Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 48 total)
  • Gearbox bikes?
  • mitsumonkey
    Free Member

    I have seen a couple advertised, I’m just left thinking what’s the point? Ebikes are the ‘in’ technology and the future surely? Are these brands just wasting their time or am I missing the point here??

    slightreturn
    Free Member

    Well I’m going to test ride a pinion gear box bike at the weekend, but I like the idea of it. I’m sick of wrecking deraillers and chains in this Yorkshire grit n slop. Only an oil change every year seems fine with me,
    I will hold judgment until I’ve tested,

    D0NK
    Full Member

    they make sense they’ve just always been a bit heavy and spendy, zerode looks interesting tho probably still out of my price range. e-bikes are a pretty bad comparison, totally different target audience.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    I like the idea, a lot. I’ve just tested one. Gearbox bikes are the future. Unfortunately, they’re not the present (for me).

    RamseyNeil
    Free Member

    Ebikes are the ‘in’ technology and the future surely?

    Ebikes sales will grow but I don’t know about them being the future . Anyway an Ebike is a great vehicle to use a gearbox as the drag , weight and cost , which are the 3 drawbacks will be less relevant . The drag and weight will be offset by the motor and the cost increase will be less noticeable as Ebikes already cost lots of money .

    tjagain
    Full Member

    I have a bike with an alfine and one with a rohloff. Gearbox bikes like the pinion should be even better – and not draggy a they are not epicyclic but more like motorcycle gearboxes

    I think they are the future for all but perhaps the most weight weenie of us or racers. Think of the cost savings – I reckon the rohloff has already paid for itself in less replacement drivetrain parts

    epicyclo
    Full Member

    mitsumonkey – Member
    I have seen a couple advertised, I’m just left thinking what’s the point?…

    Non disposable drivetrain. All the expensive components sealed from the dirt and weather. Weight centralised, so none of the disadvantages of a hubgear.

    Sounds good to me.

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    I love the idea of a pinion system. Just need an excuse now

    wiggles
    Free Member

    5% more drag and about 5 lbs heavier than the same bike without a gearbox… And the one I know of has a belt drive which has snapped twice in a year leaving the owner stranded… As carrying a spare belt and splitting you bike apart to fit one isn’t exactly trail side repairs.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    5lbs heavier? really? the rohloff hub doesn’t even weigh that and you have to subtract the weight of the gears and no way is a pinion gearbox more draggy than an epicyclic

    mitsumonkey
    Free Member

    I meant the ones on the crank. Didn’t Honda try it on their DH bikes some years ago?

    tjagain
    Full Member

    aye mitsui – the pinion system or similar you mean.

    T1000
    Free Member

    About 3lbs over equivalent xt setup and 2lbs over a rohloff

    That for an 18speed pinion, the 12 & 9 speed versions are lighter

    12 speed has a similar range to a Rohloff

    Tom_W1987
    Free Member

    My take away from this article, is that gearbox bikes have been pretty much written off by many industry leaders.

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/1-question-whats-keeping-the-gearbox-down-2017.html

    E-bikes are the cocaine fueled elephants in the room though.

    wiggles
    Free Member

    5lbs heavier? really? the rohloff hub doesn’t even weigh that and you have to subtract the weight of the gears and no way is a pinion gearbox more draggy than an epicyclic

    Presumably the frame is heavier to fit the gearbox? but I saw the scales myself in this case not exactly the same spec. I believe the recent pinkbike article on the nicolai G16 said it was 4lbs of difference on bikes with identical build kits. 5% was what I read from a test they did to determine the drag factor…

    epicyclo
    Full Member

    Tom_W1987 – Member
    …E-bikes are the cocaine fueled elephants in the room though.

    I think that it will be eBikes that spark the development of gearbox bikes. For them it makes sense, and further development will see them get lighter and get economies of scale.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    frame need not be any heavier – remove the BB and weld in a flat plate intead

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    Didn’t Honda try it on their DH bikes some years ago?

    Honda was a derailleur inside a case.

    wiggles
    Free Member

    [/quote]Honda was a derailleur inside a case.

    not exactly, it was a bit more complex than that.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    interesting stuff velomanic

    amedias
    Free Member

    I’m a big gearbox fan, and IGH too (I have a few), they have loads of benefits, drivetrain longevity, weight distribution, unsprung weight advantage (not IGH!), dish less rear wheels, weather sealing to name a few, the problem is the drawbacks, not individually…if they were just a few lbs heavier it would be ok, if they were just a bit more expensive it would be ok, if they were just a little draggy it would be ok, it’s the fact that they are heavier AND draggier AND more expensive that holds them back.

    Solve any one issue and I reckon you’d crack it, a budget but reliable option would be ace, a zero weight penalty likewise, e-bikes may help nullify the draggy aspect and reduce the weight disadvantage though so interesting possibilities ahead methinks…

    MrPottatoHead
    Full Member

    Indeed. I was slightly more interested until I read that article. I appreciate this is just one persons experience but seems there’s still a long way to go with gearboxes.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    one thing that article did point out but didn’t emphasise was that the gearbox bike had a much bigger gear range so not really comparing like with like from that point of view – 2×10 would be closer perhaps and thus the weight would be closer

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Most of the niggles, I could learn to live with but it was the backlash on the gearbox freewheel, around 36°, that really put me off.

    eddiebaby
    Full Member

    Pinkbike has a direct comparison between Nicolai gbox and dérailleur bikes at the mo.

    monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    Full sus systems work more effectively with gearboxes as they aren’t effected by chain growth and interaction. Other advantages over a traditional setup are minimal maintenance, central weight distribution and being able to change gear when not pedalling (bigger advantage than you think).

    Downsides are cost and additional weight, but as its more central on the bike this doesn’t effect handling.

    I’ve owned hub gear bikes in the past and loved them, but didn’t like the weight distribution – additional weight on the back which you do get used to. I’ve been very tempted by a pinion set up. In fact to the point where I almost pushed the button on one about this time last year. But finances changed and now with the further fall of the £ against the € I doubt I’ll get one.

    thepodge
    Free Member

    5% more drag is nothing, just get 5% fitter or spend 5% more time on your bike. I don’t see any drawbacks there.

    richmars
    Full Member

    Honda was a derailleur inside a case.

    not exactly, it was a bit more complex than that.

    I think the freewheel wasn’t on the rear wheel, so you could change gear when not pedalling.
    Always (to me) seemed a good idea, the efficiency of chain and derailleur but enclosed in a box to keep the mud out.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    5% drag is a lot. However I doubt a pinion gearbox is that much as that would be more than a rohloff and pinion gearboxes should be more efficient than epicyclic are they not?

    wiggles
    Free Member

    t’s the fact that they are heavier AND draggier AND more expensive that holds them back.

    That is very much the case I think, a decent priced bike that is a little heavy or a expensive but light gearbox bike might just be enough to tempt people.

    think the freewheel wasn’t on the rear wheel, so you could change gear when not pedalling.
    Always (to me) seemed a good idea, the efficiency of chain and derailleur but enclosed in a box to keep the mud out.

    There was some kind of “floating” mechanism that basically allowed the sprockets with the chain on to allways be parrallel across the whole range of gears so there was no sideways pressure on the chain. Very interested bike, someone I know actually managed to have a go (crashed and put a put scratch on it 😆 ) and a look inside it.

    jonnyboi
    Full Member

    Perhaps I’m being a bit thick but that article seemed to suggest a gearbox bike excelled in areas where you weren’t actually pedalling? And he meticulously timed downhill sections but didn’t bother to compare on XC or trails?

    Dunno, I’m not anti gearbox but it read like a fanboi article to me.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    jonnyboi – from the improved suspension performance came the increased speed. You get better suspension performance as the unsprung weight is less

    jonnyboi
    Full Member

    Yeah I got that, but it read like he was turning an inadvertant benefit into its raison d’etre…and that’s despite it being 1.7kg heavier and had increased drag when pedalling.

    I mean, if it’s all about unsprung weight then compare it to a single speed. maybe it was just heavier downhill because it weighed a ton, kind of like in the way a carerra banshee was good going downhill

    wiggles
    Free Member

    Didnt it also say he ended the timed section on a bit of fireroad?

    Im faster than all my mates down a fireroad because Im the fattest 😆 so the same would apply to the same person but with a heavier bike would always be faster in that situation.

    jonnyboi
    Full Member

    Well, that’s the thing. For an objective test you’d need bikes of the same weight, but with different weight distribution.

    Again, unless I’m being a bit thick here. There was a lot of talk about effective gear ranges and smooth changes but why no test to see what benefits they bring?

    Tom_W1987
    Free Member

    Other advantages over a traditional setup are minimal maintenance, central weight distribution and being able to change gear when not pedalling (bigger advantage than you think).

    For downhilling, there’s a much simpler solution to that – move the freewheel to the crank – like HXR have done.

    I’ll move to a gearbox when we get electronic paddle shifters, 25 percent less weight and reduction in the drag.

    thepodge
    Free Member

    There can never be a fair review of normal vs gearbox as there are just too many differences.

    I think they should have ditched the belt drive through and gone with a chain on both to bring it closer, I’m not sure about making them the same weight though as then you’re not really comparing the two systems, what after that, only using 11/12 of the 18 gears on the box?

    The weight and the drag don’t make any difference to me, I’m not racing and I’m a pretty average trail rider so overall its going to have little to no effect on my day to day riding.

    epicyclo
    Full Member

    thepodge – Member
    There can never be a fair review of normal vs gearbox as there are just too many differences…

    The first one being how heavy would a derailleur system be to have the longevity of the gearbox.

    The second one being a Total Cost of Ownership comparison.

    Tom_W1987
    Free Member

    Would gearboxes be nice and modular or would you have to buy a gearbox with every new frame and thus increase cost?

    Must say that I still cant see the point – most gear box bikes require a hanging down chain tensioner anyway.

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