When the discussion turns to gear boxes, Pinion seems to be getting all the attention these days, but there is another gear box which has been around for some time. Currently being used by companies like Cavalerie and Nicolai, the effigear gear box offers a tuneable range of gears from 6 to 9 speeds. While some of the Cavalerie bikes have only changed slightly in the past few years, they will now be available in the US through Philthy Bikes. Not only are they available, but the company does have a new Enduro bike in the works…
As their full on DH build, the Falcon has seen a few small tweaks since its introduction a few years ago. Rear travel is still 200mm from the single pivot design. Since the drive is concentric with the pivot, Cavalerie claims pedal feedback is almost completely eliminated.
Since the gearbox itself has a freewheel built in, all of the Cavalerie bikes use a fixed gear rear hub. That makes for less unsprung weight. The hubs are made by Aivee with the belt drive cog splines machined directly into the aluminum hub shell. The replaceable dropouts also allow the belt to be installed and offer tension adjusters to tune the belt.
Built with a 3 axle system, the effigear gear box holds two sets of pinion gears which offer the capability to run different speeds. To drop up to 3 gears from the standard 9, each set of pinion gears can be removed and replaced with aluminum spacers which decreases the weight.
The included freewheel runs 48 engagements points for 7.5 degrees of engagement. At the full 9 speeds, the gearbox range is 444% – roughly the same as a double 24/36 with an 11-34 cassette. Dropping it down to 8 speeds nets a 360% range, 300% with 7, and 260% with 6 speeds. Compared to a full derailleur equipped drivetrain, the effigear gear box is claimed to add only 5-100 grams.
In order to keep the gears running smoothly, the box is sealed and filled with gear oil. When it’s time to change the oil, simply open the drain plug and replace.
Sitting at 185mm of travel the Squirrel is aimed at the freeride or big mountain market. The Squirrel is very similar to the Falcon in a smaller package.
While it wasn’t on hand at Sea Otter, Cavalerie has a new bike they have been working on called the Anakin. Built for Enduro (what else?) the frame runs 650b wheels, 160mm of travel, and is still a Gates Belt drive effigear equipped shredder.