Any Pinion gearbox users with experiences?
I’m considering a pinion bike hardtail, for off-road multidays, and winter trail riding.
I’ve ridden an Alfine hardtail before for 3 years, and loved its quiet simplicity.
I’d love the extra weight to be around the BB, and the 12 speed and range would be great.
I’ve read/heard they are very reliable, but only through articles, reviews which are sometime biased.Posted 2 years ago
I’ve had one of a couple of years, on a Deviate Guide.
For what I use the bike for, winch & plummet or uplift, it’s great. On the ups I just pick a low, or really low, gear and sit and spin, the. When I get to the top, all the weight is in the middle of the bike, the suspension works better than anything short of a DH rig and I’m happy.
I didn’t like the gripshift. The inconsistent grip diameter didn’t feel comfortable in my hand, there was a bit of play in it and I occasionally mis shifted. I also had to look at the shifter and concentrate on what gear I wanted to shift into which wasn’t ideal so when with trigger shifters (Cinq make them). They’re not perfect but mean I can have normal grips and don’t have to think so much when shifting. Downside is a never know what gear I’m in and can only shift once per click. If you like gripshift, there’s no reason to change.
As for shifting under load, it’s just something you have to get used to the timing of.
As for the drag, to begin with it feels like you are a gear harder than you feel you should be, but that goes over time. (500ish miles)
Never had any issues with it in crap conditions, and reckon the chain will last pretty well forever, so long as it’s clean and lubed.
As for the extra weight, it’s in the middle of the bike, so not the end of the world. But if you want a bit of bling, and to save a third of the weight of the cranks, I got Carbon Wasp to make me a set of carbon cranks, which are now in production and can be bought Here (I don’t get anything if you buy them, just want to see them do well)
For me, it’s a winner because of the increased suspension performance. Not sure I’d be so evangelical about it on a hardtail.Posted 2 years ago
Just as an FYI, unless you can find a manufacturer with one in stock, there is 5<6 month wait on them at the moment.Posted 2 years ago
Have a look here, I demo’ed a Sonder Signal Ti Pinion a couple of months back, and probably answered a few of your questions.
I have a Nordest Lacrau 2 Ti Pinion frame on order.Posted 2 years ago
I spent some time in the Zerode Taniwha and I really wanted to like it. The mass centralisation was great, it really freed up the suspension. The gear range was ample. The rotary shifter was nasty. However, the one thing I couldn’t get past was the ratchet on the gearbox output that had only 12 points of engagement. 30° of nothing when trying to clock the cranks up a technical climb. I’m sure it wouldn’t bother some people, but it was a deal breaker for me.Posted 2 years ago
i have also spent some time on a zerode. great bike, i echo what onzadog said. The not being able to shift under load was annoying. two frineds have them (they import them here) and they have gotten used to it. I also found the drag to be a …… 🙂 i just didnt coast well.
i think it has a plac eon DH bikes , but for a hardtail or trial riding, i’ll stick with a rear mechPosted 2 years ago
In summary for me, the advantages far outweigh the couple of disadvantages of low engagement on the hub (I don’t regularly do techy climbs where ratcheting is needed) and extra weight.
Mine will be getting built into an ‘ultimate’ low maintenance winter hardtail with the belt drive, which with a wheel swap will also do my local mellow riding/big rides.
And I actually liked the grip shift and started to prefer it! 😀 You get used to the not shifting under load thing pretty quickly.Posted 2 years ago
Thanks, I didn’t see that, I’ll have a read.
Interesting about the drag tho, that’s very helpful to know.
Also good to know about the degree engagement required. It’s gonna be a bike for ‘non technical’ riding mainly, as my other (ahem) 4 bikes have that covered.
Shifting under load I’m ok with, as on the Alfine it was a small change in approach to overcome that.
Thanks for replies all.Posted 2 years ago
The bike I demo’d was a few hundred miles old at least so was already bedded in, and I felt no extra drag. I think they are a little draggy when new though.Posted 2 years ago
I’ve had a P1.18 equipped Helius for a few years now and absolutely love it. Ergonomically, I’d prefer trigger shifters but the grip shift is fine and has its own advantages – the main one being the ability to grab a huge handful of gears in one move (a panic down-shift can be 7 or 8 ratios in 1/4 second).
Servicing is a piece of cake: The annual oil change just requires laying the bike on its side for half an hour to drain, and then syringing new lubricant into the hole.
Changing the cables looks like it’ll be a horrible job, but I’ve not had to do it yet – cable oil-ports and full length outers FTW.
You can get spiders to use standard chain rings front and rear. I’d recommend this. I can’t use the front one as I need to have the chain tensioner and the spider moves the chainline outwards, but on a HT that shouldn’t be a problem. Having said that, the expense of a standard chainring is offset by its longevity.
It’s a measure of how fuss-free ownership is that the biggest irritation is not being able to oil the chain by back-pedalling! 🙂
Picking up on some of the comments made above:
there was a bit of play in [the shifter] and I occasionally mis shifted.
There are cable-adjusters which can be tweeked to remove backlash in the cabling. There does need to be a small amount of free play, but not so much that it’s noticeable in use.
For me, it’s a winner because of the increased suspension performance. Not sure I’d be so evangelical about it on a hardtail.
I’ve also used a Rohloff in another Helius frame, and had derailleur gears, alfine 8 and SS on my 456. I definitely got far more pinch flats with the Rohloff/Helius combination, and on the 456 SS gave the best puncture performance, followed by derailleurs, with Alfine most prone to damage. All of which leads me to conclude that wheel mass savings still give a real benefit in a HT.
I also found the drag to be a …… 🙂 i just didnt coast well.
Drag is noticeable when new but after a few hundred miles becomes undetectable – choice of tyre, or even tyre pressure, will have a bigger effect. The gearbox doesn’t turn when coasting, so can’t cause drag in that situation – I suspect HYD1’s problem must have been elsewhere.Posted 2 years ago
Nordest Lacrau 2 Ti Pinion
maybe i’m missing something from the images, but exactly how do you change the gates belt in this? i can see any split chainstay etc:?Posted 2 years ago
I had a HammerSchmidt for a while, at the time I told myself the Drag was OK and I could live with it / put up with it.
Looking back I think I was a bit gererouse in that feeling. In hindsight I would say the drag was quite a ‘drag’ and wore out the fun side of riding. Eventually it wore me down and I gave up on the benefits over disadvantages in the end.
I know its not the same thing, but the issue of drag is a similar criticism.Posted 2 years ago
Yeah any hardtail that can take the belt drive will have a split seatstay, they’re normally very well hidden as above.Posted 2 years ago
ah yes, i see it now.
Would that not affect the robustness/rigidity of the frame? Maybe not, but looks like a weak spot.
So, TaulPaul, why did you not go for the Signal, but went for the Nordest instead?Posted 2 years ago
The geometry on the Nordest was more what I wanted, I’ve got a 150mm fork I’ll be using – the Sonder is made for a 130mm fork. To get the same geo and the split stays I’d need to go down the custom route with the Sonder, vs the off the shelf (but still made to order) geo of the Nordest.
Also, pricing – the Nordest came in at £2750 for the frame, gearbox, shifter, cranks, gates drive kit, and a rear pinion H2R hub, the Sonder is £100 less (for the custom option) but without the rear hub, which is £220 on it’s own.Posted 2 years ago
ok, thats good to know.
I hadn’t looked at frame only prices from Sonder yet. I have a fork i want to use (coil 130mm) and want to build the wheels myself, so the full build kit from SOnder is not for me.
I already have a Signal Ti, so i’m happy with the bike. Just want to go internal geared.Posted 2 years ago
Just to add, as with all things in biking really, it is all a compromise. The cost, weight, gripshift, shifting under load and one shift at a time are not for me.
However, that may not concern you and the maintenance aspect may be very important, or the supposed suspension performance etc. For me, it isn’t, so i won’t be buying a Zerode, but i am very happy they exist….! Post pics if and when you get it!Posted 2 years ago
Give them a call, Neil is the guy who does all the custom frames, the Pinion Signal is essentially just a custom frame option, they’ll do frame only too.
Neil @ alpkit.com is the guy to speak to, the guy in the Hathersage shop I spoke to said put Pinion Signal Ti in the email subject line and it’ll get picked up pretty quickly, seems there’s a love for them 😀Posted 2 years ago
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