Award-Winning Excellence! A Test Rig for the Next Generation of Bicycle Hub Gears

The Steinbeis Foundation’s Transfer Award – the Löhn Award – goes to a Steinbeis team from Aalen and H+B Hightech

Experts working with the Steinbeis entrepreneur Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Kley at the Aalen-based Steinbeis Transfer Center Innovative Drive Engineering and Waste Heat Recovery joined forces with H+B Hightech (Adelmannsfelden) to develop a test rig for putting bicycle hub gears through their pacing. The test rig affords the business partner of the Steinbeis Transfer Center genuine competitive advantage. The experts were well rewarded for their outstanding partnership: In May, the project team was bestowed with the Steinbeis Foundation’s Transfer Award – the Löhn Award – at the Steinbeis House in Hohenheim, Stuttgart.

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The newly developed test rig uses a motor to drive a belt pulley via a propeller shaft, which is supported by a bearing block. The test rig was designed purely as a testbed for bicycle hub gears, and overall the equipment can run for 45,000 km. The internal gear hub system can be driven via a belt or chain. The gear units can be changed quickly and flexibly thanks to a rapid-release system made to mirror the back end of a bicycle. Because the gear unit will be available as both a manual rotary shift system and an electric shift system, it was necessary to develop an electromechanical shift actuator. In addition to analyzing the durability of the gear system, the Steinbeis experts also conducted studies to determine the force required to shift gears and the level of shift torque.

The process know-how acquired by H+B Hightech when it comes to in-house hub testing represents a unique selling point for the company, especially compared to its competitors in the growing bike market. H+B Hightech has even set up a new Bike Technology unit, the aim of which is to secure the future of its 100 employees outside the automotive industry.

This project is not only an example of an extremely successful development partnership between Steinbeis and a company in industry. The business location of the project partners, not far from Aalen University, will also allow know-how to enter teaching and research, and thus contribute to the process of knowledge and technology transfer.

More about this project:


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Kley
Steinbeis Entrepreneur
Steinbeis Transfer Center Innovative Drive Engineering and Waste Heat Recovery (Aalen)

H+B Hightech GmbH (Adelmannsfelden)