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.
Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
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.
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.