Pinion P1.18 Gearbox: First Ride

Jun 6, 2012
by Matt Wragg  
 
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How do you know if you’ve seen a glimpse of the future? Sci-fi films of the 1960s showed us a world where we’d all have robot butlers and flying cars, but we’re now living in that future and things haven’t changed so much. Sure skirts are a bit longer, cars uglier and we have iPads, yet if someone had skipped those fifty years in between, they’d still be able to recognise the world around them. If the past is any guide, the world of tomorrow will look a lot like today. So if we wonder about the future of mountain bikes, most things will stay constant: two wheels, cranks in the middle and a handlebar at the front. How and where we ride bikes won’t be that different either. Change the fundamentals and you no longer have a mountain bike. Present technology, however, ensures that there is still much room for future improvements - and the fact that we still rely on derailleur shifting is glaring evidence.

Pinion's Gearbox - Ready for the Future

For those who spend time thinking about this future, gearing has been a constant theme. Derailleur mechs have a number of obvious flaws, like how easily they can be destroyed by a stray rock, the fact they put weight on an awkward part of the bike and that are they open to the elements. Yet nobody has managed to find a suitable alternative yet, well until now - maybe. We have been monitoring the development of a German-made 18-speed sequential-shift gearbox designed specifically for mountain bikes. The Pinion P1.18 gearbox is now nearing production and its future looks very bright.

Alutech Fanes with the Pinion gearbox - driveside.

Riding the Alutech Fanes equipped with a Pinoin gearbox
  Drive side with the Pinion-equipped Alutech Fanes. The chain tensioner sits behind the gearbox and doubles as a roller guide. The front sprocket diameter was chosen to work with the most popular suspension designs. To adjust the gear ratios to suit track or terrain conditions, simply change either sprocket of the chain drive.


Since we first saw the Pinion gearbox at Eurobike last year, we’ve made no bones about the fact that we like it. We got to try it briefly last year and were impressed. Since then we’ve been itching for a chance to take it out on the trail and on a trip up to see Alutech bikes in Northern Germany, we finally got that chance. Alutech let us spend a day doing skids and wheelies around their home trails on the shores of the Baltic Sea. They had mounted it to a modified version of one of their popular Fanes enduro bikes and we took it for a ride along the coast and another around the woods above their headquarters.

Alutech Fanes with the Pinion gearbox - non-driveside.

Riding the Alutech Fanes equipped with a Pinoin gearbox
  And now the non-drive-side. Notice the dual-cable drive where it enters the gearbox housing to actuate the rotary shifting mech. he eight-speed transmission is very compact, which concentrates its weight low in the frame. One thing worth noting is that the gear casing is larger than a standard bottom bracket shell at the crank axle. Alutech redesigned its swingarm pivot location and linkage to adapt the Pinion transmission to the frame while retaining the correct chainstay length.


Twist-grip Shifting

First time on the bike and heading out, you notice that you can just jump on it and ride. That is important. If you’ve used a gripshift system before then the Pinion's shifting system will be very familiar. Those who haven't, don’t be afraid. Twist-shift systems work quite well - SRAM wouldn’t have bought them back if they didn’t. People who worry about twisting the shifter when they pull on the bars either haven’t used gripshift, or set their bike up badly when they did. The single twist shifter moves through all 18 well spaced gear selections in sequence, with a reported, 600-percent spread from lowest to highest - a greater range than you would get with a 3 x 10 derailleur drivetrain and without any of its overlapping or duplicate ratios. Being able to move through every gear with a single shifter is one of the big advantages of the system: easy access to such a wide range.

What the twist-shifter does mean is that you have to think about brake lever positioning, especially if you have small hands. Most current brake-lever systems are based around triggers which mean they can be run close-in to the grip. With the barrel of the twist shifter in the way, smaller-handed riders may struggle to properly reach the blades on some brakes, like the relatively short-bladed Formula set that were mounted on the test bike.

The two cables running out of the shifter.

Riding the Alutech Fanes equipped with a Pinoin gearbox
  That shifter. Unlike any current mountain bike system, the Pinion gearbox needs two cables to operate its rotary shifting mechanism - this is one of the reasons why a conventional thumb shifter wouldn't work with the P1.18 gearbox.


Pinion P1.18 gearbox. Photo by Jens Staudt. www.mtb-news.de
  A look into the Pinion P1.18 gearbox reveals a lot of trickery. There is a mirror-image, matching stack of gears on each shaft that mesh together and turn freely on the shafts. When you call for a shift, pawls inside the hollow shafts pop up underneath selected gears to lock them in place. The disproportionate size of the teeth of the gears is necessary to match the diameters of opposing pairs of gears inside the transmission, while ensuring that each of the 18 speeds are evenly spaced. Much engineering went into the P1.18 gearbox before a single piece of metal was cut. Photo by Jens Staudt. www.mtb-news.de


Pinion P1.18 gearbox. Photo by Jens Staudt. www.mtb-news.de
  A look at some of the meshing gears on the second shaft (left) and a number of gear-shafts showing the cutaways where the shift pawls reach through to lock in the gears (right). Understandably, Pinion did not want to show us the actual shifting mech. Photo by Jens Staudt. www.mtb-news.de


Riding the Pinion P1.18 Gearbox

When you properly get going you start to realise that you will need to learn a few things about how to ride with a Pinion gearbox. First off there is how quiet it is – there’s no reassuring clunk when you shift gear and because the box has such a wide spread of gears, each gear is very close together. This means grabbing one might not be enough to feel it through the pedals, but then you have to work out how many you need and it’s easy to grab too many and find yourself in too tough a gear. This is a matter of getting used to the system though. One thing we particularly like is how it affects the weight placement on the bike – all the central, low-down weight is a recipe for a well-balanced ride.

Riding the Alutech Fanes equipped with a Pinoin gearbox
  When we said we took the bike for some skids and wheelies, we meant skids and wheelies.


Shifting is the big deal with the Pinion system. With this prototype you cannot shift down gears if you are putting too much load through the pedals – in other words if you’re really putting some abuse uphill it won’t change gear until you release pressure for a split second. If you are bowling along easily you can shift down, but when more power becomes involved, you can’t. When you are pinning it downhill, you can shift up into a harder gear, no matter what you’re doing on the pedals. Like a car, however, you need to let off momentarily to shift back down through the gears.

Pinion says the tolerance for shifting will be improved in the production version, so you will be able to shift when more power is going through the pedals than you can on this prototype. However, we suspect this will always be a feature of how the Pinion behaves and it’s something you will need to learn to live with. Look at the world outside of mountain bikes: at your car, your motorbike, in fact pretty much every geared thing you can think of. They all have clutches. In case you’re not familiar, a clutch disconnects the gearbox from the power and allows you to change gear smoothly. If you drive an automatic transmission it doesn’t mean there isn’t a clutch, just that the car does that part of the gear change for you. When you are riding the Pinion gearbox, you become the clutch and in a short time, downshifts become a reflex action.

Riding the Alutech Fanes equipped with a Pinoin gearbox
  Forcing the bike onto the line - the low-centre of gravity is noticable out on the trail and it feels good.


Mountain bikes don’t have clutches – to get into the mechanics and possibilities of that gets too involved for this short article. Without a mechanism to separate the gears from the power you need to find another way and fortunately you find that opportunity naturally in the vertical moment of the pedal stroke. When both cranks are vertical there is no power going through the gearbox, so you can shift. This means you can grab a gear no matter how hard you push, you just need to plan ahead a little bit and time your shift. And that’s the nut – you will need to learn how to use the Pinion gearbox to really get the best out of it. Is that a bad thing? We’d say no – you had to learn to use a derailleur in the first place, you had to learn to shift gears on a car or a moto, so learning to use a different gear system on a mountain bike shouldn’t be a big deal.

One thing we would like to see is an agreement on standards for fitting gearboxes to bikes. At the moment Pinion are still a relatively unknown company outside Germany and we can appreciate that as a frame-builder it could be a big ask to commit to a system from a company like that. Especially because frames will need tweaking, as in the case of this Alutech, to accommodate the size difference between a bottom bracket and a gearbox, and there is a cost in doing that. Yet if SRAM, Shimano or some third player could agree to work to one standard then surely framebuilders could feel confident enough to make the investment to build frames that can take gearboxes and we would be one step closer to geared transmissions being common to mountain bikes.

Riding the Alutech Fanes equipped with a Pinoin gearbox
  Once more for luck between those two big trees.


Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesAfter all of this we are left with more questions. How well will it survive out in the wild? What happens if it does need maintenance? How do you change a shifter cable? But it's a continuing theme with this Pinion system - the more we find out, the more we want to know. It genuinely does work and we like what we have seen so far. We can't wait to get a P1.18 on long-term test to see how it does and if the rumours of a hydraulic trigger shifter ever come to life, well that could be something truly special. Have we seen a glimpse of the future of mountain bikes? Maybe... - Matt Wragg


What Pinion says:

bigquotesHaving the premiere test of the P1.18 on Pinkbike was something we had been planning for a long time, but it was the final 2012 production version that was supposed to be tested, not the pre-production version from 2011 Matt was riding. We were supposed to get the P1.18 into regular production at the beginning of May - as we were timing it on the delivery dates our suppliers assured us of. The internal P1.18 parts are produced by different German automotive suppliers and one of them admitted a delay in production of three months on short notice, which came as a surprise to us. The part was that important and challenging that we couldn't change the supplier. The bad news reached us when the date for the test-ride with Pinkbike was already set and we seriously considered cancelling it. The shifting performance under load is an important issue when riding a Pinion-equipped bike, and it is the major improvement we made from the pre-production version of the Alutech Fanes test-bike to the final version. We have completely redesigned the ratchet braces inside the freewheel that are responsible for a smooth and well-defined shifting process. As Matt has pointed out correctly, you can't shift the P1.18 from a long gear to a short gear under full load. That's not the problem. You can't do it with a hub gear either nor from a bigger to a smaller front sprocket with a derailleur system. You need to diminish the load for a split second. On this pre-production version of the P1.18 you can shift under full load from a shorter to a longer gear and with the final version of the P1.18 the shifting from long to short will significantly be improved under part load. The first P1.18 serial gear boxes will now be shipped to the bike manufacturers at the beginning of August. - Falco Mille, Brand Communication

www.pinion.eu
www.alutech-cycles.com


After checking out the Pinion P1.18 gearbox story, I am...



Must Read This Week

376 Comments

  • + 122
 Pinion manufacturer notes

Dear Pinkbike community, thank you for this overwhelming feedback. I would like to comment a few of your questions, suggestions and criticisms repeating.

Number of gears:

Pinion is not a one product brand. The P1.18 is our initial product that is best for enduro and all mountain riding. The P1.18 is based on a platform technology that allows different gear sets. A Pinion gear box with a reduced downhill or freeride gear ratio is planed, also an 8-speed gear box e-motor unit, a light-weight or a budget version.

Falco Mille
Brand Communication, Pinion
falco@pinion.eu
  • - 30
 Can it be for any bike?
  • + 12
 To mount a Pinion P1.18 it needs a bike that is especially designed to take it. It can't be mounted to BB shells.
  • + 2
 e-motor integration - interesting
  • + 15
 Firstly, I'd like to congratulate Pinion in producing what is a well packaged and from 1st appearances, accomplished gearbox system. It is really great to see the envelope being pushed on this front.

For all mountain riding, I think most people welcome a wide range of ratios; but you will find a lot of us who don't sign up to the necessity for such close gear spacing and therefore so many gears.

If you read most of the moans about 10 speed and now 11 speed, it's that we'd be happy with these ratios being added to 1x 9 speed. Particularly if this delivers improved robustness and reduced weight and cost.

9 or 10 speeds may offer simpler solutions to shifting also? Or at least that was inferred somewhere above.

Perhaps competitive people want close ratios. I ride for fun and have different priorities.
  • - 3
 How does it hold up to punches to the drive train when riding trials and doing pedal kick gaps?
  • + 4
 what close gear spacing? it equals a greater range than 3x10 drivetrain with only 18 (2x9) number of gears..
  • - 1
 Twist shifts screw that!
  • + 8
 since falco is listening -- please hear this!! from a freeride/dh perspective:

gearboxes are nowhere near as good as a hub. if you must put so much energy into a gearbox with 18 gears, please develop a 7- 9 speed hub AS WELL.

1- gearboxes can only go into one bike, a hub can go with you season to season, frame to frame, any frame you want, not just the ONLY gearbox frame out there.

2-why do gearbox makers always try to have so many gears?!? freeriders/DH have no use for 7 lbs. of 18 gears, but they are the ones who would benefit the most from losing the derailleur. if there were fewer gears it would weigh less AND be better designed for gravity riders. 7-9 spd. done. i buy 2 tomorrow, so will all my friends if this simple product gets made. it would be an absolute game changer for the whole industry to have a gear HUB. I'd even suck it up and use grip shift.

3- i think the weight penalty of 18 gears will hinder any kind of market value. make it 1/2 the gears, 1/2 the weight, and there's a product that will be enticing to almost every single gravity rider on the planet. it will still be heavier, but it will be close enough for most guys to make the jump. bikes are so light these days i can easily sacrifice an extra lb. for a hub. i cannot and will not sacrifice 4 lbs! and still have no frame choices

if i had the shop and knowledge i would have made this in 2001. you guys have it- give it a try it would be the highest selling bike part in the world
  • + 7
 so clean and compact.. The clearance is amazing. Best of luck as you continue to refine the design. This looks awesome so far! Well done..
  • + 20
 Planetary transmissions run into problems in certain combinations where a busload of gears and overriding clutches are engaged and in these combinations, friction in the system goes through the roof. You can feel these 'bad' gears in every hub transmission. A sequential transmission also drives multiple gears, but far fewer and at a lower relative speed at the shaft, so friction is reduced, when compared to a planetary hub type and the sequential has no 'bad' gear selections.

The reason for choosing a larger spread of gears has more to do with economics. There are many more all-mountain, enduro and trail riders than freeride/gravity riders in the world. One can only hope to earn a tiny percentage of the marketplace with a start-up gearbox, so it makes better sense to aim your first product at the largest group of potential customers.

Since an eight-speed gearbox would be a piece of cake to produce when compared to the complexity of the 18-speed Pinion transmission, I would expect that a DH-specific transmission has already been designed and even prototyped. If the P1.18 is reasonably successful when released, I am sure Pinion's P2.8 is sure to follow.
RC
  • + 1
 What if the gearbox just wasn't meant for a DH bike? Hmmm? I'm sure the gearbox would work fantastic on AM or XC bikes, maybe it's just not for the DH bikes. Just because something new is out there it doesn't have to work for you as well. If you don't like it, move along. Also please explain why gearboxes are nowhere near as good as a Cassette hub.

If you want a 7 - 9 speed hub, buy a shimano.
  • + 6
 @ reallybigmantis:

you obviously didn't read to the comment you are posting on!

"A Pinion gear box with a reduced downhill or freeride gear ratio is planed,"
  • - 8
 percentage of marketplace is exactly my point. this product excludes MOST of its potential market

% of guys (ESPECIALLY non-gravity riders) who would sacrifice 4 extra lbs. just to get rid of derailleur and HAVE to ride gripshift = really small %
% of guys who will pay very high prices to only have one choice of frame/linkage, with said frame needing custom cranks= smaller %
% of guys who even fit onto the extremely small batches of said frames= very small% (i'm too big, lots of guys too small for narrow size range of boutique frames)

imagine a 7-9 speed rear gearhub that weighed within 1.5 lbs. of a normal drivetrain+hub. everyone can choose their favorite frame, cranks, riding style and everything, take it with them when they buy/break new frames, and have all the same gear choices because they run a conventional front ring. if guys want 7-9 gears- single ring up front. 14-18- double ring.... see where i'm going? (hammershmitt + gearhub??) the answer to the entire derailleur dilemma is solved in one product, the biggest selling bike product since inflatable tires. game changer for everyone on a bike= 7-9spd. gearhub.

expensive, heavy, boutique frames do not have a very big market %. frames change every year, a gearhub could stay the same for years and still be relevant.
  • + 20
 dude, you're just describing the shimano alfine hub.
  • + 7
 Having the gearbox centralized is brilliant, as the weight is there, not out on a leverage arm(rear suspension, and it makes the suspension more active/responsive with less unsprung weight.
Why would you sell your gearbox, without the frame or vic versa?
  • + 9
 There already is 7 speed internal geared hubs on the market. It is not the answer. I can't think of anybody I know who would run one on anything other than a cruiser bike because you are adding a bunch of weight and friction to the drivetrain. In the worst place possible the wheel.
Pinion has DH version on the way probably 8 speed.
Pinion has introduced a product that can make riding better for all of us. Don't knock the boutique brands for being the only ones to offer gearbox bikes because if they didn't who would? The big brands won't do it until someone finally makes a really good gearbox, and until now nobody did. As I have said before. If Pinions gearbox gains traction SRAM and Shimano will follow suit and that is when we will see standardization and a truly competitive gear box. That is the real goal with supporting Pinion's gear box. .Because the more people that want gearbox bikes the better they will get. Falco Getter Done Man! We have very high expectations.
  • + 5
 We (Jezken www.jezken.com) have been keeping it under wraps but for those of you that see the advantages for this gearbox technology keep an eye out for Jezken's new carbon DH gearbox bike. The results on our first prototypes proved the advantages of an enclosed transmission and having low and central mass despite the overall weight being a bit higher. Grip shift was certainly not something that hampered performance and as Falco said the have "really put some effort in designing a better grip shifter"...Stay tuned.
  • - 1
 alfine hub? really?
  • + 1
 alfine is not ment for agressive riding,.. let alone mtb or DH.. its a shout under water what he did.. dont waste your time on it..
  • + 0
 an enclosed adjustable gear system that will fit "standard" frames .... tup
  • - 1
 Dear PinkBike, by today, we should probably forget about this new tech a while... just post the Fort William Day 1 ! . . by now it's track walk or something
  • + 4
 Dear Mr Falco,
We ordered two Nicolai Helius AM Pinion in November for an attempted delivery date end of february, no problem untill that day. In February, I received a phone call from our french distributor who spoke to us for end of march than .... end April or 2d week of May.

This famous week, we were waiting for such a long time, I received an email from our french distributor in which one Nicolai and Pinion are talking about a delivery date for end July. This email contained a Pdf from Nicolai and Pinion in date of the the previous week.
Working in mechanical design for several years, it seems to me that you perfectly kneew that you were going to be late two or three weeks before sending this famous email.

Reading this forum, you are speaking of a delivery date in August of that year, lightweight gearbox, downhill gearbox and so much more....

Our order is still going on... untill that day. What would happen if all of us, fifty or a hundred of us were canceling our order after waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

So could you please give a real delivery date... before we get all bored after waiting, and waiting.... with nothing else in the garage than my road bike and an expensive dream.

You might know that we are only a few of us to be crazy enough to spend 8500€ in a bike.

Best regards.

Lionel
  • + 1
 You should make it so we can interchange all the individual sprockets to how we want or however many sprogs we want
  • + 1
 lio0nel, i understand if you would still want your bike.. but i would say srew em' ! i had my fair share of delivery and deliverd products.. but after that story i would have given up..
  • + 3
 @ Pinion, I want one of these very badly. Can't wait to be rid of derailleurs!
  • + 3
 I've gone through 4 derailleurs and 6 hangers in a year so gimme the gearbox
[Reply]
  • + 76
 Maintenance and Service:

The Pionion P1.18 is a low maintenance drive and this is one main advantage compared to a derailleur system. An oil change is recommended in annual intervals and can easily be done even by riders with substandard mechanical skills. Changing cables or the front sprocket is easy too. A service manual will be available with the product release. The internal gear assembly itself is rated for endurance strength. We warrant a service life of at least 40.000 miles. In the unlikely event of a internal damage the Pinion P1.18 can be replaced within minutes, as it is mounted to the frame by only three bolts. For repairs or replacement we are establishing a modern service network, including bike manufacturers, distributors, service centers and dealers. Service and replacement for Pinion bikes will be as comfortable as known from derailleur or IHG bikes.
  • - 22
 A 40 mile warranty doesn't seem very generous... Still the gearbox is sure to be the future and this looks great!
  • + 8
 it says 40,000 miles, nat 40
  • - 9
 Did you mean 40,000 mile warranty?
Or is it really just 40?
  • + 15
 That's 40k miles, which is damn good. More than some cars. On the European continent a . is used as a thousand separator and a , as a decimal separator.
  • + 16
 Thanks, of course it should be 40000 miles. I forgot about the different meaning of a "." in English.
  • + 1
 haha. I thought it said 40'000km. but that is a looonnngg time for a drivetrain warranty. even for a car. shee-it.
  • + 0
 since bikes don't have odometer, shouldn't it be rated by year and not miles? IE: Lifetime warranty (Which is much more appealing than distance)
  • + 3
 You are right, there is no odometer on bikes and no way to prove the milage for claims under warranty. Warranty will be rated in years referring to national laws and provisions. But for the riders it's probably better to know a number in miles. When we say we can warrant 40000 plus it is a number experienced from our own testing. It gives you a better idea of durability and lifetime of a P1.18 than a number of years.
  • + 1
 any of you that think you will do 40,000 miles on your bike are dreaming so don't even consider it.

are the bar grips used a standard size? I would not wish for my hand to be resting on the clamp while riding.

I hope this kicks off properly and wish the company the best, my thoughts: how heavy is the test bike and what are the plans for other frame designs and/or manufacturers designs, or do you think that frame patterning is possible?
[Reply]
  • + 65
 Shifter:

The cable length that is needed to shift 18 gears in a row does not allow a common thumb shifter design. We are aware that many riders (including myself) are averse to grip shifters, as we might know them from some bad riding experience back in the nineties. So we really put some effort in designing a better grip shifter, excluding the known disadvantages. May be you give it a try. Besides we are working on an alternative solution. Hydraulic, mechanical or electric – we are checking all options.
  • + 3
 Could you make a trigger one that isn't 18 speed?
  • - 4
 Has there been any research into an automatic version of your gearbox?
  • + 9
 I hate gripshift with a passion! But id use it if it ment the end of using derailleurs. good looking frame but i think i needs sum sort of bash guard
  • + 8
 We are checking different shifter options, also for future gear boxes with less gears, but by now it's too early to publish any forecasts. We've not done any research on automatic shifting.
  • + 13
 First of all thanks for your innovation and forward thinking
I think the weight is going to keep many riders from going with your gear box. At 3,179 grams complete. It's twice the weight of my XX kit. So it needs to go on a diet. Will frame manufactures be able to mold the case out of carbon and just get the internals? If the gears are steel can they be made out of ti or aluminum to make them lighter? Can you use Ceramic bearings in place of steel?
I think 18 gears is more than I and I think most others here need. It seems your system is a 2x. So for us on the Trail side we really only need 12 well spaced gears to ride anything. The DH crowd could get away with even less. Once again shedding weight.
I also think most of us here want you to succeed. So if you need any input or ideas just ask and you will get more than you could ever want.
  • + 6
 The P1.18 design provides a good ground clearance. Nevertheless the serial version will come with a mounting options for an upper chain guide and a bash guard.
  • - 4
 Do not use electric!!!!! If you're at a race or anywhere else and it's raining or muddy, and you want to wag your bike. Or it gets wet by the rain, the electronic will be trashed soon, even if waterproof!
  • + 4
 @scapegoat2010 - Off Highway Vehicle owners have been using electronics for years without issue.
  • + 0
 no carbon one hit and its gone, ti is used on high end road cassettes and if you've had one you know how fast they wear out, as for electronic why add the extra weight of a battery? the waterproofing will be fine
  • + 3
 I really hope this is the future. But please please please find a viable trigger. I really dont want gripshift againFrown
  • + 6
 finnrambo- have you seen shimano di2 battery's? They don't weigh that much. Riders can get at least 3000km out of them before a recharge and I think there are 400 cycles so it's gonna last you a freakin long time. Waterproof? Di2 has been around for 4 years? I have never heard of watertight issues and personally have been using it for 3 years and not one issue, no dropped chain, no skipped gear, no overshifting, just precise, fast shifting. Electronic would be wonderful.
  • + 2
 Gripshift rocks! I hate triggers. Trigger shifters chew my thumb up and I have to move my brakes and shifters so far away that they are almost impossible to reach. Having used a Rohloff system, I have no aversion to this shifter. Choice is good, and us G/S lovers are out there.
  • + 2
 In reply to bikethrasher, to add more to this. I come from a DH, XC and road background. I can definitely say that 3,179g is way heavy! even for a DH setup. But I also think it could easily be reduced with some future design change. Aluminum frame with carbon enclosure, Ti gears, also reconsider the amount of gears. The weight would probably be your second enemy (First enemy being that it's totally a proprietary system). As some mentioned, carbon is sensitive to sharp impact, which is true, but so there are ways to avoid that, anything from a aluminum rail frame to a aluminum bash guard. Or realistically, With this kind of clearance this awesome product would give you, rider awareness is probably the first thing. So on that note, you make one all aluminum or with some sort of reinforcement for DH/AM and a super-light carbon one for XC or weight weenies.
  • + 2
 As for internal component material options, you can't compare traditional external gearing to this kind of internal system. Our common drivetrains are almost entirely setup to work by friction, how the chain needs to be pressed against the rings to engage and the un-equal, slippery chain when sitting on the cogs. basically it's a functional way of having gears on a bike but it is not the best way (old old technology). When you have two gears, can be the common spur, helical or bevel, you have way less friction or resistance on the metal, like, WAY less. It's no surprise they could offer 40K miles warranty, if these things sits in a oil bath, I can see those last a lifetime even with the most extreme abuse. Now with that said, why not sacrifice durability in exchange for weight. Titanium would last much longer than any other drivetrains out there while probably cutting down on weight to a sub of what's lightest out there. Another thing as many mentionned, is more gear good or bad. For exemple, on a 3 x 9 or 2 x 10 or whichever. You often notice a cross when for exemple front 2 and rear 7 is similar to front 3 and rear 5 or 4. Basically when the ratio is the same. Also, for most rider, including racers, most will agree they don't really fine tune their cadence to the point of the gears that are offered. If anything I'm surprise we haven't seen agressives 2 x 5 or 1 x 9, maybe due to limitation to the rear derailleur if the rings are to large from one to the next for it to engage. But basically, a lot of the gears on a bike can be duplicated which means more weight. This has been an inevitable case for as long as bike drivetrains has been around. Maybe this gear system could be the solution.
  • + 2
 One more thing, there was suggestion for electrical or hydraulic to replace the mechanical. I could say all 3 types have goods and bad. There is already electrical systems out there (Look-up shimano Di2 systems) They are tested and works AMAZING!! ... now probably the only 3 cons is cable & battery management, weight and the possibility of running out of juice. There is also a hydraulic system out there, I can't remember who makes it but the concept is very similar to this mechanical system, 2 cables from your + and - pull. obviously the cons is weight and maintenance. I have a feeling the twist shift disadvantage is something that can be easily addressed.
My suggestion with this setup is to completely eliminate the chain all together and use a hypoid driven driveshaft with full sealed enclosure. It's not a car so you just need a small shaft with decent carbon cure to reduce torque bend and it's likely to be lighter than a chain but maintenance free... The concept is not that hard considering the hardest part (gearbox) is already in beta.

Good luck! This is revolutionary technology the bike industry has been waiting for!
  • + 1
 Jennefred the hydraulic shifters are made by Acros and are actually over 100 grams lighter than XTR and XX 2x10 systems. This in my mind would be the way to go for the shifting. The Di2 is also a great option. A friend of mine says he only has to charge the battery about once a month and he rides about 400 miles a week on average.
  • + 1
 The shimano ultegra road shifters and chain set can be brought electric now, it's a pretty good system if you ask me, and it's pretty light, I think campagnola are bringing out an electro shift system out now aswell.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I'm talkING about a mountain/dh bike!
[Reply]
  • + 46
 The Rohloff in my Lahar only ever needs an oil change at the start of each season, the only ever failure was a snapped cable (easy to replace). Absolutely bullet proof - simple as that!
Coolest feature of all gearbox's that I know of; especially for DH and Enduro riding is the ability to dump change or single change super quick while not pedaling and while braking into corners, this means that mid corner or on the apex you get on the gas as hard as you like and in the perfect gear. No slipping or "oh shit" - wrong gear!
Imagine the latest carbon DH frame with the pinion gearbox built in running a 6 to 8 speed ratio? Just change the rear sprocket to suit track types, no noise or chain slap, no unwanted extra unsprung weight hanging out the back. And the putting of what weight there is right between your feet.
Frame designers can start thinking about ultimate pivot heights and linkage systems without making allowances/sacrifices for the chain line.
Bring on an Ibis Mojo HD with pinion for Enduro - Super D. Or maybe the Zerode guys could look at this for their carbon trail bike.
I hope this sells well and is picked up by more than a handful of frame builders. This could become the 29er revolution for the gravity and AM market!
Future looks bright to me.
  • + 8
 I want to see one of these on a cannondale jekyll with a bit chunkier then stock fork - ultimte do everything bike, travel adjust, no chain slap and a really wide gear range.
And you make it sound like zerode are bringing out a trail bike...? I want to hear more Smile
  • + 4
 the future is indeed bright if this takes off
  • - 3
 With no derailleur to maintain chain tension, chain line will be even more critical than before. If the chain line extends or shortens with suspension travel, the chain will come off or snap. So we will still need chain tensioners of some sort with almost all full-suspension designs.
  • + 16
 @robomekk: Chainline is a left/right measurement. It sounds like you are talking about chain growth...
  • + 3
 @robomekk - there is a tensioner right behind the gearbox. And as mentioned, that is growth you are referring to, not line.
[Reply]
  • + 26
 Potential hydraulic shifter will do away with gripshift. If that happens and some large manufacturer can establish some sort of mounting standard and a license to manufacture i think it could take off. A simplified, fewer geared, maybe smaller and lighter version for downhill could be perfect. Better weight distribution, smaller weight pay off, more bb clearance and therefore lower BB heights for lower CofG. Before i think the main issue was they were too big and heavy, this looks much more compact and lighter.
[Reply]
  • + 23
 Weight:

As the Pinion P1.18 is not a regular add-on part you can't compare its weight directly with the weight of a derailleur system. The P1.18 is replacing some other bike parts like rear sprocket, derailleurs and shifters and is also integrating a BB shell, bearings, axle and cranks.The stand alone weight of the complete Pinion P1.18 system is 2.7 kg. This makes an additional weight of a bit less than a Kilogram compared to a complete bike with a high-end 3 x 9 derailleur drive. - But with a low and centered mass and a lighter rear wheel.
  • + 6
 Thanks for the info. I´d be more than happy to take a 1kg bump to be able to run this.
I already stuck a hammerschmidt on my bike which I got used to pretty quickly.
Hopefully a few more bike manufacturers will take notice and design some frames to go with it.
  • + 0
 Maybe a 6 speed hannerschmitt is the way forward. It would make a nice segway in gearboxes for those of us who upgrade a part at a time.
  • + 1
 My complete SRAM XX kit. Both shifters, both derailleurs, cassette, and 2 ring crank and BB weigh 1,444 grams. Add 264 for the chain and around 25-50 for a free hub. As for the BB shell your talking 100 grams or so. Your kit weighs 3,179 grams. That's a big difference. I know you can cut the weight. When there is a will there is a way.
  • + 3
 It's centralized weight. When riding, it feels a lot lighter with out the leverage of the swingarm holding 1/3rd of it up. It's like having heavier shoes, sorta but not. Lifted weight is an misleading calculation for a bike with most of it's drivetrain in the middle.
  • + 0
 I got confused now. I checked on Alutech web site, and they say that their bike has 25kg, that is uber heavy for an Enduro bike. Now, if they are only 1 or 2 kg heavier, I would gladly buy one of those!

alutech-cycles.com/Fanes-Enduro-30-Pinion-Komplettbike-v1-M2013
[Reply]
  • + 23
 You lost me at grip shift.
  • + 16
 Yep the only downside to this system... and yes I have used gripshift before. I just do not want to ever again. Make it with triggers and you can have my money!
  • + 20
 Triggers all the way Razz
  • - 8
 grip shift= shit, trigger= great! dont make it a grip shift
  • + 13
 Grip shift for gearbox bikes is okay. You can change heaps of gears quicker. If it's got chunky clicks like a Rohloff, it'll be kay IMO.
  • - 22
 Triggers or nothing. I don't see from the explanation above why they couldn't get triggers to work.
  • - 5
 It happened the same with Nicolai's G-boxx... always with gripshift (or should I say gripshit?). They (Nicolai) said they were studying a triger system but up to today nothing came out that I heard of.
  • + 22
 whatever man, gripshift is a small price to pay for all the advantages and trigger shifters will come along eventually.
  • + 10
 It's just how you shift. Being able to shift ANYWHERE is a worthy trade off.
Try it(with a gearbox) before you knock it.
I have triggers on my Zerode, and will one day try twitshift on it, just to see what I prefer. I dug the Rohloff twit shifter on my Lahar. Never mis shifted. Changing the correct amount of gears when changing lots at once is the tricky bit as it's so easy with a twit shifter.
  • + 9
 Hopefully by the time this is commonplace on bikes, there'll be reliable electronic shifting to go with it. Two buttons - no gripshift, no levers. Over to you, boffins...
  • + 6
 I find it strange that a company that can engineer a fantastic tiny gearbox, compact and at a sensible weight, is stumped at the idea of a trigger shifter that used two cables! I'd like to see shimano airlines style shifting brought back, left shifter to go down, right shifter to go up, seems sensible and cool to me Big Grin

Other than that love this system, has so much potential!
  • + 2
 Button on each side would be ideal. Although having two buttons each side would be cool, one button changes two gears, the other just one.
  • + 3
 Bada$$ this is the cutting edge of ingenuity in the cycling industry. I would love to own a pinion gear box, the only problem... where's the ring Wink
  • - 2
 wouldnt you have to put oil in it, to keep the shifting smooth?
  • + 4
 Now that Alfine Di2 is out, I'm sure it won't be long to do away with these cables.
  • + 4
 Im not a big fan of Gripshit either. What needs to be remembered here is that there is another small German company that makes a twin cable hydrolic trigger shifter that with a little modification would work with this system. In any case this is the first gearbox that will get Shimano and SRAMs attention, and once you bat that hornets nest they are more than likely going to do something about it.
  • + 4
 could they not put a cog on the gripshift with a trigger in each direction to pushes the cog (and therefore the gripshift) round????
  • + 2
 look up dura ace Di2 sprint shifters I'd like an idea like that but maybe on the brake lever (I'll shut up before a new standard comes out)
[Reply]
  • + 19
 Dig it. I bet that bulletproof-looking sequential gearbox will eliminate the need to tune and it sounds like those gearheads at Pinion are going to be honing in the downshift underpower for the production model. Can't wait to read the long-term test!
  • + 13
 funny thing is you have to momentarily back off when shifting with a derailleur anyway so I don't see why it is seen as a downside that you have to with the gearbox.
  • - 5
 Dont know what derailleur youre running, but I never have to back off to shift. Mine will shift no matter what amount of torque is on it.
  • + 8
 Well I am running SRAM X.O med cage on my AM bike and I have to torque down slightly to get a clean shift when hitting an uphill. Under full pressure the shift is no where near as clean. Can you honestly say that cranking in hard on the DH bike into a big gap jump or anything with high risk you dont have a slight worry at shifting the gear when you are up out of the saddle pushing as hard as you can through the cranks? I will always try and get the changes earlier or back off a touch to ensure its clean! This is of course all IME.
  • + 4
 I back off mine when im pedaling up hill just for the sake of the teeth on my sprocket so i understand what you mean. Shouldnt be much of an issue.
  • + 11
 Not backing off the derailleur shift is a sweet way to snap a chain if you're into that sort of thing.
  • + 2
 I run an x9 with x0 shifters. I TA for a cycling class and it is one of the first things we teach.
  • + 1
 I guess the key word in my previous comment is that you dont HAVE to let up. I dont always shift at full load, but I know I can when I need to.

Thats why I run a new chain twice a season. They are cheap insurance and I have never snapped one when I started doing that.

Shifts are not as clean under load, but bikes are meant to be ridden hard (at least thats how I ride mine) and it works just fine. Sure, I may have to replace my derailleur sooner, but I have to every season anyways from it getting beat up on rocks and crashes. I would never shift running into a big jump or sketchy section. Anticipation is key. So many riders are always focused on the 10-15ft in front of them, but ideally you are always scoping out as far as you can see. You can usually tell what gear you need to be in anyways by checking out the run in before hand, which I would always do before hitting a large jump.
  • + 2
 With a gearbox you can take not being able to change most of the time out of the equation, anytime you can change, even when NOT PEDALLING, and you don't need to pedal it through like with a mech. So more than half the time you'll need to change under load, you already would have anyway.
[Reply]
  • + 19
 Hey JACKof... why don't you stop being such a hater and get a real job. Love that someone has finally gotten close to cracking the biggest flaw of bikes.
  • - 45
 Unnecessary weight, good for xc maybe but will never properly catch onto downhill.
  • + 1
 ^^^ they should build this into a set of cranks that you can fit onto any bike,
  • + 8
 twistshift work just fine unless you happen to be a limp wristed poser....
  • + 18
 Yeah, that Rohloff does look like unnecessary weight! I think one important point which hasn't been made here is that with the elimination of the wide rear cassette, hub flanges can be spaces wider, thus improving wheel strength dramatically. Your chain will probably never snap as it wont have to be shifted. And lastly, if the details are all looked after, you'll have a gearbox for life, and not have to change chains and cassettes twice annually. To hell with the extra weight, it's in the most advantageous place it could be.
  • + 20
 jamesrusby are you serious at all??? Unnecessary weight and you'd put this into an XC bike? That weighs about half of a DH bike?? Are you completely daft?

I think gearboxes have a realistic future in the first part only in DH, FR and AM bikes. From about 150 mm of travel and up.
  • + 6
 +1 hahahahha. seriously daft.
  • + 2
 James this is grate for downhill it may be a bit heavier but the weight is in the perfect place.
  • - 15
 I dunno, I rode a zeroed for a bit and I don't see the need for it...
  • - 5
 limpwristed trigershifter users neg prop this
  • + 6
 Eventually some one will come up with a slighty bigger BB shell and all of this will fit inside of that in my opinion. I would say gear boxes are definately the future much like carbon , but right now for me it's not quite there yet
  • + 1
 I think they had a rough weight on the last Pinion article and it actually works out about the same when you take into account the weight of derailleur, cassette and freehub of a conventional setup.
  • + 4
 I hadn't even thought about the bulk and weight of a cassette and extra chain, I was only thinking about the derailleur itself.
Ditching a wide ration cassette like those found on AM/Enduro bikes would drop a good deal of weight and maybe free up some room to do some interesting engineering of the stays and hubs.
  • + 3
 Hey iffoverload, that's a pretty narrow worldview you've got there.
  • + 1
 Why cant they use a twist shift mechanism but put a "paddel" on the top and bottom so you can change it using your thumb? Its hard for me to describe but maybe it can be done.
  • - 1
 The weight of the complete Pinion set up is 3,179 grams. My complete XX drivetrain :both derailleurs, both shifters, cassette, complete crank and BB, excluding chain weighs 1,444 grams. The single speed rear hub would be slightly lighter maybe 25-50 grams. But still they need to cut over 3 pounds off to be competitive. A Pro DH bike weighs less than 35 pounds these days. Aaron Gwins is less than 30!
  • + 3
 yes but this is downhill, we want a lighter bike because it easier to throw around, but with the gearbox you have these three pounds right underneath your feet, this means it will not affect how easily you can throw your bike around, in fact it should improve it as you have more weight at the bottom of your feet (where you want it) giving it a lower center point of gravity, you also have a smaller chain ring meaning you can lower your BB height just like the new demo (again lower point of gravity and better handling), and finally this thing has 18 gears. if they would start developing a DH gear box it would only need around 8 gears max, so this would lower the weight too.
  • + 0
 screw lowering the weight - it will lower the manufacturing cost. but, given the assholes that the bike industry is, it wouldn't surprise me if dh gearboxes end up costing the same as the xc ones.
[Reply]
  • + 17
 More Shifting:

With the Pinion rotary shifter both individual and multiple gear shifts can be made with split-second precision. The indexing of the shifting is at the gearbox so unaffected by damaged or stretched cables or cable housings.
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Huge groundclearance, light SS hub, no chain missalignment, chaintensioner can be anywhere, five generous sealsaeras - the inside will stay clean. bikedesigners are free to put the pivots where they make sense rather than accomodating Sramano idiosyncrasies. Make six speed box.
Now, Sramano, go an die and take your crappy markeneering in the hole with you.

@Scott and Commencal: Want to order Voltage and Supreme with superlow BB and with six speed box please!
  • - 5
 Oh, forgot m'turers: If you pair gearbox with plasticframe, won't buy.
  • + 4
 shimano and sram can make different gearing options so you can change it up depending on the conditions. I would love to see a gearbox standard that lets you change parts out.
  • + 1
 Not a feature. Need to change whole cassetes instead of cogs. Rather a liability than a boon. Single speed cog is easier to change.
[Reply]
  • + 17
 I hate derailleurs!
  • + 21
 i hate grip shift more
  • + 8
 then agreed we need a zerode am bike... hahaha!!!
  • + 8
 gotta say man! gear box are now really smaller than it used to be!! Good to see that! I like the idea of no derailleurs...
  • + 7
 I really hate derailleurs! Bring on the gear box! Good bye trigger shifters, I won't miss you either.
  • - 7
 I hate gears.
  • + 8
 @jaybake get off your bmx and try a real bike
  • + 1
 Haha chill man i'm just laughing at these guys how they hate everything. ps i ride an old dj
  • + 1
 how much weight does it add?
[Reply]
  • + 12
 Just for a general idea as to how much more this would weigh I took the quoted weights from Pinions´ website and the weight of a 2012 XT 3x10 setup.

2012 Shimano XT Cassette CS-M770-10 - 286 g
2012 XT 3x10 Hollowtech II Crankset FC-M780 - 860g
2012 XT Rapidfire Plus Shift Levers SL-M780 - 250g
2012 Shimano XT Shadow Rear Derailleur RD-M780 - 230g
2012 Shimano XT Triple Front Derailleur FD-M781 - 157g
Total: 1783g or 3.9 pounds

Pinion Hub incl sprocket gear 24t - 2700g
Cranks - 364 g
Shifter -115g
Total: 3179g or 7pounds
  • + 4
 To be fair, the XT stuff you're referencing represents 20 years' worth of refinement and weight savings from the original concept. A more accurate comparison would be to compare the current Pinion system to Deore XT from, say, 1992.
  • + 2
 Nice work Sir HalfOrange. RC
  • + 1
 Thanks HalfOrange, exactly the intel I was looking for
  • + 2
 and someone should compare pricing as well.... you would most likely go through a lot of XT kit during a 40'000mile pinion warranty period. I don't get warranty for worn out chains or broken teeth.

wheres the chain weight btw?
  • + 2
 You are missing chains and bottom bracket. Plus we are only talking an extra 1400g. I really don't see that as much of an issue compared to where the weight is now being distributed.
  • + 5
 What about the leverage effect of 1/3rd of the XT kit being out the back on a 17" arm. Put that much weight on a stick 17" out from your hand and tell me how heavy it gets.
Everything is a compromise, I've ordered this bike,a s I feel the miniscule sacrifices are well worth the gains. Maybe not for XC, but everything else I think it weighs way in favor of a bike with Pinion. Just have to see how good the box is.
  • + 4
 Good work NoSkidMarks - grab the bull by the horns! Just buy the bike and ride the thing. Let us all know how it goes in the real world.
  • + 2
 Yeah, looking at the photos with my motorsport background eye and it's easy to see where the extra weight could be lost. Not all of it, but some! The odd undercut here, a drilling there...as Alexisin wisely points out, this is really early first generation stuff, a few years down the line with enough support I don't doubt that the system will be way lighter.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 I can't wait for this!!! Granted I never really enjoyed the twistygripamajigs. Gimme this in a 7 inch freeride bike with 10 gears with hydro or electric trigs. To all the weight weiners. Its a couple extra pounds!!! Take a pre-ride dump, carry a little less crap in your pack and blam, you are back down a couple pounds. Or just man up and pedal the extra around. It'll only make you a stronge rider anyway. You up the weight at the gym ALL the time but your bike has to get lighter and lighter?
[Reply]
  • + 11
 Zerode and pinion have this shit on lock The future is coming
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I think gripshift vs triggers is a personal preference and when you crash thats one less thing to snap off because theres nothing sticking out. And so having no deraileur or triggers is pretty damn good in my opinion. Even though some deraileurs are super good looking Smile
  • + 2
 It may be a personal preferance, but from reading the comments i can tell whitch i generally preferred! Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I run an x9 for DH and a Shimano SLX Shadow setup for AM and all I can say is, it would be nice to have the reassurance that my knees will not be meeting my stem/crown/cockpit, or the back of my calves meeting my pedals even again due to mis-shift or slipped gears due to gnar. =D
  • + 2
 100% agree Smile
[Reply]
  • + 5
 This is actually the first gearbox that I would buy (apart from the Zerode, that's dope too)! It really looks simple, nice and compact, and not weights like a gearbox of a tank.

But for a while though, i will stick to the classic 9 speed ( or 10 someday) derailleurs in the back of the bike. They are not THAT bad. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Yes finally more people working on gearboxes. they should make like an 8 speed dh version surely it would be lighter and easier to make! And definatley a hydraulic trigger would be amazing an should work aswell.!! Until then im saving for a Zerode!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 how much of the energy applied to the cranks is lost in the gearbox? Derailleurs are very efficient at transfering energy from foot to tire.
  • + 1
 Compare Derailleur-bike with a single speed bike. Feels positively less frictious.
  • + 1
 Even so a deraileur is 96-98% efficient. The alfine hub is like 89%. An SS is prolly more than 99%. So where's this fall? That is the reason it hasn't been done. Not efficient. It historically has been like pedaling with the brakes on.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 i think it looks pretty cool. but agree with most people . i dont like the feel of gripshift. even if it does work. but i guess triggers will come. and as for it not working with DH. just take a look at the old honda Gbox thingy greg minar was on... that was a beast. it worked bloody well and he won a lot on it . ok it wasnt ever going to be put into production, but it shows that gearboxes and dh deffo work together !
  • - 1
 oh and they need to design one that can be fitted to a normal bike !
  • + 2
 Not going to happen.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 If I got that I can finally
Get away with making moto noises when riding Braaaap (pause and shift) braaaaap....
[Reply]
  • + 5
 case of 'keep it simple stupid', wonderful design, so simple but works so well
[Reply]
  • + 4
 VERY interested in gearbox bike technology. It is the future for mountain bikes, definitely exciting to see people still trying hard to perfect it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This looks so promising. SRAM is going 1x11 when they should have done this five years ago. I would love to see this hit the mass market. Screw the weight weenies, if it performs well, lasts 40,000 kms, doesn't need to be adjusted and you can go electric then it's worth two pounds in my book. Just think of how easy it would be to clean your drivetrain after a messy ride! Also, won't this mean we will have stronger rear wheels since they won't be using a cassette and the hub flanges can be spaced wider apart? Gripshift works great. I don't understand all the hating on something that's so intuitive and looks so clean. My only problem with Gripshift is that the "twister" is too wide. I also agree that 18 gears is too many. I would be happy with 9 or 10. Great job Pinion, don't mind the haters.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 All we need is to send one to Trek, mount it on a custom Session 8, give that to Aaron Gwin, he will win the race with this, gripshift included, and that way all the whining crowd will have to keep it silent.
  • + 1
 Cameron Cole won Junior worlds with a twist shift gearbox bike about a decade ago.
  • + 1
 It was 2006. I think the Honda won with Minnar - 2 gearbox bikes winning two classes World Champs! Back to the future.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 These systems are so obviously the future. I wonder if you could use this with a current 1 x 10 set up to make a mind blowing 18 x 10 set up? 180 gears! Would take Shimano and SRAM a few years of pointless gear upgrades to catch up with that puppy!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I hope you can hacksaw twist shifter down a bit. Did that with my Rohloff one I think. Helps get little leavers in, and move shifter out of most of the way. One finger is all that's needed on shifter. and judging by the pics, it's all the tester wanted on them.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Is weight no longer an important issue for mountain bikes? Because last time I checked, this one of the primary drawbacks to gearboxes. Here we've got a great article about a new gearbox, and no mention of the weight (unless I missed it).
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Confirmed gripshift hater here. Try shifting through gears whilst feathering your brake with one finger dh style. Not easy. (although this is purely from a brit point of view with front brake on rear shift side)
  • + 1
 And thats the point of a gearbox surely, to be able to change whether pedaling or not! Except you cant because you have a grip shift and cant do it under braking which is the only time you dont pedal!
  • + 2
 Riding dh I rend to have a finger over the brake lever most of the time. Not for full on braking, just for control. Triggers are fine as you can use your thumbs independently of your finger but try twisting a grip whilst one finger braking. Electronic shift sounds a good idea button for up button for down. One either side maybe
  • + 2
 You actually can shift a gripshift while braking. If you use your middle finger to brake and your index finger/thumb to shift, you can go up or down a couple gears comfortably while braking. It takes a while to get used to, but it is possible. You could also always use the other brake for that brief shift moment.

There are also other advantages (gearbox related) that might possibly negate the need for you to shift while braking. Mind you, I am assuming the pinion shifts like the rohloff.

One reason you might downshift while braking is so that you are in the proper gear once you are ready to pedal (Imagine a downhill section that quickly transitions to an uphill). With these transmissions you can concentrate on braking and then instantly downshift several gears (as many as you want) and be ready in the proper gear. You can even shift at a dead stop (very handy when commuting or if you have to stop suddenly on the trail). If you think about it, pedaling (required for derailleur shifting) while braking doesn't really make sense.

Also during really gnarly sections you don't want to be pedaling constantly (might hit rocks or put you off balance) so shifting with a derailleur is not an option. With the gearbox system, you can still shift.
  • + 1
 Not sure with the Pinion, but if you run shifter opposite direction it can also help shifting when braking for some.
  • + 1
 Good points here. I had gripshifters back in the day and had no problems. I just prefer triggers. But yeah, why not sending the shifter left? I use "moto" or right hand front braking, so it makes sense.

As mentioned on other discussion about bearboxes, I still have my concerns about play, efficiency and maintenance. Gearboxes rarely fail, but when they do it ain't simple and it ain't cheap. And as it was pointed out to me back then, now I understand how shifting when not pedaling can outweight the negatives.

I really, really hope Pinion gets to standarize mounting of gearboxes to several frames. I'd hate to break a frame that renders my gearbox only good to sell for spare parts.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 So, as I understand it conventional two-trigger shifters aren't gonna manage because you need to put tension on both cables, which you use springs for in a conventional deraileur system.

Why not have a left and a right shifter, both with only the big thumb lever (i.e. the 'downshift' lever from a deraileur system). Push big lever on left to shift down, big lever on right to shift up.

Ah, but you have to let off slack with one shifter when you take it up with the other? Well run a cable between the shifters, along the handlebars. With even a modicum of thought about how to put the cable placement, it'd never be in the way, you wouldn't need to mount it to the bars if you didn't want to bother (not very long), and could use standard gear cable outer to do it.

Problem solved! Trigger shifter, using both thumbs, and should work just fine with this gearbox!
  • + 2
 I suspect the engineers who developed the system are aware of the dislike for grip shift and considered possibilities for triggers. Interestingly in the moto world, serious riders convert their ATVs with trigger throttles to twist throttles. Its just a matter of getting used to what you have. I could always control the throttle on my open class MX bike no matter what the terrain. If you can't manage twist, you are not balanced on the bike and relying on your grip of the handlebar to compensate. That is the reason for misshifting, not the system itself.
  • + 0
 Which hand are you using for your front brake on your moto? I get confused as to which way round it is
  • + 1
 Front brake is right side. Left side is clutch. Left foot shifter, right foot rear brake.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Everytime I want to upgrade my 2009 Enduro or get new parts I am able to resist by simply thinking of this technology. My next bike WILL have a gearbox, probably a Pinion, and I am willing to wait a little longer until something is available and reliable and hopefully relatively affordable. Please hurry up!!! Kudos for blazing the trail of innovation for something so logical and relevant to mountain biking. I hope Pinion really succeeds.
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  • + 1
 Every one is dissing Grip Shift. I put a newer model on my al mtn bike . Shifts are done with a solid click. You would have to death grip ride to do an accidental shift. But left hand sram triggers ? I shift by accident all to often. If you havnt used Grip shift latley then you are probably biased without justification. Also I think Hondas gearbox wich I believe Hayes also owns the patent is a simpler gearbox and less friction and uses any type of shifter.
  • + 1
 Petespeed I believe.
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  • + 1
 This aint no Hammershmytte!!! The design is certainly getting to be small enough to have a standardized mount designed into many frames. I'd move that tensioner right back to a rear derailleur mount. It is sitting right where I put the logs i cant hop over! Having it out back still reduces the risk of damage since it only pivots vertically, and the chain line is inside of the stays. I don't see why we would not be willing to switch back to three piece cranks for this, we'd get our multiple crank choices!! Nice work guys, keep at it!
  • + 1
 Check out Lahar and Zerode tensioner devices - very clever and simple
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  • + 1
 now take some time to create a proper thumb shifter instead of yet another gearboxed using a crappy twistshift system and you might be on to a winner. The gearbox they have created looks amazing and compact, but WHY,WHY.WHY be so lazy and samey using a twistgrip. Twistgrips on regular DH, AM, and XC bikes pretty well died out more than 7years ago, with wot most be around 98% of people now using the likes of sram or shimano thumb/thumb or finger/thumb shifters. Surely if must be worth developing a proper shifter due to the amount of people will be put of running this system. I would try the gearbox out but even if it was good, i wouldnt even entertain that though of buying one with a TWISTSHIFT. DECENT SHIFTER WILL = MORE INTEREST
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  • + 1
 With working in a machine shop and rebuilding spindles for grinders, id have to say I'm going to wait on this idea. I've had my fair share of experience with gear boxes on machines to know that the maintenance is going to be a hassle. And gear replacement might be quite expensive as well considering that those gears are aluminum.
  • + 1
 the question is how many revolutions per minute is the machines you are familiar with going through versus this bike. It likely won't be any worse than the stresses on your cassette for the most part. Plus, if it is well sealed it might be good for a year at a time without needing to be pulled apart, cleaned and regreased.
  • + 2
 I deal mostly with centerless, OD, and ID grinders so yeah there is quite a bit of pressure but the materials are much heavier and more durable. On top of all of that, the gear box itself is filled will oil to lubricate the system. I obviously don't know what the pressures this gear box will go throigh but i can only imagine that if those gears run dry at all, they'll wear very quickly
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  • + 1
 I wonder if a similar design could be installed OVER the lower triangle and BB of any bike, with transmission from and to the BB location, so as to retrofit existing frames.. I am sure it has been looked into, just curious. After all, there are still pedals and a chain in the end, so why not couple a specific BB design or front chainring with the gearbox ? Of course, bye-bye to super low center of gravity...but still lower than Zerode design. And probably easier to service / exchange, etc..
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  • + 1
 I am excited about this, don't mind the weight that much, rotating(wheel) weight is more important. how strong are the crank arms? BB spindle? the crew I ride with all pedal our big bikes up the hill for 1-2 hrs of steep climbing, then ride freeride trails down. I personally want all 18 gears. I would use most of them. I can also deal with the gripshift for now. electric shifting would be the next step IMO. now I just need to save some money.
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  • + 1
 this gearbox looks promising. Looking forward to hearing more on it, Gearbox bikes will eventually happen, After the Honda bikes, we've all seen they can compete performance wise. The right company and right standardized layout just needs to happen. the hydraulic trigger shifter will be ideal IMO. Pinkbike basically said it all in this article.
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  • + 1
 Nice compact design. Weight will limit it to All Mountain/Downhill initially. Light weight versions could apply to XC style riding.
Honda raced a gearbox World Cup Downhill bike and won the Championship with Greg Minaar. This design looks much more compact than the Honda design.
People hate change, their heads exploded when the first disc brake was introduced.Try introducing disc brakes to roadies; ) I am a true gearhead and love new innovation and designs, I would love to see this design improve and would I ever want a disc brake on a road bike.
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  • + 1
 I cant help but think that shimano and sram are just polishing a turd when it comes to bringing out 10 speend and the inevitable 11 speed. Its like the henry ford quote: if id asked them what they wanted they would have said a faster horse. The future is clearly not in derailleurs so why is it only the small companies who are working on gearboxes and not the big boys.
  • + 2
 Profit mainly. If Sram and Shimanno see sales of gearbox bikes, they'll very rapidly unleash theirs on the market.
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  • + 1
 Everyone's complaining about the grips gift, the 2001 X-9 I have on my bike has worked flawlessly since day one, I've smashed it up, broke the indicator off and I can shift whilst railing a corner. I have never shifted when I didn't want to and have never NOT been able to shift when I've wanted too. Mine has a relatively small "grip" portion compared to this one (and many I've seen before) maybe that has something to do with it.

Love the gearbox idea, this bike looks to be right up my alley, I do agree it could be less gears and I really do think an "above the crank mount to any frame conversion option" would be the cats ass.
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  • + 1
 I am not sold on the use of spur gears for gearing...Too much play that will be annoying...How about going to a helical arrangement...If anything how about a planetary gear assembly or two...You wouldn't need as much space to make it work. Using two together with either a common sun gear or even a trick planet ring/ ring planet arrangement could fit in there. Issue I only see if it is a planet arrangement would be spring pressure to hold the clutch arrangement. With a planet power could still be applied when changing gears seeing that your engaging clutches rather than a shift mechanism..

Just saying..
  • + 4
 reducing friction is the reason for straight cut (spur) gears. Helical gears run silently, but the downside is that the teeth drag on each other and create a lateral thrust component that must be offset by a thrust washer - a second, additional source of friction.
RC
  • + 1
 Yes there is that lateral component. but at these rotational speeds i don't think of it being that great (unlike an automobile where we have 100+hp vehicles spinning at 3000+ RPM. Also running helical gears you now have 1.2 - 1.5 tooth contact which now allows the engineer to split the forces between the roots of the 1.2-1.5 teeth rather than one. Allowing you to broach a much smaller gear face. And there in it self can be a reduction in friction.
  • + 4
 I spoke with the Pinion guys about the gears sizes in the P1.18 gearbox. The fly in the ointment is that the human puts out huge amounts of torque at the crankset (chain tension can easily reach 1100 pounds). To handle those loads, the gears in the Pinion P1.18 are nearly the size of those used in F1 transmissions. Considering that a fit North Shore Slug-Popper produces only 0.8 horsepower, the lateral loads on the gears are much higher than one may expect.
RC
  • + 1
 OK is that 1100 based on one single tooth? I can possibly believe that seeing that the surface area of one chainring tooth is very small...But even so Richard, for them to say the size of the gear is equal to that as a F1 car and then elude that their is a similar amount of force is far fetched...Specially when I personally was evolved in motorsports and had to deal with our own demons when it came to having a gearbox hold itself together, without shearing teeth at 9500rpm on our gt3 RX7's that we raced. And seriously a series of thrust bearings (needle type) will do fine at keeping things together without the great amounts of drag that may be thought may exist. I personally think the cost of cutting the helical gear over a spur is the main reason they opted for the spur.. At this stage in my life I am now a teacher and teach transmissions both manual and automatics. And every time I get to the planetary gear arrangement and how well it works at transmitting motion and the amount of ratios that could theoretically be obtained from only one planetary gear..(Fast forward reduction, slow forward reduction, slow reverse, fast reverse, slow forward overdrive, fast overdrive, direct drive and a neutral) I think that this should be considered and more over you have everything spinning concentrically compared to two offset shafts. I think if you took the idea that Rohloff use and reconfigure it, you have a real possible sold transmission unit.. Now granted Rohloff have spurs but at least they are planetary.. Cheers
  • + 2
 Yeah, the chain and one tooth on the F and R sprockets can hit astronomical numbers - it happens when a strong rider is pushing hard in the smallest front sprocket and the smallest rear sprocket. I had a chance to see a Ferrari F1 engine and tranny on display and the gears were straight-cut and darn close to the same size (at least the ones from 4 through 7). Perhaps they have grown a wee bit since the regs now limit the number of GB changes teams can make in a season. The guys at Pinion come from Porsche with quite a resume' as well and after grilling them extensively last year at Eurobike, I am inclined to believe them. You are right on the money that planetary transmissions offer a lot of options in a compact space, but the design has been given almost 100 years to make good for elite-level cycling and it has yet to deliver - so lets try something else for a change.
RC
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  • + 1
 Grip shift on a gear box bike would be fine for xc. For downhill though the ability to shift anywhere that is the main advantage of a gear box bike is completely nullified! Try shifting under heavy braking with a grip shift and you'll fall off or get way too many gears. Your thumb doesnt interfere with braking or holding onto the bars and so any gear changing mechanism should be designed with that in mind!
  • + 4
 How about right hand shift up, left hand shift down, so both thumbs can be in use ? maybe that would work better ?
  • + 1
 brilliant idea schred. I hope this gets noticed. absolutely awesome.
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  • + 2
 Looks fresh, but that small of a drive-sprocket does dictate a handful of suspension-carryovers if this becomes a future-Standard. But, it is ultra compact and that is beyond cool.
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  • + 1
 The design looks sweet, but two short points: they need to fix the grip shift thingy, I had gripshift for a short while and hated it, kept changing gear by accident when hopping or jumping, I don't agree with the 'if you don't get along with it its because you set it up wrongly' statement, thats not a valid argument, there's a reason soooo many people [practically everyone in fact] hate gripshift... second point is it has too many gears for a downhill application, surely less gears would mean a narrower crank axle too, allowing for regular crank fitment?
  • + 1
 Several WC XC riders win championships on twist shifters. They aren't mis shifting, and they have to handle under weight bikes through riding skill. Are you referring to the box store grip shifts maybe? Box store triggers suck too. I have last gen SRAM XO grip shifters and never misshift.
  • + 1
 I agree with ctd07. I don't appreciate having my bike set up skills insulted Mr Wragg. Gripshift doesn't work for me. Even if I could ride grip without it shifting right when I don't want it to, I just don't want to shift that way . Period.
  • - 1
 You are still holding the bars wrong. You have bigger problems than what type of shifter you are using. You must have a death grip on the bars to cause the problem you are describing.
  • - 1
 Putting the twist mechanism on the outside of the bar would solve that problem, but perhaps create some problems of it own.
  • + 2
 ok I ride with my hands close in on the grips, I put my levers and shifters quite far away from the grip as a result otherwise I catch my thumb on the shifter too, its just how i naturally hold the bars and grip shift didnt agree with it, I'd still be fine using it for normal riding, but riding dh it would be a liability for me - www.pinkbike.com/photo/5940299
  • + 2
 Willie1, I have a different opinion. If you are not pulling on the bars hard enough to accidently move your grip shifter, then you could be riding a lot harder. I don't ride with a death grip, physics *dictates* there is going to be some rotational force on the bars when doing hops, and generally riding hard. ALso if you have time to move your hand onto the grip shifters to make a shift, you could be riding harder, and doing so alters the handling of the bike. You shouldn't have to move your hands around on the bars to make a shift.
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  • + 2
 this plus modified shimano Di2 triggers and actuation? or campy equivalent... can't remember which one shifts down faster on a continuous hold
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  • + 3
 grip shift?? no!!! but with hyraulic shifter... hmmm I´m dreaming about it long time...Smile
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  • + 1
 looks like a very interesting concept but is is really saving anything? it looks like itd be quite a bit heaver than an avarage derailer and in a "lite bike" era its gonna have to save weight not add it
  • - 2
 in the downhill world the "lite bike" era makes no sense. I'm 100% sure a rock rolls downhill faster than a feather.
  • + 0
 KTownRoyster: The speed at which gravity accelerates an object does not increase with increased mass. You are comparing air resistance in extreme ways in your example. You should have stayed in school or stayed off crack.
  • + 0
 Right, if i was only talking about acceleration. who crosses the start gate first doesnt win the race. ride a heavy bike down a hill with X amount of force then pedal a light bike down the same hill with the same X amount of force the heavier bike wins. You forgot to add a force to it. similar affect happens with simple pinewood derby cars. if no rules apply, adding the extra little weights makes the car faster.
  • + 2
 Also a heavier bike will lower your center of gravity which makes sharp fast turns actually easier killing the light bike is better for cornering myth. i think the "light" freaks have forgotten how to dig their front tire in the dirt to help corner faster.
  • - 2
 KTownRoyster,you need to go back to school and take high school physics. I have university physics. You are so off base I don't even know where to start. Maybe if I used crack too it would make sense. All objects fall at the same speed. Gravity is an acceleration force. All objects will reach the maximum same top speed a well assuming equal air resistance. Also the heavier bike has more momentum with the same speed, resulting in needing greater reduction in speed to change direction. With a heavy bike you will have to slow down more at each corner than a lighter bike. Center of gravity only becomes relevant when talking about the same mass ( a bit oversimplified) so CofG changes the vectors of the forces. Lower typically means easier lateral movement which can translate into cornering if the geometry compliments the vectors, but a heavier bike would override the advantage of lower CofG as the vectors have more force, even if they are in more advantageous direction.
  • + 2
 I've rode both carbon and and alloy's and i've always been faster on alloys. on downhill and in the corners. use your physics to disprove that. A gearbox will lower the center of gravity which does improve cornering you can argue with Enzo Ferrari and Subaru on that issue. which this has turned into the wrong issue all together. Fu*k physics, 95% the weight being said is the rider. Now, back to my original point the few extra lbs in a gear box in downhill or even the few less with carbon frames in downhill does not affect much at all. the new "Light Era" carbon demo is only .09lbs lighter but the price is double, WOW! so you're right everything is equal, until a greater force is added! this is exaggerated but you're telling be two equal bowling balls will fall the same when one has a jet attached. you're forgetting that extra force and in this case its not a jet its called muscle. heavier bikes force you to pedal more frequently/consistently which will give that extra nonstop force and unavoidable more muscle to pedal even better. argue with that you need to go to a gym. I'm just sick of spending extra money on useless weight saving features when I wanna spend it on things like these bomb prof gear boxes. I can have a light weight bike all i want but constantly throwing out shattered bash rings, bent sprockets and derailleurs on the downhill course, right, its useless to save a few ounces. those are improvements bike companies need to focus on not weight. If you're too damn lazy to pedal an extra lb switch to MOTORcross.
  • - 3
 KtownRoyster, the jet will accelerate the lighter ball faster. Demo is 0.9lbs lighter, not 0.09lbs. It isn't double price either unless you buy the limited edition one with more expensive components. If you're faster on alloys you are psyching yourself out. The rider weight has little effect on the bike performance as the biggest gains are in reciprocating weight first, unsprung weight next, then center of gravity, then overall weight. Stop misleading people with your incorrect drivel. The gearbox has numerous advantages that offset the weight disadvantages. Increased weight still does not equal falling faster. They teach that in grade school science. The gearbox has advantages in unsprung weight, reciprocating weight, center of gravity, but a disadvantage in overall weight.

Re: Ferrarri. Lower Cof G is better, as long as all else is equal. At a certain point being heavier overall overcomes the c of g advantage.
  • + 4
 A heavier bike, with centralized mass, will deflect of objects less, and it's suspension will work better, due to having more mass to work against especially when rider is unweighted. A heavier centralized weighted bike feels more predictable.
I went from a Katipo(17kg) to a Zerode(19kg), both are very similar designs, and yet different but still similar enough to give credit to the Zerode feeling much more stable in the rough, and more confidence inspiring in every situation. As mentioned, there were other factors involved.
  • + 2
 willie I took your advise. I went and checked my physics book. yes i did take two courses in physics and three in structural physics for architecture. I must say, YOU ARE WRONG! You are mixing up Mass and Weight my friend. Two equal Masses have no effect. Weight does. The example, two wood block pinewood derby cars, same shape, same size. One basswood, one solid pine. which one wins????? Solid pine! know why???? HEAVIER OBJECTS OVERCOME "DRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAG" GREATER THAN LIGHTER OBJECTS!!!!!! Sorry pal, you're misleading people.
  • + 4
 And how dare you try to say my race times were "psyching me out!" I worked for a bike shop, my job, test every product we sold except for women's, thats your job. From carbon to stone age steel. I'll bet far more than you have ridden. I personally only own DH bikes. meaning I ride them everywhere. while you work your nose in your physics book, i'm pumping 40lb bikes up hills and across the flat campus and across finish lines. HA i can lift more than .9lbs with my dick so thats not saving much weight to make any difference on a bike. If specialized wanted to improve their weight issue they should take a look at the rear links on this bike and scrap that old "fighter jet" clunker they have on the demo. I bet you still think 29ers are better too. LMAO. You're such a little hipster worshiping every new trend. Here's a lesson you need to learn...this isnt a class room. this is mountain biking. there are far more factors to consider than weight when finding the right bike. Everyone is different. I being strong liking a little extra weight and you being a puss wanting everything light. like NoSkid said, weight changes suspension set ups. Light weight is NOT always better! Like my original comment was saying, in DOWNHILL the gearbox is better even with its extra pound. In XC maybe not so great. End of story!

PS. I've never even touched a single drug. not even one beer or cig. You think you know physics but you're only good with arithmetic. you add trouble, subtract pleasure, divide attention, and multiply ignorance. so keep insulting me, thats a race you'll NEVER win!
  • + 2
 Okay, stop punching now, he's out cold.
  • - 2
 weight is mass and gravity. On earth, all objects with equal mass will have the same weight. On Mars or the moon, they will still have the same mass, but different weights when gravity is different. If the two pine cars had the same shape and finish, they should have the same drag, and therefore would accelerate the same. Ktown, you are a bit dim, and don't get the basic physics of how things work. The drag thing is why a feather falls slower than a rock. With equal drag, they fall at the same speed. It appears you felt really clever there LOL!!!!! This is the problem with the American education system. It doesn't educate.
  • - 2
 I forgot to mention, Ktown, and NoSkidMarks, if you want to avoid deflection, shouldn't YOU each ride 29" wheels, they are better at straight line, non deflecting, avoiding changing direction because of mass (which is weight when acted on by gravity) and gyroscopic effect. You would be the fastest to the bottom if the course was built on your planet in your universe where your laws of physics exist, as long as your course didn't have any corners LMAO!!!

NoSkid, you are referring to sprung weight. Losing sprung weight is less important than unsprung, and lower CofG does minimise the increased mass/weight.

KTown please post pics of your bike. You must have at least 5kg of ballast strapped to your BB to increase mass(weight when gravity is present) which would make3 you the fastest. Too bad for all the WC racers who are at such a disadvantage to you who is smarter than all the engineers who rely on physics which does not matter in the real world. LMAO LOL LMAO LOL!!!!!!!!
  • - 2
 FWIW, I SUPPORT the gearbox and have noted the disadvantage in weight is offset by numerous positives. I am disagreeing with your application of the principlesw which are accessible to anyone who passes grade 6 science.

Ktow, I looked at your profile, and saw your bike. You really wanyt people to believe that dinosaur is faster than a Trek, Santa Cruz, or Demo carbon with modern geometry, suspension, wheels, and drivetrain? You are just a retrogrouch who hasn't adapted to the modern world, or can't afford real equipment like people like me, who got an education and get promoted for being good at what we do, including learning accurately to adapt to a changing world. You must need to justify your lot in life by rejecting progression. I mean real progression, not marketing. Most modern geometry is too slack for the average rider, but they think they need it because the racers use it.

I have been riding and racing 2 wheeled machined since I was 9 years old (I mean competitively, not just in the back alley on a banana seat bike.) In the late 90's I was ranked 18th in the world in old timers motocross. No I wasn't a top 10 rider, but I could actually afford to race at that level due to my educatuion. I was top 10 provincially prior to my knee blowout in vet BMX. I get annoyed when people on the internet pass their opinions on as facts like you are, and don't understand what they are saying. I tried to clarify, and you keep shooting yourself in the foot. Keep doing it if you like.
  • + 2
 "NoSkid, you are referring to sprung weight. Losing sprung weight is less important than unsprung, and lower CofG does minimise the increased mass/weight. "
I guess your agreeing with me here then. Sounds like you're not. No need to reconfirm things I'm saying thanks. I get it. Bang on with old mate if you want.
And don't include me in this sh!t to make you sound good. "I forgot to mention, Ktown, and NoSkidMarks, if you want to avoid deflection, shouldn't YOU each ride 29" wheels, they are better at straight line, non deflecting, avoiding changing direction because of mass (which is weight when acted on by gravity) and gyroscopic effect.". What I said was correct, if not, disprove it but don't bang on like a child with cheap off topic retorts. On your tangent though. 29ers indeed role over stuff better, but obviously lack the turning dynamics of smaller wheels, and don't allow for short stays,also inhibiting turning characteristics. I am curious about 27.5 though, as it's not much bigger than 26" I suspect a future(with new fork axle standard)for 27.5" for some if not all riders in DH. But we'll see. I've not thought it through much, there's probably some catch.
  • + 3
 willie....Ktown is right about the pinewood cars. Thats the reason pinewoods are required to all be pine. don't believe him, try it. you're only right if the cars are in free fall but they're not! they are rolling. Now I am a little rusty so i forgot which it is but rolling then adds either kinetic or static energy to the picture and heavier objects overcome which ever energy it is before the lighter one. therefore the heavier object will accelerate first, building momentum before the lighter object has even started rolling. Don't read that wrong, I said the heavier object would accelerate first, NOT faster at a quicker rate and by first meaning by like a millimeter. But winnings winning. I'm sorry to burst your light loving bubble but heavier objects create more momentum and keep that momentum when coasting better than a lighter object. so once you've cranked out all your gears, lightweights are screwed. then again there are so many combinations to add to both sides like are the bikes 8, 9, or 10 speeds. you know, there are so many factors that it all depends on the rider more than the bike itself. this debate is really apples to oranges. if carbon is so much better then why haven't all pros switched? Even if they do it would only be because their sponsors said do it or we'll drop you or carbon fiber is stronger not really concerning weight. I'm sure some pros would prefer one over the other. same same goes for 29ers. Really the biggest pro DH I know riding a 29er now is Bender and we all know he's a bit of a nut and doesn't even do much anymore.
  • + 3
 part 2...as for that new demo, .9lbs will not change a damn thing, its carbon for the extra strength. Until they make lighter forks a DH will always be a tank. As for ktown's "Dinosaur bike" at the sea otter dh race the guy for Airborne bikes placed 5th on a $1500, alloy, outdated single pivot bike and that was his first major race no less. So...Again, apples to oranges, everything depends on the rider over the bike. If Ktown has better results he has better results he's not you, willie. It is possible he is in great shape with great stamina to overcome the weight difference not to mention he's half your age, no offense we all get old. Age aside I bet Cedric would kill us all on a steel hardtail from walmart. so for a 41 year old you should have the common sense to know that everyone has different results, everything doesn't always turn out like on paper and you need to grow up and stop fighting online. by the way, good luck riding your hardtails and bmx down a dh track.
  • + 2
 Ha Ihatecomputers is right, wheres your DH? You need to check the date i created my page because that was the last time I updated it. I dont even have that bike anymore. I cracked it on a 20 footer welded it back and rode it for about a year longer before it cracked again but that was long enough to save for a new one. you know something you CANT do to carbon fiber? a simple weld. If it was a carbon I would have been out for a year. so what does your weight saving do for you when that happens????
you really shouldn't try to use your education to come across as a better rider. thats irrelevant. With that logic, I have a Masters in Architecture at age 23 I guess I'm a pro ridder too now. you have your education but you lack common sense.
  • - 2
 Ktown, I have DH, AM, trail XC and BMX bikes. I don't need to post it all here. My DH is 39lbs. Its not lightweight, but solid. BTW, a masters takes about 7 years unless you are taking some online BS LOL. Shows off your ignorance again. At 23, you could have a degree, but not a masters, unless you are talking the trade version which isn't comparable.

Ihate comp... I didn't see Ktown in the results at sea otter. Can you show me where he was in the results? He seems to be all talk. Ktown is not correct on the pine cars unless the variables are all accounted for. Many science experiments show that all being equal,l all objects accelerate and reach the same top speed unless certain variables are different. This is fact. List rare irrelevant variables if you like. Sea otter is not a great example as most WC riders don't bother showing up. Show me WC where an airborn is in the top 10 and we'll talk. I don't love light, but to say heavy falls faster is stupid. You are looking for any rare example of where heavier equals faster acceleration. There are such limited examples of this based on drag or air resistance,or friction that it is a mute point. A lighter object will produce less friction against the bearings etc etc etc. I have simply explained away all of Ktown's nonsense. He isn't running 29" wheels, which would follow his logic better. He isn't running extra ballast to make a 75lbs or 200lbs bike to have an advantage.If he was right, Sam Hill would run a 300lbs bike to beat Aaron Gwinn LOL. He hasn't posted any race results. He worked in a bike shop. Gig Fing deal. He makes BS claims. He lists partial explanations that are easily explained away. I may be an ass here, but I am sick of ignorant kids posting SHIT as fact.
  • - 2
 Ktown, a simple weld, re heat treating, and refinishing is a lot simpler than sanding mixing epoxy, and relaying carbon??? My God you make it easy to show off what an idiot you are. Carbon is way easier to repair than aluminum. Steel is easier than aluminum, and probably about the same as carbon.

Show a picture of your 200+lb DH with 29"wheels to show off how you have an advantage please. If a little weight = speed. more weight= more speed right?

NoSkid: I converted my Mojo SL to 650b. I love it. The steering is very similar to a slack trailbike, and the rolling resistance is close to a29er. The 69deg mojo acts like my El Guapo (67deg)in terms of steering and stability..
  • + 2
 A masters in architecture is only 5yrs at UNCC. I graduated HS at 17 i'm 23 now obviously you suck at math so trusting your physics is debatable. I never claimed to race at sea otter. he said the guy for Airborne raced. there is a youtube video for that. it doesnt matter if a WC shows up. if any amateur can get 5th with it imagine what a pro could do not to mention the outdated design and it weighs nearly 50lbs. thats good results for $1500 compared to these 5k+ carbon bikes. All pros were amateurs, you have to start somewhere. You do know there are people out there as good as pros that simply choose not to race or have yet to be discovered. you need to video search benderonie. He rides for pure enjoyment but that doesnt mean he hasen't been offered pro. And for the pinewood, the heavier car breaks static friction before a lighter car. thats why there are even weight limits in pinewood racing so all cars are equal weight. That was in my physics book I would scan the page and send it to you but this has gone too far i dont give a f*ck. I don't claim more weight equals more speed. there is a line were too heavy and too light are no good for downhill. I never said cross country because that changes everything. DH courses generally don't have too tight of turns compared to XC where a lighter bike would be more nimble.
  • + 2
 just so you know I did work at a bike shop. I was a simple sales man which meant i got to test every bike we had in stock. No laws of physics can argue which bikes I found more suitable and stable on the trails. You dont even know me to know how well i ride. I didnt make repairs but the guys that did told me patching carbon only covers but does not fix the crack it will get worse and crack again. and same with welds. truthfully any cracked bike should just be scrapped. as far as time it takes to fix either one...welding only takes a few seconds. sanding, mixing epoxy, and laying new carbon...youre kidding yourself. youre just a 41 year old troll going around looking for fights. this has gotten way off topic of the gearbox.
  • + 2
 the only ingorant person posting shit facts is you. I'm saying physics says a lighter bike should win but in some cases it doesn't. that is true. Most examples in a physic book are also always dulled down to flat surfaces and excluding drag or wind resistance doesn't apply so basing the overall which bike is better off physics doesnt prove anything. you're shit facts are trying to use physics to disprove my personal race times saying physics says thats impossible. no way a heavier bike can beat carbon. there is a reason heavy 26ers are still winning. thats cause its all boils down to the rider. wait a second thats what i've been trying to say the whole time! In downhill the heavier bike is better for most. I'm not saying heavier meaning exponentially increasing weight and speed. the principals of physics you are stating are in free fall. biking deals with wheels where static friction/drag, momentum and everything is in affect. a bumpy trail adds opposite reacting forces to the bike slowing it down but in most cases the heavier bike is carrying more momentum and glides over far easier. I tested light bikes and i tend to get hung up on roots easier. You just CANT base the better bike off physics in a book because trails have and add so many CHANGING variables that equations cant account for.
  • + 2
 Wow, what a lot of off topic trash and hair pulling shite. If you parked a dump truck on a slight hill in neutral, and put a skinny guy in front of it to hold it there. So say he can just hold it stationary to start with. Load that sucker up with dirt, and the skinny guy will soon be squashed and the truck rolling down the hill. A MTB is hitting obstacles. It's momentum has to provide enough force to pass over the obstacle. The more weight, the more power the momentum has. This is just to explain the debate above. There's many other variables. But in short I think there's a balance between to heavy to be maneuverable, and two light so it skips about and won't hold a line as well. Bigger wheels will role over stuff better also, and again might be too big to be maneuverable. Carbon can be repaired to be stronger, all depends on the crack and where it is. Welding bikes all depends on material and curing etc as to how weak the repair will be. Some of the new fancy metals that cure themselves after welding, probably also cure after repair.
  • + 0
 What happens when your momentum slows down your cornering? Every successful racer knows races are won in the corners. This is why you don't like 29ers, and why you should feel the improved performance of lighter bikes. This is the reason why every racing vehicle strives for lower weight. Lower weight accelerates faster, brakes faster and corners faster. Weight has an advantage when resisting deflection, but decreasing unsprung weight can do the same thing. The ratio between sprung, and unsprung weight is the important factor. Improving suspension does the same thing. We don't use stone tools, or even bronze tools anymore.

I'm done with this. Ktown has a trade degree, not a real degree. He is misleading people. I don't see any race team from ship racing, to airplane racing, to DH racing, to F1 to MX where a competitive team adds weight for an advantage. The lightest possible weight with the strength needed always is an advantage, unless you are going in a straight line trying to be knocked off course (football linesman for example.) The last time I checked, rode or raced DH, there were a lot of corners to deal with and a lot of jumps to maneuver and position the bike for the next obstacle.
  • + 0
 ktown, quote1:

in the downhill world the "lite bike" era makes no sense. I'm 100% sure a rock rolls downhill faster than a feather.

ktown last quote:

there is a reason heavy 26ers are still winning. thats cause its all boils down to the rider. wait a second thats what i've been trying to say the whole time!


I am confused LMAO!!!
  • - 1
 Damn, one last thing, in the moto world, the shift has been away from low c of g, to centralized mass. Low c of g allows easier lateral shifts, such as in setting up to corner, but centralized allows equal maneuverability in all directions. This has been an advantage on the SX courses where the bike must be manipulated in a variety of directions in varying conditions.
  • + 2
 Weight within reason obviously. My point is that less unsprung weight(and the other gearbox benefits)with slightly more centralized weight is more advantageous. Especially for DH bikes where the weight is getting low enough. The Zerode for example is maybe a touch on the heavy side(now lighter), but it's benefits outweigh any weight penalty, and it holds a line really well. As for the cornering analogy, there's not to many super tight corners in DH, it's all about keeping flow, and a 35lb+ bike will keep it's flow better in most situations than a sub 35lb bike IMO.
Tarmac cornering is not very relevant to this debate. Nor is Moto, where their bikes weights are still too heavy and can dominate the riders weight more easily.
This is about a trail bike though, and there are tighter corners on trails, and less momentum. Here the benefit is a lighter rear end, the centralized weight becomes more at one with the riders weight, rather than out back, and is easier controlled.
  • + 2
 coaa.uncc.edu/Academics/School-of-architecture/Students/Detail/21
Fellow class mate. Started in 07 graduated may 2012. With an NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture degree. That ain't no bullshit trade degree, dumbass.
This isn't the first debate about this issue on Downhill bikes and definitely won't be the last. But really it should be. Like the new demo, DH bikes going carbon are only a lb or two less and are carbon for strength only. There isn't much room for improvement on a DH bike's weight. DH originally started with tiny everyday hardtails then made big and bulky for strength and where/are still fast. There was an article here on pinkbike about the past DH a few months ago. To make them lighter, even with carbon, the frames need to be slimmer and that would just be a step back. I guess we all need to step back and ride lighter hardtails in DH again so we can enjoy lighter, faster bikes and more broken bones when the bike splits in half. These gearboxes are a great progression in biking. Far less parts to bash in DH and keeps the bulky rigidity DH bikes need especially right at the crank where the majority of the rider's weight stands. Want to ride DH? Forget riding light. It's not designed for it. Going light is a step back in DH.
  • + 2
 One last thing, Adults these days need to grow up. Going around bashing people's degrees because others became successful younger then they were is irrelevant in this. I only brought up my degree because I quote willie, "No I wasn't a top 10 rider, but I could actually afford to race at that level due to my education" With that logic I should be pro because of my masters. Just goes to show "education" isn't common sense and surly isn't maturity. Now, I have tater tots in the oven so I don't even care anymore.
  • + 1
 Wow, willie needs to use his education to do some simple research. I even went and researched it. uncc's masters of arch. program is only 5 years. I also found out Peter Eisenman a world famous Architect visits uncc to recruit bachelors of architecture students from uncc into the graduate school at yale. Yeah, I wouldn't call a degree from uncc a trade degree. willie has no clue what he's talking about. I figured that out and I'm not even from the states.
  • - 2
 Its a college, not a university. Trump up your bullshit degree. Getting a college engineering degree is not the same as a university engineering degree, or architecture, or whatever field. There are trade degrees, and university degrees. A university degree requires an undergraduate degree, then a 2-3 year masters degree. The trades work differently. A university educated professional wouldn't claim anything Ktown or Ihate state. They would have LEARNED that these ideas are false. We have college/universities here, and you cannot use your college degree as a prerequisite for a PHd. Does your college offer a PHd program? I think not so it isn't the same.
  • + 1
 UNCC means UNIVERSITY of north carolina at charlotte. dipshit.
  • + 2
 Oh and yes Peter Eisenman does come. Came and met him twice when I was a student. But of corse willie probably thinks he isn't professional either.
  • - 2
 The website calls it a college. You cannot go on to a Phd as I pointed out, which means a career dead end. Real masters degrees allow advancement. You clearly show off your education with your poor language skiils. The fact that you don't understand gravity shows off the quality of your education as well. There is a reason the USA has lost so much gtround to the rest of the world in the last 30 years. Unjustifyable arrogance. You have serious anger problems. You should get some counselling. If you really believed what you are saying, you wouldn't become upset when I point out your poor choice in education. You show off by protesting so much that you are trying to convince yourself of your education's value. I don't think any respectable university would accept your education to continue on.
  • + 2
 no one cares. this is pinkbike not pinkphd
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Three cheers to Pinion for honestly and quickly answering questions here. This system looks pretty cool! I hope it takes root and makes it way to one of my bikes one day!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I read some time ago about the Pinon and the Grip-Shift. They need the Grip-Shift because the Gear Box needs a length adjustment to shift properly.
  • + 3
 I found it. Was a Testdrive with a Nicolai Helius AM Pinion
"The reason for the Grip-Shift is the required range of motion of the cam shafts. The shaft has to turn 1020° between the lowest and highest gear. That is exactly what prevents the use of a real shift lever"

(Freely) Translation by me:
www.mtb-news.de/news/2011/08/23/nicolai-helius-am-pinion-fahrbericht-vom-ersten-mountainbike-mit-pinion-getriebe
  • + 1
 ehhhh thats not what it says :-p

haha, I didn't read the link.

but even if it does, the fact is the same - there is a cable that is used to move the mechanism which changes the gears... a trigger does it and a grip shift does it. They do it a bit differently, but one difference is how much cable you want to move with a 'click'. So some smart mech engineer should be able to solve the problem with either setup. Or is a hydraulic cable better for both? I hate when my reverb cable breaks from the seat connector... but my brakes never have had a problem.... I smell poor design here.
  • + 2
 Nice work Pinion!
If pulling more cable is necessary to get 1020 degrees [I'm sure all we trigger-shifters represent enough demand], this reminds me of the cantilever-to-linear-pull brake issue that "necessitated" new levers to go with everyone's new brakes. I remember Problem Solvers made a cheap, simple little cable-pull 'amplifier' ...ah here it is: problemsolversbike.com/products/travel_agents

Couldn't a clever bunch of engineers and machinists incorporate something like this for use with the triggers we love?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Did i miss comments/text about the weight of the system?

Could a belt system work here instead of chain? Would that help with chain/belt growth?
  • + 1
 You cannot have "belt growth" since belts require a constant tension. You could have a belt/ belts with this gearbox but the belt pulleys would have to be centered with the fixed pivot point. It would save a lot of weight but belts are also fairly expensive.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'm super excited about this! looks awesome! Please make a downhill version with fewer gears and a trigger shifter and you guys can have my money!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I think gearboxes in bikes are a good idea but am i missing something here. The whole point of gears is to change the ratio but with this gearbox the chaingring speed to rear wheels speed doesnt change. The only difference i can think of that this gearbox would make is to make it more difficult to pedal. I may have missed something and im sure the designers are much smarter than me but it just doesnt seem to make sence to me.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I have started building my own frames this year. I am definitely interested in these developments. Standardized mounting would be nice but unnecessary as the units will likely shring in the first 5 years of development.At that point standardization for road, XC, trail, AM and gravity could be implemented. I would be happy to build around any mounting pattern at this time. The advantages in unsprung weight and cable routing to the wheels is a huge advantage for suspension performance. The centralized weight will improve handling. Bring on the revolution. Grip shifting isn't a big deal, and electronics are sure to hit the MTB market in the next few years. Shimano's Di2 is now in Ultegra and alfine, and Campy has electronic shifting now. From what I understand, SRAM is still a year away from electronics, but its coming. (Sram has been defeloping road sets with hydraulics for the upcoming switch to disk brakes on the road.)
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Wiked feed back.... r we ready for these? Id say yes! Make mine an 8 speed please.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 correct me if im wrong but i believe we forgot to mension the reduced unsprung weight of this design. we are always looking to make a suspensions more active. I cannot wait to see where this will go in 5 years
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Dear Mr Falco,
We ordered two Nicolai Helius AM Pinion in November for an attempted delivery date end of february, no problem untill that day. In February, I received a phone call from our french distributor who spoke to us for end of march than .... end April or 2d week of May.

This famous week, we were waiting for such a long time, I received an email from our french distributor in which one Nicolai and Pinion are talking about a delivery date for end July. This email contained a Pdf from Nicolai and Pinion in date of the the previous week.
Working in mechanical design for several years, it seems to me that you perfectly kneew that you were going to be late two or three weeks before sending this famous email.

Reading this forum, you are speaking of a delivery date in August of that year, lightweight gearbox, downhill gearbox and so much more....

Our order is still going on... untill that day. What would happen if all of us, fifty or a hundred of us were canceling our order after waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

So could you please give a real delivery date... before we get all bored after waiting, and waiting.... with nothing else in the garage than my road bike and an expensive dream.

You might know that we are only a few of us to be crazy enough to spend 8500€ in a bike.

Best regards.

Lionel
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this will/could be the future
imagine a bike with no chain, with a belt... it could be possible, like in motorbikes
no more cleaning and greasing the chain, no more transmission kits worn out...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I guess no one likes derailleurs, and no one likes twistshifting, so we will have to balance our hates for one and another, and then decide which one to use...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Yes, finally a proper MOUNTAIN bike gear system
[Reply]
  • + 1
 My problem with grip shift is guys and dolls that ride a lot get this calious buildup of skin on the inside of your thumb and your hand stats to look like a foot.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 @willie1 yeah i read the article, i'm dyslexic, thanks guys. i don't pick up everything, sorry you had to be so obnoxious about a little comment I made.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 no more chain slapping
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Holy crankshaft, Batman....this is what I want for Cristmas !! :O
[Reply]
  • + 1
 strange build, truly stunned about how they took the concept of a cars transmission and put it in a bike! does it have a clutch?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 looks good hope they gone downhill.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 How about VOCAL-command shifting ? Just install a little mic in the full-face helmet, a relay down ... Lol.
  • + 1
 Bluetooth it from your helmet. Brilliant idea Schred.
  • + 1
 What happens when you inevitably shout " SHIT " when having an OTB moment ? Big Grin
  • + 2
 @ big bird. It despences a pre determined amount of toilet paper... :0)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "Sure skirts are a bit longer, cars uglier and we have iPads"

Everything that's wrong with the world we live in now, in one line.. BANG!
  • + 1
 Shit, maybe its just Cali.. But arent girls skirts shorter these days??
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This may be a stupid question, but with out a derailer won't the chain just snap or fall off when the bike goes through its rear travel?
  • + 0
 Look at the chain device behind the gearbox. Yes it is a stupid question. Your teacher was wrong. There are stupid questions. They are the ones where the answer is VERY easy to find, and the person asks instead of trying to figure it out.
  • + 1
 I see you went through the comments and picked out all the stupid questions. (ex. Your answer to milkdrop). But thank you for answering my question. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 3
 love it, 10 sp. casette, pftttttt, this is the future
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Now is the time to go ahead and innovate the external chain, to a carbon shaft drive system.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It would be great if they could just use current ISCG tabs as mounting points for aftermarket gear boxes. Also, I hope they will be offered at a reasonable price point...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 no more dereailers smashed off by rocks
[Reply]
  • + 3
 having run Alifne hubs for a couple of years, its def the way forward.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Awesome concept, would love to have a go. The bikes so muck like an SX trail.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Finally, this thing is coming close to production. Can't wait till shimano rethinks and copies the idea (they do have alfine right?) and gearboxes become mainstream.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think that zerode gearbox is better,that pinion gearbox has too many gears and a grip shift.We should wait for a couple of years for the next generation
[Reply]
  • + 1
 anyone hazard a guess as to how much the complete bike as tested would cost? I love it, but can I justify it?
[Reply]
  • - 2
 I dont see where its really necessary unless it gives the power of a gas powered engine to a manual pedal stroke. it wouldnt even mount to the dream bikes we already have. Just Make a bomb proof derailluer instead of having me chop up a perfectly decent bike just to mount this (going to be overpriced and useless) gadget
[Reply]
  • - 2
 "18 well spaced gear selections in sequence" - sequential shifting ?? What about shifting speed over large range - can you considerably change you ratio quickly ? Unless you can do this - the thing is useless. With rapidfire when you are on trail decending fast and after turn you must immidiately pedal uphill you just drop from 36 to 22 in front.
  • + 3
 How about trying to read the article? Its not that hard, really it isn't.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Im 100% down for.this keep up the great work.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that might be the only gearbox bike that I think looks good. Probably is the future, but no grip shift!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Weight at their site lists: 2700 grams hub and sprocket,316 for crank,115 for the shifter, so not light.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 grip shift can go screw itself, other then that cool concept. frame does look alot like specialized SX
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They should replace the chain on the system with a drive belt. That way u wouldn't have to deal chain links breaking
  • + 2
 im sure as soon as you don't have the chain moving from side to side like you have on your average derailleur, broken chain links wont be an issue Wink
  • + 1
 Very true, the chain is running straight, and lasts a lot longer. A belt wouldn't work well through the chain tensioner. and belts at present are dud, plain and simple.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 a 7 speed hub with a extencible shaft is better than all this complicated kind of stuff.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This looks like a good idea,hope they do refine the final production little a better package.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 In my opinion its more parts to go wrong. Its a brilliant idea but it would just have to be extremely reliable for me to prefer it over single speed and derailleurs.
  • + 2
 Count up all the parts in your derailleurs and current shifters. Add in cross chaining, and smashing chainrings on rocks. Don't forget the freehub and pawls, as well as the group of gears on the cassette. Seems to me you are flawed in your logic. Do people not think about what they write before its posted?
  • + 1
 I ride single speed so it'll be a bit difficult to count parts on a derailleur and shifters and cross chain ring. And dont ride to rocks thats just retarded.
  • + 0
 You are comparing apples to oranges then. This is not an attempt to improve on a single speed setup. BTW, there are rocks and logs everywhere. Have you not noticed the number of bash guards and chain retention devices on AM bikes. WTF????
  • + 1
 Cool story bro!
  • + 1
 I think you'll find it may well be much more reliable, and durable than single speed. The pinion has gears to lessen the load on the drive train.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 TOO MANY GEARS!
  • + 2
 Nuvinci 360
[Reply]
  • + 1
 is someone out there assembling a history of all the diff gearbox bikes to come and go? would make for a good read.
  • + 4
 I think Nicolai have a good collection of info on their site.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I wonder how sram n shimano are going to bite back with.
  • + 1
 Nothing until they start loosing profit. Couple of years off at least I'd imagine.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 If they sell this I will buy it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Promising! Any idea about the weight of the gearbox with shifter?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Well... This looks fucking awesome.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 A pity that this box needs a chain tensioner on this frame. Please try it on a frame like Kowan DS or NS Soda.
  • + 2
 For that the box has to be modified to fit the chainstay, but isn't it a good option ?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I reckon the Zerode bikes have a much better set-up.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Do the electronic shifting. two buttons on both sides of the bar. much lighter setup + easier to use
[Reply]
  • + 1
 lose the gripshift, and if you can make it more compact and universal the design is improving every time i see it keep it up
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Might consider it if they can one day manage to make them lighter and not weigh like 7 pounds..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 anybody remeber the honda dh bike with a gearbox??? what ever happened with that...?
  • + 1
 THEY ALL GOT CRUSHED WHEN THE TEAM ENDED SO THE TECH COULDN'T BE PASSED ON TO RIVAL COMPANYS
  • + 1
 Honda came, made heaps of patents to fcuk it for everyone else, guessing for scooters, and motos too, then moved on.
  • + 3
 I think it is unfair to dis Honda for fielding a WC DH team, pushing innovation at the highest level and then succeeding. Isn't that what racing is all about? The back story was that the Honda GB concept was brought to management by an employee and that Honda funded it through an internal program that encourages its workers to innovate outside its 'Corporate Box' - pretty much just for fun.

There was a Honda-patented variable transmission that was supposed to be on the racebikes, but it never worked out. The final design, the one that was raced by GM, was basically a derailleur mech that operated in an enclosed box - chains, cassette and everything. Of course, it was higher tech than that, but not exactly a gearbox as we understand it..Check out the shifter if you can Google the pics - it's a modified Shimano XTR trigger. This info came from a mid-season tech story that I was involved in when the bikes were competing on the WC circuit. The possibility that Honda developed a third, geared tranny was well within their power.

Honda, like most motorsports companies, crushes almost all of its promotional equipment that is used internationally - racebikes, cars, you name it.

It does save historical examples for its museum. I'll bet a tooney that GM's bike is there.
RC
  • + 1
 Thanks for clearing up my misconceptions RC. I'll leave my comment up for others to read before your correcting retort.
  • + 2
 No worries NoSkidMarks. Every voice contributes. RC
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Looks like an SX Trail with a gear box!!! grip shift come on, is this trigger shift compatible?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 just got me a sram x9 rear mech, love it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Finally a cool looking gearbox bike! Just lose that grip shifter...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I want this in my garage...........sharpish.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What did the bike weigh? Did I miss it?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 DO THEY MAKE A BASH GUARD TO ?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 6 or 9 gears version with triggers - and I will start thinking about it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What is the estimated price???
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Can we get an update? This is great stuff!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 twist shifts suck dick
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Seems reallt simular to one of the reality redesign contestant
  • + 4
 except this one actually is capable of pedaling and moving forward.
  • + 1
 and was designed quite some time before I'd imagine.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 VIDEO or it didnt happen!
[Reply]
  • - 2
 the only fault in any current bike is not its gear system but the rider! if the rider didnt crash then the bike wont break! simples!
  • + 3
 Yeah or if the der. didnt get ripped off on rocks, roots. Need adjusting every 3 months. Stretch chains, and make a ton of noise. Once DW launches his DH gearbox bike with help from the big boys it's gonna blow the industries minds!
  • + 0
 Also reducing the unsprung weight will improve suspension performance! Actually I think a rider that doesn't crash isn't a very good rider at all. If you're pushing yourself to improve your riding, eventually you will pay the price for what could be a relatively small mistake.
  • + 0
 brilliant....reduce unsprung weight and increase sprung weight! as for a rider being shit just because he/she doesnt crash! what a load of shit! i guess a pilot is not a good pilot until he/she crashes too?
  • + 1
 Clearly you have no understanding of the mechanics of suspension, unsprung weight causes a significant decrease in the efficiency/effectiveness of the suspension. How is flying a plane like riding a bike? Lets have a look at some of the riders who have crashed recently: Aaron Gwin, Gee Atherton, Rachel Atherton, Tracy Mosely, Josh Bryceland, Steve Peat, Troy Brosland, Danny Hart... Need I name any more? Clearly to be the best you have to push your limits - which will eventually will lead to a crash!
  • + 0
 clearly you have no idea about keeping sprung weight under control...and just moving the weight from unsprung to sprung is not an improvement but to get all you can from improving one you need to make sure your not making the other worse! and well done you name dropped! you still dont have to crash to be good at something!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 it just looks so heavy
[Reply]
  • + 0
 this is really great job, but don`t like shift grip
[Reply]
  • - 1
 What does that mean that they are going to start making gearboxes on bikes? Ok -.-
[Reply]
  • - 3
 also if someone could explain, is it all gripshift, or will there be trigger shifters they didn't seem to cover that in the story?
  • + 4
 Did you read the article? How about the explanation from the manufacturer on why they have to use the method they are? How about all the people who have lousy riding skill and complain about the gripshifters because it's the bikes fault they use too firm of a grip on the bars?
[Reply]
  • - 3
 I think we have a new problem to solve: All that cables...
  • + 3
 I think it is actually the same amount of cables as a conventional derailleur system
[Reply]
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