The Oceanian Bike Project: Bamboo Handlebars, Gearbox Frames, & More

Apr 14, 2023
by TEBP  
The European Bike Project is one of our favorite Instagram accounts. Alex from TEBP constantly updates his feed with everything from interesting curios from tiny manufacturers to inside looks at European manufacturing to analyses of the environmental impact of our sport. He's currently travelling in New Zealand, where he started The Oceanian Bike Project. He will publish a few articles on NZ manufacturers over the next couple of weeks here on Pinkbike.

In this article, we'll look at CNC machined components, bamboo handlebars and gearbox frames from New Zealand.




CXP Racing: CNC Machined Goodness from Auckland

CXP Racing Factory Tour
The mountain bike stem is one of CXP's signature products.

CXP Racing is a brand of Cyclexpress Howick, a bike shop that is based in Howick, Auckland. The shop and CXP Racing were founded by Bruno Pfister, a Swiss toolmaker who came to New Zealand more than 20 years ago.

Bruno has a background in BMX racing and has strong bonds with the local BMX club. One of his daughters races BMX bikes too, and she's also involved in @therubyprojectnz, a local initiative that aims "to get girls on bikes and develop a passion for shredding."

CXP Racing Factory Tour
Bruno's BMX background is still visible in his Auckland workshop.
CXP Racing Factory Tour
One of his daughters races BMX too.


CXP Racing Factory Tour
A Raleigh Chopper waiting for a service.
CXP Racing Factory Tour
Bruno has a small collection of bikes which includes one of the rare Lahar bikes.

Bruno and his team work on all kinds of bikes - they certainly don't shy away from difficult tasks such as working on a 40 year old Raleigh Chopper bikes. His shop is well equipped with everything you'd expect in a bike shop and much more - not every bike shop has a spoke cutter, and certainly only a few have their own CNC and laser machines.

Over the last couple of years, Bruno has designed an impressive range of bike products, which are mostly made from 7075 and 6082 aluminum:

- Chainrings: There are several chainrings to choose from, including Cinch, SRAM, and 5-bolt mounts as well as larger BMX chainrings.
- Rear cogs (for Shimano and Profile Racing hubs)
- Stems: After designing a BMX stem, Bruno worked on a sturdy MTB stem - and it looks absolutely fantastic I think.
- Suspension tools: CXP Racing offers a nice selection of suspenion tools, including topcap sockets and clamps.
- Dogbone suspension links for GT frames: The CXP option comes with bearings instead of bushings.

CXP Racing Factory Tour
CXP Racing chainrings and cog.
CXP Racing Factory Tour
A BMX crankset for kids.

CXP Racing Factory Tour
A shaft clamping tool and socket tool.
CXP Racing Factory Tour
CXP Racing's take on BMX stems.

CXP Racing Factory Tour
The CXP Racing suspension socket tool.
CXP Racing Factory Tour
Dogbone suspension links for GT frames.

Bruno bought his first Haas TM1P a few years ago and just got another TM1P and a ST15 recently, so he's more than ready to ramp up production and make some more chips. Over the years he built a nice collection of cutting tools (mostly carbide) - from time to time something goes wrong and he keeps the most bizarre and destroyed tools in a special box. Bruno tries to automate the process as much as possible for his small batch runs. Of course, they recycle all the offcuts and chips. The anodising and diamondising is done in NZ too, and the last step - laser engraving - is done in-house.

For easy jobs, Bruno also uses an old school lathe - as a toolmaker he certainly knows how to use this one.

CXP Racing Factory Tour
Bruno and his Haas TM1P.
CXP Racing Factory Tour
Sometimes, things go wrong.

CXP Racing Factory Tour
An olds chool lathe in Bruno's workshop.
CXP Racing Factory Tour
Everything you need for wheelbuilding.


Details
- Various products available, including stems, chainrings and suspension tools
- Made in New Zealand
- Website: https://cxp-racing.myshopify.com/
- Instagram: @cyclexpress_howick





Passchier Bamboo Handlebars

Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
A batch of nearly finished Passchier bamboo handlebars.

Dirk Passchier (pronounced Pash-Air) hails from the beautiful suburb of New Brighton in Christchurch, so his passion for kayaking is easy to understand. He started to make bamboo kayak paddles back in 1978. After a lot of testing and refinements, he was able to build paddles that provided comfort and a good amount of flex that usual paddles didn’t offer.

When a friend of his, Tim Taylor, paddled around New Zealand, Dirk loaned him one of his bamboo paddles – the next day and 86 kms later, Tim didn’t want to give them back, as it was the first day on his trip that he finished without sore shoulders.

A few decades later, Dirk got to meet Mike, who saw a lot of potential in using bamboo for making comfortable handlebars. Again, a lengthy R&D period followed, and Dirk came up with the first handlebar that certainly stood out from the crowd.

Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
Passchier is based in New Brighton, Christchurch.
Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
Dirk Passchier started to make bamboo paddles for kayaking in 1978.

Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
Dirk's workshop.
Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
Putting a bamboo handlebar on his old bike was the best thing he could do, says Dirk.

Today, Passchier is a team of three: Dirk Passchier crafts the handlebars in his workshop, Mike Baddeley acts as Business Manager and Rebecca Baddeley is in charge of marketing.

The handlebars are tested according to ISO 4210-2:2015, Clause 4.7.6.2 and 4.7.7 (fatigue and strength for commuting and trekking bikes) and are mostly aimed at commuters, bikepackers and touring. The team says that you’d be fine to use them on Level 1, 2 and 3 trails (according to the New Zealand trail grading system), but in case you weigh more than 110 kg (240 lbs) or want to ride gnarly Enduro/DH tracks, these handlebars are not the right choice. Dirk made some versions with carbon layers, however he says that this only made the bars stiffer, but not more sturdy.

Each handlebar starts as a set of seven 3mm bamboo sheets. These are glued together and and then put in a custom made press, where – under a lot of pressure and at the correct (and secret) temperature – the sheets are pressed into their future shape.

After this, a spindle mould and some secret steps remove the correct amount of material, which results in a raw handlebar. After varnishing, the handlebar gets a carbon sleeve in the middle, to distribute the forces of the stem more evenly.

Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
The handlebars start as seven 3 mm bamboo sheets.
Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
They are glued together and then put in a press at a secret temperature.

Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
Each handlebar shape has its own press.
Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
After the press, a spindle moulder is used to remove some material. Some more material is removed in a secret step.

Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
Making the carbon sleeves for the clamping area.
Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
A batch of finished handlebars.

As with many raw materials, the bamboo comes from China, where it is sustainably grown.

At this stage, the unique feature of the handlebars are comfort and vibration reduction. However, the team is working on more environmentally friendly versions, which they say will be fully compostable. This mainly includes changes to the varnish and resin.

Passchier handlebars are sold directly and through dealers in Canada, USA, Japan, Australia and Germany.

Currently, there are three different Passchier handlebars, all delivering the renowned Passchier comfort:
- Astaire (620 mm, 10° backsweep, 240 g)
- Gump 760 (760 mm, 22° backsweep, 330 g)
- Gump 650 (650 mm, 22° backsweep, 250 g)

Passchier NZ Factory Tour
Dirk has also been experimenting with bamboo springs.
Passchier NZ Bamboo Handlebars - Factory Tour
Mike Baddeley and Dirk Passchier in the workshop.

Details
- Made in New Zealand
- Three different handlebar options
- Intended use: Touring, bikepacking, commuting
- Price: from 250 NZD (= 160 USD)
- Weight: from 240 g
- Website: https://www.passchier.co.nz
- Instagram: @passchiernz



Zerode: The Gearbox Bike Pioneers

Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
A particularly nice build, owned by Zerode director Ali Quinn.

There’s probably no other mountain bike brand on the planet that has built such a strong reputation for making gearbox bikes as the “Zero derailleur company”. Zerode has come a long way - its founder Rob Metz started to build unique bikes more than 20 years ago. For a few years, Rob worked together with Rotorua trailbuilder and racer James “Dodzy” Dodds, who helped to bring the Zerode G1 into production in 2011. Sadly, Dodzy was killed in a tragic hunting accident a year later.

After Rob released the G2 (which used a gearhub, as did the G1), it didn’t take long before he got his hands on a Pinion P1.18 gearbox that he used for a new prototype. Soon IT guru Ali Quinn got a chance to ride this bike and he was so blown away by the performance that he decided to join Rob at Zerode Bikes. This gave Rob the opportunity to focus on bike design, while Ali became responsible for the business side of the company. Today, Zerode is an operation with several employees at their HQ in Lower Hutt in the Wellington Area.

Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
A Zerode G1, as raced by James Dodds.
Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
Some earlier prototypes can still be seen at the Zerode HQ.

While the frames are made and painted by one of the leading carbon frame manufacturers in Taiwan, most of the bikes are assembled at the HQ in New Zealand. Bikes for the European market are assembled at the recently opened office in the Netherlands.

Copyright by Zerode Bikes
Everything is ready to build more bikes.
Copyright by Zerode Bikes
The team at Zerode builds wheels too. Photos by Zerode Bikes.

Their 10 year long dedication to Pinion gearboxes means that Zerode has basically become synonymous with “gearbox bikes,” especially when talking about top-shelf carbon mountainbikes. But is it just the nearly indestructible drivetrain that makes Zerode Bikes stand out from the crowd? “The gearbox and use of a Carbon Drive belt allow us to reduce the unsprung mass significantly, which results in a more active suspension,” says Ali Quinn. The bikes are very silent too, and low maintenance of course. They might even be cheaper to run in the long term, as you save money by not having to buy expensive cassettes and chains.

Today, all Zerode bikes come with a Gates Carbon Drive belt as standard. If a rider really wants to use a chain, Zerode can cater for that too. However, Ali says they only ship two or three chain-equipped bikes per year. Zerode uses Pinion C.Line gearboxes, which come with either 9 (568% gear range) or 12 gears (600% gear range). The new G3 will be shipped with a C1.6 gearbox with 6 gears.

Each bike is individually built for its new owner, so if you’re after some non-standard components, the team at Zerode will most likely be able to help you.

Copyright by Zerode Bikes
Prototypes and a Katipo.
Copyright by Zerode Bikes
You will find a lot of tools in the Zerode workshop. However, however you won't find a bottom bracket or cassette tool for obvious reasons. Photos by Zerode Bikes.

Currently Zerode offers these bikes:

- Taniwha: 27.5” wheels, 160 mm travel
- Taniwha Trail: 27.5” wheels, 140 mm travel
- Taniwha Mulét, 29” front, 27.5” rear wheel, 140 or 160 mm travel
- Katipo: 29” wheels, 160 mm travel
- Katipo Trail: 29” wheels, 140 mm travel
- G3: Mullet, 200 mm travel

As you might have guessed, the Taniwha and Katipo bikes are based on two frames. Using different aluminum links and a different shock will transform a Taniwha into a Taniwha Trail, and a Katipo into a Katipo Trail.

If you want to read more about the new G3 downhill bike, you can find an article here.


Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
A light rear wheel with little unsprung mass makes the suspension active and supple.
Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
Dream spec on this build.

Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
Zerode Bikes moved to Carbon Drive belts a few years ago.
Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
The much debated but perfectly functional twist shifter.


When buying a Zerode, you can either get a frameset, the Voyager Build or the Deluxe Build. Framesets come with a Pinion C.Line gearbox, 170mm forged Pinion cranks, crank screws, Pinion 30t front chain ring, Zerode 30t rear sprocket, Pinion shifter, Pinion chain tensioner and a Fox X2 shock. Voyager Builds come with a Rockshox Lyrik or Cane Creek Helm fork and aluminum rims. The Deluxe Builds are equipped with a Fox Factory fork and carbon rims. For see all the details, please head over to Zerode’s website.


Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
Before we went on the test ride...
Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
... Tom prepared this yellow frame for assembly.

Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
Ali Quinn putting the Katipo through its paces.
Zerode Bikes HQ Tour
When we came back from the test ride, the new bike was ready to ride. The crew certainly knows how to build bikes!

Details
- Frames made in Taiwan; designed and assembled in New Zealand
- Framesets: 6920 NZD (4300 USD) + tax + shipping
- Voyager Builds: 9460 NZD (5890 USD) + tax + shipping
- Deluxe Builds: 10340 NZD (6430 USD) + tax + shipping
- Zerode EU has its own tax-inclusive prices for Europe
- Bikes come with Pinion C.Line gearboxes and Carbon Drive Belt
- Website worldwide: https://zerodebikes.com/
- Website for Europe: https://zerode.eu/
- Instagram: @zerodebikes


Author Info:
TEBP avatar

Member since May 15, 2020
41 articles

120 Comments
  • 144 8
 Gear box bikes are the way. I don’t need to stand on my derailleur.
  • 20 2
 literal table plate rear casettes are an allergic reaction to gearboxes i guess
  • 107 21
 So buy a gearbox bike then! Zerode offers any configuration, or just a frame only, a modern rider could want. What are you waiting for?

Sales drives production, all you gear box fan boys are on repeat but you don't even buy them yourselves and it's getting really annoying.
  • 11 55
flag baca262 (Apr 14, 2023 at 9:58) (Below Threshold)
 @SunsPSD: why do you feel the need to hate on people who call spade a spade? what's it to you?
  • 47 2
 @baca262:
There was no hate in that post. I like the idea of gearboxes too but pointing out that the people complaining about derailleurs are still riding them while the market has a several good options for gearboxes already is a solid point.
  • 13 46
flag baca262 (Apr 14, 2023 at 10:45) (Below Threshold)
 @ripcraft: no it's not. people ride what they can buy for cheap. the fact that the industry is forcing it because it's a cash cow is an entirely different thing that is in no way people's fault. and you shit on them, cheering on crappy practices.
  • 5 3
 @SunsPSD: I agree with the content, but delivery was poor.

That said, this is why we don't have any manual transmission cars. Okay a few but still. 10/10 Zerode is at the top of my '24 purchase.
  • 5 39
flag baca262 (Apr 14, 2023 at 10:51) (Below Threshold)
 @ripcraft: i mean, if you peeps keep it up, you enjoy paying monthly subscription for things to work on a car you already paid for. the fact that you peeps like your rights violated doesn't mean everyone's a bottom as well.
  • 9 0
 @SunsPSD: I'm a fanboy, and ride one, and even got Zerodes for my kids as soon as they stopped growing. They love them, too.
  • 20 3
 @baca262: Jesus dude. Breathe. Maybe go for a ride.
  • 1 2
 @baca262: why are you trolling? Why don't you go get a job instead so you can afford a bike and a camera!! Straight BOT account!!
  • 5 34
flag baca262 (Apr 14, 2023 at 12:17) (Below Threshold)
 @mhoshal: good good, let the butthurt flow through you soyboys.
  • 17 2
 Gear boxes sound terrific. The problem is that they are typically heavier overall (yea, yea - unsprung vs. sprung mass, but most editors don't seem to think that this makes a real difference in reviews of gearbox bikes) and you lose ~9-10% of your power output.

Given that modern drive systems are, frankly, so damn good - I just can't see the advantage of a gearbox unless they are similar in overall weight and the power loss is closer to 1-2% (which I don't believe can be achieved even theoretically with current design thinking).

I'd love to be wrong! Again - gimme a gearbox with the attributes above and I am on board! But as it stands today I can run my Shimano XT drivetrain through hell, and so long as I lube my chain every few rides she keeps ripping on everything from park jumps to trails.
  • 2 2
 @SunsPSD: If anyone made one to fit the tire sizes I want to run, with the geometry I like, I'd already own it.
  • 5 1
 @KJP1230: I think if demand for gearboxes increases, the innovation will increase also, and you'll see them getting lighter and better. Personally i think this is the way it's eventually going to go. The market tends to be a little bit of a slippery slope... 50t is great, but 51t is better! Now we have 52t! Eventually the cassettes will be so large, rear derailleurs will become a kickstand! Hopefully well before that happens there's a shift in a better direction.

I remember people saying the same things about solar, wind, and renewable energy in general back in the 1990s. And look at where we are now. Demand fuels innovation.
  • 11 0
 @KJP1230: You have a reasonable point, a Pinion gearbox does lose about 10% of your power. But, there is not a mountain bike groupset I know of that only loses 1-2%. At a minimum, you lose 3-4%, and on the high end 6-8%, especially once wear takes over. Unlike a groupset, the gearbox doesn't really get less efficient with use, if you change the oil at the right intervals.

When you consider a mildly dirty chain can easily make your drivetrain up to 5% less efficient on top of the existing drag, the gearbox really starts to make sense. And, if mud is present, the gearbox is unquestionably more efficient.

The Rohloff geared hub is almost comparable to a drivetrain in terms of efficiency (but the unsprung weight sucks!) at consistently 6% loss. This makes me think it must be possible to make BB-mounted gearboxes with less drag.

In my opinion, the inefficiency of gearboxes is a bit overblown, driven partially by placebo effect (they are hefty). In bad conditions, or even on a particularly long ride that gets the drivetrain a bit mucked up, the gearbox is easily comparable or better in terms of drag.
  • 3 0
 @SunsPSD: Ive got 2 now and will add a 3rd when the G3 is available
  • 16 1
 @itslightoutandawaywego: plenty of manual cars in Europe. Automatics are for pensioners here.
  • 4 0
 @mattmatthew: I had a similar conversation elsewhere, but here is why I disagree that gearboxes are likely to get much better much faster: the automatic car gearbox has existed since 1921, and literally billions of dollars (and units) have been manufactured over the last 102 years.

I'm not saying that they will not be improved, but monumental breakthroughs are unlikely given they have a direct corollary which are highly optimized in the automotive sector.
  • 13 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: I stand corrected. After doing a bit of digging, it seems that testing with modern pinion gearboxes and transmissions suggest a relative 90.5% and 96.2% efficiency to actual power input.

Regardless, this amounts to 192 watts vs. 204 watts at my zone 2 average. 12 watts is substantial, especially considering the added weight (1,000+ grams, or 2.2 lbs). Remember also that these are averages. The efficiency of the gearbox gets worse when climbing in lower gears due to the faster rotation of the gears. Performance degrades dramatically if you are also less powerful. The 90.5% efficiency in the Pinion is when tested at a 200w average - when tested using 50w, the efficiency plummets to 86% where the derailleur sees no change.

All in, gearboxes offer a couple of cool things: durability, minimal fuss or adjustment, consistent performance. But they come with the drawback of ~6-10% added power loss (depending on your fitness and terrain), and between 2.2-2.5lbs of added weight. Personally, I am heavy and smash my bike over proper all-mountain/enduro terrain constantly, and I rarely have an issue with my existing drivetrain. I simply don't see the upside to a gearbox until they are lighter and more efficient.
  • 5 2
 @KJP1230: holler at me if you ever want to actually ride one on the Front Range, I’m in Denver and have a Katipo and a Taniwha. Seems like you may have your efficiency stats a bit upside down, the gearboxes ‘power loss’ is not noticeable at all compared to a drivetrain while climbing in the low gears, but you might lose some time to Richie Rude while sprinting the big gear on a fire road, if that’s a concern to you.
  • 2 5
 @ryanandrewrogers: show me the research that backs up anything you just said
  • 8 0
 @enduroNZ: www.cyclingabout.com/drivetrain-efficiency-difference-speed-between-1x-2x Based on a study from VeloNews using comparable 1x12 drivetrains with wide range cassettes. In a lab setting, they produced 4% drag.

www.ceramicspeed.com/media/3505/velonews-friction-facts-chain-lube-tests-combined.pdf A study testing different chain lubricants, under a lab-simulated gritty ride. The best lubricants, in an hour-long test, were losing an additional 3%, the worst 6%.
-Note the study did not throw clumps of mud, loam, or dunk it in a creek followed by dust and sand

www.rohloff.de/en/experience/technology-in-detail/mechanical-efficiency

www.cyclingabout.com/speed-difference-testing-gearbox-systems
  • 1 0
 @barnie77: I'd take you up on that and would love to try one. I also live in Denver - Cheers!
  • 8 2
 @KJP1230: Taniwha owner here. They get less draggy over time and you get stronger to compensate. Just swapped out my rear tyre from DHR2 to a Dissector and set a load of personal bests on long steep climbs and fire road connection sections even compared to my previous non-gearbox bike (according to Strava). Always being in the optimal chainline (beltline?) makes a difference in the real world, and there are tons of factors which can easily be altered to compensate for slight losses in efficiency. The active suspension has made a massive positive difference to speed and grip through roots, braking bumps and techy stuff so I can live with a slightly less aggressive rear tyre.
  • 5 1
 @grahamsinc: yes, it takes a few miles to break in a gearbox, maybe 500 or so before it feels smooth and the friction is minimized.

I’m riding a Taniwha 160, I’ve run mullet and 140, currently set up with a Formula Selva Coil and Cane Creek inIine Coil, Hope SS hubs built on Nobl rims, belt drive awesomeness.

It’s such a nice bike, my Canfield Lithium is collecting dust …

I remember my pre-Pinion naïveté, worries about weight, friction, loss of efficiency, etc.

I’m sure glad I took the leap, I’ll never go back.
  • 4 1
 @baca262: it’s not the industry “forcing l it lol. I live in NZ, when the Taniwha came out it was everywhere. People flocked to them. Now….rare as hens teeth again.

Brands make what gets sold. If all the gearbox hype is real, then the price of is cheaper than a regular bike based on the alleged maintenance costs. Which after having worked on stacks of Zerodes, I wouldn’t say that’s the case in the slightest. Nobodies buys them because they don’t typically live up to the hype.

Gearbox is cool, but the gear box is in the likely most impacted location on a bike. Right on the downtube. Plenty golf them have had holes punched in them. They need shift cables fairly often, they shifter is fragile. Annoyingly can’t shift under load. Parts availability blows, because you only have a single source and they’re not very popular, so there’s not a ton of global stock. The unbreakable belts break, but best of luck trying to find one when it does.

I ride couple times a week, in some rowdy terrain, 3,000ft a ride of vert. 4yrs on an XTR drivetrain that I’ve just carried over three bikes. Changed a cassette, a chain ring and two chains. Pretty hard to beat that value.
  • 1 0
 @bonfire: you make a couple of valid points, if the belt breaks it’s game over and a walk home, however it’s also not uncommon to come across a rider with a broken chain and no idea, tools, or split link to fix it. Nothing is infallible, break or hole a gearbox and pinion will rebuild it with a 5 year guarantee regardless of its age and mileage. Shift cables are £4 each, available in most bike shops and take minutes to fit. Can’t comment on parts availability but so far communication with Hugo at Zerode eu has been great. Also not sure on how many Katipo/Taniwha bikes have been built or sold but they never appear to hit the second hand market, only 2 in the last 9 months on pb and eBay (U.K./EU) which would suggest owners are happy to hang on to them.
  • 1 1
 When they work with push button shifting I'm in. Too many unintended shifts with gripshift bikes for my taste.
  • 1 1
 @bonfire: Interesting , I had my Taniwha for 5 years, rode 2-3 times a week and I ride hard, had zero issues, only thing replaced was shifter cables (twice) and tyres

Loved it

Why did it go ? Because I wanted an E Bike mwhahahahahahaa
  • 2 0
 @glenno: for sure, can be reliable and your experience is singular. I worked in a shop and as race support a bunch during the heyday of the Taniwha. All I’m saying is that they aren’t some absolute game changer. Still have flaws, still breakdown etc.

@Dc5478 they get bought and sold here pretty often. Lots of kids on them now as the geo is old and small. Enough hands have touched them to make them cheaper. Sure you can get it rebuild etc. But if you out on a riding trip or an event, and it’s borked. 9/10 times you can get a derailleur. Tricky to get a gearbox overnight haha.

Bikes are neat. I am not trying to bash them. Just that they’re not this quantum leap.
  • 1 0
 @mikesee: Nicolai will make you whatever you want
  • 48 2
 Bamboo wood bars?...wooden you believe it!
  • 20 2
 If only they knew it was grass.
  • 27 2
 You can tell they're Panda-ing to a particular market....
  • 3 0
 Mother natures composite
  • 7 2
 @Corinthian: Panda-ring?
  • 7 0
 bamboo shock? what's the damping like?... wooden recommend getting it wet!
  • 4 0
 You'd be bamboo-zled by all the China-bashing and all the nonsense proper-pandas!
  • 33 0
 Bamboo spring is a nutwacker waiting to happen.
  • 39 0
 Wood to wood injuries are always bad.
  • 2 0
 glad I'm not the only one who noticed that
  • 2 0
 Gotta take big risk to be an innovator
  • 20 0
 Definitely bamboozled
  • 9 0
 I’ve researched the efficiency comparisons of gearboxes vs Rohloff vs derailleurs and accept that the gearbox is a bit less efficient. But in my experience I really struggle to notice this difference in actual use.
My two daily driver bikes are a 16.1kg (35.4 lb) Zerode Katipo and a 13.1kg (28.8lb) 2021 Specialized stumpjumper with X01 AXS. The Zerode is fitted out with Specialized T9 GripTrail tyres and the Stumpjumper is running on Specialized T7 Grid tyres, both Butchers on the front and Purgatory’s on the back. When I ride the same trails on these two, which include long uphill slogs of up to 6km (3.7mi), i genuinely cannot say that there is any significant difference in how they feel, or which is more efficient/quicker. My uphill times depend much more on how I’m feeling on the day; sometimes I’m quicker on the Zerode and other times on the Stumpie. And I am no powerhouse; 62kg/136lb and usually only putting out 200W or so. I have tried swapping the tyres around and the draggy T9s are certainly the biggest factor in uphill effort.
And on the downhill stuff, the Zerode just runs away and hides from the Stumpjumper, as you would expect with its longer travel, coil shock/fork and lovely rear suspension behaviour, aided by a nice light rear wheel. No dropped chains, bent derailleurs or maintenance. I had thought the Stumpie would see by far the more use, but instead it is the Zerode that I pick 3 days out of 4. If gearboxes get lighter and even more efficient, this would only completely seal their case for superiority. Now what I want is a Nicolai G1 with a Pinion!
  • 11 0
 At the speed bamboo grows, you'd need to make a whole lot of handlebars not to be sustainable.
  • 5 0
 Isn't it the only plant that is measured in an actual speed?
  • 3 1
 @onemanarmy: *pushes glasses up nose* well I guess when you combine units of distance and time you get a speed, but a tree growing a couple feet per year doesn't really feel like speed...
  • 5 0
 @onemanarmy:
Some species of bamboo can grow up to 1 meter plus in a day. Very unique riding characteristics, dampens high frequency vibration very well.
  • 8 0
 Wonder if the secret step for shaping the handlebars is a tracing lathe. Very old school but very cool. www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7Xsia0fA2I&list=RDCMUCctqGj6dp3BBi0NBVuHiWwQ&index=7
  • 9 0
 8 posts and no mention of BMX background? PB commenters refusing to be baited!

oh wait.... shit.
  • 1 0
 haha, yeah We have plenty of that here but the BMX and MTB flow together nicely here by us in NZ
  • 8 0
 Every time I see the Zerode name it makes me think of that Darude guy and unfortunately the Sandstorm beats start echoing in my head.
  • 6 0
 I was in New Zealand for a year racing back in about 2000 and one of the things that struck me was the number of people kicking about on home made bikes and components. It was like a whole cottage industry.
  • 3 0
 In my neck of the woods, Rotorua we have 4-5 frame builders.
Rob Metz, Zerode founder. Rob and I met auditioning for Nissan X Trail commercial 2005, we both got the part.
Graeme Pearson, exotic super tri bike frame manufacturer and many other cool bikes he makes out of carbon fiber.
Jeff Anderson, steel frame manufacturer.
Dave Fisher, makes custom hubs and has made frames in the past still see a few floating around.
I make bamboo bike frames (Freddy Salgado), sell the odd one now and then but mainly make for myself.
Still see the odd Lahar sighting in the forest, just really nice to spot.
Felt like I fit right in when I moved here.
  • 2 0
 It's also one of the very few places where you're allowed to distill your own booze. Must have a big DIY ethos.
  • 5 0
 Zerode should make an e1. Same layout as the old g1/2 with a hear hub built into the frame, but a middrive motor feeding into it. Efficiency losses due to high pivot and gearbox? Pffft, motor doesn't care. 180 front and rear, dual crown compatible, aluminium frame, 750wh battery. Park laps for dayyyyssss.
  • 3 0
 Seriously, those CXP dogbone suspension links for GT frames are a lifesaver. My 2016 GT Sanction rode great, it just ate bushings because I lived somewhere wet, and those GT bushings are hard to find and tough to install. The CXP replacement links with bearings are a great solution.
  • 2 0
 thanks for the feedback, its actually our best selling item
  • 4 1
 You're standing at the top of the line, nervous but excited. You feel your heart racing as you're going to hit a step down you've never sent before. There's a rock garden just before it. You hit your line perfectly, but it's a little more chunder than you expect. No time to worry because now you're in the air. You look down and you're holding your grip free and clear of the rest of your bike. it's not attached to because the termite problem on your deck has moved into your handle bars.
  • 5 0
 Zerode looks like an awesome brand, I`m so interested in their new G3 DG rig
  • 1 0
 Me too. I got on the list. Wish I could test ride one.
  • 6 0
 I don’t care what the internet thinks that bamboo stuff is cool
  • 1 0
 Cycle Express is my local bike shop and I wouldn't take my bike anywhere else! Bruno and Daniel are always welcoming and no job is too big or small and they're always keen for a chat. The CNC toys and products are very pretty and shiny too!
  • 1 0
 yeah we aim to please
  • 1 0
 Lots of cool stuff! The square taper cranks look pretty cool! Unfortunately I do not own a bmx. I'd love to try those beautiful bamboo handlebars. I'd like to see a closeup of the CD's in the workshop- I'm curious! Lastly Bruno Pfister is a sick name!!
  • 1 0
 Haha thanks, I reckon chuck Norris is a cooler name
  • 5 0
 There's no chool like the Olds chool.
  • 1 0
 The loop tail (and non-gusset) Mongoose with UNI seat and CW bars (and a dk stem?) are worth the stand alone pic but no love for the Brackens frameset? It has a very unique CS to BB junction and was run by "The Human Dragster" who was a legend in 80's era BMX. It might be even more rare than the Laher.

Side note EC rode for Brackens in the very early 90's.
  • 2 0
 And the Brackens in the Photo is actually brand new, never ridden, the Mongoose is an Eric Rule signature series.
  • 1 0
 @cxpracing: NOS Brackens would be a big want for some collectors I'm sure! Thanks for the info on the Goose - Eric Rupe is another legend
  • 4 0
 Those bamboo bars would be super sweet on a townie/cruiser
  • 7 1
 type of thing I want when I'm like 70 on the beach to flex to all the other grandpas
  • 7 0
 @joebiden: Joe Biden, aren't you like 80 now? Get yourself a set now! Big Grin
  • 5 0
 @bman33: Doctors said I've got the body of someone half my age. Yeah, I hit the gym.
  • 7 0
 @joebiden: I've got the body of someone half my age. It's in my freezer, keep it to yourself.
  • 2 0
 Bamboo bars on my Moots with friction shifters.
  • 4 0
 forget the bamboo, it's the CW bars for me
  • 1 0
 we actually fitted 2 of the Bamboo bars already, and they have flex for sure, but they feel nice on a cruiser or beach bike for sure, they look awesome
  • 5 1
 Aluminum Zerode 27” please right here. No carbon no way
  • 1 0
 I was real close to buying a Katipo Trail, but decided to build a up a steel Cotic FlareMax instead. I love how the build turned out, but I can't help wondering about the Zerode...
  • 1 0
 Woops!

I tried to talk my daughter into getting a Taniwha like mine, but she just couldn’t take the leap of faith even after riding my Taniwha and falling love.

It’s a shame that more folks don’t take the plunge, but I get it, I was like that once …
  • 3 0
 Mike Baddeley and Dirk Passchier look exactly like I thought and hoped they would when I read about bamboo bike parts!
  • 11 10
 If there's any one thing that will never be on my bikes, it's wooden handlebars. I don't care how safe they claim to be, that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
  • 52 6
 So fabric dipped in glue and baked is better?
  • 4 1
 @ratedgg13: I pretty much only ride alloy bars lol
  • 12 2
 @ratedgg13: Significantly.
  • 1 0
 @ratedgg13: let’s take a moment to think about carbon saddles…
  • 3 0
 Wood is so strong.
  • 7 0
 I prefer aerospace grade piñatas please
  • 4 1
 @ratedgg13: from an engineering perspective - I'd say YES
  • 3 0
 Dope products. I want it all!!!!
  • 3 0
 If you buy that stem, do you get a bmx background by osmosis?
  • 1 0
 yes you do, we artifice that and it will make you 28% cooler when you do a whip down the trail with that stem on your bike
  • 3 0
 Make those Bamboo bars have an integrated smokable pipe and id buy a set
  • 2 0
 Oh my god, BMX background, perfect.
  • 1 0
 Not sure I’d ever gamble with a loaded wooden leaf spring between my legs. Yikes!
  • 2 0
 cant wait to pick up them bamboo bars for my new dirt jumper
  • 1 0
 What new dirt jumper?
  • 2 0
 I'd like to see bamboo riser bars.
  • 2 0
 Kiwi's like doing things differently.
  • 3 0
 No Friday Fails?
  • 2 0
 It's up on the yootoob, just not on their own site for some reason
  • 1 0
 That Lahar though... Dang Wish I got one of those back in the day. Or a Kee Wee.
  • 1 0
 It’s great to see many OEM’s offering lifetime warranties these days. Hope to see Zerode in this arena at some point.
  • 1 0
 Would love to use the bamboo bars, no upsweep?
  • 2 0
 Get to the Chopper!
  • 1 0
 I had that Chopper new, in green, for 3 days before it was stolen, about 1970. Still traumatized.
  • 3 0
 our customer owned this since new and he is in his 60's now, brought it with him from England when he m moved to NZ
  • 1 0
 @cxpracing: lucky duck, nice to see it
  • 1 0
 Ali's Zerode gives me a woody!
  • 1 0
 Who had gearbox bikes first, Nicolai or Zerode?
  • 2 0
 nicolai was building gearbox bikes about a decade before zerode was founded.
  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: I had a Nicola Pinion, it was a nice bike, but they’re expensive, require quite the ordeal to order, and they ride no better than a Zerode.

Nicolai is a touch heavier than Zerode.

So I ride a Zerode.
  • 1 0
 Bike check on that Kona please
  • 1 0
 "Shaft clamping tool"







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