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Viral Dérive is a belt drive, Pinion gearbox bikepacking rig, free i9 wheels w/ preorder

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Steve Domahidy has been busy since we last caught up with him. Not only has he and Viral been living a bit of the nomadic lifestyle in search of a permanent place to call home, but Steve’s been hard at work with updates, new components, and even their first new model since launching the company. Now calling Bend, Oregon their home, the unique brand is doubling down on their gearbox design with two bikes now that make use of the new Pinion C1.12 gearbox.

Viral Dérive is a belt drive, Pinion gearbox bikepacking rig, free i9 wheels w/ preorderViral Dérive is a belt drive, Pinion gearbox bikepacking rig, free i9 wheels w/ preorder

For gearbox hold outs, the move to a C1.12 is a pretty important distinction. The new version of the Pinion internal gear box is lighter thanks to a magnesium body (nearly half a pound), but it also has a narrower q-factor (166mm) and chainline (50mm). Equipped with 12 gears, you have a 600% gear range with 17.7% gear steps.

Viral Dérive is a belt drive, Pinion gearbox bikepacking rig, free i9 wheels w/ preorder

You’ll find that new gearbox on both of the Viral bikes including the reworked Skeptic. As Viral’s original model, the new Skeptic moves to a more Enduro focused geometry that is longer, lower, slacker, and more stable. Built around a 130-150mm fork with 29″ or 27.5+ wheels and tires, the Skeptic runs a 65.5° head tube angle and 75.5° seat tube angle with a 140mm fork. Coupled with the narrower q-factor, the new Skeptic should be a welcome improvement.

 

Viral Dérive is a belt drive, Pinion gearbox bikepacking rig, free i9 wheels w/ preorder

Along with the reworked Skeptic, the new Dérive is the result of many requests for a bikepacking specific version of the Skeptic. On the surface, it looks just like the Skeptic, but you’ll find a completely different geometry that is designed around a 120mm travel fork with a 66.5° head tube angle and a slightly higher BB. You’ll also find a full complement of mounts with fender mounts, rear rack mounts, three water bottle mounts, and a top tube gas tank style mount. Since it’s built around the 120mm fork, you should also be able to find rigid forks to swap in if you’d rather ditch the suspension.

Like the Skeptic, the Dérive is made from triple butted titanium, and runs Boost 148mm spacing, a 30.9 dropper compatible seat tube, and internal tapered head tube. Tire clearance is 27.5 x 3.0″ or you can also run 29″ wheels and tires. Frame weight it said to be 4.25lbs for the medium which includes the gearbox. Priced at $4,495 for the frame and drivetrain kit, the Dérive is the same price as the Skeptic and includes the Pinion C1.12 gearbox, CNC cranks, 12 speed shifter, alloy gates cogs, and a Gates CarbonDrive belt.

Free Industry 9 Wheels!

As an added bonus, if you pre-order your Skeptic or Dérive between now and the end of August, Viral will comp you a set of Industry 9 wheels built to your specifications. Not just a plain black set. Instead, they’ll cover up to $1265 worth of i9 goodness in either 29 or 27.5+, built to your specifications including custom colors, etc. It’s possible that your choice of upgrades may exceed the $1265 cap, at which case you’d have to cover the difference. In order to qualify, you have to pre-order the frame kit with a 50% deposit.

Viral Dérive is a belt drive, Pinion gearbox bikepacking rig, free i9 wheels w/ preorder Viral Dérive is a belt drive, Pinion gearbox bikepacking rig, free i9 wheels w/ preorder

In other Viral news, the brand is working on their own line of carbon components including one piece bar/stems and carbon rims in 27.5 and 29″. Still in the prototype phase, the bars will likely be 800mm wide with a 9° back sweep and 5° up sweep (with a 65.5° headtube angle), and a 35mm stem length with 15mm rise. Claimed weight is 270g and these should sell for $300 once available.

The carbon rims are listed as having a 38mm internal width and 470g weight for the 27.5″ version, and likely a $500 retail. Viral points out that their crash replacement policy will be very aggressive to give customers the confidence to run carbon rims without the worry of a huge price penalty should they run the bike into the garage or come up short on that double.

If you don’t get in on the preorder, bikes should be available this fall, with complete builds a possibility.

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Ripnshread
Ripnshread
4 years ago

Trigger shifters and EE Wings crankarms/bb and I’ll be running for the napkins…lol. NICE!

floatch
floatch
4 years ago

You can’t trigger shift a gearbox.

Jordan
Jordan
4 years ago

Gearboxes shift inherently differently than derailleurs, and the twist grip really plays to the advantage of the gearbox (ripping through all the gears at once). If you’re willing to relearn how and when to shift for a better riding experience, why not do it with the best tool for the job?

Bmx
Bmx
4 years ago

I generally like to sh*t on new stuff as I a bit of retro crouch but if this works and feels smooth and not springy then it’s a defo for bikepacking. A lot of bikepacking routes in the UK have a bit of beach or dunes thrown in for giggles this would save on the drive train turning to a grinding train after ten minutes. I would want to try it though before putting down 4 grand

Jacob
Jacob
4 years ago

Pinion claimed weight for the C1.12 gearbox: 2100g/4.6 lb. Viral claimed weight for frame + C1.12 gearbox: 4.25 lb.
That’s some good math right there.

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