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Zerode aren’t a initial association to make a gearbox bike – we’ve already had a Honda RN-01, Diamondback Sabbath and Nicolai Nuclon, among others – yet theirs is a many sorted pattern we’ve seen for some time (Geoff Waugh)

A little New Zealand outfit are holding on something only about each large bike code has considered, prototyped and afterwards suspended – a inner gearbox bike. It’s been one of a holy grails of bike pattern for a while. Just as we were starting to accept that it would stay in a realms of fantasy, along came Zerode and a G-1.

Cutting edge

The opening advantages of an inner gearbox are countless and easy to understand. For a start, a gears and a tools used to change them are packaged divided in a weatherproof housing. Mud and H2O can’t get during them, wear is reduced and there are no frail pieces of steel to obstacle and mangle on rocks. Shifting is well-spoken and unchanging – outstanding in another spoke underneath limit effort over a finishing line will feel accurately a same as your initial shifts of a day rolling around a automobile park.

The downsides of prior designs have been weight and a detriment of pedalling feel as a directness of a normal setup is lost. But that’s not a box here. An eight-speed Shimano Alfine furloughed heart is a heart of a gearbox. It’s a hermetic unit, that weighs a same as a sum of a tools it replaces. Positioned snugly above a startle in a mainframe, a gearbox moves a weight of a delivery from a normal position during a finish of a chainstays to a front triangle.

As a result, Zerode have increasing a sprung weight (the rider, frame…) and reduced a unsprung weight (the behind wheel, brake…) so a behind finish is some-more supportive over obstacles. This in spin offers larger cessation opening via a G-1′s outrageous 235mm (9.25in) of travel. Moving a weight inboard also improves handling. The categorical mass of a bike is centralised and where we wish it for a best manoeuvrability – between your knees.

Path of slightest resistance

Zerode weren’t calm with ‘just’ producing a gearbox bike though. They also addressed what they saw as a vivid repudiation of many cessation designs. With a delivery gubbins out back, many manufacturers concentration their efforts on achieving a straight circle route (where a behind circle travels adult and down). Zerode reckon that hits on a route frequency come in a linear fashion, instead logic that carrying a some-more rearward route enables a circle to upsurge over obstacles, as against to bouncing out of a way. 

By shortening a negligence effects of hits, a Zerode can lift some-more speed. Moving a gearbox inboard combined to this softened responsiveness – so most so that a Kiwis explain impact stresses are reduced to a indicate where we can run lighter wheels. When it comes to geometry, Zerode have motionless to keep things long, tardy and low. The G-1 has a 64.5-degree conduct angle, a 355mm (14in) bottom joint tallness and will be accessible in brief and prolonged (562 or 602mm) tip tube lengths. 

Anything is possible 

The Zerode G-1 is accessible as a frameset (comprising frame, Fox DHX RC4 shock, shifter, gearbox, tensioner, behind sprocket, spacer pack and axle) from £2,700, and as a tradition build to whatever spec your wallet can handle. They’ve even got an all-mountain chronicle in a tube for those who wish to take a G-1’s confidant opening on all-day jaunts. 

It’s tough not to admire a heroic blokes during Zerode – they’ve taken on a viewed manners of downhill support design, chewed and eaten them, and afterwards still motionless to pitch them out of a window. Without forward-thinking manufacturers like Zerode creation rule-breaking bikes, a marketplace would stagnate. Watch this space to see if their confidant promises for a G-1 supplement adult to a float as insubordinate as they claim. For some-more details, visit www.zerode.co.nz or www.prestige-cycles.co.uk.

This essay was
originally published in Mountain
Biking UK
magazine. The latest issue, #274, is out now and includes a demeanour during mud jumper Sam Pilgrim’s NS Majesty.

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