Pinion and Gates recently announced that Gates will be distributing Pinion's transmissions to the US and Canada, which opens up a number of opportunities for both brands, and their customers as well. Gates is no stranger to transmissions and drives, and while its bicycle division is a small branch, the Carbon Drive system is about as high tech as a cog-belt system gets. It's no secret that many bike makers who offer Pinion's gearbox, also favor the Carbon Drive for its simplicity and all-weather performance. The partnership with Gates seems like a perfect match. I spoke with Pinion's Christoph Lerman and Gate's Paul Tolme about their new partnership.
How critical is it for Pinion to have a distributor in North America?Christoph:
it's very important. We are already having small brands using the Pinion system here. we have seen a demand in this market, and for us, it was not just important to sell gearboxes, but to have a partner here who is also able to do some services for the technology. We are glad that we found the Gates Corporation as a partner to operate the US business.Paul:
Yeah, we had an informal partnership for several years, and that led up to this formal agreement.Christoph:
We have the gearbox on one end and they have the carbon belt on the other, so it makes sense to incorporate in this particular market.
It's not like Gates is a stranger to power transmission and drive systems...Paul:
Like peanut butter and jelly, man. We're obviously going to be distributing Pinion gearboxes to customers who will be putting chains on, as well, but the market trend is having that ability to combine a belt and a gearbox as sort of the ultimate. It's really working with designers to accommodate a belt into their frame designs.
Will you have a tech center that will stock parts, or will Pinion handle warranty issued from Germany?
Christoph: No, it's all from Denver. Marc Seemann is there for sales and service, and all of the parts as well, are in Denver for customers, dealers and OEMs, just like we do in Germany, which is a big step for us. Bigger brands were skeptical of us here, and now we can provide OE support those larger companies need. What Might the Future Hold?