Within the mountain biking industry ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ is a pretty big deal. Loads of new design concepts are introduced each year leaving manufacturers to play the guessing game of which ideas will soon become standard equipment, and which ones will fade into obscurity. It didn’t take long for 27.5” wheels to become accepted as a legit improvement over 26’s, as claims of enhanced traction, increased momentum and smoother rolling were quickly proven in the dirt.
While it takes a bit longer for smaller companies to adapt, performance focused brands like Zerode simply can’t ignore such innovations. Designer and Director Rob Metz recently announced that the Zerode G2 downhill rig is now available in an updated design that accommodates 27.5” wheels. Keep reading to find out what other improvements were made to the G2 frame while it was back on the drawing board…
New Zealand’s Zerode bikes are very recognizable, as they’re among the few bike manufacturers who utilize internal gearbox drivetrains. The company claims this set up allows them to modify the wheel path, balance sprung and unsprung weight and keep the most mass in the center of the bike, all goals which are much harder to achieve with a typical drivetrain.
The first-generation Zerode G1 developed a bit of a cult following among downhill riders, and soon turned into the G2 model. The G2 boasted 8.3” of rear travel with a high-pivot point that was designed to swallow up rough terrain while maintaining efficient pedalling characteristics. Race results would suggest their design is effective, as Zerode’s bikes have claimed multiple national titles, a World Masters title and two privateer World Cup championships.
For 2015 a few new revisions have been made to the rear end of the G2. The big news is the jump to 650B wheels, but Metz also took this opportunity to increase the suspension’s sensitivity by trimming over 100g of unsprung weight from the rear stays. By modifying the seatstay bridge and chainstay yokes, Zerode was able to keep the chainstay length the same as the 26” version. The head tube angle has been slightly relaxed and now sits at a slack 62.6°.
He’s also made some changes to the chain tensioner to improve durability and adjustability. The pivot’s bushing has been replaced by two bearings to keep the pivot tight and properly aligned, and a mount for a second tension spring was added to the seat stay to provide extra spring tension and create more range for fine-tuning.
Fans of Zerode will be excited to hear that the company has almost finished designing an upcoming trail bike, so keep an eye on their website for news on the all-mountain front….