Revonte are a Finnish company offering a complete drive system for ebikes, but with a twist. The company was founded in 2018 they launched their system in August 2019, collaborating with battery manufacturer BMZ for their development.
The Revonte ONE system is essentially a drive unit and gearbox combined, removing the need for a traditional derailleur and cassette.
The gears can be automatically changed with the continuously variable transmission, or CVT, design. In the automatic mode the system adjusts to changes in terrain, like inclination and torque, changing down to a lighter gear by itself. CVTs have been around for a long time, perhaps known by many in car and moped transmissions.
There’s also a traditional indexed gearing mode using the bar mounted, paddle shift control unit and the number of indexed gears available can be customized in their app. Revonte say this might be more applicable to a more technically varied terrain, where the system might struggle to anticipate the rises and falls in the terrain.
Their transmission uses a planetary gearset with dual electric motors, boosting the efficiency of the planetary system and allowing the motors to be independently tuned. It has been likened by some to the hybrid system used by Toyota and it would seem the first motor is directly applying torque to the output while the second motor is working as a modifier for the speed and torque. But Revonte are keeping tight lipped about a detailed description or look at the inner workings. Although, they have explained about how they arrived at their planetary dual motor system, citing the known downsides of derailleur gears and their view on the lack of differentiation in the other drive systems available to bike manufacturers.
The combined motor and gearbox design takes weight off the back wheel and puts it low and central in the bike. Something that could be interesting for full suspension ebikes.
The drive unit weighs 4.7kg and provides 250W continuously up to a maximum of 1,500W with 90Nm of torque. There’s a 416% gear range at 60rpm. The battery comes in at 3.98kg.
Revonte are only offering a drive system, no actual bikes. Although they recently announced that three brands will be using the systems – Tunturi, Lavelle and the RS Development consultancy. The system is highly customizable, with Revonte even calling themselves a software company making hardware.
The bike manufacturer can determine the ride characteristics for the individual bike project, for example choosing something with more crisp and spritely acceleration or something with an abundancy of torque at low speeds for help with moving larger loads. The system is customizable by the rider too. Ride characteristics and assistance levels can be fine-tuned through their app. If you’re a tinkerer you can take advantage of it, but you can also employ a set and forget rationale.
The system is operated by a simple and small controller. It has no screen and mounts to the right side of the bars, emulating the traditional shifter position and uses LEDs to provide the rider with just enough information about the system state. But you can also connect your phone to help display more information if required.
The drive unit has built in 4G connectivity and GPS tracking offering anti-theft options and bike tracking. For example, if someone steals your bike the drive unit can be programmed to be completely open or locked.
Revonte have even suggested at the inclusion of energy re-generation in the future, touting their system as already having the capability although you’d need to ditch the freehub in your rear wheel.
The Revonte ONE system offers a different take on the ebike drive system and it will be interesting to see if more, and which, brands use it in the future.