Infinitly Variable Ratio Hub
Mike Wheeler showed a cutaway drawing of a prototype bike rear hub containing an infinitely variable transmission using multiple balls running on variable races under heavy pressure. It has a 3:1 range so far (about like a Nexus 7-speed hub) and they hope to get to a 7:1 range (well beyond a 14-speed Rohloff hub's 526% range), partly to support other uses such as an infinitely variable drive for a lathe. It requires careful attention to the metallurgy of the balls and races and to the lubricant used, but with luck they might get it to a practical version some time soon. See www.fallbrooktech.com on the Web, though it had pretty slim content when Tim visited it after the meeting.