Gearbox transmission suggestions?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Gearbox transmission suggestions?

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    • #250271

      Does anyone who rides with a gearbox drivetrain (Pinion or otherwise) have suggestions or advice on which drivetrain is best?

      What cool bikes are outfitted with encapsulated gearboxes?

      How do they ride?


    • #250274

      I’ve done some short test rides on Pinion and Rohloff and they both work about the same. The real difference seems to be the weight distribution; for that reason I think I prefer the Pinion since it places all the weight at the BB instead of at the rear wheel.

      Shifting takes some getting used to; you have to stop pedaling to shift. The upshot is you can stop pedaling, crank from 1 all the way up to 14, and resume.

    • #250278

      The Titanium Nordest “Enduro” hardtail looks very interesting. Most internal/gearbox require using a grip shifter though. That may take a while to get used to. When riding hard I could imagine accidentally shifting when pumping the trail or pulling your front wheel over something. I know my hands don’t stay in one place (have the callouses to prove it).

    • #250281

      Ah yes, good point. The gearbox bikes I’ve ridden do have grip shifts. My theory is that’s because the type of people who like the clean lines of a gearbox, also like the clean lines of a twist shift. I can’t think of a mechanical reason for why gearbox drivetrains would be limited to grip shift, but maybe there is one…

      Agreed, grip shifts can be awkward when you’re really wrenching the bars.

    • #250297

      I believe the Pinion and the Rohloff both use two shift wires. I am guessing that, unlike derailleurs there is no default position and a spring pulling back to that position. So the two wires are needed to pull both directions, since you can’t push a wire.

      I believe the Shimano Alfine and Sturmey Archer both work with trigger shifters but I am not sure if they are trail worthy. I love the simplicity (visually) of a bike with less hanging off it. I seriously looked into converting my bike but when it comes down to it, I think that the money is better spent elsewhere.

    • #250472

      The Pinion gearbox requires two cables because you are always pulling the gear into place. Essentially, when you pull the cable it shifts a cam shaft in the gearbox to engage different gears. A spring doesn’t work because it isn’t strong enough to pull the gear into place, and would have to be pretty long on the handlebars or transmission to accommodate all of the gears. Derailleurs have it pretty good because they can use gravity and a spring to shift the gear down the cassette block, but even that isn’t strong enough to pull it back up the block. If you want to get into the detail, Pinion has a really cool site that explodes the gearbox into all of its parts and how they work.

      On the original question, I have briefly ridden a Zerode Taniwha and it was amazing. The rear wheel tracks amazingly well and the suspension comes alive. The shifting is a bit weird in the beginning, mostly because it isn’t what you’ve trained your body to do. If you think back to the first time you got a bike that had more than one gear and it’s a similar thing. It feels awkward at first and then becomes second nature pretty quickly. There is a bit more drag in the system than what you’d be used to. Based on what I have read, the gear box beds in after a few hundred miles and it feels much better.

    • #250488

      With the Sram Eagle GX drivetrain with 10-50 cassette being much more affordable, lighter, and working so well, does it really make sense to get a gearbox drivetrain????

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