What Is A Drive Shaft?

  • The drive shaft is a spinning tube with connectors called yokes, that transmits power from an engine to the wheels of a vehicle.
  • Drive shaft is widely used in the automotive industry due to the ability to consistently transfer large amounts of spinning power (torque) from an engine to the wheels which allows the vehicle to move. Without the power (torque) transfer between the separate components, you cannot move forward.
  • To propel a bicycle, the engine is replaced with a crankshaft powered by human pedal power; the torque or power is transferred through the drive shaft to the wheel propelling the bike forward. Combined with an electric motor, you get a shaft drive ebike.

Why Use A Drive Shaft On An E-bike?

Shaft drives operate at a consistent rate of efficiency and performance without regular adjustments or maintenance required. An enclosed drive system provides several benefits:

Safety:  No danger of clothing or fingers being trapped in the enclosed gears.
Cleanliness:  Gears cannot get grease on hands or clothing.
Longevity:  Gears deliver stable performance for long periods of time.
Reduced maintenance and repair:  Gears are less susceptible to damage and require less adjustment or cleaning.

The Traditional Bike & Drive Shaft

While traditional drive shafts have been used on bicycles since the late 1800’s, the application to bicycles hasn't been easy and has proven unsuccessful and unsustainable due to two main defects that Honbike has eliminated with its patented shaft drive technology.

1. The gears of the traditional shaft drive system are exposed outside the shell and are not fully sealed. Water, dirt, sand, and other debris can easily enter the transmission system, destroying the lubrication and damaging the gears, requiring frequent maintenance, cleaning and repair.


2. The traditional two-sided support shaft drive system lacks stability. The connection between the traditional shaft drive and the rear hub gear is fixed by screws which constantly need to be adjusted to ensure the precision of the gear meshing.

After riding for a certain period of time, the gears on the hub will move forward and backward, which causes the transmission to loose its precision, the gap between the gears will increase or decrease, abnormal noises can be heard as the gears mesh together and in severe cases, dislocation or jamming of the gears may occur.

If this happens, the rider will be “stepping on air” like when you step off a curb that you misjudged the distance of (We’ve all been there) or the gears become stuck - this increases risk of injury.

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Honbike Clean Shaft Drive System

  • The entire drive train is fully sealed and protected, so that the drive gears are not exposed to mud, dirt, water and oil, ensuring stable and efficient power transmission to the drive shaft while riding the bike.

Honbike Shaft Drive System

  • The drive shaft shell, initially designed to seal out the elements, is integrated as part of the bikes frame. This specially designed shell and frame integration takes the mechanical pressures (compression, shear and torsion) off the wheel leaving only the internal gears to bear the torque of the spinning shaft.

    Unlike traditional shaft-driven gears, HONBIKE’s gears only need to withstand the rotational torque. This makes the gears less prone to deformation over a long period of operation, which affects the transmission efficiency and makes them more durable with greater accuracy and reliability.
  • Just like many electric vehicles are getting rid of traditional gearboxes and clutches, we introduce our shaft drive technology into electric bicycles, using an electric motor and various sensors to enable intelligent speed and torque management.