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gearbox bikes

May 31, 2016, 3:09 p.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

i love this thing. it's a freakshow for sure, but great out of the box thinking. inboard derailleur (and brake!), center mounted chainring, etc:

I love how Mad Max it looks in that b[HTML_REMOVED]w photo.

May 31, 2016, 3:25 p.m.
Posts: 137
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

the circumcisor

May 31, 2016, 3:47 p.m.
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan. 12, 2006

Broken chains would suck balls. Potentially literally…

June 1, 2016, 5:53 a.m.
Posts: 4329
Joined: Oct. 24, 2005

i can't say i hate the gripshift, but it's certainly a significant detractor to many. a servo makes lots of sense - easy to implement within the packaging of a gearbox.

i take it your experience with the pinion has been positive? i saw a pic of one of your bikes somewhere (care to post here?); pretty cool stuff.

Yup, I love it on the touring/road/shenanigans rig so far!
Clean, quiet, next to no maintenance. Snow, rain, mud are non-issues.

Gearbox MTB frames hopefully ripping by the end of the month.

Here's a pic from today:

The best things in life all start with the letter B
Hooray for: Bacon, Bikeys, Boobies, Boards, and Beer!

June 8, 2016, 5:18 a.m.
Posts: 76
Joined: Dec. 3, 2003

Opinions below based on 30km of riding by an unrepentant hardtail rider

I rode the Nicolai Geometron Pinion bike last night for a couple of hours.
I'll try and separate my feelings/observations about the gearbox from my feelings about the bike as a whole.

I wasn't super stoked on the gearbox for the following reasons (in no particular order):
1) Drag, it does feel a little draggy.
2) Shifter, it's not as good as a trigger shifter but it's not that much of an issue. You may feel differently.
3) You have to back off a lot in terms of pedal pressure to get it to shift. That was annoying.
4) There was a lot of lag as they gearing engaged, this was the big one for me. Apparently the bike I rode had a king rear hub, you can use a fixed rear hub that helps fix this issue.
5) Q factor, its wider. You might not care, it felt slightly odd to me, but I would get used to it.

However, the bike overall is amazing.
The rear suspension feels amazingly supple probably due to the very low unsprung weight.
I rode the Longer bike and it felt "normal" and would like to try the Longest bike.
The amount of front wheel (and overall grip) is freaky.
It climbs surprisingly well for a 34(ish) pound bike.

June 8, 2016, 6:18 a.m.
Posts: 4329
Joined: Oct. 24, 2005

I have a buddy with a Pinion Nicolai squishy, running a Gates belt on it.
He's been having the odd issue with the belt 'popping' (jumping teeth on the rear cog), and didn't know what was causing it.

A squishy bike is not ideal for the Gates belt. The belt needs to be run with fairly high tension, on a stiff chainstay setup. Gates mentioned to me when I talked with them that the belt is not ideal to be bent in an opposite direction, too.
The Nicolai design is kind of janky with a belt, not an ideal setup. The suspension travel and tensioner device means that:

- the belt tension changes as the suspension goes through it's travel, causing the pop.

- The tensioner bends the belt in a manner it's not supposed to be, causing much drag/friction in the system.

Chain would be no issue on that design.
Pinion/Gates on a properly designed hardtail is sweet. Less drag than a regular derailleur setup.

The best things in life all start with the letter B
Hooray for: Bacon, Bikeys, Boobies, Boards, and Beer!

June 12, 2016, 3:17 a.m.
Posts: 2312
Joined: April 2, 2005

Opinions below based on 30km of riding by an unrepentant hardtail rider

I rode the Nicolai Geometron Pinion bike last night for a couple of hours.
I'll try and separate my feelings/observations about the gearbox from my feelings about the bike as a whole.

I wasn't super stoked on the gearbox for the following reasons (in no particular order):
1) Drag, it does feel a little draggy.
2) Shifter, it's not as good as a trigger shifter but it's not that much of an issue. You may feel differently.
3) You have to back off a lot in terms of pedal pressure to get it to shift. That was annoying.
4) There was a lot of lag as they gearing engaged, this was the big one for me. Apparently the bike I rode had a king rear hub, you can use a fixed rear hub that helps fix this issue.
5) Q factor, its wider. You might not care, it felt slightly odd to me, but I would get used to it.

However, the bike overall is amazing.
The rear suspension feels amazingly supple probably due to the very low unsprung weight.
I rode the Longer bike and it felt "normal" and would like to try the Longest bike.
The amount of front wheel (and overall grip) is freaky.
It climbs surprisingly well for a 34(ish) pound bike.

so nothing has changed since they introduced them a few years ago

MTB-Freeride.TV

March 30, 2018, 1:11 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct. 7, 2017

This thing is sick!  Cant wait for the new breeds of gearbox bikes.

March 30, 2018, 1:13 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct. 7, 2017

This thing is sick!

March 30, 2018, 3:52 p.m.
Posts: 816
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: shirk

i love this thing. it's a freakshow for sure, but great out of the box thinking. inboard derailleur (and brake!), center mounted chainring, etc:

I love how Mad Max it looks in that b[HTML_REMOVED]w photo.

And here is a man who never met an idea he didn't like.

March 31, 2018, 10:33 a.m.
Posts: 15234
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I would bet having the rear brake at the end of  a chain like ^^ that would have a certain amount of stretch/lag to the feel of the rear brake ?

A couple of people came thru town, stopped at the shop were 8000km into a big tour, one of tham had a roloff so I asked how is that for touring, buddy said coasting down hill the roloff was slower than the der.

Right now I got a buddy who is <500 kms from the end of the road in south america where they have broken/worn out all kinds of shit but I read on FB that bro had the geared hub fail and had to wait 2-3 weeks for a new gearbox/hub so getting parts is more of a hassle


 Last edited by: XXX_er on March 31, 2018, 10:36 a.m., edited 1 time in total.

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