Zerode Taniwha - Crankworx Rotorua 2016

Mar 10, 2016
by Paul Aston  


tani:fa – noun: (NZ) A legendary Maori monster, considered highly respected guardians of people or places.


Rumors of a Zerode enduro bike have been floating around the scene for a few years since this hand-made carbon prototype was scoped a couple of years ago. Having spoken to those who rode the high-pivot, gearbox-propelled, Zerode G1 or G2 downhill bikes, we rarely heard anything but praise, so their prototype enduro design promised to be another high pivot hell-raiser. Zerode's new Taniwha, however, is an entirely new design, with a carbon fiber chassis, a different brand of gearbox, and a much more conventional suspension configuration. Designer Rob Metz let us photograph one of his first production samples and gave us the lowdown on this stunning enduro racer. Find out how and why in the interview below, and take the time to check out the Metz Lab.


Zerode's G1 downhill bike first appeared in 2010, and the refined G2 version was one of the first to bring a super slack 62.5º head angle to production. It doesn't look like the Taniwha has missed the contemporary geometry boat, with a 65º head angle, a 74.5º seat angle, and with chainstays tucked in tight, at 430mm. The 445mm reach for the large frame isn't huge, but the XL jumps to a roomy 475mm. Medium and large frames will be the first out of the mold, landing around July-ish, with an XL and maybe a small size following shortly afterwards.

Gearbox Facts

The Taniwha's carbon frame is molded to bolt directly to the aluminum housing of its 12-speed Pinion transmission. The constant-mesh type gearbox promises years between service and, unlike a chain-drive transmission, the Pinion's matched gearsets make it possible to deliver equal steps between shifts, and a massive, 600% spread between low and high selections.

Pinion also make an 18-speed version of their gearbox, but Rob Metz upholds that it isn't necessary for AM/enduro, and stated that it also would add an extra 350 grams. Interesting to note, that Zerode have gone with a standard chain over the belt-drive found on other gearbox bikes like the Cavalerie Anakin and the Nicolai ION-GPI.

A derailleur-style chain tensioner is installed behind the chainring to compensate for chain growth from the suspension. No gears at the rear means a lower unsprung mass for better suspension response, ensures a perfect chain line, and makes it possible to build a zero-dish rear wheel to boot.
Zerode Tanihwa 2016
Pinion transmissions are shifted with an indexed twist-grip that uses a push-pull, twin cable arrangement.

Zerode Tanihwa 2016
Inside the compact housing are two shafts with matching gear-sets. Shift-pawls engage one gear-set at a time, leaving the others to freewheel.

Zerode Tanihwa 2016
The swingarm's pivot location requires a spring-loaded chain tensioner.
Very tidy hardware used throughout the frame
One driven sprocket allows the use of a dishless single-speed hub.
Zerode Tanihwa 2016
Custom internal routing for the Pinion gearbox controls.


Thanks to the gearbox and the constant chain position, the Taniwha achieves 'the ideal' amount of anti-squat throughout the bike's 160mm of travel. This is impossible to achieve with a normal derailleur system, as the ever-changing sprocket diameters alter the effects of chain tension upon the rear suspension.

Zerode Tanihwa 2016
Zerode Tanihwa 2016

Even with a 5th cable out the front the cockpit still looks tidy
Even with a fifth cable out the front, the cockpit still looks tidy.

Zerode Tanihwa 2016
Zerode Tanihwa 2016




Zerode Tanihwa 2016
INTERVIEW

Rob Metz

Rob Metz: proud father of two.


We saw a prototype trail bike a few years ago. What did you learn from that and how does the new design differ?

First of all, I learned that I never want to go back to using a derailleur: I want quiet, a huge range, low maintenance and shifting without pedaling. Plus, that new bike feeling all of the time. Secondly, I learned that it is very difficult keeping an idler pulley quiet enough to be acceptable on an enduro/trail bike. To achieve this, the idler would need to be chainring sized, which makes the bike heavier, more complicated, and confusing for the masses. The final design reflects this, with a move to a more traditional pivot placement. I thought long and hard about this. The high pivot is a must on my DH bike, but in practice it wasn’t the best solution for the Enduro bike.

When will the bikes be available? Are you continuing with the dealer/distributer sales model?

These are the first frames out of the production moulds, so there is a little bit of testing between now and pushing the "go" button. Production should take about three months, so we are looking at about July for production bikes. I will likely continue with the current model of selling direct, as well as via shops and distributors.


Did you test any other systems like Effigear, or the Alfine hub you use in the DH bike?

I’ve ridden the Alfine for a long time now. It just isn’t suited to the needs of an enduro bike. I liked the Effigear, but the execution of the Pinion is very German – i.e. Efficient and precise. I’ve been running an 18spd Pinion on my bike now for over two years. I’ve worn out one rear sprocket. I'm still on the same chain. I've never adjusted the gears, and never missed a gear. They aren’t perfect - but a derailleur is far from perfect.


Is the DH bike dead? Was it consumer demand that changed, or personal motivation to build a trail bike?

I think DH is the F1 of MTB. It’s so exciting. These guys are gladiators, putting on an impressive show for us. I’d love to really go to town on the DH bike. I have drawings, CAD models and a complete working bike in my brain, but my limited resources are tied up in the enduro bike at the moment. Hopefully, this will change in the near future.

Personally, the versatility of a trail/Enduro bike is what I like. It’s what got me building 150mm travel trail bikes in the 90’s. The reason the Zerode Taniwha is happening now is that all of the elements exist that allow me to produce a very competitive enduro bike.


Everyone I've spoken to who rode a Zerode G1 or G2 only sings its praise. Do you think the DH bike was misunderstood by the mainstream?

There is a massive lack of understanding of suspension in general. When you understand the theory and configuration of the Zerode G1 or G2, it's a no brainer for DH. When you ride one, it becomes clear. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to ride a Zerode. I learned a lot from the DH bike. If I get a chance to revisit DH, it should have a chance of going a lot more mainstream.


Do you think this trail bike can help get gearboxes to the masses?

YES! If you weren’t waiting for this bike, you should be. I’ve been mountain biking for 25 years, ridden all sorts of bikes, on a huge range of terrain. There is no way I am going back to a derailleur. Ever.

What are the main advantages of a gearbox and a high-pivot swingarm?

As you can see, I have moved away from the high pivot on the Enduro bike. I touched on this in the first question. This decision was a tough one, but having ridden the first frames out of the moulds, I know I made the right decision. The 12-speed Pinion gearbox offers a huge spread of gears that go well beyond today's 1x11. Whether you are grinding up an epic backcountry singletrack, or blasting down a high speed fire-road, there is a gear to do the job. An unexpected pinch climb will never be a problem again. Changing gear is effortless and immediate, super reliable, and low maintenance, you can change gear without pedaling and never rip derailleurs off. A significant reduction in unsprung weight ensures suspension performance that is undeniably better than any enduro bike equipped with a rear derailleur. Symmetrical spoke angles ensure a very strong, light rear wheel that further improves suspension performance.

The frame itself uses a simple, effective and proven suspension platform. This, combined with a fixed chain line, optimizes pedaling performance through the entire travel range. It is difficult to approach the elegance and performance of this layout with any virtual pivot design. A sleek full-carbon frame offers excellent stiffness, reduced weight and flawless beauty in a modern geometry.


I can’t wait to get on the production bike!



The Metz Lab


Rob in his workshop A main with so much knowledge and many ideas.
Rob and his workshop that bred the Zerode dream.

Robs original High Pivot Concept enduro bike. This is the one in which Rob built by hand in this shed
Rob's original high-pivot concept 160mm bike. A carbon frame built by hand in this shed.

The Taniwha frame in a 3D printed sample. Rob produced this so he hand something full size to work with and see how it would look before continuing on with tooling of carbon holds
The Taniwha frame in a 3D printed sample. This full-size model was produced to see how it would look before continuing on to sign-off the tooling and carbon molds.

The ass end of the beast The pi on gear boxes fit up in there
The Pinion gearbox bolts into the 'bottom bracket' area.
For a 3D printed sample the finish was of a very high standard
This finish of this 3D printed sample was to a very high standard.

In-depth details on that fork concept
A fork that is sprung via an air shock? When questioned, Rob said he had a working sample many years back and using the shock produced much less stiction than a modern-day fork.

This is what the Taniwha would look like with that concept fork on the front
One of many of the concept drawings on Rob s wall. A fork that is sprung via and air shock When questioned Rob said he had a working sample many years back and it was fantastic as the shock had much less stiction than a modern day fork

Concept drawings of a new Carbon Downhill bike
Concept drawings of a new carbon downhill bike?

Fresh G2 27.5 frames ready to head out to their new owners
Fresh G2 27.5" frames ready to head out to their new owners.

Spare rear ends and alfine hubs waiting to be built into new DH frames
Spare rear ends and alfine hubs waiting to be built into new DH frames

Rob s original working prototype for the what became the range of G1 and G2 downhill bikes today
Rob's original working prototype for the what became the range of G1 and G2 downhill bikes today.
Another old prototype hanging up high
Another old prototype hanging up high.

The original Zerode trail bike hiding in the back of the Bomb Shelter
The original Zerode trail bike hiding in the back of the 'Bomb Shelter'.


Must Read This Week

310 Comments

  • + 309
 Thats actually the sickest god damn thing ive ever seen, any info on prices and how i can get one?
  • + 28
 Indeed, put me on the waiting list!
  • + 17
 I will sell whatever I have to, to buy one.... Can't wait to move to Tauranga next year !!
  • + 56
 Just take my god dam money right now !!! Ive been waiting for this for years Rob !! Yeeeewwwweeeeeee!!!
  • + 13
 Bad ass! But what's the weight?
  • + 77
 I'm all geared up for this new industry change. For once a change that makes sense.
  • + 11
 I WANT IT NOW!!!!!
  • + 1
 Actually at the venue and have talked to the guys at there booth. On proved that are saying "equivalent" Santa Cruz but it comes with the gearbox, shifter probably the rear hub to build a dish less wheel. Only thing they might need to work on when looking at it IRL is there is very little clearance between the chainstay and the chain on the upper drive train.
  • + 3
 Proved = price from above....
  • + 3
 I would guess at $3500-4000 NZD for the frame kit
  • + 31
 So about $56us dollars then?
  • + 1
 The g27.5 is already $3500 NZD and this one is carbon and has a more expensive gearbox. I'd guess $4500-5000 NZD.
  • + 15
 Yep, I've been holding back on a new bike purchase for a while but this is the business. I'm very keen too. Kiwi's are an ingenious bunch and don't stuff around with stuff that doesn't work. I'm betting this is the ducks nuts. Supporting an independent builder is even better. So awesome!
  • + 15
 Been waiting so long for this. My next bike 100% - just tell me I can have it in black?!
  • + 21
 Remember the Britten?
  • - 6
flag torero (Mar 11, 2016 at 1:27) (Below Threshold)
 It would be better aluminum, but yes, is sick
  • + 2
 yes please
  • + 4
 Wait,does it mean that the gearbox can make the price of rear wheel cheaper as front?
  • + 1
 no, as it still needs a clutch mechanism, which is the part that makes rear hubs cost more.
  • + 2
 I actually think it's just a normal hub but with no offset. NM nothing special in the hub internals. In fact when you pedal a pinion gearbox backwards, the crank arm spin but the chain/gearbox doesn't move. The whole gearbox is decoupled when pedalling in reverse.
  • + 5
 Been following Zerode for years now. Awesome work Rob!

Taniwha: Harbinger of death for the dérailleur!
  • + 3
 This bike makes me feel all giddy; like it's Christmas and I'm seven years old. I think I need it.
  • + 36
 Hey bike industry, you can take all your recent "innovations" like boost, 27.5, plus-sized tires, bend over, and shove them right back up your ass. Gear-boxes. This is what we want.
  • + 8
 The only thing I don't like about this bike is NOTHING. Oh, and Rob, would you like my credit card number now?
  • + 1
 Mak is right, Furry. There needs to be a way to transfer energy from the chain to the wheel in order for it to move the bike.
  • + 1
 Apparently I'm too late for the edit button. I realized other systems may just use a fixed hub, but I don't think that would work here since the chain, sprocket, and cranks all use the same axle.
  • + 2
 @erikthefatty: Not quite. The chainring and cranks are concentric, but they rotate independently; they aren't attached to the same axle. If they were, the gearbox wouldn't be able to change ratios. www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFNxeb76Ljg
  • + 1
 Price Starts at 7075 NZ Dollar for Frame, Shock and Gearbox. Looks like there will be only 50 Bikes for now.
  • + 1
 @Pfuetzling: Well, in that case, I'm out.
Spewin'
  • + 1
 And I've just been made redundant... Spewing x 2
  • + 1
 @wavetrance: Massive spewing
  • + 162
 I want one!

Also, please let this be a massive commercial success. Firstly to reward this guy for his vision and hard work and secondly to put a rocket up the @r$e of all the big bike manufacturers to get them investing R&D in gearbox bikes.
  • + 24
 Absofreakinlutely! ^
  • + 11
 this
  • - 4
flag hamncheez (Mar 11, 2016 at 5:26) (Below Threshold)
 Sram made the brilliant hammerschmidt and no one bought one
  • + 14
 Hammerschmidt was anything but brilliant. It was complicated, heavy, expensive, it dragged, used a chain ring so small it messed with most bikes suspension and you still had a cassette and derailleur out the back. It was some weird halfway solution that solved precisely no problems and raised a whole bunch of new ones. . Single chain ring wide ratio cassettes are a much better solution, Hammerschmidt was something of a mis-step for SRAM. Proper gearboxes look to be hitting their stride too now, which is excellent
  • + 2
 Did you own one? I did for years and it was a very good product for its time. A 24 tooth ring is the same size as the rings a 2x10 system uses. Its true, it was heavy, but the same complaint is said about transmissions. It only weighed a hair more than a double chain ring with a roller guide and bash guard, but required 0 maintenance after years of riding, It always shifted perfectly, without ever any adjustments, whether under load or stationary. The small size made it so I never, in 4 years of owning it, hit it on anything. I never dropped a chain. Never made an adjustment. Its true, in the higher gear there was drag, but the same complaint can be made about transmissions which have even more drag, an the Hammerschmidt only had drag in the higher gear.

1x11 is better, but the Hammerschmidt, for longer travel bikes, is a better solution than a front derailleur.
  • + 0
 No I never owned one, demo rides and the $1200 price tag convinced me to leave it well alone. Also, the lightest Hammerschmidt weighed 1.6kg, wtf double cranks were you riding to weigh in at a hair under that?
  • + 6
 Also because if it's successful maybe Pinon or Effigear will finally get a paddle shifter of some variety into production.
  • + 1
 I bought mine for $200. And if you add in the weight of a DH crankset, double ring, bashguard, and chainguide from the time, the weight is almost comparable.
  • + 1
 had a hammerschmidt myself on a transition double, worked perfect for years too. Couldn't fit a dual ring to it and was no 1x10 back then. used small 24t most of time then clicked into overdrive for descents. Didn't notice the drag too much this way but now running a 11-40 cassette. The drag is putting me off a pinion as its there in all gears, is there an accurate figure for it out there as it'll be easy enough to calculate/measure..
  • + 4
 @bat-fastard Allegedly fat bikes sap your power by something like 5 watts, which should be a noticeable amount, but people still love them and many (according to strava) are just as fast on the climbs and faster on certain terrain. Given this, then especially in DH, a gearbox should be efficient enough for everyone but XC racers in theory. Gearboxes, from what I've read, lose about 5% efficiency. If your average fit biker can put out 150 watts continuous, thats about 7 watts lost only. However, with a gearbox, the weight is more centered, sprung, and you have a ton more flexibility in suspension designs so the efficiency loss could be made up somewhat in other places. I'd love to try one!

I still think that as much love as they get gearboxes won't sell well.
  • + 2
 I had a Hammerschmidt for a few rides. Didn't like it at all. Super heavy and you could feel the drag. Sold it for $350 shortly thereafter. I do like the concept but technology has to come up for it to be commercially viable on a large scale.
  • + 3
 5% not too bad, I like them and think my next bike will be one, most of our stuff is pedaly and no uplifts so does factor quite a bit. DH bike will always be a push up but did notice last year in alps a lot of people running single speed on their DH bikes and tbh I think I mostly only used 2 gears myself, one to go to lift and one to descend..
  • + 2
 Ridden a Hammerschmidt for many years... It's definitely not for the competitive racer due to the drag in overdrive and yes the weird thing about the smaller ring does affect some suspension designs when trying to sprint but most modern bikes are equipped with smart shocks with a pedal platform, just turn it on. But for those looking for more range and usability out of their bikes it work flawlessly. The Internal geared bikes are a work of art not to mention most ride really nice. Keep the technology coming... Sweet bike ROB...
  • + 96
 From an engineer's point of view.. this is absolutely brilliant. From a consumer point of view.. wtf, a gripshift? Its a small detail that will eventually be worked out. Pinion also continues to head in the right direction. Massive props to Metz though. That is one elegant frame.
  • + 14
 This is indeed all kinds of awesome from a design and engineering perspective. Think of the gripshift as an incentive to not death grip the bars. Besides, you're simply not going to get a trigger design that allows you to dump 12+ gears in one go. The only real problem I have with grip shifters is the currently limited options for replacement grips.
  • + 10
 Thanks!
  • + 11
 I had the same thoughts on gripshift style shifters till I rode a mates bike that has the latest version SRAM on his trail bike, after about five minutes I actually didn't mind it (but I'm not the sort of rider that death grips) their a massive improvement on feel since the last time I tried them in the mid 90's haha..
I'm going to learn to adapt to it full time, as I'll be putting in an order for this once publicly available
  • + 17
 Ride a motorcycle or even a dirt bike and you'll see that you can manage the handlebars without accidentally twisting the grip in your hand
  • + 2
 I used the old gripshift and Sachs for years in the 90s. They aren't as good as today's triggers. That is a major stumbling block for me.
  • + 23
 Gearbox bikes would do well with an electronic shift, that would be amazing!
  • + 0
 That is an excellent idea. That, or a modified sram 12 speed shifter... Although with the push pull design it wouldn't work, and it would probably add $289 to the cost
  • + 10
 Someone on another bike site, had the idea to use dual triggers either side of the handlebar (so like having a front derailleur shifter). One goes up, one goes down - I think I'd rather have that, than gripshifts.
  • + 7
 Due to a low handlebar, I had shifter pod clearance issues with my top tube and I figured gripshift could solve that. Ordered an X0 one for 50$ at a christmas sale and never looked back. I rode rough DH trails with them, never misshifted. I really love the fact that you can go through an entire cassette in 1 motion, which isn't the case with most (all?) trigger shifters. With cassettes getting bigger and the front shifter gone, that's even more relevant. Also, I have small hands and trigger shifters are usually a little awkward for me when you're trying to get those multiple gear shifts.

Not sure if theirs is as good as the X0 but don't knock it until you try it. It's the only reason I still ride a sram drivetrain.
  • + 0
 But with the rumors about sram 12 speed group coming out in near future, pinion's own 12 gear trigger should be technically completely possible. Not sure about that but I think I've already heard rumors about it a couple of years ago... Hope I make enough money to buy that beast in the future, it looks unreal!
  • + 2
 For me, not wanting gripshift has less to do with worrying about missshifts(they do happen, but not often, & I've missshifted a paddle too) but just about having symmetrical grips. I've never going to have a left gripshifter, & as someone who likes thin grips, the big inner knob of a grip shift is unappealing. & I was a gripshift believer from about 1997 until I got my first DH bike in 2004.

I've said this about 100 times in other threads, it's an electric Pinon that I want, with the battery safely tucked away in the transmission housing, & a wireless shifter to make gear changes.
  • + 3
 I used gripshift for years too, and never mis shifted. It's just not a nice action for me. Always having to adjust your hand position as you rotate the grip.
  • + 0
 As you said that you are an engineer ... Is this gearbox kind of CVT gearbox?
  • + 2
 @Jurchek If you're talking to me, I'm not talking about a CVT (which would be an interesting subject for bikes, but I'm not sure how well it would work.)

I'm talking about having, instead of a two cables rotating a cam shaft, instead connect that shaft to a servo motor, & provide space in the enclosure for the battery( pinion.eu/en/products/technology has an awesome interactive tear-away of how these transmissions function, just scroll down.)

Then you add a wireless transceiver the control circuit, & connect to that with a similar (though hopefully sleeker)version of the shifter Microshift showed off here: www.pinkbike.com/news/microshifts-11spd-electric-drivetrain-taipei-show-2016.html

Wham bam. bolt transmission to bike. charge battery. mount shifter. go ride your bike.
  • + 1
 Oh ok thank you. So does that piece (i think it has function of a dowel also or sth) on which is cogwheel choose which gear will connect?
  • + 2
 the cam that changes gear is on the other shaft. if you compare the pic you posted with the tear-away, the splines on the shaft you drew the arrow to are the mating surface for the ISIS-like crank arms.

The reason you aren't seeing an obvious part on the other shaft for changing gears is because the cam is hidden inside of it.

edit: actually, if you look closely, theres a piece inside the shaft that looks like a small hole, with 4 arms around it. that's the cam for gear changes.
  • + 2
 Yeah i noticed that after i had posted the comment but anyway thanks!
  • + 1
 @mrgonzo: I'm a bit late on this but you can manage but it's not ideal. I think its a bit awkward. is a gripshift a dealbreaker for me? no but it will make me think about it though. Any sort of trigger shifer would make me feel more confident when ripping down hill.
  • + 83
 This is where electronic shifting suddenly makes loads more sense, you haven't got a stupidly expensive mech hanging around waiting for a rock to smash it and there's actually a problem to fix, not many people like grip shift, it compromises on elf your two contact points with the bike. Just need pinion to make a nice e-shifter and you're all sorted.
  • + 15
 THIS!!!!!
  • + 4
 Pinion, here this man out! I also don't like the idea on grip shifts on this bike. Don't get me wrong, I have grip shifts on my older 3 X 9 drive train XC bike but his one being 1 X 12, I cannot stand the fact that only one grip will be different from the other.
  • + 7
 Awesome, awesome idea. Do it pinion. The shifter is a big problem for a lot of people. Get a trigger shifter sorted out and you'll instantly win market share. My appetite has been whetted, now serve me up a tasty salad to go with this steak.
  • + 2
 Exactly what I was thinking
  • + 2
 was thinking the same thing as I read the article, if you already have a gearbox why not a battery too for electronic shifting?
  • + 4
 Effigear has a gearbox, and a trigger shifter that used a tube with a spring to replace the need for the push pull of the twist shift. if not the great electronic shift idea I was wondering if their idea could be modded to work on a pinion.
  • + 1
 It wouldn't hurt too if they went wireless.
  • + 67
 Looks like a nomad... but cooler
  • - 45
flag upchuckyeager (Mar 10, 2016 at 16:56) (Below Threshold)
 doesn't look anything like a nomad. you're drunk, go home
  • + 44
 YOU'RE drunk! Don't drive!
  • - 3
 and the whole single pivot thing but yeah
  • + 4
 Doesn't have the small lower link of a Santa Cruz
  • + 1
 I like that it actually looks similar to a nomad. Means it's going to ride like a hell of a bike!
  • - 6
flag gabriel-mission9 (Mar 11, 2016 at 17:40) (Below Threshold)
 @upchuckyeager currently has 38 negs

that means 38 people are dumb

If we're playing the lookey likey game, its basically a nukeproof mega with a gearbox.
  • + 61
 Don't think I've ever seen a unanimously praised product on pinkbike, you're on to something zerode!
  • + 4
 Zerode. I read that this is a tech article and, having not heard of the brand before, I start sounding it out in my head, "zay-rode. . . zuh-rode. . . zuh-ro-day. . ." Then I realized what I was doing. I felt like a pretentious roadie. I'm an idiot.
  • + 61
 Somebody call the boner police, I just committed a crime
  • + 41
 Deputy Hugh jardon..can I help sir?
  • + 11
 Ah, deputy, glad you could make it. Sgt Eric Shun here from South of the border. We'll make sure we stand proud when we solve this case.
  • + 4
 Sarge,better pull back..it's exploded sir.
  • + 5
 I feel this crime should be reported to international police, the Russians will certainly want to know about this. Send a full report to Detective Ivor Biggun over at Moscow. Also while your at it, send a copy of that report to Mike Oxbig over at Scotland Yard.
  • + 4
 Duly done sir,full report sent; Comrade Nora cockov and slobadon mihknobyabitch are standing by.Chinese have Intel too according to kreem ofsum yungguy.
  • + 48
 This is one of the most important articles for Pinkbike in 2016 and it's only March.
  • + 8
 lets hope more of the smaller frame builders follow suit. The death of the derailler can not come too soon in my opinion.
  • + 46
 This thing is sick!
Thats my 'pinion
(ba dum tss)
  • + 43
 This is a huge move in the right direction. Huge.
  • - 4
flag pigit77 (Mar 11, 2016 at 16:00) (Below Threshold)
 Donald trump huge?
  • + 1
 Huger.
  • + 39
 Gearboxes are coming. And from what I've been reading, this is fantastic. May the wheel size and geometry wars take a break while we argue about gearboxes for three years!
  • + 37
 DH is not the F1 of our sport. 20 years ago, maybe, that would be accurate.

Road cycling is the F1 of our sport. Boring, over hyped and full of pansies.

Wink
  • + 1
 Hah so true!
  • + 14
 He said DH is the F1 of MTB
  • + 11
 wrc = dh
  • + 2
 That's Enduro tbh....same concept and all but with cars.
  • + 1
 Aaahhhh, touché'.

Still. F1 sucks.
  • + 32
 Somewhere a Shimano and Sram executive are sweating. Unless of course they have some Skunk Works project going for a gearbox we aren't aware of.. With this bike, one can have a completely 100% Shimano/Sram and derailleur free bike.
  • + 12
 They could probably buy pinion for fun... Here's hoping shimano does just that. Not you srAm. Please.
  • + 8
 Sram and Shimano are probably not bothered. Drive trains on mid to high end enduro / DH bikes are a very small market. Hence their lack of development in this areas. But for those of us who want gearboxes this is a big step forward.
  • + 2
 Shimano have their own gearbox and have done for years. The Alfina hub might be reserved for touring bikes but I bet a little R&D would transform it to work perfectly as an onboard gearbox.
  • + 5
 @grahamc you're not wrong and it will probably be what Shimano do if pushed. Hopefully they will be pushed into doing that.
  • + 8
 I think the best part about this is that you can avoid all the new "standards". No worries about which bottom bracket standard to use. With zero dish on the rear wheel they can just pick any good rear width (not boost), they even make their own rear hub. I'm buying a Zerode, screw you and your new "standards" too.
  • + 5
 Exactly. Its got as many gears as you need and you dont have to worry about your drive train again. Also the ongoing costs of the drive train will be really low. Plus you can use a good strong single speed chain and cogs.
  • + 3
 If shimano and sram secretly have gearboxes waiting for them to go huge, NOBODY buy theirs. This guy is a true pioneer and he deserves all the business gearboxes will bring into mtb in the future!
  • + 1
 @grahamc; The internals of the Alfine bear little to no resemblance of the Pinion 'box at all. Outright strength and gear range are completely different.
  • + 2
 I was thinking about the two shifters thing also, one on the right bar for upshifts, and one on the left for downshifts. I don't think it would be that simple, because one has to release at the same time as the other pulls. I don't know how you'd do that without a cable between them.
  • + 32
 Hey! That's my dad!
  • + 20
 Your dad is cool tup
  • + 19
 i neeed this!!!, shifting without pedaling?! Thats the greatest thing I've heard in the MTB industry in years!
  • + 7
 i had a G1 dh bike and yeah its the shit ! 1st to 8th gear on a standstill. damn i missed that bike
  • + 9
 agreed, I think it would be one of those things once you got use to it you couldn't go back
  • + 14
 MTB conspiracy theory comin' atcha in 3, 2, 1…

Let me start off by saying; Hell Yea!! A solid gearbox design housed in a clean frame. Gripshift aside, I’m in love. And I’m sad, because I don’t think it will last very long in our industry…

Every large, successful company is based on the capitalist idea of making a good product that requires service or replacement. This commands a consumer who has purchased a particular product to become a repeat customer, and demands brand loyalty.

Consider how much money you have spent in the past few years on a small thing, like chains. $30? $50? $200? Multiply that by the millions of riders out there, and realize what percentage of that is lining corporate pockets. They are selling you an inherently flawed design that requires you to keep giving them money. Bread and Butter.

What happens if a Great design, like this sexy Zerode, actually gains steam? It has extremely long service intervals, requires very few (external) parts, and is well protected from incidental damage. It eliminates the need for you to be in your bike shop or online every few months, or after a crash, buying products from the big Red or Blue companies.

Our Red and Blue friends will start losing sales, not a lot at first. But eventually this Great product will become more than a blip on the radar, and the threat to their profits will continue to grow until one of the big, successful companies “makes him an offer he can’t refuse”, and the great product disappears in favor of the profitable one.

See where I’m going with this?
We need to support the ever-living shit out of this company. With the help of free media (Thank You, Pinkbike) we can stand up to our external drivetrain overlords, and win.
  • + 2
 yeah you make a good point. the thing is hopefully if things go zerodes way and lots of people are buying and demand is high, making lots of money etc, then they might not be able to sell to him 'an offer he can't refuse' even though it would be more than he is making, the business may be more to him than selling out for nothing but profit, this guy really seems like he wants to change the game, one day his name might go down in mtb history for being so successful with a revolution competing with the high rollers if it hasn't already. major props to him he has likely sunk his life into the idea and mtb enthusiasts benefit.
so I hope it works out, gearboxes should be better, people complaining about weight need to think about all the advantages over carrying around an extra 500grams or however much it is, better suspension, reliability, quiet, 100% strait chain all the time=lessfriction, etc, and getting that mass off the rear wheel should mean better performance and reliability all the time. I have been on my new knolly endorphin since December and I bouht that frame expecting it to last me at least 3 years, I really do hope when it's time for a new frame gearboxes are becoming the norm. knolly with gearbox's imagin that!!!!
  • + 17
 Zerode Shaniqwa. That's it. I can't read it otherwise.
  • + 8
 Nah! Shaniqwa moved out last year!
  • + 13
 Jeezus- whining about weight? Really? Shaving weight off traditional bikes is trying to account for the horrible problems that der systems bring to the table from brake jack/wheel dish/mech begging to get ripped off and suspension inefficiency. Lighter doesn't make you more efficient, more efficient makes you more efficient. Try changing gears mid-air or in a corner without pedaling, suspension performance staying the same regardless of the gear you're in, then come back with "but how much does it weigh?" This is the future, at least for sane people, but since it doesn't look right or have name recognition there are a few clamoring for something to poke at. There will be improvements to address weaknesses or rider's concerns, like all manufacturers do in the proving of a new design (at least to a sensible degree), so for now just revel in this genius! Thank you Rob and Zerode!
  • + 15
 It's all well and good hiding all the gears and that,but soon there's gonna be nothing on a bike to buggar around with
  • + 9
 Yeah agreed, although it would bring bike shop maintenance back into the limelight
  • + 6
 Because you take the car for a gearbox allignment regularly. This is not just some flimsy cogs next to each other, it's a true gear box. How much torque do you think you can put on that thing in order to break it? Also, I don't think it is that hard to figure it out, if you are a true mountain biker, you already have a DIY engineering degree Smile
  • + 12
 Knolly and Zerode should build a bike together. It would be engineering awesomeness that could climb and shred anything. A carbon zerodium maybe.
  • + 1
 read my comment below.
  • + 13
 Now that's what I'm talking about! Cheers PB! I'll be fapping hard to this later lol
  • + 11
 It's a shame they didn't throw a Horst link on there. Different strokes for different folks, but faux-bar just doesn't do it for me.
  • + 3
 Vpp patent expires soon..would that work?
  • + 20
 Don't really need a horst link if you have an optimized, fixed chainline...
  • + 11
 Whenever i read 'faux-bar' i think 'there's someone who reads too many magazines.' Ride the bike and judge for yourself.
  • + 6
 I would guess about half of the most popular suspension designs around are over complicated single pivots when it comes down to it, before you write this off go ride a good one and stop drinking so much coolade! This is actually one of the sickest bikes I've seen come out in recent years
  • + 3
 Scott, the term was actually pushed on forums by engineers and people with knowledge of suspension design who recognized that press were erroneously calling single pivot bikes '4 bars' (horst link based design, an actual 4 bar linkage) about a decade ago. It's incorrect and has aptly been called faux bar from then to differentiate between the two since they behave differently. Magazines just followed suit since it's a better definition of the suspension design. I've owned both fwiw. There are differences.
  • + 0
 Maybe it's great, idk, but I've ridden quite a few different faux-bar or "linkage driven single pivots" if that term is not PC anymore, and I've never liked them, even modern ones like Scott and Kona, they just don't do it for me.

Compared to Horst link and short-link designs they all have various problems with either bobbing under power or stiffening up under braking.
  • + 2
 Correct, they ALL alter under braking forces. Most squat and stiffen up the suspension. It's a very noticeable trait. That said, this design should work decently well for pedaling because the gearing doesn't change and the suspension can be designed with anti squat for a single ratio, which is awesome.
  • + 2
 dthomps right.
There is literally no good reason not to make this bike an fsr. Now that the fsr patent is up I really dont get why anyone would make a faux bar any more. Single pivots with linkages are cool, I ride one myself. But why go to all the effort of extending the linkage out to the rear wheel, but then not attaching the brake to it? It blows my mind.

Other than that, I think this bike is possibly the greatest thing to happen to mtb in years.
  • + 3
 Come to Rotorua, try and keep up with Rob Metz on trail, then you can tell him he designed it wrong. Or, invest your own blood, sweat, tears and cash into your very own version, and you may have your slice of fame too.
  • + 8
 Thats such a stupid argument. Just the other day I was chatting to Matt Jones about how he sets his handlebars. He admitted he didnt have the first idea. He rotated them to where he thought was about right then looked at me and asked if I thought he'd done it right. I said no and he moved them. Does this mean I am a better slopestyle rider than him? f*ck no. He won Farm Jam in your very own country not long ago. I'm one of those riders who literally can't take his hands off the bars if the bike is more than a foot off the ground.

I 'm not saying I'm a better bike designer than Rob Metz either. I'm saying I don't understand why he didn't take advantage of the fsr patents being up, in order to design a bike that works better under braking. He probably has a reason. I'd like to know what it is. Durability perhaps? Something to do with keeping the pedal feedback traits of the frame neutral? Saying "he's faster than you, so shut up" is just retarded.
  • + 1
 Cause FSR isn't all it's cracked up to be. Frame flex, crap pedal platform, weird shock curves.....I haven't noticed brake stiffening since about 2002 on a single pivot design.
  • + 4
 Frame flex is the designers fault, not the layouts fault. Crap pedal platform is the designers fault, not the layouts fault. Weird shock curves...ditto If you haven't noticed brake stiffening since 2002, you must have not ridden a single pivot bike since 2002. Single pivots suffer from brake stiffening. It literally does not matter where you put the main pivot. If you attach the brake to the main swingarm, you get brake feedback. Its science, not magic.
  • + 2
 @gabriel-mission9 even then brake stiffening isn't entirely bad. It's the brake sucking the bike in to the travel. You can use the characteristic to your advantage, especially on trails you're intimately familiar with.
  • + 1
 There is certainly some truth to that. Although I often feel it is outweighed by the wheel simply not tracking the ground as well during braking, on choppier trails. But yes, a good point, well made.
  • - 3
 Do you have a specific FSR frame we should test out that will provide as much mid stroke support be as stiff as a SP and be easy to tune? We are in the USA so that may limit it some...
  • + 1
 erm
any of them?
The amount of mid stroke support has absolutely nothing to do with whether its an fsr or a single pivot. You can make an fsr with no mid stroke support, you could make one with so much support it explodes your shock. The exact same is true for sp's. Same is true for stiffness. As I said before, all the things you mention are down to the skill of the designer (lever rates, wall thicknesses etc) not the layout of the frame.

Who is "we" by the way?
  • + 3
 I have owned multiple single pivots and multiple horst links. I personally feel the whole "brake jack" phenomenon is given way to much attention. The only thing i've ever noticed for sure is that all bikes react to braking, usually in slightly different ways. Shock selection and settings have way more effect on how a bike tracks--under braking or not... just my opinion but i think a well designed single can ride and handle as well as any fsr.
  • + 1
 I currently own multiple single pivots, split pivots, and have access to and regularly ride a number of FSR's. All modern, all good designs.
There are ways the single pivots perform better, and there are ways the split pivots and FSR's perform better. However there is one trait all the sp's share, and all the split pivots and fsr's do much better at avoiding (to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the design)

Every single sp (with the caliper on the swingarm) gets much wilder on the back end when braking hard in rough terrain. Its got very little to do with the shock settings. Shock settings will affect how quickly the back end recovers sure, but moving the caliper off the swingarm will reduce the problem even happening in the first place. It's got everything to do with the fact that when you attach a brake caliper to the swing arm, the swingarms movement is hindered by the fact that it is not only trying to go up and down over bumps, its also trying to stop a wheel from rotating. Moving the caliper of of the main swingarm isolates it from this affect. Where it is moved to has a huge effect on how well it is isolated. A crap design could even magnify the effect. However, apart from pyga's there are very few crap designs out there.I really don't get why people get so confused about this, its not rocket science...
  • + 0
 I get your point and understand the physics behind brake jack, i've just never really felt it was much of a problem. This could have as much to do with my riding style as suspension design, and also why, for me, shock settings make a bigger difference. I always make an effort, whenever possible to set my speed going into rocky rough sections, braking bumps etc... this method allows suspension to do its job much better, no matter what the design. I can definitely see how some guys who are new, slow, or maybe just don't want/can't ride this way would notice brake jack more than me
  • + 1
 Okay well I have tested a YT, Norco, S-Works Enduro in the last three years. I have owned an M-1, FSR Team, Demo 8 for a month. Out of all the DH bikes the ones that really need a bunch of compression to compensate for weird shock curve it was all the FSR bikes. I tend not to use brakes on rough stuff if at all possible. The Single Pivot of today is much different than a Foes Weasel of 97.
  • + 1
 Or perhaps some people ride tracks where if you didnt brake in the rough, you wouldnt brake at all. If the entire trail is rough, you've gotta brake somewhere, and if you are riding a long rocky chute that is near as damn it vertical, you either brake or you die. We don't all ride groomed flow trails you know...

And I'm not saying single pivots suck, or you cant ride single pivots on these rougher trails. You can, and I do. However when I do, I notice that the back end can get a lot more out of shape when you are hard on the brakes. As I asked waaaaay earlier in the conversation, what is the point in not putting the brake on the linkage rather than the swingarm, when the linkage is already out there by the rear dropout just waiting to have the brake bolted to it?
  • + 1
 @downhillnews -- agree 100%. It really is terrible practice to be on brakes in rough sections. This is what causes so many riders to get hung up, OTB etc... a rider needs speed for suspension to work in the rough. The exception would be trail sections so steep that they force a rider to be on the brakes to maintain control. In these type of sections overall rider skill is much more important than fsr vs. Single pivot--as proven by the amount a world class riders that have great success on single pivots. Btw, my current bike is an fsr, and experienced exactly what u were talking about with wierd rate curve. The stock shock would bottom HARD every 5 min no matter how much air or compression i ran. Replaced it with a massive piggyback air can and problem solved--sucks the bike was basically unrideable in stock form.
  • + 1
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dT-WL1X3J4

That is a trail we normally ride it is over 4 miles and 90% looks like that. I may just be used to it. If you get a chance ride a Megatrail it can do it all very well.
  • + 2
 An fsr has a shock linkage. Most single pivots have shock linkages. It is quite easy to achieve exactly the same shock curve on an fsr as on a single pivot, due to the fact that they both have shock linkages (which just incase you hadn't realised, is there to tune the shock rate....) saying fsr=weird shock curves is about as dumb as saying your bike has a weird shock curve because it has blue paint, or your headset is loose because your chain device is an e13 not an mrp.

I can also think of a number of world class riders who have had great success on fsr's, so again, the frame layout really has very little to do with how fast the bike can go. The only thing we can know for certain, is that bikes with the brake caliper on the swingarm (ie most single pivots) suffer from more brake feedback than bikes with the brake isolated from the swingarm (eg all fsr's) and therefor cant keep the rear tyre as planted to the floor, when on the brakes.
  • + 1
 Where I live there are lots of straight-aways followed by sharp, steep, rocky and rooty switchbacks. This is one of the primary places where I experience brake jack on single pivots, especially when you're trying to ride fast. You're going full bore on the straight and you have to get on the brakes hard for the switch back, and oh by the way, your rear suspension is now 30% stiffer. FSR and short link have a noticeable advantage here. The other place I notice it is on ultra-steep techy stuff where you're on the brakes the whole way down. I don't really notice a difference on high-speed sections where you aren't on the brakes or the braking zone is relatively smooth.
  • + 1
 @dthomp325 for clarity, brake jack is when braking causes the suspension to extend. Single pivots suffer from lotsa brake squat, where braking forces the supension to compress.

In a big full-stop working to do as much braking as possible with the front wheel can minimize the lost traction in the rear- the slackening bike will let you load the front end more. Otherwise yeah, that's where single pivots fall down compared to more sophisticated designs.

Personally, i see it as just part of the personality of the bike. There are much bigger compromises frequently made on bikes, but they're usually not so easy to predict and look for as the single pivot = inferior braking grip issue. Some trails its a big issue, but often the problem is the rider is riding their brakes. Sometimes do it myself.
  • + 1
 Yes, it a shame that Rob Metz hasn't availed himself of the patent unencumbered horst-link. Of course criticism of single pivots can be misdirected too. A quick look at the linkage suggests Rob Metz is after a roughly pedalling neutral and braking neutral (i.e. 100% AS and 100% AR) response from this bike. That is not so crazy. Even, Yeti, with its advanced dual short link bike designs shares similar pedalling and braking neutrality goals. And, as a matter of fact, if chain growth on a single pivot (not all single pivots but one with decent kinematics like this one) can be managed so that chain tension doesn't interfere too much in the operation of the suspension then good all-round results can be achieved. The relative sizes of chainring and rear cog on this bike will tend to limit chain growth. So, this bike will likely be one of the better single pivots.
  • + 1
 @gabriel-mission9 I share your misgivings about the failure to use a horst-link on this bike. Why you wouldn't use it is a complete mystery to me. Still, there is an aspect of what you are saying that is unclear and perhaps wrong. If I have understood you correctly, you maintain that there are advantages that flow from having the brake caliper on a floating link because it is floating rather than anchored to the frame. That is not true or perhaps is only true for incidental reasons. The only advantages that follow from mounting the brake caliper to a floating link is the carefully managed AR curve that this permits. And, it is easy to mess up an AR curve whether the bike is a single pivot or a horst-link. If you throw in a swing arm link pivot to a single pivot design, thus converting it into a horst-link, everything turns on the resulting AS and AR curves. Without major revisions to the upper short link a horst-link implementation of the existing Taniwha design (i.e. having the form of the existing design) would more likely be worse under braking not better, owing to a sharply falling AR curve across the range of travel. Braking with the suspension already heavily compressed is an extreme scenario that should be avoided in general but even worse is a non-neutral braking response where the suspension suddenly extends when the rider dabs the brakes. A properly designed horst-link Taniwha would need a significant redesign and probably a more conventional upper rocker link.
  • + 1
 @stillunimpressed

I completely agree. As I tried to make clear a few posts back, when I said this:

"When you attach a brake caliper to the swing arm, the swing arms movement is hindered....Moving the caliper off of the main swing arm isolates it from this affect. Where it is moved to has a huge effect on how well it is isolated. A crap design could even magnify the effect. However, apart from pyga's there are very few crap designs out there."

I would never suggest that the caliper was just bolted to the swing arm without any further thought going into the design.


Given that you seem to understand how this all works, I don't really understand why you made this point:
" A quick look at the linkage suggests Rob Metz is after a roughly pedalling neutral and braking neutral (i.e. 100% AS and 100% AR) response from this bike"
You have pointed out yourself that as a single pivot, this bike will be anything but "braking neutral" then go on to say that he was going for a braking neutral design. I'm confused...
  • + 2
 @gabriel-mission9 100% AR is by definition 'braking neutral' i.e. the weight transfer onto the front wheel that is occasioned by rear braking and that in turn imparts an extensive tendency in the rear suspension (every bike experiences the weight transfer effect under braking no matter the specific kinematics of the bike) is completely offset in geometry terms by an equal and opposite compressive tendency imparted via the kinematic characteristic of the linkage itself at 100% AR. Braking neutrality like pedalling neutrality is about counteracting the impact of unwanted weight transfer influences/forces in the suspension not about enhancing the supposed 'free movement' of the suspension. Just as 100% AS raises the effective wheel rate relative to a low AS bike ensuring geometry stability under acceleration so to a 100% AR bike lowers the effective wheel rate during deceleration again with a similarly geometry neutral effect - bikes with low AR are somewhat more extensive i.e. less geometry neutral during rear braking.

I want to make clear at this point that I am not trying to say that 100% AR (geometry neutral under braking) is the best. A lot of riders think a somewhat lower AR and the slightly extensive tendency that follows from it works better in most circumstances. Antonio Osuna, who has conducted experimental simulations on this, maintains that traction under braking is better served by a lowish AR strategy - see linkagedesign.blogspot.com.es/2014/06/brake-squat-traction-wm.html . He maintains that a high AR strategy gives rise to sharper variations in force at the rear contact patch increasing the tendency for grip to suddenly let go while braking. Interestingly, the shape of the AR curve and not just the level of AR has an impact on the effective wheel rate under braking - see www.i-tracksuspension.com/suspensiontheory2.html . A rising AR curve over the range of travel might have the traction benefits of a lower AR bike when braking over smaller irregular terrain while being fairly geometry neutral even when braking over big stuff, which granted will only be necessary in the most extreme circumstances.
  • + 2
 Interesting stuff, and yes I now understand what you meant more clearly I must say I tend to agree with Antonio Osuna that rear traction should take precedence over chassis stability. At least that is what I assume he has stated, based on what you have told me. I tried to read what he said on his blogspot but unfortunately it appears to be in spanish, and google translate tends to make a total hash of translating anything more complicated than a nursery rhyme. One thing that always bugs me about the idea of weight transfer under braking being controlled by by clever kinematics is that the riders weight makes up the lions share of the weight of the whole system, and is not in any way static. The rider will almost certainly shift their weight backwards and down during braking, which in my head will have a much larger affect than any AR numbers the designer has tried to build into the frame. These AR ideas, and the designers efforts to use them to their advantage make far more sense on motorbikes where the bike itself makes up at least half of the total mass of the system, if not more. Brake dive on a bicycle chassis appear to me to be a far bigger issue on the forks, as the riders mass is always positioned well behind the forks, so rider movement has far less influence on how they react under braking. Due to the position of the riders weight having such a large influence on the rear end, it seems to me that the designer would be better off allowing the rider full control over this by learning how best to use their weight to their advantage, moving it as required by the specific chassis design to control any unwanted chassis movement caused by braking. The designer could then concentrate on using the frame kinematics to optimize traction under braking, as after all, the main function of the brakes is to use the traction provided to slow the bike and rider down. I must point out that I haven't really had any formal training in this area, and am trying to work it out as best I can as I go. I do respect the knowledge you clearly have on this matter, so any disagreement on my part is purely for the sake of discussion and furthering my own knowledge.
  • + 2
 Yes, your take on Antonio Osuna is correct (I have always found the translator - it is Google Translate, I believe - provided by Antonio on the website to be quite good). All of your other points are very well made. This is the kind of thing that no doubt weighs on the minds of good bike designers and while compromise between competing goals often makes sense it can't always be achieved - a lot comes down to what the designer considers the riders must master themselves in order to ride well, ride fast and ride safely.

Even after careful consideration designers will seek to realise different suspension qualities with their bikes. The mention of Yeti above was meant to be illustrative. The SB5, for example, has a very flat AR curve at around 100% AR across the travel range, like this bike (allowing judgement by eye of the Taniwha mightn't be entirely accurate). It will exhibit quite similar braking characteristics to this bike too. That is something that is a given based on the AR curve itself and the fact that the Yeti formally has a floating brake (the rear triangle floating on two short links) is not a point of difference here.

That doesn't mean that one wouldn't prefer the Yeti, most of the time, to a standard single pivot with 100% AR. The Yeti manages chain growth in a much more sophisticated way allowing 100% AS over the crucial range of travel where pedalling is likely to occur, i.e. the pedalling zone, while being able to rapidly reduce AS deeper into travel mitigating chain growth to some extent and with it pedal feedback and excessive interference of chain tension in the operation of the suspension. So if you ride a Yeti you get a bike that exhibits great geometry stability under both acceleration and deceleration but whose rider must be sparing with the brakes and have certain skills to move body weight around to maximise traction in this situation. I think the Taniwha by its use of a gearbox and large front cog and small rear cog may well be able to mitigate the chain growth that so often interferes with and hinders the intended operation of the suspension of high AS single pivots i.e. by reducing bump compliance and consequently adversely affecting traction when pedalling through rough terrain. The Taniwha might end up feeling more like a Yeti, in some important respects, than other kinematically similar single pivots. I certainly hope it does.
  • + 2
 Oh, by the way, there is a discussion between Antonio and myself on the Linkage Design blog page mentioned, that can be read untranslated in English, that you might find interesting. Antonio is fluent in English and you can put whatever question you like to him. For a while, I commented in Spanish, but popular demand made it clear that I should stop! Readers of the blog - young Europeans for the most part - could manage when I commented in English but my woeful attempts at Spanish confounded everyone. All contributors to the blog are a friendly bunch and eager to learn from one another. Antonio's blog is undoubtedly the best information resource with genuine information, i.e. more than subjective impressions, on the range of bicycle suspensions that exist today.
  • + 1
 Sweet, cheers for the heads up man. I'll check it out. And thank you for taking the time to reply to me. It is appreciated.
  • + 10
 This is just so dialed from an engineering perspective. I've been wondering for 10 years when this was going to happen. Rear mechs are such horribly outdated and vulnerable tech. As a bonus, the bike looks amazing!
  • + 1
 If you case a massive jump, is it going to rip the gearbox off the bottom of the bike? Looks like a bit of a weak spot to me...
  • + 4
 If you case a massive jump hard enough to smash the bb area with enough force to rip the gear box off I'm sure that other parts of the bike would fail as well from that impact. The three mounting points are more than sufficient I would think
  • + 3
 Good point, well made.
  • + 11
 THIS is needed instead of goofy 12sp. sets and 200$ casettes. Finally something reliable and low maintenance. Burn in hell rear derailleurs!
  • + 1
 More like $500 cassettes. The drivetrain cost of Eagle, XX1 and XTR makes the Pinion cost look reasonable when one looks at through life costs.
  • + 9
 Looks nice. Little disappointed he did not stick with the high pivot design. We run an idle gear and do not really have noise issues with it. Our Pinion's are on the way. We are doing a 6" trail bike and 8" DH bike with these P12's. Both will be high pivot designs. I cannot wait to have shifting anytime. There are so many places i would like to shift but cannot because i cannot get the pedal strokes in.
  • + 13
 OH. So NOW grip shift is cool again. I see how it is....
  • + 5
 (That was a joke guys. Obviously you have never had your pals make light of your gripshift) Man, whatever happened to humor?
  • + 26
 Humor died along with freeride, 26, and the availability of .22 ammo.
  • + 9
 Are they ending the Simpsons then?
  • + 4
 They better not! lol
  • + 10
 THAT looks pretty badass - I mean wow!
  • + 10
 600% ?!?!? thats i huge range!
  • + 6
 I wanted a yellow Bronson. I ordered a yellow Bronson. But SC shipped me a black Bronson. That was a big trauma that I still did not recover fully from. I want a yellow Taniwha. I will order a yellow Taniwha. I will get a yellow Taniwha because there's no black Taniwha. No brainer!
  • + 2
 There will be a murdered out black frame option too...
  • + 5
 This is pretty exciting, a real new technology worth spending the big $ on. I haven't been really impressed with 27.5\29 or 1x11 etc. (wow light wheels are awesome though, but nothing new) this is the kind of innovation that would make a person ready to shell out money for a real upgrade from a solid 26" trail bike that many of us ride.
  • + 5
 Totally agree with what you have stated. Our first Pinion's will actually be 26" because that is what we prefer to ride. We will have 27.5 for those that want it.
  • + 8
 Can we talk some more about that crazy fork please?
  • + 3
 Not as elegant looking as current forks or his bikes, but it's a pretty cool idea!
  • + 8
 All that and it has a twist shifter...
  • + 8
 So far I have only seen internally geared hubs and gearboxes with a twist shifter... it is an unfortunate part of the system. I was surprised they are still using the same old model of twist shifter though, no sexy XX1 style improvement, even for such a nice bike. A trigger shifter for this system would be killer!
  • + 15
 Or a gear shift stick mounted on the stem?
  • + 4
 Or an adapted www.rohbox.com. He's engineered biked in his garage, i'm sure he can make a shifter.
  • + 1
 Does anyone have any information as to why they might have paired the gearbox with the twist shift? Seems to be a major turn off for the average rider.
  • + 4
 Because it needs to be a push/pull design I think.
  • + 14
 It's simpler to design a gearbox without a return spring, and it's better to have direct control over the shifting mechanism. The article makes a small error calling the shifter push/pull. It is a pull/pull design. Don't knock the twist shifter until after you try it with a gearbox. You shift at completely different times than with a derailleur (because you can shift without pedaling) I hate grip shift on derailleur bikes, but love it on gearbox bikes. It would take a novel to explain why, so just trust me and believe in gearbox bikes. You won't want to go back to archaic derailleurs once you get used to a good gearbox bike.
  • + 1
 With electronics progressing at the same time as gearboxes, maybe even automatic shifting???
  • + 3
 Grip shift makes sense here. You can easily dump 2,3,4 gears very quickly. like anything else, will take a couple rides to adjust to.
  • + 3
 Looks amazing and possibly the future of MTB BUT... What happens when it breaks? Will it break? I've not much experience with gearbox bikes! I remember that old GT one I think it was, rode one once and that was amazing and that was years ago
  • + 1
 this will bring bike shop maintenance back...
  • + 5
 5 year warranty add oil every 5000 miles....

pinion.eu/en/5-years-guarantee
  • + 3
 Check out this review of a Nicolai with the Pinion gearbox. Pretty interesting stuff.
www.bikeradar.com/mtb/news/article/nicolai-ion-gpi-the-gearbox-mtb-of-the-future-46472
  • + 2
 An interview from 2014 (www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/Zerodes-Full-Carbon-Gearbox-Trail-Bike,7113/Slideshow,0/sspomer,2) regarding the previous one-off model supposes it weighs 30lbs or less with the 18-speed gear box.
  • + 6
 Please build an alloy version too!
  • + 6
 Looks like a good place to hide a motor ????
  • + 7
 more gear boxes!
  • + 3
 Goofy question:

Can you run an oval ring on this rig with that chain tensioner?

Also, does the chainring have a special interface to fit on the Pinion?
  • + 4
 as the gearbox affects the speed at which the front chainring rotates, an oval ring would immideately come "out of sync" with your crank strokes. So even if you could fit one, it wouldnt work.
  • + 3
 Ah, good point. Thanks.
  • + 2
 Effigear do a spring on a cable to loose the grip shifter for thumb shifter, but you still need a 12 shifter. 600% is alot guessing if they made it 350% or 400% 7/8 speed it would lighter/ smaller?
  • + 2
 Nicely done Rob, nicely done. Can't wait to throw a leg over one of my own. LOVE the yellow color BTW! Sick!
3 months to sell off and buy some new bits to built this beauty up Smile
  • + 5
 Zerode aka Metz.. win and they will come..
  • + 2
 my damn pragmatic marketing upbringin showin' again.. damn
  • + 5
 weight please!!!!! I WANT THIS THINGG!!!!!!!111
  • + 4
 Gearboxes are the future, and this one isn't ugly. Will definitely take a serious look when it releases.
  • + 5
 But how much does it weight?
  • + 65
 about ten minutes
  • + 3
 30ish
  • + 4
 Strange how the weight(your) question didnt make it to primetime for a new carbon duro bike w/pinion.
  • + 3
 The same as my Insurgent....
  • - 2
 I would expect it to weigh roughly 4 or 5 lbs more than a comparable bike with a traditional drivetrain. (I actually ran the numbers a while back comparing the weights of a traditional drivetrain vs a pinion gearbox drivetrain to get a very rough estimate of the difference.)

30ish might not be that far off. I would guess 30 to 34ish depending on the build kit and the quality of the carbon used (e.g. comparable to Nomad C vs CC).

Can't wait to hear more about the bike, though! I bet it descends and corners like a dream, but I'm sure you'll feel a little extra weight climbing.
  • + 5
 Here are the numbers for those who don't believe me:

Pinion gearboxes range from 2200g/4.85lbs to 2700g/5.95 lbs, but a gearbox also negates the need for a cassette. You'll still need a shifter, chainring, rear cog, and some sort of chain tension device to allow for chain growth as the suspension compresses. Lets assume the chain tension device weighs half as much as a rear derailleur. So if your cassette weighs 350g and your derailleir is 300g, then you save 350g + 150g or 500g and add 2200-2700g for the gearbox. You can probably also save a little weight by using a smaller chain ring, but you're not entirely eliminating the rear cassette because you still need one small cog so I think it mostly evens out in that regard. That means you're looking at adding 1700g/3.75lbs to 2200g/4.85lbs to your build kit by switching to a gearbox drivetrain.

Obviously this is a very rough estimate. I do think 30ish is probably on the lower end of what we can expect, though, considering a top spec Nomad CC with carbon rims weighs around 26 lbs. But maybe if you neg prop me enough it'll make the bike lighter.
  • + 3
 I'll buy one of these the second they come out, amazing bike! You better have the factory going full tilt because your pre orders are going to be threw the roof!
  • + 2
 BOTY (Bike of the year).

I am still riding my Keewee Cromo 8 that Rob designed and built in the late 90s. Its still an awesome bike.
  • + 2
 I've always thought the DH bike was one of the coolest out there, and this is even better! Really hope they sell a ton of these
  • + 4
 If funds weren't an issue, this is hands down the next bike I would buy!!
  • + 1
 Damn I really wanna try this bike out!

The front center must weigh more than a conventional bike I guess? I'm curious how it affects handling.

Keep it up Zerode!

PS - will you guys have the bike at Sea Otter?
  • + 1
 Yeah, I find this bike intriguing and i would definitely like to try it out. I wish that it didn't have a grip shift though... besides that, it looks great and i like the 65 degree HA
  • + 3
 Coming soon.... SRAM buys Pinion. Pure conjecture. But it would just make sense...
  • + 5
 Game Changer.
  • + 4
 Please let this be bike be a huge success.
  • + 3
 My G2 is amazing. Amazing. Next bike. 2017 Taniwha... Sold. The dude know bikes
  • + 2
 It's great to see some real innovation, everything seems to be about wheel \ tyre \ axle size these days. It looks like a great bike and I really hope it takes off.
  • + 1
 Pinion either needs an electronic shifter or go like effigear and adapt the gearbox to work with either SRAM or Shimano triggers. I've read this to be in development, hopefully it becomes true.
  • + 5
 Whens the review coming!
  • + 1
 Please, somehow get rid of the gripshift and I will buy one tomorrow! Surely they can make a rapidfire style shifter with push/pull cables.
  • + 1
 This with electronic paddle shift please, not because I want electronic shifters, but because I just don't want Grip Shifters...
  • + 1
 Damn, you fine. It would be amazing if there was a way to replace the gripshift with a dependable electronic shifter. The future looks bright.
  • + 3
 actually one of my proudest fap
  • + 1
 I want one, but that damn shifter puts me off. If there's a trigger available for this frame, then there's a deposit waiting for it too.
  • + 1
 The only sad thing is fact that good gearbox applicable for MTB still costs around 1000 E ;( Besides this I cannot wait to have one Wink
  • + 3
 Trigger shifter for the gearbox and I'm sold.
  • + 2
 I like it but...
How does the system efficiency compare ? What is the weight ? C'mon bro
  • + 3
 Can we use a belt-drive with a tensioner pulley for absolute silence?
  • + 3
 Would be interesting to know which system has less friction... The Kiwi bike is 100 times nicer though, so no contest here!
  • + 3
 I am happy and sad all at the same time.
  • + 4
 Amazing
  • + 4
 I'd ride that!
  • - 1
 Doing quick search and calculation on weight. Looking at about 1500 gram/3.3 lbs penalty. Which is a fairly heavy penalty.

www.cyclingabout.com/pinion-18s-gearbox-the-future-for-bike-touring
P1.12 = 2350g

Cassette = 400gr
Rear Derailleur = 300g
BB = 120g
  • + 2
 Cranks, BB, Chainguide?
  • + 3
 Thank you. Friends and i have waited 25 years for this ride to exist.
  • + 1
 anyone riding this tho? I like the zerode more because of the geo but input from anyone riding this would be awesome axxisbikes.com/en/altec-am275
  • + 3
 Awesome rob keep them coming
  • + 3
 This is the future . And the future is looking good!
  • + 2
 The Tesla of the mtb world Smile
  • + 3
 looks like a nomad
  • + 1
 My thought exactly
  • + 2
 put Richie Rude on it, if he wins the EWS then im sold!
  • + 1
 Now that's an innovation I could stand behind! Way to go Zerode! Highly skeptical of grip shift though.
  • + 2
 Any chance of Pinion doing carbon crank arms?
  • + 1
 What a beauty!!! Good to see someone move away from a standard drive train...
  • + 1
 Just read the pinion is rated to a 110kgs rider including gear.. Looks like I'm going to have to put myself in a diet..
  • + 1
 His hand-built prototype is proof that the guy is insanely talented. That thing looks perfect, and he built it in his shed!
  • + 1
 i like it, probly better than using an internal nexus-like hub?
or is this too much geekdom?
  • + 2
 You know this guy knows his apples when you see a DHR2 fitted
  • + 1
 Yellow colored type(font) doesnt work well, whether your slighlty color challenged or not.
  • + 3
 10/10 would buy.
  • + 2
 So Getting this! this is genius, such a freaking good idea
  • + 2
 i love this! but the grip shift is awful.
  • + 1
 Any insight as to why the chain looks like it is running on top of the swing arm near the gearbox?
  • + 2
 A Nomad with a gearbox!
  • + 1
 This is it! Shimano and Sram are all f@cked!
  • + 1
 Seems legit. I'd ride it.
  • + 2
 trade my lambo for it
  • + 3
 I'll buy one and trade you it for the lambo ( only if it's a mercy)????
  • + 2
 take my money.....
  • + 1
 Also, Water bottle mounts for the Win!!! Sweet bike!!!
  • + 1
 Nice one Rob!
  • + 1
 So. Much. Win.
  • + 1
 My next bike Smile
  • + 0
 GripShift! Fuck yeah! Game changer!
  • + 0
 Yes.
  • + 0
 Soooo sexy.
  • + 0
 I want this so much!!
  • + 0
 Yes please !!!!
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