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Zerode belt drive gear box Taniwha & Katipo almost ready to shift into production

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If you’re looking for something different in your next mountain bike, Zerode bikes have been doing their own thing for a while now. Rather than building just another carbon full suspension mountain bike, Zerode has focused on integrating Pinion gearboxes into their designs. They’ve also been experimenting with a Gates Carbon Carbon Drive for those same gearboxes. When we saw a prototype in person last April, the company expected it to be available some time in 2020, and here we are.

Zerode belt drive gear box Taniwha & Katipo almost ready to shift into production

Technically, the belt drive option is still not available, but Zerode is in the process of starting pre-orders. And we also know a price. Well, at least a price for the retrofit kit. Yes, the Gates Carbon Drive option will also be available as a kit to modify your existing Zerode bike as well as available as a complete Taniwha or Katipo in the near future.

Priced at $610, the kit is more than just a belt and a few cogs. Due to the shape of the belt and the geometry of the needed tensioner, and entirely new, thinner chainstay is needed for the bikes which is included with the kit. In addition to the chainstay, you’ll receive a new tensioner, belt, front and rear sprockets and scupper. The rear sprocket will fit on existing hubs, so no need for a new wheel.

Why go belt over the tried and true chain? For starters, the belt claims to offer more than twice the lifespan of a traditional chain while also dropping more than 100g. Of course the belt doesn’t require any chain lube, and when combined with a gearbox that drops the amount of maintenance required. Zerode claims the resulting bike is quieter and pedals more smoothly, and the belt won’t stretch or lose efficiency.

Zerode says these should be ready to ship by early April, and if you want to get your name on the waiting list, you can sign up through the link on the page below.

zerodebikes.com

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Brian
Brian
2 years ago

Finally! I’ve been waiting years for this. Dream ride.

KIrt
KIrt
2 years ago

Big fan of the bike, but having 2 belt-driven bikes, the Gates does make it’s share of sound. I’d advise anyone considering buying a belted bike, find someone with one and share a ride. I was hoping their BIG ANNOUNCEMENT was an aluminum frame with a lower price point.

Lego
Lego
2 years ago
Reply to  KIrt

Quieter than a chain I imagine though? And how do you rate them for maintenance?

Brian
Brian
2 years ago
Reply to  KIrt

I’ve noticed more noise with uneven wear, misalignment, and dust. Silicone spray can be used to silence it though. It’s my experience that the belts last so long that you encounter new issues you wouldn’t with a chain. My first belt drive bike (single speed fat bike) has a 7 year old belt and it’s still going strong and still pretty quiet.

Ol' Shel'
Ol' Shel'
2 years ago

I suggest that people do an extended, on-trail test ride of any bike with a gearbox or internally-geared hub. You may find the drag and power loss to be unacceptable. From my experience it feels like riding into a headwind/ doggy ground/flat tires. They just don’t have that crisp, efficient feel of conventional drivetrain. Some don;t notice or mind, and for them, there are big benefits to a gearbox.Try before you buy.

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