Bike designs using a drive shaft were tried at the turn of the century, but never caught on as the best form of power transmission bikes. I’m not sure why, because a lot of bikes were made with a drive shaft and bevel gears for a power train.
A Finnish company led by Tatu Lund has designed a beautiful drive shaft recumbent bike, shown below. It has disk brakes, a wonderful feature on a recumbent, fenders , a built in pack support, and rear suspension. As in all Finnish products, the design is a thing of beauty. Sells in the neighborhood of $3500.
The drive shaft goes inside the frame to the gear wheel, yet the rear wheel has suspension and moves up and down. Very impressive. The bottom bracket is a bit lower than the seat, so stopping and starting should be much easier than on my high race. Tatu says that the bike is designed for two demographics: those that are looking for increased speed, and those that are looking for increased comfort. Sounds like the same demographics that all recumbents appeal to. Mirage has 3 U.S. distributors, and if the bike rides as well as it looks, it should be a world beater!
Info about the company:
Br. Tatu Lund, CEO
MirageBikes (VAT ID: FI23497371)
+358 40 541 0900, Skype: tatu.lund