Shifting gears while cycling can be a hassle, which is why a growing number of bicycle manufacturers are outfitting their bikes with the NuVinci N360 continuously-variable hub transmission. Now, NuVinci parent company Fallbrook Technologies has announced the lower-priced NuVinci N330, which is designed to bring the technology to less expensive bikes.

Like N360, N330 doesn't have individual gears that it clicks in and out of, but instead allows users to smoothly transition between different gear ratios. The difference is, whereas N360 covers a 360-percent ratio range, N330 is limited to 330 percent.

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Also like N360 though, the new product is sealed and thus maintenance-free, and allows for shifting while under heavy pedaling loads or even while stopped. Users control it using a simplified new version of N360's handlebar-mounted controller. N330 is also compatible with NuVinci's existing Harmony auto-shifting system for e-bikes, via a different controller.

According to Fallbrook, some N330-equipped bikes should start showing up in stores later this year, although a wider launch is scheduled for 2016.

Source: Fallbrook Technologies