Everything You Need to Know About Shaft Drive E-Bike

Everything You Need to Know About Shaft Drive E-Bike

A shaft-driven bicycle is a bike that uses a drive shaft instead of a chain to transmit power from the pedals to the wheel. Shaft drives were introduced over a century ago, but were mostly supplanted by chain-driven bicycles due to the gear ranges possible with sprockets and derailleurs. While shaft driven bikes may appear uncommon, the Honbike design is a product of innovation, aiming to provide a stress-free riding experience. Discover more about shaft drive bikes.



What is a Shaft Drive Bike?

Shaft drives are commonly found in the automotive industry and industrial applications. Trucks were the typical host until it was applied to electric bikes. The shaft drive system uses an aluminum case that houses a shaft with bevel gears on each end, The power from the pedals is transferred through the shaft and gears to then turn the wheel of the ebike. As it is sealed from the elements it features a longer lifespan for improved durability, no skipping gears or broken chains.

Traditional Drive Shaft VS Honbike Shaft Drive

Dating back to the 1800s, the traditional drive shaft was widely used, but with gears exposed outside the shell and not fully sealed; Water, dirt, sand, and other debris can easily enter the transmission system, damaging the gears, requiring frequent maintenance, cleaning and repair. This, along with gears needing realignment made the shaft drive less popular.


The Honbike drive shaft shell, designed to seal out the elements, also integrates into the bikes frame. This specially designed integration takes the mechanical pressures (compression, shear and torsion) off the wheel and drive shaft gears, leaving the gears to only bear the torque of the spinning shaft. The gears are now less prone to deformation over time, which affects transmission efficiency and makes a shaft drive more durable with greater accuracy and reliability than traditional systems.

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.

Why You Should Consider a Honbike Shaft Drive Bike

Shaft drive bikes are known for their durability, longevity, and cleanliness. Because the shaft is self-contained, it rarely ever needs maintenance itself. The shaft system adds rigidity the to the swing arm on the rear frame, providing increased handling and stability, while the absence of contaminants means the system runs cleaner than chain driven models that pick up grit and grime.

Shaft drive bikes produce little or no noise compared with counterparts because the machined parts are manufactured with great precision. Also, this reduces any shift in gear position that may occur while riding.

Although shaft drive e-bikes seem more expensive, you could end up spending more on-chain driven bike maintenance in the long run.  

The Specialty of the Shaft Drive Bike

As technology keeps improving, so do shaft drive features. Today, many electric bikes do not have a shaft drive, making it a big deal to find one. However, chainless e-bikes are forever special, serving distinct purposes. The shaft drive works with bevel gears instead of  regular cog gears.


This guide is incomplete without acknowledging the negative comments that have been tagged with shaft drive e-bikes. However, the value a user gets from Honbike products, including the chainless e-bikes, is compared to none. Reputable e-bike manufacturing companies work tirelessly to produce high-power & long-range electric bicycles, while Honbike focuses on the safety and comfort of riding, with foldable design & maintenance free service, Honbike shaft-drive e-bike, easy to ride, easy to live with.