New Zealand may not be as well known for its venomous snakes, creepy crawlies and drop bears as neighboring Australia, but it does still have one poisonous spider - the Katipo. This eight-legged beast now shares its name with what could be an equally deadly new bike from Zerode.
This is the first dedicated 29-inch bike from Zerode and is, of course, built around a Pinion gearbox. Zerode's first dip into 29-inch wheels was with the Taniwha Mulet mixed wheel bike, but they've gone all-in at both ends on the Katipo. There are two options available, first a Trail option with 140mm of travel and secondly an Enduro option, that was shown at Eurobike, with 160mm travel.
The Katipo Enduro's geometry is apparently for "those who like to throw anything at their bike and come away with a smile", which sounds like marketing guff on the surface but starts to make a bit more sense when you get into the numbers. Only 2 sizes are available with both versions of the bike, L and XL, and with a reach in excess of 500mm on the XL, this is no small bike. The long reach is backed up with a 64° head angle, 444mm chainstays and a 75.5° seat angle. The full geometry chart is to the right.
Why only 2 sizes? Well, Zerode believes that if you find the smallest Katipo too big you'll be better off on one of their 27.5-inch Taniwha offerings, although we suspect the cost of tooling a third mold probably comes into the equation too. They haven't totally ruled out making a smaller version of the Katipo in future if demand is high enough though.
Of course, the standout feature here is the Pinion gearbox. All of Zerdoe's bikes eschew the traditional mountain bike drivetrain in favor of this gripshift gearing system. The Katipo uses the C1.9XR, which is claimed to have a 568% range, making it 48% wider than any current derailleur system with much less unsprung weight to affect performance. Yes, there is a weight penalty across the whole bike with a gearbox but Zerode believes it's only about 500 grams and it's largely centered around the bottom bracket area. The gearbox has nine gears and is paired up with a singlespeed hub and a 30T cog on the rear wheel.
When it comes to the rest of the spec, Zerode runs a customization program that allows riders to pick and chose parts that best suit their needs. The version at Eurobike had been fully pimped by MRC Trading to include a RockShox Lyrik with ASC3 and HC97 adaptations from Push, Galfer's 223mm rotors and some gucci finishing kit.
The bike is now available for pre-orders. The frameset only comes in at $6,920 NZD ($4,420 USD) and includes the shock and drivetrain with full builds starting at $9920 NZD ($6,340 USD). More info here