Here's My Zerode Taniwha Test Bike - Tell Me What You Want to Know

Jan 12, 2018 at 14:59
by Mike Levy  
Zerode Taniwha


We usually don't post about bikes that we have in for testing until, well, you read the test that we aim to make that happen every Monday. However, I think that my current review pony deserves a different approach.

Zerode's 160mm-travel, Pinion-equipped Taniwha missed being the first gearbox mountain bike by about a hundred years or so, but what it is, I believe, is the people's gearbox bike. I don't say that because it's affordable - at $5,000 USD for a frame, shock, Pinion 'box, and all the drivetrain parts, it isn't - but rather because it seems like it has given many riders renewed hope that gearboxes may still be in their future. That there really is an essentially zero maintenance drivetrain. That they won't see a branch destroy a $200 derailleur. And if they're a bit cynical, maybe that they don't need to run Shimano or SRAM parts.
Zerode Taniwha

Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
Travel: 160mm
Wheel size: 27.5"
Frame construction: carbon fiber
Drivetrain: Pinion 12-speed C.Line gearbox w/ 600% ratio
Head angle: 65°
Chainstay length: 431mm
Sizes: med, lrg (tested), x-lrg
Weight: 34lb 4oz (as pictured)
Price: $9,500 USD (as pictured)
More info: www.zerodebikes.com

Or the Taniwha might have so many fans because, let's admit it, the thing is pretty damn cool. The carbon frame is a stunner, that Holy Grail of a drivetrain is bolted to the bottom of it, and it has that stance to it that makes it look the business. Zerode is also one of the small guys doing something different, an approach that always counts for some extra points in my mind.


Zerode Taniwha


But is the Taniwha and its 12-speed Pinion gearbox actually better than any other high-end mid-travel bike with a derailleur and all those other bits? I have a healthy amount of scepticism in me if I'm entirely honest, but that's surely a better approach than believing Christ himself will make his supposed return upon a gearbox bike like some people seem to have concluded.

What's also good is that I get to pit that scepticism against an actual Taniwha, despite them being rarer than a Pinkbike article without a comment from Waki under it. And speaking of comments, this is where you guys come in: I want you to tell me what you want to know about the Taniwha in the upcoming review.

I've got a black, large-sized Taniwha as my test sled for the next month or so before I need to send it home, and I'll do my best to answer your (reasonable) questions about the bike when I write the review. So, while I wait for the snow to melt, you can tell me what is that you want to know about one of most interesting bike we've seen in years... and go.
Zerode Taniwha



622 Comments

  • + 492
 Is it "playful?"

Does it climb like a [agile animal] and descend like a [fierce/mythical animal]?

Will it make me see my local trails in a whole new light?

Are any noted issues due to it being a pre-production sample?
  • + 123
 #commentgold
  • + 118
 Does it inspire confidence? Don't forget about that.
  • + 54
 Yes very playful,

Yes climbs like a possessed mountain goat, the easiest gear is so low it will have you climbing up trees

zero issues

Really impressive bike as soon as you sit on it and point it at any trail up/down/round the smile is on ya dial

Had mine for 3 months now, love it
  • + 27
 Usually it takes time to get used to a new X but this Y was perfectly comfortable. I even liked the house brand components.
  • + 36
 Is it a “weapon”?
  • + 105
 Is it still longer, lower, and slacker? Or is that just my work ethic?
  • + 8
 @rwjones4: where's the motor?
  • + 70
 • Is 600% a sufficient or excessive gear range? Do you think that they could reduce the amount of gears and therefore weight, and still have an effective product?

• What is the action on the shifter like? Precise, smooth, clunky, clicky?

• Given the choice would you prefer a trigger or even e-shift, or do you get used to the grip shift and prefer it?
  • + 26
 @rocky-mtn-gman: "How do you start this thing?"
  • + 10
 @Konyp: let's not forget a subjective remark about how easy it is to reach the [insert size] water bottle.
  • + 14
 Poppy, or does it really hug the ground?
  • + 4
 @rwjones4: Should it be lower, longer, slacker? Is reach too short? Is STA not steep enough? Should chainstays be longer?
  • + 15
 @conv3rt: My #1 concern.
  • - 53
flag mhoshal (Jan 17, 2018 at 11:10) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: I think you should do a segment on the difference between pedal assist mtbs and full on e bikes with throttles because there are alot of dunskis on here that seem to think they are the same thing.
  • + 2
 and does feel like it rides on "rails"?
  • + 2
 @excavator666: My mate had problems with his wrist as he wasn't using the grip shift properly. Instead of grabbing the whole grip with his thumb and fingers he was trying to use the tip of his thumb and one or two finger tips to twist the grip. For me, the cables could pull a little lighter. Maybe with some linear slick cables the action may ease. The Low gear was far too tough; no way would you pedal that out, ever.
  • + 4
 @glasvagas: Cheers!

I'm thinking if they reduced it to a 10 speed, it would still give a 500% range which is plenty. Wonder how much weight this would shave off. When you team this up with the new lighter, cast P-Line boxes, it could make it very competitive on weight.
  • + 2
 I'd say more playful than stable
  • + 5
 @rwjones4: I’m stealing this line to use in my daily bike shop life
  • + 3
 It’s born pre production, these have been in full production for over 12 months.
  • + 7
 Does it come with a rake?
  • + 10
 it goes down easier than your mum
  • + 19
 @mikelevy: F the water bottle will that thing grind my coffee beans?
  • + 1
 thanks for that lol
  • + 19
 @excavator666: They have a 9 speed gearbox 540% 100grams lighter (its what I run on my Taniwha)
  • + 15
 @glenno: you meant Zerode issues, I know you did.
  • + 8
 @excavator666: You can buy it with a C1.9XR...9 speed, 568% range and saves 200g
  • + 6
 @sobearbikewrench: Indeed, just checked the Pinion website, it is in fact the C-Line which is cast.

C1.9XR...9 speed, 568% range at 2kg. Seems like a no brainer.

Step between gears on C1.9XR is 24,3%, compared to the 17,7% of the C1.12
  • + 5
 Is it a quiver killer?
  • + 2
 @glasvagas: I agree. I was stood on my pedals track standing like a statue trying to get that shifter to drop from 4 to 3 or 2. Sure, they say, let off the pedal pressure, but if you're dropping a bunch of gears and pedaling, the harder it gets to get to the next easier gear...and keep a semblance of momentum.
  • + 5
 Is it compatible with all my existing components? Another "new standard" !?!?
  • + 1
 @sobearbikewrench: whoops yes that's right ! my off the cuff answer was a bit under lol
  • + 1
 2018 Transition Patrol does these things you describe.
  • + 8
 Will they drop the price by $2k after I buy it then give me a $ick refund ?
  • + 7
 “And I looked and beheld a pale Zerode: and his name that sat on him was Enlightened, and salvation followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the market, to kill with style, and with simplicity, and with gearboxes, and with the bikes of the earth.” -Rev 6:8
  • + 3
 @excavator666: I’ve ridden mine lots for a year now. Took me only a couple of days to get used to the grip shift. And yes I would keep it over a trigger. In a second you can change so many gears with the grip shift, that i doubt would be possible with any trigger. And you don’t have to change your hand position to shift either.
  • + 1
 @excavator666: you could get the 9 speed gearbox if you wanted.
  • + 5
 @mikelevy: As you also reviewed the Production Privee Shan N°5, how do these two bikes compare? Especially the cornering.
  • + 1
 Lol@handsomedan:
  • + 6
 Do the chicks dig it?
  • + 3
 Drag. I want to know how much drag you feel w that box.
  • + 1
 Not flickable enough.
  • + 3
 I hate climbing, does it not suck as bad on this thing? It’s the sexiest bike on the market imo, but at that price point it’ll only ever be a pipe dream for me.... Oh also, f*ck derailleurs, I hate them with a passion, so this bike would fix that! That is all
  • + 1
 @handsomedan: how about "quiver killer" One of my all time faves!!
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Mike, we want to know how it compares against the current gold standard. Maybe compare it to the 2017 bike of the year, the Trek Slash 29. Personally, I'd love to know how it stack up against a 2016 nomad, the best bike I've ever owned (I've maybe owned more than you've reviewed). Thank you Mike!
  • + 8
 Rode a demo Taniwha for ~4 hours in Pisgah.

Climbing/pedaling- Its pretty good, gearbox is a bit draggy, but not terrible. It gets a bit annoying on long transfers between trails, its similar powerloss as riding Nevegals. It's not an XC bike, and the pinion drivetrain will likely never be suited to super pedally disciplines.

Descending- Whomps it. Like holy shit good. The low unsprung weight, and reduced chain effect of the rear triangle is immediately evident. The weight centralized around the BB noticeably adds to stability. This sled schralps.

Helm- Butter, that fork is incredible, feels so #Gucci.

Pinion/shifter- Takes a while to get used to grip shift. The timing of your "shift - chain deload" cycle is backwards of a conventional derailleur, which also takes some getting used to. So your first hour expect rough shifts and pedal strikes. It begins to feel natural soon enough.

Would I buy it? Hell yes, this bike is tight.
  • + 3
 @jdemeritt: I did neglect to mention that I got to ride it down Greens Lick and it was the fastest lap I've ridden on that trail in years. I don't know exactly what it was about it, the Helm, the DB and that low weight, but it did feel like I was riding my DH bike. Really, really fast, but of all times for my Strava app to glitch. Big Grin
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: when? I’m impatient...????
  • + 2
 @toreh: Sooooooon
  • + 139
 Will this bike provide the competitive advantage to beat Richie Rude in an upcoming EWS event?
  • + 19
 there is no such a bike....
  • + 30
 surely, @mikelevy will be serving a generous portion of humble pie to Sam Hill with a ride like this
  • + 99
 @BartDM: I was just feeling off during that last Humbled. No doubt in my mind that I'd crush him now.
  • + 15
 the nukeproof mega was that bike last season
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: ;-)go for it!
  • + 70
 You could put an Eagle groupset on to get 144 gears. How could you not win against anyone with that many options?
  • + 6
 Sam Hill can give you that answer! LOL
  • - 7
flag BMXrad (Jan 17, 2018 at 9:11) (Below Threshold)
 Motor bike or as there now called EEEEE Ped
  • + 2
 @BMXrad: Sam Pilgrim can probably help here too..... and... cue ebike bashing! LoL
  • - 26
flag mhoshal (Jan 17, 2018 at 10:25) (Below Threshold)
 @BMXrad: big difference between a moter bike and a pedal assisted mtb. Go be a knob somewhere else!!!
  • + 11
 @mhoshal: At the Calgary Motorcycle Show, Piaggio was displaying ebikes with their range of mopeds. We have validation.
  • + 10
 @mhoshal: what about a moter bike vs a motor bike?
  • - 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: pedal assist or actual e bike like the stealth bomber?
  • + 1
 @calconniff: right to mr. rude's potato
  • + 1
 @mhoshal: pedal assist. 100% citypath legal.
  • + 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: well I would have to say that they were morons for even advertising them together then. Pedal assists are not motor bikes. Bike like the steath bomber are electric motorbikes basically, but pedal assist bikes are far from motor bikes. The only time the motor is working is when you are pedalling hence "pedal assist". Its not like these pedal assist mtbs are throwing rooster tails they just make it easier to pedal plain and simple so please explain how people are concluding that they are in fact motor bikes when they clearly aren't.
  • + 7
 Peddle assist uses a motor to help you pedal. You can call it something else, but a motor is a motor in my opinion. @mhoshal:
  • + 1
 @BartDM: any bike with Sam on it?
  • + 9
 KTM has some bikes in their lineup that might out-climb him. however make sure you take a 450, a 250 wont be enough...
  • + 5
 @JMSmitty: downvotes for using both peddle and pedal in the same sentence
  • + 3
 A living being (not sure if it is human) already did that.... with flat pedals!
  • + 2
 @BartDM: nukeproof mega.
  • + 5
 all you need to beat richie rude is some water falling from the sky
  • + 2
 @Mngnt Oh man you’re right... My bad. Next time I’ll get it write!
  • + 1
 @mhoshal: Was advised by a friend who spent a lot of time at a bike launch for the Levo that when you get to tech spots where you need to soft pedal through some roots or over a ledge, the "assist" doesn't have a clutch mechanism and ease into it's power.

The assist is either full on or full off, so you go to ease through a few tight trees or a wiggly spot and the bike just "goes" as soon as you apply pedal pressure.

So it's either full on as soon as you push down...or it's idle. It has NO power curve.
  • + 0
 @JMSmitty: well try dropping that "motor" on a dirtbike frame and see how far it gets you moron lmao like seriously do you have to pedal a motorbike for you to go or is there a throttle? Get this through your thick skull you "HAVE TO PEDAL FOR THE PEDAL ASSIST TO HELP YOU YOU CAN NOT JUST CRACK A TROTTLE AND RIP AWAY DOWN THE ROAD YOU COMPLETE IDIOTS!!!
  • + 2
 @mhoshal: I picture you as a dwarf on a throne of swords
  • + 138
 So it is 34lbs, but how much does it feel like it weighs with more centralized weight.
  • + 6
 Had the same question
  • + 23
 Along these lines could you tell us how it felt specifically with cornering? I’d imagine compared to other bikes the increased weight and low center of gravity makes a noticeable difference.
  • + 6
 How does this weight feel compared to other bikes of similar price and stature?
  • + 41
 I'm rather curious if the lower unsprung weight thanks to the lack of a cassette and derailleur is noticeable as far as the rear suspension performance is concerned!
  • + 4
 you do not notice the weight while riding, when climbing the gear ratios are so good it has you spinning and grinning
  • + 7
 @Dynex: Wait, my DH and trail bikes both weigh around 37lbs and they corner great. Weight doesn't make you corner bad, you do!
  • - 5
flag nozes (Jan 17, 2018 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 Add pedals and it will be 35. The only thing that will save this from feeling like a (dead) pig is a light wheelset,IMO.
  • + 1
 @camcoz69: and they didnt say that it does. I believe they are thinking along the lines that it might actually help in this scenario
  • + 6
 It could be good to test it with a couple different wheel-sets to see if there is a difference in feel that is masking what the true differences are between this bike and a standard derailleur/cassette bike. @nozes:
  • + 2
 I agree, it would be cool if PB removed the rear triangle and compared the unsprung weight to a Trek Slash. I'm not sure how you would measure center of mass, but that would be amazing.
  • + 11
 @therealtylerdurden: I test rode one and it did feel like the rear end tracked better due to less weight back there (cassette, derailleur). There's drag in the drivetrain you can feel though, and shifting takes a second to get used to. It really wants almost zero pedal input while shifting, not just back off, like almost stop pedaling. But then you can shift as many gears as you want instantaneously so it's not better or worse, it's both better and worse. Different. I feel like I can get away with more power while shifting on my Rohloff bike, though still not much.

It's a neat rig. Interested to hear what this dude has to say.
  • + 2
 @jasonmiles:
If you tie it to a rope and let it hang the centre of mass is directly in line with the rope. Make this two times and tie the rope to different positions on the bike. Where the lines, wich you get, when you extend the ropes line, cross is the centre of mass. Would be really interesting to see this
  • + 5
 @NebulousNate: I am asking if it helps or hinders. @camcoz69: Regardless your 37lb bikes have their weight distributed much differently than this bike does. If people can say a bike with no cassette tracks better because of the difference in unsprung weight then I would imagine that with this bike, having a gearbox at the bb, the change in weight over a traditional setup would impact cornering and other handling characteristics. I want to know if and how it impacts this. Overall bike weight has nothing to do with cornering you're correct. How that weight is distributed across the bike which is arguably the biggest difference between this bike and a regular setup can have a huge difference on cornering and overall handling which is what I am curious about.
  • + 1
 @hirschmj: thanks. Sounds neat!
  • + 102
 Can you send it to my house please
  • + 70
 Highly unlikely but it never hurts to ask.
  • + 38
 It doesn't hurts to ask, but the answer does.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: you know how it goes, there are no dumb questions... Not sure about this response as this bike wouldn't go to me anyway.
  • + 3
 @miketizzle: You beat me to it! Wink
  • + 2
 I want to know...cuz I live closer than these guys...Will you give it to me to test ride for you? Big Grin
  • + 0
 Ya, let him test it while ur anow melts.
  • + 79
 is the weight and the extra inefficiency worth the experience?
  • + 4
 Good question.
  • + 15
 Excellent question.
  • + 99
 Are we still talking about bikes?
  • + 13
 That assumes gearbox is more inefficient. Every change efficiency test uses a clean, new chain. Rarely do you see a test with dirty, used, or an old chain, which is way more relevant as a product ages. How many times a year do most riders replace their chains or keep them perfectly clean?
  • + 2
 @cycling247: unfortunately, I still think the reality is that a gearbox bike will drop more energy than a dirty chain. If you ignore the gear interfaces, the extra bearings and selector mechanism will screw the efficiency.

I wanted one of these but too many reviews confirmed it was hard work to pedal on long rides.
  • + 14
 @ermoldaker: I used to own a Bronson and I've ridden the Zerode a lot. There isn't much difference in feel when it comes down to efficiency. The suspension platforms feel totally different but the there is no epic loss in efficiency while pedaling.
  • + 2
 ....would also make a good mum joke
  • + 1
 @cycling247: Even if the gearbox was as efficient - it weighs more so it's going to be slower uphill anyway. Given that it's probably less efficient and it's heavier I think the question is valid. I'd be really keen to know the answer.
  • + 1
 Is it worth the expense? At close to 35Lbs and $9.5k for a 160mm AM, the competition will be immense. Unless this thing really performs...
  • + 1
 @ermoldaker: But what about how much time you waste trying to keep a chain working at it's best - and extrapolate that over your life...you could be spending more time riding!
  • + 5
 @Hockerz: for me chain maintenance is like a quick dry after washing and apply a bit of lube. Not really an issue. I think the biggest benefit of gearbox for me would be not having to reindex as cables stretch or bending derailleurs and mech hangers and having to either replace them or have shoddy gears. I think they can really help out there.
  • + 5
 @tom666: yep agreed and that's why I got one. I hated having gearing work well and then not so well so I made the move to this and love it. No real downsides to be honest except cost and I don't change bikes much so I expect to ride this for 5 years at least. It's not perfect but I don't think any bike is but for what I am looking for its perfect for me.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: you're such a one upper
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: Indeed. I ask this about myself often.
  • + 1
 @Hockerz: this is a valid point. Oh hang on, this bike seems to have a chain too....
  • + 1
 @ermoldaker: Hmm, you got me, i should have said derailleur. I kinda think they might have missed a trick here though, they could have gone with the Gates belt drive like Effigear right?
  • + 1
 @Hockerz: sorry, I was he l being a bit of a dick. I agree, the belt is a nice, tidy option but, again, I don't believe it's as efficient as a chain. Also, on the derailleur subject, I think this Zerode still needs a chain tensioner.

Like I said before, I really want a gearbox but I just don't see it being a viable option - except maybe for an ebike where efficiency isn't quite as important.
  • + 2
 @ermoldaker: I have read most of the reviews and cannot recall drag being as issue. It isn't. It takes about 500k to run in. Then the drag if any is completely un-noticeble. I have done several thousand k on mine now, amazing bike, love the gearbox.
  • + 2
 @m1dg3t: What about the fact you will save many many $ over time and it does not break. Those are very important issues for me. My Zerode is a joy to ride, and I never visit the bike shop to buy lightweight over priced over promoted derailleur bits. The suspension and ride are sensational.
  • + 70
 So reading the previous article do you think these are valid statements.

"Thanks to the gearbox and the constant chain position, the Taniwha achieves 'the ideal' amount of anti-squat throughout the bike's 160mm of travel."

" No gears at the rear means a lower unsprung mass for better suspension response"

Does it feel different pedalling? Gearboxs are supposedly more inefficient - can you tell?

How long does it take to unlearn habits from a derailleur system?
  • + 134
 do you have to make motorcycle sounds while using the grip shift?
  • + 8
 @adrennan: this is the most important question. I hope the answer is "Yes."
  • + 8
 i've ridden one. suspension does feel better. you can feel the drivegears moving, but it was a new bike so I can't confirm if it would go away with some use & an oil change. the shifting wasn't any different IMO. maybe when I was half bonked it would be? You can shift with some very light load but its not most likely not advisable. I hate shifting halfway up my cassette while the chain crunches and pops anyways.
  • + 45
 @adrennan: You don't "have to" but it's highly recommended when riding any bike.
  • + 6
 @mikelevy: about how the gearbox feels: is any drag noticeable compared to a more conventional drivetrain ?
  • + 3
 @kmg0: Agree. Rear felt like it tracked very well, drivetrain had noticeable drag. Not a huge amount, but some.
  • + 1
 @hirschmj: I soooo welcome the gearbox personally. I think it needs a little more development but that didn't stop anyone from riding 2x10. bring it on PLEAAAAASEEEE. plus I want to see 135 thru axles and huge heel clearance again just so the internet servers all MELT and wakis head explodes. gearbox!!!!!!
  • + 0
 @kmg0: my left nut exploded reading a first look article once
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: bahaha!
  • + 1
 Man, I remember thinking on my last ride how much my rear derailleur was slowing down the 640lb spring on my rear shock.
  • + 0
 @DrPete: gearbox removes at least 300g of your unsprung mass from the rear end. That means less deceleration per each bump and more grip. Then centralizes the mass around BB which makes all bike more stable. Definitely more gain than increasing bearing ball diameter by 0.5mm. Not sure about a gearbox on Enduro bike due to decrease in efficiency since you pedal a lot, but quite sure about it being a good thing on a DH bike. Having said that I must admit that I won't buy a gearbox bike anytime soon, maybe ever.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I just can't see the math working out if that assertion were tested on a dyno. I agree, though, that I love the idea of a gearbox bike but it just doesn't seem like the current reality fits my idealized version of it that's awesome enough to make me spend big $$$ on a frame that only works with that drivetrain. So I freely admit my bias.
  • + 0
 @DrPete: I asked the question whether cutting this weight there would matter to a person working with suspension for track moto and mx, then for Dakar crew (so he obviously has a dyno) he said that it is a no brainer Wink the only question is how much a person like you and me should care.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah your rear wheel will kick less since it can move into the damper more, but definitely agree that it is tenths of a percentage.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: go on give it a try - it may make you want to say something really positive.
  • + 53
 wow when Waki gets mentioned in an actual article, you know he has reached rock star status!
  • + 5
 I think he was featured in an article not to long ago. I've seen his name on other prominent mtb sites as well. This guy gets around.
  • + 17
 **searches for Waki comment in this thread
  • + 30
 The ultimate pun will be if Waki doesn't comment under this article.
  • + 9
 @rmalexan: Nothing so far - you know he's just sitting there, fully edited comment already typed into the box, mouse pointer hovering over the 'Submit' button, cackling madly as he keeps us waiting Wink
  • + 2
 @Slabrung: So far soo Good! hahaha
  • + 67
 Waki is a disease
  • + 14
 @shutupWAKI: LMAO>>> YOU NAME THO!!! hahah WTF
  • + 2
 @Slabrung: So far he is winning this game. I expect nothing less from him.
  • + 2
 @jollyXroger: he is the Troll Master after all. He knows his stuff.
On a second thought, not commenting here is becoming a bit too obvious, so he may troll us by commenting. What a suspense!
  • + 7
 @jollyXroger: honestly the reason why i keep coming back to pb for 13 years is waki
  • + 14
 Sadly, I thought Waki might have been actually riding, with years of experience, when I first encountered him years ago and thought for a second maybe I didn't know anything. Turns out, he was a major poser and had to go through some online training not too long ago to learn how to ride. I have likely been riding wheelies for blocks/miles since before he was born. I almost feel bad for him, but then again, he is the biggest idiot I have encountered online to date, so no sadness..
  • + 6
 Hahahahaha.... Waki responding in IM.. Classic!!! Dude has issues...
  • + 1
 @oldschool43: What he say?? hahahah
  • - 1
 Waki
The name Waki is a baby (*) name. *there must be a mistake here
Meaning
Native American Meaning:
The name Waki is a Native American baby name. In Native American the meaning of the name Waki is: Shelter.

Numerology
SoulUrge Number: 1
People with this name have a deep inner desire to use their abilities in leadership, and to have personal independence. They would rather focus on large, important issues, and delegate the details.

Expression Number: 8
People with this name are competent, practical, and often obtain great power and wealth. They tend to be successful in business and commercial affairs, and are able to achieve great material dreams. Because they often focus so strongly on business and achievement, they may neglect their private lives and relationships.
  • + 4
 I once saw him at Spearmint Rhino in Vegas, but he acted like he didn't want to know me.
  • + 11
 @mikelevy thank you for your work on making me a new standard in MTB. Thank you guys, however nothing makes me happier than someone taking his time to describe how much he doesn’t like me.

My questions for Mike:

1.Did your colleagues receive psychological help during DUB press embargo?

2. What is the correct gender pronounce for Zerode Taniwha?

3. Are you humble now?
  • + 4
 @oldschool43: dude, everyone has issues. Waki for sure has more than an average share, but at least he admits it. I knew people who probably had similar issues but instead of admitting it were buying expensive cars and bullying others.
  • + 0
 @Slabrung: he has no issues, very few people do. They waste less time than Dan Peña. According to Elliot Jackson I spent almost 500 hours of my life writing on Pinkbike non stop but that doesn't include editing and posts that never made it here, so let's say 750. I don't care, I like human interaction.
  • + 2
 @Jaybirdy: i think this account is also waki confirming his importantce
  • + 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: I know this Troll, he has a 29+ bike, shitty cave, uses Microsoft keyboard, and lack of vitamins affects his judgment - his diet is low on boost and wheelsize.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: had to jump in here Waki. It’s pronounced tanifa. The Taniwha is a mythical beast that lives in the water (according to Maori beliefs).

Saw someone riding one of these in Nelson NZ. He loved it! I’m sure it’s a bike all kiwis are proud of.
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: All we needed... More Wak Jobs~ lmao All in good fun of computer typing sport tho i'm sure! Hah ;p
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Haha not sure if that was directed towards me Waki.. but Dude if I "troll" you it's kuz your just way too easy to get all riled up! lol ~If you've looked at my Profile/Bio, I don't have a 29+or- & I'm all refreshed in thy boost metabolism with my new fiery Orange vitamin Reign SX ;+p #Judgmentunimpaired #wakijob
  • + 2
 @Jaybirdy: no it was about @shutupWAKI and I have no idea who he is, just entertained a certain idea

@Pa-ul: my Kiwi friend said the same thing although he said water more like a swamp... Creature living around swamps hmmm... effectively it's a kind of a... troll.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I imagine it was a story told to kids to keep them out of dangerous waterways. Definitely not a troll, I imagine it to look like a dragon... who knows.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeaa that’s a serious length of measurement to go out of someone’s way to hate on another person over (Bikes).. like wtf!?
  • + 1
 @Jaybirdy: I take it as a joke.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: human interaction is face to face...not interacting w/ them via a computer screen. Do your thing...I support you...but don't tell yourself that your pb interactions are human interactions. Go ride w/ some of your pinbike fans...or haters. yeah.
  • + 2
 @frijolemoreno: well I can’t imagine how what you said could be true, but I have no problems with human interaction face to face either. Each way of communicating be it face to face, online forum, e mail message, SMS, telephone call is influencing the content of exchanged information. So does presence of other people around. All of these are human interaction.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: except when you rip on someone years ago for posting a comment about doing manuals or wheelies and my experience riding, hanging out with and being friends with professional riders since 85'. Turned out, you couldn't even do a wheelie. Your comment, "You can't do those, if you did, you would be a pro" and turned into a rant about liars and how people make things up. I've manualled tricycles, big wheels, even shopping carts, anything with wheels, I've tired. Even a tandem. While OUT ON A RIDE yesterday, doing a manual, I remembered the first time I interacted your judgemental self. That my friend, is hypocrisy. You judge people, that is not proper human interaction. Everybody has an experience, a skill, an honest question or an opinion, if it's not to your liking, tough. I never lose it when someone says 29er's suck or 26er's are the best or 1x is the best for everyone and front deraileurs suck. To each their own. You need to get over yourself and eat a couple of humble pies. And if you did hit your wife or try to smoother your daughter with a pillow, like you said in your IM, get some f***in' help bro.
  • + 0
 @oldschool43: being so old you could have a bit more awareness both of the fact that people change and the fact that you cannot really tell whether someone needs help or not, and 3. What I wrote to you in my PM was a load of lies only for you to feel better about yourself for a moment, and if you are intelligent enough, realize that you can't hurt me more than I can hurt myself. A bait for you to react on. Well you didn't, that says a thing or two good for you, apart from the fact that I would never talk to others that someone sent me a fk off e-mail. Anyways must suck for you to be able to hold a grudge. I don't. Ever. So have a nice day, whoever you are, wherever you are, and chillax, idiots like me are not worth keeping in anyones memory.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Girl!! You know it's more than one time, like 25, 30 times over the years, you've attacked me. You've done it to other people too, hench someone going out their to create a counter profile on you. You're a special type of stupid to confess your only goal in life is to be a troll. And it's never ever sucked to be me. Wish you all the luck ya goofy pos... Wink
  • - 3
 @oldschool43: you make quite a lot of assumptions. Yeah Call me a piece of shit, whatever you find suitable being someone telling others they have issues. Man, I have issues, so many. Unlike you my shiny marble.

I really don’t care, we will never meet. You may as well be sitting around Alpha Centauri or be dead. I may be dead by the time you read it, you won’t know. Maybe my kid will die tonight. A daughter of a piece of shit, what does it make her? A Whore? You won’t miss her. 10 people will. How many will miss you when you’re gone?

So... try to hurt me come on.
  • + 2
 Sorry, won’t fk with you anymore. I honestly don’t give a damn who you are and whether you like me or not.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: way to be overly dramatic
  • + 6
 @oldschool43 @WAKIdesigns you guys are both monumental idiots
  • + 40
 All about the shifting, man. Is it as terrible as it is made out to be, or is it a simple "stop pedalling, shift, pedal" type of affair. Also, what are plans for electronic shifting?
  • + 18
 YES. This is the only question that needs answering. IS THE PINION BETTER THAN A MECH.
  • + 6
 @Thustlewhumber piggy backing on your comment slightly, @mikelevy do you miss having a "conventional" shifter.

It's the grip shift, double cable affair, that really puts me off - gear boxes are meant to bring less clutter, not more.
  • + 1
 Mikelevy: how do you shift it living where you do or do you just ride on blue bird days? I spent a day on one and when I could turn the grip shifter (after drying it off) it was not where I wanted to shift. Deal breaker. . . . .
  • + 2
 It is simply "stop pedalling, shift, pedal" based on my test drive. Took a second to get used to, but not terrible. Not better or worse than a mech, just different.
  • + 2
 @fartymarty: Exactly. Would you rather this bike as is or with a normal mech setup?
  • + 1
 @samfr1000: There is less clutter. The two cables are not under tension and so they last. As the pawls jump from gears 4 to 5, and 8 to 9 there is a pause with those changes. Otherwise no clunk no noise. Very easy to learn. Changing in general is seamless, can be done under moderate load, and extremely quick. I have been riding mine for a year and am totally convinced, after many years of standard drivetrains.
  • + 30
 The biggest argument these have going against them besides not being as effiecient as a tradition derailluer/chain setup, is that you can't shift under load. Would love for you to explain this a bit more, maybe even with a video. Can there be no torque at all while trying to shift? Or do you just need to back off, shift, then get back to grinding up hill? Kinda curious to know what the limitations are when shifting.

Also, I still don't really understand how they haven't developed a trigger shifter for gear boxes, don't think I could ever get along with the inconvenience of a twist shift.
  • + 25
 Great idea - shifting does require a different approach, so a video will be included.
  • + 2
 I may be wrong, but becuase the derailleur is sprung, only lever adds tension and the other lever releases it back to the previous position. You can see in the photo that the grip shift has 2 cables. The gearbox shift mechanism must need to be "pulled" in both directions. this is also possibly why you can shift under load?

Any one else have thoughts?
  • + 4
 @robhill: You'd think they could add a spring, like a derailleur has, and get it down to one cable with a trigger shifter.
  • + 14
 @mikelevy: Another idea I had that would kind of kill the debate of efficiency. I don't think it has to be a very precise experiment but it would be cool if you would compare the time and energy it would take you to do a climb on a traditional drivetrain setup versus the gear box. Maybe take the average between three rides on an uphill/rolling section of trail that you know well. Compare how much more fatigue you have and the time difference between both drivetrains. More of a feeling and a basic metric so readers can understand what they'd actually be feeling with a gear box on uphills and riding trail.
  • + 2
 Hacks exist if you spend a while googling. Triggers can also be used with Effigear boxes. Mods might be required though.
  • + 4
 If you do a video can you do two and show a comparison shifting in the same trail segment with this bike vs a standard mech model? Maybe with narration, ie: “at this point I needed to unweight the drivetrain to shift down.”
  • + 10
 How does a car or motorbike shift, manual or automatic. There is an interruption in power delivery for all transmissions barring some CVT type ones, conventional bike included since you have to lessen torque and the need to rotate the cranks is only necessary to shift gears, you can't torque during a shift under load anyway. So the whole concern is moot. Its just a matter of being comfortable stopping pedaling for a fraction of a second when it shifts, same for reducing torque when shifting on a conventional system.
  • + 2
 @atrokz: good point atrokz Book
  • + 8
 During the article of pinions operations a few months ago they specifically say that it's not a requirement of the system to stop pedaling while shifting, it's more that they can't generate enough torque with a mechanical shifter to overcome pedaling torque. They test shift the gearboxes under full power on there test stand using an electronic shifter. Basically they hinted at a E-shifter in the future that in theory should allow shifting under full power. It's a sequential gearbox, just like a dirt bike or race car which are shifted under power regularly. Just wait it out if it brothers you that much to back off your power while shifting , which is what we all have been doing since we first started mtb'ing.
  • + 4
 @atrokz: Actually this sounds really cool. With a derailleur you have to reduce load to shift, but not eliminate load or the derailleur won't shift. It has to be not too much not too little.
I bet with practice you could shift in places with this gearbox that you cannot with a derailleur.
  • + 4
 @acali: for sure. imagine being able to drop 10 gears in less than a second. Once you get used to it, it will be second nature and has advantages. Like shifting while cornering, in the air, etc.
  • + 5
 @MikeGruhler: They are working on servo shift. This is the best solution imo.
  • + 1
 They move a lot of cable to change the gears from what I was told. I would think a cam mechanism could make this work down the road. I would think Pinion could work this out. The shifting now this is sort of a debate. I would say the amount of pressure you can shift under is close to what you would use to balance at a stop sign roughly. I just shifted while not pedalling after riding it for awhile.
  • + 15
 I'm no mikelevy, but I was able to test ride one at outerbike 2017. I noticed 2 things there.

1. 99% of the people there testing bikes didn't know how to shift a bike with a regular derailleur. I've never heard more grinding of gears under load than at outerbike.

2. With the pinion, I was definitely able to shift under load. I didn't have to change my technique at all (but I generally ease up for a split second before shifting anyway). Even so, I tried to get it to bind and it never got bound for me. The biggest eye opener was just how instantaneous the shifting was. I wasnt aware of tge time it takes for a chain to jump up to a different cog.

I was so smitten with the instant shifting that I forgot to pay attention to whether it felt like a hub with 18poe or 200poe.

Either way, I'm a huge fan of the pinion.
  • + 5
 I'm also curious if they sent you a brand new one, or a pinion that had some hours on it. Supposedly, these gearboxes only get smoother with time, much like a rohloff
  • + 7
 @sixstringsteve: The variety of experiences people have had of the Zerode ranges from utter garbage to friggin amazing. Proves that no piece of equipment will ever generate a consensus. Apart from Ellsworth, obviously.
  • + 1
 @sixstringsteve: Looks like @mikelevy got one with ride time judging by the crank arms. My bike was brand new. It had the P version was the 1st in the states.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: I haven't seen any utter garbage reviews yet. The few riders i know that own or have ridden one are pretty stoked about it (pro/semi-pro level riders).

EDIT: just seeing some comments below of negative experiences, interesting.
  • + 1
 @kev1n: Good idea. The one I rode didn't feel particularly draggy in the very lowest gears, but the drag felt intolerable in the higher ones. @mikelevy maybe piggyback on kev1n's idea and time a long, not super steep descent at race pace. One where you have to be on the gas a lot, and compare with a fast 160 bike with a conventional drivetrain.

Honestly they need to fix the drag and increase the engagement- ratchety tech moves are tough when you're used to high engagement hubs. I'd be all over it, I could live with the shifting and extra weight.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: We are assuming that we all think triggers are better though,a ren't we.
Or is it a case that we were given triggers and thats what we are used to. I dont remember particulalry hating the gripsift back in the day...
  • + 1
 @robhill: I seem to remember switching out my wavey grips at the turn of the century because they kept shifting when I didn't want them to (landing jumps for eg). A good reason not go back.
  • + 2
 @BenPea: most people attending interbike or at the splitting edge of bike tech are generally not very good riders.

As @Sixstringsteve said, if you are grinding gears under load on a traditional setup...the pinion may not shine.

The way idiots mash their shifters under load, it doesn't surprise me that there are mixed reviews of the pinion.

Seems really cool to me, if you have the extra $ to spend on a new toy. I personally don't mind the traditional mech setup, but have never tried a pinion...would love to sometime.
  • + 22
 @mikelevy - it's a not-light 160mm trail/enduro bike. Let's assume that what stands between it and a more reasonable price tag would just be economies of scale - so then the question is whether there's something special enough about this bike that would justify enough people buying it to where it could ever get there. Meaning, the question is not whether it's worth an extra $3k (back of the envelope, comparing this frame/suspension/drivetrain package to something like a Bronson or Nomad or Patrol Carbon frame plus the cost of a drivetrain), but whether it can honestly compete with those sort of bikes (and then the numbers will sort themselves out). As in, if it were more expensive only by, say, a few hundred dollars (which is what you'd spend on derailleurs and maintenance time over the lifespan of the thing), would you buy it because it rides as well or better than those bikes, given the typical use of a long legged 27.5 trail/enduro bike.

So do a comparison - three riders, three bikes. Pit it against other bikes in the same genre that aren't necessarily supposed to be mountain goats, and that are well known and well respected benchmarks. Pass the bikes around. Maybe use a power meter to see how much this thing does or doesn't impact what it takes to get up fire roads, then do the same thing on climb trails. That will address the whole efficiency thing. Then run shuttle laps on something appropriate to a bike like this, and figure out how it's doing there. Is it playful, monster-trucky, or something in between? Is there anything it does noticeably better than the benchmark bikes? Is there anything it does noticeably worse?

Shoot a metric shit-ton of video showing the same rider on all three bikes over the same features. Something like a sweeping corner; something like a nasty rock garden; something like a steep/loose/freeridey descent; something like a rock roll. Digest how it handles differently by having the riders look at the video and explain to us how it shows what they were feeling when riding. No need to run timed laps - this isn't a race bike, and won't be used by enduro racers necessarily but by people who just like a good aggressive trail bike. Oh, and once the three well-matched (for weight/size/style/skill) riders are done drawing their conclusions, give it to someone of equal height who's more of a light-weight finesse rider, and then to someone of equal height who's more of a heavyweight power rider and see what they have to say that would further inform the big picture.

There's probably something along the lines of five or six full-on front page posts in this, because it goes way beyond just a review or test. Go crazy with this - if you do this right, it may become some of the most referenced and read content ever on PB.
  • + 1
 The bad news is that there isn't a way to put a powermeter on a Pinion bike. The only thing I could think of is a modified Stages left crankarm with Pinion-compatible splines machined into it. Of course that sounds like a recipe to break off a crankarm.
  • + 3
 Your test only misses Gehrig trplets for full scientific merit.
  • + 5
 @notenduro: There are pedal based power meters.
  • + 1
 All this would be great but will not happen. I think the best we can hope for is to have a similar frame compared with all of the exact same components except the drivetrain. Then you can make honest and immediate comments on the riding differences of the gearbox.

I would ride it and only it as much as possible for weeks until it is normal to you. Then go to the derailleur variant of it for the aha moment.

It would be great if the frame could mount a regular crank and derailleur for comparison but I’m guessing it can’t and there’s no variant of it that can?
  • + 1
 @hirschmj: yea go full roadie with some spd-sl style Garmin vectors or similar
  • + 23
 This is a really nice new approach to the review process; much appreciated!
  • + 18
 As a guy who has probably ridden countless new bikes, can you comment on the relatively high weight of this thing? Maybe compare climbing effort to other bikes in this travel & cost($) bracket?
  • + 18
 Will you place an order for one when you return the test bike? If not, why?
  • + 16
 when you say no drivechain maintenance .... they say that about Rohloff, but we all know you have oil changes and chain/cassette/sprocket wear ..

So whats the honest maintenance on the Pinion?
  • + 4
 Change the oil once a year. Change the cables...periodically.
  • + 6
 I'm curious if cable stretch is a problem - how hard or easy is it to keep the shifting smooth? Does it need constant adjustment or is it set it and forget it for a full season?
  • + 4
 @ertman: It's pretty much set it and forget it. There are some modifications we've made to cable routing on the bike that cuts down on the bend at the shifter but otherwise it's real smooth. Compressionless housing is also a nice mod to make as well.
  • + 3
 what about the bearings that carry the cranks. The equivalent of the bb bearings. How hard or easy are they to change and what's gonna happen to them after a few river /massive puddle crossings. Are they sealed up well. Uk proof?
  • + 2
 @ertman: Cable stretch is no problem, the indexing is at the box, so all you get is a little more rotation at the grip when you change direction. The problem is cable drag if you spin your bars or crush the cables with a rock, then you might have to replace them because the shifting is heavier. Putting noodles at the grip shifter can reduce the likelihood of damaging the cable end ferrules.
  • + 5
 @markg1150: Those bearings are in an oil bath. I rolled by P1.12 for 2.5 years (now I also have a Taniwha, with the C1.9) and they are fine. For comparision my wifes Nomad with eagle has had 4 BB in the year she has had it, and deraillers, and is on its 4th back wheel.
  • + 3
 @ertman: it sure whether to call it attention to detail or OCD but cable routing can be super clean with a bit of effort and some shrink wrap.

m.pinkbike.com/photo/15530775
  • + 1
 @dwojo: That looks REAL nice. Good work!! We've been doing something similar for the brake noodles on the shifter, way better.
  • + 18
 How does it feel/act when you make shifts under full pedal power?
  • + 11
 This. What happens when you do what you weren’t supposed to? Major failure?

Assuming the gearbox is bombproof, what is the consequence for shifting under load?
  • + 3
 @speed10: It's not that it'll break if you shift under power, it's that you physically can't shift under power (I think...)
  • + 2
 @Obidog: Like the cable doesn't move, or that when you finally let off the power, then it shifts?
  • + 1
 @Obidog: if that’s true, then I want to hear how that translates to the rider. The cable binds in the housing? Grip shifter can’t turn? What if you force it? Does the shifter break? Does it make any noise?

It’s possible that a new user will make this mistake. I wanna know what happens when they inevitably do.
  • + 2
 its require 250 Nm to shift gear under load.
Anyway, it’s quite easy to shift gears during climb when you practised enough.
  • + 2
 The twist shifter (and cable) won't rotate if there's too much torque on the cranks. I was never able to get it to lock up under normal riding conditions.
  • + 1
 @speed10: Are you guys too young to have ridden a Sturmey Archer 3 speed rear hub? Basically a 3 speed Rohloff, kind of... Those are the same, cable won't move and gears don't shift if there is load on the gearbox, tiny release of load (like a motorbike quickshift) and it shifts almost instantly. No issue riding it at all once you're used to it, just a different mindset to a deraillure setup.
  • + 14
 The thing that I'm not particularly into is the engagement. Even with something awesome like a Project 321 rear hub, the engagement lag with the gearbox makes it feel like it has something like 15º jumps in pawls.

Mike, did you find this to be a problem on the trail?
  • + 1
 Shit, really? That kinda sucks!!!
  • + 11
 how have your general feelings toward deraillers developed? Do you feel like a dirty dirty cheater, with all that newly freed up unsprung weight in the rear, ready to be ridden hard and put away wet, with no lube, in the back door... of your garage

Do you find yourself looking down on other trail users for their plebian drivetrains? Why or Why not?

Does it come in rootbeer?
  • + 10
 Efficiency. It's kinda the elephant in the room with gearbox bikes and probable higher drivetrain losses. Is it noticeable? Measurable? Along with the additional weight, does it significantly detract from the enjoyment of riding this as an everyday trail bike?
  • + 4
 I've wondered this as a broken in drivetrain without perfectly fresh lube and cleaned chain will surely lose some efficiency and fall right in line with the gearbox, no?
  • + 1
 @Klainmeister: perhaps a dirty unlubed chain on its worse day is still more efficient than the gearbox? Without any data no one knows...
  • + 8
 My two cents after a year of riding a Taniwha: Downhill, the back wheel tracks the ground better than any other bike I've ridden. Technical uphill is great too; the rear wheel soaks up the bumps, the gear range is ridiculously huge, and there is no bob when climbing out of the saddle. Where I struggle is in twisty, flat, cross-country tracks; it does not accelerate out of a corner like a singlespeed hardtail. Momentum is lost fairly quickly when going from downhill to uphill,which is probably due to bike weight. The gearbox and grip-shift is a non-issue once you get used to it. There is no noticeable drag from the gearbox once it is run in, and that seems to happen after a couple of hundred kilometres. Plus it's a good-looking bike, low maintenance and so quiet.
  • + 1
 I agree, people are focus on weight, but on this bike it's a benefit, you can feel it in the first downhill.
  • + 1
 @stefnewcal: what is it exactly? that benefit I mean. And how do you experience it? Thanks
  • + 1
 @vhdh666: the zerode is truly outstanding with gravity, the very low centred weight of the gear box makes a perfect balance. No chain interaction with the rear suspension sticks the bike to the ground and does it a cornering machine. This bike is very playful and explosif to the bumps. Beford I was riding a SC Bronson, the Zerode is far better in any skills.
  • + 1
 @stefnewcal: thank you very much. It's interesting you're on a SC Bronson as well. I've checked the geo of my L-sized Bronson and it resembles that of the L-sized Taniwha.

What I still don't understand is, why it's "explosif to the bumps" because for explosiveness you need a light bike, and this one is 1,5 kg heavier than a non-Pinion enduro bike.
  • + 1
 @vhdh666: This bike jumps awesome, the rear wheel giving you a super smooth pop from a bump to another, giving a high speed. The centered mass making it to be very easily manipulated while airborne. Don,t be focus on the weight, try it! braaap!!!
  • + 1
 @stefnewcal: thank you!!!
  • + 8
 Can you find any way to measure efficiency from the pedals to the back wheel and compare it to a 1x system as Pinion just won't answer that question?
If you could fit a power meter somehow it would be a relatively simple procedure...
  • + 7
 They could combine a pedal power meter like the Garmin Vector and put the bike on a friction smart trainer like the Kickr Snap to measure the difference. Of course they would have to do a baseline test with a normal drive train bike. That could conclusively answer the question of efficiency if Pinion won't do it.
  • + 2
 Maybe use a pedal based power meter and time a hill climb on the Zerode and a "normal" trail bike while trying to maintain the same average power.
  • + 2
 @Konyp: That's exactly what I was thinking, I just didn't know there are pedal power meters! Make it happen @mikelevy !
  • + 1
 Another vote for a true efficiency test of the box- pedal based power meter and either a hub power meter, or probably more scientific, a trainer power meter, two full sus MTB's tested back to back. This would only answer the Pinion question, ideally you'd have a Rholoff and Effigear bike too!
  • + 1
 @jzPV, thankyou, exactly what I was going to ask.

@mikelevy, check out dcrainmaker's site for how to make neat comparisons of power measurements from different power meters. e.g. www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/11/garmin-vector-3-power-meter-review.html. Like @Konyp said, baseline test on normal drivetrain bike, then swap same pedals over to Zerode and re-test.
  • + 2
 Could pair a hub power meter with a pedal power meter and analyze the difference. Ought to show You the loss through the drivetrain
  • + 1
 @elsb0048: Sure, that would work too. But it's easier to control for other variables when riding a smart trainer compared to riding a powertap hub in the real world. Plus you can use any (*) smart trainer rather than having to find a 27.5 wheel built up with a 12x142 powertap hub.

*Some older smart trainers were designed by old-school roadies that didn't think outside the box. Consequently some may not have enough clearance for a disc brake, and many aren't through-axle compatible. Kickr and Tacx for example require you to get a funky adapter to run a QR skewer to attach the bike, as the 'hub' doesn't have enough internal space to run a through-bolt. Some of the newer models (e.g. Elite Direto & Drivo, CycleOps Hammer) are through-axle compatible out of the box by swapping the included hub end caps.
  • + 8
 Sweet rig @mikelevy, looking forward to the full review. My questions would be:

-how much drag is really present during pedaling and has it lessened over the course of the test period? Simply: tolerable and worth it for the advantages, irritating and something one needs to look past to enjoy the advantages, or deal breaker.

-how much improvement in tracking, handling, and cornering does the lowering and centralizing of mass, by the reassignment of components normally located at the end of the rear swing arm, actually provide?

-similarly, how much does that reassignment of mass from the end of the rear swing arm to the center of the bike affect the suspension in regards to traction in all aspects (sprinting both seated and standing, climbing, descending, cornering, high speed chatter, and big hits) as well as "feel", and how one approaches tuning?

Super stoked that you're getting the chance to bring this review to all of us, enjoy the ride, I hope it's what all of us are hoping it will be! Cheers man- C
  • + 1
 I'll adamantly second all of these questions. Good stuff.
  • + 7
 This is what I honestly want to know:

How many derailleurs have you killed in the last 2 years? Considering that, is the trade-off for drivetrain drag and begin forced to use grip shift worth it?

If yes, should I wait for the "Superboost Plus / 157 trail / my schwartz is bigger than your's" version?
  • + 2
 one Zee every two years. they wear out and get lose. XTRs in the past lasted longer, but generally they losen up now. I've been through many though, mostly smacking them racing DH.
  • + 1
 The slx on my 2012 reign has been on since purchased and still going strong.
  • + 6
 How does it hold up if you have to bail during a backflip?

Does the gearbox make it easier to find the pedals after a superman seatgrab?

Does the weight distribution make it harder to do a table?

Will it work with a freecoaster?
  • + 1
 Now these are excellent questions!
  • + 5
 Are there any plans by pinion or any other company to make a compatible trigger shifter? Could the ergonomics of the gripshifter be improved or do patents prevent that? What is the actual maintaince and service intervals? Obviously the efficiency of the drivetrain is reduced, but how noticeable is it really? Can we get a number to quantify this? For example, it is somewhat noticeable on a road bike, riding on smooth roads, when you’re feeling good, if a bikes drivetrain isn’t as efcient as it could be- but it’s not always a deal breaker. Or put another way, is the difference like riding an aluminum frame vs a carbon frame? Night/day kind of thing. What does it feel like climbing? My Santa Cruz is 2lbs heavier than my Jamis, but the SC’s pedalling efficiency is wayyy better when climbing thanks to the anti-squat numbers. So much so that I never lock out my SC rear shock. Does this bike’s high level of anti-squat negate some of the inherent drag inefficiency of the gearbox? Shifting under load is never ideal, how big is the penalty for error? I’ve torn teeth off my SRAM cassette, folded a cog, and seen plenty of other people do the same when making a boneheaded shift under load while bonking. Especially on the east coast steeps. Sometimes SRAM will warranty it, sometimes not and that’s an expensive mistake. How likely is damage to the pinion’s internals doing the same thing? How expensive are those parts? Can you replace individual cogs? Does it have to be sent back for that kind of service or is it simple enough for the local LBS to repair? What about running a belt drive? Does that add drag? How limiting is the gearbox for suspension/frame designers or is it less limiting?
  • + 5
 Why do you think gearboxes are still not mainstream? It is because:

- some kind of conservatism/disbelief in our community
- lack of cheaper gearbox bikes generates low interest among bikers
- conspiracy of big brands Smile
- or there are some serious disadvantages of this setup? (though I read only amazing reviews on Taniwha)

Thanks!
  • + 3
 I suspect first and foremost a frame has to be specifically made for a gearbox bike, which causes it to be its own "standard" (dont shoot the messenger) that would be the major issue in my opinion. From my point of view, if they had solid geo, and a proven system I would be really interested. I don't enjoy or like drivetrain maint. and I always feel like drive trains are just off a little. So I think it would be great if these were more mainstream. Unfortunately I think that most frame manufacturers wont bite until its a proven out design. I would imagine the euros would love this to work considering their conditions.
  • + 4
 @mikelevy Please try to figure out if you can become better at panic shifts on sudden uphills. I had absolute failure coming around say, a sharp turn to an uphill, where you have to dump several gears and still pedal to keep your balance and deadened momentum. Once a gear got lower than 4, I couldn't get it to go to 3, 2 or 1 and would get stood up vertically, balancing with all my force pushing through the pedals, no way to "release tension" or backpedal to unload the tranny for it to do the shifts.
When I did have a bit more time, there would be monster tension at the shifter and I'd ease off and then accidentally skip too low by a gear or two.

Let me know if you find that ZEN shift moment with this bike. I could not and it frustrated me to no end. Sure, a regular tranny can fight you a bit, but never at the shifter like this does. And it will eventually shift.
  • + 3
 That was my exact problem riding the Taniwha.
  • + 1
 The problem you describe is that of a beginner. Those circumstances favour a gearbox every single time.
  • + 1
 @Rembrandt: Well thank you kind sir for snobbish sounding dialogue in less than a paragraph.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy
Given the option - would you rather:
A: Buy the Taniwha and stay riding at home
B: Keep your 'current' bike and spend the money to go and ride in New Zealand for a couple of months ?

NB: Say your current bike was a 2015 SB6c or something higher end for comparison... coughmysituationcough
  • + 3
 Option B all the way
  • + 4
 No brainer. Come to NZ and be stoked. Visit rotorua and arrange a test ride for yourself as well.
  • + 1
 @FurryCrew: And while you are there, visit Wheel Works .... yeah, I know
  • + 3
 How does the gearbox FEEL and SOUND? Is there any sense of increased drag? Does it feel different in some gears compared to others?

Can you time some climbs (and decents) and compare against a derailleur equipped enduro bike of similar price and design?

Any word on electronic shifting for Pinion to ditch the grip shift and dual-cable setup?
  • + 1
 Agree. I know there is drag, but I would like to know if you can feel it, and whether it makes a significant difference, mentally. Sort of like when you have brake-rub.
  • + 3
 Mike, I think by far the most prudent question is this one - what is the one thing that needs to be improved on to make this more desirable to regular non derailleur hating riders? IMO, the top 3 would be:
1. Trigger shifter (cmon Pinion!)
2. POE on the box itself
3. Shifting under load
Can't wait for the review!
  • + 2
 I have a question more specific to the pinion gearbox than the whole bike. Do they need to be as heavy as they are? I know they are built for longevity and reliability but realistically your average rider of this bike probably isn't doing massive mileage or putting down huge power, how much lighter could they go and still remain more reliable than a traditional derailleur set up?
  • + 2
 The Pinion gearbox clearly has more range than a system based around a Shimano hub, such as your previous DH bikes, but the Shimano system appears to have better efficiency, is extremely compact, and could be lighter. Please walk us through the decision process and your thoughts on whether the Shimano-based system could return to viability, perhaps with greater range.

Thanks in advance to Rob and/or Ali!
  • + 2
 In the event that there is an issue with the gear box internals, is there any hope of servicing it yourself? If not, what course of action did you take, and what was the outcome? Put another way, what is the service center situation stateside, and could you comment on turnaround time and cost?
  • + 2
 How is climbing? The problem on Pinion is that you cant really shift with force on it. So you have to take a bit of pressure of the pedals to shift. I think thats a huge disadvantage!

The wear of the gripshift sucks. is there a tigger shifter available soon?
  • + 7
 You shouldn't be shifting a conventional system under load anyway. You have to back off force in order to reduce changes of breaking your chain or wearing the cogs excessively (I've seen teeth broken as well). So that is moot. The issue is you can keep rotating the crank to shift on conventional, whereas this you just unload, shift, pedal again, it's ultimately much quicker.
  • + 3
 @Zany2410 If you are shifting uphill in load on a conventional system then you are doing it wrong anyway. You should be in the gear you want by the time you hit the climb or you are just gonna ruin your cassette in no time.
  • + 1
 @mhoshal: Yeah sure, but if the hill gets steeper i have to change gear. the conventional system is meant to shift under force. sure there will be more wear while doing it. so far my XT drivetrain is excellent Smile
  • + 4
 How do you say the name? Seriously

How bad is the drag?

Can you get used to stopping pedaling to shift?

Any news on a trigger shifter?
  • + 3
 Ta - knee - far
  • + 2
 This is a separated question/request for tester, one purely on Pinion drive, the other on Taniwha.

First: I have ridden one. The problem is, I have ridden it on a short test track, not on my local trails. First impressions: planted when you want it to be and happy to pop in the air when you want it The shit.

Pinion :
Problem I noticed was my shifting habits, so here goes: I noticed that I would have to address the way I shift. No power on pedals for split second to make a shift and than back on it. Instead I went for it on steep climb and had to dismount, since the drive would not shift under load.
Another thing- POOR engagement. I believe that pinion uses internals with 24 points of engagement. That would need an update with SPRAG clutch or similar instant engagement mechanism, which should be used in future.
Also, GRIPSHIFT- it is not the thing I want on my bike. When they manage to put some electric shifting on it, I will be all over it.

Taniwha : Not much to complain other that I would like to do some experimenting with different suspension setup. How is it if you run it firmer? How about with a bit faster/slower rebound. As I said, the thing was planted and easy to throw around, but I really need to spent some more time on it and on known trails.

Bottom line: it is on my long term buying list. When pinion sorts the little things (instant engagement, electric shifting) I am willing to give it a go. Gearbox on bike? YES PLEASE!
  • + 2
 So, I have ridden this bike on a demo before with Cycle Monkey and I was really impressed by it. The bike did have a slightly heavier feel when ridden up a hill but the range of gears really made up for the difference in weight. I also noticed pedaling was not too bad because of the weight distribution of the gear box, it was fairly even and did not make pedaling with power feel awkward.

Now, where I think this bike really excels is descending. It felt amazing and dialed when I pointed it downhill because of the extra weight centered in the gearbox (along with geometry and etc). The bike tracked over rock gardens, root sections, and through corners exceptionally well. Due to what I mentioned above about weight I wouldn't want this bike as my designated trail bike but as a shuttle bike or even park bike it would be sick. I was also real impressed by the Helm fork mounted to the front, it felt way better than my Pike.

The bike I rode was setup with a chain to drive the rear wheel. I did not like the way the chain felt in comparison the the belt drivetrain I pedaled around the parking lot. I actually managed to drop chain once on the bike which was strange to me and the guys from Cycle Monkey. If I bought the bike I would make sure it was belt driven.
  • + 2
 What about ripped off pants and/or shoe lace since the first pinions used to have the freewheel in the gearbox not the hub? Descending @ 60 km/h and worrying about something getting stuck in the belt seems like a nightmare waiting to happen....
  • + 2
 Normal singlespeed free hub out back. Not fixed.
  • + 2
 PEDAL BASED POWER METER COMPARISON

Baseline -- Zerode, constant 15mph slight uphill (5% grade) = ___W
Comparison 1 -- Similar geometry bike with 11 or 12 speed setup (same tires, pressure, etc.), same course = ___W
Comparison 2 -- Same as #1 with bike weighted to same as Zerode = ___W

This should give us a good idea of the effect of drivetrain drag and weight.

Thanks!
  • + 1
 If you do a efficiency test, please use real world conditions and not some idealistic scenario. In other words, some fire road, some technical uphill/downhill/mixed single track where you need to change gears a lot etc.

Your baseline is idealistic in this case...

This test should also take into account some other things like wet weather, mud, dirty gears/chains. You know, things that you encounter in real mountain bike riding. One of the best things about a sealed gearbox over an exposed drive train is that it isn't affected by these things at all and remains constant whereas conventional drive trains turn to crap after you ride through the first mud puddle.

Also the drag changes depending on which gear you are in, so you would need to be realistic about when it really matters. In the low gears there is no noticeable drag, in the high gears there is noticeable drag but who cares since you are already doing 40+km/h and probably going downhill with gravity at this point.
  • + 2
 ...aaaaaand the trolls have been fed. Real Q: Obviously the influence of chains, and the unique aspects of using linked metal that needs to accommodate many sizes of gearing etc., has on suspension. I'm curious if you notice a difference in how responsive the suspension is with that setup. Obviously there is a weight penalty with the gear box... do you notice a different ride with all that weight down?
  • + 2
 ...oops hit enter too early to hide I wasn't doing work as my co-worker wanted a consult. What I meant to say was that there is some fairly centralized weight around the bottom bracket. More so perhaps than with a traditional derailleur. I'm wondering if that influences the ride characteristics at all (positive or negative)?
  • + 2
 How does it feel with the weight centered and low and how does the rear suspension work with all the extra weight gone from the rear wheel.

(Sorry if someone else has mentioned it already - I didn't go through all the comments).
  • + 3
 Derailleur breakage argument aside (it's very overblown IMO, and I actually used to be a mechanic), is there a discernible advantage to a gearbox from an absolute ride feel and daily performance perspective?
  • + 5
 Biggest advantage is it's heavier, less efficient and you can't shift under power, so you should crash less or be able to run less burly tires since you'll be going slower.
  • + 1
 were you a mechanic before Sram's Eagle groupset? The plunged thread hole on the top jockey wheel snaps off and leaves you needing a new derailler ..
  • + 3
 The bike sticks like glue. I can easily say it is the most active rear suspension of any trail bike I have ridden. That would be the most noticeable difference. Smooths out the rough stuff and the suspension is ultra active even under power while climbing.
  • + 1
 @TucsonDon: My description of the Taniwha, with one years ownership, thousands of miles, two sets of brake pads,... and after previous years of apparently top end bikes with fall apart continually troublesome derailleur systems, would be - strong, stable, very fast, perfect suspension, unique, reliable, cheap to run, low maintenance, and superb grip shift and gearbox. Designed and built by a mountain biker to be ridden.
  • + 2
 Ok, I rode this exact bike at Outerbik in Moab....let me tell you about the ZCHOAD, suspension is awesome, gearbox creaked like you wouldnt believe.....gripshifter was so uncomfortable my hand hurt for three days after. When I brought it back to the booth I had a hard time saying anything positive. Suspension felt great. Whatever.
  • - 2
 Same experience at Interbike, I was underwhelmed. It was probably the best looking and the most expensive/exotic bike but the experience was nit so good. Not being able to shift under load is really problematic for mtb. I understand ther is a learning curve but It's not practical especially while riding new terrain. I was much more impressed by the Marin WolfRidge...
  • + 2
 Curious to hear how the belt drive performs. I have one real life example of a belt drive system, installed on a Stache singlespeed, and regardless of belt tension, once in a great while the belt will skip a tooth under heavy load (torquing up a climb at low speed). This is due to flexing the frame/rear triangle
Also interested in how the drivetrain efficiency feels. I think a slightly different method for shifting is an acceptable thing, but adding significant drag when pedaling is not.
  • + 3
 Pretty sure it has a chain
  • + 1
 This example definitely has a chain...
www.pinkbike.com/photo/15515622
  • + 2
 That Stache was really exciting when it came out because of the easy belt compatibility but we tested the frame stiffness and found it was very soft. Elevated stays aren't particularly stiff it turns out. The gearing options are restricted due to clearance as well so you have to make some compromises there as well. Larger sprocket sizes are less likely to skip at lower tensions.

As for belt on Zerode: it's in the works.
  • + 5
 How well does the linkage balance 'gearbox plushness' and pedalling efficiency?
  • + 2
 YouHadMeAtDrugs what an awesome name love it.
  • + 3
 I agree, the bike was really plush and tracked over everything well when I rode it and pointed it down something. Pedaling efficiency was there too, it just felt slightly heavier than what I was used to. Weight however was made up by the range of gears in the gearbox.
  • + 2
 Hi Mike, ride the wheels off that thing and do as many proper DH runs as you can - it will surprise you!
If you have the time and gear available, can you try as many brakes as you can for the best fit with the grip shift please?
I run moto style and so far the best fit i have found is a very old saint with the longer lever, so the grip shift is not fully under finger and thumb with the rubber cover bit trimmed down to be the same diameter as an ODI Troy Lee grip to be as close as possible to feeling like a normal full grip and works well so far.
I would be super keen to learn if there is a Hope or Magura set up that works similar or better comfortability wise?
PS: you will love the silence, airtime, line holding over roots, cornering and rock garden smashing!
  • + 3
 I have Zerode G2 and love it. But I only use it a few weeks a year. I also have a SB6c which is 'similar' to the taniwha. Will this be my next 'do it all' bike? Can you also do a side by side test with the new Deviate?
  • + 1
 First thing which came into my mind as well^^

How does it compare to the Deviate, both not mainstream bikes with a different approach but I consider them as very interesting concepts and in technical aspects as very promising!
  • + 1
 Yeah, the Deviate looks awesome as well. Would be great to do some comparison reviews of gearbox bikes that are aimed at the same target market.
  • + 3
 Are you afraid of telling the truth about this bike? Are you afraid of upsetting Sram, Shimano, and other bike companies...?
  • + 1
 Considering almost every bike ever is photographed from the drive side, are you trying to hide that stupid front-rear derailleur doo-hickey? Have you encountered any issues with said doo-hickey smashing into things that are otherwise reserved for the chainring?
  • + 1
 Have you guys ever thought about having one of your fastest PB employees do 3-4 timed runs on the same trail at full gas for every test sled, after it's been set up perfectly for that tester? There's so much speculation about what make a bike faster (gearboxes, suspension designs, etc.), would be cool to try and have a semi-objective measure.
  • + 2
 Can you compare the said inefficiency of the gearbox side-by-side with a geared bike and somehow quantify those results? All I've heard from people that ride gearboxes are "It's noticeable". How noticeable?
  • + 1
 My apologies if this was asked and I missed it but I'll ask anyways. Is there a large amount of play when pedaling before it engages? I'd imagine there would be now that there's the standard free hub and the gearbox itself free wheels also. If there is a lot of play how much does it negatively affect the ride? And what are the options for removing it? Could you put a free hub on it like onyx's fee hun with 0° engagement. If you put a fixie hub on the bike would it make it too inefficient when coasting?
  • + 1
 no fix hub ( forbidden by pinion)
Gearbox have different poe on different gear, and it better to use it with hub what haw smallest possible poe
  • + 1
 @vitality: Do you know what the reason is for no fixed hub? Is it just too much wear and tear?
  • + 1
 As a "youngin" on the MTB scene, I had never ridden any kind of bike with a non-walmart grip shifter. I found this to be my biggest issue with the Zerode that I rode at Outerbike, compounded with the fact that I had to relearn how and when to shift. I was told by the rep that if I got caught in the wrong gear, I could just wrench on the shifter and "force it" in. I did not find this to be true at all. When I was caught off guard or forgot how to shift properly, I simply lost all momentum while trying to "force it" when putting any significant power down. Maybe someone who has potentially ridden grip shift in the past (was this really ever "the thing" for MTB??!!) would have less trouble... I'm curious to see how fast Mike adapts to the change in riding style. I imagine with some time on the bike, it isn't a huge deal.
  • + 1
 After breaking a couple chains shifting under load with a derailleur I've attributed any future need to do so with me not paying attention to what's coming up on the trail. I'm more interested in the learning curve associated with having to twist at my grip on the bars while in a technical situation vs. using my thumb.
  • + 1
 If shifting under load is such an issue I’d love to hear thoughts about this bike after riding unfamiliar trails. Ones that aren’t a long climb followed by a long decent.

And if you can do the whole power meter test thing versus a traditional bike, make sure the chain on this is dirty as f*ck. I want to know how bad it is at its worst AND how good it can be at its best, before I consider buying one.
  • + 1
 In case you will do hike-a-bike, is there an issue with the part of the cables between frame and gearbox? Do these cables contact your shoulder/neck and break?

From your standpoint - could a chain tensioner with only one pulley make sense as long it is designed in a way that the chain could not fall off of the pulley? The chain tensioner which is used for Gates belts has only one pulley.
  • + 2
 How much of its handling is due to well-sorted high end shock (etc.) and how much is due to unsprung weight? What happens if you zip-tie a derailleur and cassette's worth of lead weights to the end of the swing arm?
  • + 1
 How is it with jumps?
I'd also like to know of any other similar bike projects out there, in particular ones that will cost less.
Are any of the big manufacturers likely to manufacture a bike with a gearbox within the next 5years or so?
  • + 1
 I have an old bike. It was a decent bike for its time but now it is way behind in geometry, wheel size, and other standards. If I was confident that I wouldn't feel like I needed to buy a new bike for 10 years I could see spending that kind of money on a bike like this. No need to worry about gear range. Maintenance is easy. All I need to do is change oil, lube the chain, and other basic stuff.
The problem is I, like everyone else, am crazy. When some new piece of special comes out I want a bike that can use it. I currently want a bike 27.5 wheeled that can do 2.8 tires, even though I suspect I would only use wide tires twice a year and would otherwise just use the 2.35 highrollers I have come to trust.
I want to be able to buy new hubs without some sort of adapter. I want to know my headset will work with the next fork.

Can this bike resolve those issues? Maybe removable dropouts and a piece to move in the linkage would be a good start.
  • + 4
 Can you *feel* the unsprung weight difference? does it ride any better? does it feel chainless? or are these all legends?
  • + 2
 What happens to it after it's been put away wet and ridden in the cold?

What happens to it when a +200lb person has to stand up and power mash through a techinical climb (thing Squamish rocks)?

@mikelevy
  • + 4
 Can you actually notice the added drag in the climbing gears? I wasn't able to.
  • + 1
 1-Is there electric shifting in the works?
2-Is there a plan for more wheel size options?
3-How many real world miles/kilometers did you put on the bike before you started having gearbox issues?
My next mountain bike will have a gearbox, unless your article has a very good reason not to give it a try.
  • + 1
 Let me know if you ever get used to shifting while climbing uphill. I demoed one from Fanatik not that long ago and on very steep pitches, say to the towers of South Lookout in Bellingham, I was amazed at the gear range (super lowwww), however, if I ever needed to shift to an easier gear on one of these very, very steep climbs, I was SOL and basically had to stop the bike to do so.
  • + 2
 Ohh dear,ohhh dear, it has grip shift . Some one give them hondas number.. Will some one just rebuild the rno1 ffs,to this day no bike company has made a better looking beast,
  • + 1
 How much pedal kickback due you feel with a gearbox, especially when climbing?

Has the gearbox gotten smoother over time?

Are the cranks stiff? They are certainly heavy.

Bottom bracket longevity? Hopefully its better since replacing the bearings would involve more work than otherwise.

How does it manual? Better? Endo's should certainly be easier.

Hey, maybe even deck through a berm with a laser timer and compare it to a Slash and a Sentinel. Or do a comparative braking test from a set speed with set tires in the rough, measure the advantage of that reduced unsprung weight. Go nuts with it and tell us if you tell the difference between a ride with zero ghost shifting and any other- that's one thing I could do without.
  • + 1
 It seems that one of the design advantages of a gearbox bike would be that you could design a frame with a high pivot point without the need for an ideler pulley. Pedal power goes in one end of transmission (BB) and the drive gear turns where the ideler pulley would normally sit. This would allow for zero/near zero chain growth, no weight or resistance of an extra pulley wheel, and all the advantages of a high pivot design.
How come they didn’t do that on this frame?
How come they used a faux bar, instead of four bar? And does it really matter?
  • + 1
 Rob has said he changed from a high pivot design because the gearbox has to be low so an idler pulley is necessary with it, and for a pedally bike (unlike a DH bike), that creates more noise, friction, and complication.
Faux vs Four, not sure but I bet the patent wasn't expired while he was getting the molds made.
  • + 2
 Is it an improvement over traditional design? If so, where? If not, where? In your opinion, will these technologies applied make all bicycles as a whole better? Where does this technology belong? Is it even useful?
  • + 1
 the one question I am genuinely curious about with these is about weight.

1. is the weight a problem?
2. most pressing I think, do we really need 600% range? I currently run an 11-40 cassette. 360% range....I could see another gear getting used. maybe even 2. but 600% seems unnecessary, and I wonder specifically in the context of gearboxes if it could help get the weight down in a big way if they produced lets say a 450% range offering.
  • + 2
 Not everyone rides where it's flat. Head on up to 10,000 feet of elevation and tell me you don't want that 60 tooth cassette in the back. Also they make Pinion gearboxes that are lighter with less gears and range.
  • + 1
 @hirschmj: Or be old! Wink
Love the super granny…
  • + 1
 Geometry - How does it fit you compared to something like a Patrol? On paper the reach looks a bit short.

I seem to remember there's a freehub in the gearbox and the rear hub - how does that feel? Does it affect the ride? Can you try it with something like an Onyx hub?
  • + 1
 Scanning through article with some interest... reach " despite them being rarer than a Pinkbike article without a comment from Waki under it." LMHO!!! Then, calm down, reach comment section, and find @shutupWAKI. lol lol lol
  • + 1
 Does the gearbox and your experience riding this bike come anywhere close to justifying that crazy weight and price? I had a 34 pound fat bike and it was a rolling dumpster fire. God, I hated that thing!

My last two bikes were both around 26 pounds, had 150mm of travel and SRAM 1x drivetrains. Those bikes are half the cost and eight pounds lighter. They shifted incredibly well and gave me almost no problems that couldn't be solved by a new derailleur cable. I destroy an expensive rear derailleur about every three years, on average. My bike washing and drivetrain maintenance habits are ingrained and simple. I don't however, live and ride in muddy conditions.

Do you think this bike could ever win somebody like me over?
  • + 1
 Is there any slop/play in the drivetrain? In other words, does it feel like a hub with 18 poe, or 200 poe?

When you go back to a bike witg a regular derailleur, is there anything you miss about the zerode?

Can you feel the difference with all that weight being in the bb area?
  • + 4
 My Zerode is just over a year old. Still love it. Weighs in at a gram or 2 under 14kgs (same as my previous ally Nomad). Where I notice the weight is where it is - low in the centre of gravity, not at the back.
Not scientific but I rode a Pivot Mach 6, Nomad and Trek Fuel 9.8 27.5+ (all 1 x 11 and really well set-up by the bike shops I hired from) on a recent trip to Nevada and Utah. 30 years of riding MTBs with trigger shifters still means it's 2nd nature, but the grip shift is fine after getting used to it. And who changes under load!?? Wink
I'm a bit old and quite like the Pinion's super granny. I did miss that.
Mach 6 was an absolute beast, but the Taniwha shades it still.
  • + 2
 @bluedogmedia: Right on mate ! I have 22years of mtn biking and my Taniwha is the best bike so far !
  • + 1
 Rode a singlespeed till aging body + cancer made it impossible Wink - my Taniwha feels like my SS, quiet (some whirr from the gearbox in the mid-range), a chain in perfect alignment, always, less cluttered bars - but with 12 gears and 600%!!
  • + 1
 When I rode one, I felt like I wouldn't ever want to race on it, as I would lose precious time having to stop pedaling to shift (even on downhills). Could you do a timed comparison of this bike versus another similar bike on a trail you know well? Would love to know if you find it's any faster or slower than competitors.
  • + 1
 As with any bike you can change it's characteristics using different parts and tuning (think air shock vs coil shock and open or close compression etc.). From the picture it seems you have a very good balanced setup of parts, not sure how they are tuned though. I would be interested to understand the suspension setup that you used for the review as it would play a lot into how it behaves (playful vs hugging the ground for instance).

Ride it in some really nasty conditions (weather permitting), which I'm sure you would have anyway, and let us know what the drive train does in those conditions.

Looking forward to your article.
  • + 1
 -Can you describe or put some words around the level of drag/ reduced efficiency you noticed, compared to a regular bike?
- Ditto for whether you'd notice that by the middle or end of a muddy ride e.g. when your chain/derailleur on a normal bike would be pretty muddy and not at it's most efficient.
- How noticeable is the difference in the rear wheel & bike weight, and in what ways does it make a difference to how it rides?
- Had any mechanical failures, or noticed any obvious weakpoints in the system?
- is the zerode's suspension design and geometry similar enough to another bike, so that you could make a reasonable comparison of gearbox vs derailleur?
Cheers!
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Mike, specifically would love to know about the shifting technique, the way the gears are stacked, and the reliabiity of the system. Specifically: Ride it hard, get it covered in crap, put it away wet. Take it out next day. Beat it up as hard as you can, and don’t do any maintenance. Repeat cycle. Does it hold up? Thanks
  • + 1
 I have been saving $$$ for one of these Zerodes, when the Transition Sentinal came along an took my money. Picked up the Sentinal 3wks ago, and its a beast! (16kg out of the box , with no pedals. It feels fast, but some how very calming on track when pointed down hill in anger )

Questions regarding the Zerode-
- Is the grip shift chunky in the hand, and does it make hard to reach the brake lever? (Looks like long TRP levers might help )
- Can you test it with a 29ner front wheel and fork? Rumours indicate, it performs very well with this mod.
- Will there be a 29ner version in the future?

Once it goes 29inch/ rapid thumb shifter / 6-8 speed wide ratio box i might start saving again. Till then.. .. Braap, braap!
  • + 3
 Engagement: is it sufficient? does the rear hub have a freehub as well as the gearbox? or is the rear hub fixed. is it a problem?
  • + 1
 This. How does one have to adjust to slow engagement when ratcheting cranks in chunk, when doing wheelie drops, etc.
  • + 1
 I'm not super picky about engagement, but even to me it feels like you've got a broken chain if you go for a quick pedal.
  • + 1
 How well does it hold up to the grime and grit of trail riding? Heard from some local kids who work at Cane Creek, and who actually shred, that the suspension feels better than anything else they have ridden....you have ridden a lot of bikes, can you confirm?
  • + 1
 How about some soild technical details (some numbers) on gear box vs derailleur? What is the overhead 5%? I personally think these will never be main stream because of the weight and inefficiency. But might be a great fit for E-Biikes :-).
  • + 1
 @mikelevy How do you get on with the "lag" in the gearbox? I have an old P18 and I feel that of all the things to improve this would be high on my list.
I don't notice it all the time but in those tricky slow situations where you just need a bit of a crank in to get you over something there can be a feeling of no drive. I know my box is old, just wondered if the P12 felt OK.
On a spin round the carpark on a Taniwha the box felt better than mine but it was brand new.
Looks like the old gearbox debate has fired everyone up again!!!
  • + 1
 Test rode one for a day in some great terrain in Yorkshire. Personally didn’t gel with it. Suspension was very sensitive, and great on the DH for this reason, but the vibrations from the gearbox were noticeable and not pleasant (and it had done over 2000miles so it wasn’t a new gearbox thing), and the geometry felt a bit old skool. HA was ok, but it felt short in the TT, probably due to the steep STA without a lengthened TT to match. Didn’t find it climbed well either, compared to more sophisticated Dw-like designs I’m used to, it kept spitting traction out when going uphill.
Love the innovation and the concept of the gearbox, but requires refinement and new skool geometry IMHO.
I’m sure others will love it, especially those who own one, as let’s face it, most forums are filled with people saying the bike they’re riding right now is, “the best bike ever!!” ????
  • + 1
 @mikelevy Is the data proving that the lack of derailleur truly improves rear suspension performance, it all seems to be opinion and subjective. I hear the rear end feels 'dead'. Why focus on this due to such a high cost with nearly no increase in performance
  • + 2
 I prefer a high POE hub for technical climbs and being able to "pedal punch" in certain situations. With the gear box, how is technical climbing and engagement? Does the gearbox negate the advantage of a high POE hub?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy - can we look a little deeper than blaming excess weight for any slow climbing, coasting or slow pickup issues?

I find the worry around MtB weight differences to be really exaggerated. A 2kg (4.4lbs) difference in weight, for example, is just over a 2% difference in the weight of a 75Kg rider and 15Kg bike combo.
A climb would have to be over 20%, before 2Kg, made more than a 5-8 Watt difference in power demand. Most riders would struggle to notice such a small variation.
  • + 1
 If you were to put a RRP on it, based on how fun it is to ride on "endruo" style trails compared to all the other bikes you have tested, what would it be?

Would you like it more or less (and by how much in $) if it was built by Giant/Specialised/Trek/[insert big brand here]?
  • + 1
 Really interested in this bike, ever since it first came out.
I have a few questions.

Do you like it how zerode has stepped out of the box with different component choices? E.g cane creek helm+DBIL and magura brakes.

Is it fast?

I’ve heard that when you shift gear, you have to pause with your pedal stroke for a bit to let the gearbox get into gear. Is this true?

This bike or the Rocky Mountain slayer will be my next bike.(still deciding). My local trails are steepish, fast, technical, rutted out, and hard to climb. I also Race enduro and Downhill. If you have ridden or tested the Slayer, How do you think it compares?

Thanks in advence.
-cheers, Hugh.
  • + 1
 On flatter more undulating trails can you notice the inherant drag that the pinion gearbox brings with it?

Also can you notice the decrease in unsprung weight on the rear end in regards to shock performance and bike manoeuvrability?
  • + 1
 As this model comes with a chain not a belt I wouldn't call it zero maintenance but that aside.

How does it compare to a bike with Effi (Cavalerie, Nicolai or that other model with the Fox40 stanchion featured recently)?
How does it compare to a bike with Rohloff (only thing I can think of would be 11ants currently).

Recently I chose not to go for a (hardtail) frame with Rohloff or Pinion because I thought the investment was a bit too high considering I don't pedal consistently but more kind of put in a few hard strokes every now and then and then coast and pump. And from reviews I read these gearboxes (hub or frame mounted) don't react direct enough to keep this as fun, so I stuck to my conventional (1x9sp) gearbox. So yeah, how does it react?
  • + 1
 How about maintenance? do you just lube the chain and thats it? I know one of the supposed advantages of gearboxes is they requiere less maintenance but I Imagine at some point a drivetrain cleaning needs to happen. could you try it out? and let us know how easy or painful the experience is?
  • + 1
 oil change. simple job.
  • + 1
 @atrokz: yeah but he should try it out and report if is really that simple.
  • + 1
 There really is no question about how it rides. Science already explained that reducing the unsprung weight that is further from the swing arm pivot, the less it is forced to change direction. Which is why majority of the reviews of bikes with gearboxes says it feels more planted than bikes with traditional drivetrains. Just like a motorcycle.

The question really here is cost. Will Pinion be able to lower the cost of their gearbox? Highly unlikely unless Shimano and Sram develops their own. The Pinion Gearbox is what is making this bike really expensive. The cost of the frame if you take away the gearbox is at par with most of the mid to high end frames in the market right now.
  • + 3
 Was there a discernible difference in the drivetrain when you gave it the inevitable "brake lever squeeze test" upon receiving the bike?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy One main complaint against a gear box drive train is the increased drag the system inherently has. Does using an easier gear than you would with a derailleur system effectively negate this? I understand this wouldn't be a great solution going downhill but I can't imagine the drive train drag is as apparent going down as it is climbing. I also feel like due to the nature of a gear box you could make your gear range wide enough to cover both ends of the spectrum since you don't have to compromise on gear jump percentages.
  • + 1
 the increased resistance is in the single digit numbers.
  • + 1
 Hey Mike! can you quantify the drag? I was thinking you could use a power meter with the bike's suspension locked out during a road climb. You could follow this up on a conventional bike with a similar setup. That would be the coolest @mikelevy
  • + 1
 I have tons of questions!

- Did you felt like nothing could go wrong on the trail or still had in mind that your bike shop don't have the spares on stock?
- obvious one: suspension performance?
- what do you think of the weight penalty in the climbs?
- where do you see a gearbox: AM, Enduro, freeride, DH? (how do you qualify the Taniwha)
- is there any noise/drag during pedaling? is it anoying?
- price and geo aside, would you pick a pinion or a one by transmition for your next bike? why?

OK.. I stop here. Have fun!!
  • + 1
 Had a Pinion touring bike once, sold it because I didn't like it. It just didn't feel nice.

Shifting sucked, I never liked the fact that you have you take power off the pedals to make it shift.

Engagement sucked big time, the crank has a freewheel machanism in it with way too little engagement points.

Those two points asnnoyed me on a bike that was ridden on road 99% of the time, I imagine them to be even more annoying off road.
  • + 1
 i like the look of this, far too much money for me, but maybe if proved it will trickle down. Could this work with E-bikes. My other question is durability and support from pinion. I know its a closed system but how strong is the casing when it hits rocks etc, because if this breaks it is going to be a whole lot more than even a posh rear deraileur. Whatever happened to Hammer Schmidt that looked promising.
  • + 1
 Is there a noticeable improvement in rear suspension performance compared to non-gear box bikes that you have ridden? I remember reading a review that claimed better performance in regard to another gear box bike. I wonder whether you can corroborate or debunk this claim.
  • + 1
 If you pedal backwards, can there be felt any drag from the gearbox?
...compared to the[almost] non-existent drag with conventional derailleur.

How easy/difficult it is to get used to the different shifting logic(no power on pedals when shifting) of the gearbox?

Is the bike practically dead silent(except for the freewheel maybe) as there is no chain slap or derailleur rattle?
  • + 1
 Some drag present, but no bigger than in normal drive. 1-2 ride is enough Yes, after run in period bike is silent, especially with onyx hub.
  • + 2
 Regarding side by side testing, take a regular 160mm travel bike and expose it to the same torture with the same maintenance i.e. Just wash it and lube the chain. Let me know how the shifting compares 3 months in.
  • + 1
 Can one of these be built on the cheaper side? like, 7k USD?
(relatively cheaper i mean)

I'd also be interested to know what you mean by almost never requiring maintenance. Does it only need maintenance if it completely shits the bed?

also where is a trigger shifter for these? i think that would entirely deter me from buying one of these.
  • + 1
 Is it possible to run a normal trigger style shifter in place of the grip shift? Also, I'm curious in the amount of maintaince you need to do to the gearbox itself. Also living in the NW, how does it hold up to wet slop grime etc
  • + 2
 Do you think all Pinion equipped bikes use gripshift because of a bizarre coincidence?
  • + 2
 @PhillipJ: Newsflash: Not everyone knows about pinion gear boxes. Many bike riders have never seen one in person. That's why someone asks a question like this.

So the question stands, is it possible?
  • + 0
 @PhillipJ: idfk dude that's why I asked u goofball
  • + 1
 - Please post a complete partlist and the measured weight (to know what you can do for weight savings).
- Why there ist no belt? (Gates carbonbelt like on the Nicolai ion gpi)
- Is there a difference in suspension action caused by the lighter unsprung weight?
- Is it faster in the downhills like a comperable "standard-bike" ?
- Is there a possibility for a trigger shifter?
  • + 3
 Can you really not shift under pressure, so must you stop pedaling on uphills to change gears? Will Pinion EVER come out with a Trigger shifter like say EffiGear have done.
  • + 1
 Electronic shifting maybe...?

Would be easier to manufacture different size/type paddles and grips for shifting...
  • + 1
 I would want to get quite specific with the shifting feel:
-When you are bombing down a hill does cranking your wrist every jeopardize your riding position?
-600% on a 11 speed drive train leads me to believe that the jumps between the gears would be quite large. Do the gears feel too spaced out?
-How do the detents feel between gears? Do you get a good feel of your gear box being properly engaged.
-Are you stuck with those cranks (not that i care, just interested in knowing)
-If you need lower gearing, can you modify the gear box to change your gearing? (like changing your front chainring)
-Do you smack your feet on the gear box
  • + 1
 When you shift gears you fil solid click.
For me gear spacing is ok, gear steps 17.7%. In addition, you can shift from 1 to 12 gear with one twist.
Yeas nice and solid gear fill (its depends also how good you adjusted shifter cables)
No and yes, those are cheapest pinion cranks, you can always got yourself cnc machined one, but you can use only pinion cranks due interface
Modifying gearing is impossible, but you can always swap chain rings on your taste. rear one is normal SS cog or replace it with carbongates 104bcd spider and use what ewer sized chain ring you like. Same story with front one get bcd 104 spider
  • + 1
 Can it be speced without the grip shift?
Does the added weight in the center of the frame help you smash berms aggrwsively like a pimp with unhealthy amounts of testosterone?
Does it send?
  • + 2
 There is no bike on the market that I'm more curious about then this one. I'm pretty excited to read this review. I just wish a more eloquent shifter existed for the Pinion.
  • + 1
 When you really put the power down like you would out of a start gate or during a flat or uphill sprint section on an Enduro. Do you noticeably feel like your losing power due to gearbox drag?
  • + 2
 Can you feel the power loss through the gearbox?

Does it make you work harder to get up to the same trail head as a derailleur drive train?
  • + 1
 This will be buried but is suspension action better with less inspiring weight on the back. Also is the zero noise feeling a state of zen. Cause it seems like a early foggy morning ride with no chain / derailer would be zen.
  • + 2
 Zero mnoise ouse with my onyx hubs is pure Zen to me.
  • + 1
 Oops, maybe i should proofread before hitting submit. My onyx hub is pure Zen with its silent action and smooth instant engagement.
  • + 1
 While I like the idea of a gearbox bike I think they will always be a quirky niche thing, the shere weight of the thing will never be as low as a standard set up, even if it is low and centralised...
  • + 4
 Sure looks like its got grip shift not triggers, why? Awkward to use
  • + 2
 My question would be, how hard is it to get used to using gripshift?
  • + 2
 They haven't come up with a good way yet to shift the linkages in the gear box with triggers to my understanding. The hardest part to get used to for me was not being able to shift while transmitting torque, the coolest thing, was being able to change as many gears at once as you wanted when no torque was being transmitted.
  • + 1
 @Adamrideshisbike: 12x rides and it will become second nature
  • + 2
 It took me about 5 minutes to get used to it. It's really nice to be anle to dump a bunch of gears at once.
  • + 2
 It's pretty easy, its just like riding a bike
  • + 1
 on the whole "how many derailleurs have you destroyed" question: regardless of destruction, how much time, in hours per year, do you spend cleaning/adjusting/fixing drivetrains?
  • + 0
 The G2 suffered terribly from brake jack and lock out of the rear suspension under braking. It also pedaled terribly due to the high single pivot and weighed a tonne because of the alfine hub/gearbox. How far does the Taniwha go to solve these issues?
  • + 1
 Can we swap enough parts to get this bike to weigh what everyone (it seems) wishes it would weigh - sub 30 (less than 13kg)? What parts would you need to change? Maybe you can whip up a dream spec sheet for us?
  • + 1
 Do you feel the drive train DRAG?
Can you get used to the GRIP SHIFT?
Can you feel the weight reduction from the rear wheel compared to standard bikes?
Can you downshift while climbing (torque on the pedals)?
  • + 1
 How often do you have to tweak/tune it compared to traditional drive-train-type bikes? Or, is it like a motorcycle you can leave in the shed and just hop on one day and ride after 6 months to a year of being idle?
  • + 1
 In the range of 160 mm travel “enduro” bikes, does this one perform any better than the rest in terms of climbing, descending or overall ride quality? How does it compare to some of the other bikes in this category?
  • + 4
 Would you buy this frame for $5k?
  • + 1
 Along with: What is the most you have ever paid for a frame/full bike?
  • + 3
 That price covers frame and drivetrain. What is the cost of a Nomad frame plus a Sram eagle drivetrain?
  • + 1
 How crisp is the shifting? and do you have to stop pedaling to shift into the next gear or can you shift as you would on a conventional mountain Bike with a rear mech and cassette?

Cheers
  • + 1
 Do you, as a human, notice the benefits of unsprung weight and mass centered low on the frame. How good is it? Does these particular points made you think "oh yeah, this is it" ?
  • + 1
 Is it at all possible to use a trigger shifter?

If not, how long does the grip shift take to get used too and did you have an accidental shifts while bunny hoping or manualing on the trail?
  • + 1
 Question: Is it more useful to be able to shift without pedaling (gearbox), or under moderate pedal pressure (normal drivetrain)...? It'd be great to get your take on this same question during climbing, and descending.
  • + 1
 Is there a noticeable lack of engagement points between the combination of rear hub and the gearbox (compared to say a derailleur bike with DT Swiss 36 point star ratchet)? Could this be remedied with a "fixed" hub?
  • + 2
 how is gearbox engagement? In a time where 3 degrees is common, the last gearbox bike I rode had more slack than the freecoaster on my old BMX
  • + 1
 Does the gripshift shift when you change riding position in the rough stuff? Aside from that I’d totally buy it if I had the cash!
The gripshift really doesn’t convince me!!
  • + 5
 Will it blend?
  • + 1
 Just please don't make it the first item on the test case list.
  • + 1
 I want to know, how much it would cost, if Zerode would sell as much, as Intense sells Tracers, or Specialized sells Enduros?
Or how much Pinion Gearbox would cost, if they sold as much as Sram sells XO drivetrain setups?
  • + 1
 Would you ride a gearbox on a more XC/Trail -oriented bike such as a 100-130mm travel 29er? Or is the weight of the gearbox too much for anything but a carbon frame/wheeled Enduro bike?
  • + 1
 I would like to know what the bike is like under sprint conditions. Can the gearbox sprint without sapping too many watts? I would also like the box tested in the cold. Does it have increased resistance in minus conditions?
  • + 3
 is it c o n f i d e n c e i n s p i r i n g
  • + 1
 cOnFiDeNcE iNsPiRiNg???
  • + 1
 Why not use a belt drive to increase maintenance intervals even further?
When will a trigger shifter be available for the pinion gearbox?
  • + 1
 because belt drives are less reliable than a chain on a mtb
  • + 1
 Hope hb160 is now in this price range so which "unique" take on the current trail bike would you say does it better. I'm assuming you have ridden both
  • + 1
 Is there any talk of Shimano producing an E-Gearbox-Motor? Combining all the weight, gears and ebike motor into one single unit would be a great start - that's my question
  • + 1
 I don't know if this has been asked earlier (I didn't read all 5 billion comments)
But how does the gear range compare to Sram Eagle's range of gears? Easier/ heavier?
  • + 2
 Does the grip shift get in the way while descending?
Is the added drag noticeable?
  • + 1
 Can you please comment on the sizing? Looking at the geometry chart it feels on the small side for a Large frame.
I'm 6'1 and I plan to order this bike but L or XL?
  • + 1
 How does the pinion cabling hold up having the cable outer end an enter the gear box exactly where a tonne of UK mud is going to fly at?
  • + 2
 Why are gear box's so wanted by a group that is so full of hate for any changes?

PS gear box's are dumb
  • + 2
 You need to get some stats on gearbox failures and the numbers that have been replaced...
  • + 3
 they spelled Nomad 3 wrong
  • + 1
 How about doing some timed runs with it on a trail you know well against a very similar type of bike that has a derailleur drive train?
  • + 1
 What other 2 or 3 are this bikes biggest competition? How is it better/worse?

Can the gear box work with a trigger style shifter?
  • + 3
 Seriously, this far into the comments and still nothing from Waki?
  • + 1
 Does it get a foot longer in corners like its big sister?

Does it eat square edges for breakfast like its big sister?

Does it pedal, unlike its big sister?
  • + 1
 were you really expecting the trolls on PB (myself included) to take this seriously? how much saecasm is too much? do you think the pun trains get old sometimes?
  • + 1
 Hope the Maori are getting there cut, we have oppressed them long enough sealing all there all there ways of live,,time to give back..
  • + 1
 How bad is the pedal kick? It’s main Pivot is pretty neutral but the big cog in the back makes me think that kickback is quite high
  • + 3
 Does it look like a Session?
  • + 2
 Maybe the new version of this comment is - "looks like a Bronson"?
  • + 3
 How high is the drag when coasting compared to regular derailleur system?
  • + 2
 Would be the same. Drive train is not engaged in either setup while coasting, it's just hub freewheel drag.
  • + 1
 @Rainmaker22: Hmm, right Smile I thought it works like Effigear in Cavalerie Anakin they tested once.
  • + 1
 Does this mean that Grip Shift is BACK, will put thumbshifters in the Smithsonian and my friend RossP will be hanging his head in shame for the rest of his MTB life?
  • + 2
 Are there any bikes that you would prefer to ride, that you find are better bikes? Is so, which ones are better overall?
  • + 2
 I want to know if you would buy it. Is it better than a derailleur equipped bike and worth the premium?
  • + 1
 How long does it take to dial in the suspension? Do you have to lower rear rebound at all or is the weight centered? How playful does it feel when properly setup?
  • + 3
 Do you notice drag with the pinion gearbox?
  • + 1
 I know I'm not Mike Levy but I rode a Pinion gearbox is for the first time recently and I noticed significant drag. Slow climbs weren't a problem bit every time I put the power down I noticed the drag. It was enough to put me off gearbox bikes for now despite me saying I would never buy another Derailleur bike.
  • + 1
 @skill7: I have heard different things. Some people have said the drag is really noticeable (like you), while others say its more perception than reality
It would be good to get Mike Levy's take on it.
  • + 3
 will they reduce the price by $3000 next year
  • + 1
 Do you think the concept is now mature enough to ditch the rear derailleur once and for all? (for all-mountain at least, let's take xc and weight-focused disciplines apart)
  • + 2
 Could you please say something about suspension performance? With respect to the better ratio of unsprung vs. sprung weight.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy Are you going to come to Rotorua and go for a ride with Rob? Perfect excuse for a road trip! (and plane trip, obv.)
  • + 2
 Graphs with Leverage Ratio, Sunspesion Curve and Anti Squat. Love that stuff
  • + 2
 Do whatever you can to make the gearbox fail/break. Report back with the findings.
  • + 2
 Can you highlight the serviceability of the shifting cables should they stretch or fail?
  • + 0
 so its grip shift.
1. why don't pinion do something good for once and make a trigger shift version?
2. does it shift when you don't want it to/ I it annoying that you have to more your hand to shift up and down?
  • + 2
 I Don't Believe my Eyes!!! NO WAKI COMMENT YET?!?!? Hahaha Laughed so hard that the writer put that in there!! ;-p
  • + 4
 Is that a pressfit BB?
  • + 2
 Do you get dirty, get off my trail looks from folks thinking you are riding a GD Ebike.
  • + 1
 Will it shift well under load? Last i talked to someone with one of these, he said it did not...
  • + 1
 Is it time to move for a real gear shifter?cause the grip is ..........,you have to ........well
  • + 2
 Does it do good wheelies good?
  • + 1
 Does the ‘awesome’ gear box with it’s range and ease of use make up for the weight penalty?

Sweet looking test bike!
  • + 1
 Why not belt drive? Possibly Mud, rear triangle/service, or suspension issue w that?
  • + 2
 OK, fancy bike like that, will it get you a root?
  • + 1
 Haha... I got one and unfortunately the only pickups so far have been dudes on the trail. Quite a conversation starter if you are into that kinda thing.
  • + 2
 is it made in same Factory as the SCB frames ?
  • + 1
 Does it bother you having two different kinda gripthings at the bar side of the shifter?
?
  • + 2
 why do people buy $200 rear derailleurs?
  • + 6
 Because they can't afford the $300 ones
  • + 2
 Are the cables that long because you plan to do bar spins?
  • + 1
 This bike shreds like any other, pops on bumps and turns so fast, especially good airborne also.
  • + 1
 How's the drag on the system? How's brake performance on DH? And how hard would it be to fix gearbox?
  • + 2
 does it have a reverse gear?
  • + 2
 Is the WTB Convict any good as a front tyre? Oh and the gearbox thing
  • + 1
 Great as a front tire. More better in dry dusty, loam and hardpack, less better in wet.
  • + 1
 Pinion makes absolute sense....rear derailleurs and gnarly rock gardens don't mix Smile
  • + 3
 How does it case?
  • + 1
 I would like to know this as well
  • + 1
 Me also
  • + 1
 Is this bike capable of all day trail riding on heavy trails Or is it more just a glorified shuttle/park bike?
  • + 1
 It's a bike from NZ. If I buy one,will the skin in my hands grow thicker so I can stop wearing gloves like them kiwis?
  • + 2
 Yes. Because....science.
  • + 1
 Yes, and they'll also be nice and soft from all the lanolinSmile
  • + 1
 Why did Zerode abandon their awesome high single pivot design for this frame?
  • + 1
 After 3 months of ownership, have you managed to pronounce the name correctly yet?
  • + 1
 Can you try to break something in the drivetrain, and fix it in the trail with your normal complement of tools?
  • + 0
 Gearboxes are good for leaving you stranded with no Mcgyver workaround. I'm old enough that I know I will never have to rely on one. Never.
  • + 1
 Can the gearbox be transferable into future Zerode models? or are you stuck with that thing forever?
  • + 1
 Gearbox is transferable to any pinion specific frame
  • + 2
 Any word on how it rides with a coil?
  • + 1
 ^This. Does the low unsprung mass + a coil shock = hero dirt traction in non hero dirt?
  • + 1
 Hey Mike, at least you have a lot to read and a lot of fans for your upcoming article. Smile
  • + 1
 Did they give it to you to test because of your pro derailleur stance you have taken over the past few years?
  • + 1
 Is there room for Muc-Off to make it faster and faster or do i change bike washes?
  • + 2
 How long would it take to get a replacement gearbox under warranty?
  • + 2
 This is the future. Thanks Pinion.
  • + 3
 Where is WAKI's comment?
  • + 1
 If you break it, (assuming you'll break it (please break it!)) how do you go about fixing it?
  • + 2
 Will it fit 28.99mm spindles? Cause if it won't, I don't want it.
  • + 2
 Can you pls write the weight also in kg and not only in Ib.
  • + 1
 I don't care if it's 'better', one of those kitted with #DVO #MAGURA and #i9 and I would happily lick it clean…
  • + 2
 Can you do wicked skids on it?
  • - 1
 I literally laughed out loud when I saw this! You always leave the best comments, Bruce. Important factor though
  • + 2
 why does this bike look so damn sexy?
  • + 2
 Have you ever seen a more beautiful looking bike?
  • + 2
 Can someone explain what a 600% ratio means in real world terms?
  • + 4
 I think it is the highest gear divided by the lowest gear multiplied by 100...Example for traditional derailleur drive train...54 tooth large sprocket on cassette divided by 9 tooth small sprocket equals "6". Multiply that by 100 and you get the 600%. I know those aren't real values for any manufactured cassette, but I think the concept is the same.
  • + 4
 SRAM Eagle is 10-50T which is 500% (50/10 X 100), so this would be equivalent to a 10-60T cassette, and in this case, changing the cog to adjust ratio rather than chainring.
  • + 1
 Does needing to use a grip shift immediately turn you into a middle-aged man?
  • + 1
 Is there much of a difference in shift feel compared to a normal derailleur drivetrain, and if gearboxes could everyone
  • + 1
 Could you see electronic shifting coming to gear box's in the (near) future?
  • + 1
 It is a 17 kg bike. How heavy does it feel compared to similar all-mountain bikes you have ridden?
  • + 1
 15.5 kg 2.2 lbs equals 1 kg
  • + 1
 @vhdh666: Right. My fault. It is somewhat heavy compared with other all-mountain bikes, anyway, so the question remains valid I guess
  • + 1
 @webermtb: It's about the same weight as some of the new Canyon Torque and Canyon Spectrals
  • + 2
 Mine is under 15Kg with pedals
  • + 1
 You can reach a weight below 14kg, depends on parts and price tag
  • + 2
 How much slower are your Strava times with it? Climbs and descents.
  • + 2
 How much time is saved on average from not having to clean/tune mech?
  • + 1
 Are 12 speeds and a 600% range necessary? Could 10 (or 9, or 8?) gears with the same range be sufficient and lighter?
  • + 0
 Superboost++ or TRAIL++? No, then this bike is not to the standards! Get back to us when is updated!
  • + 1
 Can you remove the gearbox and mount a rear derailleur?
  • + 1
 thank goodness, no 2899 here.
  • + 1
 Can you fit a sushi roll in the downtube?
  • + 1
 My only real concern is it SRAM DUB backwards compatible?
  • + 1
 Hey, isn't that a Jalopnik-style article???
Hmmm....
  • + 1
 how does the gripshift feel
  • + 2
 Ribbed for your pleasure
  • + 1
 Probably like a grip shift I would say, never used one?
  • + 2
 @dwojo: Wait, the ribs are for my pleasure? Finally someone's thinking about me.

I love ribs.
  • + 2
 Does it Shred?
  • + 2
 yes
  • + 1
 How does it stand-up pedaling?
  • + 1
 will people think that i'm riding an ebike?
  • + 1
 I am digging the part spec - Derby Wheels and Helm fork.
  • + 1
 Did you read all the comments?
  • + 1
 How does it compare to its lookalike - the sc Bronson?
  • + 1
 When you are done testing that one then try www.deviatecycles.com
  • + 1
 WHEN WILL BE AVAILABLE WITH CARBON BELT DRIVE?
  • + 1
 Has it got a swat for Meccano spares??
  • + 1
 Are there plans to rid this set up of the grip shift ?
  • + 1
 i hope they do, reminds me of something youd find at walmart.
  • + 1
 Waki is mastering his ultimate comment i think, it's yet to come calm down
  • + 0
 It has a chain, can it run a belt? Does the rear hub take advantage of extra space? Can you fit a 2.6? Is it quiet?
  • + 3
 This suspension layout can't run a belt - you'd need a concentric pivot to the pedal axle to prevent stretching, and then you also need to compromise the rear triangle by allowing it to come apart to fit the belt in the first place. A belt tensioner would be required in the bikes current suspension layout, and belts do not like having too much back pressure on them, especially when formed into such a small radius.
  • + 1
 Does it feel like you are pedaling in mud the entire time?
  • + 1
 Is it latterly stiff while remaining vertically compliant?
  • + 1
 What's the points gap on a '75 Honda Z 50?
  • + 1
 What speed chain is fitted?
  • + 1
 The important question what does Waki think of it?!?!
  • + 1
 Does this spell the end of the E-bike?
  • + 1
 When you're done, can I have a go?
  • + 2
 Does it go to 11?
  • + 1
 make it in 29er 160 mm plz
  • + 1
 29 is so last year, it's 28.99 for 2018.
  • + 1
 I want a more playful bike.... 27.4999.... it's like, almost 27.5 but... more like 26. All the roll/benefits of 27.5 but more playful like a 26.
  • + 1
 Can you test this bike with a nitro shox shock?
  • + 1
 what would you change on this bike?
  • + 1
 swap out the cane creek db with a cane creek db coil.
  • + 1
 Is it possible to get it without grip shift??
  • + 1
 Please include a full compression slow-mo.
  • + 2
 Drop test is really interesting. I can drop mine from a foot in the air and it hits the ground and just sticks it like a Russian gymnast. Unsprung weight for the win!
  • + 2
 Taniwha vs Geometron +/-
  • + 0
 so id have to not brake 20 derailleurs to make this pencil out? sounds good..
  • + 1
 I have another one ,but I will ask you after you done 3000 km on it
  • + 1
 i´d like to know where you liveBig Grin
  • + 1
 finally, I´ve been waiting for ages! Do they have them in red?
  • + 1
 Why do you have to mix it with metric and imperial?
  • + 1
 Does it pass the M check straight out the box?
  • + 1
 Has Pinion considered Electronic Shifting? With trigger style as well.
  • + 1
 In development apparently
  • + 2
 i wait Waki's comment
  • + 1
 Will a 2.8 Minion DHF or DHR fit in the back?
  • + 1
 What I want to know? When can I test ride it!!
  • + 1
 They were at outerbike last fall. I'm betting they'll be there again this year. I fell in love with the shifting. It was instantaneous. No waiting a millisecond for the chain to climb to anotger cog.
  • + 1
 @sixstringsteve: Outerbike is more a shitshow and interbike lately Frown
  • + 1
 Is it ‘Jank Queen’ approved?
  • + 0
 Did you opt for the gripshift or was it stock? Just curious. Maybe it's required for the gearbox?
  • + 1
 Do gearbox bikes look like e bikes?
  • + 2
 yep, once got asked by one ebiker where is my batteries? I see motor (and pointing on pinion) but where is batteries?
  • + 1
 Can’t wait to see this review!!!
  • + 1
 Do the ladies like it?
  • + 1
 Air or coil?
  • + 0
 not super boost plus? nor DUB? no care
  • + 1
 Can i have it?
  • + 1
 Where's Waki????
  • + 1
 Does it Send?
  • + 1
 Does it shred?
  • - 1
 will the chix dig me more if I buy this bike......?
  • + 0
 Does it come in black?
  • - 1
 My DH bike is 34lbs with pedals!
  • + 0
 Does it blend?
  • - 1
 Will all the dentists buy one?
  • - 3
 Dub compatible?
  • - 3
 Can I ride it?
  • - 2
 Santa Cruz much?
  • + 3
 And you must be basing this on the colour, because it sure as hell can't be the suspension layout...
  • - 2
 price is fucking crazy
  • - 3
 are there any hidden kiwis in the frame ?
  • - 3
 Its an anagram for "Taiwan H" now I get it.
  • - 1
 Can I have it?
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