First Look & Interview: Gamux CNC Gearbox Bike At Les Gets

Jul 5, 2021
by Seb Stott  

Pascal Tinner, CEO of Swiss bike brand, Gamux, swapped in for one of their injured racers to test a prototype bike on the Les Gets World Cup course last weekend. The bike is rather unique: it's CNC machined in one piece, uses a Pinion gearbox and a high pivot four-bar suspension design. World Cup photographer Ross Bell managed to grab an interview and photographs with Pascal and get the full scoop on the bike. I've edited the transcript of Ross's interview for you to read below, but here are the key details.

Details
• CNC machined, one-piece front triangle
• No welds
• Two-week lead time on new part iterations
• Pinion gearbox
• 197mm rear travel
• High(ish) pivot, Horst link suspension
• Interchangeable shock mounts and dropout
• Manufactured in Germany
• Manitou Dorado fork, Mara air shock, mullet wheels.
gamuxbikes.com


Not many people can claim to have ridden a World Cup track on a bike they designed, let alone one as tough as Les Gets.

Interview between Ross Bell and Pascal Tinner

Ross Bell:
So Pascal, looks like you've been busy. What have you been working on here then?

Pascal Tinner:
Yeah. So this is a first prototype of a CNC milled downhill bike that we're working on - we're trying different stuff. You know, COVID, hasn't been easy on the bike industry, so it's hard to find tubes and other things to weld frames or produce basically. So we went down another route...
This is what we came up with. Now it's just validating all the simulations we've done in CAD or 3D and then taking this and making it into the next situation, I guess.

The mainframe is machined in one piece with no welds and no bonding. Rather than tubes, it sort-of resembles an I-beam.
The rear suspension uses a "mid-high" effective pivot point to provide a mostly rearward axle path.


Ross Bell:
Yeah. So you guys started working on new bikes. What was it? Two, maybe three years ago?

Pascal Tinner:
Two years ago. Yeah.

Ross Bell:
This looks like a pretty big departure from the one you had last year.

Pascal Tinner:
Yeah. So the bike we had last year is not going away at this point. Just our main rider [Loris Michellod] has a torn ACL. So we took the opportunity with the current UCI regulations to inscribe myself, to be able to come test new things at World Cup level. You don't usually get those kinds of tracks anywhere else. So this is for sure, more towards future orientated in terms of frame production for us. We're just evaluating different things for maybe next year or the year after. The old thing isn't going away, that's a solid base and this is just where we are probably heading in the future.

Ross Bell:
What did you learn this weekend on the track then? It's a pretty wild one.

Pascal Tinner:
Yeah, it's a pretty wild one! She held up, nothing broke. So that's one thing that's always cool to see. And then mainly working on frame stiffness. It's quite impressive or quite obvious here when you have the slick roots what flex can do for you, and where it's actually a bad thing to have and where it's a good thing to have. So it's more fine tuning flex characteristics of the rear end versus the front triangle, to find that nice balance. You can push out of ruts and be able to be precise while still maintaining good grip levels and good... let's say, make it a bit of a sofa to ride on.

Ross Bell:
And thinking back to your last bike. What were the areas you kind of look to improve on?

Pascal Tinner:
First thing was sizing. I think sizing was a crucial thing we worked on. So during the development of the last iteration or the last bike, we learned quite a few things on how different angles would influence sizing requirements. So this is basically all incorporated in here just with a different manufacturing technology.

Then we also learned a few things about different rear-end systems. So we went away from this kind of virtual pivot point system into a more conventional four bar, just because of how the braking forces interact with your riding characteristics...

And then we wanted also to try a bit more high or mid pivot to have some benefits of rearward axle path and stuff. So there's quite a few things we learned, which we tried to input into this one. But we're never at the end of the road - learning keeps on going.


Ross Bell:
And the gearbox, how are you finding that?

Pascal Tinner:
Yeah, at first I was a bit critical because you have the kind of a grip shift thing, but it's actually not an issue. You just need to plan your shifts a bit more. So if you f*cked up your turn, it's a bit harder to get out of because you can shift under load, but not under full load sometimes depending on which gears you're in. You need to plan a bit more, but otherwise it actually is quite a benefit for your kinematics or your suspension feeling because you have way less unsprung weight.

And there's nothing you can break. This box has been in multiple different prototypes over the last one and a half years. And I didn't do any servicing or anything. I just bent one crank while doing a 50/50, but that's not the gearbox and she's still running sweet.

Ross Bell:
How was it having that weight centered and nice and low?

Pascal Tinner:
I kind of compare it to driving a front engine car to a mid-engine car - your bike kind of feels way more centered. When you, for example, you would start braking, the weight shift is not as heavy, so you can expect less chassis movement basically. So that's one benefit I find. And then it tends to make the bike feel a bit more, how you say, soft and more on the ground. So you maybe consider speeding up rebound speed a little bit on the rear just to get that active feeling back. But in general, it's just having an a tractor basically for rough stuff.

Ross Bell:
Then the construction as well. So I guess we've seen it maybe quite a lot in the last few years, but is it kind of similar to what Pole are doing?

Pascal Tinner:
No, Pole is actually machining two half-shells and then bonding it together, which is actually I think a very, very effective way of doing things. For us it's just the bonding technology we're not on top of right now. So the main advantages for us is we don't have any welds in this. So we kind of can take simulation from the CAD file way more seriously because we don't have to factor in the welds and the welding, which weld goes after which one and all these things, and you don't need an experienced welder to make a beautiful looking frame. So this is basically me coming up with ideas, doing a lot of simulations, spending hours on the computer and then having one made, and then go...

Ross Bell:
Where is it being manufactured?

Pascal Tinner:
It's been manufactured in Germany actually.

Ross Bell:
You guys are Swiss?

Pascal Tinner:
Yeah. We're in Switzerland.

At the moment it's just me because everyone is injured and we do have an under 17 rider, a development rider, Mike Huter, who is doing fabulous at the moment. He just won his first European cup last weekend. And yeah, usually Gamux is a company with three business streams. So we do have distribution in Switzerland, for example, for Manitou, for Ohlins, for Hayes. So multiple brands. So there's a distribution business. Then we do have our frames and our consulting business where we do a lot of stuff in 3D printing, as you've seen before now in machining as well, coming up with our own frames, but also consulting other companies.

And then the third thing and it is really important to us (and that's where the passion is): racing. So yeah, we tend to come back with a bigger team in the future, but it all depends on riders, sponsorship, negotiations, and stuff like this, but for now, yeah, I'm flying the flag kind of with my testing duties. So we have a solid base for Loris and probably some other riders to start racing again next season. It's a bit unfortunate, but injuries happen. And if you have one rider, basically a one rider team in the elites. Yeah. That's the risk. But we knew that when we came into the season, but we tried to make the most out of it.

The dropouts are interchangeable to adjust the chainstay length...
...and both shock mounts can be swapped out to change the leverage curve.

Ross Bell:
In terms of adjustability, it looks like quite a few of these parts you can interchange quite quickly?

Pascal Tinner:
Yeah. So there's interchangeable upper shock mounts, lower shock mounts. We can even change the bones to create different leverage ratios. And we can change the dropout. This is just a standard setting. This is also why there are CNC machined. In the future they will go to a 3D printed version just because we can produce them much, much quicker. The turnaround, instead of having a month to wait, it's like two weeks; we can change a lot of stuff very quickly.

Ross Bell:
So which things are you going to end up 3D printing you think?

Pascal Tinner:
Probably that piece on the rear shock mount that's in between the bones, probably top shock mount as well, and for short dropouts. I actually already have some, but we need to do some machining on them to make the axle fit and stuff.

Ross Bell:
What's the next step for you guys?

Pascal Tinner:
So we'll be back in Lenzerheide. We'll skip Maribor just because there's no sense in me spending a week traveling everywhere and leaving the business open. So we'll be back in Lenzerheide, probably with the next iteration of that. Just doing a lot more testing. And also it's our home World Cup, so you don't want to let a Swiss people not see what you've been doing. Then we'll see for the season after what we can come up with. There's stuff in the works, but you know, things take time and to put the signature behind it is sometimes a bit more difficult...

Ross Bell:
Has it got a name yet?

Pascal Tinner:
It doesn't have a name yet. It has a technical reference, which is TRP 197, which refers to the rear end travel. But yeah, it will have a name someday, but since the design will probably change quite a bit in the future...

Ross Bell:
That's probably the last thing you'll do.

Pascal Tinner:
Yeah. It's like a cable routing and forward bump stoppers or the place to put the stopper or something.

Ross Bell:
Just those fine details?

Pascal Tinner:
It's just that you don't worry about that. And then at the last, oh f*ck, there's a double crown. So I need to put somewhere to... Oh, cable routing, oh f*ck that!


178 Comments

  • 130 0
 Gorgeous bike!
  • 22 85
flag reverend27 (Jul 5, 2021 at 12:10) (Below Threshold)
 not interested in gearbox bikes with this old tech. was hoping to click and see a new player thats lighter has less resistance and shifts normally. The minute i read pinion interest is lost.
  • 12 21
flag baca262 (Jul 5, 2021 at 12:35) (Below Threshold)
 @reverend27: reality check for you - it WON'T get better. "old tech" lol
  • 25 1
 @baca262: ? It is old. Reason why pinion isn’t catching on is because of the current downsides. Drag, weight, and a two cable grip shift all need addressing.
  • 15 7
 @baca262: lol What? Everything I said was true? So why would I need a reality check?

And last who are you to say that gearboxes wont continue to evolve?


Edit I'm assuming the 20 some odd guys with a pinion bike downvoted me?
  • 1 0
 Yeah.
  • 23 12
 @senorbanana: and you think an exposed chain and a bunch of cogs is new ??? The reason why better and more reliable systems arn't catching up(yet) is consumers like you who just drink whatever 20 speed Pteradactyl systems big companies put out.

Noone makes money from gearbox's that only require a simple "tune up" every 10k kms vs medieval chain and cog systems that break and needs to "be replaced as a set" constantly.

Wake up
  • 8 6
 @tonkatruck: mmm I never said traditional drivetrains were new. I just said pinion needs work before it’s a viable option for most consumers. Idiot
  • 9 1
 @tonkatruck: do you have a gear box bike?
  • 8 1
 I have a Pinion bike. They are somewhat overrated, unfortunately. Extremely heavy (though the newer C.12 Box is a bit lighter, my P1.18 comes in at something like 5lbs for the box alone), very noticeable drag and expensive as they can be. Also, Pinion has tried to incorporate any fastener size they could find, ao working on them is a pain. You'll need a different wrench for every bolt, plus a special tool for the chainring. And the pedaling feel isn't as nice as a chain drive.
The one thing that is no concern is the shifter. It works different than a regular deraillieur, but you do get used to it quickly. Shifting while coasting is awesome, getting stuck under load between gears 13 and 12 isn't, jumping 6 or 7 gears with one twist of the wrist is.
Still, for a downhill bike, they are a great choice if the cost can be accepted. Far better than any chain drive due to low unsprung mass and no deraillieur sticking out to the side.
  • 1 1
 @Kainerm: I'm considering a Pinion bike. After reading hundreds of comments on many forums, speaking to owners and after few demos there seems to be polar opinions between owners who mostly say drag is not very noticeable, if at all, and non-owners who mostly say it is significant. A few owners like yourself experience significant drag. This makes me wonder if there is a fault in yours that could or should be rectified by Pinion?
My personal experience is limited to demo riding. Back to back with other enduro rigs, I couldn't tell the difference in drag in the lower gears. Maybe there was more drag in higher gears or maybe the chunky tires and long travel suspension was a greater variable than the transmission. I didn't have enough time to compare riding in higher gears to really be sure.
Shifting was instant and super smooth compared to derailleur.
I simply don't understand the wrench thing.
  • 5 0
 @simonfisher: On a mountain bike, I don't think would be very noticeable, as they have more friction in general (like tire rolling resistance). But on my commuter bike, it is definitely noticeable. The difference is simply in having two pairs of coarse gears meshing with each other, lots of bearings, etc. - chains simply don't have that. And the friction has been confirmed by independent tests, efficiency is gear dependent and in the range of 90-95% - which means the losses are two to three times as high as in a well maintained chain drive. And if it is really cold outside (below -10°C), the oil turns to honey and pedalling a pinion gearbox becomes a chore.
After three years of riding this gearbox I feel it is far from perfect - expecially in terms of price, weight, and efficiency.
  • 3 1
 Any bike without a rear derailleur looks better. Unless the rear derailleur was just broken off from a trail impact.
  • 6 1
 @tonkatruck: The reason we the consumers buy conventional drivetrains is that we don't really care much about drivetrains. We just want to ride good bikes. We look at the frame geo, suspension, tyres, budget, important bits first. Drivetrain? It needs to work, be ergonomic, not super draggy or super heavy. It's not deep.

Why would anyone drink the pinion kool aid and spend their hard earned money on a mediocre, expensive bike just to support some imaginary "cause"? We ride for a good time, not to feel smug about paying for someone's R&D while using a half-baked product. We're not charities.

@TheBearDen +1, asking the important questions right here. I'll bet a six-pack most people on PB who screech about gearboxes never put their money where their mouths are. In contrast, we have a dude above who has actually bought one and seems rather critical of it.
  • 3 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Wonder how good those jockey wheels are at preventing bottom bracket cases.
  • 2 1
 @reverend27: what i said is you live in la la land. look at how old gearboxes in cars are, they never improved drag because there is no practical solution.

making a gearbox without drag would be equal to discovering for example how to build a viable fusion reactor.
  • 2 2
 @reverend27: basically, what your attitude here implies is ego superiority and belief things fall out of the sky, money grows on trees, infinite progress blah blah. the neoliberal fallacies. thanks to spoiled children like yourself it'll all come crashing down.
  • 5 0
 @bananowy: As an owner of a Zerode Taniwha with a 12 Speed Pinion, it's not a case of drinking the Kool aid. There are significant kinematic benefits to having drive train weight on the frame. Minimizing the unsprung weight makes the rear end so much more active. I feel like this is lost very quickly in discussions about gearboxes.

My zerode rides better than my 2018 Santa Cruz Bronson, even though it is a touch heavier. The shifter makes perfect sense for the gearbox, and I'm not trying to be the first to the top, so any weight and drag issues aren't a concern for me.

At the end of the day, we all want to have a good time. The gearbox allows me to spend less time on maintenance, more time on the trails, and its always fun talking to other riders about new and different tech.
  • 3 2
 @baca262: Drag on an gearbox MTB? I would say okay if there would be anything we can really measure. Yeah you can measure your drag on lab tests. I have yet to see a real test on a f*cking hill on shitty weather. A totally mucked up derailleur setup vs a just straight gearbox one or even a belt driven one for even less maintenance and better muck off solution.
The reason why Pinion hasn't taken over is proprietary frames and the price.
Weight? Do I need to laugh? Weight is almost not important and on the lowest point it is even better for MTBs + unsprung mass reduction.
Weight +5lbs is laughable in % for the overall weight of the system, system includes you...
Even with 11lbs on top off my bike I would be probably 2 minutes slower for a 5mil climb ,steady 6% incline.
WOW! For an Enduro rig really theee shit!
  • 2 0
 Would look hot in purple Ano!
  • 1 3
 @baca262: nonsense.
  • 2 3
 @baca262:

Is everything political for you at all times?
  • 1 2
 @baca262: also ..you crazy bro you got all that from my comment?
  • 1 2
 @baca262: I want my next bike to be a gearbox bike or a gearbox ebike depending on how old I am when it happens. I dont plan on getting a new bike for 8-10 years. I am hoping in that time something will come of the shimano patent.

Something has to give on the drivetrain. They will need to sell us something better to keep us buying.


Thats all I meant.


So save your political rant for a political forum this is a bike forum.
  • 2 1
 @baca262: I think there is potential for improvement in terms of drag compared to boxes like the pinion. There is a LOT going on in there.
One area is that the pinion has coaxial input and output. As such, the power is always transmitted through four gears, with several sets rotating freely. Additionally, the gears have a very coarse pitch, which isn't ideal in terms of efficiency either. Then there is the interface of chainring and crank - the chainring is located between the crank and the case, meaning any dirt in there causes additional drag, since it rotates at a different speed (like in a Hammerschmidt). The gears are straight-cut, which doesn't neccessarily cause more drag, but induces vibrations in the pedals under heavy load. Combine that with the total of 18 Cogs spinning in a P1.18 (or 14 cogs in a C.12) and you have lots and lots of actual and perceived drag.
@Serpentras: Sorry, but the weight does matter. Of course it isn't super-duper-important, but it is there. 2,5kg is about 15% of a modern bike's weight. Heavier bikes feel more lazy.
Also, the main reason why Pinion hasn't taken over is Pinion. They do not sell to Consumers directly, the box is a single, sealed unit, and then the product hasn't evolved in almost ten years. Apart from the lighter case of the C line, there's nothing new in the market from them, ever. Did they ever release the trigger shifter they once promised? I haven't seen it...
  • 1 1
 @tonkatruck: YES, Got to laugh, at World cup XCO riders PUTTING water on chain during races!
Got to be a better solution to keeping chain clean?
  • 1 0
 @Kainerm: No dough that Derailleur is more efficient when clean, but will not stay clean in muddy conditions!
It is possible to keep it clean, but that is an other story?
A lot of weight could be removed from gearbox gearing or used on E-bikes?
  • 2 1
 @Kainerm: the bike weight doesn't matter for the hard hitting crowd if you get a better package overall.
Yeah how should they sell the box to the customers direct? I also don't see Shimano doing their motor's or others direct.
Can't say anything about evolving...
But I can say the same about derailleurs. Electronic do nothing more then mechanical. The only thing they could do is not there or did you see a self adjusting deraileur? Or that it will set it self or manual to either right or left side of the cog to make it crisp for every cog again because damage to any component.
  • 1 0
 @Serpentras: Self adjusting a bent derailleur would not work any better
  • 1 0
 @aljoburr: why not? I can even can run a bent cabel deraileur with the barrel adjust for one cog alone if it is not destroyed. Same thing for the electronic version + it could be adjusted today without any new software , sensors or algorithms if they actually would allow Microadjust on each cog for that individual cog.
  • 3 1
 @reverend27: don't call me bro, muggle
  • 1 2
 @baca262: its my nice word for chump.

I was being nice because this is about bikes./

But rest assured you are my enemy. And I treat you as such.
  • 2 2
 @reverend27: maybe if i put a trigger warning in my sig? check yourself kid.
  • 2 2
 @baca262: Get checked bitch. Pieces of trash like you tried to overthrow my country and democracy to install a piece of shit as orange king.

100% guarantee you say jack shit to my face.

We can go pm and exchange addresses mr badass.

My triggers are on my hips.
  • 1 2
 @baca262: I beat my brothers ass yesterday for coming into my home spraying that same shit.

What do you think I would do to you?
  • 1 1
 @baca262: you gettin my dick hard bro.
  • 23 0
 Every year or so one of these CNC bikes comes along to defy the engineering efficiency of a tube structure. They do look cool, tho
  • 16 3
 Looks cool!

Only slightly related, could someone please clue me in - is it, and if yes how much more wasteful is CNC machining?

Every time I see a cubic meter of material grinded down to a screw I just can't help but wince and think - there has to be a better way. I get that not everything can be made of tubes and it makes sense for engines, motors and one-off prototypes.

I suppose the waste material could be recycled, but to what degree and does it get recycled?

Like, if all bike manufacturing switched to CNC are we going to face alloy shortage or surplus?
  • 27 1
 Aluminium is 100% recyclable, so all wastage could therefore be used to make another frame Smile
Of course the recycling process uses quite some energy which is most likely derived from fossil fuels... but its better than carbon haha
  • 16 0
 Clean aluminum scraps are 100% recyclable. The energy that goes into melting the scraps isn't free though.
  • 9 0
 Forgot the last part: Aluminium is a very common metal and easy to produce through electrolysis. So abundant and cheap that many people apparently can't even be bothered to re-cycle their beverage cans...
  • 12 0
 I work in the (low end) alu industry, an alu foundry. Of Our biggest ingot supplier, most of thier alu is recycled alloy car wheels
  • 6 0
 @biker-guy: My knowledge mostly comes from old bike mags and online forums 15+ years ago, but I was of the impression that the higher-grade aluminums used in things like bike frames and parts had to be virgin material. Still recyclable, sure, but not recyclable into equally high-grade material. More of a down-cycling.

However, I wonder how much of that was based on the ability to source waste aluminum of an exact grade and without impurities. Maybe machining these solid blocks produces enough waste of consistent material and quality to actually be worth recycling into new billets.

Hopefully someone with some materials engineering experience can chime in here.
  • 3 0
 I lnow a guy who had a DH frame milled for him and he said it's 70-80% scrap of high quality aliminium he bought in Germany. Of course the alu chips can be recycled but it's scrap anyway and the mill's very busy
  • 3 0
 @big-red: its the alloying elements you can remove the filth and then add what you need again , from what i hear about it uranium is the most recycled material it can be done indefinitely as can aluminium only you lose a bit of yield with aluminium
  • 10 0
 To actually make aluminum from bauxite (alumina) takes a lot of power. To recycle it take only about 10% of the power that it originally took to make it!
  • 4 0
 Found this: enduro-mtb.com/en/carbon-myths Quite informative.
  • 5 0
 www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/heliogen-solar-energy-bill-gates/index.html
As others have noted, energy to recycle is a big hit, but tech linked above,
using solar energy to melt down scrap,
could be gamechanger for more neutral resource loop.
Bamboo bike probably is the way to go if you're looking for most neutral material...Smile
  • 3 0
 That is one sweet looking ride! But I agree that machining a huge chunk of metal to make a frame can't be that efficient. Pascal mentions that they do 3d printing too. I think that will be the future of manufacturing (unless we can find a way to GMO bike frames) as you completely control the process allowing minimal waste with any shape.
  • 1 0
 It's not wasted not one scrap . Unlike carbon fiber. All machine shops recycle all metal. Your Al. frame can be recycled.
  • 5 1
 As mentioned, bicycle frames at this point are almost exclusively virgin material (at least to my knowledge), they and their chips can be recycled into other things but nothing that I'm aware of can be recycled into bikes.

dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/10161/8483/Duke_MP_Published.pdf This is to my knowledge the only peer-reviewed research into bicycle frame environmental impacts. It has its flaws though. First Specialized sponsored it (so there's something in it for them to consider the carbon frame more environmentally friendly), second it doesn't account for the molds being made to produce carbon frames, and it doesn't make any mention of the product life cycle (how long is it good for and what happens to it when it is deemed "no longer good").

One wat the bike industry can make headway is in the optimization of non virgin material. Example, headset spacers they don't need to be virgin material. Would be nice to see a big company make an effort to make a carbon neutral bike through offsetting the cost to use virgin frame tubes by using non virgin materials in other places.
  • 1 1
 @surly64: an acquaintance of mine just bought a 3d printer it prints aluminium it aint cheap and even he as an industry veteran cant see how its going to get cheap without thinking about doing some wonderous things
  • 3 0
 @blcpdx: That's fascinating, we'll see where it goes.

Yeah, haha, I don't live with the idea that biking is in any way 'green'. When compared to a lifted truck commuter - sure, but I burn through at least a set of tires every season which aren't very eco, pads, other parts.
At least my current alloy bike turns 6 this year so that's something, but it'll probably get swapped next season so there's that. (that's not out of love for Mother Earth, I just couldn't afford a new one earlier)

Bamboo, I'm sure we'll mess that up as well if we're to scale it up for the sake of profit with dirty plantation, workforce exploitation and who knows what else. Would be a cool case study though.
Looking for the day someone with a homemade Bamboo bike qualifies Top20 at the DH race, that'd be something! Big Grin

@samnation Thanks for that, I'll get on with it tonight. Wonder how much out of date would it be since 2014 was already a while ago and we seem to be living through a Renaissance in the MTB world at least.
  • 3 5
 @blcpdx: At this time solar sucks. It production makes hazardous waste, not recyclable and workers are basically slaves!
  • 2 0
 @Compositepro: what ain’t cheap? The printer? Or the printing process? Smile
  • 13 0
 Are you guys in Europe way more environmentally consciences? Because in American I see this trend where people get very holy about saving the earth, which is great, but then they go on to binge on Amazon and Uber eats creating massive amounts of packaging waste, which you know we need scaleable solutions, and not making bikes, is not where the big problem lies. It's wasteful living, it's massive consumerism with Chinese bullshit packaged in plastic, foam, cardboard, that you throw away, or pretend to recycle while wearing a disposable face mask.
  • 5 0
 I program CNC’s in an aerospace machine shop - all very high quality alloys. I would say that it isn’t only all about wether it can be recycled (which it can all be) but that the excess chips and chunk sales create an entire business in and of itself. A large percentage of our annual income comes from the companies that buy the scrap metal, and we get more money for solid chunks. So if a frame is cut and you can save large pieces, not only does that get recycled, but the company producing the frames could end up making up for a lot of material cost as new income.
  • 2 1
 @hitarpotar: both the machine was a half a million quid , scalmalloy is 400 a kg ,titanium on the other hand is running 180 to 250 a kg …
  • 2 0
 @mark4444: I can't say for sure, it "feels" like we are, but that's based on my tiny observation sample and whatever biases I have, not real data. I know people who don't "believe" in recycling so, you know...

I think I have a relative small footprint, don't shop excessively, don't have a car, no AC, don't drink coffee or other such drinks, don't smoke, avoid other junk food and we try to buy mostly loose veggies/fruits etc.
We have 3 mid sized Ikea trash bins for metal/glass, packaging and paper, and take them out roughly once a month, or less often, apart from bio waste of course.

That's just to give you an idea of my lifestyle and waste production.

Trying to buy once but quality and maintain/repair things instead of buying new when possible.

Now the less eco part. I'm a 3D Artist, I have a powerful workstation PC which is on 90% of the time, and half of that it's rendering or simulating something, which means it runs at full throttle.
My electricity has gone up 170% compared to last year since I've been working from home.

I get a season Ski pass and use lifts, in good seasons close to 100 days per year.
I also get a Gravity Card and while not a real park rat I also do a good amount of that (yet, still suck, but that's another topic).

So, I guess that puts me on par with someone who has a less economical car, drinks 3 lattes per day, has a stream of Amazon packages and is into fast fashion...
  • 4 5
 @Milko3D: I either hike or bike most every day up 7000 foot mountains. Most of the time don't see anyone.. Ski 60 days a year. and most of the time I pedal to the trails or skin up! I see dozens of cars driving the logging roads, burning hydrocarbons shuttling and they are all young people. The world is wrecked. too many people! We need a real pandemic! ! !
  • 1 1
 @Nygaard: The problem with aluminum production is the huge amounts of toxic flouride byproduct.
It seems to end up in toothpaste so I guess it's all good.
  • 1 0
 @Compositepro: sorry, what is this “scalmallow” that’s pricier than titanium?
  • 3 0
 @MX298: Literally doesn't matter in the slightest, it's nothing in the big picture.
If you want to do something worthwhile for the environment, stop consuming tons of shit you don't need.
One methane pocket thawing in Siberia does more in regards to climate change than all cars on earth.
Plastic in the ocean is far worse than some climate change that may or may not make it worse in some way, while the oceans are quite literally dying from plastic and overfishing.
  • 2 0
 @samnation: So, I'm half way down the Duke study you linked. Great read!

Apart from the points you raised already - longevity of the product, molds etc. There are a few things that I find really striking so far.

- Reliance on honesty: I may be too cynical, but I have massive issues with that - way too many personal and corporate interests and stakes too high to blindly believe some guys email that says: "Production Plant green 98%, Waste 1.5%, Thank you for your inquiry."

- Data collection issues (also noted by the team themselves) - only 4 of the 19 suppliers participated in the study. This is a major one, I hope things have changed since 2014, but there should be an International Body that has the authority to ask and receive relevant to environmental impact data. Because "Hey, can we see what's up so we breath cleaner air?" , "No, sorry, we're busy." simply doesn't cut it.

- At least some of the processes can be made more efficient through the use of renewable energy sources and innovation, but there are simply no incentives to do so. Solar, Wind, that solar oven that @blcpdx linked earlier could alleviate some of the issues right away (yes, they have their own manufacturing issues but it's still better than coal mines).

- Some comparisons were a little funky, there was something like all Allez frames produced in a year cost enough energy to power NYC for 128 hours. That's like saying all the coal mines in China produce enough power to run all tanks of WW2 for a week or something Big Grin . Sure, 128h of NYC, but could also power an efficient Swedish town for a year. Point is - have higher standards, we shouldn't settle for outlandish energy consumption of NYC.

Thanks again for sharing! Let's see what else I find curious in the last 120 pages Smile
If anyone else knows of a more recent such study, please share!
  • 2 0
 @Milko3D: I spent much of my undergraduate degree looking for a newer study I didn't find one (I was a social sciences student so I didn't have access to every engineering journal out there, but did have access to most work pertaining to sustainability). I would love to see a brand take a wholesale approach to publishing that's facts and figures. We need a much better label than the standard "assembled in 'x' with foreign and domestic materials".
  • 1 0
 @blcpdx: Not if you use epoxy resin with Bamboo?
However using bamboo & bio plastic is an other level of natural!
  • 1 0
 @Losvar: "I'm going to buy a new hybrid/EV to save the planet, even though my current car is still pretty new and perfectly fine! Manufacturing a new car has 0 environmental impact! Look how green I am!"
  • 2 0
 @aljoburr: we did a project for one of the big auto manufacturers doing composites that used epoxies gleened from organic means (cashew nuts) flax and hemp as fabrics , awesome it was too when we finished up just not quite as strong as the traditional kill with chemicals approach , still did plentyin terms of damping vibrations which is what the target was
  • 1 0
 @Compositepro: Got any spare?
  • 1 0
 @aljoburr: ha this was 10 years ago at its infancy theres a few now eco-poxy supersap entropy all have a similar low voc no evil things present system, sadly i only now get to work with pretty lethal things
  • 1 0
 @Compositepro: Unfortunate that best epoxy is so toxic, but supersap not much better
  • 14 0
 I get distracted when I see the word orientated. Can't you just say oriented? It's less work, fewer pixels, your quill tip lasts longer. So many benefits.
  • 4 0
 Would you say it disorients you?
  • 6 0
 @SonofBovril: He got somewhat disorientated.
  • 3 0
 Orientate.... Orientater.... Orientatertots?
  • 5 0
 @ryetoast: Hey Napoleon, gimme some of your tots!
  • 10 0
 > so it's hard to find tubes and other things to weld frames or produce basically. So we went down another route.

What if... stay with me here guys... what if we just carve the whole thing out of a big block of aluminum?
  • 18 8
 "Not many people can claim to have ridden a World Cup track on a bike they designed, let alone one as tough as Les Gets."

What about Isak Leivsson racing finals on a steel frame he not only designed but welded himself?
  • 38 1
 "Not many" doesn't mean "nobody except the guy in this article"
  • 14 8
 @imnotdanny: Sure, but considering it happened just two days ago at the same venue, you'd think it might merit a mention.
  • 1 0
 Did that 12 years ago, but no one wanted a sealed driven DH bike, SO only ever made one?
  • 13 1
 Wer hat's erfunden?
  • 5 0
 The thing about I-beams is that they are not very torsionally rigid and can be more susceptible to buckling. I haven’t done any FEA on bike frames, but I am curious about how a frame like this performs under torsion and side loading. The head tube area and main pivot points are probably most at risk due to the complex nature of the loading. Does this come across at all in the real world?
  • 1 0
 my first thought as well
  • 1 0
 You can however CNC a frame from stronger Aluminium alloys that would be more difficult and expensive to weld...
  • 3 0
 @SonofBovril: Yes, something like a 7075-T6 is much stronger and harder than a 6061-T6, but it has close to the same modulus of elasticity, so even though the strength may be sufficient, the I-beam frame is still likely to be more flexible than a tubular design.
  • 7 0
 no questions about that new dorado fork?
  • 6 0
 Probably cause all answers will be answered on 12.07.2021. Smile
  • 5 4
 @hitarpotar: nah its 7th of December lol
  • 5 0
 @mtb-scotland: different parts of the world have different ways of writing dates. There was a countdown on Hayes’ website stating less than 2 weeks are left. Smile
  • 3 1
 @hitarpotar: I know that. It was a joke.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-scotland: ah, sorry then - didn’t get it in the first place! Big Grin
  • 6 0
 Bender Bending Rodríguez approves this bicycle
  • 5 0
 Would be really interesting to see a strength comparison vs tube, vs carbon. Also what's the frame weight in at?
  • 3 0
 Ps. Gorgeous bike
  • 4 0
 I’d be surprised if that frame weighs less than 15 pounds.
  • 1 0
 Shock and gearbox included in my estimate
  • 2 0
 I reckon a human would fold before that does lol
  • 5 3
 Key downside of gear box and aluminium bikes is weight. Pinkbike detailed interview article on aluminium, gearboxed bike doesn't include weight of the bike and frame. Exceptional journalism. Look forward to the glowing Pinkbike bike reviews on my upcoming solid cast concrete high pivot, gearboxed enduro bike.
  • 5 0
 Not everyone is willing to let you weigh their bike at a World Cup (that 's why almost no pro bike checks include a weight figure), let alone a prototype version. I don't think we can blame Ross for not superstitiously weighing it.
  • 2 0
 Being made from aluminium does not mean it will be heavy in comparison to carbon. If you are talking about Road or XC frames being produced to minimal weights, yes, but not when it comes to enduro and DH frames where the amount of carbon required to reinforce the frame negates the weight differential with fluid formed aluminium. It has been said numerous times as well that having a light weight DH bike is not necessarily an advantage either...
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott: it’s such a key element of a bike like this. He’s got to at least ask the question and note the response.
  • 1 0
 @Linc youtu.be/sDzMrbJTK-U BRA!
Weight doesn't matter that much. Even for the Enduro Bros!

I also dont get it how you could say AL is just more heavy than carbon ect.
Look how f*cking light Liteville is! Look how f*cking heavy the Norco Range is. My Privateer 161 P3 (L) with beefed up 1,45kg Schwalbe tires and coil converted Fork and rear coil shock, 223x2,25mm discs is about 16,5kg. Meaning my overall weight for my maybe 6k overall bike build is less then the latest and said greatest Enduro bike for almost 10k..... But to be honest all my parts are better or at the same level except the frame and maybe hubs.

To be clear I dont rant about the frame, I do about the whole bike. I probably will test that Range if its finally here and if it is good I will maybe buy it if there isn't a Pinon bike ready to kill it Razz
  • 4 0
 This is the purest embodiment of CNC machined frame in my eyes…WOW JUST WOW!
  • 6 0
 DO RA DO!!!
  • 2 0
 I dont get the two idlers hanging down below cranks. Surely makes sharp edge log over impacts and mud impacts a given seeing location?
  • 2 0
 They're for chain growth - normally that's taken up by your derailleur, but not when you're running a gearbox.
  • 2 0
 Those are chain tensioners-you need those if you dont have a derailleur
  • 1 1
 Yeah, that’s the most squirrelly thing about these gearbox bikes.

Let’s put a two pulley thing at a point equally if not more vulnerable than a derailleur.

Probably cheaper to replace, but you’re still walking out of the woods.
  • 1 0
 @hllclmbr: naw if that lower idler breaks it’s still rideable just chain sloshing around underneath
  • 1 0
 @hllclmbr: Not if you have a carbon belt drive instead of a chain ala Nicolai & Zerode
  • 1 0
 It's a chain tensioner, since you don't have a derailleur.
  • 1 0
 @hllclmbr: well, it depends I would say, If you take good fail safe solution it is easy to replace and have a spare part on the go.
I would use just the tension spring, hit it hard enough on the lower pully that the tensioner spring will snap and the lower part will rotate to the back upwards. Just replace it trailside and your good to go. I never hit my frame on this spot so I dont think it would be a big problem for me..

Most hits on my derailleur are hits from the side. No chance to hit that tensioner in my case also.
  • 2 0
 Has anyone here ridden these bikes from Empire? I was always wondering whether this external ribbing wouldn't be painful.
  • 1 0
 2 mates of mine ride Empire's no problem for them Smile
  • 1 0
 I had an Empire. Worst bike and bike company i've ever had the misfortune of dealing with. Gone under now i believe, not surprised.
  • 1 0
 @Daver27: which bike? I thought the original cast DH bike was supposed to be pretty good? The later bikes looked a bit shit though.
  • 1 0
 Did they quit? That's a bummer. Not that I wanted to buy their bike, but it is cool if a single brand tries different non-standard production methods. Cast frames, CNC machined frames, 3D printed frames. All well before I heard of another brand doing this. I was still hoping to see them drop forge their frames. Initial costs may be a tad steep, but if they sell a few million then prices surely will drop.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: million of high end enduro or dh bikes ? Not sure that this many have been sold all together across the industry yet. And then updating frame geo would be even more rare than with carbon frames and their expensive molds. 3D/CNC/Tubes are great because you can quickly update and custom geos and kinematics for next to nothing.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: Oops, sorry I forgot the wink in my post Wink . I like forging as a metal production process but of course I get that drop forging is prohibitive for small series. If people think a mold for composite layup is expensive...
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Could have read the irony too i guess ... but forged frame would be cool tho ! Empire was a cool concept, Kirk did something similar in their days, with similar outcome. probably for the same reasons that forging would not work, especially with multiple sizing. That said, once geos en kinematics get actually sorted it might happen. Look at MX, YZ125/250 frames are the same since they moved from steel to alloy, geos and kinematics have been sorted since the early 2000's and aside from playing with rockers, clamps and minor stuff it doesn't change. Most iterations focus on flex characteristics but not on geo numbers or swingarm main pivot. They don't forge their frames either tho.
  • 3 0
 Yes, yes, yes and yes! I think I made a sticky mess in my pants!
  • 3 1
 "COVID hasn´t been easy for the bike industry"...that´s a good one Big Grin

Nice Bike imho!
  • 2 0
 "Rich people's problems" like we say in France.
  • 4 0
 That’s a sexy ride
  • 5 6
 This bike is a machinist's wonder, BUT is entirely engineered incorrectly with so many terrible decisions made in the design process. Problem #1: Sorry, but ANY structural engineer will support that an I-beam with the web material centered as it is on this frame is NOT structurally efficient in torsion with rotational loads at the front and rear tire contact patches. Problem #2: You go through all the trouble of putting an gearbox presumably to get rid of a derailleur and the possibility of damaging it, yet you put a chain tensioner in an even more precarious location. Problem #3: Shifting issues under power with these gearboxes is a horrendous issue that should not have been ignored. Problem #4: The gearbox efficiency issue is a real problem when hundredths of a second count and your trying to accelerate this heavy tank back up to speed (think Les Gets track). Nice piece of art work, but it belongs in a museum...
  • 1 0
 I agree with your comment #1, that I-beams are vey poor for carrying torsional loads. I suspect to get reasonable stiffness in the frame it will end up fairly heavy compared to a conventional aluminum frame, and obviously carbon would be lighter still. May they can tune the frame feel with this, but I think it will end up very inefficient use of material in terms of strength vs weight. For #2 I've be ridding a Zerode Taniwha that has the same tensioner arrangement and I've never hit it on anything even though I have rock scrapes on the bottom of the gearbox. I know it looks prone, but I don't think it really is. For #3, you get use to how to work with the gearbox and it really isn't that much of a problem, particularly on a dialed run. For #4, the efficiency of a broken in gearbox isn't that bad, but you can't cheap physics so all the extra seals you are turning shafts in and all the gear that are turning in the oil add up. In the low range gears the efficiency isn't bad, but you do start to notice more as you go up in the gears. Overall I don't think the Pinion gearbox is really an overall advantage for DH racing, but still a cool work of art.
  • 1 0
 @hayes I really want this dorado- but your website is so dated it shows the 2012 versions and says unavailable lol . How is one able to purchase a 2021 dorado expert?
  • 2 0
 @doublecrownaddict where are you?
  • 10 0
 Probably engaged in a furious bout of onanism.
  • 12 18
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Jul 5, 2021 at 10:05) (Below Threshold)
 Just needs an electric motor and I'm sold! Gearboxes make sense for a DH bike, but even better for e bikes.
  • 3 0
 I want this!
  • 2 0
 I want to see inside the gearbox!
  • 5 0
 Look on the pinion website? Loads of pics and videos on there
  • 5 0
 @tomhoward379: but... but... but that requires another click...
  • 2 0
 idler pulleys and tensioners galore
  • 2 0
 Finally, an interesting bike. Well done, A+
  • 1 0
 All those internal corners are making me wince for the two or three times a year I'd bother cleaning it.
  • 3 1
 If irn bru made a bike it would be called the girderometron
  • 1 0
 I'm really interested to see the next working prototype... It already looks amazing and the idea is great too.
  • 2 0
 Steampunk vibe on that one.
  • 2 0
 "it's hard to find tubes" - What a weak excuse to mill some alu porn
  • 2 0
 Eyes read: "Pascal Tinner"

The Brain reads: "Paint Thinner"
  • 2 0
 Rascal Pinner
  • 2 0
 Pole should take notes here
  • 2 0
 Needs more low-hanging parts
  • 1 0
 Love the bike, well done! I could have sworn that was Brendan Gallagher of the Canadiens..
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott

Come on, time to edit out the interview comment that the low bike weight makes any difference!!
  • 1 0
 My one question is how heavy is this thing? Even with all the cutouts its looks like it probably weighs 60+ lbs.
  • 1 0
 Y’all bike should look like this except for Santa Cruz and maybe that other one.
  • 1 0
 Excellent ! There ya go !
  • 2 2
 Just get a clear plastic tape type thing to cover the front triangle to keep mud out of those slots.
  • 2 0
 Beautiful!
  • 2 0
 ***Heavy Breathing***
  • 1 0
 Where’s the single sided swing arm?
  • 1 1
 Would like to see a trail version with a Gates belt and incremental increases of efficiency of the gearbox.
  • 3 2
 Will there be a ebike version
  • 1 3
 I was thinking the same thing. I can't stand derailleur and would be awsome if we can remove that component for the ebike as well.
  • 2 1
 Cracking looking bike, shame about the Penny Farthing set up.
  • 1 1
 Imagine boring the seatube headtube and bottom bracket to all the wrong dimensions ,
  • 1 0
 When you want to attract E-bike hate without the weight.
  • 1 0
 What's it like to wash this bike, I wonder
  • 2 0
 What a looker!
  • 1 0
 Its about bloody time we started getting more gear box bikes!
  • 1 0
 This is the direction aluminum should be going
  • 1 0
 wondert what the vpp bike did wrong brakingwise
  • 1 0
 That's a fine looking bicycle
  • 1 0
 Empire AP1 been done years ago
  • 1 0
 Such as sick bike! This has definitely been added to the list
  • 1 0
 pretty!!
  • 1 0
 Art of MTB. Perfecto!
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