Revolute-jointed cobots depend on continuously variable transmissions (CVTs). CVTs constrain the speed ratio between two shafts to a particular value within a continuous range. The spherical CVT is well suited to cobots, but like other point contact transmissions, achieving good performance is challenging. We have studied the contact mechanics of the spherical CVT under certain simplifying assumptions. Results of the calculations are compared to experimental measurements of an instrumented CVT. Improved CVT performance may require better control of compliance and contact forces in the CVT. Results for the contact forces under load conditions are shown. We conclude with a discussion of design implications for improved CVTs.