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Zerode gears up for North American sales with US webstore & new bike builds

Zerode NA bikes, action shot
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Over the last few years New Zealand’s Zerode has been edging their gearbox-driven mountain bikes into North America, and they’ve just taken a big leap towards infiltrating the market. The company has just announced a dedicated web store for the USA and several new complete bike builds available to North American buyers.

Riders in the USA (and Canada) now have easy access to three complete builds of Zerode’s 160mm Taniwha and 140mm Taniwha Trail, plus two different frame kits for each model. Expanding the bikes’ trail/enduro capabilities, the higher spec builds now feature 12-speed Pinion gear boxes that provide a 600% gear range. The frame kits, Performance and Signature builds also offer buyers their choice of Rock Shox, Fox or Cane Creek suspension packages.

Zerode NA bikes, Taniwha on hilltop

For the last few years customers could purchase Zerode products through Cycle Monkey’s website (Zerode’s North American distributor) and at select dealers.  Now the company has created their own dedicated USA web store (which is “powered by Cycle Monkey”). The new web store is linked to Zerode’s primary website so potential buyers can compare bike specs and prices, plus have access to all the technical information found on Zerode’s main site. All Zerode products available through Cycle Monkey will also be available through the new web store.

While you won’t see Canadian pricing or shipping options on the website, buyers in Canada can also purchase the new bikes through Cycle Monkey and Zerode will work with each customer to sort out shipping. Cycle Monkey will handle all Zerode orders, and will continue acting as the customer’s point-of-contact for support in North America.

Zerode NA bikes, Taniwha Trail on wall
*The Taniwha Trail, with Cane Creek suspension.

The newest Taniwha is longer, lower and lighter than the previous version. Zerode offers the Taniwha in three sizes – 420, 445, 475, which refers to the frame’s reach measurement in millimetres. By reducing their seat tube lengths, Zerode aims to give riders more freedom to choose between a longer, more stable platform or a shorter, snappier bike. The Taniwha’s key geo figures are; 65° head tube angle, 74.5° seat tube, and 431mm chainstays.

The Taniwha’s carbon frame offers 160mm travel, rides on 27.5” wheels, and sticks with 142x12mm rear spacing for its single rear cog setup. It uses a 31.6mm seat post, and has internal routing for dropper post cables.

The 140mm carbon Taniwha Trail comes in 430, 455, and 485 sizes. Its head tube sits at 66°, and the seat mast is 75.5°. Its 27.5” wheels, chainstay length, rear spacing and seat post diameter are all the same as the longer-travel Taniwha.  For complete frame geo and component specs, check out the new web store. Now, let’s check out the new builds…

Complete N.A. Bikes:

Zerode NA bikes, Taniwha, angle
*Photos aren’t yet available of each individual build spec, but here’s one example with Fox suspension.

There are three new build kits for each bike, dubbed the Standard, Performance and Signature. The entry-level Standard builds feature Rock Shox forks and Cane Creek DB IL Air rear shocks, a 9-speed Pinion C-Line gearbox (which still provides a broad 568% gear range), and aluminum components. The Taniwha Standard Build sells for $6400, and the Taniwha Trail Standard Build retails at $6250. All of the complete North American builds offer two frame color options; Matte Obsidian or Electric Grellow.

The Performance Builds offer a mix of aluminum and carbon components, and Pinion’s 12-speed C-Line gearbox which expands the gear range to 600%. These builds come with the option of Cane Creek, Fox or Rock Shox suspension packages. The Taniwha Performance starts at $7800, and the Taniwha Trail Performance starts at $7600.

The Signature Builds are the top-tier option with an all-carbon component spec, Pinion’s 12-speed C-Line gearbox and again, your choice of Cane Creek, Rock Shox or Fox suspension. The Signature Taniwha starts at $9700, while the Taniwha Trail sells from $9500.

N.A. Frame Kits:

Zerode NA bikes, origin build kit

Both the Taniwha and Taniwha Trail will also be sold as a frame/drivetrain/shock kit called the Origin Build, and as a frame/drivetrain/shock/fork kit, called the Pioneer build. Depending on your suspension and gearbox preference, Origin builds start at $4620 for the Taniwha, and $4950 for the Taniwha Trail. The Taniwha Pioneer Builds start at $5430, and the Taniwha Trail Pioneer builds start at $5850. These base prices are for kits equipped with 9-speed gearboxes, but any kit can be upgraded to the 12-speed version for an additional $150.

Zerode NA bikes, Pioneer build kit

The 160mm Taniwha frame kits come with four color options- Matte Obsidian, Electric Grellow, Sky Blue or Charcoal/Yellow. The Trail model kits, however, are only offered in Matte Obsidian or Electric Grellow.


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5 years ago

Drivetrain innovation is good to see, but Zerode is basically asking a $2500+ premium over bikes like the Trek Remedy, Santa Cruz Bronson etc. that offer superior performance in nearly every category. This will be a bike for SFO and Golden, CO yuppies who will pay the premium just to be different.

5 years ago
Reply to  Peter

US pricing certainly does them no favours. Over here in the UK they are broadly in line with Santa Cruz/Intense/Nicolai type brands and you see a few of them at most race weekends.

5 years ago
Reply to  Peter

Once you consider that you can subtract the cost of cranks, chainring, chainguide, cassette, derailleur, and shifter, it starts to make a lot more sense. And that’s before considering the performed and maintenance benefits. I love mine.

5 years ago

Innovation is always more expensive than the status quo. Have you seen the price of the new SRAM wireless 12-speed groupsets? If Pinion offers enough benefits over derailleurs, early adopters will pay the “early adopter penalty” until economies of scale take over. Speaking for myself, yeah that’s a crapton of money but I’m constantly speccing out gravel bikes with the Pinion at Co-Motion’s website…

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