Zerode Bikes Announces New World Cup Team with Sam Blenkinsop & Taylor Vernon

Jan 27, 2024 at 15:11
by Phil Boorman  
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Press Release: Zerode Bikes

More than a decade since the G1 and G2 made their impact on the DH World Cup privateer scene, Zerode Bikes has returned to the World stage with the new G3 - their new belt drive, gearbox equipped DH platform. And with the launch of Zerode Racing, they are ready for the 2024 World Cup season.

Zerode bikes made a significant impact on the DH scene in the early 2010s with the launch of the G1, which quickly gained a reputation for incredible suspension performance due to its low unsprung mass, centrally mounted gearbox, and high pivot. Under some of New Zealand’s fastest riders, the bikes proved they could foot it at an international level. Despite the potential of the bike and riders, a lack of resources at the time restricted the setup of a full race team.

Fast forward to 2024 - a new bike and in a year where some companies may see a chance to protect their core business and reign in racing spend, Zerode has bucked the trend and sees the current market challenges as an opportunity to make an impact on a bigger scale.

Along with the support of key partners Gates Carbon Drive, Pinion and Hayes, Zerode Racing is gearing up for their biggest race season to date.

The 2024 Zerode Racing lineup is Sam Blenkinsop (NZ) and Taylor Vernon (UK)
Both Sam and Taylor have had some time on the new G3 and have been impressed with the stability and speed, and are excited about what the new DH platform is capable of. Together with a team ethos that focuses on rider support above all else, Zerode plans to bring some real excitement to 2024 and to turn some heads amongst the incumbents.

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I am super excited to be riding for Zerode this season and to be riding on a New Zealand designed bike is something special! I have always been a fan of the brand early on in my career watching Rob ripping turns on the bike he designed and made. It’s always been a dream for me but never lined up. I can’t wait to see what we can bring to the World Cup circuit! Let’s goooo!

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So good to be joining Zerode Racing. It's great to be back in a team unit and go racing with a company that shares the same approach with an insanely good bike. The privateer hustle was a grind and I achieved my goal of returning to a race team. Keen to tick more boxes in ‘24!

Zerode Founder and designer, Rob Metz is confident about the 2024 season and the impact the G3 and new riding team will have on the world stage.

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'The embers of a World Cup DH team have been glowing since Dodzy and I first decided to build Steelie back in 2005. Fanning those embers has previously been somewhat of a challenge given we started Zerode with just a few thousand dollars, in a Garage in Rotorua/NZ.
Come 2024 and we find ourselves with established relationships within the industry, committed suppliers, a larger business team, more resources, a new DH bike, and a handful of excited loyal riders and customers…. The embers have become a small fire.
'

Author Info:
zerodebikesnz avatar

Member since Nov 8, 2021
6 articles

132 Comments
  • 229 6
 Stoked to see Benki and Taylor riding for Zerode. The company is hella underrated and deserves more recognition!
  • 39 287
flag deadmeat25 (Jan 28, 2024 at 1:09) (Below Threshold)
 Hella..? Surely you mean very, quite, or rather..?
  • 244 4
 @deadmeat25: You must be hella fun at parties
  • 31 1
 @deadmeat25: it's in the Oxford dictionary.
  • 32 2
 @JonnyTheWeasel: check out all his comments, he,s clearly got some anger issues lol
  • 15 4
 @deadmeat25: booo, you suck
  • 37 1
 @savmeister: you would too, if you lived in Stevenage...
  • 2 2
 @deadmeat25: it's a beautiful language
  • 1 2
 @JonnyTheWeasel: hahahahahahaha
  • 16 27
flag Ebab FL (Jan 28, 2024 at 7:39) (Below Threshold)
 @deadmeat25: Here in America we speak cool English, not your fancy pants, pretentious English.
  • 13 1
 @deadmeat25: They mean hella and don’t call them Shirley.
  • 12 1
 @shaecafe: may I be frank then?
  • 11 15
flag Monkeyass (Jan 28, 2024 at 11:15) (Below Threshold)
 @Ebab: have you visited England? Most people speak like they’re treetarded
  • 3 1
 @Monkeyass: .....could be worse
  • 3 2
 hella bella my fella !
  • 4 2
 @Ebab: trousers*
  • 3 1
 @deadmeat25: In NorCal, "hella" is a sign of our tribe. Next week, we'll explain BAH to you.
  • 2 0
 @cuban-b: I'd rather you be yourself
  • 67 0
 Blenki won't have to pedal in the air anymore!
  • 66 0
 Zerode to Herode! This is great news, good luck to them.
  • 2 0
 AWESUM!)!!!
  • 17 0
 @RedBurn: I think you mean owesome. O for owesome.
  • 66 4
 The industry is in a scary place right now. A lot of brands have gotten a little stale and afraid to take risks. Be more like Zerode. Fresh ideas will still sell.
  • 23 0
 Such a good looking bike. Good luck Sam and Taylor
  • 4 0
 Was looking at the complete builds on their website. They really are good looking bikes.
  • 21 12
 With a Pinion Motor Gearbox, that would make an awesome ebike.
  • 3 0
 Maybe there‘s a place left for Danny Hart.
  • 10 13
 @LemonadeMoney: I recon they would certainly sell more e-dh bikes than they would dh bikes for sure.
  • 10 5
 @ThatEbikeGuy: I knew my comment would get the bedwetters going.
  • 5 0
 @ThatEbikeGuy: I'm sure that will happen as there is Pinion E1.12 gearbox on the table in front of Rob Metz (the last picture).
  • 7 0
 @ThatEbikeGuy: you're down voted but you're right. Idk why most ebikes aren't 200mm at this point
  • 5 1
 @LemonadeMoney: @LemonadeMoney: Rob did have a G2 with the front triangle lengthened to modern proportions (he's a very tall human anyway) and it had a I think something like a 6kw RC plane motor in place of the Alfine hub gearbox, ran the battery in a backpack, it was only single speed and not ideally geared, it was stupid fast and very cool, it didn't have any pedal integration, so he'd pretend to pedal going past anyone who would have had a cry about it not being a proper ebike!
  • 24 3
 This has the potential to change bikes as we know them, and I hope it does!!
  • 13 1
 G3: "I'm here to change bikes as we know them."
G1 and G2: "Hold our beers."
  • 21 0
 Rob Metz' house tho.
  • 1 0
 sure a podcast topic on its own
  • 2 0
 Mars module G3
  • 12 0
 Now this is the kind of upbeat industry news we needed to see pinkbike. Two extremely talented riders and I'm not familiar with the bike company so exciting to see what the guys and bike can do this season
  • 15 1
 Now if only Zerode would consider building a more economical, aluminum version of their trail bikes.
  • 9 15
flag MillerReid (Jan 28, 2024 at 7:58) (Below Threshold)
 You have to have large margins when you sell 11 bikes a year. They probably can't offer a cheaper aluminum version.
  • 12 0
 Wow didn't expect that! Awesome!
  • 11 0
 well thats the kind of news we wanted!
  • 6 0
 Not a fan of the twist grip but this ticks all the boxes, stunning bike and the trail & Enduro bikes look just as good on their website. Gearbox and belt drive for the win. Zerode class act
  • 19 0
 They’ll probably be using the electronic shifting version, which has a normal shifter. The Gamux team has this too.
  • 9 0
 Great to see Taylor back on a team.
  • 8 1
 Blenki has always been eying those Zerodes cuz the gearbox provides that added bit of resistance to make his mid-air pedaling just a bit more stable.
  • 8 0
 High pivot gearbox…Levy is rolling over in his PB grave…
  • 4 0
 My first time on a ZERODE I was very fortunate to try a ZERODE ! . first time ever on a gearbox machine, ..... didn t have time to adjust the set up correctly for my body, didn t care, the bike felt at home straight away, le pleney was slippery and completly destroyed, it didn t matter , I was on a flying carpet, AMAZING RIDE !!!!! and so silent. this bike is a dream. Beautiful machine,
  • 6 0
 Great to see Taylor on a team, he is such a nice person.
  • 5 0
 Ballsy move. Wishing Zerode all the best and great results and hope this gives them greater recognition internationally
  • 4 0
 This is class - absolutely love Zerode as a brand!
  • 3 0
 Some good news, just make an extra small for us short asses about 400 reach.
  • 1 0
 So rad to see more Zerode between the tape!
  • 2 0
 Oh I like this announcement. Great pick ups for Zerode. Always intrigued by their bikes and stop to give 'em a second look whenever I see them.
  • 3 0
 The ONLY reason to sell my G2.
  • 2 0
 wish zerode all the best, hope gearbox will gain more traction in the coming years and more options to come
  • 2 0
 Great news and happy to see a strong team with Kiwi rider fo a most underrated and on the edge brand
  • 2 0
 I mean who among us didn't grow up dreaming about being sponsored by Yoshimura for bicycling?!
  • 3 0
 Good for them, people should to support brands that support racing.
  • 3 0
 Taylor Vernon lookin like he's on a manhunt for a couple of moonshiners.
  • 1 0
 You’ve been watching too much history channel
  • 1 0
 @Murphius: Nah, he reminds me of Guy Pearce from Lawless.
  • 3 0
 high pivot belt drives are a beautiful thing.
  • 3 0
 So cool. Good luck Blenki.
  • 2 0
 Yo! This is some cool news
  • 2 0
 The Zerode bikes looks like the best bikes ever!
  • 1 0
 That's WHat's Up. Great to hear. I want to see those bikes running through rock gardens.
  • 2 0
 Last pic he looks like Superhands
  • 3 0
 *Super Hans. Although that's what I used to think he was called too. A good reminder that everyone should watch Peep Show. It should be screened in schools.
  • 3 0
 @BenPea: “this crack is moreish…”
  • 2 0
 I’m just exited to see Blenki riding this year!!
  • 2 0
 Just look at that thing!!
  • 2 0
 Ssshhhhwwwwing Wish I could swing a dedicated dh sled! That thing is rad.
  • 2 0
 That looks like an amazing bike, I would love to see it reviewed
  • 1 0
 I wanna see what the bike is gonna look like with Hayes components!! (Manitou)
  • 1 0
 This is awesome! Glad to see Zerode with a new bike and getting back into the DH race scene tup
  • 2 0
 Gearboxes will see this and say “Hell yeah”
  • 2 0
 The big question is..... Will Blenki still pedal in mid air?? Smile
  • 1 0
 This is awesome news. Looks like a great team of people, I hope there's some good riding edits with them two!
  • 1 0
 Interested to know, what parts of a MTB are classed as unsprung mass?
  • 16 0
 "Unsprung Mass is the mass of every component unsupported by the bike's suspension that needs to move/rotate when the wheel hits a bump; wheel, tyre, some of the rear stays, brakes, and of course cluster and derailleurs."
  • 3 0
 Fork lower, wheels, calipers, chainstay, derailleur, cassette.
  • 2 0
 Wheels, tyrew, cassette, derailleur, brake assemblies, rotors, half of the swingarm/chainstay, half of the chain, the moving part of the shock, half of the coil spring, fork lowers, the moving portion of the fork damper.
  • 1 0
 @gibbon-on-an-orange: interesting. Why half of the chain?
  • 1 0
 @dglobulator: because it is mass acting against the shock. The portion around the cassette and derailleur add to the weight of the whole rear end.
  • 2 0
 @dglobulator: the vast majority of the chain’s mass moves along with the rear triangle; for inertia purposes (which is what unsprung mass is about) the majority of the chain is also unsprung mass. Easy way to think about it is “everything below/behind your shock’s spring” or “everything that’s supposed to violently flail around so your main body weight (sprung mass) doesn’t flail around at all”
  • 1 0
 Rad, keen to see how these blokes go, I reckon Taylor's gonna haul.
  • 2 1
 But but Sam and Gwin are supposed to be on yeti together again!!
  • 1 0
 This is good news Blinky send it.
  • 1 0
 So rad to see more Zerode between the tape!
  • 1 0
 Great news! Can't wait to try out the new G3!!!
  • 1 0
 I wonder if there’s any 27 er bikes they have
  • 1 0
 How well does a belt drive work in the dirt?
  • 5 0
 Better than a chain. Maybe because it's not oiled so the mud just cleans itself off. It's impressive.
  • 1 0
 @NZMTBRally: Thanks for the info. I recently got a commuter with a belt and considering how much effort chainring manufacturers put into making dirt-evacuation channels near the teeth (and obviously because chains allow for dirt to be pushed through, I couldn't quite see this happen on this new commuter. Haven't tried either, my commute is on the road. But yeah, was curious how well it works. In motorcycles, it typically are the road bikes I see with belts, dirt bikes seem to stick with chains as far as I can see.
  • 2 0
 Better than a chain, but add enough mud and even a belt can get clogged. I run a belt on my Zerode Taniwha, but my next gearbox bike will be chain drive.
  • 1 0
 @sanchofula: Yeah, I suppose you can always convert to a conventional chain and sprocket if the belt is getting you issues. This team just happens to be sponsored by Gates so they'll have to stick with the belt. Obviously the sponsorship also implies that if the mud, mangled between belt and sprocket, grinds away both they can have these replaced as often as needed.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Belt works well in the mud once you have the snubber out back to hold the belt on the rear cog. You feel a bit more resistance as your pedal to clear the mud out of the belt on first revolution after a long period of not pedaling. (ie. loam/mud buildup on the static belt after a full dh run not pedaling, then pedal for a big jump). Beyond that, no issues with mud, especially if you pedal frequently.
  • 1 0
 I want a Zerode!!! Dang it...
  • 1 0
 Good luck gentlemen, it will be cool to see you threaten some podiums!
  • 1 0
 Brilliant news
  • 1 1
 Whats going on with Crestline?
  • 2 0
 If I had to guess, there are only so many pieces of the pie to go around. With so many small niche bike brands out there it’s hard to make a profit and be able to support a race team. They still make bikes as far as I know, but they probably didn’t have enough money for a second year of racing support.
  • 2 0
 Crestline is doing just fine. They keep selling out of bikes and are very popular here at the spot I ride in Socal. They are more e-bike focused though. From what I've heard being small and not having a ton of overhead has put them in a much more favorable financial position than some other bigger brands.
  • 1 0
 Wow, AG. Great news.
  • 1 2
 Pronounced "Zero - Dee" or like "Zeoed"?

Wishing Blenki & Taylor a smashing 2024!
  • 1 2
 it also only just occurred to me that it could be "zero dee". whoops...
  • 5 0
 I would like to think it is zerOde, empasis on the o.
  • 5 0
 Since it originally means “zero derailleur” I’d assume Zerodee. I’m gonna call it Zerode though
  • 1 3
 @fewnofrwgijn: You have made that up completely. It has nothing to do with having no dérailleur.

Zerode refers to the end number of the equation they used to work out the suspension Kinematics.. which is Zero.
  • 1 5
flag Aled-DHI (Jan 29, 2024 at 7:16) (Below Threshold)
 @muumuu: how do you get that... its spelt Zerode, its simple english.
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: Correct.
  • 3 2
 @Aled-DHI: how do you not see the similarity? @mumuu only said it 'could be'. We were asking for clarification and out of respect for Zerode and as brand. In addition, it' ins't simiple English, other than the bike company, the main entry on a Google definition research appears in the Urban (slang) Dictionary. "Zerode - The best thing that has ever existed." How about backing off the arraogance?
  • 1 7
flag Aled-DHI (Jan 29, 2024 at 8:00) (Below Threshold)
 @bman33: Because I can understand written english, its really not hard mate.

You asked for clarification, got it - then proceed to call me arrogant?

Chill out brother, why are you so mad.
  • 3 0
 @Aled-DHI: All good with me. You came with the attittude, hence my comment. Not a single one of use asked for a definition, we asked pronuciantion. I assume you are aware every English speaking country has various pronunciations, spellings and slang? Having a looedk at the Websters dictionary, 'Zerode' isn't not even an entry. 'Zeroed' is used as past tense verb in some cases as in: "The team zeroed out the counter on the scale." Your comment to muumuu was " how do you get that... its spelt Zerode, its simple english." as if Zerode is used in everday English. Guess what? It isn't. Cheers and rubber side down man
  • 5 1
 The company has said it comes from zero derailleur
  • 2 0
 Zerode in on success
  • 3 0
 @Aled-DHI: english is simple? where you from, Worcester?

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Smile
  • 1 0
 Thats great news!!!
  • 4 6
 No gloves, no love!
  • 1 0
 Norbraten has entered the chat
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