The Anakin V2 is a singletrack lightsabre with Effigears

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A sophisticated aluminium frame and no visible gears. (Photo: Cavalerie)
A sophisticated aluminium frame and no visible gears. (Photo: Cavalerie)
  • This French mountain bike is stacked with clever engineering details.
  • It foregoes a traditional drivetrain for an internally geared set-up. Proving that there is an alternative to the external derailleur and rear cassette.
  • And the name is sure to appeal to all Star Wars fans, who love riding mountain bikes.

Italians might love cycling. America might have inveted mountain biking. But the French, dominate.

No event will ever displace the Tour de France in road cycling, for importance and prestige. Scrutinize the podium at most UCI downhill mountain bike World Cup events, and there are many tricolour flags in the nationality column.

French mountain bikers are daring. They seek out and ride the rawest Alpine and Pyrenean terrain. And this riding community has influenced French custom mountain bike builders in their awareness of +requirements and design.

The best mountain bikes are an outcome of form following function. And the Cavalerie Anakin V2, is a case in point.

mountain bike design
Gearboxes are rare on mountain bikes, but offer suspension performance benefits. And exceptionally low maintenance cost, over time. (Photo: Cavalerie)

Getting the gearbox to work - for MTB

For two decades, Guy Cavalerie has been refining his vision of what mountain bike drivetrains should be. In his Loire workshop, Cavalerie created the Effigear system to replace traditional rear derailleurs on mountain bikes.

Gearboxes have a complicated history in mountain biking. In theory, gearboxes should work. But the issues have been weight, mechanical friction and a reluctance to shift under full pedalling power.

French MTB
Technical trails often have the risk of damaging a conventional rear derailleur. With the Cavalerie design, you never have to worry about line choice. (Photo: Cavalerie)

Carrying the gearbox idea, forward

Cavalerie’s assets were acquired by David Rouméas and Vincent Lecornu in 2020, moving the bike brand and Effigear entity to Maclas. After two years of development work, the brand has revealed a new product, the Anakin V2.

Designed to conquer the steepest and most technical downhill trails, Cavalerie’s Anakin V2 is highly configurable. Riders can select three rear-suspension settings: 156-, 164- or 176mm. Wheel sizes are adaptable too. The Anakin V2 can roll as a true 29er, mullet or with 27.5” wheels.

mountain bike rider
By removing the rear derailleur and associated chain tension, there is less restriction on suspension movement. (Photo: Cavalerie)

A nearly 'forever' drivetrain 

Beyond its ability to run long-travel suspension, the Anakin V2’s most distinguishing feature is that Effigear system. It uses a belt drive, which should last forever, being corrosion-proof, unlike a traditional mountain bike chain.

The Anakin V2 has nine speeds and a 440% range, equivalent to riding a 10-44t rear cassette on a conventional derailleur drivetrain system. And with the Anakin V2's Effigear drivetrain being encased, instead of exposed to mud and debris, it should last years. Requiring only some regreasing or light oil changes, as maintenance.

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