Eviolo Automatic Gear Shifting video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxNEeG26hTM
Efneo GTRO Product Review: https://road.cc/content/review/227796-efneo-gtro-3-speed-front-gearbox
1. NEW OFFICE
PodRide now has an office in a startup hub that is sponsored by Audi. The facility has a bunch of shipping containers that have been converted into offices. This provides us with a small but adequate office from which to work, so we have somewhere to keep the prototype and all the sample components. The best news is that because of the sponsorship it’s rent free, just a small monthly management fee and outgoings.
2. NEW TEAM MEMBER – JOANNE
We have been very lucky to secure the services of a highly experienced supply chain expert that has 15 years experience in the bike industry working for some of the world’s leading bike brands managing suppliers/factories, production and QC. Joanne will help us significantly with the development and manufacturing of PodRide.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
The team at PodRide would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. (Or whatever other occasion that you might celebrate at this time of year.)