Katz Bikes Returns With an Enduro Bike with a 'Maintenance Free' Drivetrain

Apr 21, 2020 at 4:43
by James Smurthwaite  

We last saw Katz Bikes at the Eurobike Outdoor Expo in 2010 when they were showing off their 145mm Alps trail bike. We were immediately drawn in by the concealed drivetrain, but it unfortunately all went south for the Swiss brand from then on. In 2011, they had to shut down as the Euro crisis and ensuing financial problems hit their bottom line hard. The project was shelved, but Holger Katz, the brains behind the brand, kept riding his bike for the next decade and claims he hasn't had to perform any maintenance on the drivetrain in that time.


Now, Holger has returned with an updated version nearly a decade after his company shut down. Thankfully, he hasn't abandoned the concept that first inspired him to start making bikes and the concealed drivetrain returns again. The drivetrain uses a Rohloff SpeedHub 500/14 with 14 gears that sits in the rear wheel. This gearbox provides a 526% range, but weighs more than 1700 grams.

Under the carbon fiber shell at the bottom bracket is a chainring built by Katz and a standard Shimano 11 speed chain that is tensioned by a ratchet and passes through the chainstay to meet the Rohloff. The final piece of the puzzle is a rubber seal that allows the chainstay to move with the suspension action while keeping contaminants at bay. The protective element of the design is obvious, but other advantages apparently include quicker and cleaner wheel removal, easier bike washing and a totally silent drivetrain thanks to a tensioned chain.


Furthering his maintenance-free ethos, Katz uses a "triple sealed system" for the bearings on the bike, every bearing apart from the main pivot is a sealed needle bearing with "additional seals and protective construction". The main pivot uses double row spherical bearings with the same protections. Katz says that he's never had a customer asking for replacement bearings in the past ten years.


Holger claims this chainline pivot means there's no pedal bob and allows him to use shocks without a pedal platform.

Bike design has obviously changed a lot in the past decade so Katz has made plenty of changes to the bike we previously covered. The travel has been boosted up to 155mm in the rear, which is mated to a 160mm X-Fusion Revel fork at the front. The head angle has been seriously slackened from 67.5° way down to 64 degrees and the bike has been stretched out to a 1200mm wheelbase. The final modernizing touch is an increase in wheel size from 26 to 27.5+, which means the bike should also be able to fit 29" wheels with standard size tires.
Geometry

Stack 595mm
Reach 400mm
TT horizontal 570mm
Seat tube 395mm
Head Angle 64°
Seat Angle 74°
Chainstay 467mm
BB height at 2.8/3.0 tires 345mm
Wheelbase 1205mm



Currently, Holger has only one frame which he is using himself and no plans to start selling again. However, he is open to speak to investors who may see his concept as a potential opportunity.


202 Comments

  • 129 2
 Closes during Euro crisis. Great luck with timing of reopening.
  • 14 2
 My thoughts exactly. But it looks promising. A bit unconventional on the looks side but our current rigs don’t look any better in comparison. I’ll take one for a spin.
  • 9 0
 Regardless of the business side... I would love to ride this, both trail & at the bike park! Maybe not as my only bike but something different, sounds like fun. "Ya never hit a home-run if you don't keep swinging"...Carry on Mr Katz.
  • 6 0
 No wear and tear? Big industry drive train companies would never allow this to become a commercial success :-)
  • 3 0
 @headshot: commercial success depends 100% on customers, buy it and it will lay eggs and we’ll see more of them.
  • 1 0
 @headshot: Good thought... Doesn't seem like anyone is accounting for chain stretch though??? Cant prevent that
  • 2 0
 But how could we add more weight to the rear suspension?

There has to be a way! Come on think!
  • 8 1
 @excavator666: the best thing to get rid off the weight: free your mind.
To be honest: ever felt that your suspension is working worse with a DH-casing tire which adds 500-600 grams compared to a Enduro tire? i think nobody does. except you imagine it and then you also can feel 1 gram if your imagination is just strong enough.
  • 3 0
 @rizz121: not true. Commercial success depends on marketing budget and strategy. People buy what they are told to buy
  • 2 1
 @excavator666: As if a giant 11-50 isn't a boat anchor far from the center of mass? This design is probably even with these modern cassettes, but with better mass centralization....something to think about
  • 4 0
 @bhastey: chains dont actually stretch, they wear out around the base if the pins, if put in a top quality chain and keep it permanently lubricated and zero contamination, I could see it lasting the bike's lifetime.

look at timing chains, they last hundreds of thousands of kilometers.
  • 3 0
 @bhastey: Chains don't actually stretch. the rollers wear on each other because of side loading from shifting. Single speed chains can last for thousands of miles while exposed completely to the elements. Yes the rollers and teeth also wear, but its not nearly as significant to a single, straight, chainline because everything meshes together
  • 2 0
 @MrZ32: thats the point :-)
  • 2 0
 @KATZbikes:
HA!
You're so right... add on that the spoiled brat that will claim he can feel the frame flexing with his prostate!

The truth is that weight is NOT the top priority. There are so many other factors that matter more...
  • 1 1
 @Tjjones1214: not quite. The hole in the side plate where solid pins pierce the side plate, is where all the wear happens. The holes in the side plates elongate where the pin goes thru the side plate.....a tiny amount at each link, but over all the links, the accumulated hole elongation makes the chain effectively 'longer'....
  • 1 0
 @jokermtb:
Don't know of a derailleur/cassette combo that adds 1700 grams - the quoted weight for the bare gearbox in the rear wheel. That's around 2.5 lbs of weight more on the hub than an XO derailleur/cassette combo, or if you want real boat anchor, 1.5 for SX eagle. Ofc, I assume whoever's shelling out $$$ for a nice internal hub isn't cross-shopping with SX eagle...

There's a host of other potential benefits here, but it sure isn't weight. "Centralizing" mass on the rear wheel isn't ideal either.
  • 73 0
 Looks like a full suspension strider.
  • 7 0
 Someone needs to stand beside it for context. I can't figure out why it looks that way. Oversized downtube maybe?
  • 4 0
 @friendlyfoe: Lack of a chain? nothing under chainstay, no rear mech, no chain.
  • 13 0
 I think it's a combination of the 27.5+ tires and the reach is only 400mm. At first glance it looked like a 26" wheeled slope bike from 10 years ago.
  • 2 0
 @srjacobs: And the X-Fusion upside-down fork w/ guards on the lowers. Fork cross sections are all huge so everything else looks out of scale.
  • 3 0
 @srjacobs: maybe its because in one pic i used a wideangle camera to avoid falling backwards into the river haha. I also thought in the pic where you see the whole bike it looks like compressed. Seems im a bad photographer ;-)
  • 42 0
 Totally missed an opportunity not naming it N'dogz
  • 2 0
 This comment reigns supreme.
  • 4 0
 Thats our family name. You're not always lucky in life :-P
  • 3 0
 @KATZbikes: No worries, I was just kidding. Nothing wrong with the name Katz - be proud.
  • 25 0
 Looks like Bottle rocket
  • 17 0
 What's up with all the Swiss bike brands really liking to hide key components inside the frame?
  • 93 0
 The Swiss have been doing it with gold and money for centuries. I guess now that business is under some strain, they're switching to bike components.
  • 3 0
 Only other Swiss brand I can think of doing that is Bold. The most prominent Swiss brand I can think of though is Scott USA which I to me seems a brand having loads of suspension components and levers dangling there right out there in the open. With the latest Gambler they tidied up a bit but the previous generation and some Genius pictures I recall seemed to have more bits and bobs.
  • 16 0
 I prefer when Swiss brands hide things. At least when it comes to Redalp.
  • 4 1
 Well, at least we passed the Redalp era (if you like dangling bits).

Katz has been riding quite a few interesting bikes over the years. I'm curious to see the next evolution. Wink
  • 2 0
 Living in such a beautiful place has its influences.
  • 6 0
 Its not about hiding. Hiding is a sideeffect of making the drivetrain more reliable, clean, and give you back some more lifetime and fun riding your bike on awesome trails ;-) weisch wasi meinä? ;-)
  • 14 1
 im more interested in the fork
  • 4 0
 Everyone is still waiting for that Revel fork. It's been in their catalog for years though I wonder whether it has actually been for sale at some point.
  • 2 1
 looks like an x-fusion revel with different stickers
  • 5 0
 Isnt that the Xfusion henstooth?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: You can find them. They pop up periodically in the classifieds and on eBay. Hell, they were even on Amazon for a while.
  • 1 0
 @HaggeredShins: you can get them on ebay.
$790 for the gray one and $820 for the binged out gold one.

I almost bought the gold one but only 27.5 no 29.
  • 2 0
 Diymtb has had them in stock for a long time.
  • 3 0
 I can recommend it!!! Super stiff, super fun :-)
  • 4 0
 @DirtJumpRyder: It is even mentioned in the text that it is said Xfusion fork! But I guess using the PB comment section does not require to read the article first...
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I've had two and just sold one here on pb classifieds last month. Diymtb in Aus, Lemonshox in Germany, and Iron Stable in Taiwan all have stock. There a great fork too.
  • 1 0
 They have been available for a while, and I have been very tempted, but the limited & somewhat grey market availability of the fork makes me hesitant due to parts availability- specifically the internal brass key & bushings which will need periodic replacement.
  • 1 0
 @ninjatarian: umm those are all authorised distributors but anyway. Keyways I suspect are probably no worse off than a forks lower bushings. I would like to see what XF have to say about it though!
  • 1 0
 @sethius: From my understanding, this fork is not intended for distribution in North America, so shipping them here from distributors in other countries definitely falls in my category as “somewhat grey”. You are definitely skirting around their intended distribution setup.

TBH, I really want to get one and lower it to 100mm for my dirt jumper, but I have no idea where I would get the necessary parts.
  • 9 0
 400mm reach? What is this, a bike for ants???

Also, it's interesting how I can't find a single photo of the non-drive-side of the bike design. I'm curious about the suspension pivot/BB/drivetrain integration that's hidden behind the rubber boot thing.
  • 5 0
 Not ants T-Rex.
  • 2 0
 U can see a photo of it on instagram, at carbonrims.ch
  • 2 0
 @Fpalm: thank you! Link for those who are also curious: www.instagram.com/p/B_KdfhLnAc-/?igshid=5tulm7rzyqao
  • 2 0
 Maybe he’s short
  • 1 0
 LOL....
  • 2 0
 Nice, Zoolander reference
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: this bike has to be at least three times bigger for us to fit inside
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: They will die out...they cant wash their hands Wink
  • 12 0
 Seems great but 400mm reach with 467mm chainstays... what?
  • 5 0
 That must be the XXS frame haha
  • 6 0
 For real. That's 10 year old XC bike reach
  • 1 0
 Actually it was only a few years ago that my small 2017 transition scout has a 406mm reach. I still have the frame and it looks TINY.
  • 1 0
 If Dogz had made this bike it would probably be bigger?
  • 10 3
 I'm really curious how he went a decade without maintenance considering there's still a metal bicycle chain in there. It's protected, I know, but the lubricant will still dry out over time. Does the fact that it's totally enclosed mean you can hear how dry it is? Or does lubricating not count as maintenance?
  • 3 0
 Yeah details as to how you lubricate would be interesting. Also is chain stretch not a thing, wonder how you change the chain of required. In theory you could still break a link.
  • 6 0
 Maybe an oil bath in the bottom of the chainring enclosure? That's what I would do.
  • 17 0
 I just think about my 90 Isuzu Trooper that has a GM V6 with 300k miles on the original timing chain. That chain has spun an unreal amount of time on the same gears and hasn't broken or even stretched that much yet. It aslo has a tensioner kinda like this bike. I think bike chains mostly wear and "stretch" because of all the lateral loads, dirt, and lack of lubrication we put them through. Chains are used in many places industrially and they can go a long time. Granted bike chains are pretty light weight. But maybe all they need is constant oil and no side to side loads to go a long time.
  • 2 0
 Maybe he uses engine oil. I imagine if it can last 3-5k miles in a car, it should go in a bike for a long time too as long as it stays clean?
  • 3 0
 @CGalbreath: exactly, my initial thought was that the system is comparable with the timing chain on a car, which (often) lasts a long time without any kind of service
  • 2 0
 It might be “lube free” chain, which uses bushings in the rollers. Tsubaki and Renold make some good ones, could use 08b for 1/2” pitch or even 06b if the chain ring and sprocket are custom.
  • 2 0
 @huntingbears: "standard Shimano 11 speed chain"
  • 1 0
 Good point. Maybe a carbon belt drive but that still has limited life
  • 2 0
 A lot of wear in a chain comes from abrasive contaminants such as dust and grit. If you can keep the chain clean then you will reduce the wear significantly.
  • 2 0
 @CGalbreath: haha so true, hey man no way that chain will last..... chain driven engines doing hundreds of thousands of miles on a single chain
  • 5 0
 Indeed, the lubricant stays on the chain for its lifetime because it will not be washed away by water and dirt. ????????
  • 6 0
 @spudlord: word! The lifetime of our chain is about 10 times longer. So depending of the topography you’re ridin, we speak about 10‘000 to 20‘000 km per chain. Thats awesome :-)
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: did you if you experimented with belt drive but eventually decided against it?
  • 12 4
 Pinkbike commenters - Always whinging as soon as anything vaguely new or different arrives. Yet also decrying things that aren't moving forward with the times. Make your minds up.
  • 5 0
 Different comments, different people!
  • 3 0
 Personally I love the idea and like the look of the bike . I seems on first appearance simple and un complicated . Offered in larger sizes with different reach then the bike would look great. Its great to see people doing something different and we should all be more positive about that .. if it wasn't for people thinking outside the box we'd all probably still be living in caves
  • 5 2
 with that 400mm reach they should rename the brand as Kidz Bikes, i mean for sure there will be benefits riding a super short frame but even my dirt jumper has more reach than that thing...
  • 5 0
 Guess it depends on how tall this Katz guy is... he only made one bike, for himself. If it's a size small, then it's pretty good. But with giant chainstays... so, idk.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: its 395mm seattube from center-top
  • 3 0
 How is the chain lubed? Even without contaminants, the chain will still need periodic lubrification. An oil bath would probably work well here but I see no mention of anything like that.
  • 2 0
 Indeed, the lubricant stays on the chain for its lifetime because it will not be washed away by water and dirt.
  • 4 0
 Get weight off the rear axle and centralized, Zerode and others like him are on the future path. Rear derailleurs are outdated for mtbn.
  • 5 0
 400 reach ..? Should be good for my T-Rex buddy
  • 2 0
 Just watch, in a decade from now, most well known bike manufacturers will assimilate to this type of design, it looks so clean that it looks like a large plastic toy bike, lol
  • 5 0
 Chainstay longer than reach?
  • 11 0
 You ride it backwards... and upside down.
  • 3 0
 If that hub was integrated into the bottom bracket, assuming that it shifts well, that thing REALLY has potential. I'd rock that hub on maybe a HT bike.
  • 5 0
 Try Rohloff for a day and you see it works. Ride it for some months and you see its badass. Ride it for 20 years and you never wanna go back to a derailleur. Its so reliable and soo much fun! :-)
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes:
Simply true
  • 4 0
 It's a bonus, that you can wear bell bottom pants and they won't get caught up in the chainring.
  • 2 0
 Why not two chain stays on the drive side - one for each chain's direction. That way there won't be kinks (which are a source of loss of power as per jockey wheels).
  • 7 0
 I understand your thoughts and wanna explain to you: As long as the jockey wheels are placed in the lower part of the chain, there is no loss of power. Same as your derailleur. It also has 2 wheels and thatswhy the loss is not measurable. If they would be in the upper line, then you would be right. But they’re not.
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: that's not right. Jockey wheels are a source of loss of power. This is why Alberto Contador ran massive custom jockey wheels. This one reason why a single speed is more efficient than a derailleur. Spin a set of cranks on a single speed backwards. Do the same to a derailleur setup. Which spins more freely? The difference in freedom to spin is the same as loss of power. Much research has been done on this.
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: I should say jockey wheels and the accompanying chain wrap are a source of loss of power. So a singlespeed setup that runs a tensioner will not be as efficient as one with, say, horizontal dropouts.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: and why a derailleur has no power loss but our bike should have?
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: Derailleurs do have loss of power. In fact, the wrap through the jockey wheels is the biggest source of friction on a derailleur setup. The tighter the turn made by the chain, the more friction. Also, in any gear that is not perfectly straight, the slight crosschaining also causes friction and therefore a loss of power.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: if you spin your cranks,you have an input of around 1 watt. if the jockey swallows 0.2 watts, then its an efficiency degree of 80%. pretty bad and this you can see as a crankarm which stopps spinning earlier. but if youre riding, you have 100-200 Watts input, and when you loose 0.2 watts of it, you can forget it.
a chain which is not always lubricated, has a much bigger power loss than a jockey wheel. you can loose up to 20% with a dry/rusty chain. and this is a loss in percentage, not an absolute loss like the jockey wheel. so a dirty chain is one of the things which makes you the most possible powerloss besides tires with too little air.
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: I agree. So, since we are on the same page, why not have two chain stays with the upper and lower chain running through them? Perhaps also two box tubes further apart could have less flex than one large tube?
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: doesnt work. because our pivot point is in the upper chain line to achieve a totally pedal-neutral suspension, the distance between BB and rear axle always changes (as every bike with the Pivot not being placed in the chainring-center has this effect). the positions of our jockey wheels are exactly calculated so the "chain length" with fully compressed suspension changes only 0.5mm. we can compensate these 0.5mm with special jockey wheels. so the effect is that our chain always has the same tension and we dont need a long travel tensioner like a derailleur, which makes the chain loosing tension and can cause the chain to drop off the chainring.
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: ok makes sense. Ta.
  • 2 0
 400mm reach? Either this frame is S or 10 years old or both at the same time.

Concept isn't revolutionary in any case but the idea is quite good IMO.
  • 3 0
 Thanks guys for commenting. Im looking forward to answering your questions. Ride on buddies and stay healthy!
  • 3 1
 Cool! 3 questions-

-the geo is unusual. I'm not criticizing, but i'm curious how you arrived at that geo. How tall of a rider is it intended for?

-similarly, the chainstays are very long. Could someone looking to implement your design run more conventional 420-440mm chainstays using your drivetrain and linkage?

-why not tuck the rohloff in to the bb region?

Love the project, and the aesthetics.
  • 1 1
 Even a Rolls Royce has to be serviced regularly, and this thing can`t claim being a Rolls Royce.
Rolhoff hubs are far behind us in term of alternative transmission, especially because they`re heavy and kill the balance of the bike. Try to bunny up and to manoeuvre in tight switchbacks with a Rolhoff!
  • 3 1
 Have you tried a mtb with one of these hubs?
  • 1 0
 Softsteel (!!!)

All the time mate!

-No ballancing poblems
-The bike, actually feels better with the speedhub!
-All the "goods" that will drive you away from the derailleur...
  • 2 0
 @cedrico: Yes, absolutely, and despite the fact that I love Rolhoff hubs so much, I think they are not adapted for what we`re typically doing. They are perfect for trekking and travel bikes, I even saw a Rolhoff on a Brompton folding bike, but for enduro/all-mountain... hum... they work well, but they put too much weight in the rear wheel, and I think it`s a handicap... unless you can adapt to it; everything`s possible ;-)
Central gear boxes are much more logical, for many good reasons: they offer a well-balanced bike with a low center of gravity, both wheels almost weigh the same, no risk to damage a derailleur, the gearbox is dust-proof and needs rare maintenance ... Pinion make good stuffs, even if the 12speed version has -had?- some cracking issues....
...
This said, I still prefer classic derailleur transmissions. A Box 9spd set up will be my next purchase.
Less is more, more is less ;-)

Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @uncajohn: No problem camarade, as long as you like it this way!!! Cheers! ;-)
  • 1 0
 @softsteel: Good to know, thanks!
  • 1 0
 @softsteel:
We adapt to the idiosyncrasies, that’s all! (if we didn’t e wouldn't be able to ride a bike at the first place!)
Happy trails!
  • 3 0
 I love this bike. Plus size tires, no maintenance, quiet drivetrain. Great ideas. Nice work Katz.
  • 3 0
 Not interested unless its Huck to Flat...
  • 2 0
 If only the gearing could be moved to the other end in some sort of gearbox type set up
  • 3 0
 Mix this with the Magura bike. Take my money.
  • 2 0
 How about a gearbox attached to a CV joint that runs a shaft through the inside of the chainstay whixh attaches to the hub?
  • 5 0
 Shaft is nice, but the efficiency is too bad. Thatswhy we use a chain.
  • 3 0
 I thought there would be a belt under the cover rather than a chain.
  • 2 0
 Don't have to worry about going OTBs when you have a boat anchor for a rear hub
  • 1 0
 Great bike! Less maintenance, more time to ride! And less fear for the (not existent) exposed rear derailleur.
I wonder how much longer the chain lasts?
  • 2 0
 About 10 times longer which means 10-20‘000 km depending on your topography
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: So this will pay for the bike, if it´s available ;-)
  • 1 0
 If he only has one frame and no plans of selling, no wonder he hasn’t had a single customer asking for replacement bearings in the past 10 years lol
  • 2 0
 YES YES YES YES YES! thank you.
  • 4 2
 Brilliant innovation, too bad there’s a 1700 gram weight penalty.
  • 7 0
 Is it a 1700 gram penalty? Yes, the hub does weight that much, but consider that it's replacing a (big) cassette, derailleur, and whatever other hub would've otherwise been on there. Seems more like an 800 gram penalty to me.
  • 2 0
 Yep what @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL said...
The weight penalty is much less than 1700g, compared to an exposed-drivetrain bike also running a Rohlhoff.
  • 8 0
 The published weight of the Shimano XT m8100 cassette (460g), derailleur (284 g), shifter (120 g), and read hub (328 g) is 1192 g with small variances due to specific model choices.

The weight penalty is roughly 500g, or 1.1 pounds in freedom units.

IMO the weight penalty is small compared to effects of tire and wheel choice. What's more important is that there is nearly 1.5 more pounds of sprung weight on the rear axel, which will negatively affect suspension performance. But then again that effect is probably outweighed (pun intended) by choices in suspension and frame design which are probably not fully modern compared to those from bigger bike manufacturers.
  • 1 0
 @fraserw: I love the freedom units! Yes, it seems that that is the case and it would no doubt affect suspension performance. Seems that people don't care *that* much though because "they" don't seem to be talking about it when putting a pie-plate that is both large in diameter (more r-inertia) and heavier. Yes, less of a factor but still important to remember. I would also think that this effect could be mitigated with suspension design. Also, everything is of course about tradeoffs.
  • 3 0
 @A-HIGHLY-EDUCATED-PROFESSIONAL: my question is why put that weight at the rear hub and not at the bottom bracket???
  • 1 0
 @donpinpon29: I would have preferred a geared system at the BB too, even with an additional 100g or so (add some weight back for a SS rear hub, plus frame/housing material around the geared system near the BB).
  • 1 0
 @donpinpon29: I'm just as confused as you are, but until someone comes out with a gearbox that's similar in weight, range, and usability, this one exists and you can ride it now. I've also heard that it performs a little better than at least some gearbox offerings.
  • 1 0
 @fraserw: fair point, it presumably has a shifter though... Adding 620g of unsprung mass may make more of a difference that the raw numbers show
  • 3 0
 SO, there is a guy whos done some efficiency testing, and the Rolloff hub is MORE efficient than a 1x11 when in the lowest gear (extreme chain line, but also assuming a very clean, well lubed chain).

Its heavy, and unsprung. so why not just move it to be concentric with the BB?
  • 6 0
 Actually its much less. We speak about 800 grams. And this, compared to the amount of fun and reliability you get, for me its more than worth it. Super! :-)
  • 2 0
 Cleaner than the Magura bike- and much more practical
  • 2 0
 First production bike should be called The Lazer
  • 1 0
 What if you like taking your drivetrain apart to see how it works? Can’t they have a button for that?
  • 3 0
 beautiful bike!
  • 2 0
 So why not a driveshaft instead of a belt or chain?
  • 2 0
 Because of the efficiency
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: Of? Power transfer? Rotational loses?
  • 2 0
 @matadorCE: Powerloss in a shaft drive results in the (mostly 90 degree) angle of the transmitting elements.
  • 1 2
 This is prime for gearboxing! 1.7 kg rear hub is just... ewww. That's somewhere in the range of a 2 pound heavier rear wheel, maybe 30-50% increase, for most wheels. No thanks.
  • 1 1
 Can someone tell Mr. Katz to speak to NICOLAI or ZERODE, please!!! 1,7kg of unsprung weight isn't desirable! Pair this with a gearbox though.... !!!
  • 4 2
 Gearboxes don't shift under power and are inefficient. There are darn good reasons that that they have not taken off.
  • 3 1
 @SunsPSD: bla bla bla...
  • 1 0
 @SunsPSD: agree with you if its about cheap gearhubs. And thatswy we use the hightech Rohloff. thats like you compare the riding skills of Sam Hill and my grandma... Somehow not the same hahaha :-P
  • 1 0
 @SunsPSD: I'm running a Zerode Katipo with a pinion gearbox - so from my experience of now 5 months- you're correct, they don't shift under load, but that isn't a negative, it's just a difference and you adjust to that very quickly. Btw it's not desirable for your mech to shift under load- so take a reign-check there mate!
As for inefficiency- I'm with @KATZbikes all the way: it's not much of difference and that is talking about a new gearbox, which will become more efficient as it wears IN rather than out.
Weight is a factor, BUT for one thing my alloy Transition Sentinel was the same weight exactly AND -as I mentioned- with a gearbox it's sprung weight, which actually has a positive effect on suspension performance. Same reason E-bikes work so well pointed downwards.
The only actual downside imo is $$$ / €€€
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: Any plans to switch from gearhub to gearbox for your next project?
  • 1 0
 @EmBe81: waiting for the first combined e-motor-gearbox. then i am in ;-) But to be honest... The performance of Rohloff is hard to beat...
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: I'll be looking out for that then!
  • 3 0
 kind of cool
  • 1 2
 Internal drivetrain doesn't really mean maintenance free drivetrain. It's just more complicated, yet probably less frequent maintenance. I wonder how this drivetrain system fairs with suspension and pedal kickback.
  • 2 0
 I'm going back to MTBR.com
  • 2 0
 Could also be built with a belt drive?
  • 2 0
 Not clear that it has any benefit over a belt drive. Honestly it seems like reinventing the wheel
  • 2 1
 To be fair there is zero chance of covid getting into your drivetrain so the timing is not too off
  • 1 0
 Stick the 29” wheels on it, give it a 500mm reach and high pivot then people will wet their knickers for it.
  • 2 0
 I like it, would be great to try it out
  • 2 1
 the chainstays are longer than the reach! LOL. I want to ride it just see exactly how janky this feels.
  • 5 0
 yes because its a small size and chainstays usually stay the same length over all frame sizes. you want to know how it feels? It feels BIIIIIIIIG SMILE :-)
  • 1 0
 bars are super high too. it might ride good once you get used to it.
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: but isn't this a one off? couldn't you have made it more porportional?
  • 2 0
 @conoat: because i used some of our previous built elements, it was way easier to reuse it instead of designing a whole new bike which would take months or years. this was a working system and its also working perfectly with this new geometry. :-) imageing 20 years ago 20cm of travel would have been claimed as unrideable. now its standard. who knows maybe one day we ask ourselves why we not always have ridden long chainstays... no geometry is the final wisdom. it will always change in the future.
  • 1 0
 @kittenjuice: and our trails are supersteep. better have not a too long reach and too low bar in this area, otherwise defenitely OTB :-P
  • 2 0
 @KATZbikes: Big oof with that reply.
  • 1 3
 Top tip for new product launches- always do it at a time of crisis/upheaval .That way you can blame it's abject failure on 'outside circumstances' instead of having to admit yourself that it was always garbage to begin with.
  • 2 0
 Pinkbike, you gotta do a test on this
  • 2 0
 Awesome, cleanest looking fs bike on the market.
  • 2 0
 Sold. That is a very cool bike.
  • 2 0
 ...the hell????
  • 1 0
 Great! I still remember the sealed drivetrain of Katz Bikes.
  • 2 0
 "maintenance free"
  • 1 0
 Middleburn crank this is a nice pice.
  • 1 0
 I don't see the benefit over a belt drive.
  • 1 0
 Boots n Katz n boots n Katz n boots n Katz.
  • 1 0
 What does Ken Waller think of it I wonder.
  • 1 0
 Great idea,and actually very tidy looking
  • 1 0
 So, how do you change a rear tire?
  • 2 0
 easier than with every derailleur wheel. Wheel removal is quicker and absolutely clean because the whole drivetrain remains inside the frame while you take away the wheel.
  • 1 0
 @KATZbikes: So the rear axle just slides out and the drivetrain stays in place? Awesome
  • 3 0
 @focofox37: Check this picture from Eurobike 2010 you can see it with removed wheel. Copyright mtb-news.de

fstatic1.mtb-news.de/img/photos/1/5/8/3/_/large/_MG_1057.jpg?0
  • 2 0
 @KATZbikes: That's so rad
  • 1 0
 why not belt drive? or did i mess that
  • 2 0
 a belt is not made for bending it that much to the other side. And our chainline is for a technical reason not 100% straight. so a belt in this project was no possibility.
  • 1 0
 Is that a "Katz" bike or a kids bike ??
  • 1 0
 Ps. Looks like a chainless transition bottlerocket
  • 1 0
 Just that we probably had this design before Transition had it, so the question is, which looks like which?
  • 1 0
 Is that kids bike?
  • 1 0
 it wasnt until this comment i realized that it wasn't
  • 1 0
 Needs a Magura mci.
  • 3 0
 cleanest bike
  • 1 2
 I can see kids benefiting from this, no more dirty or torn pants! It is a kids bike right?
  • 6 0
 We’re all big kids and still like to play in the dirt :-P
  • 1 0
 Different
  • 2 4
 This bike is hideous. Looks like the MTB version of those bike-share bikes.
  • 1 1
 Is that so?
Are you able to support your position with some valid arguments?

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.035854
Mobile Version of Website