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  • Gearbox bikes?
  • nickc
    Full Member

    Gearbox bikes are the future.

    For as long as I can remember the gearbox enthusiasts have been saying this. They are wrong. There is no pressure to change from derailleurs, 1000’s of users are not clamouring for the death of derailleurs to change gears. Gearboxes are heavier, more complex, more expensive and (at the very least need new wheels (and we all know how much everu ones loves changing their wheels), At worst they need a whole new frame design.

    Interesting, and at least there’s an alternative to mechs but it’ll never be a mainstream option.

    (watch now, and laugh as all the major manufacturers move to gearboxes as the “next big thing”)

    RustySpanner
    Full Member

    I reckon the rohloff has already paid for itself in less replacement drivetrain parts

    Really?
    £1200 buys an awful lot of chainrings, chains and cassettes.

    epicyclo
    Full Member

    nickc – Member
    For as long as I can remember the gearbox enthusiasts have been saying this. They are wrong. There is no pressure to change from derailleurs, 1000’s of users are not clamouring for the death of derailleurs to change gears…

    Also a lot of people don’t ride very far.

    It seems mainly the long distance guys who like them, especially the overlanders.

    An enclosed derailleur system would be lighter and probably as long lived though.

    mellowyellow
    Free Member

    It will happen but think there is still a long way to go.
    Stand back and look at what we currently use. Its outdated for road bikes but absolutely crazy to have what is effectively an external gearbox on a machine that spends most of its time ploughing through mud.

    Im sure the boffins at Shimano are working on it and probably have been for some time.
    Be glad to see the back of derailleur myself. Reminds me of Porsche 911 layout, inherently poor design then 40 years trying to get it to work effectively.

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    But plenty of people don’t ride through loads of mud. Many Americans from the sunnier states would be appalled at the riding I do through winter and accuse me of destroying the trails

    nickc
    Full Member

    It seems mainly the long distance guys who like them, especially the overlanders.

    aye, I think so.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Really Rusty. Firstly the additional cost was a lot less as I needed a new rear hub anyway and a decent tandem hub is a couple of hundred minimum – and my total cost was only a thousand so additional cost £750. Chains now last years – wear slower and less need to replace when worn as it does not affect the shifting. I am not sure exactly how long I have had it. I was spending around £150 – 200 a year on chains, cassettes and chainrings. ie one complete drivetrain plus an extra chain a year. Now its a chain every couple of years and still on the same chainring and sprocket. I worked out around 5 years to pay back in less maintenance spend

    fredkarney
    Free Member

    Lots of misinformation in the discussion above. I’ve actually been riding a Pinion-box MTB for nearly a year now, using the 12-gear version and belt drive.

    Facts:
    1. There is a weight penalty of about 1kg netting the gearbox and belts/singlespeed hub against a derailleur and chain set-up.
    2. The system has been near-100% maintenance-free through a year of British weather and about 3-4 rides per week; just a hose-down after each ride and a little spray-lube around sensitive points (probably not even needed).
    3. There’s a theoretical efficiency deficit of about 2-3% compared to derailleur. In practice, this is more than offset in offroad use by the ability to switch to any other gear near-instantaneously and the lack of crashing changes and chain-drops. I routinely overtake co-riders at the bottom of sudden hills whilst they mash through their gears and curse…
    4. The need for a (really minuscule) back-off from pedalling to make the gear-change is in practice just not an issue. It takes a couple of rides to adjust, but is fully offset by being able to change when the bike is stationary.
    5. The use of a gripshift rather than triggers seems to excite naysayers; in reality it just isn’t an issue after you get used to it. In the first couple of weeks I made one or two unintended changes, but that never happens now I’m used to it.

    The main downside so far is that take-up of the system by MTB makes outside Germany has been slow, but the choice is growing if you’re happy with hardtail (I am). So far, full-sus implementations have been slow to take off (basically Nicolai and Zerode). With the new lighter and cheaper C-line Pinion boxes arriving later this year, I think that could rapidly change.

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