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DC motors for electronic gear shift

DC motors for electronic gear shift

The EPS (electronic power shift) system from, took many years to develop. DC motors from Maxon Motor are a key component on the EPS (electronic power shift) system from bicycle component manufacturer Campagnolo, responsible for executing the shifting processes within tenths of a second.

The history of Campagnolo's EPS went through six planning phases, each resulted in important innovations, direction changes and great challenges. The cooperation with Maxon Motor commenced in 1994. Three years later, the first solution for a shift mechanism using a Maxon motor was born. After several redesigns, as well as modifications to the bicycle itself, the engineers from the Campagnolo Campy Tech Lab developed a completely new design, switching from a 10-speed to an 11-speed system.

The EPS Electronic Power Shift system consists of a rechargeable battery, electronics, shift lever, wiring and drive mechanism. The Maxon motors are used at the rear shift mechanism and at the front derailleur. The derailleur was completely redesigned to make it suitable for modern frames. The motors were adapted as well. To achieve the required maximum precision with minimum tolerances, the focus was placed on miniaturising the rear derailleur and fine-tuning the electronic calibration.

With the electronic shift system, a very high shifting accuracy, a high speed of response and the required power are achieved. This makes faster shifting possible and the position of the derailleur can be adjusted with higher accuracy than is the case with a mechanical system. Switching from the smallest to the largest sprocket requires just a single click at the shift lever. To be more precise: The electronic shift mechanism can shift through eleven gears in only 1.5 seconds.

The motors are the core of the shift system – they move the derailleur and the shift mechanism of the racing bicycle. The brushed Maxon DC motors had to be small and strong enough to provide peak power. For the EPS electronic shift system, customised DC motors, from the RE family, and gearheads are used. For the shift mechanism (at the rear), a motor with a single-stage, integrated gearhead is used. “The Maxon motor technology offers solutions that easily withstand the extreme ambient conditions encountered on racing bikes and, in combination with the extremely good performance of the small RE motors, the electronic shift system is unique on the market,” explains Marco Campagna, Group Product and Marketing Manager at Campagnolo.


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