Zerode is known for their trail and enduro-focused Taniwha series, built with the Pinion internal gear box. For 2020, they’ll be bringing out an option to buy these bikes with the silent and maintenance-free Gates Carbon Drive system. We take a look at a pre-production bike seen at Sea Otter 2019.

Zerode Taniwha Trail & Enduro MTB with Gates Belt Drive

Zerode is a New Zealand-based company with a performance focus and no fear of using non-standard drivetrain components. Their existing Taniwha and Taniwha Trail use the Pinion internal gearbox system to reduce maintenance and redistribute weight to the center of the bike, compared to a traditional external drivetrain.

For 2020, they’re taking this one step further, adding an option for the Gates Carbon Drive system. This unique setup allows for big-hit performance with a greatly reduced maintenance schedule.

The system they showed us still had a pre-production pulley system, and we imagine that they’ll standardize the colors to all-black for retail bikes.

Zerode used a 12-speed Pinion internal gear box for the build, giving a full gear range no exposure to the elements.

No availability dates or official price list are available at this time. However, we expect the system to be a slight up-charge over the normal builds, at $5,000 for the frameset (and gearbox), or complete builds starting from about $6,500.

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3 years ago

Will there be an aftermarket pulley upgrade for existing frames?

Joe Maki
Joe Maki
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian

As long as there are no frame modifications required I don’t see why they couldn’t offer it. Adding cost of pulley and belt should be an upgrade in the $300 – $400 range.

3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Maki

I was hoping so too, but it looks like a different swingarm.