Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)
  • Pinion gearbox demo today! Questions?
  • ta11pau1
    Full Member

    Today, I have a (rare as hens teeth) Sonder signal ti pinion for the entire day, so any questions you have, please ask!

    It’s a size M which is a bit too small for me but it’s mainly to get a demo of the gearbox so I’m not too worried.


    First question is how do you lube the chain, as the cranks have a freewheel as well as the hub! 😁

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    No the first question is why is there a stupid chain on it.

    scaled
    Free Member

    I’ve always loved a gear box on a bike, now it just looks like a next gen eBike

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    First question is how do you lube the chain

    Stick a hex key/tyre lever/anything to hand between the back of the crank arm and a hole in the chainring.

    I’d also love to try a Pinion.
    Love gearboxes but hated the Rohloff and Alfine I had.

    PhilO
    Free Member

    Stick a hex key/tyre lever/anything to hand between the back of the crank arm and a hole in the chainring.

    You have to make sure that it’s in the correct half of the gear range before doing this, so that the chainring doesn’t overrun the crank as you go backwards. I forget whether you need to be in the top or bottom half of the range, but it should be easy enough to check. I just pop mine on one of those stands that holds the chain and seat stays when I get home and re-lube by pedalling forwards before putting the bike away.

    I absolutely love mine, but then I also liked the Rohloff and Alfines I’ve used.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    I tried one a couple of years ago. I don’t know if it was badly setup/maintained, but the effort to turn the shifter was excessive. Both the wife and I ended up with thumb blisters.

    Also, neither of us could live with the slow pick up on the crank freehub on technical climbs. It was 30°!!!!! Clicking the cranks in any useful way was impossible.

    I really wanted to like them. The mass centralisation of the bike was great and the reduction in unsprung mass seemed to really help the back end.

    cokie
    Free Member

    General ride report would be awesome!
    – Can you feel the resistance/inefficiencies during pedalling? Is worse on climbing?
    – Can you feel the weight benefit the drivetrain weight sitting around the BB? Does it make manualing/wheeleing more difficult?
    – How does actuation feel? Is it sloshy like the alfine or is it more of a confirmatory click like a XTR shifter?

    ..not asking much 😀

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    First question is how do you lube the chain, as the ranks have a freewheel as well as the hub!

    Turn it upside down and pedal forwards, or use a stand.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Why don’t they have a fixed rear hub so you can lose a freewheel and reduce slop? The rear wheel would then weigh the same as the front apart from a sprocket.

    How annoying is it when you’re winching uphill and have to lift off to change gear?

    They look mint and I really want one eventually. Just not sure if they’re there yet. Some kind of electric trigger shifter would be great. Do away with the gripshift and the cables and we’re on the way. Has no clever person modified a Di2 shifter or something similar?

    kayla1
    Free Member

    I’d love a go on a gearbox bike. What’s it ride like?

    Why don’t they have a fixed rear hub so you can lose a freewheel and reduce slop? The rear wheel would then weigh the same as the front apart from a sprocket.

    You might get a bit of extra wear that way though, stuff’d always be moving when you were freewheeling.

    That and a spinning wheel after a crash could drag a finger into the chain and remove it…

    and that, obvs…

    PhilO
    Free Member

    Why don’t they have a fixed rear hub so you can lose a freewheel and reduce slop? The rear wheel would then weigh the same as the front apart from a sprocket.

    Because if the rear wheel is driving the chain (and hence the gearbox) forwards during use it makes the gear shift much harder. For easy shifting, the ‘box needs to be completely isolated from load for a fraction of a second while you shift*.

    That and a spinning wheel after a crash could drag a finger into the chain and remove it…

    *For those who baulk at having to unload the pedals to change, rather than continue to apply torque through a gearchange, this pause needs only be for the tiniest fraction of a second, during which you can change 6 or 7 gears if you really have to. I can hit a bank that requires first gear at walking pace, discover I’m in 10th and unable to pedal at all, stop pedalling, shift to first and be back on the power before the bike comes to a halt. 🙂

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Why don’t they have a fixed rear hub so you can lose a freewheel and reduce slop?

    You really don’t want a constantly moving chain close to your stationary leg, especially in a crash. I speak from experience. Plus premature wear on the gearbox if the gears are always turning.

    Why the don’t fix the FH in the front? I think again for reliability.

    They did a Q&A on insta the other day, loads of Qs about electrics, they acknowledged the question but basically said they aren’t going to comment on what they may or may not do.

    I don’t think it’s possible to bodge Di2, due to the dual cable ratchet system, or at least it’s not worth the effort for a shed enthusiast.

    I’d be first in line for it though.

    monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    I’d love one after having demo a few years back. The engagement does depend on what hub you run obviously, personally I’d go with a zero engagement onyx – silent too.

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    Onyx would be great, but the rear hub isn’t the problem, it’s the 30° on the front. Maybe that could use a sprag as well.

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    So, yeah this one has a chain with no split seatstay, I’d go for the gates belt drive personally. Its silent – the gearbox makes a slight noise in the low gears but otherwise, no sound at all!

    This bike is ‘bedded in’ it’s done more than a few hundred miles, in that it feels nicely settled in, not worn out. The grip shift is nice and light, quiet clicks but definite ‘positions’.

    You can change into a harder gear pretty much without lifting off, but changing into an easier gear does require a full unload of pedalling, however a few miles in I’m already finding you just need a momentary ease (until you hear a few freewheel clicks) for maybe a half a second before changing. You can feel the resistance in the shifter if you haven’t lifted off enough, it simply won’t change. It’s the same a motorbike gearbox in that way, you need to release the pressure on the gears for the shifter fork to move over.

    Resistance: it’s not the spritliest of climbers but that may be due to the build, I’m used to carbon wheels, and it has a tough fast rolling rear tyre at about 1400g… Eek! Can’t feel much gearbox drag, my FS has a Cane Creek hellbender BB with the solid oil bearings and it has no more drag than that, which is a little more than a normal BB. Weight is about 13kg or so, a bit lighter than my FS at 14kg.

    All good so far, about to hit my first proper climb then descent so will report back!

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    How far can you wheely it?

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    I’m crap at wheelies, so not far!

    Tbh the handling is hard to comment on as I normally ride a 150mm XXL FS bike, this is very different and a bit small for me.

    Non gearbox related things:

    I miss my Hope V4’s. The Guide R brakes on this have no power at all.

    I miss my RRP proguard.

    I miss my Vittoria tyres, the WTB Trail Boss and Vigilate seem to go anywhere but straight in the mud.

    Gearbox stuff. Already used to shifting, and it’s so nice being able to dump a load of gears and not get the crunch when panic changing.

    I take back what I said before about climbing, this thing is a climbing monster! Now my legs have woken up and I’ve digested the full English breakfast I’m making climbs I didn’t make last time here ony FS bike on the dry. The trails are like rivers here at the moment.

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    Some pics, last chance for any questions before it goes back.

    In summary… I want one.

    I’ll sell my gravel bike and get a second set of light XC wheels and tyres, then this would do both the hardcore winter mtb mud plugging, and summer long distance rides/local stuff.

    Did a loop around ladybower, including potato alley which was more like potato river! Lots of water about today, I am soaked and it never rained once!


    River or trail?

    Yes, the knee length sealskinz were the correct choice today.


    Where’s my mudguard 😕



    And the after pics.

    jonke
    Free Member

    Great write up!

    I’ve had the privilege of owning one for a few weeks now and love it. Your comment re gravel bike and second set of tyres is exactly what I’ve done – bought some xc wheels and discs and light xc tyres and the drive train makes it a 10 minute job to swap over.

    I feel no drag from the gearbox in dry and as it doesn’t get mucky it feels more efficient in the mud.

    I find the gearing a little low on the stock bike but easy to fix that.

    Struggling to think of a major negative really. I guess there’s not much out there in terms of trouble shooting advice in case you do have a problem.

    mashr
    Full Member

    You do realise you could’ve just put your mudguard on it?

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    What sprockets do you have on yours? With the massive range I’d happily take a super duper mega low “bail out” last climb after 50 miles type 1st gear 😁 the demo bike had 24t front and rear sprockets, with the 0.55 lowest gear it’s a bit lower than the 0.64 on my eagle and 32t equipped 29er FS bike. I was in 1st and 2nd a little too much for my liking so would like to go a bit lower if possible, I think spinning out at over 30mph will be plenty!

    The gates belt drive kit in looking at comes with a 32t front and 30t rear, making it 0.583 lowest gear.

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    You do realise you could’ve just put your mudguard on it?

    Yeah, but no – I have an RRP bolt on proguard which is brilliant, but doesn’t fit cane creek forks.

    I will say the only downside of the gearbox (other than the slight increase in weight) seems to be if you regularly ride techy climbs that need you to ratchet the cranks, or maybe severe off camber – I rarely, if ever ride these so it’s not really an issue for me.

    Having no mech to worry about bashing on rocks is a nice thing to have too.

    Now I think about it, I’m starting to think the shifting is actually better than a regular shifter and mech – I have to move my hand slightly to shift but it’s no more effort than moving my thumb or finger away from the grip.

    gowerboy
    Full Member

    People ask about easing of when changing on a Rohloff – its simply not an issue. You have to back off for a fraction of a second and you can change. It’s one thing I like about the hub.

    Have you tried a Rohloff? if so how does it compare? I know Rohloffs are very Marmite – and I love mine sometimes and then go off it… but they have their benefits. I would like to know if it feels more efficient than a ‘hoff’s lower 7. I say feels because half the issue is the feel not the actual efficiency.

    I

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Now I think about it, I’m starting to think the shifting is actually better than a regular shifter and mech – I have to move my hand slightly to shift but it’s no more effort than moving my thumb or finger away from the grip.

    I hated the non uniformity of the grip diameter vs the shifter diameter (though never tried the newer gripshift) and the slight play on stuttery terrain. Plus occasional accidental shifts.

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Re ratios I have 39f 34r on my 27.5 FS bike but cant remember what i have on my 29 hardtail.  I have gates belt on one and chain on the other. I’m not entirely convinced by the gates belts as my front gear is pretty much done after 2000 miles and my chain dipped in Putoline every now and then appears to be lasting at least as well for a lot less money

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    I hated the non uniformity of the grip diameter vs the shifter diameter (though never tried the newer gripshift) and the slight play on stuttery terrain. Plus occasional accidental shifts.

    My hand position is right on the outer edge of the grip so my hands isn’t fully on the gripshift part, no accidental shifts even on some pretty bumpy terrain. Seemed comfy to me too, the grips lock on the outside but the lock on rings are under the grip rubber so they don’t interfere.

    The easing off thing, it’s slightly more than a regular mech but honestly the benefits of being able to dump 6 or more gears when stationary, or when coming into a surprise climb far outweigh it. And I love me a quiet bike, and bloody hell it’s quiet. No chain slap, as it physically can’t, just a tiny bit of gear noise in one gear (think it was 4th).

    footflaps
    Full Member

    You should add your post photo to the Flickr Group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/thatpost/

    We have our own magazine and everything 😉

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/6T6eG]That Post magazine[/url] by Ben Freeman, on Flickr

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    Done! 😁

    I’m disappointed I didn’t take a photo when I was up there a few months back, could’ve had 2 post posts!

    big_scot_nanny
    Full Member

    Heck, good write up. Really not happy it’s so positive. I’ve wanted to move away from rear mech for ages, and build a custom frame around a pinion. Decided I wouldn’t like it.

    ****! 😆

    jonke
    Free Member

    What sprockets do you have on yours? With the massive range

    24t front 30t rear – never get below 3rd gear. 1st is ridiculous.

    jonke
    Free Member

    Having no mech to worry about bashing on rocks is a nice thing to have too.

    Now I think about it, I’m starting to think the shifting is actually better than a regular shifter and mech – I have to move my hand slightly to shift but it’s no more effort than moving my thumb or finger away from the grip.

    Agree with this too.

    And comment on noise – so nice! Especially when bike is caked in mud and still running quiet. Actually find myself looking forward to muddy slop rides.

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    24t front 30t rear – never get below 3rd gear. 1st is ridiculous.

    Jesus, I’m not surprised, that’s incredibly low, in a good way!

    That’s a 6 tooth bigger rear sprocket than on the demo bike.

    Today’s ride was one of the wettest I’ve done in ages, with loads of gritty sand too, not a peep from the drivetrain. I’d still go for the belt drive though, simply for that zero maintenance. No cleaning of sprockets after a dirty ride, just chip off the caked on mud and put it in the shed 😁

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    I’d still go for the belt

    Go for it, if you don’t give it a try you will always wonder.  Have some silicon spray ready for when it gets a bit noisy and if you ever change your mind slapping a chain on isn’t a problem

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    24t front 30t rear – never get below 3rd gear. 1st is ridiculous

    I can’t understand why you would do that? Surely you have taken a more than adequate gear range and shifted it so you can easily spin out in top but the bottom gears are unusable?

    jonke
    Free Member

    I can’t understand why you would do that?

    I didn’t – that was stock/what it was shipped with. Just not got around to changing it.

    Dorset_Knob
    Free Member

    Nice.

    On the sub-topic of belts & chains…I’ve just gone back to a chain, having been on a belt for 3 years. Cogs and chains are cheaper to replace than belts and pulleys*, and a chain feels more bike-like, to me, and looks less like an e-bike.

    I also find a chain seems to be quieter, for some reason. The belt made a not-unpleasant humming noise, but I prefer the near-silence I now have with a chain.

    * Having said all that, I did go for three whole years including winter slop on the original belt and pulleys, with zero maintenance. (There were signs of wear when I took it all apart, admittedly. But it all still worked as new.)

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    So what’s the best bike available with a Pinion for a non-absurd sum of money?

    I’d love one on a DH bike but I’m thinking a winter hardtail would see more use.

    Dorset_Knob
    Free Member

    We have our own magazine and everything

    Haha I like that group, can anyone join?

    I have some pictures of posts!

    Are there any rules?

    Dorset_Knob
    Free Member

    oh, I get it .. it is ‘the’ post … <drinks coffee>

    furryaardvark
    Free Member

    A Pinion is silly money, so any bike with one is going to be even more.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)

The topic ‘Pinion gearbox demo today! Questions?’ is closed to new replies.

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.