The Freedom Machine's Homer: A Steel, Single-Pivot Gearbox Driven Enduro Bike with 27.5" Wheels

Jun 22, 2022
by Matt Beer  


A special Irish bloke named Rory Beirne designed the contraption you see before you - a steel, single-pivot enduro bike with 180mm of travel that's propelled by a belt-driven gearbox. There's also an inverted dual crown fork, and 27.5” wheels at either end because it’s exactly what he wants. It's not just leftover parts that were floating around the garage.

Rory is no slouch when it comes to riding anything with two wheels. He has ridden and raced all sorts of bikes, some with motors and some with tiny wheels and no gears. After spending years on a BMX, which takes the utmost precision to ride, Rory wanted a seriously capable mountain bike to deliver the same response and durability as his 20" bike. As a self-announced critical person and structural engineer, it was time to put his money where his mouth is and depart from the norm.

Rider: Rory Beirne
Height/weight: 184cm (6 foot) / 72 Kg (160 lb)
Bike: Homer by The Freedom Machine fab, 180mm travel
Frame size: Custom (475 mm reach)
Fork: 2012 Manitou Dorado, 180mm, 73/130 PSI
Shock: EXT Storia, 525 lb spring
Bars: Renthal FatBar, 38mm rise, 800mm width
Brakes: Magura MT5, 200mm rotors F/R
Tires: Onza Aquilla 27.5x2.4", no inserts, 30 PSI F/R


This entire project wouldn't have been possible without the skills of his cousin, Stephen Beirne, who owns and operates a steel brazing frame company in Dublin, Ireland, called The Freedom Machine. The duo are both dedicated fathers, trail builders, and riders with full-time jobs, so finding spare time to build the bike came through a passion for designing and fabricating projects. Although adding the gearbox was Rory's idea, Stephen had already built a single-pivot bike with similar intentions. Stephen's brand is also on display, so the spotlight is really on him for his craftsmanship. Through countless hours of off-the-clock time in his shop and international web calls from Dublin to Vancouver Island, the pair set out to build the perfect bike that didn’t exist elsewhere.

The “Homer” creation is not something as mainstream as a Specialized Stumpjumper, a bike which Rory previously owned. Every single aspect of this bike, from the components and geometry to the tubing and shock placement was meticulously questioned. His demands were quick handling and response from body movements, yet it needed stability and traction too.

That usually means 29” wheels, long chainstays, plenty of sag and progression in the suspension, and soft tires to grip the ground. What does Rory prefer? Nothing less than 30 psi in both of the 27.5” DH tires and firm suspension. 29ers bored him and “killed the fun”. He drew an excellent parallel for me: 29ers are to 27.5” what dirt jumping a 26” bike versus a BMX is like. “Horses for courses,'' he added.

Standing at 184cm and weighing 72kg, he chose somewhat conventional numbers like a 475mm reach, 1250mm wheelbase, 79º seat tube angle, 30mm of BB drop, and chainstays that are evenly slotted for three positions between 420-445mm that grow by roughly 9mm under sag. What this offers him is a bike that is planted when resting, but has the ability to snap to life when told to leave the ground.


The seemingly narrow 135x12 mm Hope Single-speed hub flanges are actually almost 10 mm wider than the popular 148 Boost hubs, plus it uses male axle bolts where the washers key into circular slots to prevent the wheel from slipping in the dropouts. One small afterthought was the sliding dropout, yet it had a fixed brake mount. Compensating for the brake pad and rotor overlap with the adjustable chainstay length meant that to overcome this they would need to weld the caliper mounts in the center slot and use bevelled washers were used to make up the height difference of the caliper clocking.

SUSPENSION SETUP

Moving onto the suspension setup is where the finer details get interesting. Even with that much pressure in the tires typically, Rory rides a 525 lb spring that only squats to 25% sag on the single pivot frame design. The single pivot isn't totally linear and gains 8% in progression, due to the angled shock placement. That’s enough to mitigate wallowing in the middle of the 180mm of travel, 14 of which moves the axle rearward, while the EXT Storia’s hydraulic bottom out resistance takes care of the heaviest landings.

A ten year-old Manitou Dorado has been loved and lowered to 180mm travel. The main and ramp chambers are set to 72/130 PSI which a 35mm length stem if fitted to hold a high-rise bar. The offset is stock at 49mm, but there are some shorter, custom offset crowns in the works too.


STEEL IS REAL

One worry that doesn’t cross Rory’s mind is flex. The downtube is a Reynolds 851, 1.2mm thick straight gauge in a 38mm diameter, and lighter 35mm top tube produce a solid, yet vibration absorbing front end. Out back, the 19mm chainstays and 16mm seatstays are 0.9mm thick 4130 for that compliant ride quality. All of the pivot hardware is CNC machined out of 4140, the dropouts are 316 stainless steel and TIG welded to 4130 hoods. On the drivetrain, the idler adaptor and belt tensioner are machined from 6082 T6 aluminum by Steamer Industries.

By raising and shaping the rear triangle into a wider bridge, he was able to counteract too much twisting, but noted that he may add a seatstay bridge if less compliance is desired. In fact, he preaches that the USD fork chassis and spherical bushings in shock eyelets are what allow the suspension to actively track across cambers and chattery trail tread. The forgiveness in the frame and suspension could be just one reason why Rory can run such high tire pressure and firm suspension. Serious bike handling skills probably don’t hurt either.

A mid-high pivot provides 114% anti-squat throughout the travel due to the idler location that also reduces the amount of belt growth. There is a notion that anti-rise on the high side of 100% can feel harsh while braking, since this can compress the suspension. The Homer’s anti-rise begins at 118% (110% at sag) and only falls to 88% at full travel, helping to preserve the bike’s geometry under braking - a theory adopted from Moto GP. Rory says he’s never experienced negative performance from that characteristic and chooses his braking points on smooth pieces of trail when he can.



THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Silence is another attribute that is appreciated after riding a BMX bike. A tight chain and less moving parts not only means there is less to go wrong, but nothing bounces around on the bike either. One way to take care of all that noise on a mountain bike is to first eliminate the derailleur, ultimately lowering the unsprung mass by moving the weight from the swingarm to the mainframe. Secondly, is swapping the chain for a belt. Rory was so sick of tuning twelve-speed derailleurs all of the time due to the accuracy needed for them to run perfectly that he caved and bit the bullet of increased drag that comes with a gearbox.

At the heart of the beast is a Pinion C1.9XR unit that draws a 568% range from nine gears through a twist-grip shifter - just another unconventional part on the Homer. The rear cog is the Pinion Gates 39T stainless steel opinion paired with a 19-tooth cog placed just below the swingarm pivot. By brazing the axle for the idler directly to the frame, there were less alignment issues to worry about and Rory hasn’t seen the need for a belt guide at either end yet.

Another bonus of the gearbox is being able to shift without pedaling and because the freehub is located on the mainframe, Rory says this works similarly to an O-Chain to alleviate pedal kickback.


Rory said he surprised himself by how high he can hop the 180mm travel bike, which isn’t a featherweight and attributes that leap to the balanced front to rear wheel unsprung weight ratios, in addition to the short chainstays too. It’s not the most efficient pedaling bike with the heavy tires holding it back, but he’s not racing or hunting Strava KOMs either. The focus is on the descent and being in total control.

So what’s next for, visually, the most unlikely mountain bike for a BMXer to ride, let alone build from the ground up? The stock 49mm offset fork crowns will be replaced by a much shorter, custom set and the same goes for the cranks. Those long 175mm Pinion crankarms will be replaced with 155mm to compensate for the low BB height. And if I had to make further guesses, Rory will continue to tweak the Homer and send massive gaps. Somehow, I think he will stay away from 29” wheels and derailleurs though.





129 Comments

  • 70 0
 Thanks for posting this pinkbike. I had fun building it (and designing it)
When working with Rory on this frame, he kept adding all these little features, pinion, belt drive, horizontal dropouts etc.. kinda reminded me of that time Homer designed a car with his Brother....
So the name "The Homer" was the obvious choice.
This bike rips, we are both stoked with it.
  • 2 0
 Could do with an adjustable shock mount, so that can tune bb height!
Not saying shorter cranks would solve low bb issue, but so would fitting 29er wheel up front?
  • 3 0
 @aljoburr: moving the shock to adjust BB is not a great solution as it would lower progression in the leverage rate.
BB is low by design. Dorados can change height to adjust if desired.
I can also pull them up to 200mm and extend the rear end for a more stable high speed DH setup.
I have no interest in a 29" front wheel.
  • 68 0
 Simpsons. Steel. Gearbox. 650b. Dual crown. Did the guy that made that twitter bot and fed it pinkbike comments ask the bot to make a bike?
  • 20 9
 but the damn bot got confused and based the design off an Orange.
  • 7 0
 Even has a place to put a water bottle.
  • 11 0
 "Poweful like a gorilla, but soft and yielding as nerf ball."
  • 2 0
 Exactly
  • 29 3
 When is Pinkbike going to make a "BMX Background" T-shirt?
  • 7 1
 Should be back in stock Q5 2024 once the chassis for the container has been secured
  • 14 3
 only available to outside+ subscribers.
  • 3 1
 @adrennan: hahahaha
  • 23 1
 Looks rad! I finally got to pedal around on a Pinion gearbox equipped Zerode this weekend. IMO the whole shifting thing is somewhat overstated by writers, it took less than 5 minutes to get used to the difference. The centered weight and silence were the most noticeable aspects. Bike didn't feel any heavier than my normal "trail" bike except that the weight is centered, vs. favoring rear end. I hope a gearbox bike is in my future.
  • 6 0
 Same, I really liked the Zerode I got one demo ride on! Can't wait to be on a gearbox bike.
  • 4 0
 100% agree. I rode one for a season and I found the shifting to be much better once you got used to it (took me a whole ride, if that.) The major downside I saw was the efficiency, but if you aren't pedaling XC stuff it's much less of an issue, IMO
  • 4 0
 I was surprised by how normal it felt too, and how little drag there was. From what I'd read, I had expected it to feel terrible.
  • 2 0
 @EckNZ: The drag in the climbing gears doesn't seem noticeable to me. Never understood reviews complaining about it.
  • 5 0
 @MorganBH: the drag is not noticeable in the climbing gears on the Homer. Only time I could tell any difference is flatter fire road pulls and to offset that, sink one extra Duff before you head off. Simple.
  • 2 0
 @rorybb: that's been my experience also,
  • 4 0
 Have owned a Zerdode for years. Took me a couple of rides to perfect grip shift technique and now I prefer it to trigger shifters. Gearboxes are way better than derailleurs.
  • 4 0
 I've been rolling around on a deviatecycles guide for over 4 years now, any downsides are insignificant compared with the pros. I really don't understand why the reviewers can't work it out. Perhaps there not that good at riding after all Wink

Love the gearbox, wish more brands would use them!
  • 15 0
 "Steel, Single-Pivot Gearbox Driven Enduro Bike with 27.5" Wheels"???? - That's unpossible!
  • 11 0
 I can't imagine how immensely rewarding it must be to design and build your own bike... and then how bloody irritating it must feel listening to the arm chair experts on PB comments. Regardless of how it looks or what it's made of, anyone building their own bike deserves nothing but admiration.
  • 13 0
 Looks like a Simpson.
  • 14 0
 Doh!
  • 2 0
 I'm ruined
  • 11 0
 Put a horn here, here and here. I can't find it when I'm mad. And they should play "La Cucaracha."
  • 5 0
 "and because the freehub is located on the mainframe, Rory says this works similarly to an O-Chain to alleviate pedal kickback."

Care to explain further, because I don't think that works out.

When the suspension compresses, the top section of the belt is still going to grow, pulling against the rear pulley and the front pulley which will then pull on the cranks via the freehub. Some alleviation might come from what looks to be a 1:1 pulley ratio, compared to more kickback when in the small cogs (ie: all cogs smaller than the chainring) on an equivalent derailleur bike. With a smaller cog, it will take more wheel revolution (read: more speed) to allow the same amount of chain (or belt) to "feed out" from the rear to account for the lengthening. But it doesn't matter where the freewheeling part is, the tension in the chain or belt applies to both ends of that top section.
  • 2 1
 The freewheel on a pinion hasn't got many engagements, and that's in addition to the freewheel on the rear hub. Basically there's a load of slack in the drivetrain, so it on average takes more pedal movement or a bigger movement of the belt to engage.
  • 2 0
 @Tambo: still doesn't do the same tho. HxR compenent tried to push the same nonesense when they released their crank freewheel mechanism as an added benefit to the possibility to shift while coasting but they quickly got called-out. Neko talked about this in one of his videos explaining why low engagement hubs can help a little but not consistently (like if you just clicked the next poe vs about to click) and the reason why the o-chain doesn't have this issue. I recently saw someone designing a crank freewheel that can go both ways so this could be the best solution.
  • 2 0
 I think it’s a similar concept to the first Williams racing products centrehub? Mic Williams does a great explanation of it in the episode of beyond the tape podcast about the centrehub
  • 3 0
 @Balgaroth: Pinion Freewheel at the cranks has something like 20degrees of slack in it similar to an O Chain. Total pedal kickback if the brake was locked is a lot less. Unless I have the slack engaged and do wheelie drops with your back brake locked, I won't ever feel pedal kickback.
  • 1 1
 @Balgaroth: exactly.
  • 1 2
 @rorybb: it just depends how close both freewheels are to engaging when the suspension gets actuated. You don't have to be pedaling for them to engage. If they've both just clicked over when it happens, you'll feel all of it. If they both just about to (but haven't), then your statement is probably true. This isn't a benefit of this system anyhow; it can be done on any bike just by having a *really* coarse freehub, like 10 engagements or so. Also don't need to have the back brake locked to feel feedback, though it would make it more obvious.
  • 4 0
 @Tambo: in theory you are correct but not in reality. Same can be said for the O-chain if there's pressure on the chain. The belt doesn't spin while coasting on The Homer, so the pinion freewheel is typically fully open and has a similar effect as an O-Chain. It rides fantastic.

But its all irrelevant as pedal kickback is more of an armchair issue than anything else and is not an issue during normal riding conditions unless you are hard on the brakes in the rough.
  • 2 4
 @rorybb: fully open freewheel? It's pretty unlikely to sit at the point furthest from engagement, and actually more likely to come to rest fully engaged.

If it's irrelevant, how can it have an effect similar to an ochain? Talk sense, man!
  • 1 0
 @B-foster: care to paraphrase what Mic said? I remember listening to that episode but don't recall hearing an actual good explanation of why a front freewheel is any different re: kickback.
  • 3 0
 @rorybb: 20 degrees engagement is only like ochain in that the average "slack" in the system is ~10 degrees (ochain can go smaller and larger though), except that the ochain isn't the same kind of slack where you slam into the engagement, and it's always at that amount of slack. A low engagement hub might sometimes have lots of slack and sometimes very little. This is bad because sometimes on a slow drop or big impact you'll get a nice free moving suspension and then other times you'll have kickback trying to break your ankles. Sometimes you'll get on the power and it'll grab right away, sometimes your foot will go 5 or 6 cm before slamming into the freehub. That's probably another reason people like the feel of the ochain with a high-engagement hub: consistency.
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: I believe it was to do with the chain feeding through constantly so might not be relevant here, but essentially the rate of links of chain being fed into the top section was higher than the rate of chain growth (per number of links grown), so the total was still more links being fed into the top section than the chain growth was extending, but as I’m not sure it applies to the belt
  • 1 1
 @B-foster: that applies regardless of the freehweel location, and to belts as well as chains. Basically you can diminish pedal kickback by riding faster (assuming suspension velocity remains largely unchanged).
  • 2 1
 @Tambo: yeah, but I think the advantage with having the freewheel on the frame is with a fairly low wheel speed pedal kickback is basically entirely avoided. That was what mic said I think, I’m not an actual engineer (yet)
  • 1 1
 @B-foster: It doesn't make any difference; literally identical either way. I am only a scientist, mind Smile
  • 2 0
 @B-foster: The chain "feeding" to a front freewheel versus a rear freewheel allowing the chain to be pulled is the same thing tension/force-wise from the reference frame of the chain and gears. It could be argued there is a bit of inertia of the chain and cassette/pulley, but that is going to be pretty marginal compared to the pedal-kickback forces.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: but does the chain feed to a rear freewheel? Mic if you’re here please wade in, I am well out of my depth
  • 3 0
 @B-foster: it doesn't feed but it id irrelevant. Kickback while freewheeling is none existant as long as you ride above a certain speed which is pretty much always the case. The problem start to show up when you lock up your back wheel, one could argue that this is pretty rare occurence when riding properly, yet if/when it happens you are probably in an already precarious position and probably don't need your pedals giving you extra feedback and your suspension working even less. In that case you either need a suspension that has been designed with low KB or a device that can allow the chain pull to be taken while the wheel not spinning (which will also stop the chain movement if your freewheel is at the crank, it doesn't matter).
  • 1 0
 @B-foster: It doesn't matter. In the potential kickback scenario, the suspension compresses and the chainline lengthens faster than that extra length of chain can come off the rear cog/pulley (i'll just say cog from now on). At a slow wheel speed, the fixed cog and freewheel cog act the same*: they don't allow the chain to come off fast enough and the extra chain length has to come from the crank side of the system. At a fast wheel speed, the fixed cog does push the extra chain (actually it pulls from the bottom segment, but the push analogy is fine for this) at the wheel speed, while the freewheel cog allows the extra chain out at any speed up to the wheel speed. Yes, the cassette needs to be accelerated through a few degrees**, but again, that's marginal compared to the kick-back forces, ie: you ain't gonna notice that tiny pull in the pedals, especially if you're in a situation where the suspension is moving a lot.

*(the freewheel hits the pawls and can't be spun forward faster than the wheel, and the fixed cog, well it's fixed so obvi can't go faster than the wheel)

** And this is where the actual benefit of this system comes in. Since it's a 1:1 pully ratio (I think), that big rear pulley is going to push/allow more chain/belt out per degree of wheel revolution, allowing the chainline to lengthen more before having to pull on the chainring. On a cassette system, whether it's fixed or freewheel, there will be more kickback in the smaller cogs, since it requires more wheel speed to push/allow the same amount of extra chain out. It's not the freewheel location that's helping, it's the gear/pulley ratios.
  • 8 1
 is there like an internal pinkbike competition to see how many articles you can fit the phrase "horses for courses" into?
  • 2 0
 That's a pretty serious accusation to levy against them
  • 2 0
 I've thought the same about the phrase "all of the things"
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: Wong writer. Matt wrote this article not Mike.
  • 1 0
 @tiffe: He probably drank too much beer and didn't notice.
  • 7 0
 This is the most complicated BMX bike I have ever seen.
  • 2 0
 Have you seen what Ruben did to his forks?
  • 1 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: to be fair, you can buy Manitou J-Unit forks off the shelf...
  • 6 0
 someone please fill me in on this bmx background business
  • 2 0
 PB Academy season 2
  • 4 0
 It's quite simply really, if you have a BMX background you will easily transition into a sick MTB rider. If you already are a sick MTB rider, you likely have a BMX background. If you don't, then you likely have a MTB background.
  • 2 0
 "After spending years on a BMX, which takes the utmost precision to ride" = "BMX Background"
  • 2 2
 @warmerdamj: wrong ! If you don't, then you likely have a MX Background. Otherwise you are a unicorn, we all know that people who started on Mtb can't ride for shit !
  • 4 0
 @Balgaroth: You've forgotten about the pathetic people like me who have a road bike background. We are terrible.
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: Still better than a road bike foreground.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth - I've heard Brandon Semenuk started on MTB.
  • 7 1
 Fair play to the guy but the rear triangle look like a shopping trolley.
  • 7 1
 When you run a belt drive, you need elevated stays or a frame with a removable section to pass the belt through. Belts don't seperate like a chain. Basically, the look of it is designed around a belt drive, not for show.
  • 4 12
flag Mooweeman (Jun 22, 2022 at 21:44) (Below Threshold)
 @Bushmaster123: yeah but it can still look good. This doesn’t.
  • 1 0
 The comment always remind me of William shatner's has been song.
"Riding on their armchairs,
they dream of wealth and fame.
Fear is their companion,
Nintendo is their game.
Never Done Jack and Two-Thumbs Don
and side-kick Don't Say Dick
will laugh at others failures
though they have not done shit."
  • 6 3
 God bless him for making it happen.. but its has a face only a mother could love.
  • 2 0
 A face for radio!
  • 1 0
 "He was tired of constantly adjusting his 12 speed derailleur ". Wouldn't it been easier to just put on a 10 or 11 speed drivetrain? Btw,would like to try a gearbox,but beltdrive-NEVER
  • 1 0
 “ That usually means 29” wheels, long chainstays, plenty of sag and progression in the suspension,”
Doesn’t sound quick handling to me. Sounds like a straight line machine.
  • 1 0
 If carbon was any good they would make aluminium from it and if aluminium was any good they would make steel from it.
But E=Mtb² and if you don't get it you probably never will
  • 4 4
 cool to see the tech in it's early stages. i imagine the future of analog bikes will be internal gearboxes & then there will be ebikes of course. but that's the 2 directions i see things going
  • 3 2
 I imagine the big brands will want to cut production costs at some point and will try have one frame per model that can be fitted with either a gearbox or an e-motor, not sure how they'd do it but the gearbox and motor are about the same amount of bulk minus the battery so it's probably do-able...somehow.
  • 1 0
 @rad-but-also-sad:
Yeah some sort of adapter / plate should make is doable.
  • 4 0
 The Simpsons did it
  • 3 0
 Can we get a photo of The Homer chasing The Grim Donut?
  • 3 1
 Braise the Lord!
I f***ing hate gearboxes, all kinds. Beautiful looking machine tho.
Props to the builders.
  • 3 0
 I like burritos
  • 3 0
 needs a Monster T
  • 2 0
 Is there anything that doesn't?
  • 2 0
 @Tambo: bikes with Super Monster Ts.

HTH
  • 1 1
 @tomhoward379: a good point well made
  • 4 0
 this is literally the next best thing, if you don't already consider Dorado better (like myself)
  • 2 0
 @therealmancub: Dorado is best for sure but a Monster T would be sick on The Homer
  • 1 0
 That line belongs to the commenters of PB, you're steeling someones upvotes.
  • 2 0
 Finally a bike is 2022 that isn't clown-bike shit!
  • 1 1
 “somewhat conventional numbers like… …30mm of BB drop”

On a 29” bike sure. On a 27.5” bike with 180mm of travel? That is LOW!
  • 4 0
 It's low for sure but the sagged BB height is the real important number. I'm running about 10mm less sag than most would on 180mm travel.
  • 1 0
 I am always curious what these steel bikes weigh in at
  • 5 3
 Wouldn't surprise to see 45+lbs
  • 2 0
 Not a chance this thing is under 40#.
  • 9 2
 @mikesee: weight was never a design constraint and the components chosen pay no attention to weight except lighter wheels to be fast. At 41lbs, The Homer is 7lbs heavier than my Stumpjumper Evo, yet is much easier to Bunny Hop, carries speed better and pedals to the top easier. Only downside of the weight I have noticed is putting it on the bike rack or pushing up hike a bike style.

The weight of a bike on the scales has a very small effect on how the bike will ride and The Homers beer belly has no negative effect while riding.
  • 6 0
 @rorybb: 41lb isn't bad at all for a coil shock, dual crown, steel frame and gearbox. Great work.
  • 2 0
 so cool
  • 2 0
 sick!
  • 2 0
 I want the Iliad next
  • 2 2
 Magura MT5..... plastic is unreal.
  • 1 2
 I'll take "plastic" with vastly superior braking over metal from someone like Hope, who couldn't hope to compare.
  • 3 0
 @nickfranko: fair enough, until you'll have to bleed them and deal with their plastic screws...
  • 1 0
 Mmm, chicken.
  • 5 6
 Gearbox bikes will never go anywhere near mainstream as long as they have shitty grip shifters.
  • 1 0
 How about a grip shifter that works super well?
  • 7 0
 @MorganBH: the Pinion gripshift is fantastic. I would choose it over a paddle shifter if it were an option.
  • 2 0
 @rorybb: yep, I agree.
  • 2 1
 @rorybb: I simply cannot place my faith that a shifter right on a critical contact point will stay where I want it to when I point downhill over the rocks, or even if I'm having to work extra hard to get up and over an obstacle that requires a lot of body movement.

I really do look forward to having a gearbox mountain bike someday, but it's very unlikely I'll switch until the controls and contact points are decoupled.

If I came across a pinion FS MTB demo, I'd certainly try it out, time permitting.
  • 2 0
 @Explodo: Effigear gearboxes use a sram trigger shifter.
  • 1 1
 @alanbonk: Thanks for that info. I looked into it and while I did not like the SRAM controls when I had them for a year, that's a gearbox to keep an eye on. I don't consider the effigear gear range to be acceptable, so I'll be waiting to see what their next version brings.
  • 1 0
 @Explodo: cinq innovations make trigger shifters for pinion boxes.

I know a few folk trying to integrate electric shifting too, but that may be a ways off yet.
  • 2 0
 @Explodo: it’s really not an issue. I ride a Zerode and have not once mis-shifted. And even if by some chance you do, you’re immediately in the next gear - there is no pedaling though to complete the gear change.
Critical contact points when hammering are more in the outside of the bar as my pointer is always on the lever.
Not trying to sell a gripshift to you, but they are excellent when paired with a gearbox.
Cheers
  • 1 0
 Six foot is generous!
  • 1 0
 I like this
  • 2 5
 Rad bike. Just hope that dragtrain pedals more efficiently than it looks...
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