Riding the Zerode G-1 37

Mikey Haderer runs through the Zerode G-1 downhill bike, featuring a gearbox design. The frameset uses a Shimano Alfine 8-speed commuter hub and trigger shifter in its high-pivot design. Is gear box the future? If they look like this, I sure hope so!

Spec and Geometry Highlights
9.25-inches of travel
64.5-degree head angle
14-inch bottom bracket height
1.5-inch head tube (AngleSet compatible)
12x150 rear axle and 83mm BB shell
Adjustable geared hub mount
Frameset price: $4650 NZD (about $3600 USD) includes Fox DHX RC4 shock, Shimano Alfine hub and shifter, rear cog, chain tensioner and carbon downtube guard.

Credit: Jason Van Horn
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  • averymorin

    1/2/2012 12:14 PM

    I'm hoping to demo ones of these bikes at Angelfire this summer!

  • Kusa

    12/5/2011 1:31 PM

    Just in case if someone remember back on Eurobike...a few years ago

  • Rod_Yeo

    12/3/2011 12:58 AM

    There's nobody getting owned. BCD had a mech system(inboard)from memory, maybe a Nexus system too. There were others also, Nicolai had a nice one(well ugly wrong geo etc but cool). Not sure what predates what, but they've all been executed differently. At the ned of the day, you can buy a Zerode, it's as good or better than anything else with a gearbox(better than every DH bike IMO). No need for anyone to get upset, just get a ride on a Zerode, and enjoy, it's what it's all about remember.

  • maximumradness

    12/2/2011 11:06 AM

    the bikes are rad. they are in production and they are deadly quiet on track! simple parking lot and shuttle line tests indicate the shred-ability leverage to be 3;1 . thats ripping !

  • Dirtstar59

    12/2/2011 9:41 AM

    owned by @white wolf....well done


  • white wolf

    12/2/2011 6:31 AM

    alex morgan and bcd.

  • Rod_Yeo

    12/2/2011 1:15 AM

    The GT IT was first shown about ten years ago, and was debatably a copy of the Lahar they had apparently seen at a show not long before. It was released with what I think to be next to zero changes from the bike they showed years before(one incarnation had a full moto style seat). Not sure why GT killed the concept by releasing it in such dated "freeride" geo(high BB, steep head angle), guess they had the gigs made or something. Apparently they released it as Shimanno wouldn't let them run the Nexus, but agreed to the Alfine or something. Either way, apart from the dud geo, the Zerode is much better executed, a more simple tensioner system, and disk brake on the side it should be, apart from better weight, geo etc.
    Moving on.
    Sure Mikey is a better rider than spokes man, and got some details wrong. But none the less, a lot of the points are true.
    I've been on a Zerode for about 8 months I think, and am loving it, been a high pivot fan for years(Balfa, Brooklyn, Lahar, etc, all have lived in my stable, as well as non high pivot bikes now and then).
    The Alfine gear spacing is great IMO, nice big spaces, none of this shifting for tediously smaller cadence performance, but clunk, that's a different gear. The shifting when pedaling isn't much different to with a mech, you still need to soft pedal for a milli second, BUT, if not pedaling(and here's the gold), you can shift and be in that gear when you pedal again, so cornering, bombing a rock garden, whatever, shift and power out in the gear you want. Once you're brain is used to this, you can just blitz gear changing, and always have the right gear to get going.
    The chains last a hell of a lot longer, as they're not being rammed into another sprocket by a mech at an angle they don't like(seriously, are bikes still being made with this primitive gear shifting, c'mon Shimanno, Sram, pull the trigger, you obviously have boxes ready to go, stop milking the mech for all the profits you can, give back to your customers).
    For any doubters of the designs, just look at the Ozzy, and New Zealand race results, pretty much every Zerode raced podiums I think.
    The frames aren't the lightest, but with all the weight between your legs below your knees, and acting as a ballast/counter weight for the light rear end to pendulum off, the bikes ride super light and responsive.
    Get a go on one, a long go so you can learn the shifting, and let your subconscious milk all the benefits, and you'll be amazed and pretty sure you'll be buying one.
    Anyone can feel free to shoot me any questions they have about the Zerodes. If you're in Australia by chance, there's a demo/rental one at Thredbo.
    Sorry for the rant, just the bikes are so good, people theorizing without having ridden one really need to just have a go on one.
    All bikes are a compromise, pick the bet one for you, I think Zerode will tick the most boxes for most people.

  • commanderagl

    12/1/2011 9:48 PM

    the gearbox requires less maintenance than a normal derailleur system and is less prone to damage. whereas a derailleur can be snapped off, the gearbox within the frame is protected from crashes and the suspension absorbs most of the forces that would otherwise act upon it. The gearbox also allows for tighter chains and reduces the chance for the chain to slip off or snap. Moving the gearbox into the frame also moves the center of gravity inward, for better stability, and decreases the weight on the rear triangle, thus decreasing inertia, allowing the suspension to activate faster and avoid damaging a wheel on square edges. the suspension design also moves the wheel back and up, not just up, allowing the bike to roll more smoothly over sharper, square edged bumps.

  • MtB4LiFe

    12/1/2011 9:22 PM

    Was is the advantage of the gearbox?

  • commanderagl

    12/1/2011 5:49 PM

    for those who think that the alfine does not give the right gears for downhill, you are right. It doesn't by itself, but because the gearbox is separate from the rear wheel they can control the base gears by choosing the correct rings on the crank, the gearbox input, the gearbox output, and the rear sprocket. this could actually lead to more customization by using different sized rear sprockets (and possibly input/output rings, I don't know the setup of how they put it together, but you might be able to), though it does not look like there is enough room to put on a bigger chainring.

  • Dirtstar59

    12/1/2011 5:27 PM

    PS....the Alfine gear ratio is not the best for DH racing....

  • Dirtstar59

    12/1/2011 5:18 PM

    @eestinkay....I missed the forum rule that mandates a probationary period on posting...how long should I wait ? this is not a set off of HB state park...the point ?... history...thats the point ...thats why I brought it up...I am a GT fan so I felt it should be mentioned that GT did a very similar ..Production model. 4 years ago...and yes the bike above is a nicely done product....will be great to see it in production one day.....and... I only point out spelling errors on smack talk posts...

  • Jaisun

    12/1/2011 4:32 PM

    Those are some sweet pants Mikey!

  • dmarsh15

    12/1/2011 3:06 PM

    Looks pretty promising. But since when does 210mm = 9.25" of travel???????

  • esstinkay

    12/1/2011 3:00 PM

    @dirtstar59: yah so what's your point. Member for one day and starting shit. In the video, he specifically acknowledges that other gearbox designs exist. They have optimized multiple concepts and considerations (well thought out) into a production package that is performance proven in the real live world and obtainable. But still, there's loads of originality in this bike. Let's have a cheer for advancement and progression. Don't we hear enough about Trek vs Kona designs drama already? Who thinks GT is uncool - on the contrary, they have one of the baddest carbon frames out there... And while you're calling out people's typos (in the middle of your own), maybe consider that many of us are using mobile devices or maybe just not overly concerned about it.

  • ianjenn

    12/1/2011 1:53 PM

    @BayScraper I have tested a TR450, Legend MKII, V-10, Jedi in the last year. The rear travel is not as noticeable as it was on the Jedi. This bike rides a lot like the TR did. Easy to change lines, move around and stay planted and run over obstacles if that is your style.

  • BayScraper

    12/1/2011 1:37 PM

    im really curious on how it rides with the rearward travel. so far ive only ridden a canfield and the rearward travel is a trip to get used to.

  • Slyp823

    12/1/2011 1:14 PM

    considering this whole setup literally costs less than some traditional downhill frames that still need a full drivetrain setup (derailleur, cassette, cranks/chainring/chainguide/bashguard, etc), it could actually build up to a reasonably priced (compared to some of the top-of-the-line downhill bikes on the market) and very very capable rig. getting to the shock for adjustments might be an exercise in patience (and the importance of carrying zipties and a pocketknife to remove and replace the CF bashplate every time) but for a bike otherwise that well thought out, I'd be willing to deal with it

  • Dirtstar59

    12/1/2011 12:36 PM

    agree on all points...never stated the IT-1 was a WC DH targted product..If I recall the bike was marketed as a FR platform ...hence the emphasis on no rear mech and stronger rear wheel build .

    .was merely reveiwing the philosophies and technology talked about in the video and stating that IMHO they are derivative and not revolutionary....

  • ianjenn

    12/1/2011 12:24 PM

    The GT bike was not used at the WC level. The I-DRIVE DHI was used by Fabien and the rest of the team? ( Wait not sure did they have a team in 2005) So that bike never really went through the race circuit. Zerode has had a pretty good go on the WC this year. They have also been killing it in the race series down there both in NZ and Australia.

    The bike has DH geometry, a hub anyone can service and also includes a Shimano warranty. Also it runs a trigger shifter not twist. Zerode tested every "BOX" on the market before deciding to go Shimano. It's reliability, cost and weight made it the obvious choice.

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