Bike Check: Sam Blenkinsop's Zerode G3 - Red Bull Hardline Tasmania

Feb 23, 2024 at 9:24
by Ed Spratt  
Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3

One of the bigger surprises in the off-season was the announcement of the new Zerode racing team, and this week we were able to catch up with Sam Blenkinsop for the details on his new G3 gearbox belt drive high pivot race bike.

Sam says that it has been a big change swapping to a gearbox bike but it has been great so far at taking on rough tracks, although he says he has yet to find anywhere rough enough to really test it out. Check out more details on Sam's Zerode G3 below.

photo

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
Bike Details:
Frame: Zerode G3 size large
Fork: SR Suntour Rux / 88 psi / 5 volume spacers / RC+ cartridge with a custom tune / rebound fully open / LSC +6 / HSC fully open
Shock: SR Suntour / 500lb spring / set fully open
Wheels: DT Swiss FR1500 front and DT Swiss FR541 rear
Tires: Maxxis Assegai 29" x 2.5" front and DHR II 27.5"x2.4" rear / DH casing / 24psi front and 27psi rear
Inserts: Cushcore front and rear
Brakes: Hayes Dominion A4 / 203mm rotors
Drivetrain: Pinion E Shift / 165mm crank length / Gates Carbon Drive Belt
Bars: Deity Blacklabel Handlebar / 790mm wide / 25mm rise
Stem: Deity Intake Stem / 5mm of spacers underneath

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
To accommodate the bigger hits on the Hardline course Sam has upped his spring from 450lb to 500lb. He has still kept all settings fully open on the shock.

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
The Zeroda G3 is pretty unique compared to most DH race bikes with a Pinion gearbox and belt drive. Sam is running 165mm cranks on the electronically shifted gearbox.

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
Sam is still running a set of custom Hayes Dominion brakes given to him last year.

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
While Sam is running DT Swiss wheels front and rear he currently has a mismatched set as he could only get a front wheel in the FR1500 model. For now, Sam has a FR541 wheel on the rear but he will look to swap this out for another FR1500 wheel later in the season.

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
This week Sam is running 25mm rise bars with a 5mm spacer under the stem but he may go with a higher rise bar for World Cups later this year.

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
The Pinion gearbox has six possible gears, but Sam is staying in third gear for most of a lap - the course doesn't require much pedaling.

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
Sam's bike is running a similar gearbox to the Pinion 6-speed gearbox with electronic Smart Shift used by the Gamux team in 2023.

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
The Pinion gearbox makes for a very clean rear end of the bike.

Sam Blenkinsop s Zerode G3
While the Zerode frame and drivetrain are quite a departure from Sam's past bikes he has managed to keep most of his component choices similar to past bikes to keep some level of familiarity at the start of the season.


Author Info:
edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
3,050 articles

113 Comments
  • 101 1
 Love zerode - met some of their guys in QT and were 100% down to earth. Small company making real shit. If anyone from zerode sees this, love the pink paint job on that guys bike.
  • 61 188
flag tkinggg FL (Feb 23, 2024 at 18:53) (Below Threshold)
 I would agree with you but your Joe Biden
  • 35 23
 @tkinggg: dont make bike shit political....
  • 117 5
 @tkinggg: spelling always tells the tale
  • 119 7
 @tkinggg: Grammar: the difference between knowing your shit and knowing you‘re shit.
  • 4 13
flag mi-bike (Feb 24, 2024 at 2:25) (Below Threshold)
 @won-sean-animal-chin: Spelling tells the tale, whilst punctuation is being excused. Sad.
  • 23 1
 @tkinggg: his name is Joeb Iden
  • 9 33
flag Jonesey23 (Feb 24, 2024 at 11:44) (Below Threshold)
 @tkinggg: pinkbike not in the mood for jokes today. Oh well.
Be careful no one on here hears you breathing. I reckon they’d chose to get properly offended.

@Ben-256: correcting people on the internet makes you an even bigger shit.
Unfortunately you’ve got the wrong flag to be labelled with the standard moniker in this case.
  • 12 1
 @Jonesey23: lol triggered?
  • 3 3
 @cuban-b: lol if that makes it easier for you.
  • 10 1
 @Jonesey23: Aren't jokes supposed to be somewhat funny?
Also, it's 'choose', not 'chose'.

PS You're the only one acting offended here.
  • 1 6
flag Jonesey23 (Feb 25, 2024 at 3:17) (Below Threshold)
 @WhateverBikes: we all have differing abilities to appreciate humour.
If you don’t understand it don’t feel bad.
  • 4 3
 @Jonesey23: we also all have differing abilities to be humourous.
There was nothing funny about his comment, its only intention was to piss on Biden. I don't mind that, btw, I'm just saying it's not funny.
  • 1 2
 @Jonesey23: Frown aww poor you
  • 2 0
 @WhateverBikes: Actually 25% of responders found it funny. Just because you didn't, it doesn't mean that yours is the only valid opinion. Wink

@cuban-b: that makes no sense.
  • 6 5
 @tkinggg: stupid liberal mountain bikers giving you negatives!
  • 2 2
 @Jonesey23: I'd call that a pretty lousy success rate for a joke, but hey, if you're happy with it…
  • 1 0
 @WhateverBikes: I didn't say it was successful or that it was the greatest joke ever. Only that 25% found it funny.
Whether you like it or not, that is fact and it's not something you can do anything about.
  • 4 1
 @tkinggg: man youd think Joe Biden is famous or something the way yall are worked up about him. My username is just my name, never heard of another joe biden in my life.
  • 3 2
 @joebiden: isn’t he the Resident of the United States?
  • 2 2
 @rideordie35: don’t make this political lol
  • 3 1
 @rideordie35: Nope, last I checked it was still JFK. Wonderfull guy, hope nothing bad happens to him.
  • 40 0
 Bike is totally silent.
  • 26 0
 Pinion and Carbon Drive for the win!
  • 24 0
 want. most clean. sold. buying. Hold on Rob, CC # coming in June. Hold a Large for me. Not sure I can handle this wait. aaaieeeee
  • 1 0
 Thats 2 CC numbers then coming in for a large in june! Grey for me
  • 16 0
 Honest question...Does Blenki hold the record for the longest time racing since their last win? Not a dig at him or anything, he's been one of my favorite racers since the Yeti days, but I think his Win was in 2008 and he's still racing in 2024, it's a testament to his long career.
  • 11 0
 Mick Hannah. 2006 Vigo. But yeah. testament to them both
  • 2 0
 Blinky got robbed
  • 16 2
 Ticks EVERY box, but longest reach is 485... congratulations short kings, you win this round.
  • 11 3
 That's quite long on a DH-bike though.
  • 2 1
 @SimbaandHiggins: I dunno why the reaches on dh bikes are so short, my Enduro is 480 and my dh is around 490, for a normal person I appreciate more stability when things get rowdy
  • 4 0
 That just means they don't make an XL. Many DH bikes, even from larger brands like Kona, are only available in medium & large. 485 is about as big as larges get.
  • 3 2
 Right . Nothing for the 6 foot crowd
  • 2 0
 @lelandjt: commencal . Santa Cruz . Mondraker and lots of other brands make plus 500 reaches . Trek is almost 500 with the R3 .

Kona failed with last operator with its limited sizing . Now it’s not made anymore
  • 6 0
 Unfortunately, part of the issue is that a.) DH bikes sell in relatively modest quantities as it is, and b.) only about 9-13% of the male population is over 6' tall, dropping to 1% by the time you get to 6'4".

So if you take a bike type which only accounts for 5% of full suspension MTB sales (just guessing here), it may not make much sense to compete for only ~10% demographic of that 5% market. Meanwhile, there is nothing to suggest that taller people are more likely to be interested in DH mountain biking (probably to the contrary!), and plenty of DH-bike people actually like to downsize a bit to have a "park bike" which can be thrown around more easily.
  • 4 0
 @iridedj: Reaches are short cos the forks are long and the head angles are slack. The front axle is much further in front of the head tube on a dh bike than any other bike
  • 5 0
 @gabriel-mission9: some people think bike geo is just one number.
  • 3 0
 @mxmtb: I'm 6'2" and prefer a reach of approximately 460 - 470. Longer than that is overstretched for me
  • 1 2
 I've a long torso, shorter inseam, and run, as you all should, an 18mm bar clamp, and my 515 Tr11 seems just about right. Thanks you Transition for producing sizes for all of us.
  • 2 1
 @lacuna: Similar boat - I am also 6'2", and anything beyond 485ish is getting a bit too long. I'm pretty comfortable anywhere between 470-485ish.
  • 2 0
 @lacuna: @lacuna: Finally, someone on PB in the same camp. Bikes are getting a bit too long at this point in my opinion. I am 5' 11" and I have a size large DeVinci Spartan. The reach is 465 and that feels a bit long for me. I feel like 460 would be more ideal. But most of the dudes here on PB talking about a large with a 480 or even 485 MM reach being ideal. I don't get it man.
  • 2 1
 @lukemech: you get it !!
  • 2 1
 @KJP1230: well I am 6’5 and I like to be able to move around on the bike .
  • 2 0
 @mxmtb: welcome to the top 0.5% of an extremely small market segment Smile
  • 1 1
 @mxmtb: Everyone is different but the more stretched out I am, the less able I am to move around. I feel like I'm trying to drive from the back seat!
  • 12 0
 I don't need it, but I WANT it.
  • 7 0
 Wow. This bike is dead sexy. I rode a Zerode for a day a few years back at Trestle. It was a blast. That one was kitted out with Ohlins. It also had the grip shift which was interesting. However, it must be even better with the cordless thumb shifters.
  • 8 0
 I hope they sell a ish ton of these. I always wanted one of their bikes...
  • 3 0
 All settings full open?
Sounds like something weird is going on with matching that shock tune to the suspension.

Also, him having to wait for a wheel to arrive mid season speaks to the dedication he must have to racing, if he’s living his life unable to buy a matching rear wheel. Saw that before with fast but not quite world dominating dhllers.
That or he doesn’t care.
  • 3 0
 I don't think so, more like a rider preference as you can see in his previous setups
  • 6 0
 why do they call him Jason on track?
  • 4 2
 I love my Zerode Taniwha Mullet, but I’m not a fan of belt drives, though they work great most of the time, a good mud bath will derail a belt by clogging the grooves on the belt, clogging the teeth on the cogs, and building up on the tensioner pulley.

A nice thick single speed chain is the way to go.
  • 1 0
 I was going to ask, but thought it was a stupid question. There are NO side guides for re-aligning the belt? I would think maybe it could 'walk' it's self off in some instances too?
  • 1 0
 @steviestokes: The guide runs along the middle of the belt and sprockets.
  • 5 0
 Nice lines! Saddle angle is perfection too
  • 2 0
 Yeah no i rolled around on this bike and the gooch took a hammering. Rad bike.
  • 7 0
 @Jready: Beauty is pain Wink
  • 5 0
 Aren't the fr1500 wheels factory laced fr541 rims?
  • 4 0
 I have been trying to figure out the belt tensioner since Zerode revealed the G3. Can it be just that little bungee cord?
  • 2 0
 Only waiting for an enduro ebike version of this! High pivot, belt driven gearbox, with motor because it's gonna have a lot of drag! lol That is the moment I'll be ready to have an ebike! lol
  • 1 0
 Kavenz VHP Pinion already exists …
  • 1 0
 Not really that much drag to be honest. Think softer compound DH tires vs trail tires
  • 4 0
 Why no comment/description regarding the RUX fork? Instead, super important info regarding mismatched DT wheels.
  • 4 0
 really love the look of this thing
  • 3 0
 Man... I don't usually get my head turned by DH bikes but this thing's hot.
  • 3 2
 I'd buy a Zerode G3. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the grip shifter. I know, can't judge it until I try it. And it probably works well. Just reminds me of my father in-laws Cannondale city cruisers grip shift.
  • 9 0
 It uses a trigger shifter…
  • 11 0
 Don't worry! They didn't take a photo of the most important change for Pinion for a lot of people, namely the move from a twist shifter to a trigger.

How hard could it have been to take one single proper photo of the cockpit, showing the full bar width?
  • 4 0
 I have a friend who, for dh riding, swears by a grip shift. He raves about the ability to dump gears in no time flat for a quick burst on uphills if needed. I’ve never been convinced, but he loves them.
  • 2 0
 @VwHarman: totally true, grip shifts are awesome for handling sudden transitions, but the electric shift will dump gears pretty fast, as fast as you can push a button.
  • 2 0
 @VwHarman: me too
  • 3 0
 This thing looks amazing.
  • 3 0
 Steeziest rider on steeziest bike. Nicely played Zerode
  • 3 0
 Can you put a 12spd pinion and a zeb on it?
  • 3 0
 Build it around an enduro geo plus mgu e1.12 and take my money!
  • 1 0
 I pay because you have to 2 play 6k just puts it out of my ability Even with already owning the parts to complete a Build I would happily pay
  • 3 0
 Is this spoken word poetry?
  • 1 0
 This company is so ahead of the rest of the industry. They have been for years. If I win the lotto I will buy one of each of their bikes. Just amazing.
  • 2 0
 Is it wrong for me to want a second Zerode?
  • 5 0
 You know what they say, Zerode+1
  • 2 0
 Sweet bike. This drivetrain makes a lot of sense for a DH bike.
  • 2 0
 Damn, that looks great. Love to test ride one
  • 1 0
 Red or raw?! Also, 485 is pretty long for a high pivot dh bike. Definitely fine up to 6'2" or so
  • 1 0
 wondering bike wheight in this reviews. Furthermore with the lovely pignion
  • 1 0
 can you get that belt at NAPA autostores? wow what a crazy loooking bike...
  • 1 0
 Look like commencal furious front triangle with a commenca v4 rear swing arm ..
  • 2 0
 RIG
  • 1 0
 god I love zerode bikes with every fiber of my being
  • 1 0
 Now that's a bike. Very interested in those. Best wishes to Sam!
  • 1 0
 Where's the rest of the band?
  • 1 0
 Ya, that's a gorgeous bike...
  • 1 0
 how do a man fixes his gearbox
  • 1 0
 I'll take one in mini mullet please.
  • 1 0
 Nice to see trigger shifters for the pinion FINALLY
  • 1 0
 How's the belt in mud racing
  • 1 0
 I hope Blenki, Bulldog, and Bernard each win a world cup this year
  • 1 0
 So. Much. Want
  • 1 0
 This bike is glorious!
  • 1 0
 Super sweet ride!
  • 1 0
 Love it. Looks mint
  • 1 0
 GEARBOX FTW!!
  • 1 0
 time has come
  • 1 0
 Want
  • 1 0
 Beautiful ride tup
  • 1 0
 Cool Bike
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