Efneo GTRO is a 3-Speed Bicycle Front Gearbox. It Eliminates the Front Derailleur.
Efneo is a family business run by Mr. Stefan Migaszewski, the father of the family, and his three adult sons, Franciszek, Wiktor, and Fryderyk. Mr. Migaszewski’s sister has provided the initial investmet to launch the company which was founded in 2010. Our ultimate objective is to build a global brand of highly innovative bicycle components designed to make the cyclist’s life easier.
We are all from outside of the bicycle “business” but are avid cyclists. The story began when our father, who is a natural-born-inventor, tried to build a more convenient fitness stepper for himself. Just for fun he wanted to make it a stepper and electric dynamo in one. To transmit energy from the stepper to the dynamo he used a three gear Shimano bicycle gearbox. And as he is an inventor, he disassembled it just to see how it looks like inside.
Then the idea came to his mind “I can make this gearbox in a simpler way”. And he did it. Together with his sons, who are economists by education, he realized very quickly that his invention can fill a gap in the market which has been seeking for years a light and efficient three gear front gearbox as a replacement for a rather awkward front derailleur.
As often happens, one invention leads to another. Early on in the development of the front gear box they realized that at the heart of the gearbox invention lies an invention that has completely different applications and solves many of the problems of one of the most common components of all bicycles – the inefficient and noisy freewheel. Out of the gearbox invention came the most efficient, silent, lightweight, and durable roller freewheel.
Who are the founders and what is their background?
We are a family-business (father and three sons) supported by a small investment fund with university roots.
Why did you build this?
There is a market niche (or even more than “niche”) for this kind of product. Below I write more about genesis of the project. My father invented the mechanism a bity “by chance” and as soon as we realized what a great product he invented, we decided to make business out of it.
Where/how are you manufacturing?
We are working with top industry manufacturing brand from Japan (they have a factory in Taiwan).
Will you ever mass produce this?
Yes! Definitely this is our objective. We have done in-house durability tests and we are almost ready for launching mass production. One of the reasons we’re going to starta a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo soon is to cover the costs of tooling for the mass production.
What are the key differentiators between you and other players?
There are two types of front gearboxes on the market:
1. 2-speed systems like Truvative Hammerschmidt, Patterson Mobility or Schlumpf
2. multi-speed systems like Pinion
The problem with 2-speed systems is that all of them (Truvative, Patterson Mobility, Schlumpf) have a gear ratio of at least 66% (the difference between the gears). It is almost as much as between 1st and 3rd gear in a three chainring front crankset. It is simply too much for comfortable gear shifting. When you upshift you feel too much resistance. When you downshift you feel like your leg is falling down in a hole.
With 3-speed system the bicycle is much more naturally configured. One can use 2nd gear as “neutral” for riding on flat area. 1st gear for climbing and 3rd gear for downhilling. And what is a “neutral” gear in a 2-speed system?
That is probably the main reason why all 2-speed systems are very niche products – they simply do not add as much value as they should.
Efneo 3-speed gearbox can be used in two different applications:
1. as the only gear-changing mechanism – for example for single-speed cyclists who want to upgrade their bike – with Efneo gearbox it still looks clean and smooth like a single-speed, but it’s much more comfortable to ride; with a 2-speed system it would make no sens and nobody is doing this
2. as an alternative to a front derailleur in trekking and urban bikes paired with a rear dereailleur or a rear hub gearbox; in this case you can have a vast gear ratio (even 600%) and still have the advantages of Efneo like gear shifting at stop and beautifull look
There are also some other differences:
1. Truvative is very expensive (retail price around $700). Our objective is to make Efneo gearbox at least 50% less expensive.
2. Truvative is dedicated for off-road bikes and Efneo is dedicated for urban, trekking, folding, e-bikes. It is also a great upgrade for a singl-speeds.
3. Efneo looks very different – it has been designed to look much cleaner and smoother than 2-speed systems available on the market; and it is lighter
And now multi-speed systems (like Pinion, by far the most popular). That is IMO great product, but:
1. they require a modified, dedicated frame; you cannot simply take it and put on your bike
2. they are very expensive (OEM price at least $700 and remember that OEM price is at least 2-3 times lower in bicycle industry than retail price)
It is a planetary gearbox.
It will add about 200 grams to the weight of your bike if you remove a three-chainring crankset of good quality (with aluminum cranks) and put the Efneo gearbox on your bike.
It will add about 400 grams to your single-speed bike (if you use aluminium cranks now).
Overall gear ratio is 179%. 2nd to 1st is -30%, 2nd to 3rd is+25%. Efneo’s gearbox is equivalent to a front crankset with 28T/40T/50T chainring.
You can put Efneo gearbox on any frame designed for a tapered square axle bottom bracket.
You can change gears when you are not pedaling. You can change gears under load when upshifting a gear. You have to loosen your leg a bit when downshifting a gear (like in most bicycle gearboxes on the market).
Shifter and cable
We will be using a one-cable paddle shifter, (On our video you can see a grip-shifter, but this will be changed).
Rear transmission compatibility
Can be paired with a rear derailleur, rear gearbox or single-speed hub. For a rear gearbox check the maximum front chainring suggested by the gearbox manufacturer (they often require minimum 34T, and the Efneo gearbox has 28T).
Chain / belt compatibility
We will offer a chainring for 1/8 and 3/8 inch chains. Soon we’ll offer a sprocket for a carbon belt (Gates System).
Installing gearbox on your bike
The complete installation manual will be included in a gearbox package. If you ever changed a bottom bracket in a bike, you will probably have no problem with installing the Efneo gearbox – the skills required do not go beyond this. Otherwise, please ask at a professional service workshop for help.
The gearbox package includes a square tapered axle bottom bracket and a left crank.
We guarantee the Efneo gearbox works perfectly in all conditions except for extreme off-road applications like downhill or professional MTB.
Coating and colors
Crank will be painted. Black and silver versions will be available. No embossed / engraved logo will be put on the crank, so you can also repaint the gearbox, if you wish.