Video: Slashing Perth Trails on a Gearbox Bike

Aug 15, 2020
by West Matteeussen  
Views: 8,436    Faves: 11    Comments: 1


bigquotesI was looking for options after beating derailleurs too many times and the Pinion gearbox has always interested me. After riding the Taniwha for a year I was keen to try the Katipo 29er and its been faultless so far. The rear suspension is amazing with the reduction in unsprung weight and the ability to change gears without pedaling is so good once you get used to it. Paired with an Onyx rear hub the Katipo is absolutely silent even when riding the roughest trails.Cam Van Den Dool



87 Comments

  • 24 0
 Perth seems like a little earthly paradise! Fun and abundant MTBing and surfing; year round nice climate; pretty girls and handsome chaps, sporty and fit on both accounts; rich food and wine culture; far removed from the rest of our ever crazier world.

I'd love to visit even if they did take my derailleur at the airport!
  • 15 0
 Currently living in Perth. Can confirm.
  • 9 0
 very small hills though
  • 7 0
 @TimBigHitFSRII: yeah, well, we can't have everything can we?
  • 4 0
 Oh aye it is, Stay safe, stay Tayside!
  • 6 5
 terrible sports teams over in oz tho
  • 1 1
 @rockyj: yeah and everything wants to kill you!!!
  • 5 0
 Covid free as well. Touchwood.
  • 3 1
 Lovely in winter but how does 5 weeks straight of 40 degrees in summer sound?
  • 2 0
 @freeriderayward: Sounds fantastic (Melbournian)
  • 3 1
 @freeriderayward: Presumably you've never lived here as that never happens
  • 1 0
 @SoddenDeath: Love Perth!! Havn't been in almost 20 years though, and i do not remember trails like that being there. Are these in the Kalamunda Hills?
  • 1 0
 @bngr8fl: not far from Kalamunda, but there are a wealth of other trail riding areas in Perth and the southwest now. Lots of government funding for trail network development too. Exciting times.
  • 17 1
 The future is here. I say good riddance to the old thing. Weakest link on a mountain bike. Would be fantastic on e bike.
  • 2 1
 Would be better covering that chain, as would last way longer?
  • 1 0
 @aljoburr: or get the belt option?
  • 15 0
 Not trying to start a bar width war- Didn't those seem a bit skinny? Dude looks pretty strong but the bars seemed disproportional.
  • 3 1
 I think its more about his posture, his elbows are tucked in very much.. i wonder how he doesnt go otb
  • 13 0
 He’s got some big shoulders but only 760mm bars because he has hit a lot of trees (our trails can be tight)
  • 2 0
 T-Rex
  • 16 0
 Give the gearbox a servo motor and a wireless shifter!
  • 1 0
 I'm convinced you could pull this off with a D1x and rubber band puling the second cable.
  • 8 0
 I'd been lusting after a gearbox bike ever since I seen a Vario gearbox DH bike around 2008. The technology took a long time to get decent, but I finally pulled the trigger on a Zerode Taniwha last year. It's everything I had hoped for and more, absolutely amazing setup.
  • 1 0
 Are you currently in Ireland? If so, where did you get one? Stif?
  • 1 0
 @stoo61: Yes, got mine from Stif.
  • 5 0
 So rolhoff hubs test as efficient as derailleur setups in the middle gears, and better in the lowest gears because of the extreme chainline of dishes 12 speed cassettes. Is it time to resurrect the original zerode g1/g2 design in Enduro form, dumping the Shimano geared hub?
  • 4 0
 Definitely. High single pivot and all
  • 1 0
 I’d love to own a Forbidden/Zerode love child frame.
  • 6 0
 The bike is very quiet. Imagine onyx hubs and no derailleur. The sound would be so sweet.
I don’t have that money but a man can dream.
  • 1 2
 Derailleurs aren’t THAT loud so an onyx hub will get you most of the way there. Not cheap, but in line with other high end hubs and cheaper than a gearbox frame.
  • 5 0
 If I could get on board with the grip-shifter, this would be my dream bike!
  • 3 0
 Imo the grip shift is more suitable for a gearbox because you can shift a lot more gears in a quick action than with a trigger
  • 1 0
 This is the exact reason why I got an Effigear bike instead (Cavalerie Anakin). It uses a standard 9-speed trigger shifter and no chain tensioner required. The Taniwha was a very close second for me though, if I was not able to get the Cavalerie in the US.
  • 7 2
 Honestly man once you get the technique for gripshift it's actually better than a trigger/derrailleur setup.

You can change through as many gears as you want almost instantly with a twist of your wrist. This requires a lot of clicking on a trigger.

Mess up a corner? Bang it down 2-3 gears instantly and get straight on the power.

Enter a climb in the wrong gear? Slip it into the right gear instantly and get on the power. No gear crunching through gears required.

Set off in a heavy gear from a standing stop? Nope, just dump it into the right gear and go.

Can you shift under heavy load? No. Honestly though, when do you need to do this in DH/Enduro?

Can you shift under light load? Yes. Changing gear when coasting along trails or fireroads is no problem.

Brands like Instinctiv are developing a proprietary e-shifting system for their new M-Series bikes, but I honestly think it will be hard to top the grip shift/Pinion gearbox combo.

www.instinctiv.bike
  • 7 0
 @excavator666: I think you're spot on with the advantages of grip shift vs trigger shifters, honestly the only thing that matters to me is the fact that I have to alter my hand position to shift gears...this is a non-starter for some people. Both of my current bikes are grip shift, and after 5 years I've never gotten used to it and still prefer trigger shifters.
  • 1 0
 @kaiseiken: fair enough man. Different strokes for different folks. Can I ask what your current gripshift bikes are?
  • 1 0
 @kaiseiken: i just recently bought ergon gs1 grips for my marathon bike with gripshift.. and right grip has a spacer that you can remove and have a shorter grip, meaning the shifter is now always there without the need to move my hand... the stock ergon grips did not have spacer so i guess it depends on the model.. obvsly gs1 is not for everybody haha
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: Sram GX 11 speed and nuvinci n360.
  • 3 0
 @GZMS: I was talking about the necessity to rotate your hand position around the grip to shift. I have the same grips on both my bikes actually. For example, have you ever tried braking and shifting at the same time? I find this extremely difficult with a grip shifter.
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: You're talking about two different things. Shifting without pedalling comes from the gearbox. For all the rest, a trigger shifter works just as well or better. It can shift 3-4 gears up, or two down, in a single movement. With a derailleur, you have to wait for the chain to move, with this system the shift would be instantaneous. Can't the Pinion gearbox be actuated by a trigger shifter? Isn't it cable-actuated?
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: Okay, probably not because there is no cable tension, but the gearbox manufacturers could easily make this happen... Or even a aftermarket adaptation...
  • 1 0
 @excavator666:
"Can you shift under heavy load? No. Honestly though, when do you need to do this in DH/Enduro?"

It's the grinding up a long and difficult climb where this matters.

I love the concept of gearbox bikes.

Why can't they make them smaller and lighter so there isn't such a weight penalty?

Could they include a clutch type mechanism so when you initiate a shift it engages and thus allows you to shift under load?

Probably expensive but it needs to be lighter and shift better to get wider market adoption.
  • 2 0
 @Ktron: in terms of weight, other locals who run a beefy set up ie. heavy/strong wheels, Dh casing tyres, inserts etc, have bikes the same weight as cam and my Zerodes. Few regular bikes like giant reigns that are reaching 17kgs
  • 1 1
 Bumped into a gentleman with a Deviate Pinion bike and took it for a spin around the car park, he had trigger shifters...so its possible.
  • 1 0
 @stoo61: were they the Cinq shifters? If so then no thanks.
  • 3 0
 @Ktron: My Taniwha weighs 15.3kg with heavy casing tyres on and I consider that to be pretty average for an enduro bike.

Long and difficult climbs are no problem on a gripshift Pinion, you just have to learn the technique.


Same way you have to learn the technique for trigger/derrailleur. You can mash a derrailleur into gear under load, but tbh it's bad technique.
  • 1 0
 @kaiseiken: i cant brake and shift because i twist the shifter with my thumb and index finger instead of the palm.. but given that you can drop 5 gears in a split of a second it is fine to do breaking and shifting separately.. imo
  • 4 0
 Id like to demo one first. I think a lot of riders might consider one if they could try it. Nice looking bikes. Maybe a world tour demo
  • 2 0
 You can demo them...check out zerodebikes.com/world
  • 2 0
 @coney: thats a great idea. Thanks
  • 6 0
 Cam, you make those bars look like they are 720 mm.
  • 4 1
 Awesome riding but he only pedals 2 times in the video. He could be on any drivetrain. Heck, he’s pushing his bike more than pedaling.
  • 1 0
 He did not like derailleurs because they broke. He likes the current setup bc it's quiet.
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the same thing... is this a video showcasing the drivetrain, or just some nice riding? The riding is nice, though.
  • 1 0
 @mackaymunz: the idea was sorta both. Exposure for Zerode as they showed how the bike works really well, especially on one of the states best riders
  • 2 0
 Derailleurs function just fine, so long as you don't bend em or break em. We don't love em cuz they're vulnerable. Play stupid games; win stupid prizes. Like new derailleurs. But doing stupid things is part of the fun.
  • 2 2
 @hankj there's an offshore reef system of Perth so the surf is not so great, but the diving and sharks are good. The hills and mtb trails are pretty limited too. To top it off it's unbelievably hot in summer, making night riding the only option for 3 months of the year.
  • 8 0
 The sanctioned trails in the hills are limited true but there is heaps of other trails to choose from as you can see in this video and numerous others. It's hot but definitely ridable in summer especially if you go earlier in the mornings more often than not it's less than 25 degrees when I finish a ride in the summer.
  • 1 1
 I do ride during summer. The temp could go up to 50s. I only ride early morning or night time, also the risk of getting bush fire every summer is dangerous. Perth hills mth trails are boring.....
  • 2 0
 I have an Onyx hub on one of my bikes and while the silence is nice, the mushy engagement is not.
  • 1 0
 @elimadden I thought the engagement was supposed to be near instant with Onyx hubs. ?
  • 2 0
 @pdxkid: it is. Something must be wrong with his if it’s mushy
  • 2 0
 There is no mush, it's just instant so there is no engagement clunk like other hubs. I have owned Hadley, King, I9, and DT Swiss 54, there is nothing like the Onyx engagement.
  • 4 3
 The cams have to rotate to engage. That causes the engagement to feel mushy. It’s especially noticeable in low gears. I have it on my fattest fat bike that I destroyed the stock rear hub on and it’s often used to crawl in deep snow. There’s plenty of other comments around about it, it’s not just me.
  • 1 0
 I have an Onyx as well on my Zerode. It’s starting to creak and not sound so nice. I was told by Onyx that the Besper hub is not designed to handle to torque created by the gearbox. Waiting for it to fail and move onto something else.
There is definitely some wind up felt in certain gears and it’s not the catch up from the gear box I feel.
  • 1 0
 well well, after 20 years as a single speeder I might have just found the bike I've been wanting all along! I used to shed derailleurs all too often.
  • 2 1
 Gearbox bikes are not as efficient as a rear mech bike on flats and uphill though....or so ive always read. Thats fine if u only ride downhill though.
  • 1 0
 Debating getting a 29er as I wasn't sure how well they handle steep, kicky jumps. This dude seems to have no problem though, leaning towards that 29er now.
  • 2 0
 @byfordbogan you’re an influencer Wink
  • 1 0
 Can't wait until mine shows up with next month!! Finally a bike with some real innovation not only with a gearbox but also now with the gates carbon belt drive!
  • 1 2
 Nah perth is dangerous place. It’s the meth capital of Australia. A lot of people are randomly assaulted. Heaps of drug addicts steal bikes to buy their meth, heroin or other drugs. I think most people who lives in Western Australia are druggies. Nothing nice in Perth. Women aren’t that even pretty.
  • 1 0
 Yesss so good to see some quality underground west aussie riders getting some exposure, awsome work guys.
  • 1 1
 Title: 'Slashing Perth Trails on a Gearbox Bike, no Deraill- WHAT? C'mon guys, check your spelling.
  • 1 1
 Agreed. It's only the subtitle. Haha
  • 2 0
 Looks like the correck spellin’ too mee.
  • 1 0
 is it just me or do his bars like tiny?
  • 1 0
 760. A lot of our trails are very tight and it’s easy to clip trees. He found 760 to be comfy and not too skinny
  • 1 0
 He’s also a big dude haha
  • 1 0
 His whole bike looks tiny
  • 2 0
 Another 35-55MM of reach on that thing would probably fit him great.....
  • 1 0
 @downhillnews: he’s about 6ft with 475 reach. No way he needs a 500+ reach bike
  • 1 1
 @vandenr2: I’m 1.75m riding 502mm Reach.

Level up!
  • 1 0
 @gonecoastal: Doesn't look like it holding him back
  • 1 0
 Wasn’t Shimano working on a gearbox?
  • 1 0
 They were. Looked promising. Hopefully they still are
  • 1 0
 When will Gearbox's become the new standard, I cannot wait...
  • 1 0
 NICE DIRT!

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