Domahidy Designs' Titanium Hardtail: Plus Wheels, Pinion 12-Speed Gearbox, and Gates Belt-Drive

Feb 25, 2016
by Richard Cunningham  

Domahidy Designs Titanium All-Mountain Pinion Hardtail 2016

Steve Domahidy isn't afraid to stick his neck out when it comes to mountain bike design. He and Chris Sugai co-founded Niner Bikes when the 29er was either off the radar or a swear word among rank and file riders. Domahidy struck out on his own a number of years ago and has been involved behind the scenes as a designer and consultant for other brands and more recently, has launched a modest range of road and mountain frames under the "Domahidy Designs" label.

His latest brainchild, the Domahidy Designs Titanium All-Mountain Pinion Hardtail, is intended to fill the role of a very capable and durable fun bike that should require little or no maintenance, even for those who live and ride in the UK. Domahidy sells it as a frame kit that includes a triple butted 3/2.5 titanium frame, a 12-speed Pinion gearbox, and a Gates Carbon Drive toothed belt with drive sprockets for $4995 USD. Customers who pre-order the kit will receive as a thank you, an Industry Nine Back Country 27.5+ or 29” wheelset worth $1000 USD. Delivery is slated for mid-summer according to Domahidy and company.


Details:

• Triple butted 3/2.5 alloy titanium hardtail frame (Sm. Med. Lg.)
• 27.5+ (3” tire clearance) or 29” wheel compatible
• Pinion P1.12, twelve-speed gearbox
• Comes with Gates belt drive and front and rear Gates cogs
• 120-140mm fork compatible
• 30.9mm internal dropper post routing.
• 148mm Boost rear-hub spacing
• 4.25 lbs. for medium frame (no gearbox)
• $4,999 frame and drivetrain kit
• Contact: Domahidy Designs

Domahidy Designs Titanium All-Mountain Pinion Hardtail 2016 geo
Geometry updated to reflect 140mm fork
Domahidy Designs Titanium All-Mountain Pinion Hardtail 2016


About the Titanium All-Mountain Pinion Hardtail

Domahidy Designs hails from Colorado, USA, where the bikes are developed and tested. The Titanium All Mountain Pinion frames are produced in small quantities from triple butted 3/2.5 titanium in Taiwan. According to Steve, the geometry is on the conservative side of modern, with a relatively slack, 68-degree head angle (67 with a 140mm fork) - and with oversized tubes and beefy construction intended to take a beating in the hands of seasoned technical riders. The frame is designed to accept 148mm Boost rear hubs, and either conventional 29er wheels or 27.5-plus wheels with tires up to three inches wide. Internal dropper post routing is included. Adjustable rear dropouts allow the belt drive to be properly tensioned and also provides the option for a different final-drive gear. Sizes are small, medium and large. Weight for the medium sized frame, sans-gearbox, is pegged at 4.25 pounds (1.93kg).

Domahidy Designs Titanium All-Mountain Pinion Hardtail 2016
This is what you get for $4999 (rear hub not included)


A machined-titanium mounting interface replaces the threaded bottom bracket you'd find on a conventional frame, and it bolts directly to the twelve-speed P1.12 Pinion gearbox, which includes the crank arms and a Gates cog-belt "chainring." Domahidy says that the gearbox adds 1.75 pounds (.77kg) to the equivalent weight of a SRAM 1 x 11 derailleur drivetrain. Pinion's claim is that the 12-speed gearbox has more evenly spaced selections with a wider range than SRAM's one-by-eleven can attain (even the 12-speed that is rumored to be in development).

Domahidy Designs Titanium All-Mountain Pinion Hardtail 2016
The Gates Carbon Drive system is a proven winner.

Domahidy Designs Titanium All-Mountain Pinion Hardtail 2016
Pinion's 12-speed gearbox runs 6,000 miles between services.


Those unfamiliar with the Gates Carbon Drive will be happy to know that the 11-millimeter-pitch cog-belt does not stretch and needs no lubrication and, reportedly, its efficiency matches that of a roller chain in real world conditions. Single-speed riders who run the Gates drive report that it is whisper quiet and incredibly long lasting. Domahidy uses it because it remains efficient in dusty or wet conditions that would put a roller chain in the hurt locker. His motto for the new bike is: "Ride, rinse and repeat."


Ready to Ditch the Derailleur?

The DD Titanium AM Pinion hardtail's asking price is steep, but once you get over the sticker shock and start adding up the prices of the Pinion gearbox, Carbon Drive, and then subtract the cost of a conventional drivetrain and crankset, it starts to look more realistic. Throw in that free thousand-dollar Industry Nine wheelset and the pie gets even sweeter. If you are gearbox curious, Steve Domahidy's new all-mountain hardtail may be the gateway drug you have been waiting for. For more information, contact the Domahidy Designs website or on-line store.
Domahidy Designs Titanium All-Mountain Pinion Hardtail 2016
Pre-orders qualify for a free Industry Nine wheelset.




Author Info:
RichardCunningham avatar

Member since Mar 23, 2011
974 articles

230 Comments
  • 136 3
 gearboxes are the future. pathetic 3mm extra width with the new boost rear hub?? imagine how wide the flanges could be with one cog in the rear, not to mention never having to deal with the sound of a loose chain bouncing all over the place through rough sections
  • 38 1
 I don't get why they'd use boost, when it just needs to be any old SS hub (symmetrical and wide flanges already).

Still, this is everything I want in a bike. Geo looks like you could even pedal it both up hill and down hill!
  • 18 13
 Great comment. But with full suspension bikes, you'd still need to deal with bouncing chain to some extent, because with most suspension design (especially those free of brake jack) chain stay length is changing as the suspension compresses. But chain tensioner can be built in just behind the BB, so that pantogram is hidden from strikes.
  • 19 0
 Think of the time it takes to absorb the R&D cost of adding 3mm of width vs engineering a gearbox.

That's the rub, we consumers are not stupid, and we will come forward with our wallets open for real innovation. Its when the marketing departments get there hands on the latest and greatest, when really its not so great.

Anyway, this has been said 1,000 times, and will be likely brought up 14 more times in this comment section alone.
Back to being an internet warrior.
  • 12 5
 The fastest, roughest racing, using the most travel - how many race runs are actually ended by a blown derailleur? Is this a solution in search of a problem?
  • 32 6
 Rubberelli - yes we can adapt to anything. Even losing a hand. From engineering point of view gearbox is better, there is no discussion about it. Accountants at companies making bikes prefer rear derailleurs. It is just simplier to make a frame that accomodates a rear mech - all you need to do is to make 10mm threaded hole. Done!

Rear mech is in the way of objects and along with cassette, adds unsprung weight to the suspension, do you see engines in motorcycle hubs? Even most Electric motos have engine mounted centrally, even though they could just use hub engine. Do you see a gearbox in motorcycle hub? It's fricking clear but many people cannot imagine anything else than what they see... and many of them believe there is such thing as market demand. There isn't. People in power design stuff, produce it and then you either like it or not. Few years after you accept anything. If you got used your eyes to a clutch in rear mech, then you can get them used to gearbox bikes. And if only Shimano and SRAM would make one, your wallet would get used to one rather quickly too

So yes there is a problem and the centrally mounted gearbox is the solution for it.
  • 8 0
 My bike is down with a badly bent hanger ATM, the second in a week and change. If I could do an affordable and reliable box or internal hub, I would.
  • 5 0
 WAKIdesigns - It's more like having the transmission attached to the wheel than the engine. Otherwise, its a good analogy. Motorcycles are a good example of relate-able technology that uses a transmission mounted low and central. I totally agree that moving the trans to the frame is great, not only does it remove unsprung weight, but it moves that weight to the center of the bike. Awesome.
  • 5 0
 rallyimprezive - yes rallyimprezive, and rear mech + cassette tend to oscilate around 1lbs, that's something to bring to the center of the bike.
  • 48 13
 "From an engineering point of view gearbox is better, there is no discussion about it."

Really Waki? No discussion? How about the dramatically decreased mechanical efficiency of a gearbox vs a chain and derailleur? A well maintained conventional bike drivetrain has mechanical efficiency lossess on the order of 1-7% of input power. A gearbox on the other hand has losses normally above 15%, and nearing 40% at low torque (depends on the gearing). That's the engineering viewpoint ya hack.

No discussion- "I'm right and that's all there is to say about it". Except when you are catastrophically wrong.
  • 8 2
 "Gearbox curious" sounds like a phrase one might see in a pop-up ad while visiting an adult website
  • 3 0
 I'm not saying I don't believe you, but do you have any citable sources for those loss factors? Interesting
  • 13 7
 t-sheep - for enduro and DH, there is little discussion about gearbox. When it comes to XC or Marathon we can talk. Poorly lubricated, worn out chain looses over 10%. Crossed chain can loose almost 5% from middle ring to small chainring and 3 or something to the big gear. I can't be arsed were I read that. Sheldown Brown - like site.
  • 4 11
flag aoneal (Feb 25, 2016 at 8:16) (Below Threshold)
 I stopped reading at "148mm Boost rear-hub spacing".
  • 12 5
 I laugh at all this boost=evil crap for a gearbox bike... they used the AXLE spacing of 148mm... because when you're building a gearbox bike for wider tires, you would want the widest rear end spacing you can get and you might as well go with the new standard the bike industry is adopting to future-proof yourself and your customers and not with one the industry is abandoning. Also you're complaining about it on a bike that is only sold as a frameset for FIVE THOUSAND US DOLLARS... and doesn't include the rear hub unless you get the pre-order deal that comes with the free THOUSAND dollar wheelset. I bet had they used a fat bike hub spacing like 177, there'd be less whining since it doesn't involve the dreaded "BOOST" word that people here seem to be afraid of.
  • 10 1
 When you make a new frame, going for Boost is a no brainer, especially with a non-carbon rear end.
  • 2 3
 @deeeight I actually believe in boost for derailleurs. They offer a solution to a legitimate problem. But this is a hard tail with a single speed hub. Just use a cheap bolt on DJ hub. With the gear box, chain clearance is probably such that it could be made to work with 27+, 26*3.8" fat, and 29" wheels. I would actually consider opening the wheelsets for the same bike if they could be made cheap.
  • 7 3
 Boost does not offer any bigger solution to anything. Assymetric rim solves thewheel triangulation problem. The bit about chainline and cs length is a straight bullcrap.
  • 7 1
 a cheap bolt on hub wouldn't be either appropriate to this sort of hardtail, nor a concern to anyone building a SEVEN THOUSAND DOLLAR BIKE. These sorts of reviews/info posts always garner the looky loo peanut gallery who'll complain about details of stuff they cannot afford and aren't in the market for either.
  • 1 0
 If they can make a gear box design that is similar to the new Demo with the pivot point and bb on the same axis, you won't need a tensioner. Their would just be a fixed chain around two cogs. And super quiet.

I've been waiting for a bike like that since the early 2000's. Although it was a little different, the Honda RN 01 was amazing. It doesn't have the same axis for pivot and bb and uses a tensioner. I'll never forget watching Minarr racing it in 2004 I think in Big Bear. You could hear all the other bikes a mile away coming down the hill with the clunky suspension and chain slap. When he came down, it was just the sound of tires and dirt!

Minarr did an interview about a month or two ago with Peaty and talked about that bike. Interesting comment was that he said it does have advantages, but that design had some drag in that the gears are always engaged. I wonder if these gear boxes encounter the same drag. But on the positive, since it is always engaged, you don't have to pedal to shift gear. You can shift down or up mid turn and be ready and not have to wait till the turn is over to shift into the right gear. That was on the Honda, not sure if these new ones work that way.

Oh yeah, and no more derailleur hitting crap on the ride and breaking it!

Really hope the idea progresses.

Second pic on the page.
scribnerelectric.com/modules/com_docman/greg-minnaar-494.html
  • 4 2
 Sram's 1x11 nailed the last coffin in the gearbox i think (i wouldn't mind a Pinion bike, mind you).
  • 1 0
 such money and you get just one brake lever..
  • 3 0
 no...there's two brake levers...
  • 2 2
 Hey Waki - "From engineering point of view gearbox is better,". Yeah, but from a practical usage point of view the derailleur is clearly superior. After all, we have how many decades of enginerring of frames and components with a derailleur? Gearboxes dont work because the bike has to go back to step one and be developed for that. this is not practical since there isnt anything wrong with the current state of twchnology..
  • 9 0
 No Ruberelli, what has to go back? What got so far ahead? Rear derailleur has not evolved much since 2000. take XTR 950 and 9000 into your hands, or better ride a bike that has them - feel the way they shift. I have even better comparison for you - take 9sp Sram X0 and current X01. You will see that build and shift quality went down - yes you got clutch and wide range. We got 2 new gears in the rear. The only thing that really got forward is the clutch and I can eventually bend myself for SRAMs cassette. So simply speaking what Shimano and Sram did to rear mechs over the course of last 15 years is polishing the turd.

Gearbox like Pinion fits just fine into any bike design. If it were made by Shimano or Sram, it would take only one generation to elevate it above rear mech with 1lbs of weight penalty.

Derailleurs are suitable for accountants and XC riders.
  • 1 4
 So Waki, where are these vastly superior gearbox bikes? The only ones I know of are goofy working and have serious flaws.
  • 4 2
 Jesus Maria Gonzales Del Penyo Con Salada Batatas...

I told you that accountants steer the big industry and for them derailleur is just better because it means they have to spend less time on R&D since they only pay for design of the frame. So all they have to do in order to provide gearing for their bike is to make a 10mm threaded hole for the rear mech and support for the B-screw. Then threaded or pressfit BB shell. Theeen they have two competing brands making derailleurs so price goes down. Hi Shimano, SRam gave us a better deal on everything that fits our frame just like yours, how about you drop the price a bit? Then it is better for Shimano to make derailleurs for all sorts of reasons with main being: they do same sht since years. Just need to redesign the looks a bit.

Now gearbox requires commitment to one particular make in order to mount it in the bike. Irrelevant for user, very relevant for the guys counting costs...
  • 2 0
 Don't want to get into a pissing match here with anyone but a friend of mine designed his own Ti frame around a gear box and it cost him roughly 4K. With that being said, it works flawlessly and is a stunner to look at. With the wheels included… IMP, this is a great deal (if you have the money) but I'm not too fond of the graphics. I personally would prefer a natural Ti finish. To each their own.
  • 2 5
 Waki- All kinds of people make their own custom bikes in all kinds of crazy designs. You would think that at least one gearbox bike would have worked so well that they would have made more of them. After all, that is where the e-bike amd full suspension came from. And, in fact, one of the largest manufacturimg corporations in the world worked on one for years before abandoning the project.
  • 1 0
 Enduro and DH are forms of racing, so a clapped-out drivetrain is not a variable most participants allow....unless you're me.
  • 1 1
 This new sterilizer model is the most expensive birth control method in history.
  • 2 1
 Where are the bikes?
alutech-cycles.com/navi.php?a=2270&lang=eng
alutech-cycles.com/navi.php?a=2253&lang=eng
www.cavalerie-bikes.com
www.nicolai-bicycles.com/shop/index.php/enduro/ion-gpi.html
(there used to also be a DH Nicolai with an Effigear)

www.effigear.com
pinion.eu

As for the two gearboxes, i'd like to see a trigger shifter for the pinion (with Sram's upcoming 12spd group you could cobble together an adaptor to pull both Pinion's cables, maybe) and maybe see them explore Effigear's layout of the output shaft not being concentric to the pedal axis. That would make building high pivot bikes easier.

As for the Effigear, it has trigger shifting, but it requires the use of a freehub-less rear hub. It drives the chain while downshifting, with easing up on the pedals it apparently releases some clutches and enables the downshift to a lighter gear (that's what i was told about a year ago). Using a normal freehub means you have to backpedal a bit to do the downshift.
As for the layout of the Effigear, it's very versatile and can even come in Pinion's layout.
www.effigear.com/#!frame-integration/c1fai

In general though, you still have to drive the chain and sprockets (the efficiency is the same as with ye olde and ye shitte derailleurs) PLUS all the gearbox bearings (and seals) and sprockets (~10 sprocket pairs), plus some clutches, pawls, etc. The efficiency will NEVER be as good for a gearbox bike as it is for a derailleur bike (i would in fact like to see efficiency numbers for a crossed-over chain). That and the integration problems is the gearbox's downfall.
  • 5 1
 Gearbox efficiency improves with age. Mech systems in the real world loose a lot of efficiency being dirty, worn, cross train etc etc, then theres energy lost from having to think about where you change gears, having to put up with the wrong gear cause you can't change due to rocks or whatever. In the real world, a gearbox rider will most likely save a lot more energy during a ride. We're talking about an energy loss most people wouldn't care or notice anyway. Never heard I better add 2PSI to my tyres to save some effieicny, etc etc. Better clean that grass off my jokey wheels to save effieicney.
  • 3 0
 @NoSkidMarks: ditto - chain efficiency is a myth: bad chainline from shifting out of optimal cog, dirt, wear, and it's gone.
  • 1 1
 Gearbox efficiency improves with age? Worn gears are more efficient? No, that is not remotely close to true.
  • 1 0
 YES! So glad this is featured here. From an engineering perspective, gearboxes MAKE SENSE. There are a few big companies that could stand to lose a lot if the industry changes to gearboxes. I'm sure they have plenty of patents and prototypes in the work, but considering the way we all lap up the minor improvements in drivetrains that surface every year, I don't think there's really an economic motivation to change anything until the market demands it.

TL;DR: gearboxes make sense, they will improve your riding experience, start pushing for more.
  • 63 9
 1. Insert comment about how bikes are getting so expensive 2. reply with a.) work harder or b.) Formula 1 analogy
  • 22 4
 How can bikes be so expensive nowadays and cost similar to the rrp of a motocross bike. I try to work harder and get more money for bikes, but I just can't keep up with the year-on-year rise, especially when a frame costs as much as a whole bike. On the other hand we receive a high-end product, ready to race, and is like getting a new wtcc car or formula 1 car directly from the shop.

Did I get it right?

PS: awesome bike!!!
  • 5 17
flag torero (Feb 25, 2016 at 3:59) (Below Threshold)
 This is not F1 , this is a steal . I 'm sick of comparing cars racing bikes have nothing in common in cycling races are won by the rider , not the vehicle . Oh, and people only works when allows, is not a matter of will.
  • 3 1
 We always have choice:
1. To buy high-end product OR to built bike from parts (some of which may be used) in such configuration which is the best for us. (I have already build two bikes one-for me other for my wife)
2. To maintain bikes at special centres OR to maintain them by ourselves. (I always maintain bike by myself and I have less problems than one of my friend who brings his bike only to "specialists")

Those who have enough money to buy hi-end they spend money. Those who is like me they spend time. I am trying to earn more money and some day I will buy hi-end products, the difference is that people who will maintain my bike will have no possibility to fool me;-))

P.S when you build bike by yourself it could be even more expensive but you can put more universal details in it (like hubs 4 in 1 and other) and then you will spend less money on modifying it. For example for some reason you need to change fork (you've broke it while falling) and the new one has axle 20 mm and the previous was 15 mm. If you have hub 4 in 1 it is not a problem for you!)))
  • 3 1
 At that price i'll buy 3!!
  • 12 1
 If you take the price of my 2000 Sworks, adjust for inflation and then consider the technological differences- bikes haven't really gone up that much.
  • 2 1
 Out of curiosity is your 2000 s-works made in the US or China/Taiwan?
  • 1 0
 @barzaka why do you need a new bike every year?

My second hand 2010 Trek Fuel EX9 is still a ripper, 26" wheels and all. There are good value bikes around and if even they are out of your price range get something a year or two old that is still technologically bang up to date . . . I would argue the All Mountain/Euduro bike hasn't changed much since 1 by drive trains 3/4 years ago
  • 1 0
 @ConorWG it was just a joke. Smile )
  • 47 3
 This is one of the coolest bikes I've seen in a while. I also don't think the price is that stupid given the innovation. Now just wishing that I was a dentist.
  • 30 1
 Well, I'm a dentist and can't afford that bike too. I must be doing something wrong... Now wishing that I was a banker.
  • 8 1
 Edit: wish I could afford that bike, regardless of profession. Banker would probably do tho.
  • 15 1
 Making more money doesn't work...you will have a wife with expensive tastes and a mortgage payment. The only way to do it is being a kid with rich parents.
  • 9 0
 I like the drive a shit-car route for affording bikes and parts. Both my bikes individually are worth more than the blue book on my car. Not sure if that says more about my car or my bikes....
  • 8 3
 Or a union tradesmen like myself. You go to school two months a year for four years and come out making nearly $50 an hour with double time and really good benefits. Seriously, not that hard people.
  • 13 2
 Or you can earn hundreds of dollars an hour using Facebook. Ask me how!! Then it's titanium for the whole family!
  • 2 1
 So what happens when your union goes on strike?
  • 2 1
 @DhAYaTEi are you saying $50/hr plus double time or with double time?
  • 1 1
 My NHS dentist has at least a Porsche 911, Cayenne turbo and a new superbike every time I visit.
  • 2 0
 My dentist drives a Mercedes and owns several aircraft.
  • 8 1
 I've haven't been to the dentist for ages. Thanks for the reminder, guys!
  • 1 0
 A dentist would also have access to great tools for polishing and cleaning small parts! and the saliva slurper
  • 1 1
 You could work in the Alberta oil patch......I think there's probably still one or two people there.
  • 1 0
 Dentist talk! Feeling that meme
  • 2 1
 $50/hr regular time, $75 time n' a half, $100 double.
  • 2 0
 You must be working oil fields or something because I'm an electrician (non union) and don't get no $50/hr. Even my union buddy that's been licensed for about 15yrs only makes around $35/hr reg time.
  • 2 0
 @DhAYaTEi - Seriously, what industry are you working for? I am a Database Admin, and I barely make that kindve $$$
  • 2 0
 My son is making $39.** /h working up past Fort Mac as forth year elect. I have union electricians working in my department and they get around $85,000 pa, plus double time OT.
  • 36 6
 gearboxes are the future. however they are too reliable and shimano and sram make too much money off people smashing derailleurs, chains wearing, cassettes wearing, chainrings getting smashed and worn. we would already have gearboxes by now if shimano and sram's accountants wouldn't get in the way of their engineers.
  • 28 5
 Shimano and Sram make the majority of their money from OEM bikes which are never ridden enough to have their drivetrains replaced. People who actually ride their bikes are, depressingly, in the minority compared to people who buy them with good intentions and then put them in the shed after a few weeks to gather dust.

Gearboxes are heavy, expensive, complicated and readily available. People aren't buying the ones that are on the market, why should a big company like Sram or Shimano speculate a huge amount of money on a market which doesn't currently exist just to encourage a loss in sales of their core market but no overall increase in revenue? There aren't going to be more bikes overall sold with the introduction of gearboxes, just a share of the bikes sold will have gearboxes instead of them all having derailleurs. If you want there to be more and better gearboxes you need to buy the ones there are now, help the companies doing what you are asking for to fund their research.
  • 7 0
 I think the correct answer is that Gearboxes COULD be the future. The problem is that derailleurs have had a long history of extensive and expensive R&D to refine them, while gearboxes have had significantly less research done into them. Just as we should all be using Wankel rotary engines in vehicles as they are much more efficient theoretically, other forms of engine have had more R&D and are more efficient at the moment. Should gearbox R&D continue or be enhanced by a big name like Shimano or SRAM jumping in, then they could probably become competitive both weight and cost wise in the future.
  • 4 3
 Long live rotary engines,new generation under development.
Long live two stroke moto, Honda recently applied for new patents for 2 stroke direct injection.
Long live 26" wheels.

Consumers are the cause of the deaths.
Don't buy it And they will stop developing it.
  • 6 1
 Actually this gearbox is no more complicated than the external drl system you have now, which has not many less parts, and is more prone to damage and significantly more prone to wear than the spur gears in the P18. Most people forget how convoluted a drl system actually is, because we've seen it for so long and it works reasonably well when fresh. The pinion system is significantly more reliable and longevity is significanly increased over a flimsy cassette and chain being yanked up and down by a fairly complex drl and spins on a ratcheting hub system that is prone to wear. They also aren't that heavy or expensive when you factor in the variables.
  • 9 3
 Cue Luddite downvoters who don't understand basic engineering principles and who's engineering know-how amounts to superimposing suspension linkages in photoshop to determine leverage ratios for arguing on the internet. AKA PB mouthbreathers.
  • 7 0
 You were so close to an upvote @atrokz , then I read the next comment...
  • 5 0
 If the shoe fits @Gav-B......... if it doesn't, cheers! (the joke is about the guys who superimpose links)

Been here 16 years, votes aren't going to make or break the thousands of hours I've spent actually working on gearboxes, albeit for a different application. :-P
  • 3 0
 Ok @atrokz , now you get the upvote! (I don't downvote, except for one person...).
  • 8 0
 haha. I just realized I've been on here for 16 years! (stares off into distance, contemplating what I've done with my life)
  • 2 1
 Hmm, Rohloffs do 40000kms with 30ml oil changed annually. Pretty good proof of possible gearbox reliability. Gearbox frame mounted make the weight negligable IMO, I even think it's beneficial as balast for the rest of the bike to want to pivot around, both in handliong and suspension.
  • 2 1
 Gearboxes are selling at a rapid rate. Most people don't have time to think for themselves about bikes, that may not be their main life focus, so they're easily suckered into marketing.
  • 2 0
 @atrokz can't believe somebody else uses the term mouth-breathers! :-D one of my favourites! The types you'd find in a McDonalds car park talking about the masses of extra torque and horsepower an induction kit gave their Vauxhall Corsa...
  • 22 2
 You guys at Pinkbike should long-term test a gearboxed bike...

It would be very interesting to hear an experts' opinion on how such a bike handles given that the center of mass of the bike changes dramatically when compared to a "normal" bike with all that transmission weight loaded on the back wheel...

Especially for FS bikes I assume that removing the weight from the rear wheel would improve dramatically the performance of the rear suspension...
  • 2 9
flag scottzg (Feb 25, 2016 at 6:03) (Below Threshold)
 The gearbox is at the cranks, not the rear wheel.
  • 2 0
 Yep, said exactly that Also agree on the long term test
  • 2 1
 On a traditional bike it is
  • 3 0
 I agree, it would be great to see extensive and long term testing of these gearboxes. I've always wondered if they're gimmicky or legit. Enclosed and protected drivetrain and weight better centered in the middle of the bike seems promising if these can be made compact and with comparable weight to normal drivetrains
  • 5 0
 A long term test over a few seasons would be awesome, then they could also compare the costs associated with keeping this vs a conventional system. Maybe run two nearly identical bikes side by side over a few seasons, then report back what wore out, what costs were, how they performed in various conditions. Could help the consumer decide on the value added by a gearbox over a (few) seasons ownership.
  • 6 0
 I assume that with the cycling industry heading towards producing 12 gear conventional drivetrains (11 gears are reality already), they would first want to exhaust any profit from that transition as well and then move to exploring the full capabilities of the gearbox.

I guess we have a few seasons to go before gearbox becomes mainstream...
  • 2 0
 That's a little cynical but probably entirely true. So many resources in R&D have gone into 1x11 (and 12?) that the industry has to recoup that investment before going in another direction
  • 2 0
 I don't think its cynical...It's the way the industry (any industry) works...

We spend our hard earned money on things that make us happy, the industry pays its bills and makes sure that it will keep making things that will make us happy in the future so as to give them more of our hard earned money...(wait, that sounds cynical indeed Smile )
  • 3 1
 Long term tests are useless. By the time you read a long term test of a bike and consider to buy it, based on that test, there is a new model coming off the drawing board. So the monent you finish breaking in your bike, the new version of it is at Sea Otter, if only with revised components.
  • 1 0
 That is true assuming that you only consider buying THE latest model available. Some people need their time before plugin into a new technology and they enjoy the extensive research before committing to purchase. Also there are people who are looking for sales or who would appreciate a well maintained second hand bike. Not all of us are cutting edge or early adopters...
  • 4 0
 Then why do car magazines perform long term tests? The pinion has been the same for several years now, and the conventional drivetrain hasn't made much progress other than speeds and a few very minor ramp design changes by certain companies. The design is the exact same for many years now. So in actuality, it's a very useful test, if done right. They could measure the wear of chain, the condition of the cassette teeth, and evaluate the shifting speed. A good test would be the XTR Di2 vs XX1 Vs Pinion over the course of a season, or 10,000 miles kind of thing. See where good value lies over the course of a years use. It may put perspective to the high initial cost of a pinion not actually being that high.
  • 18 0
 In the case of the gearbox vs a derailleur drivetrain, I agree that a long-term evaluation would be a good story. I'll see if we can arrange that. Thanks to all for the inspiration. RC
  • 3 0
 Thanks for getting into it RC, really is something interesting as for most at this moment a gearbox bike is just a dream.
  • 1 0
 From what I understand one of the major barriers to gearbox adoption is the efficiency; hard to beat a chain/belt drive thats near 100% efficient. Even if a gearbox is only 3-4% behind a derailleur its hugely noticeable on the trail. That seems to be lost on this whole conversation. Cost doesn't really matter; if tons of people rode gearboxes the price would come down to near traditional derailleur prices, and its hard to see how a gearbox could wear faster than an exposed, unspring, hainging-on-the-side-of-the-back-wheel system most of us use now. Of course my spandex XC friends would say the solution is to just ride single speed.
  • 3 0
 but if it works smother for longer, requires less maintenance and is more reliable might be worth it. I hate how exposed and vulnerable derailleurs are.
  • 2 0
 The efficiency gets very close once you consider wear, and dirt accumulation on a chain. There has been some tests performed in the past that do show about 3%. You DO feel it, but the benefit of longevity is still good for the average rider.
  • 2 1
 It's hard to demand efficiency off a DH bike drivetrain. It's just a ridiculous demand. When it comes to Enduro bike, the only question is whether climbing gears are efficient enough. You don't need efficiency for Enduro stage racing either, you need it on liasons.

atrokz - since you may like to run a chain on a gearboxed bike instead of the belt, the chain wear argument (that I propelled myself just to see if someone catches it) is quite irrelevant. The only thing is that chain doesn't get crossed and works in best possible line.
  • 2 0
 Yes, for suspension bikes you'd still need a chain, but wear should be, in theory, a little less and the chainline would be perfect. To me this system with a gates belt drive seems like the ultimate combo for a hardtail trail bike. Less worry, nothing to oil or lube for a long time.
  • 7 0
 Waki, we are on it and our mission is to keep the price respectable. The bike industry has gotten crazy with what they want to charge for what most of us is a toy/exercise toy. All the stupid lame changes of the last few years that do not really add any noticable benefit (example: 15mm front axles) except to keep people having to buy new stuff because things are no longer compatible. The gearbox solves this as far as drivetrains go. With a 150mm hub, should keep people set for a long time. With the gear range of the P12, any drag shouold not be to noticable. I spoke with Rob at Zerode, he says it really is not noticable, but the benfits gained are worth any trade off. He also said once you spend time on one, you do not want to go back.
  • 1 0
 Right on RC - we got the same last name, fool! Keep that PMA n stay away from this new E-40 malt liquor on work nights. Been following your writings for decades.
  • 1 0
 I have always wanted a gearbox bike, ever since I broke my first derailleur hanger back in 95 or so. Must have gone through 30 of those things over the years, plus countless expensive derailleurs as well.
Before buying my last bike,(2014), I searched for a gearbox bike to test, but here in New England, I couldn't find any available. That left the internet only, and as a tall rider, sizing is too tough to guess on without a test ride. I would be very inclined to buy a gearbox based bike if there was a demo available, maybe Highland would be interested?!
Ultimately though, to read a long term review on PB might suffice enough for me to finally pull the trigger, and could possibly raise awareness for shops/parks to consider selling/demoing them.
  • 2 0
 Good to know. Follow us here on pinkbike. We are currently building building our website.
  • 19 0
 I hope they do a raw silver finish without the paint
  • 11 3
 that paint makes it look like some walmart bike
  • 4 2
 Nah, black red white/silver is the best combination ever, this bike is pure porn.
  • 5 1
 brianclaw,,,,, you beat me to it!!! That paint scheme looks awful. Leave it raw.
  • 2 0
 That name too...
  • 9 0
 Yeah, that's just like your pinion, man
  • 1 0
 The paint scheme does suck. Same with the last bike that Domahidy Designs came out with. Niners always look good...this is something Steve needs to work on if he is going to be taken seriously as a player in the bike world.
  • 15 0
 Hello PinkBike! Thanks to Richard Cunningham on posting this story and thanks to the PB community for the discussion. I love the conversation that's happening here and hopefully it will keep happening. I appreciate the props and really look at and even appreciate the criticisms. I wanted to address a few things about the bike that have been discussed. Firstly, the GEO PAGE WAS WRONG. I was reading through the comments and kept seeing complaints about the reach and it wasn't computing. I know my top tube lengths are within the 'modern' geometry window and realized that the geometry page on the web site was entirely wrong. Firstly, I inverted the numbers for the reach for each fork length geometries and the geo for the size large was just wrong. Geometry numbers have been updated on the web site and now reflect the correct numbers. We were having problems with the geo chart that actually caused a delay in the launch of the whole Pinion bike page, but it's correct now. Sorry for the confusion and hopefully now the reach numbers make more sense. On the head tube angle, some people have stated that a 67-68 degree head tube angle isn't very slack, but keep in mind that this is a 27.5+ bike (or 29" wheel bike) so the diameter of the wheels does affect handling (since the diameter of a 27.5+ is roughly the same as a 29" standard MTB tire). If this were strictly a 27.5 MTB, I believe the head tube should be slacker, but, in my opinion, the 67.5 degree head angle with a 130mm fork on this bike is a perfect balance between stable and still maneuverable. You may disagree and that's okay. On the price, it's very expensive. I totally get that, but I can assure you that I'm not making some absurd markup on this bike. Titanium is very expensive, and even though it's made in Taiwan, it's made at the best factory in Taiwan for titanium and labor rates are actually fairly high on the island. In addition, the CNC mount for the Pinion is CRAZY expensive to machine, and it's made out of a rather large chunk of Ti. The box is imported from Germany and carries it's own rather expensive cost, plus the gates belt and two stainless steel cogs all add up. Some people have found other bikes that are 'half the cost' but upon looking at those sites, I believe they do NOT come with a Pinion box, just the frame. On Boost 148, this was probably the hardest decision to make on this bike. Yes, we could have used a standard 142/12 spaced rear triangle, and Chris King makes an awesome single speed rear hub that has symmetrical flanges that would build up a stronger rear wheel. However, this is one of the only hubs of it's kind (there are a few other single speed 142/12 hubs but they are hard to come by) and I didn't want to limit the end users wheel choice to something that specific. With a boost 148 spacing, any Shimano free hub wheel will fit and it's currently the (new) 'industry standard' so I presumed going forward there would only be more and more compatibility with newer wheels. In addition, most + forks are already boost 110 spacing, so if you're buying a wheelset, you'd likely be buying a boost 148/110 wheelset. So while the Boost on this bike makes little sense (it still does increase the flange spacing from a standard 142/12 hub, so it is going to be stronger) the decision was about the bigger picture.

So hopefully that gives you some insight into the design and execution of this bike. I understand it's not for everybody, very few bikes are, but I believe this is a huge step forward for expanding drivetrain options and I personally think this bike is the most fun hardtail bike I've ever ridden.

Thank you again, sincerely, Steve Domahidy
  • 6 0
 I'd love to see some more full sussers designed around the gearbox, just to see what the designers can do with rear suspension once you get rid of the chain, cassette, sprockets and associated frame space/shape requirements. Especially as really, there's no need for the final drive belt to be located around the crank axle, you could position the drive sprocket anywhere on the gearbox case. Game changer.
  • 3 0
 Keep an eye out online for the new Zerode Enduro model then Smile Being officially unveiled at Crankworx Rotorua I think. I saw the owner/designer riding it this week and it looks amazing. To be fair, Rob's an amazing rider, so he'd probably make a broken Klunker look good...
  • 9 1
 Should've made it a soft tail and then you'd have officially opened the gates of hell to the comment section.
  • 2 0
 There is more than one gate into hell, but no worries, PB has them all covered. The keys, however, can easily be found in the comments section of any Enduro, 29er, 26 ain't dead, etc., articles...
  • 17 11
 4999 $ for frame and drivetrain kit ... I cant afford it so i dont like it.
  • 6 1
 And wheels, to be fair.
  • 6 0
 Titanium frames alone used to cost more. This is news I like.
  • 6 2
 5k for the frame and drivetrain kit.... I just have to marry an old and rich woman, wait for her to die, earn all the money she has and then I m ready to buy this one. Easy! So... any old and rich woman available here?
  • 14 1
 That is the exact opposite of the leading demographic here.
  • 3 0
 There is always hope!!!
  • 7 1
 Nobody talks about the geometry. A 68° head angle and the short reach aren't really that great.
  • 8 1
 First thing I looked at was the horrible geometry! L with 415mm reach! What is this 1996?
  • 3 0
 My thoughts too. I think they're going more for that safer upright trail type bike. But still... you'd think by using titanium they'd at least have a couple options.
  • 4 2
 Long belt life + 6000 miles between service for the gear box....I'm sold. Seem I spend as much time cleaning drive trains as riding some times, more so in the winter. Would like the frame raw though with different metal finishes (brushed, polished etc.).
  • 3 0
 Now there are some bikes with gearbox on the market, we need test from media like pinkbike and others to help the consumers to choose and to create a new market that sram and shimano don't want to see until it exists.
  • 2 0
 $5k with wheels... o.k. $5k without them... for a hard tail... holy crap man.

But I like the idea. Any added weight is at the lowest point on the frame. Nice to see someone doing something high quality that's actually different. I see a lot more stuff in the next few years like this being developed. Once you prove it can be done without a crap ton of weight... and it's functional... it's on.
  • 5 2
 I understand the need to keep cost down, but imagine if he teamed up with Erikson or Moots bike and have it hand built in the States. 10k easily.
  • 5 0
 I can't wait for the Zerode Enduro bike.... take my money
  • 5 0
 Wait is not long now. Will debut @ Crankworx Rotorua. Hopefully there's something to demo.
  • 2 0
 I've been waiting a long time for the Zerode trail bike..
  • 6 2
 $5000 for a titanium frame, belt driven, pinion box setup? That's not a bad price...
  • 2 0
 Don't forget cranks and a wheelset.
  • 2 1
 Cranks come with the gearbox.
  • 2 1
 LOL, someone got some but hurt and neg repped all my comments, even this one, LOL. Go ride ya bike and get some sun ;-)
  • 1 0
 Pretty sweet! The price ain't that bad considering it comes with the drivetrain. I hate to admit it but I may be ready for the gearbox, derailleurs are a pain in the ass, too fragile. A few companies are making some interesting gearbox, high pivot downhill bikes too.
  • 2 1
 We are in the works with full suspension Pinion gearboxes. 6" and 8" higher pivot designs. We are also looking to keep the price low, unlike this thing. Although working with Titanium is laborious. But if it is made in Taiwan, that is a lot of money. I think the bike industry needs to be put in check.
  • 1 0
 Yeah its a really a pretty neat design. You know both Carver and Lynsky make very nice Titanium frames in the USA starting at around $1250.00.
  • 2 1
 shouldnt step on other brands to big note yourself Peregrin, looks real bad. Especially when the other brands are paving the way for your own.
  • 2 0
 Not my intent, but after rereading my post i can see how it looks negative toward this individual company.
  • 1 0
 All those bolts around the BB area...because that's just what I needed, a creaky hardtail frame that's not cracked.

That said...didn't DH/AM hardtails die like 10 years ago (ala the Le Toy, the Pornking, .243 racing, etc.)??? Why the sudden spark to bring them back?
  • 3 0
 No, they got resurrected with the larger wheels. Chromag Surface and Rootdown, Kona Honzo (also in Ti if you got the $), Niners, Canfield, etc only to name the 29ers. And theres tons of em in 650 too. Most are steel, but ti is the premium material of choice. Together its a nice blend of rollover stability and compliance due to the material, when combined with modern geo. Fewer are aluminum or carbon, fwiw.
  • 1 0
 What keeps the belt in place, other than sheer tension? Is there a rib along the center of the belt and a channel in the pulleys, or maybe a convex/concave interface between the belt and pulleys? I would think if your foot (or anything else) bangs into the side of the belt at speed it would walk it right off. I work with equipment that uses timing belts, and in my experience no matter now tight you get it if there isn't some type of guide or retention device it is pretty easy to walk off sideways. Just wondering. I am anti- bending a chain to force it onto a misaligned sprocket, by the way. Derailleurs are just dumb, and counter all known successful power transmission theory that currently drives the world in industry.
  • 1 0
 The rear sprocket has a rib in the center that guides the belt. The belt needs to be aligned precisely to minimize friction, but it can and will run without jumping if it's out of kilter.
  • 2 0
 If I could get away from cleaning my chain every ride I think its worth it. I do have a simple five minute cleanup schedule on my mountian bike. But honestly I love the Idea of a gearbox.
  • 4 2
 This bike is perfection, I'm just thinking that boost is pointless because you can't find any short-bodied SS rear hubs in boost spacing.
  • 7 5
 Was interested until I got to 5k for a hardtail that's made in Taiwan. I know its got a great box but holy cow that's some markup
  • 8 2
 do you know how expensive ti is compared to ally or steel or even carbon?
  • 1 0
 Somewhere between $2-5 per inch in general probably quit a bit cheaper in taiwan. If there are 150 inches there is $300-750 there is still 4700-4250 for gearbox manu etc he is doing very well
  • 1 0
 And welding in Taiwan doesn't cost anywhere near what it does in western countries
  • 4 0
 not for me but I can appreciate the engineering and craftsmanship!
  • 3 1
 Damn - just yesterday I predicted the next hub change will be to a narrower size with a single cog on the back with no wheel dish. But this is boost.
  • 2 0
 Has anyone ridden a belt drive drivetrain in proper mud?
Surely some well compacted slop will causes some major belt jumping once its been packed in by those teeth.
  • 2 0
 yeah, i am curious about that too.. It seems to me that mud and grit are not a good combination with a belt drive.
  • 1 1
 You can get them pretty damned tight... it's a solid interface, too. You'd really have to jam some serious shit into it to get it to jump off, in which case, you've got bigger problems.
  • 1 0
 Trek did a test with a belt where they sprayed mud at it while they cranked it under power for a certain amount of time, just fineby the end, the BB , hubs, and tensioner they were using were all destroyed but the sprockets and belt still worked
  • 2 0
 Gen 1 Gates sucked since it needed to be so damn tight. Grit/small pebbles produced some interesting results. The newer Gates belt/cogs are solid. Nowhere near the same tension as the old. Grit gets worked off new style cogs better and those pebbles have nowhere to go in the newer centertrack design. So far no problems.
  • 2 0
 Just run a chain. Forget this belt nonsense. Chains last forever on gearbox bikes anyway.
  • 4 0
 Hey that's just like, your pinion man....
  • 4 3
 For me all that crap gearbox in the bike are bullshit. Useless, but people still enjoy it and think its a good idea and companys only happy to earn more money from making people dumb.
  • 3 0
 Not 100% sure what you're saying. But I think it represents a negative gearbox opinion and your inteligence perhaps. Gearboxes make total logic, there's so many bennefits it's not funny. The only theoretical flaws are weight and drag. Neither are an issue when riding the dang things.
  • 1 0
 Basically, you get exactly the same for half the money at Pilot Cycles.
www.pilotcycles.com/nl/240/pilot-titanium-bikes/modellen/b-27-5-fatbike
Than again, they're Dutch, so... Meh.
  • 1 0
 Those are nice.
  • 3 1
 Looks cool, but largest size only has 415mm reach? Make it longer, damn it.
  • 2 0
 $5000 for a Ti frame made in Tawain by an American company is lame. I was ready to replace my Ti bike until I read that.
  • 4 1
 I want that gearbox in DH and in my LIFE!
  • 5 3
 Gearbox like in motorcycle, belt like in motorcycle... what next? Engine like in motorcycle? Big Grin
  • 1 1
 Well the first opinion I agree with. I don't think that gearboxes are the future of bike industry. It would be one of the branches with huge amount of fans but not the whole future. As for me the correct built transmission with chain may be very effective.
  • 1 0
 I guess it's a matter of time when somebody puts a Cardan Shaft in a bicycle with a gearbox
  • 1 1
 I heard that they already exist... I just don't know the name of the manufacturer...
  • 2 0
 Nevertheless, whatever they invite, majority will stay with old and functional chain
  • 3 0
 Pinion gearboxes can be run with chains.
  • 2 1
 Surprisingly, I don't think it's so good looking for a Ti frame. Makes it easier to resist the sweet... or expensive temptation. But it's good for gearbox fans
  • 3 0
 Doesn't come much more controversial than this. I like it.
  • 2 0
 Good concept but: alloy frame and chain please Wink You never know: someday it might be avalaible with 26" classic Big Grin
  • 5 6
 This gear box tech is not new. In the 70's I had a bike with three speeds built into the rear hub. When it was new it worked fine, but that was not for very long, as nuts would atest...

As for cost of mtb, it is too expensive.

When you consider the volume of bikes sold - high, middle and low - end the costs should be a lot lower.

This gear box is just another costly fad, just like "extra" bikes and fat bikes. And for the latter, if you can't afford the hugely expensive studded tires don't bother buying one for winter conditions.
  • 9 2
 So much wrong here... just so much.
  • 7 0
 A bike I rode 50 years ago was crap, so this one will be too...
  • 4 0
 There is just so many things wrong in that comment. Gotta love those well educated internet warriors...
  • 1 0
 Cool bike, the price tag is waaay out of my zone, but all the features are great! Except the paint job. The paint job makes it look realy cheap...
  • 3 0
 This is a 27.5+ bike i would actually try. Great idea for a gearbox bike.
  • 1 1
 Why list the frame weight WITHOUT the gear box that presumably the frame is useless without?

Am I missing something? Can it be run without a gearbox? Are there gearboxes from Pinion that vary in weight?
  • 2 0
 Right from Pinions website:
Number of gears
18 12 9 9

Gearbox Weight
2700g 2350g 2200g 2200g
  • 1 0
 Ahhhhh.... Thanks for pointing that out! 500 grams difference can mean a lot.
  • 1 0
 Holy crap... a 6lb gearbox if you opt for 18 gears?!?! That is some junk in the trunk.

Still I'd love to see how this bike handles. It probably feels super planted and stable with so much weight so low on the bike.
  • 3 0
 Hardtail? Ain't nobody got time for that.
  • 5 2
 Looks tasty!
  • 2 0
 Bike has a lot of inetresting features, thanks for the article on it.
  • 1 0
 I love it ... but it seems strange to make a 27.5+ / 29 frame in small but not XL.
  • 4 2
 I'm well geared up for this.
  • 4 0
 Something very cool about this, I just can pinion it down.
  • 2 0
 I'm pining for a pinion drive bike.
  • 5 2
 Cool as fuck!
  • 3 1
 I dont car what a frame is made from...im not paying 5k for a frame...
  • 3 0
 What if it was made from gold? I would.
  • 2 0
 gold is too heave... What for do you need heave frame?))))
  • 3 1
 Which to buy: house or bike?
  • 3 0
 That's a pretty shitty house.
  • 1 0
 NOT sure about the chain stay, why not move it so do not have to remove chainstay to get belt out to replace it
  • 2 0
 Same ( or improved ) geometry, either in steel or alloy. Affordable !
  • 1 0
 whats going on with the rims? the zig zag pattern, like two different halves joined together. looks cool though!
  • 2 0
 Great design and interesting idea, but actual sales?
Nahhh
  • 4 2
 How the f*ck is 68 deg considered slack ? Face palm
  • 2 1
 Weird to have the XC geo, exotic frame material, and burly heavier drivetrain.
  • 2 0
 specialised carbon enduro has a glove box
  • 2 0
 I'll take one with an electric motor!
  • 1 0
 And two years later you want be able to find parts for something that's discontinued
  • 1 0
 a price tag like that we should have any options for a frame, id like to have it in 135x12, 1.5 head tube, 26".
  • 1 0
 Complete bike with Al ht frame P12 for 3200EUR:
www.cheetah.de/mountainbike/alpencross-for-pleasure.html
  • 1 0
 Could someone break down boost, how it works, in a way that a third grader could understand? It's for my daughter.......
  • 1 0
 Idworx has a titanium gearboxed 27.5+ bike too Wink
  • 1 0
 How much does the entire bike weigh?
  • 4 3
 Looks brawny and fun.... just not slack enough...
  • 8 2
 The geo is for the 120 fork, the 140 fork will slack it out to 67 degrees
  • 2 0
 thats pretty sick
  • 2 0
 Siiiiiiiiiiik
  • 1 0
 Would love to try this bike
  • 1 0
 TEchnology is taking away the bike culture and roots. PEDAL damn you!!!!
  • 1 0
 a video of this on a trail please !! (phil atwill mode )
  • 1 0
 68 deg HTA is All Mountain?
  • 1 0
 But the grip shift though.
  • 1 0
 They hate us 'cause they ain't us..!!
  • 1 0
 Those tires!!!
  • 4 5
 I just cant wrap my head around why that gearbox is finished off with those cheap looking crank arms.
  • 1 1
 If it wasn't 27.5 plus it would be perfect.
  • 2 0
 Is a 29r too
  • 2 3
 No carbon?
  • 2 0
 what plastic bike lol
  • 1 4
 148mm Boost rear-hub spacing FAIL
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