Pinion C-Line
GEARBOX NEWS

Pinion C-Line Gearbox

Words Zach White
Photos Zach White
Date Sep 20, 2017

It's a hard argument against the pursuit of replacing a derailleur with something far less likely to be smashed by a rock or stump. Factor in the weight distribution of current geared drivetrains with their heavy freehub bodies and cassettes at the business end of sprung weight on suspension bikes, and midship-mounted gearboxes make a lot of sense. Well, except for the whole frame compatibility thing, as well as overall weight, and the price tag, and...ok, maybe there's still a little ways to go. But, Pinion is on the right track of product evolution with their latest C-Line version, as well as an accompanying increase in manufacturers offering a gearbox model. 

Pinion C-Line 2

Going against the bike industry grain a bit, Pinion's C-Line is lighter by a claimed 33% thanks to a new cast magnesium body that replaces the aluminum version, yet also sees a 40% drop in price. They also added an extra gear, bringing the total up from last year's 11 to an even dozen, which equates to a 600% gear ratio (SRAM Eagle is 500%, for a reference point). While Pinion's pricing is for manufacturer's eyes only, the net result on the showroom floor is said to bring complete bike pricing down from $3600 for an entry-level model to $1800.

Pinion_C-Line_propaganda

We didn't grab enough photography from Pinion, so you get some propaganda straight from their brochure. How do you like them carefree apples? 

If fewer gears are your thing, there are 9-speed and 6-speed versions, too. Maintenance on all three consists of an oil change with a $15 syringe style kit, and is recommended as an annual service. Internal parts are said to last the life of the bike, as well. Unit weight is a claimed 2.2 kg, but that's slightly misleading as omitting the weight of a freehub, cassette, and rear derailleur should be factored into the net weight variation when compared to a traditional drivetrain. While the market is larger in Europe, a handful of companies are offering hardtails with Pinion C-Line gearboxes in North America. The three full suspension options on this side of the pond are Musing, Nicolai, and now Zerode.

Comments

MTBrent
0
MTBrent  - Sept. 20, 2017, 7:58 a.m.

That's a damn impressive cut in price.

Reply

shrockie
0
Shrockie  - Sept. 20, 2017, 9:55 a.m.

How about pedaling drag/friction?

Seems like a great option for DH, but for a pedal bike, the drag could be a bit of a drag...

Reply

morgan-heater
+1
Morgan Heater  - Sept. 20, 2017, 1:35 p.m.

I test rode a Zerode. I couldn't notice any drag except when I was in the hardest gear pedaling down hill, and it didn't seem too significant, as I was already rolling downhill. I, personally, was totally sold on the technology after a few hours getting used to the shifting.

Reply

zigak
0
ZigaK  - Sept. 20, 2017, 12:23 p.m.

C line never had 11 speeds. It was always 6,9, and 12 speeds.

Can the author tell us where this information came from?

Reply

ZachWhite
0
Zach White  - Sept. 22, 2017, 11:22 a.m.

Good catch, thanks. It should've read something along the lines of Pinion adding a gear to the new C-Line from the 11-gear option of the P-line.

Reply

100garunteed
0
Sean Tobin  - Sept. 20, 2017, 1:29 p.m.

I could be wrong but surely a gearbox would omit the use of a cassette, derailleur and severely decrease the weight of a free hub. ..

Good read though, I can't wait to get my hands on one of these

Reply

ZacWhite
0
Zac White  - Sept. 20, 2017, 2:54 p.m.

Never thought I would see an author that I share a first and last name with.

Reply

xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Sept. 21, 2017, 1:20 p.m.

impressive weight & cost trimming. now if a major manufacturer would get on board and bring (somewhat) affordable gearbox tech to the masses...

Reply

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Sept. 22, 2017, 9:43 a.m.

It really does come down to numbers in terms of driving the price down... imagine if Trek or Giant chose to do one of their 6" FS models with a Pinion gearbox. They would probably order more for a single production run than the sum total that have been produced to date. 

The other thing about shear numbers is either brand could really cleanly integrate the chain tension system with their frames. 

A working trigger shifter combined with the lighter weight may make that a possibility?

I'm personally happy with a derailleur (or single speed) but Pinion is almost at the point now where all the loud gearbox proponents are going to run out of excuses for why they don't have one.

Reply

morgan-heater
0
Morgan Heater  - Sept. 22, 2017, 11:09 a.m.

As someone who finds the simplicity of a single speed super attractive aesthetically, but can't really justify more than one bike, the Zerode is pretty lust inducing.

Reply

Endur-Bro
0
Endur-Bro  - Sept. 22, 2017, 1:42 p.m.

The Effigear unit is able to run any trigger shifter, and if the frame is built like B. Choulanges Nicolai; a mid-high single pivot, no chain tensioner is used.

Reply

swiftfix
0
Gregory Smith  - Sept. 24, 2017, 7:16 p.m.

Just needs a trigger shifter!

Reply

XXX_er
0
XXX_er  - Sept. 25, 2017, 7:17 a.m.

looks great but I wonder what compromises in chainstay length/placement there would be in the BB area that were eliminated by going with 1x ?  Also someone mentioned drag going down hill, I've been told a Roloff hub will have noticable drag coasting downhill compared to a traditional der setup?

Reply

xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Sept. 26, 2017, 12:39 p.m.

no additional downhill drag on the rohloff, as it's just freewheeling, but there is a discernible bit of drivetrain frictional loss when pedaling. it's pretty subtle, but there. they advertise losses in the range of 1.5 to 5% depending on what gear you're in; seems to be in the ballpark. i've yet to ride a pinion, however. the zerode is at the top of my list of "want to try" rides.

Reply

XXX_er
0
XXX_er  - Sept. 26, 2017, 2:07 p.m.

the guy who told me this^^ was a bike tourer who had done 8000km in AK & northern BC  he was on a bike with a der and his partner was on a Roloff ... said you tell coasting down hills

Reply

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