Cixi’s Chainless Pedaling System Marks a Paradigm Shift in Electric Bike Technology


Bike chains can break when used excessively on strong e-bikes, and they are untidy and noisy. In contrast to some manufacturers that use belts to replace them, French e-drive pioneer Cixi uses an electronic crankset system instead of both. Together with Look Cycle, they have shown this technology in the Rover 45 prototype speed pedelec.

A groundbreaking collaboration between Look Bicycles and French design company Cixi has resulted in a revolutionary e-bike concept known as the Rover 45. Set for production in 2024, this bike features a maximum assisted speed of 45 km/h, a 700 Wh battery, and Pannier MIK compatibility. The standout innovation is the Pedaling Energy Recovery System (PERS), utilizing a unique approach to harness pedaling effort against resistance, simulating a natural pedaling experience while simultaneously charging the battery. PERS incorporates regenerative braking, contributing to battery replenishment.

The e-crankset manufactured by Cixi is known as the Pedaling Energy Recovery System, or PERS. In essence, the resistance at the pedal is determined by onboard electronics that are managed by unique algorithms, and the hub motor uses the energy that the rider provides to propel the vehicle forward.

“Our actions here at Cixi are getting great momentum from joining forces with Look Cycle,” stated Pierre Francis, CEO of Cixi. “We first designed the Vigoz, a lightweight car that can be pedaled on any roadway at speeds of up to 120 km/h.

Unlike traditional gear systems, PERS employs a dynamically adjustable algorithm for a continuously variable ‘transmission,’ accommodating different pedaling intensities seamlessly. Notably, it can control multiple motors simultaneously or operate a motor located at a distance from the pedals.

Cixi, centered around ‘active mobility,’ aims to engage users actively in their mobility vehicles, promoting conscious effort. Beyond PERS, Cixi is developing an ‘active vehicle’ called Vigoz, a pedal-powered micro-car capable of reaching speeds up to 75 mph, with production models expected by 2027. The collaboration hints at a potential revolution in the e-bike market, offering a glimpse into the future of electric bike technology.

Cixi Specs 

Feature Details
Technology Electronic Crankset System (PERS)
Manufacturer Cixi
Collaboration Look Cycle
Featured in Prototype Rover 45 Speed Pedelec
Resistance Adjustment Onboard electronics with unique algorithms
Propulsion System Hub motor utilizing rider-generated energy
Previous Design Vigoz – Lightweight car pedaled at up to 120 km/h
PERS Box Placement Suspended from the bottom bracket
Battery Capacity 700-Wh
Battery Location V-shaped space formed by downtube and seatpost, cables to rear wheel
Intended Speed (Assisted) 45 km/h (28 mph)
Range Information Not provided
Power Adjustment Companion mobile app
App Features Power level adjustment, system locking, digital key-sharing, vehicle locating
Exhibition Display 2023 Prodays Bike Event, Porte de Versailles, Paris
Anticipated Shipping Date Next year
Commercial Release Information not disclosed, potential for various applications
Future Applications Ebikes, Cargo Bikes, Mountain Cycles, Covered Urban Three-Wheelers, etc.