First Look & Interview: Trinity's Honda-Inspired Frame-Mounted Derailleur Drivetrain

Nov 19, 2021
by Seb Stott  

We've reported on Trinity before. Their Prototype 1 downhill bike, with its steel frame, high-virtual-pivot suspension and gearbox or singlespeed drivetrain is more than interesting enough to warrant its own article. But now the three-man brand has upped the ante on innovation.

Recently they showed off a modified version of the bike on Instagram, with a SRAM AXS derailleur mounted upside-down on the frame, with two chains, a jackshaft connecting them, and a crank the wrong way round.
Details

Drivetrain: Flipped crank drives a cassette via a derailleur on LHS, jackshaft drives rear hub via idler pulley and tensioner on RHS.
Shifting: Six-speed, SRAM AXS, 11-22T
Weight: "398g heavier than a normal drivetrain.. unsprung mass reduced by 506g"
Frame material: 4130 Chromoly front triangle, billet aluminium rear triangle
Rear Wheel Travel:170mm
Wheelsize: Mullet
More info: @trinity_mtb
The concept of a frame-mounted derailleur and cassette isn't new. It was used to great effect by Honda in the mid-2000s, where moving the derailleur out of harm's way and shifting its mass from the wheel to the mainframe was said to offer some tangible benefits to the RN01. And compared to a gearbox, the derailleur retains the crucial ability to shift while sprinting and is arguably lighter and more efficient too. Shimano recently filed a patent for a similar concept, but the idea hasn't seen daylight since Honda canned their MTB endevours in 2007.

I got in touch with Mick Williams, Trinity MTB’s engineer, to find out more about what he calls exploring an old idea with new tech.

The plan is for the gearing to be encased in a lightweight box.

What inspired the project and what's the idea behind the drivetrain?


The idea behind the drivetrain was not being 100% satisfied with the current gearboxes on the market that our bike is designed to spec. From an engineering and efficiency standpoint, the best box so far has been the Honda RN-01 (in our opinion), so we wanted to bring the Honda back to life with new generation off-the-shelf parts, including AXS shifting. It’s far from complete and we’ve only experimented with component locations for a few days, but it’s looking promising.

Is it a modification of your previous gearbox bike or a whole new bike?


No, this is the original Prototype 1 which was featured on Pinkbike a few months ago. This external gearbox has been retro-fitted to Proto 1 past tense of the build - we had zero plans of this drivetrain when building it (kind of goes to show how fast the R&D of a project like this progresses), so geometrically it isn’t perfect as the frame wasn’t designed around it. We’re working on provisions in V2 to be designed around this gearbox to make the set-up bang-on.

The derailleur is essentially run back-to-front (the chain is fed from what's normally the lower jockey wheel to the cassette), but it seems to work.

Can you explain how the drivetrain works?


Mechanically it works the same as your normal drivetrain with all the same running gear; we’re using a SRAM AXS derailleur and shifter with the bottom half of an Eagle cassette (so a 6 speed 11-22T), the stock crankset, and everything else - this means that the “box” can be taken off and reconfigured to its original drivetrain form (all with the original length RHD chain), or with a Pinion/Effigear or other standards, depending on your preference. We want this to be versatile. Everything is rotating the same direction as normal by way of a jack-shaft that connects the cassette to a single speed cog on the right side of the bike, so in that sense and contrary to other gearboxes, we’re maintaining the working order and efficacy of a normal chain and cassette drivetrain.

Is the cassette on a slider to maintain the chain line?


It’s not. This is something we mucked around with and would be great, but to do so the above point of using stock parts was not possible - we’d need custom stepper motors and the like. We really wanted to utilise the stock groupset equipment to make the box able to be re-assembled to its original form and vice-versa. We’re open to exploring this again though.

What's the efficiency like?


Equivalent to a current standard drivetrain and much better than any other traditional gearbox on the market due to their backwards rotating gears, their nature of being submerged in oil and generally having poor clutches.

Where efficiency really goes out the window with a standard drivetrain is when dirt and contaminants are introduced; there may be a little more friction added by the additional idler pulley/cog and the incident angle of the chain about the cassette, but in a real world setting this minimal addition will be offset by having the transmission more easily protected.

Also, talking of efficiency, many suspension kinematics of a bike are altered depending what gear the rider is in, due to the effect the chain linking the swing arm to the mainframe has (altering output efficiency) - our box is single speed driven from the main frame to the rear wheel, so no matter the gear the kinematic efficiency is always the same.

We’ll dyno all this in the future to fully quantify for potential customers.

What's the weight like?


It only adds 398g compared to a normal drivetrain. This is made up by an extra short chain (LHD), the jack-shaft and 2x single speed cogs. What’s more important to note is that it decreases the unsprung mass by 506g by moving the derailleur and cassette to the main frame (sprung body), so dynamically it’ll feel lighter for the rider to handle when on the trail.

We also reckon we can get the 398g figure down by purpose building the V2 frame around the box rather than retro-fitting. Minimal weight will be added by the protective shrouds, but we want to do these from a super-light material (carbon fibre, etc).

Views: 33,900    Faves: 6    Comments: 0

The WRP CentreHub is another of Mick's projects. It allows the bike to shift while coasting, which could be useful in downhill racing, but the bike is compatible with a normal freehub and fixed chainring.

I'm intrigued by the CentreHub crank. Would the design work with a regular crank and freehub? Presumably, you've had to modify the CentreHub to work anticlockwise? If you're using a fixed hub, why didn't you have the singlespeed chain on the left, the chairing and cassette on the right and the cranks on the conventional way round - then you could use a normal CentreHub and pedals on the normal side?


Yep, a normal chainring [and freehub] can be run too.

As for the CentreHub, it’s fully modular so the clutch unit can just be flipped around to covert it between a RHD and a LHD in a matter of seconds.

You’re right about having the transmission on the right and we thought about it a bit - but this means changing the rear brake to the opposite side. We have bolt-on dropouts so we could achieve this easily, but it’d eliminate the option for a rear-wheel mounted clutch [freehub] as normal, so this way is more versatile. We also have a spec where it’s all on the RHD, but it’s busy, very busy. We’ll give this one a crack and you’ll probably see a few of the configurations mentioned above come out to play in the near future.

Have you ridden it yet?


Only around the car park; we’re making these shrouds first to enclose some of the moving parts before hucking any triples. It's had vast improvements since the vid was taken last week, consisting of swapping the derailleur's idler and the indexing cogs around (considering it’s mounted upside down), which made a huge difference. Along with an altered hanger and some other things.

What's next - are you planning to sell it?


We’d love to have this as an optional upgrade when pre-ordering a Trinity MTB for the DH lords among us.





216 Comments

  • 212 2
 Damn these mushrooms are kicking in.
  • 31 1
 At least it’s sleek and good looking!
  • 17 0
 You want a real trip, look at what the Honda RN-01 actually was originally. It was WAY crazier than a derailleur in a box.
patents.google.com/patent/US20030221892A1/en?oq=2003%2f0221892
ridemonkey.bikemag.com/threads/honda-rn01-was-creative.285235
  • 2 10
flag GM303 (Nov 20, 2021 at 10:35) (Below Threshold)
 Don't shrooms make things colorful and fun? This thing is powerfully ugly. I'd still take a lap on it, but dang it's awful to make eye contact with.
  • 3 4
 @Ryanrobinson1984: By what standard? I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I keep feeling like it’s April 1st and not near the end of the year. First there was the split derailleur idea last week, now this monstrosity. I’ll take the simplicity of my current drivetrain over either of these any day of the week. The fact is most of us just don’t have that many problems with our drivetrains.
  • 1 0
 @gnarlysipes: I dunno I have plenty of problems with mine, but they are minor enough that I just ignore it and get on with my ride because I want to have fun
  • 2 0
 @Socket: Honda RN-01 Abstract
A continuously variable transmission for bicycles having a transmission mechanism including a plurality of link units for converting rotary motion of an input shaft rotated by a pedal-operated crankshaft into swinging motion, and a one-way clutch for converting the swinging motion into rotary motion of an output shaft. The link units have drive links pivotally mounted on an eccentric ring which rotates in unison with the input shaft. The continuously variable transmission is disposed between a front wheel and a rear wheel of a bicycle in the longitudinal direction thereof and disposed either upwardly of a hypothetical plane which contains the axes of rotation of the front wheel and the rear wheel or upwardly of a position below and near the hypothetical plane. The transmission so configured provides better bicycle maneuverability, lower cost, while suffering almost no danger of contacting the ground.
  • 96 4
 Sick drivetrain! Love all the new stuff people are making. That exposed...cassette... looks deadly though
  • 5 5
 Just needs some form of bash protecting it and/or neater packaging.
  • 21 0
 Part of the article says they plan to encase the shifting mechanism in a lightweight shell.
  • 30 0
 At least read the captions, people. Nobody's getting their massive nads chewed off. Although the option is there.
  • 4 9
flag tremeer023 (Nov 19, 2021 at 10:49) (Below Threshold)
 @seraph: some sort of box would be good.
  • 5 0
 All this to accidentally start chainless and probably finish first at the end... just kidding. I really admire this work. Well done!
  • 5 0
 @FredrikWestman: It was mentioned that it would be enclosed... which I would assume would provide protection.
  • 8 5
 If you slip a pedal, you'll lose your whole leg
  • 8 1
 @noakeabean What’s a small leg amputation between friends
  • 53 1
 10/10 would allow to eat my pantleg.
  • 55 0
 It doubles as a shoe lace tightener
  • 45 1
 i could home mechanic maintain that easy
  • 46 3
 The genius of this lies in its simplicity
  • 45 7
 Bacause just buying a gearbox seemed too simple for an engineer.
  • 17 0
 To be fair, efficiency is "... much better than any other traditional gearbox on the market due to their backwards rotating gears, their nature of being submerged in oil and generally having poor clutches."

There does appear to be a legitimate problem that they are trying to solve.
  • 13 0
 @toooldtodieyoung: Yes, but they built a dh bike. I mean, maybe for wc racing drag in DH is important, but is it important for simply bike park shredding? The main benefit would be the cost, but you still need a special frame for this. So yeah, it's cool. Heah, they are great engineers, learned a lot and what's most important put a lot of work and achieved something. Definitely proved tmemselses as engineers. But is it really needed?
I am not here to hate them.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: that makes sense. Pedaling efficiency is not the most important attribute of a DH bike for most (maybe all?) of us.
  • 46 12
 That is a MESS
  • 5 3
 It’s beautiful!
  • 2 4
 It's beautiful because it doesn't have an exposed rear derailleur. Even though they are using derailleur technology is an improvement and it will only get more clean looking and dialed in over time.
  • 3 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Half a kilo off the rear axle sounds interesting for performance
  • 1 0
 You're too polite Pal. That's a f***ing mess!
  • 23 0
 Efficiency "Equivalent to a current standard drivetrain"

Wrong - equivalent to 2 standard drivetrains in series + whatever losses you get from the bearings on that cassette axle and the various extra idlers.
  • 4 0
 My thoughts exactly
  • 9 0
 Also that chainline is rough…
  • 1 1
 Right..!? drive side of the chain running over an idler, and back through a tensioner? Also no anti sag with that chainline. Cool what they’re doing with stock parts and moving weight central, but it’s creating issues while solving others.
  • 18 0
 For the 80% of the commenters who didn't read the article: Yes, the final version will have a cover over it.
  • 18 3
 That casset brings back bad memories of scarred shins and ripped jeans from back in the triple ring days.
  • 3 6
 so many moving parts to chew you upon a crash
  • 1 0
 @Cyclehd: the article does say they're working on a composite shroud to encase the entire mechanism.
  • 16 1
 I wonder if the pedals would fall off, since its not an LHD specific crank?
  • 21 0
 They won't - but you do have to learn to pedal backwards.
  • 10 0
 buy two sets of pedals when you buy your two chains
  • 1 9
flag vinay (Nov 19, 2021 at 13:05) (Below Threshold)
 Why would cranks fall off? The thread direction of the conventional setup is such that if the pedal bearings seize, the pedal actually loosens from the crank. But if everything is running smooth, nothing should come off.

Most pedals would be a bit awkward though, having left and right mixed up. It is rare for a mountainbike pedal to be symmetric. Usually they're a bit slanted. I don't know about being clicked in. The Speedplay stuff looks symmetric but I'm not sure if it would work.
  • 9 0
 @vinay: just swap spindles...
  • 1 1
 @joelsman: Oh yeah, that should do indeed.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: Wrong, look up "precession". Pedals are threaded the way they are so they don't unthread under normal use, and without swapping spindles you would most likely have pedals coming off.
  • 1 0
 @robw515: to Vinay’s defense, he did say “if pedal bearings seize” in which case they do come off, I have seen it first hand.
  • 2 0
 @rifu: Thanks, I know precession but in a different context (like how a wheel that spins around one axis and subject to a moment around a perpendicular axis will try to reorient around a third perpendicular axis) but didn't think of it in this context. Makes sense indeed. If so, would be interesting to see how this works out eventually. Not sure why they made it so difficult for themselves though as indeed they could just as well have used a LHD (BMX) crank. Maybe they get support from SRAM provided they use their top end gear?
  • 2 0
 @bikeracer28: Either your pedals were super loose to start with, or your bearings are absolutely welded together if the torque from a bad bearing can undo the pedal from the crank.
  • 1 0
 @MaplePanda: as my comment was referring to bearings seizing, that is what happened. The bearing locked up and the spindle and pedal could no longer rotate relative to each other. The pedals were attached properly.

This was on a pair shimano pedals that were purchased used, but looked brand new. I’m not sure exactly how because I never tried to fix them, but something happened to the cone nut which would cause the bearings to totally lock up after about 20 revolutions of the crank. Tried tightening the cone nut properly and putting them back on, same thing would happen, so they went in the trash. Only pedals I’ve ever seen it happen on out of 10 or so shimano pedals across my bikes.
  • 1 0
 @bikeracer28: I have literally seen a video of this happening to a girl in a CX race, and can back up the assertion that the seized pedal unscrews itself
  • 2 0
 @robw515: exactly right. Buddy put cranks on backward one time and had his pedals unwind all the time.
  • 15 2
 Cedric Eveleigh: I've been testing and prototyping for two years. Mick Williams: I've only ridden it around the car park so far. No offense, just saying.
  • 14 2
 But isn't that where the motor goes?
  • 8 0
 It's amazing how many people don't actually read the article. The answer to one of the questions is the fact they don't want to take it off road before making shrouds to protect themselves. So you can all put your D3O socks away.
  • 8 1
 Complexity aside, it gets the same drivetrain we currently use up and out of the way of danger and provides a better center of gravity. Add carbon, poly or similar covers or guards to prevent the cassette & derr from destroying ones legs to the finished product and I could see this taking hold if it works well.
  • 1 5
flag wyorider (Nov 19, 2021 at 11:43) (Below Threshold)
 Unless you ride terrain with big step ups. Then your wreck the cassette. This is a decent proof of concept at best.
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: what do you expect in a couple of days?
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: how is that? Zero issue clearing step ups with that bike as long as the final product is fine-tuned a bit and covered /protected in a similar way as the original Honda and bash guards where needed. No different than current DH bikes. The Q factor on the cranks looks to be normal for a DH bike.
  • 6 0
 Must be significantly draggier than a conventional derailleur set up at the extremes of the cassette due to the wild angle the chain will be at because of the proximity of the cassette and chainring. Never mind the other losses due to the other chain and idlers. Cool AF though.
  • 9 1
 Dude, people are so freaking cool. I love shit like this. I don't care if it never catches on or whatever, I just love it when smart people can build cool things.
  • 10 3
 that looks really easy to clean.
  • 10 5
 People are spending thousand on a AXS to ditch one derailleur cable. You are gonna try to convince them to add a bunch of gears and one more chain to maintain for what?
  • 2 0
 In fairness.. have you seen the price of derailleurs? IF you can even find one right now..
  • 3 0
 Well,

Are we going to see again the cassette gearbox solution by Phaser or not?

www.cyclingabout.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Phaser-Gearbox-768x425.jpg

Athough it is a very nice (and way cheaper than the geared gearboxes) approach, it faded out quite rapidly. If i am correct Alex Morgan (BCDBCD bikes) had designed a similar solution, even before the Phaser, but he didn't cover it with a patent...
  • 1 1
 There may be something similar out there being tested right now
  • 1 0
 Very similar to the patent shimano filed a couple years ago
  • 8 1
 Rear derailleurs aren't that bad.
  • 3 0
 So have these guys actually ever ridden the RN01? I haven't, neither have you but I once met Greg Minnaar and asked him about it. He said the suspension was way ahead of its time but the gear box had "so much drag, like SO MUCH drag". I still rate it as being the coolest dh bike ever but maybe it was the suspension and frame design and not so much the drivetrain that made it cool? I don't know.
  • 2 0
 Propably because the whole drivetrain was coasting while the bike was coasting and not only under pedal input meaning he could shift while flying, coasting but it caused drag. I think putting the freewheel back into the rear hub would remedy the drag while maintaining the mass centralisation. noone needs the ability to shift while flying.
  • 4 1
 If this was the 2003 version and the original Honda RN01 the 2023 version it would sound more believable. This thing looks horrendous. The Idea of the RN01 with modern Geometry is still the DH Bike I would very much love to have in my life.
  • 1 1
 Me too. Also I don't understand why the cassette is on backwards and the mech is feeding the wrong way. Could it not be orientated like a stock setup but facing backwards, cassette on the left (but still small sprocket on the outside)?
  • 6 0
 This isn’t going to help the chain shortage.
  • 2 0
 Great people are looking for innovation. Let's face it a new frame mount is needed . Thus new frames built. No one wants to take the plunge . Well very few. Honda RN One. Put the gear changer in a can use a belt drive in the transmission then you can use smaller gears. Simple , proven , reliable as now there is no venerable hanging parts . Anti squat values change as you change gears on a conventional bike. Transmission on frame keeps the anti squat numbers consistent. It's easier to work out kinematics on a bike with a frame mounted transmission.
  • 1 0
 A internal hub would be great for DH transmissions as only a few gears are needed . But yes the R&D costs of reinventing the Apple is definitely what’s scaring off the big guys . If it ain’t broke don’t fix it is often the motto in industry
  • 1 0
 The BeOne PeteSpeed gearbox was pretty similar to what Honda was using. They might not even have known as Honda was so secretive about it. Hayes currently owns the patent (they bought it from BeOne before it was bought by an American company and then put out of business) but it seems they aren't doing anything with it. Which is a shame. If they can offer gearing, they can be a bigger player on the OEM market. Gearing, suspension (Manitou), brakes (Hayes), drivetrain (PeteSpeed), wheels (Wheelsmit) and rigid stuff (Answer/ProTaper).
  • 5 0
 That's a lot of moving parts
  • 2 0
 That's all the moving parts
  • 1 0
 Czech company Race Bike was running a similar design around 2007 (the bike won European DH title). Patent here patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/48/70/fb/31993667ee2adb/WO2007121690A1.pdf and bike partly visible here www.rb-bike.cz/userfiles/thumbs/43/200703_ph_peille_fra_provia-jpg_1571836678_800x450_tt_90.jpg

Their bikes had a very interesting look (this one with a normal drive train but their unique tube design) – www.pinkbike.com/photo/1339601
  • 1 0
 Look up Alex Morgan BCDracing (Buffalo Composite Design). His inclosed high pivot derailleur gear box bike circa 1999 is bad ass!
I hear this alot around here, "this is nothing new". Still its cool to see the spirit from things in the past live on stoking fire in the belly of new generation developers.
  • 1 0
 i think it was 96 i was living in LA at the time when i first saw one
  • 1 0
 This is probably a design some "genius" probably thought of 200 years ago. Who would've thought Honda would come up with this some 15+ years ago? Probably still why the rear derailleur is still at the back of the rear stay with only one chain. This setup would probably fit a recumbent bike, though.
  • 10 6
 I can hear the chain slap through my screen
  • 5 5
 theres actually no where for it to slap. I think this was a waste of brainpower to design to be clear.
  • 7 1
 Thats just the sound of having to replace two chains instead of one.
  • 7 2
 What the shit
  • 5 0
 Did somebody empty a bike mechanics toolbox onto that bottom bracket area?
  • 1 0
 Having seen the Honda bikes in person, they were amazing. This is an interesting take for sure! Honda built some frame work and covers though to reduce the risk of catching. Just need the Showa fork!
  • 4 0
 Can you run it with a coaster brake?
  • 3 0
 It the infamous words of Ronald Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket,. "What is this? WHAT TF is this?"
  • 5 1
 Not compatible with Dakine's new pants
  • 3 3
 Exactly, what a bloody mess, surely just use a gearbox instead, you think this is a good thing when it comes to mud, shit and servicing. Prototyping fine but damn far away from sensible real world usage in this form at least.
  • 3 0
 Ok so we want to develop a simple, light, easy to use, and efficient drive train. Hold my beer.
  • 1 1
 Drivetrain right where you'll smash the cassette on a big ledge up move. This design has the potential to be great, but it needs to move from off-the-shelf parts to dedicated (and lighter, and more compact) components. Also pretty sure that multiple chains means this isn't a huge efficiency gain vs something like the Pinion system.

Gearboxes are the future, but they aren't dialed yet.
  • 4 2
 April‘s fools already? What a contraption. I especially like the way they mounted the crank the wrong way round, so that they could also mount the cassette inverted…
  • 4 0
 Imagine reading the article before posting comments about it
  • 1 0
 i genuinely like this one, this is job proper done but can't understand why can't people simply put a gearbox and a reasonably high pivot on a dh bike and call it a day?

because it would genuinely be calling it a day.
  • 1 0
 WOW! Currently @ 191 comments, and not a single mention of Rube Goldberg?? If I was a betting man, I'd have lost on this wager ! The PBB masses have shown a great deal of restraint, and that's a rare occurrence !
  • 1 0
 The lack of sliding chainline capability with such a short chain can’t be great for efficiency or longevity. Overall the Lal bikes design recently covered in Pinkbike seems a better solution albeit not a pseudo gearbox.
  • 5 2
 Wouldn’t your calf hit the the derailleur and gear while pedalling ?
  • 1 0
 Just had this conversation. Mine would be all over that thing.
  • 2 0
 Apparently you haven't seen my calves....no
  • 1 0
 @RadBartTaylor: skipping leg day?
  • 3 0
 I keep my calf with the rest of the cows in the field.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: I always wanted big gnarly calves....but genetics say otherwise I guess, rode / raced XC for years, squats and lifting in off-season...zero improvement...
  • 6 2
 That is terrifying.
  • 2 0
 Amazing exercise in design and prototyping, cred's for that. It's just not solving a problem I have right now.
  • 1 1
 398g heavier than a normal drivetrain... But you can't market it to the ebike crowd because that's where the motor goes. Totally bonkers but can't help but applaud the innovation
  • 2 1
 Always good to see someone trying while keeping a deaf ear to those that can't even design a fly swatter, yet think they have all the answers.
  • 1 0
 Think I’ve made this comment about 10 times already…but here it is again. Pinion gearboxes. Just ditch the mech completely…
  • 1 1
 I wonder what delusional incomprehensible blather Quinney will come up with regarding the product??

Will he need to consume some mind altering substance(s) to reach the heights of unintelligibility of his last post?
  • 3 1
 Why bother keeping things simple, when uber-complicating them they work the same?
  • 3 1
 Now I know why Honda covered everything up with shrouds and wouldn't let the press see inside... it's fugly in there.
  • 1 0
 I highly suggest drawing a diagram of the chain routing on the frame before attemping to swap the chain; this looks about as complicated as some car's accessory belt routing.
  • 1 1
 With all these derailleur in the frame bikes. Is that shimanos chain drive gearbox From a couple of years ago be the future and not machine based gearbox’s for acoustic bikes
  • 3 0
 M.C. Escher designed drivetrains?
  • 3 0
 Rather see that bike as a single speed. Looks a proper mess.
  • 3 0
 Fixes no problems and zero improved performance. Great!
  • 2 1
 When you are adding chains and sprockets and complexity and weight you are by definition not improving on what exists. I dont think, anyway.
  • 3 1
 Amazing! The gearing is so distracting noone even stopped to bitch about it being a mullet.
  • 5 1
 Still bulky garbage
  • 2 0
 Sounds promising. Just ask Rob What he thought of the Honda bike back in the day
  • 1 1
 That looks wild!
Defo need a cover or something around all that to protect it for crashes etc!
It would be really cool to see it getting tested and some videos of it out shredding Smile
  • 3 4
 The lack of vision is staggering. So you're telling me that we are going to use the derailleur for another 100 years. Really?? Gearboxes should have been done decades ago. Derailleurs will go and will be replaced by gearboxes and the sooner the better.
  • 1 0
 Not sure why they set it up so the crank doesn't turn (in the video), is it a fixed gear rear hub?
  • 2 0
 Centrehub
  • 4 2
 Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
  • 1 0
 If they don't want snapped chains outta the gate, they should build around a 520 chain. Killer quads kill chains!!
  • 2 0
 it's like a better gearbox i'm down
  • 2 0
 Thinking on it, it puts Allen Millyards efforts into perspective
  • 3 1
 And Pinion keeps laughing!
  • 1 0
 Yeah me too I sometimes do things that I would sell, but I'm not sure at all that people would buy them...
  • 1 0
 About time this concept comes up again, hope Shimano doesn't bury this one like they did with Petespeed.
  • 1 0
 Wasn't it Hayes who buried PeteSpeed?
  • 3 0
 @vinay: Shimano purchased the derailleur in a box patent from Honda when they closed the RN-01 project. Petespeed was infringing on this proto, so Shimano took it down. Was also a huge hit to B1, who were protoing the project at the time.
  • 2 0
 @sherbet: How could B1 have infringed on the proto? I thought they had PeteSpeed out back when the Honda gearbox was super secret, so Honda wouldn't have filed it as a patent at that point, have they? After all, if they file a patent then it is there for people to read how it works. If they don't then they can't stop anyone from developing something similar. So if Honda (or Shimano) eventually files it, all B1 had to do was prove they were already working on something similar and they're free to go their own way (like Dave Weagle and Trek did with their axle-centric suspension pivot) or join forces (like Schwalbe and Syntace did with ProCore). Or do you mean Hayes didn't buy the patent but Shimano bought it instead? That would be a shit move for pretty much everyone. I thought I read somewhere that Hayes bought it though, not sure where. I do recall it was a tough time for B1. They were actually a branch from Batavus (an old Accell brand) but I thought they became independent and then nearly immediately got bought a big American company with zero interest in bikes. They sucked the company dry and ditched it. For a brand that bred so many great riders in gravity racing, it sucked to see them go down like that.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I don't think Petespeed had the capital to fight against an entity as massive as Shimano, especially considering they were still in pre-production with their gearbox idea. Hayes didn't buy the patent. If I'm not mistaken, Honda allowed them to use the tech on a royalty bases, but when Shimano purchased the rights, that was taken away.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: vaguely looks like an old balfa bb-7
  • 1 1
 @sherbet: What I did not understand about derailleur in a box idea from honda was that single speed chain was not also sealed?
But think I now know,Is a few different reasons
But sealed drives were tried on motorcycles in the 1950s & had problems with overheating
Not that it would be a problem on a bicycle, but still think bike drives should be sealed!
  • 2 0
 @aljoburr: Possibly because it would have added unsprung weight? For a bike used in competition, that may have been more important than the durability of the chain.
  • 1 0
 @sherbet: Ah, found the article:
mbaction.com/hayes-to-market-chain-driven-gearbox-system-oct-5

Seems indeed like Hayes got permission to permission from B1 to produce and sell the unit, but this was indeed still before B1 went out of business. I still miss them, they were cool. The original Specialized Enduro SX (the one Matt Hunter rode in the Collective and which Anneke Beerten raced to second place at the urban DH in Lisbon) always got a lot of love (even though it was the next iteration which seemed to get most attention) but I recall B1 also had a cool 4X frame. Maybe 80 or 100mm of rear travel, but a 165mm rear axle.
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 @vinay: That is not a valid reason, but durability is definitely why they do not exist!
AS is like built in obsolescence for drives being open to elements & damage
  • 3 1
 Looks like a mess that will hit everything and no bottles
  • 2 0
 How about a singlespeed DH bike?
  • 1 0
 Finally a front derailleur that will work perfectly every time and never make any noise Wink
  • 1 0
 Article says six speeds, pictures and video show three. I think it is three.
  • 1 0
 A front derrallieur and dual front chainring looks cleaner and simpler up front.
  • 2 0
 I applaud the out of the box thinking thet went into this.
  • 1 0
 Wouldn't be easier to place a flangeless internal gear hub, and run 2 chains?
  • 1 0
 should be enclosed when sold ... too many pinch points like an ols piece of farm equipment
  • 1 0
 I would consider getting one, immediately taking it to my local LBS for a tune up, just for the reaction
  • 1 0
 This kind of work should lead to improving gearboxes. This current scope of work is unacceptable for me in this case.
  • 2 1
 Love this, cant wait to see the final product.

"DH Lords" rise up
  • 1 0
 If they're using an eagle cassette shouldn't the range be 10-22?
  • 5 3
 Absolute filth
  • 2 2
 Categorical rubbish
  • 1 0
 VTEC just kicked in!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 WRP bloody oath mate, killing it \m/
  • 1 0
 Where can I buy those SIXXVW tyres?
  • 1 0
 It only adds 398 Grams… Wink
  • 1 2
 “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park) 1993.
  • 2 1
 Its like a gearbox... but worse
  • 1 2
 id have thought the word box on the end might have indicated an enclosure of some type
  • 1 0
 mech iiiin a box (to the tune of dick in a box)
  • 1 0
 Just go with a gear box, seriously!
  • 2 2
 Soo much weight for what...?
For nothing maybe
  • 1 1
 Don't get a stick/branch in it at speed.
  • 2 2
 wearing my fox instinct boots . too scared
  • 5 4
 what a mess
  • 2 1
 dude, just get an ebike.
  • 1 1
 What no Showa suspension?
  • 1 3
 Looks like you would need to wear some thick socks to ride this beast. I can only begin to imagine the damage this could do to someone's ankles.
  • 1 1
 I remember seeing something like it in the middle of an Ok Go video...
  • 2 2
 imagine cleaning this after a muddy ride . . . . :-(
  • 1 1
 Thats a no from me dawg! LAL design looks way better
  • 2 2
 The cassette's position looks dangerous!
  • 1 2
 That thing looks hungry for a pair of MTB shorts or any wandering leg protection straps!
  • 1 0
 FLAT PEDALS USE ONLY!
  • 2 1
 First and last look
  • 1 1
 cool as hell, looks like a bloody nightmare to clean mud from though.
  • 1 0
 Yes would be a nightmare if not sealed?
  • 1 0
 K’NEX
  • 1 0
 My brain is confused
  • 1 0
 Cute
  • 1 0
 Seriously?
  • 2 3
 Dictionary definition of over-complicated
  • 1 2
 Wouldn’t want to catch my calf on that cassette in crash!
  • 3 4
 Yes!
  • 2 9
flag GotchaJimmy (Nov 19, 2021 at 11:17) (Below Threshold)
 go be negative somewhere else
  • 4 1
 @GotchaJimmy: ? How was I being negative? This is amazing.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: your comment was quite derogatory, it's plain to see
  • 4 0
 @Dogl0rd: Ah, black is white, up is down, right is wrong. How could I forget
  • 3 4
 But what if you crash?
  • 1 2
 Where’s the motor go?
  • 1 0
 LOL, probably have a front or rear hub motor Big Grin
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