Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
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A chain is capable of twisting enough to use in a FWD application, as long as you're willing to live with a somewhat-limited steering arc. In practice, the steering is never turned that far while actually riding the bike, after all. Production bikes that use this system are the Zox line, and Barcroft Oregon. The Varna Diablo (human power word record holder) also uses a similar set-up. They use a power idler mounted just behind the steerer tube, so that there is minimal steering input from the chain. The chain then runs along the back side of the fork. The return side of the chain typically runs up to an idler located just above the front tire, so that the front wheel doesn't cause derailments at the chainring.
I've ridden a Zox and didn't notice any pedal steer.