New California company Ophidian has designed the first ever chain-driven All Wheel Drive (AWD) mountain bike. Similar to AWD in cars, the Ophidian mountain bike gives you more traction, control and makes it way more fun to climb hills.
Ophidian Bicycles was founded in June 2009 by a group of bike and automotive veterans. Ophidian's All Wheel Drive mountain bike technology is based on a special drive train housing and universal joint above the front wheel. This technology allows the front wheel to turn from side to side while still receiving power.
The addition of the front-wheel drive allows you to successfully negotiate new terrain and in adverse weather conditions such as snow, mud, steep slopes, sand and slick city streets. The AWD will give you better traction, increased steering control and stability.
On your Ophidian mountain bike, you should experience no balance issues while riding up steep hills. The AWD will literally keep pulling you uphill and make it easier to start up on a steep incline. The AWD is also great for cornering and descending as you can't lock up the front break and take a header.
The Ophidian team is currently touring around various events to show off their All Wheel Drive mountain bike so I expect to see them at Interbike. No word yet on when they will be ready to sell production models. This bike would be so much fun on the hilly trails in Marin!