Zerode Taniwha No Shock
Zerode Taniwha No Shock
Zerode bikes launched in 2011 and have been producing gearbox Downhill Bikes for 5 years now. During that time there has been a rising demand from our customers and others interested in dropping the traditional derailleur on their AM/Enduro bikes. These systems inhibit the suspension, add weight to the rear end and are now costing close to $400 to have a somewhat vulnerable mechanical piece dangle a few inches from the ground. We would like to introduce you to The Taniwha a 12spd Pinion Gearbox, Carbon Fiber trail slayer.
tani:fa – noun: (NZ) A legendary Maori monster, considered highly respected guardians of people or places.
Rob Metz has spent the last 5 years producing Zerode downhill bikes. This was a high single pivot gearbox bike. Well the time has come for Zerode to release the highly anticipated trail bike. Please allow us to introduce to you The Zerode Taniwha. This is a 160mm, 650b wheeled bike sporting a 65 degree HA and using a Pinion 12 spd gearbox that is mounted into its Carbon Fiber frame! For the “enduro” frame Rob found it best to go with the more common lower single pivot design. Once again you will not need a deraillure, cassette, shifter, chain guide, cranks or BB for the bike.
12spd Pinion Gearbox
142mmx12mm rear hub
Water Bottle Mount
430mm CS Length
74.5 Seatpost Angle
65 Degree HA
Equal Gear Steps
“In Māori mythology, Taniwha (Māori pronunciation: [tanifa]) are highly respected protective guardians, or in some traditions, stealthy, predatory beings. The Zerode Taniwha could be seen as both of these.
Fundamentally the Zerode Taniwha is about making the mountain biking experience better. Nothing inspires us to ride more than a quiet, low maintenance, confidence inspiring bike
The 12 spd pinion gearbox offers a huge spread of gears that goes well beyond today’s 1×11. Whether you are grinding up an epic backcountry single track or blasting down a high speed fire-road there is a gear to do the job. An unexpected pinch climb will never be a problem again, changing gear is effortless and immediate.
A significant reduction in unsprung weight ensures suspension performance that is undeniably better than any Enduro bike equipped with a rear derailleur. Symmetrical spoke angle ensures a very strong, light rear wheel that further improves suspension performance.
A simple, effective and proven suspension platform combined with a fixed chain line optimizes pedaling performance through the entire travel range. It is difficult to approach the elegance and performance of this layout with any virtual pivot design.A sleek full carbon frame offers excellent stiffness, reduced weight and flawless beauty in a modern geometry.
Maintenance and tuning of gears are almost nonexistent, sprocket and chain life are massively extended. On a Zerode, that brand new drivetrain feeling happens every day.
For those that ride for fun, the Zerode Taniwha will inspire you to ride in any conditions on any trail. If you are racing, whether it for an EWS podium or for bragging-rights amongst mates, the Taniwha provides an edge your competition won’t have.”
Medium - 2580 grams
Large - 2680 grams
Is Grip shift the only option?
It turns out that the grip shift is a very nice match to a drive train when you do not have to pedal to change gear and the gears change instantly. If you get caught out in the wrong gear on a pinch climb you can back off for a split second and rip through a bunch of gears with a twist while the derailleur guys are trying to pedal over the top of the wrong gear or click and crunch through gears one at a time. There is no comparison in this situation. You can grab gears when coasting, back pedalling so you adapt and change when and where you shift, the grip shift lets you do this in a seamless way. I have no doubt a trigger will be available at some point. I have designed one on paper, friends have made their own but I'm not sure experienced pinion users will want to swap the grip for a trigger.
Why no horst link?
In a nut shell. I don't link them. The pedalling performance of a Taniwha is second to none. The "real" pivot design combined with a fixed chain line means it is possible to achieve very stable pedalling through the entire range of suspension travel while independently control the suspension rate via a link. With a Horst link or VVP design the virtual pivot races all over the show making it hard to control suspension rate and pedalling independently. You get a compromised design but one that marketing departments love…
There is a huge amount of misinformation online about brake effect. The story goes, "single pivot designs suffer from brake Jack or brake lock out". In reality all bikes, even bikes equipped with horst links have brake effect to some degree. What happens is the traction force at the rear tire tends to rotate the suspension about the pivot whether real or virtual causing a suspension compression. It's worth noting the traction force at the rear wheel is usually small and so is the compressive effect and that the suspension is still free to respond to other inputs. Some bikes have more compression than others, in some situations this compression helps performance, in other situations it hinders performance.
I could go into an in depth analysis of brake effect. However, there is no need, motorcycles have used simple swingarm designs for over a century now, motorcycle designers fully understand brake effect and understand that a simple swingarm design is the best solution. Almost every DH world champ since records began had a bike with a brake effect essentially the same as that of a single pivot bike.
Imagine a 10-60 cassette. Enough said.
Obviously there is an extra element in the drive train so there has to be losses. The loss is small and depends on load and gear. A comparison with a clean mech with a chain in the middle of the cassette would obviously have a standard mech come out on top. If you take into account a significant reduction in unsprung weight changing gears instantaneously and the fact the a mech drive trains efficiency falls off quickly when the chain is at the top or bottom on the cassette or when sprockets are small, then add a little bit of dirt or mud the Pinion becomes very attractive. I wouldn't use one on a road bike but a 160mm trail/enduro bike for riding proper mountain bike trails it is a no brainer .
Why a gearbox/what about the weight?
If you add a Pinion gearbox, take away a cassette (unsprung weight), derailleur( unspring weight), chain guide and build a lighter stronger rear wheel and the disadvantage is ~800g. Given that you have to power yourself and the bike up hills and overcome rolling and air resistance the extra effort required when climbing is almost not measureable. Even if it was I would happily breathe a little harder while cruising up the hills with my mates if my reward was a significant improvement in suspension performance, 600% gear range, stronger rear wheel, almost no maintenance, chains that last years, shifting without pedalling, instantaneous shifting, no chain slap, optimised pedalling etc etc I'd be very surprised if Taniwha owners go back to a derailleur.
The Zerode Taniwha frames are warranted against manufacturing defects in materials and/or workmanship for three years from the date of original purchase.
This limited warranty applies only to the original owner of a Zerode Taniwha and is not transferable to subsequent owners.
This limited warranty is void if the bicycle is subjected to abuse, neglect, improper repair, improper maintenance, alteration, modification, an accident or other abnormal, excessive, or improper use.