One for all you derailleur haters out there

Pinion gearbox-ed 160mm travel carbon enduro bike from New Zealand due to arrive on these shores shortly.

Need to know

  • 12 speed Pinion gearbox
  • Carbon frame
  • 160mm travel
  • 65° head angle
  • Available in the UK come September from Stif

You might not have heard of Zerode but they are a fairly well known name amongst the fanatic world of gearbox preachers.

>>> Will the Pinion gearbox kill off the derailleur?

They’ve only really done full-on Downhill bikes before now. The Taniwha (pronounced in Māori as “tanifa”) is their first stab at an enduro bike.

Frame weights are listed as 2,580g for Medium and 2,680g for the Large.

In Māori mythology, Taniwha are highly respected protective guardians, or in some traditions, stealthy, predatory beings. So there you go. One for the next pub quiz night.

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What’s good about a gearbox?

The gearbox in question here is a Pinion gearbox. Gearboxes do have some unarguable benefits.

12 speeds offering a wider range than standard 1×11 derailleur systems.

Symmetrical rear wheel build for increased wheel strength.

Reduced unsprung weight ie. there’s no derailleur and cassette attached to the rear wheel so it’s less ‘weighed down’ and fighting the suspension.

Fixed chain length enables a consistent suspension action throughout the whole gear range.

There’s no rear derailleur to smash or bend.

Maintenance is claimed to be almost non existent. Sprockets and chains last a long time.

From New Zealand via North Yorkshire

Stif Manager Sammy Smithson says: “Zerode is a brand that perfectly fits the Stif ethos of bringing high quality and performance mountain bike products to our current and ever expanding customer base. As soon as we heard about the new Taniwha we knew that it would be a great match, and we’re looking forward to working with Rob and Zerode on this and in the future”

Zerode’s Rob Metz says: “The Taniwha project is all is about making the riding experience better, more fun and more reliable. When looking to the UK we wanted a partner who understood what riding was all about, who had the passion and who could offer rock solid support. We found that in Stif bikes and we are stoked to work with Sammy and the team to bring the Zerode Taniwha to the UK”

>>> Nicolai Ion GPI (2016) review

Geometry chart

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RIP derailleurs?

Maybe. Maybe not. Derailleur systems are still significantly lighter overall. And gearboxes can be fairly draggy-resistance feeling to pedal. They can also struggle to change gear under pedal load.

But we shall see. Maybe this pairing of Pinion and Zerode will be the start of a revolution.