In the world of bicycles, innovations are generally small things – changes in the aerodynamics and the like – so when something as interesting as a “chainless” bicycle comes my way, I’m more than happy to get on board. While there have been different chainless bikes throughout the ages (heck, the first bicycle the “penny-farthing” actually had no chain), Dynamic Bicycles has put together a bicycle that works tremendously. From the elegantly refined color scheme, to the quiet gear box, the Tempo Cross 8 was literally everything I could have asked for in a bicycle.
Now as I said in the opening, the technology behind a chainless bike isn’t anything new, but the technology that is inside the drive shaft on a Dynamic Bicycle certainly is. First off, let’s talk about how what most people would think of as a “normal” bike works. In a so-called normal bicycle, you apply force to a set or pedals, which in turn move a crank. That crank spins a chain rig, which is a layman’s term for the gear and chain that goes along the teeth of the gear. The chain transfers power to the wheel, and off you go. If you need to change gears up or down, a derailleur moves the chain from gear to gear. A chain can break. A chain “pop off” of the teeth on the gears. A chain can seriously screw up your ability to have a good ride should damn well anything go wrong – top that off with the fact that fixing it will often be a very dirty job, and you can see why people would look for another solution.
One of the people that looked for a better way was the founder of Dynamic Bicycles, Patrick Perugini. Perugini had the idea to use a shaft drive with an internal gear hub – much like what you would see on a car today. So why an internal hub you may ask? By keeping the gears inside or a housing, they stay clean – much cleaner than your chains ever could. Yes, you pump a bit of grease into the gearbox every now and then (in truth, they say every hundred miles – or about once every three years for most people), but even that it cleaner than the grubby chain grease you see. On top of that, there’s no worry of a gear randomly flying off (like a chain might) – making the mechanical side of this bike virtually maintenance free (perfect for someone lazy like me).
Thankfully due to some absolutely ludicrous “winter” weather (especially for us on Lake Erie) I was able to spend enough time on this bike to really appreciate the ride it offered – though in truth it only took a few minutes. One thing testes right away was the claim that you could actually shift the bicycle while completely stopped – something you can’t do with a normal chained bike (unless you want to throw the chain almost every time) and I’ll be damned but you can actually do it. I was completely floored by that alone. That little test out of the way, I set about just riding the thing.
Besides being able to shift while stopped, you can shift with ease no matter what you are doing. Cruising down the street I was able to bounce up and down through the gears to my heart’s content, and it wasn’t just easy – it was quiet too. Sometimes when you’re driving a normal chained bicycle, you can get a “clunk” when the chain gets pushed by the derailleur, but nothing like that here. It’s not completely silent, but it’s pretty close.
I’ve tested out a good number of other high end bicycles, and one of my biggest complaints has always been that some companies charge you over a grand for a bike, but give you the equivalent of a rock to sit on. Not so with the Tempo Cross 8 – I’m not sure but I think that the seat that comes standard could be the most comfortable bicycle seat I have ever sat upon. It is completely comfortable to sit on, and the bumps on the road pretty much feel like nothing at all while riding on it.
The design of the bicycle is also top of the line, with all of the welds being perfectly formed – not only that, but the color scheme is nice and elegant. The only real complaint I can register on the bike is that just like other high end bikes, the Tempo Cross 8 doesn’t have a standard kick stand. I’m not sure why companies don’t feel like putting kick stands on their bikes, but it’s irritating to have to go and pick one up – especially if you’re dropping close to a grand on a bike hoping for a complete package.
The Bottom Line: You’ll pay less for a Dynamic bike than you would for a comparably equipped other high end bike, and you’ll end up extremely happy with something that’s not “normal”.
- The drive shaft is just such a great idea that I wonder why people still swear on bikes with chains
- The gear box is phenomenal because of how maintenance free it is
- A super comfortable ultra plush seat? Yes please!
- What the hell is up with no damn kick stand?
- It can still be really hard to justify a $1000 bicycle purchase to the average consumer
You can pick up a Tempo Cross 8 (or any of the amazing bikes they manufacture) from the Dynamic Bicycles website for $949 – down from $1,199!