BREAK CHAINS: Dynamic Bicycles Inc. makes shaft-drive systems that propel bicycles without a chain, potentially a major advantage for riders, such as tourists, not dressed in clothes designed for cycling. Pictured above, from left, are Dynamic employees Justin Plamondon and Jaime Raposa, with owners Devin Kelly and Perugini.
Crouched by the curb with grease-stained hands and furrowed brows, cyclists know all too well the frustration of a slipped chain or malfunctioning derailer.
An annoyance on an individual level, these relatively routine equipment malfunctions take on greater consequence when applied to hundreds or thousands of bicycles in a modern bike-share network.
Users, perhaps tourists unfamiliar with the city and basic bicycle mechanics, could be stranded, outraged and possibly ditch their rented two-wheelers far from the nearest docking station or kiosk.
That’s where Dynamic Bicycles Inc. of Bristol sees an opportunity.
Founded by Barrington native Patrick Perugini, Dynamic makes shaft-drive systems that propel bicycles without a chain, potentially a major advantage for the growing number of public and private bike-share networks across the country.
“It is an exploding market and one that benefits the most from chainless technology,” Perugini said. “Most people are not in cycling clothes and the advantages of having enclosed gears and no grease to get on hands, or chains to catch shoelaces, are numerous. It reduces the maintenance and operational cost and fewer things can go wrong with fewer parts exposed to damage or vandalism.”
Dynamic owns a Taiwanese factory that produces shaft drives, which the company imports and combines with components and frames in Bristol to produce its own line of bicycles sold directly to consumers. The company also produces shaft drives for other bicycle brands.
Dynamic partners with some of the largest bike-share-system operators in the country to supply shaft drives and would be utilized by the planned Providence system being put together by Social Bicycles.
But Perugini has also created On Bike, an affiliate that deploys smaller bike-share systems to institutional and corporate clients.
While municipal systems like Citibike in New York or Hubway in Boston generate the most attention, Perugini targets smaller private systems in college campuses, corporate parks or all-inclusive resorts.
On Bike is working on four systems for clients, including Skidmore College, New York Athletic Club, and CB Richard Ellis, Perugini said, and already provided a system for Wellesley College in Massachusetts.