The Zerode Taniwha Comes to the US

Apr 18, 2017
by Cycle Monkey  
Zerode and Cycle Monkey are excited to announce the upcoming availability of the gearbox-equipped Taniwha enduro bike to US consumers!

The Zerode Taniwha Comes to the US

After a few years of impressive race results on the G2 downhill bike, Zerode has expanded into a whole new realm with the Taniwha. Representing the first production carbon full suspension gearbox frame on the market, the Taniwha is designed as a complete system that ups the ante on long travel bike performance and changes the way riders look at bike maintenance.

With a Pinion gearbox, the bike has a massive gear range inside a sealed package that is nearly maintenance-free and offers dramatically improved ground clearance for when the trails get rough and rowdy. Shifting is instantaneous and seamless across the whole gear range.

A simple, effective, and proven suspension platform combined with a fixed chain line optimizes pedaling performance through the entire travel range. The single speed rear hub and lack of derailleur minimize unsprung weight to further improve suspension performance and the symmetrical spoke angle ensures superb rear wheel stiffness.

The Zerode Taniwha Comes to the US

Cycle Monkey, a California-based component distributor that specializes in internal gearing, will exclusively distribute the Taniwha in the US. In addition to selling the Taniwha, Cycle Monkey will offer complete sales, technical, and warranty support to American Zerode customers.

“I’ve dedicated the last 13 years to promoting internal gearing as a smarter way to shift any bike, but mountain bikes, in particular, have the most to gain due to being constantly subjected to heavy abuse from environmental conditions and impacts,” says Neil Flock, founder of Cycle Monkey. “Zerode has taken internal gearing and successfully integrated it with modern geometry and frame construction. They are leading the charge in the gearbox movement, and I can’t wait to bring the next evolution of the mountain bike to the North American market!”

The Zerode Taniwha Comes to the US

“Cycle Monkey is an ideal partner for us in the US. Neil has an unwavering commitment to changing the way riders look at their drivetrain, and as an avid trail rider himself, he really connects with our bikes,” said Rob Metz, founder of Zerode. “I am confident that the passion and attention to detail I have put into the design of our bikes will resonate with North American riders.”

Cycle Monkey will offer complete bikes in three builds: the $6,500 Performance Build, the $7,700 Premium Build, and the $8,500 Ultimate Build.

Additionally, the Taniwha will be available as a frame and drivetrain package for customers seeking out more customization. This package consists of a frame, shock, Pinion gearbox, shifter, rear sprocket, chainring, cranks, and chain tensioner and will retail for $5,000.

The Zerode Taniwha Comes to the US

Frames are currently available in three sizes: M, L, and XL. Available colors are matte black with grey decals, stealth graphite with yellow highlights and bluesky blue with grey decals.

Frames weigh in between 5.7-6.2 lbs. (2600-2800g) depending on size and complete bikes will weigh in starting at 30lbs.

Deliveries are slated to begin in mid-May with a demo tour starting at the Sea Otter Classic (April 20–23). For more details and preorders, visit cyclemonkey.com/zerode or contact zerode@cyclemonkey.com.


  • 140 6
 this is your chance to vote with your wallets guys if you truly want to see gear boxes succeed.
  • 147 8
 I'll be sure to bring it up at my dentist appointment tomorrow!
  • 55 2
 If it was up to me, I'd do it! My wallet is restricting my voting rights!
  • 11 4
 My wallet isnt big enough yet. Let me know when they release one sub 3k.
  • 13 0
 @Sardine: just think of all the brits and others whom arent as lucky as u to get that work.
  • 2 12
flag diggerandrider (Apr 18, 2017 at 16:32) (Below Threshold)
 @Sardine: sorry meant to upvote u
  • 21 1
 @arphia: Most carbon frames are at least 3k and you want a drivetrain thrown in as well for less.

Get real.
  • 17 3
 I didnt say I want carbon, I said I want a bike under 3k. Aluminum still exists doesnt it?
  • 43 1
 I love it, but a few typos:

The $6,500 "It's me or your bike" build
The $7,700 Dentist/Doctor build
The $8,500 Malpractice/Class Action Lawyer build
  • 31 9

Let's be real man....even $8,500 really isn't very much in the grand scheme of things...assuming this is your primary hobby and all you're really into. That of course also assumes you don't bag groceries for a living.

Yeah yeah, I get it, some people struggle to make ends meet and keep food in their kids' mouths and a roof over their heads, but for many of us in our 20s/30s who don't have kids....

f*ck it, you get the point.

Do I think bikes have become massively overpriced? Absolutely. When I think back to what money could buy 10yrs or so ago in the bike industry, it makes me ill. But does that mean high priced builds are reserved for "dentists" and other barneys...nah.

I'm sure I'm overreacting...but seeing posts like this all the time irks me
  • 9 0
 @WasatchEnduro: be patient and check out the buy/sell in 251 days from now, one will be there for $3,3126.75
  • 4 1
 Honestly, I better see these damn things everywhere.
  • 2 0
 @Loamhuck: that would be quite pricey.
  • 2 0
 @Sardine: I get your point, but people complain and complain on here for gearboxes knowing price is one of their downsides. I think it would be cool, but I still don't see huge performance gains over a derailleur system (and this is coming from a person who routinely chooses heavier parts for performance gains). But for boutique performance the price tag is not unreasonable (look at what people pay for push, hope, ohlins, sram eagle, etc)
  • 3 0
 @adrennan: "But for boutique performance the price tag is not unreasonable (look at what people pay for push, hope, ohlins, sram eagle, etc)"

On that I absolutely agree, this is a boutique carbon frame, with an entire high end drivetrain included. looking at other brands carbon frame prices, carbon frames are often $3k or over( Pivot was tagging mach 5.7s for $3800 in 2014, as an example,) & an eagle drivetrain is somewhere around $1300. Even if we look at the $2999 Nomad CC, a deviance of $800 from a huge company to a boutique frame AND drivetrain is absolutely within reason.
  • 3 0
 @nvranka: You're so right. Drive a 10+ year car, afford nice bikes. Don't eat out, don't buy the latest entertainment systems, don't pay $100+ per month for TV and all that shit, etc etc etc. I 100% agree with what you said.

Although @WasatchEnduro 's comment was hilarious.
  • 7 3
 @nvranka: What delusional / privileged world do you live in? This is 25% of the average annual after tax income of Americans. It's a f*ck-load of money, don't be brain-washed by the industry into thinking it is "normal". Go buy a nice $3000 bike and put the remaining $5500 in a retirement account so the rest of us don't have to bail your ass out at the end of your life because you made piss-poor financial decisions.
  • 4 0
 @jefe: Fair enough...I suppose I'm jaded.

I wouldn't worry yourself with my financial situation bud Smile
  • 1 0
 @jefe: your tax stats are way off according to the US Census Bureau
  • 4 0
 @jefe: The numbers don't really back you on this one, bud: inflation corrected, incomes have declined far more than bikes have increased in price.

If there's any large scale brainwashing going on, it's that our current incomes are as fair for the work we do today, as they were in earlier eras of American History, especially considering increases in productivity, which have trended upward for decades, but especially skyrocketed since the 2008 crash(jobs were hard to get, so people did more work for the same pay.) Except the wealth didn't dissapear, it's just been going into other pockets.
  • 1 0
 @Sardine: Thats if he's willing to give up his S-works!
  • 1 1
 There is no question, I would buy this bike! ........... if i had the money......... I am on the gearbox train but i lack serious funds to actually vote with my dollars on this one. Instead i will have to remain an internet troll, commenting away at how bad the current system is and how the future is gearbox/anything but a vulnerable dangling rear derailleur
  • 91 2
 To gearbox or not to gearbox? What's your O Pinion?
  • 34 1
 I've had my Taniwha for almost two months now.I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. Its pretty much a bad ass dragon fly that has wheels. The shifting is super fast, easy. It took me two trail rides to get the shifting down, Even with taking the load off the pedals, its still faster than a derailleur. It corners so well Ive been having to lean the bike over another 10-15 degrees for it to break loose. It is absolutely quite on the ride, quieter than a mouse pissing on cotton in fact. The rear wheel weighs as much as the front. Its stiff. nimble, fast, quite, it rails! The Frame is top quality and the combo with the Pinon makes this bike unbeatable. I'l never go back to a derailleur again.
  • 14 1
 The grip shift would bug the crap out of me. Really wish they figured out a trigger shift
  • 2 0
 @adrennan: Another gear box company has and when it offered on a frame I'm interested- that's the way I'll go.

Pinion has to figure out triggers before I take an interest in them.
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: who has a trigger on a gearbox? What frame are you looking at? I'm always interested in seeing get different things...
  • 4 0
 @lumpy873 and @adrennan: Gearboxes need 2 cables to shift, which makes a trigger shifter much harder to design. In addition, the grip shift makes a lot more sense for a gear box, because you can switch between gears without going through all the intermediate ones, like a car transmission. With a grip shift you can just crank it and go from gears 3 to 12 if you want without having to hit the trigger a bunch of times. I like the feel of a trigger for a derailleur, but it doesn't really make sense for a gearbox.
  • 1 0
 @Bjammin: i understand why the grip shift works better. but i like real grips haha
  • 1 0

It's designed to house the pivot point as well so you don't need the tensioner hanging down like the Zerode.

  • 28 0
 Remember when Bluray players were like $400? The folks who want the latest and greatest determine whether something survives and eventually comes down in price. Don't let us down.
  • 23 6
 $6,500 "standard" kit gets you... a f*cking Yari RC?

Hard pass.
  • 7 1
 At least they're offering a frame only option...unlike some companies.
  • 5 0
 @kwapik: Except the frame only option is already $5k!! Yikes! But then again it does already include the drivetrain so it may not be as ludicrous as it sounds.
  • 1 2
 @streetfighter848: if you guys wanna see gearbox take off you vote with the wallet
  • 14 0

Do the simple math, most carbon frames start at 3k, let's assume gearbox is all it's hyped to be, so compare that to Eagle which on sale is $1400, so a similar frame drivetrain combo ends up starting at $4400- not such a premium after all for a gearbox. Consider also no expensive cassette to replace, no damaged RDs.

Seems like a fair trade off.
  • 1 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: and has cranks,bb, and tensioner wheel. That adds up too.
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: That's exactly what I implied.
  • 13 1
 Can anyone else confirm something I've heard from a few industry engineers 1) the rear suspension kinematics has a very odd feel 2) the gearbox shifting under-load is not good at all. Not wanting to torpedo them, but want legit input which may lead to future practical improvements.
  • 3 0
 @Loamhuck: If you're going to Sea Otter in a couple of days, check it out on a demo. Appears other people want to know as well.
  • 6 0
 1. Could be suspension, could be the freewheeling mechanism in Pinion box. I have no experience riding one so only e-speculation from myself. It is a single-pivot design.
2. Is shifting under-load on a standard derailleur setup good at all? Not really, (check out your free hub body) but it's still possible. One benefit of the Pinion system is it allows the rider to shift gears without pedalling. Check the article from a week or so ago about Pinion on this site.
  • 2 1
 @gonecoastal: I'll be at Sea Otter for sure and maybe I can take it for a joy ride. I'll circle back if it happens.

Freehub body is a quick (kinda expensive) ordeal but it's do-able. If you eat internals, how will maintenance play out? Interesting thought re-free wheeling mech.!

Other benefit - my derailleur costs will be non-existent
  • 15 2
 What if I put eagle 12 derailleur and cassette on it, can I go back in time?
  • 2 0
 Can you shift under load at all? Internal hubs *require* coasting to shift....
  • 11 1
 I've spent some time on both Pinon gearboxes and internal hubs, and while they can shift under load, it takes more effort than if you're coasting. You end up just compensating for this by easing off the pedals for a fraction of a second while shifting -- much as as you would to get a derailleur to shift smoothly, but the timing is a bit different. Once I got used to it, it was totally intuitive and I found that the added ability to drop a bunch of gears at once or preselect the right gear for an upcoming trail feature really made it stand out from a derailleur. Gearboxes can no doubt be refined further, but IMO the shifting under load issue is definitely not as big a deal as some make it out to be.
  • 2 0
 @ViceGrips: This should get faaaaarrr more props.
  • 5 0
 From Linkage Design....
As you can see in the table excel and graphs the above system has the Zerode Taniwha pedaling efficiency flawless, with percentages of Anti-squat around 100% in all developments. A few years ago this meant a huge advantage compared to a transmission type 3x10 or 2x10 but today the operation of transmissions in a single dish is very close to these figures, yet we must recognize that the system is well optimized and a transmission type Pinion has some advantages, such as reduced unsprung weight, the range of developments, etc ... other parameters are fairly predictable: pedal-kicback (15 °) is maintained in a medium-high , as is usual in all models with good pedaling efficiency and Brake-Squat (103%) also stays at a fairly high level, as is usual in four-bar type systems. In the graph of Leverage Ratio see how the system is Linear-progressive type (2.7-2.2), a very good model for Endurance to 160mm of travel figures. The first section of the graph reduces slightly inicial sensitivity of the system, but today this problem is easily solved by using an air cushion or EVOL Debonair type or a damper spring (CC Coil Inline ...). As the damper Zerode uses a Fox Float-X of 216x63mm and in principle I think it is a very wise decision, is a buffer upper-middle range, with a very attractive weight and very popular as ... "
  • 2 0
 @downhillnews: Not sure I trust any of information provided by that site. Aren't the parameters that populate his simulation derived from estimates of bike and linkage geo? I mean, it all looks interesting a might be useful for a relative comparison across models, but to evaluate the performance and feel is a little questionable. I might be way off...
  • 2 0
 @downhillnews: May I ask what you like and dislike about your bike? www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2164281
  • 1 0
 @Loamhuck: Zerode would be able to develop a XXL size to get four sizes then label them S/M/L/XL. Their Reach numbers seem tiny compared to every other bike in its class at the moment.

Great looking bike, would enjoy taking one for a ride. Can't stomach the cost to into the game.
  • 2 0
 @Loamhuck: I've said the same, it's all done using pictures.

He's the same guy on forums that basically call Brian at Tantrum a liar and his suspension wouldn't do what he said.

He's shut up now that the prototypes have been ridden and reviews are out saying it does exactly what brian said it would.
  • 1 0
 Some of the strangeness may come from the fact that with 1x systems using large range cassettes (1-42) you get pretty variable anti-squat/rise characteristics across the gear range. This usually works to your advantage increasing anti-squat in your hard pedalling gears.
  • 2 0
 @Loamhuck: I am ZERODEUSA originally started importing Zerode in 2011. I got the LG just to have it and am now running a 50mm stem and at 6' 1" the bike is just too short for me and the XL is coming the end of june.

1. It pedals well
2. Has good traction do the lighter rear end over a conventional system
3. The suspension feels the same the whole way through and is pretty linear making it very easy to tune
4. The HA and BB numbers are good
5. Steep seatpost angle helps on the climbs and keeps the knees happy

1. Not shifting well under load you have to ease off (takes a bit to get used to)
2. The added weight of the box is another issue but I know it will come down over time. It's basically 2lbs heavier than an SRAM set up would be.

It would obviously be a conflict of interest for me to test Zerode products hence why I have not done so over the last 5 years. That build above is almost the same as we do most of our bikes. Riding the grip shift took a few rides to get used to but no big deal. The range is crazy like 60 rear crazy I would never use those top 2-3 gears BTW.... may change the gearing up on next build.
  • 1 0
 @Loamhuck: I think what is tripping the industry engineers out is how much the derailure on their standard bike is effecting suspension. The suspension feels a bit like a Megatrail which I owned for almost a year. Very linear and offers a bunch of traction on the ass end.

Yes it doesn't shift well under load that is my main gripe see below.
  • 2 0
 @gonecoastal: The new XL will be 475 reach with that steep of a seat tube angle the frame is pretty big...
  • 1 0
 @dontcoast: Pinion is a unique design that doesn't require complete coasting to shift. #googleit
  • 1 0
 @downhillnews: For myself the 415 for a M seems short. But I'm also looking at a frame with 502mm reach so I shouldn't comment. If I was smart I'd be ordering it a Pinion and chain configuration.
  • 2 0
 @gonecoastal: Yeah that is long. I am looking to get a Geometron 29" to test in near future it will be over 500 from the looks of it...
  • 1 0
 @downhillnews: Yeah that's what I'm after. The size medium (longer) is 502mm. They'll tell you to be on Longest or Extra Longest with your height no doubt.
I'm currently undecided on wheel size, but leaning towards 29er. Could also build up a set of 650b wheels later on.
  • 7 1
 I like what zerode is doing, The design plus gearbox is amazing! It's a small company compared to most, so the pricing is not really that bad at all, The big brands have high priced items and can never pass the savings on with all the volume they do ... You can buy a pretty sweet brand new Honda motor bike for less than a mid entry big brand enduro or DH bike here in the USA.... That blows my mind... Now I don't know all the ins and outs of the industry and all the R&D the big brands pay for..... It just doesn't seem right -
Zerode keep raising the bar!! Beautiful product!
  • 7 0
 Is that Dieter from Sprokets? Where is his monkey?
  • 5 0
 He looks happy as a little girl! Why? because now is the time that we dahnse.
  • 10 5
 looks like they tried to steal a santa cruz mold.
  • 1 0
 Zerode is doing some cool things. So, will there be an option to get the new (cheaper and lighter) Pinion C1.12? When will it be available? Super psyched to see these coming to the US. I hope a bunch of dentists buy them and then sell them off...
  • 2 0
 The end of June.
  • 4 0
 I looked at my credit card balance and found Zerode credit to by this! Dammit!
  • 2 0
 $6.5k might sound like a lot, but according to what I hear on the interwebz, this bike will pay for itself with what you save in a couple season's worth of chains and broken rear derailleurs.
  • 6 2
 I keep looking at that name and seeing Taiwan.
  • 3 0
 taniwha (Māori pronunciation: [ˈtanifa]) ... that might help.. the "wha" is pronounced "fa"
  • 2 1
 I spend $$$ for innovation because biking is a big part of my life . But damn, I don't think I've ever had a problem with the traditional derailleur system to where I'd care enough to replace it..
  • 3 0
 That shock, is that an option?
  • 1 0
 So the gearing is 1:1? On the chart is says front chainring 30t with a 30t rear cog.
Will it have an option to run a Gates belt drive also?
  • 2 0
 I emailed them about this a few weeks back and Rob @zerode said "Running a belt is not as easy as it seems. It is difficult to make the tensioner work without some design compromises. Feedback from people that
actually use belts hasn't inspired me to use them" So your answer is No
  • 2 0
 We're working on it. Belt is a tiny bit wider then a chain so we need to work around some clearance issues.
  • 1 0
 pretty sure it has 600% range so like a 60t rear cassette.
  • 1 1
 Also belt way more likely to have problems in messy conditions
  • 3 1
 5.7 pound frame? That can't include the gearbox... can it?
  • 12 0
 Well a Pinion gearbox is like 4.5 pounds so I am gonna go with no.
  • 3 0
 You go first, and LMK.
  • 3 0
 right? PB reviews are one thing, but buying this and hating it would suck.
  • 4 2
 So for servicing, do you just ride into Jiffy Lube for an oil change?
  • 3 1
 haha yeah, I'll hook you up with some coupons!
  • 1 3
 And when the geabox brakes, does the entire frame go in for service?
  • 4 1
 @jrocksdh: The gearbox has brakes? :-)
  • 1 0
 @kwapik: lol, good ol auto spell and unable to edit comments...
  • 1 0
 @kwapik: but i do wonder, is it ez for the gbox to come out and send off for service?
  • 1 0
 The box comes off easy enough. Six mounting screws remove it from the frame. Release the cables however you want and boom. If you cut the cables, maybe 3-5 minutes, more if you don't. The major downside right now is that Pinion wants you to send the box back to Germany for service. If you open anything other than the bleed screw for the oil your warranty is done. The five-year warranty is great, but the couple of weeks downtime and whatever the exorbitant shipping cost from where you're located to Germany aren't so great.
  • 1 0
 I didn't know Neo from the Matrix was providing us with gearbox bikes now. Definitely can't suck I guess.
  • 3 1
 Finally, ive always wanted a nomad!
  • 2 0
 & folks complaining about other brands cost......
  • 1 1
 What's wrong with the cost?
  • 1 0
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: sorry, just seeing the reply...as a small business type, we attempt to sell a specific brand or two, yet all we seem to get is "grief" over the cost. My thoughts are one thing & my tongue, well the wife has it controlled for business. In this day & age, everyone complains about everything....so, cost, s-most...it's their money or credit, let them spend it wisely or unwisely I say, I just need to feed the family!
  • 1 0
 @TheOutsideChase: I think you're missing my point, the cost includes a drive train, so when that is factored in, there is nothing to complain about since it's on par with other similar frames.
  • 1 0
 As usual, if the only negative comments are price/dentist budget, then it's a winner.
  • 2 0
 This is going to be the busiest booth at Sea Otter 2017!
  • 1 0
 Wait, a post about a gearbox bike and NOT ONE BELOW THRESHOLD COMMENT????? I'm disappointed in you, fellow Pinkbike readers.
  • 3 3
 overhaul/repairs will be a pain in the ass. i like the concept though but derailleurs are just so simple..KISS
  • 1 1
 Only need to change the oil once a year. If something breaks, it will be slightly more work but it'll come around quickly.
  • 1 0
 If there is a will there is a way?
  • 1 0
 $8500 seems like a lot until you see the $10K+ S-Works at the LBS
  • 1 1
 Santa Cruz?

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