Zerode G-1 Gearbox DH Frame Leaps Two Performance Barriers

Apr 25, 2012 at 13:00
Apr 25, 2012
by Richard Cunningham  
 
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Ride a high-pivot swingarm DH or AM bike like the Orange and you'll discover that the rearward axle path and strike angle that the configuration produces dominates over the rocks and roots. Unfortunately, chain-torque issues caused by the conventional chain-line of a derailleur bike defeat any advantages of the high-pivot suspension design. Chain growth is a huge negative factor with conventional high-pivot design - to the point that most bike makers have long abandoned the concept. Zerode, however, has taken a different, more successful tack on the matter. By placing a gearbox high in the frame, aligned with the swingarm's pivot, the Zerode G-1 circumvents the chain-growth problem entirely. In fact, the Zerode gearbox design only requires a minimal chain take-up device on the rear and a single guide mounted near the upper side of the gearbox drive sprocket to manage a whopping, 9.25 inches of travel.

Zerode Frame
Zerode G-1 Frame Details:
-Travel: 9.25 inches
-Gearbox:8-speed modified Shimano Alfine hub
-Frame: Aluminum, 1.5-inch head tube, high-pivot swingarm with a primary and secondary chain drive
-Near-Concentric chain line eliminates suspension bob and produces active suspension
-Frame supplied with Fox DHX RC4 shock, shifter, gearbox, chain tensioner, rear sprocket and spacer kit, rear axle
-Price: $3495 USD


While the Zerode G-1 is known by many riders. I was intrigued by the well-executed design and thought I'd give the New Zealand DH design a closer look. The frame is beefed up where it needs to be, with a pair of CNC-machined spars holding up the gearbox and drive bits. The shock is tucked low in the frame and driven by a large aluminum rocker that doubles as a stabilizer for the chainstay suspension link. In effect, the G-1 is a single pivot suspension turned up-side down. The gearbox is then conveniently located in-line with the high-pivot swingarm so that a lot of suspension movement creates only a tiny bit of chain slack - which is easily taken up by a derailleur-style jockey pulley arrangement near the rear sprocket.

Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub converted by Zerode
Zerode takes an eight-speed Shimano Alfine planetary gear hub and converts it to a gearbox with the addition of two torque plates that incorporate chain adjusters and a sweet looking drive-sprocket that bolts onto the hub's spoke flange. It looks pretty sexy.

Zerode says that the weight of the modified Shimano Alfine hub and its trigger shifter is nearly the same as the parts that it replaces - roller chain guide, rear derailleur, and cassette, but that probably refers to a heavy low-end drivetrain setup. I'd bet that the Zerode gearbox arrangement gains some weight where it supports the Alfine hub and extra drive gears that isn't calculated into the equation. Still, a look around the Zerode G-1 indicates that its designers have been around the block. It's well executed. The Zerode G-1 comes in small and large sizes and its geometry and purchase options can be found on the Zerode website.

High pivot swingarm and lower shock link
A look under the Zerode G-1 shows that chainstay link of the swingarm pulls on a beefy rocker link as the suspension compresses, which then drives the shock. Two machined-aluminum plates surround the moving bits of the G-1 - a sturdy configuration that keeps much of the frame's weight centrally located.

The Zerode website claims that the rearward axle path that the G-1 swingarm scribes is the natural angle that the rear wheel is deflected when hitting a square-edged or substantial-sized bump. This plays out in the real world, as similar suspension designs have simply owned the rocks on many of the world's toughest courses. Science also says that the in-line chain path of the Zerode will negate the negative chain torque issues that plague the high-pivot genre. In addition, by transferring the weight of the cassette and rear derailleur to the center of the bike and off of the wheel, the Zerode reduces unsprung weight in the suspension, making it quicker to respond to terrain. So far, so good.

Zerode drive detail Zerode photo - right
A 34-tooth crankset drives the hub-gearbox and then a separate chain runs from the gearbox to a single rear drive sprocket. The transmission has the spread of a conventional 11 x 34 cassette. Photo on right courtesy of Zerode

Two items, however, remain questionable. No high-pivot suspension that I have ridden has been neutral in braking. In fact braking has a tendency to lock up the suspension with minimal pressure on the rear brake lever. Also, 9.25 inches of rear wheel travel is almost unheard of on the Pro DH racing circuit these days, mainly because riders want low bottom bracket heights for cornering and thus must be willing to sacrifice suspension travel to achieve this goal. It would be interesting to ride a Zerode to see if the rough-ground benefits of the suspension outweigh the slightly higher bottom bracket necessary for its extra wheel travel. When that happens, expect a full report- RC
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242 Comments

  • + 90
 ohhh, had to make an account and comment for sure. i own and ride one of these. they are good. very good.
  • + 24
 I wanna see some videos! Wink
  • + 12
 would that not make the center of gravity in the frame higher?
  • + 8
 He's right, geometry wise they've adopted a new 63.5 head tube, 356 BB height and a short 422mm chainstay, what's not to love ? tup
  • + 14
 I ride one too. Try one you will go faster.
  • + 11
 RC I'm sure you will be impressed when you do get the chance to ride one! i used to work for the uk importer (prestige cycles) so have had the pleasure of a ride on one and have to say the suspension is unreal!! so smooth and near enough silent on the trails , the rear end dose suffer slightly from brake jack but no worse then most other suspension designs iv ridden (vpp,dw,split link,four bar) , even tho it has 9.25 inches of travel it still maintains good pedal performance and it quite lively , pops out of corners like a rat out of a drainpipe!
  • + 6
 one option, (if you enjoy thinking up stupid ideas like I do) would be to replace the alfine hub with a standard mtb hub and go singlespeed haha, or even use a hammersmidt for dual speed.
  • + 5
 i also own and ride one and i will say its second to none in the rough stuff...and cornering and braking is just as good as any other DH bike ive ridden...one thing it doesnt mention is that it weighs a bit more than the avg race bike( mine is at 43 lbs) for all the weight weenies out there
  • + 9
 Nutter, they squat under braking, not "Jack", so the rear compresses like the forks do, keeping geo consistent, with 9.25" travel, it doesn't stop the bike eating bumps, but does give you more feel for the rear tyres traction.
Mine is well under 43lbs. Weight is irrelevant IMO anyway with these, as it's all centered and the rear is so light and flickable. I actually like the centered ballast weight of the gearbox and shock, keeps the bike stable.
  • + 7
 agreed! i find mine very nice and ballanced, the central weight makes it feel lighter than it is also. also have never felt anything awkward with braking
  • + 2
 i'd throw the fallbrook technologies NU VINCI hub on that thing for some 'cvt' action!

www.fallbrooktech.com/cycling

tasty.
  • + 1
 Do you ever hit the lower shock mount on the ground?...looks dangerously low to the ground.
  • + 3
 Carbon guard covers the mount, so it takes any hits.
They're not as low as they look. Zerodes run a 32tooth chainring, so it's higher the every other bike running 36-38 and/or Bashie/Tacho. So you hit it less than you would any other DH bike. Carbon guard is replaceable, but can handle heaps of hits anyway. None of the 11 Zerode customers in Australia(all aprox 1 year old)have needed a new carbon guard yet.
With the new Can Creek Double Barrel option, it's even less of an issue as the piggy back angles up following the frame.
You'd have more chance of your Fox RC4 blowing it's piggy back up itself than a Zerode destroying it on a rock.
But yes, I've hit mine, no drama. The real downside to the carbon guard is it's noisy on sandy type tracks with front tyre debris hitting it, and wrecks the otherwise silent ride of the Zerode. Still quieter than other bikes but.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I looked again at the pic. Seems legit, thanks for the info.
  • + 3
 I wonder what it would take to have the chance to try one of these? I would be very very interested in giving one a go
  • + 2
 I have got one of these frames (bought from prestige cycles) and though I dont have very extensive knowledge of other DH bikes as my previous was a 2008 Gambler FR10, this bike rides so smooth under braking and at speed, and as NoSkidMarks has said the weight being centered actually give a lovely feel of stability in the bike, which then means enjoyment when coming to downhill runs and large drops.
  • + 4
 please, biking industry, give us gearaboxes! leave derailleurs for road and XC!
  • + 2
 saw my 1st one at a race this weekend, they look awesome !
  • + 1
 It's awesome to see someone doing something that is actually different!!! Removing all of the weight from the rear wheel has got to make the rear suspension a lot more responsive. Would be fun to try it out.
  • + 2
 if your even in Rotorua, NZ to ride let me know. i will be more than happy to let you have a ride on mine.
[Reply]
  • + 28
 WHY arent they using BELT DRIVE? No stretch, lighter, easier. I asked them at sea otter and they said it was too expensive... while they were in a booth next to a belt system company.... im sure they could figure something out.
  • + 4
 I agree; if they're taking the "leap" for the gearbox, why not go the extra mile and throw the belt in. One less place to worry about too!
  • + 28
 cause there is no real issue with using a chain, think about the chain on a single speed, you barely need to touch the thing cause of the decreased wear and one of the things zerode were going for was to use standard mtb parts to keep it all simple to build and maintain day to day
  • + 6
 Fair enough.. standard mtb parts obviously mean ease of maintenance and reboot if the bike crashes (lol programming term).
  • + 31
 Do you not have to split a chain to assemble it onto the bike? Correct me if I'm wrong but you can't split a belt and assemble it.
  • + 3
 what happens if u need to take the belt off or put one back on? i think the pin/master link is super easy to work with with a conventional chain. other than that, and i guess the cost, belt drive seems perfect for gear box
  • + 1
 @mrbump12- took me 7mins to read, think, and comment, sorry for the repeat. exactly the problem im seenin tho
  • + 1
 No worries buddy, I can see belt drive happening sometime when/how I'm not sure. But the belt would have to have some interlocking connection or link/pin somehow.
  • + 14
 if belt drive were the solution dirtbikes would run them
  • + 3
 Looks like it as been done before...They created a removable section within the frame.

www.cyclingnews.com/features/photos/nahbs-2012-part-6-alliance-to-wound-up/211665
  • + 9
 Quick answer: you can't use a belt for this bike.

Long answer: Belt drives all need a split in the rear stays to accommodate the belt coming from inside the rear triangle to outside (because you can't split a belt as carlmontnative correctly states). You could to get the belt through the stays with this bike but it would entail undoing the pivot nearest the rear axle for one belt and taking the swingarm off and removing the gearbox for the other.

But that's all academic because you can't put a belt on this bike because the chain length changes - hence the need for a rear derailler. Belts need very high tension on them so that they don't slip. Belts and their 'sprockets' are also much wider and I doubt you'd fit two past each other where they cross at the front.
  • - 2
 Thats not why actually, this bike DOES HAVE CHAIN GROWTH (just not alot) hence the rear tensioner der. tucked inside the right dropout.

If Zerode were to move the upper pivot to the axle of the "gearbox" then you would be able to run a belt on the secondary jackshaft drive. (tween the "gearbox" and rear cog)
  • + 5
 To answer your question in an engineering sense:

A belt drive has a lower efficiency than a chain!
Also an Alfine hub has a lower efficiency than a normal cassette and mech.
You would loose between 5% and 10% power with a belt drive.
The way it is just now is the most efficient drive train, up to 98% efficient.

Oh... and belts will stretch unless they are too heavy and more inefficient .
  • + 7
 Betsie, interesting point which I can back-up with real-world experience. One of the guys at a shop I did some work for rode the same route to work day in and day out and he timed it every day. He switched his singlespeed commuter for a belt drive and he was two to three minutes slower on that 50 minute commute from then on. We all scratched our heads as to why. That entire shop was full of internal hubs and fixies and singlespeeds etc so they jumped on the Carbon Drive when it came out - they even got sprockets machined from titanium to lower the weight! They lost interest in belt drive in about six months.
  • + 0
 Getting the belt on wouldn't be a problem because the frame could be taken apart at the pivots, as far as the efficiency of a belt, not a clue
  • + 5
 Belt drive is dumb.

Think of the packaging concerns too - in this case the width of the belt/belt sprockets themselves.
  • + 2
 Typical efficiency figures are Chain 98% and Belt 95%. Even if you could work out a way to get a belt on your bike (without dismantling the frame) your still loosing power. How in hell will marketing guru's sell that to the general population?
I love the bike, Its clean, well engineered and just something different. If the DEMO ever goes a Zerode will replace it.
  • + 7
 I have handled too many warranty claims for Gates Belt Drive in my workshop, all for commuting bikes using the belt system

typical problems are stripped rear cog (where it interfaces with freehub body), damage to rear hub bearings, damage to bottom bracket bearings, and even snapped belts

all related to over tight belt tension, which is supposed to be "set" using a manual Gates 'Pitch tool' or their I-Phone APP where your I-Phone records the sound and compares this to the specification for belt torque

without getting the belt tension within a 10% +/- range you suffer from these wear problems, or if set too lose, then from "ratcheting" where the looser belt slips over the cog teeth under high pedalling loads and damages the belt

not sure what the customer is supposed to do, if they puncture, and don't have the right Pitch tool to reset the belt tension....

belt drive seems to be a "solution to a problem that does not exist" and the efficiency of a belt is nowhere near that of even a dirty and worn chain!
  • + 3
 Hampstead, some years ago I was talking with a guy from Spot bikes at Sea Otter (I was showing him a steel 29er he lent us that we put a Schlumpf dual-speed crankset on - I rode it that arvo and the entire package was astoundingly good). I was playing with a Gates belt as I spoke to him and feeling its suppleness. In doing so I made it go into a smallish radius - I put absolutely no force on it at all. He grabbed the belt from me and threw it in the bin because I had 'damaged' it. He said "You can't do that with those belts". I can't really describe what I had done to you, but I can say that I was super suprised that I had done terminal damage to that belt practically by accident.
  • + 6
 Wow, I am impressed. Good feedback and no senseless name calling and ranting. It seems pinkbike is taking a turn for the better. I initially thought belt would be good because of the weight, turns out it would basically suck. Chains for the win!
[Reply]
  • + 19
 Pivot too high, brake jack, shock in a funny place, chain growth,looks heavy,bad engagement...blah bla blah blah. To all you experts out there!, this is a working bike that is in production and sold worldwide.... IT WORKS VERY WELL, GET OVER IT!...
  • + 1
 Oats son, big respect.
[Reply]
  • + 21
 I really hope this gearbox trend catches on. I hate derailleurs!
  • + 11
 Amen brutha!
[Reply]
  • + 16
 Okay I am answering your questions.

The Banshee Legend MKII we had built with exact same kit was 40LBS even the Zerode was 41.5 So you gained about 1.5. The 2012 frame has 1.5 LBS removed. The new frame will build to 38 easily. We did not use any Carbon or XC stuff on our test sled. In fact we didnt even use a Ti spring.

The BB is 14" it corners very well. The weight is centered and not very high. In fact it was one of the best cornering DH bikes I have tested in last 2 years.

Very easy to ride. You can ride from the middle without heavy front or rear weighting. The Gearbox allows for no chain growth and keeps suspension fully active. If you rode one and the hub engagement was an issue it was not set up correctly.

The trail bike is in works............
  • + 1
 the trail bike looks good to. ive seen it out being tested a few times at rotorua!
  • + 3
 Does anybody know when the carbon trail bike will be released?
[Reply]
  • + 15
 According to the Zerode website, the bottom bracket height is 355mm. Which is the same as the Wilson, TR450, and Aurum. It's lower than the Session and V10.

Am I missing something? How is the BB high compared to other bikes?
  • + 3
 Is the 9.25" travel all vertical travel? If they measured it at a horizontal angle (including any rearward travel) then there is no reason why the bb couldn't be as low as any other dh bike.
  • + 3
 oooh i like the sound of that, not all the travel is vertical, it includes the rearward axle path of the bike which is what makes this bike eat the bumps so well.
[Reply]
  • + 15
 hahahahaha sayin that that sort of rear of travel is unheard of in world cup dh...... clearly nobody told that to Greg Minnaar!!! HA
[Reply]
  • + 11
 These things do ride really well, The first time I took it down a run I've done a 1000x in Morzine I felt right at home hitting sections faster and smoother than before.

Yep the weight is higher... but I came from a 36lb Socom build to this and it felt fun and stable. The Socom feels more skittery so the weight isn't even a negative point just a different riding style.

A fixed rear wheel would be good but I can't say I noticed a massive lag on the drivetrain.

Main benefits - super smooth handling of square edge bumps, very quiet and bombproof setup (no more lost mechs and mashed wheels) and also helping fund a small company produce a frame that others have struggled with.

They aint for everyone but I think I'd be hard pressed to hand on heart say the feel of the suspension is some of the best I've felt on a dh bike.
[Reply]
  • + 14
 CG looks really, really high... Wonder how it will ride
  • + 37
 hahaha I had to scroll up and thought to myself " huh ? I didn't see any pics of Cedric..."
  • + 5
 The bike is only 15-20% or so of the bike + rider weight.. Would a couple pounds 6 or 8" higher on the bike make that big of a difference?
  • + 3
 lux-freerider, i scrolled up aswell, and i didnt see a pic of gracia, nor did i see any methods of getting high!
  • + 8
 They don't that's a stupid myth. A higher cog caused by the a hub + shock being a few inches higher (together weighting 2kg) are 3% of your weight. Good cockpit length and low bb means MUCH more to effective CoG. Also 14 inches on a 9.25'' frame is not a high bb.
[Reply]
  • + 12
 Regarding the point that 9.25 inches of rear travel is over-kill, it's less than a V10.
  • - 7
 V-10s are adjustable to 8,5 inches of travel.
  • + 13
 But look at how bad V10's are on pedally tracks like PMB and Canberra. Oh hang on...
  • + 1
 I've got an older V10. It's a 2007 and it's not adjustable.
  • + 18
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  • + 9
 RC has nothing on this, if they give the bike to him for a review i'm removing my pb acc. also the brake jack argument is ridiculous, just think about it. this bike is pure pwnage in gnarly courses, just don't expect to be able to manual the thing.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 they look better and better each time! i start to want one.
  • + 7
 if you get the chance buy one. you will never reget it, and you'll make all the demo boys jealous
  • + 7
 Agree. By far the best bike I have ridden!
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Not heavy, I had this frame here built to 39.4 lbs, and the 2012 frames are 1.5 lbs lighter, which will put my 2012 build right around 37.9, which is right where my 2011 demo 8 came in roughly. I wouldnt care if this bike weighed more, it still rides better than anything I have used, and pedals better for sure!
[Reply]
  • + 10
 Release the trail bike! Pleeease!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 There is a mistake in this article, this bike has brake squat, and not brake jack. Small amounts of brake squat are desirable in a suspension system since it counters the forward leaning motion of braking in general and keeps the geometry more responsive to bumps.
[Reply]
  • + 10
 looks like the reality redesigned winner just got one upped!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Bring on the Trail Bike! 150mm travel Please!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 They are a great bike to ride, I rode a mates at cwmcarn last year and had an awesome time, probably the fastest I've ridden there and really quiet.
I don't recall the rear suspension locking up under braking; I had a single pivot Gary fisher kingfisher at the time so I know what that feels like.
The BB height seemed fine also.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 God please don't let RC test ride it. I like his tech stuff but his DH bike reviews were horrible and him claiming zerode bb is high for a 9.25'' travel is silly. It's similar to intense m9 bb height so what's the problem?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I am lucky enough to own a Lahar M9 and have ridden a Zerode G1. The Lahar is the better under brake squat, you can brake much harder and later as it is so predictable even at big lean angles. The Zerode is more flickable and nicer to jump. The biggest and most impressive feature of bikes of this type is the fact that the concentrated weight is right between your ankles when pedals are level. This is when all the shifting of body weight and bike manipulation is going on the most. If only they could manual like a Demo! If it became feasible one day, A carbon Zerode would be the ultimate.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Fort William World Cup DH. This bike, pref under some young super fast and reckless pro rider, as opposed to a tall sprinter type. Lets see its actions/results speak for itself.
  • + 3
 You can find many race results of Zerodes on the podium. Most that are raced here in Oz are on the podium every race. Better to ask any owners if they're faster, that rules out the rider as far as race results go, unless you compare their results from the previous year(non Zerode), then I'm sure you'd see they're faster.
  • + 5
 N s m is right, I recently went faster than last year in a local race plus I was on one leg(injury)and it was pissing down.these bikes are so fast compared to other fancy linkage bikes I have had. Shame I have to sell. Shameless plug!
  • + 5
 Lots of the top local NZ riders are on Zerode and they are killing it this year!
[Reply]
  • + 7
 NZ designed baby!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Just got back from Morzine where I got to ride the Zerode G1:
Approaching the bike it looked just as good in real life as it does in pictures. Unlike some of its competitors it is not particularly light- although this one was built up with some truly high end parts. Compressing the suspension in a stand still felt slightly odd because the bike actually stretches a little due to the unusually high main pivot.
On the trail I felt right at home and confident. The bike's most prominent characteristic is probably its balance. The bulk of the bike is located right in the center and as low as possible, giving it a light and maneuverable feel while maintaining a stoic quality on straights and in high speed turns. The suspension felt taut and playful, yet very smooth in the face of those french pistes littered with brake shafts.
I've been avoiding single pivot bikes for a couple of years because I dislike the brake jack usually encountered- this one however showed only a whiff more than my GIANT Glory '09. Pedalling however did feel quite different: it seemed a lot more efficient, compressing the suspension noticeably less. As for the gearbox's performance- forget everything you've gotten used to with your derailleur mech- Alfine means instant gear selection- period. Last but not least the silence experienced while riding the Zerode is a real treat for your ears.
All in all the G1 has a laid back character that likes to paint the town red - very nicely balanced...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It's a great bike!
There are improvements I can think of for the G2.
The main pivot and gearbox output sprocket on the same axis, with a small eccentric cam at the dropout would do away with the need for a derailleur and look a lot better.
160-180 travel, mini DH version.
Full carbon, internal routing. I'm told that on a run of only 500 bikes, carbon becomes cheaper than aluminium to manufacture(true?). Zerode, you should go for it.
I don't know anyone using 11-34 for DH. I would have thought 11-23 or 11-21 would be ideal for an 8s box. Will Shimano ever make that? I almost bought a Giant Cityspeed flat bar road bike for the ride to work this year. What attracted me was the clean line of the internal hub. What killed my enthusiasm was the far too widely spaced gears of the Alfine hub.
I'll wait to see what the MK2 looks like in a few years, but definitely I am interested in the concept. It's the first bike I've seen which really breaks the mould since the Cannondale DHF, in my opinion. Totally out of left field and fantastic looking.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I can't wait till they come out with an AM frame!!! mate that gearbox with a hammerschmidt and you'd have plenty of ratios to run, I think the only thing that will be tricky to overcome with a frame such as this is making it lightweight while keeping it strong with out making it carbon, If they made an AM frame and it was under $2700 I'd be down for one
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Its 9.25 inches of travel is probably actual travel (rearward and vertical movement of the axle) rather than vertical which would be less so i dont think the comments about bb height etc are really warranted. Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 just a silly one: is it not more simple to to put the alfine hub in it's place? i mean, in the rear wheel? i guees it can be a problem for DH whith all the wheel movement up and down but sure the is a way of produce a reinforced alfine or whatever rear hub whit gears in it. i'm not an expert in bike desing so there must be a reason why there is not something like that in the market for DH. Explanations are wellcome!
  • + 6
 erpipon

The Alfine acts as an Idler wheel ALA Canfield/Brooklyn. The High Pivot's issue of chain growth is thus eliminated and makes it 100% active the entire time. ALso you save weight off rear wheel making small bump compliance super good.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have one of these. Rides very smooth and fast. Weighs in @ 40# on the nose. I am not much of a jumper so the weight is not at all an issue for me .Bike hugs the ground and plows through anything. Not one bit of slowdown on square edge hits.. As far as the center of gravity, fells no different than any other bike. Maybe I am not good enough to feel the weight distribution. I am pretty sure most people wouldn't.
Bike is quiet as can be even in the rough stuff. Gearbox is interesting. Great thing about it is once you get the hang of it, making downshifts or upshifts without the need to pedal really shaves the seconds compared to traditional shifting in the same situations

. Only negative thoughts so far: some tolerances are very tight. have not had it in the mud yet so not sure if it will be an issue. For me the carbon shock guard is a mistake. mine is already busted. I hear the new bikes will be coming with poly pro plastic guards. not as trick as carbon, but probably more durable. The guard mounting is quite interesting, but makes it hard to pull the guard off to adjust the shock. I ended up using velcro. easy on, easy off and stays put.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 why the hell is the company called zerode bikes when they only make one bike?????

also can they either ano the links and that stuff orange or put the stickers in gold.... seeing the two clashing would piss me off on a 3500 frame!!!!
  • + 1
 You havent seen the new frame eh? The Carbon AM version will be out eventually

www.downhillnews.com/storage/WX8P0162.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1335559923568
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I went to Hong Kong at the weekend and stopped in at Gravity Reaction to have a look over this bike. They don't have one built up, just an ex-demo fram without a shock. It is very, very heavy. Even without a shock, it was noticably heavier than the other frames I held, such as TR250 and Wilson. Build quality looks great for the most part, albeit a little too industrial looking for my taste. The other thing I noticed was that the width of the frame between your knees is very wide because of that hub. I ride a Corsair with a low swingarm setup and there is only the width of a tube between your knees. I dislike Giant's Maestro bikes because the linkage always twats my knees in corners. This is even wider, but on the other hand it doesn't actually move at that point so it wouldn't hit you, but you might hit it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've seen these bikes in Lac Blanc France a couple of times- they're gorgeous! And I love the gearbox idea and how it's a small company that's come up with this rig! I'll make sure to test ride one during my holidays in Morzine.
I take it the rear axle is a 150x12mm? And I'd guess the BB to be 83mm wide? Any issues reliability wise (bearings, gearbox, etc.)?
Hope I'll be able to get the cash sometime... .
As for the braking issues- too bad they're not running a system similar to TREK, DEVINCI and BERGAMONT- That would just be the cherry on top! *I dislike patent pending... !*
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Now if only they would make a carbon version. Then that would be an awesome bike!
  • - 5
 This guy must be in Al Queda!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 u all need to watch the video of youtube of this bike, i nearly hit the buy button after watching, that rear wheel path is something out the box, and i love the gearbox idea, and that they aren't trying to re-invent the wheel by using a hub box, great stuff all-round, the braking issue seem to have calls for concern, need a good video of one in action me thinks
  • - 3
 This design is not new. It's basically a hack off Lahar's design... in almost every way, minus a slightly different lower linkage setup. Other than that this design has been done, and proved VERY successful.
  • + 2
 that's basicly a hack of a Sunn, that's a hack of a GT RTS etc etc. Doesn't change how good Zerodes are in any way. Would love it if Lahar had kept going, those bikes are still way ahead in many ways that all the others are just doing now. Carbon, integrated headset, press in BB, anti squat, gearbox, cooling tunnel for shock, not saying Lahar invented any of it, but as a complete package, they had it all. Chain stays were to long for me was my only criticism.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I haven't weighed mine since I built it. But I know of one that's 38lb.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 These frames are awesome and have some solid results behind them after less than a year in competition locally. This is the future.....
[Reply]
  • + 4
 i love this bike! Nice craftmanship...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 1. Can you use any Shimano shifter on an Alfine hub? Or is it Alfine specific?
2. Is the Alfine hub off the shelf? Replaceable? Upgradeable when a next gen. Alfine comes out?
  • + 3
 No as it is now you must use an ALFINE shifter with the hub. We are looking at Di2 versions later in the year!

14" BB or 13" with slack cups........
  • + 2
 Di2 would put people over the edge. I like that.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 AMAZING, one problem, too expencive but so glad they are producing these. the future is near
[Reply]
  • + 1
 looks indeed heavy, but I like the idea that a couple of guys from NZ have worked this one out, I wished they had a WC team to really test those machines...
  • + 1
 They do, Juniors ran at the World champs last season.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 lets not forget that that price includes most of the drive train as well…
[Reply]
  • - 1
 First, the v10 has... ten inches of travel, more than 9.5, and my guess is that the v10 is a popular bike. Also, this thing would get brake jack and brake dive (like a fork does). The rearward path means that a rearward acting force (a bump or heavy braking) compresses the suspension. Also, the brake mounts are on the upper swing arm, so the rotational torque would be transfered into that lever, compressing the suspension. If they put the mount on the lower link, it looks like to me that it would got through a lot less rotation as the suspension is compressed, making the brake jack much less, like the Davinci dh bike (i forgot the name of it right now)
  • + 4
 It showed no more detectable rear stiffening than the V-10, TR450, Legend, Jedi, and Sunday I tested in last 2 years. And pedals over rough terrain better than them all by a long shot. Though the Jedi is close in that regard...
  • + 1
 Brake jack can be fixed with a floating caliper as such with the Lahar. So the whole brake jack ordeal is meaningless being you can easily put a floating system on this.
  • + 1
 It squats. Hardly at all. Makes the trye bite more. Rear feels more precise than with a floater.
  • + 0
 ? Not really. I've ridden the Lahar with both floater and not. Floater is a million times better. And being this bike is pretty much an identical system minus the lower linkage which doesn't effect axle path, it's the same as the Lahar.
  • + 2
 I've owned BMW RaceLinks, BMW SR6, Balfa BB7s, Lahar, Katipo with and without floater. I found floater helps if you're not that good a rider, or not on your game as the suspension stays fully active and sucks everything up, so you can remain in control if you get off line better. But if your in control and riding strong so you can pick your lines and know you'll stick to them, no floater makes the rear feels much more precise, you know exactly where the rear tyre is, and can feel the whole bike better, you also can control the rear traction better with the brake, and also control the bike's set up better for corners etc. In short, no floater makes bike feel more accurate(like hardtail), with floater you can run off line and still plow through.
  • - 1
 I dont really feel (or maybe care) about brake jack that much. The Jedi is a good comparison, i think. They also have a very high pivot point, and rearward motion, but so did the old Trek Session 10, but no one seemed to like that bike.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 need to incorporate these in all dh bikes period.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 having had a quick spin round the parking lot, the engagement was horrific, like a quater of a crank rotation or more, the hub in the frame and another hub at the back may have been the cause, two freehubs!, but i was a little dissapointed. The bike is totaally silent in use though, and brake jack is solvable, and if you brake properly shouldnt be a huge issue. Needs a super good rear hub though!
  • + 1
 How about setting up the alfine as a fixed gear.. That could work, right?
  • + 1
 i thought it ws supposed to, but i nearly otb'ed when i tried to pedal this thing and fell forwards. Shifted nice tho
  • + 1
 i'd have thought a fixed rear hub would be ideal. @six66 i doubt a fixed internal gear hub would be possible. soooo someone needs to make a 12x150 fixed hub... hmmmm.
  • + 0
 and chazdog surely a super fast engaging rear hub would be cancelled out by the slow engaging alfine? youre only as good as your weakest link...
  • + 9
 The Alfine isn't the problem, it's got a roller clutch so engages nearly instantly. I own a Zerode myself and use a Shimano Saint hub with 36pt engagement. Best bike I ever owned.
  • + 4
 Your trippin thinking it's a 1/4 rotation. Just get a high click rear hub, it all adds up, not the weakest link theory, it all adds up. If your talking efficiency, then being able to be in the right gear by being able to shift ANYWHERE, and not have to pedal it through, well and truly far outweighs any lag(that I've never noticed anyway).
Any doubters just need to get a ride on one, a good enough ride to let your brain adapt to it's new found advantages with the shifting anywhere without having to pedal.
If the primary chain on the bike you rode was loose it would have more lag. This is easily/quickly adjustable, and needs doing very rarely as the chains run straight.
With the output right near the pivot, and a touch of anti squat you'll find the Zerode is one of the best pedaling DH bikes out there.
  • + 1
 strange, wonder what the hell was up with the one i tried :S
  • + 1
 Jut put a fixed rear hub, a Profile, or a King rear hub on and you won't have the issue.
  • + 2
 The Alfine hub does have to be tuned/set-up properly before you use it. (see www.zerodeusa.com/wp-content/gallery/zerodeusa/zerode-g-1-gearbox-adjustment.jpg)

Maybe it wasn't set-up correctly on the one you tried?
  • + 1
 Raleigh, only problem with that is a fixed rear would cause the chain from the rear hub to the alfine to be continuously moving..
  • + 1
 The continually moving isn't really an issue though is it and would mean much greater pick up for pedalling. I would happily trade moving chain for it.
  • + 2
 Curly, Zerodes pedal amazingly, forget any concerns about how responsive they are. Just get a high click hub, Atom Lab, Profile, I9, Hadley, etc. Having a fixed gear would make the tensioner be taught the whole time and the final drive chain pack up and go limp, making it less responsive. The Alfine wouldn't be spinning to suck in the slack..
  • + 3
 I've got a dt Swiss 440 rear hub and the engagement is fine. Also on my zerode when I'm approaching a corner under braking I'm changing down to make sure I'm in the right gear to pedal out of the corner and boom, as soon as I put the hammer down I'm off in the right gear. No wasted pedal power trying to get the derailer to get its act together and get you in the right gear. When you Take everything into consideration I believe the gearbox system is more efficient than the derailer system.
  • + 2
 yes, pedal efficiency, its only a small thing when you consider how well the bike performs the core FUNCTIONS of a DH bike. those who've studied Stuart Pugh's stuff - you know it
[Reply]
  • + 2
 a guy from NZ brought one into my work in fort william was a pretty sweet bike!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Time Eaton took the Elite overall on one. Smile
Cool video intro of bike....

video.mpora.com/watch/3OowvrrOn
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Seems like when you are doing a gearbox design like that you could just follow the motocross design and get the ideal cross between braking and travel
  • + 1
 Motorcross bikes are terrible designs for pushies. Totally different with a motor being able to overshadow flaws in design as far as efficiency, and suppleness goes.
  • + 2
 Come to think of it the actuation and suspension dive on motos sucks.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Yehaaa. I just bought the Zerode pictured above. Thanks Ian!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Would love to try one of these, silent bike seems cool too
  • + 2
 Not sure it's going to be silent unfortunately, check out the marks from the chain on the seat stay on the 3rd pic.... looks like it's going to clatter just like any other frame! Frown
  • + 2
 They are supposedly super quiet, more the lack of freewheel really
  • + 3
 They are silent, saw a couple at Combe BDS. One guy had opium wheels on though so was loud Big Grin
  • + 1
 There was a guy locally had one and it looked awesome. Soooo tempted with the idea of a gearbox bike, seemed pretty quite but definitely a bit of chain slap on that frame above! Smile Sweet bike, no complaints from me if I was riding one.
  • + 3
 Thats from a rock grind that happened to it while in NY. There is no slap at all.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Thats an awesome bike! I wish the bike shop that I work at dealed them!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 looks real good. cant wait to get mine
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Want Alfine DH rearhub with 5 speeds and a quiet chaintensioner. 1x5 would be perfect. Or, wet my pants, alfine automatic.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wrong! Ride one before you make random comments mate as you don't know what you're talking about.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i must say that gearbox by its self looks a lot like a fishing real lol
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Thats a foking weapon ;p
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome... when is due the Trailbike?
  • + 1
 Near future we hope!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 thats a double barrle not a fox rc4
  • + 1
 You get the choice of either now, in OZ you do. Say it's the same everywhere.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Has Zerode any DH race wins to it's name?
  • + 1
 Eaton won the Australian overall in ELite men and they got second in Juniors. 2 of their riders are going to worlds.
  • + 1
 Danny Taliana would've won the Vets also, but had to attend a wedding and missed the last race. Lots and lots of wins in Australia and NZ. Zerodes podium more often than not in Australia.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 using an Alfine hub, wonder how no one though of that earlier
  • + 1
 The idea has been around for quite some time. The first DH bike that used an internally geared hub as a transmission was the BCD Nexus bike that Alex Morgan built and raced in the 90's. Alex was also the first guy to build and race a DH bike that used a derailleur system mounted in the frame as a transmission ( the BCD Coffin.) Both bikes had high pivots (the Coffin was considerably higher than the Nexus) and both were handmade in carbon fiber and weighed under 40 pounds. Alex really was ahead of his time.
  • + 1
 www.g-boxx.org/10-bikes_history.html they are in here along with allot of others.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This frame kicks ass Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Why hasn't anyone mentioned Rohloff?
  • + 3
 Because you dont need 14 speeds for Dh and they are uber heavy.
  • + 2
 The guys that missed the boat are SRAM, They had a great concept for DH (the hammerschmidt) it just needed one more gear ratio perhps. Low, centralized mass gearbox in the Crank / BB. Hard to beat that. DH does not require a big gear range or more than 3-4 speeds, you could change the final drive cog per mtn for fine adjustment.
  • + 1
 hammerschmidt had a fair amount of drag didn't it? good luck getting another gear in there too.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 WTF thats all i have to say
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this is my dream DH frame. too bad im still dreaming.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I dont like to see this thing on one bike, but if it works well let it go!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 wheres tech tuesday??
  • + 9
 its wednesday -_-
  • + 0
 Perhaps he was asking to why there wasn't one yesterday....
  • - 5
 ..
  • + 1
 Just stating the other possibility's sir.
  • - 3
 ermmm no i dont think you are....... -_-
  • + 0
 Immature boy, you know im right Wink
  • + 0
 With everything from sea otter this week, I guess there was no need... but that still would have been nice to have one
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Imagine if your foot comes off the right pedal,then you try putting it back on,but accidently get your foot in between the chain and sprocket.ouch
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i want to see the inner workings of the gear drive
  • + 1
 Just look into Rohollf or however you spell it. While not the same, it will give you a general ideal.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Can't wait to get my hands on a gearbox with 29er front and 650b rear wheel and co2 adjustable tire pressure system and hydraulic shifting and... some of this stuff is a little ridiculous, but so was putting a man on the moon and with out that we wouldn't have handheld computers. Props to any company that takes it to the next level no matter how impractical it really is.
  • + 4
 Impractical? I fail to see how.
  • + 1
 Sorry I wasn't meaning specifically this bike, this was just the last article I had read that night regarding all the new technology that's floating around the bike world. I see a need for gear box DH bikes I'd just wait another 5 years for the designs to improve and cost to come down. Like I said props to any company that is pushing the industry forward, like zerode. Now the co2 adjustable tires, you've got to admit...
  • + 2
 I dunno if you need to wait 5 years... and yeah, that co2 shit is just stupid...
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I hope that they supply a BB protector. That piggyback looks awfully unstable
  • + 10
 Very first picture in the article. See that cap thingy? Thats a carbon BB protector, removed for the purpose of the photos.
  • + 2
 in the first pic you can clearly see a protector on the table in front of the frame
  • + 1
 ahh yes, sorry for not looking closer Redface all good? tup
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Great design, but does this frame have any notable race wins to it's name?
  • + 2
 would you buy trek session just because aron gwin won on it.. Smile you are a victim of advertising, it does not matter if anyone won on it. Good riders will win on any frame
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Seatpost to extend into the main triangle? Confused
  • + 1
 Do you mean having the seatpost going all the way thru the top tube (it does) or am I misunderstanding your post (PB post, not seatpost. How could I not understand a seatpost)?
  • + 0
 Yeah that's what I meant. Would look a bit strange IMO, but hey. Seatpost routing isn't exactly the most important aspect of frame design.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Some one can buy mine.....! shes a beaut
  • + 1
 Why are you sellin her? Any comments on the engagement?
[Reply]
  • - 1
 I only wish it had more chain.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Looks mad heavy...
  • + 6
 TBH, they are quite heavy, mine has very heavy parts (teams, steel spring, saint cranks etc) and yes it is one of the heaviest bikes ive ridden, which i thought would be a problem but no way they are. The weight distribution i believe plays alot more of a role than the gross weight. Due to the mass being very central and low, it accelerates quicker and is VERY stable, much more than my old 2010 Glory. I honestly do not notice the weight and definitely isn't an issue.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 11-34 gear range? Sounds like too much for a DH bike.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 the bb would sink on this causing pedles to scrape on rocks in garden
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Ahh. Canfield Jedi does rearward travel just fine. Without added weight.
  • + 0
 And Lahar did it even better than both.
[Reply]
  • - 3
 If only they made a standard gearing frame, instead of the gearbox, although more advanced, just does not appeal to me.
[Reply]
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