Zerode Now Available Through Fanatik Bike Co.

Sep 12, 2017
by Cycle Monkey  
Press Release

Kiwi gearbox bike brand Zerode has long been the source of gossip among North American riders, but few have gotten the opportunity to try one out.

That should change in the upcoming months, as Bellingham-based online retailer and brick and mortar bike shop Fanatik Bike Co. has added the Zerode Taniwha to its collection of high-end bikes.

Zerode Now Available Through Fanatik Bike Co.

The Zerode Taniwha is the world’s first production carbon enduro bike with a gearbox, and for the last year it has been proving that gearboxes are a viable alternative to derailleurs, offering distinct advantages in durability, shifting, and suspension performance.

With a Pinion gearbox, the bike achieves a whopping 600% gear range, significantly larger than that of SRAM Eagle. Additionally, the bike’s gearing sits inside a sealed package that is nearly maintenance-free and offers dramatically improved 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.

Zerode Now Available Through Fanatik Bike Co.

“We're very excited to bring on Zerode here at Fanatik,” said Jadyn Welch, Fanatik Bike Co’s internet sales manager. “They are a boutique brand producing a quality product that fills an important void in the high-end mountain bike market. Gearboxes have been largely overlooked in the past, and we're happy to say the Taniwha rivals some of our favorite mountain bikes in terms of ride quality and craftsmanship. We've already eliminated the front derailleur, why not eliminate the rear derailleur?”

Fanatik has long been recognized as a leader in online bike sales, due in no small part to its online bike builder, which lets riders fully customize their build before ordering.



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 blue sky blue with grey decals.

Frames weigh in between 5.7–6.2 lbs. (2,600–2,800g) depending on size and complete bikes will weigh in starting at 30lbs.


  • 27 1
 "prepares to remove kidney and sell car"
  • 8 42
flag chillrider199 (Sep 12, 2017 at 17:18) (Below Threshold)
 So youre just gonna sell your car and remove your kidney for no reason? Man thats whack. You on crack?
  • 13 2
 Did a demo this weekend in Bellingham, took it to the nastiest trails in the area and it made my Insurgent feel like an XC bike on the descents riding them back to back... The Taniwha is the most planted/sure footed 160 bike I've ridden by a long margin. It's silent, nice to be able to shift without pedaling, and makes me try very bad things. Literally the only thing I noticed is if you're already pedaling on a climb, you can't shift and have to stop pedaling for a sec. This bike will not KOM climbs but it will tractor up technical climbs, bomb down the gnarly stuff and ask for more.
  • 1 1
 I rode it too. I thought the rear suspension was super awesome, but the front end was a bit too short. I would definitely size up.
  • 11 0
 Like buying the first DVD player in 1994. $600. Youre the shit, watching Goodfellas in Dolby 2.0..
  • 3 1
 parents paid $80 for a VHS tape when they first came out.
  • 3 1
 Remember how shit bikes were in the early 90s? We're probably going to look back on 2017 with the same contempt at some point Smile
  • 8 0
 remember the laser disc?
  • 3 1
 Except it's not really much more expensive than a similarly spec'd Santa Cruz or Yeti.
  • 1 0
 @MorganBH: Its also going to get a lot better, and cheaper, and lighter, and everything else.
  • 1 0
 @owlie: I hope so, because I definitely can't afford one yet.
  • 5 3
 Save both for another year or two. The bike shows promise, but not worth the investment yet. A buddy had one with us this weekend and they still have some bugs to work out. Drivetrain was not smooth at all and had a ton of feedback through the pedals. The Fox 36 was buttery smooth tough.
  • 16 0
 That's interesting - my experience was pretty much the opposite. I was very surprised how smooth the Pinion gearbox was - I actually could not pick a difference between it and a derailleur when it came to drag, whereas planetary hubs like Rohloff and Alfine I've always found noticeably draggy (my baseline obviously is just a conventional drivetrain, which as far as I can tell has very little drag to begin with). Didn't get a lot of pedal feedback either that I could ascertain, but if I were to have one criticism of the drivetrain it's that it effectively has a low engagement point count since it has two freewheels. Kinda makes things like ratcheting up pedal-catchy sections of climb a bit harder. They aren't light or cheap either unfortunately, but then again, I'm only the latter of those two haha
  • 1 0
 @Socket: I suppose he could have gotten a dud. Several of us rode it and it had a ton of drag and noise like when the front ring on my 1x starts going out.

I still think that the concept is good and will continue to improve, but this wasn't a good first experience for me.

The guys in the Fanatik video were really rocking it though, so it mustn't be a widespread occurrence, because I can't imagine a shop promoting a bike if it rode like the one he had.
  • 1 0
 Second that. Same story from two friends..
  • 3 0
 The gearbox takes a while to break in. Once it's "broken in" it will be smooth.
  • 1 0
 @cheezeweazel: Their website says it takes about 300 miles to break in the drive train. Your buddy's pretty new?
  • 3 0
 @OriginalDonk: That makes sense but 300 miles is quite a bit of riding to break it in. 20-30 rides for the average rider before it starts feeling new? Seems like they should find a way to break it in before they ship it.
  • 1 0
 dbl post
  • 1 0
 The only time I noticed drag at all was when I was in the hardest gears when I was decending. Pedaling out of a corner, you could feel it a little. There was zero pedal feedback, it was the most sensitive rear suspension I've ever experienced, the traction was amazing. I was able to clear jumps that I've never been able to carry enough speed into through corners and chunder before on my first ride.
  • 1 1
 I'm with you. Note quite ready for primetime IMO. See my comments above. Wish my demo had been equipped with a 36! What rear shock did you friend use?
  • 2 0
 @sngltrkmnd: I honestly don't remember. Whatever they had on the demo fleet. The suspension felt great front and back, it was just the drivetrain and weight were the 2 main issues.
  • 2 1
 @cheezeweazel: the medium I demoed was a plus bike. Not a fan of plus bikes . . . . The suspension was just OK, not a fan of cane creek either! The geometry was kinda odd and the shifting thing is a deal breaker. It was fun to ride because it is so different but it felt slow. Not sure how they got someone to race one of these in the EWS.
  • 5 1
 Good to see some new choices out on the market. Demo'd a Taniwha last week. Though it's the XL was too small for me (6'5") I was glad to try to gearbox.
  • 3 0
 How did you feel it compared Ria conventional drive train in terms of convenience/ease of use/etc.
  • 4 1
 @natemeyer: Well, I learned that a gearbox isn't really for me. It's quite heavy, it was very slow to downshift - I nearly had to stop pedaling - AND we had a little rain on Saturday. This complicated shifting further in an unexpected way: the surface of the grip shifter, already worn from use, became quick slick from the light rain, making that twist towards you to downshift, while nearly coming to a standstill, an unenjoyable experience for me. I have no beef with grip shift whatsoever, and though I was told one could install different (grippy-er) grips on the shifter body, and there's a trigger option coming, it just didn't improve my experience in a meaningful way. YMMV.

A second note related to the demo experience: my bike was fitted with a DBAir. You probably know it has 2 compression and 2 rebound circuits, and this can take a while to set up correctly compared to many RS and FOX offerings. While the sag was set up correctly and CS was off, the bike was reluctant to squat into the rear travel, making the front end feel artificially steep. No bueno. I am sure the compression circuits were set too high. Why didn't I monkey with it you may ask. Demo rules were to limit the ride to 2 hours, and the trail was 15 min from the shop. So with time as a factor, I think it'd be wise for product mgrs to spec more familiar bits to expedite the process. After all, I was there to demo the gearbox, not the suspension. (Also the Helm fork felt like it was filled with 20wt - rebound wide open and it ran like it was full of syrup. It was stout though.)

No diss against the demo guys - they were very helpful and friendly, and I am grateful for the experience. I just think a gearbox is more appropriate for a park setting where banging off multiple upshifts is a common experience vs trail bikes where *dumping* gears quickly is a priority (for me). Again, your mileage may vary. I encourage everyone to try it for themselves.
  • 2 0
 @sngltrkmnd: Awesome thank you. I appreciate the insight. It's certainly an interesting idea but I think at the very least I would need to see a trigger shifter before I bought one. I'm interested in trying one for sure though
  • 1 0
 @natemeyer: No prob - I hope you have a great experience on it!
  • 6 1
 Press release and yet no close up photo of the bike, or the gearbox, etc. Not great marketing
  • 2 1
 If its simple, and effective, why are they so exspensive? I think they are really neat idea for bikes, but something about having gear oil in a part of the bike that can take a beating? Im not sure how gear oil droped on the trail would go over when everyone hates ebikes on the trails so much. Again, i get the concept, but if you bitch about the enviroment, well than a carbon frame and gear oil ??? I dont know, are they using a mineral based oil?
  • 5 0
 If it is sealed, it shouldn't be a problem. Your fork has petroleum oil in it. So does your shock. And a lot of brakes use hydraulic fluid. Not seeing a huge amount of news on failed components for these parts and their poisoning of the environment... Smile

And yeah, you really can't complain about the environment as a mountain biker. Bikes made in Taiwan using smelted aluminum or epoxy resins along with carbon fiber. Parts and bits in plastic, steel, whatever. They are not exactly friendly to the earth in the manufacturing process. Smile
  • 2 1
 @Poulsbojohnny: The most hazardous thing on your bike is the DOT fluid if you're running SRAM or Hope brakes.
  • 2 0
 dam...I stand corrected. I did infact forget about the dot fluid, and small amount of oil in the shocks. I overstated my point a little. i guess with a good bottom guard, a cracked case would be a non issue.
  • 1 0
 WTF happened to the Zerode DH bike? I finally have some disposable income for the low-maintenance high-pivot bike I've wanted for years and they've all but disappeared. Bummer. All you damn Canadians only ship within country or want local pickup or I'd have one already.
  • 1 0
 The geo on my rallon is more dialed. That gearbox though is interesting to try.
  • 2 1
 They have to get rid of the twist grip shifter
  • 2 0
 The shifter was nbd in my opinion. It took about 2 minutes to get used to it, and then I didn't even think about shifting.
  • 1 0
 Trigger is coming per the demo crew I spoke with last weekend at Fanatik.

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