More Pinion gearboxes coming- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    More Pinion gearboxes coming

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  2. #2
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    Saw that this morning too. Looks really interesting. I appreciate the concept behind them and would love to try one out.

    I wonder if they will ever be cost effective enough to have on something you could pick up at your LBS.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnThaCouch View Post
    Saw that this morning too. Looks really interesting. I appreciate the concept behind them and would love to try one out.

    I wonder if they will ever be cost effective enough to have on something you could pick up at your LBS.
    YES, yes EXACTLY. I've made that my mission and however I can contribute while making a living, that's what I want to do.

    Derailleurs are fine - great, even - on road bikes. Every time someone goes to buy a new MTB at a LBS, I think they're walking out of the store getting ripped off, which isn't even in the scope of control of the bike shop itself.

    It's like having your genitals attached to your right hip. 100% absurd.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    ...Derailleurs are fine - great, even - on road bikes. Every time someone goes to buy a new MTB at a LBS...
    It's like having your genitals attached to your right hip. 100% absurd.
    I'm going to steal that description.

    Very obviously the Pinion guys read my diatribe about their weight and rushed the lighter models to market in one day.

    Edit:
    "The P1.9XR is a 9 speed gear box with an extended range which will find a home on enduro mountain bikes and e-bikes. The XR allows shifts of up to 5 gears at a time and offers a broader 568% range with larger gear steps"


    That looks like a very useful range, and with a weight of 2,200gms it's worth considering (weight includes a BB). I'm now very interested.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    Derailleurs are fine - great, even - on road bikes. Every time someone goes to buy a new MTB at a LBS, I think they're walking out of the store getting ripped off, which isn't even in the scope of control of the bike shop itself.

    It's like having your genitals attached to your right hip. 100% absurd.
    I'm a IGH fan, but what you are saying is a massive exaggeration.

    I ride with a group of 30+ folks year round in some pretty harsh conditions in the PNW. Every one uses dérailleurs on their MTBs and the number of issues that crop up is pretty small. While maintenance is more than an IGH you don't have to kill yourself to keep your bike running well.

    Now if you want to say that IGHs or gearboxes offer some advantages over dérailleurs I'd agree 100%. They also have some significant disadvantages in terms of weight, cost, ability to get service locally and fit on a variety of frames.

    Dérailleurs work. They are light and can be had inexpensively. Nobody is getting ripped off by buying a MTB with a dérailleur.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I'm a IGH fan, but what you are saying is a massive exaggeration.

    I ride with a group of 30+ folks year round in some pretty harsh conditions in the PNW. Every one uses dérailleurs on their MTBs and the number of issues that crop up is pretty small. While maintenance is more than an IGH you don't have to kill yourself to keep your bike running well....
    I think it's a self-limiting thing. If you have a fragile part on your bike, you tend to avoid taking it through stuff that will stop the bike with a breakage.

    In this pic I am having to fix a problem caused by taking the bike through deep heather. Some of it got into the disk brake calliper and damaged the little spring. A derailleur would have been long gone. I can go through that sort of stuff because I don't have to worry about fragile parts.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    I think it's a self-limiting thing. If you have a fragile part on your bike, you tend to avoid taking it through stuff that will stop the bike with a breakage.

    In this pic I am having to fix a problem caused by taking the bike through deep heather. Some of it got into the disk brake calliper and damaged the little spring. A derailleur would have been long gone. I can go through that sort of stuff because I don't have to worry about fragile parts.
    Awesome. I have an IGH on my bikepacking bike for the same reason, but 95% of MTBers aren't looking to bushwack as part of their trail riding.

    I don't take most of my MTB friends on bushwacking rides not because I am worried about ripping off dérailleurs, but because they wouldn't find it remotely fun.
    Safe riding,

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I'm a IGH fan, but what you are saying is a massive exaggeration.

    I ride with a group of 30+ folks year round in some pretty harsh conditions in the PNW. Every one uses dérailleurs on their MTBs and the number of issues that crop up is pretty small. While maintenance is more than an IGH you don't have to kill yourself to keep your bike running well.

    Now if you want to say that IGHs or gearboxes offer some advantages over dérailleurs I'd agree 100%. They also have some significant disadvantages in terms of weight, cost, ability to get service locally and fit on a variety of frames.

    Dérailleurs work. They are light and can be had inexpensively. Nobody is getting ripped off by buying a MTB with a dérailleur.
    Exaggeration, maybe... massive: no.

    The frequency of stops in riding I've seen are because:

    1) fat bike air pressure adjustments
    2) derailleur hangers (or much more rarely, broken chains)
    3) anything else

    Yes, I put derailleurs above conventional pinch flats. Because that's how frequent it has happened to me. I don't know what the hell the deal is. Am I not careful enough? That's what I put to the test when I set up a gen 1 Muk with a clutch type 1x10 drivetrain. To my surprise it is the first conventional bike transmission I've used that is acceptably quiet. It still makes loud CHUNG noises. I still have trouble getting the rear wheel out. I still have trouble dumping gears setting up for a trough in-out descend-climb. I have had to tune the derailleur hanger every week, while taking right hand corners way more wide and passive than I ever have. It's a step in the right direction but I still feel ripped off.

    I feel ripped off when I get into any car and have to move my head to check both overtaking traffic safety and lock step blind spot safety. I didn't say ripped off by the car manufacturer, I just said ripped off. In this case, thanks, USDOT. Why no one makes flat mirrors with flared edges in the US is beyond me.

    I feel ripped off when my anti-fog coated lenses merely form flash-ice on the lenses instead of fog.

    I feel ripped off when my brakes squeal. I don't care if its physics. Fix the f*cking problem! I just bought these $300 brakes and it rains once and EEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Ripoff.

    The 45NRTH Lung Cookie is the biggest ripoff I have purchased in the last two years. Its great for all kinds of face configurations! Unless, you know, you actually breathe hard and are soon sucking the flap into your face like a masochist who forgot his safe word.

    I do not mean to call out derailleurs as a ripoff as though they are somehow unique, rather, I am angry the exposed nature of them has persisted as long as it has, I am angry at rider complacency - the acceptance that replaceable derailleur hangers are on par. I am angry at how long it is taking me to figure out how to bridge the cost and complexity/concerns gap between what we have now vs What Is Acceptable. Par sucks. Par is a ripoff. We can do better.

    I'm not even opposed to the notion of cassettes and jockey wheels. Clearly when they are clean and undisturbed by external forces, they work so good as to allow a person putting out 500 watts to shift while out of the saddle. They simply exist in the wrong place for off roading.

    Ripoffs are the norm, vik.

    EDIT - I feel ripped off by fat bikes themselves. They are more useful to me in the summer months than in the winter months. They perform nowhere near the hype.

    BRB, going to go take some Midol (I'm male and this is intended to be a joke).
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  9. #9
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    PS vik I was sort of considering this as a private message, but screw it:

    There's a reason I'm kind of a freak about this topic.

    I'm a control freak, straight up. But, life is chaos. So how does a control freak cope with chaos, the vast majority of life that cannot be controlled?

    It's sort of like a version of the Serenity Prayer. There are very few things that can be controlled.

    But I feel this is one area where, unlike 13 year old me who got all bent out of shape because his escape mechanism (bike) sometimes stopped working because of errant tree branches, I do have control. Or at least the potential for control. Control to improve peoples' lives in even a small way. I have the CAD background. I have the publishing background. I have a benchmark in chops for composites. I have damn near zero machining experience but hey I can learn it. I know how to reach common ground with people about their riding problems in person.

    When that potential for change is there, I get angsty and sometimes lose all serenity like I did today. You know that feeling when you reach a crest on a long climb, and like a mirage in the desert, that crest is merely a temporary flattening? How do you react to that epiphany? Deflated? Challenge-inspired? Angry?

    I don't know, man. I just see a lot of stuff (the one floating in my head at the moment is watching hundreds of my neighbors struggle with driving up my hill half of the year) and just feel like people aren't getting what they're paying for. And I can't do jack squat about most of it. And here's one thing I can and I'm moving so damn slow (because I'm trying to develop it right to avoid the many pitfalls and high likelihood of failure and development just takes time) and some days I just can't deal.

    Sorry.
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  10. #10
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Drew Diller again.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post

    The 45NRTH Lung Cookie is the biggest ripoff I have purchased in the last two years. Its great for all kinds of face configurations! Unless, you know, you actually breathe hard and are soon sucking the flap into your face like a masochist who forgot his safe word.
    I came here to read about Pinion, because I would love to have a bike with one of their geartrains.

    But this comment had me laughing hard.

    Also, it seems "harder" is not a good safe word.

  12. #12
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    Proving yet again...

    That there is a very fine line between brilliance and madness. Flip that over, and if said madness is used well as motivation, brilliance often results. ;-)
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  13. #13
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    And.....

    Drew's on fire again!

    Agreed, the world is an imperfect place.

    Not that I don't like my Rohloff, I do. Not that I wouldn't mind a Pinion either.

    But hand either of those to your average MTB'er, along with the bill, and see just how many of them are willing to deal with the occasional ripped off $100 derailleur, or bent/busted, $20 hanger as opposed to tossing a month or three's salary at a bike part.

    I think you'll see why these will never be what "everybody" is riding, regardless of weight, usability or range improvements.....

    But, Drew's a smart cookie, won't be long before he's 3D printing the buggers for $30!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    When that potential for change is there, I get angsty and sometimes lose all serenity like I did today. You know that feeling when you reach a crest on a long climb, and like a mirage in the desert, that crest is merely a temporary flattening? How do you react to that epiphany? Deflated? Challenge-inspired? Angry?
    Thanks for explaining all that. I have a much better understanding of where you are coming from.

    I'm on the opposite side of this in my perspective. Most rides I come back stunned at how awesome the bikes I ride offroad are and glad I've got such good options available to me.

    There are many things I'd like to see different or improved, but that would just be the icing on the cake. So it doesn't diminish my stoke.

    I'll be interested to see what you bring to market and kudos for spending the time and $$ doing something you think will make things better for other riders.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Thanks for explaining all that. I have a much better understanding of where you are coming from.

    I'm on the opposite side of this in my perspective. Most rides I come back stunned at how awesome the bikes I ride offroad are and glad I've got such good options available to me.

    There are many things I'd like to see different or improved, but that would just be the icing on the cake. So it doesn't diminish my stoke.

    I'll be interested to see what you bring to market and kudos for spending the time and $$ doing something you think will make things better for other riders.
    In other words, you're a reasonable person. And, heh, considering we are coming from opposite ends it is kind of funny that we have tested some of the same transmission equipment.

    I just, I'm a little embarrassed, I'm an angry guy and I try not to let that stuff out. It has never made me friends. I don't know if this is a reassurance or what, but know that the large amount of criticism and sometimes hate that I direct at a lot of things every day, I direct at myself even worse. I mean my best friend calls me Drew Downer. It is sort of a chore to live with, I can't turn it off. Only thing I can do is try to not let it out and and every time I do I get really red faced.

    The upshot is that this hyper pickiness resulted in my landing a comfortably paying software career. That I'm perfectly okay with saying goodbye to forever, by this point. I don't care if my boss is reading this because he already knows. I figure I can apply this hyper pickiness to bicycle design.

    Anyway - I think we are after the same thing from a technical standpoint:

    - Fathomable price considering benefits.
    - Compatible with advanced home mechanic / average LBS skill sets.
    - Related to the previous, composed of components that I don't even necessarily produce myself and can therefore be replaced easily if I get hit by a bus.
    - Reasonably light weight such that my no-longer-stock right shoulder can lift a bike somewhat smoothly over a fence. (I can't supinate well or do pushups without intense pain)
    - Not so light weight as to be a roll-the-dice-until-a-warranty-claim item.

    Ideally I'd like to see a transmission that can handle torqued downshifting. The transmissions that fail this test:

    - Rohloff
    - Alfine
    - SRAM
    - Hammerschmidt
    - FSA Metropolis Patterson (edit - this crank is a total WIN for effect-per-dollar, AWESOME)

    Transmissions that partially pass:

    - Conventional dérailleurs (moderate load)
    - NuVinci N360 (moderate load)

    I don't know of any that fully pass. I'm talking like, World Rally Cross paddle style shifting where the driver isn't focused at all on engine torque, and the transmission just kinda deals with the abuse heaped on it, involving fancy electronics.

    And so I've noodled on that too. Di2 seems to be moderately successful - there appears to be both xenophobia and demand for it. Like I said, software background, programming an Arduino can't be that hard compared to shimming a ridiculously old Internet Explorer bug.

    Famous last words.

    I've also thought of some possibilities on how to do the same tolerate-any-rider-input but with purely mechanical means. Jury's out.

    I want to make some option that is spiritually similar to the Effigear, doesn't use quite the same hardware, admittedly maybe doesn't perform quite as well, and costs half as much. In the mean time I will gladly implement an Effigear unit into a carbon frame and I am doing that as fast as I know how. But it's $1800 unit. Not too many people could stomach that. Personally I could stomach it, but that's because I'm the type that almost always has a bike cooler and more expensive than the rest of his replaceable possessions. By contrast, I can't stomach a Rohloff because I'd have to buy additional Rohloffs when swapping in entirely different wheel sets, and that starts to feel indulgent at two (on my budget anyway), and almost frivolous thereafter.

    But there are the people who dislike derailleurs but can't spend more than a grand on a bike. What about them? I may NEVER reach them and it bums me the hell out (one of my motivations for trying frame building is that I think custom frames cost way too damn much and then I learned what's involved in making them and WOW it is hard to do cheap). But that's not a good reason to quit. Maybe as a compromise I can reach the guy who is tired of his derailleur, and can afford a decent rig but just not one that has four zeroes in the price tag.

    Maybe then someone will copy it and bring the price down even further, because the designs will be intentionally un-patentable because I'd rather build bikes than waste my life litigating.

    The basic ideal is to realize a bicycle that is so resilient that the only cause for trip failure is mind and body. Practically speaking this is an impossible goal when taken to its logical extents, but Effigears and Pinions are vital toward it.

    All talk until I show some protos.

    Some days I'm more PISSED OFF about this topic than others, and exaggeration comes out. I had to respond to you in detail vik because I respect your opinion and I value making accurate assessments.

    You might be surprised to learn that I'm fun at parties, and sometimes this female I live with is willing to get naked with me and do things together.

    ...Scrabble, mostly.
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  16. #16
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    Ya know, I remember back in the dim past that a euro group were experimenting with an electrical drive - not just generator/motor, but an electrical linkage between pedals and drive. Kinda like a stepper motor, where crank position sent the control pulse and the hub went there. I remember it was all custom stuff, no interface with commercially available stuff.

    Sounded like a great idea, then I lost track and have never been able to find it again. Either it didn't work at all or it was another case of too pricey to develop. Or it wound up being too heavy - but that hasn't stopped any of these other ideas.

    Anybody know what I'm talking about? This would fix all the wide tire drivetrain issues - all you need is wires between BB and hub. And 2WD would also be a possibility.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wadester View Post
    Ya know, I remember back in the dim past that a euro group were experimenting with an electrical drive - not just generator/motor, but an electrical linkage between pedals and drive. Kinda like a stepper motor, where crank position sent the control pulse and the hub went there. I remember it was all custom stuff, no interface with commercially available stuff.

    Sounded like a great idea, then I lost track and have never been able to find it again. Either it didn't work at all or it was another case of too pricey to develop. Or it wound up being too heavy - but that hasn't stopped any of these other ideas.

    Anybody know what I'm talking about? This would fix all the wide tire drivetrain issues - all you need is wires between BB and hub. And 2WD would also be a possibility.
    Word. I think the answer was: compound efficiency losses would make the reality of it super gross. Which is a TOTAL WAD.

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  18. #18
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    ...Diller...Go home, you're drunk...
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnitman View Post
    ...Diller...Go home, you're drunk...
    Whatever man. I still have that scar from the Menomonie test. Might as well have been drunk then, coulda been a decent excuse.
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  20. #20
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  21. #21
    This place needs an enema
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    Any idea how the Pinion does in true, northern, arctic, deep winter cold? For days on end -- not just a 3 hour rip and then back to the barn to thaw.

  22. #22
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    No idea! Haven't plunked down to get one of them on my desk yet!

    (Soon though.)

    EDIT: accidentally _____'d a word
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Any idea how the Pinion does in true, northern, arctic, deep winter cold? For days on end -- not just a 3 hour rip and then back to the barn to thaw.
    Mike, you're the endurance cold weather racer... so do you see the need? Are folks riding IGH? Will a belt hold up?

    I ride more typical PNW ice and snow, slushy and muddy at times, I rarely see the need for an IGH on a fat bike, so a gearbox seems a bit excessive.

    Now if we're talking about FS, riding in moon dust, yeah, sign me up!

    If they can get the price down to what I'd pay for a Rohloff, then the sticky part would be frame choices.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Mike, you're the endurance cold weather racer... so do you see the need? Are folks riding IGH? Will a belt hold up?

    I ride more typical PNW ice and snow, slushy and muddy at times, I rarely see the need for an IGH on a fat bike, so a gearbox seems a bit excessive.

    Now if we're talking about FS, riding in moon dust, yeah, sign me up!

    If they can get the price down to what I'd pay for a Rohloff, then the sticky part would be frame choices.
    Was a racer, now am just a tourist.

    I want efficiency when things get cold. All that chain, changing direction as it runs through a derailleur, and then bending harshly when in the extreme ranges of the cassette, causes friction. If I could have a single loop of chain that'd remove lots of friction from both planes.

    But are there friction losses (due to +10 to -40*f temps) in the Pinion that are greater than what I have now? That's what I want to know.

    Belt is an afterthought -- can experiment with that whenever.

  25. #25
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    Belts are sold as long tough, light, quiet and clean. But it's tough to see how they would hold up when you are bushwacking and get a branch mixed up in the chain/belt.

  26. #26
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    My 2 cents having used a Gates belt: it's for the city, but can survive off road. I use a chain off road. My next city bike will be belted.

    I'd be very keen to learn if the Pinion and / or Effigear systems can be spec'd with different oils for different conditions. I want such a feature of changing the oil weight without damaging the guts.

    EDIT - again, gearbox does not mean belt by definition. Gearbox is just a human power output location. The transmission from there could be belt or chain.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  27. #27
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I want efficiency when things get cold. All that chain, changing direction as it runs through a derailleur, and then bending harshly when in the extreme ranges of the cassette, causes friction. If I could have a single loop of chain that'd remove lots of friction from both planes.

    .........
    I know the solution to your problem.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    I know the solution to your problem.
    If you keep it within the context of this multi-geared conversation, I'm listening.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    If you keep it within the context of this multi-geared conversation, I'm listening.


    Nothing less than a dinglespeed then.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  30. #30
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Damnit.

  31. #31
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    This is a tough environment. Ocean beach sand with jellyfish (in this case). A simple foward chain guard and duct tape on stays solved 95% of sand on running gear issues. I get 1000+ miles a year of chain life on the beach. Up from 400 miles. I limit jamming through surf & sloughs because that just brings more maintenance.

    More Pinion gearboxes coming-image.jpeg

    More Pinion gearboxes coming-image.jpg

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Nothing less than a dinglespeed then.
    I had some customization job in mind involving an FSA Patterson crankset and the fact that it is a rather unique crank with drive side bearing being mounted on the right crank itself. You know how past bottom bracket spindle lengthening jobs did not even afford the luxury of sleeving? Those customizations broke not from poor craftsmanship, but from freaking harsh circumstances.

    Well, with the Patterson, there is asymmetry. There's room for a sleeve in this case, which means there's room for a HUGE bond area, which means it could be extended into fat bike territory and feasibly be strong enough to use in real life. No one has tried it, maybe it'll work.

    That's what I see as the least expensive, albeit currently weird and not recommended, route into a gearbox'd fat bike.

    Last winter I kinda abandoned the idea because I saw the Efneo three speed crank, which featured plug and play taper mount (how they pulled that off I have no idea, but, bravo). Unfortunately they are still in production purgatory. And ...yeah, I can't judge them on that front.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    ...Last winter I kinda abandoned the idea because I saw the Efneo three speed crank, which featured plug and play taper mount... Unfortunately they are still in production purgatory...
    I am waiting for one. They are quite a bit behind schedule. I'm hoping it will be the simple answer to a clean drivetrain. A gear for the road transit, a gear for the trail, and one for the deep soft stuff.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post

    But are there friction losses (due to +10 to -40*f temps) in the Pinion that are greater than what I have now? That's what I want to know.
    I wonder if anyone has done the ITI with a Rohloff. Roholoffs are now approved to run with just cleaning oil in cold weather, so if anyone has used one in the ITI it would give a sense of whether internal gear systems can work long-term in cold weather with low viscosity oils.
    --Peace

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars_D View Post
    I wonder if anyone has done the ITI with a Rohloff. Roholoffs are now approved to run with just cleaning oil in cold weather, so if anyone has used one in the ITI it would give a sense of whether internal gear systems can work long-term in cold weather with low viscosity oils.

    People have started with them. Of the ones that I recall seeing, none of them made it across the Alaska Range, for reasons unrelated to the hubs.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars_D View Post
    I wonder if anyone has done the ITI with a Rohloff. Roholoffs are now approved to run with just cleaning oil in cold weather, so if anyone has used one in the ITI it would give a sense of whether internal gear systems can work long-term in cold weather with low viscosity oils.
    My Rohloff was making some interesting noise last winter when it got cold, this is good to know! (-20c or -4f)

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2LO4U2C View Post
    My Rohloff was making some interesting noise last winter when it got cold, this is good to know! (-20c or -4f)
    I couldn't find the recommendation for 100% cleaning oil on the Rohloff site, but here is a partial quote from the US distributors ".Using a blend of 50/50 cleaning oil and hub oil will work in most conditions. If it is cold enough that this is still too thick, use a higher percentage of cleaning oil up to 100% in the coldest conditions." Here is a link if you want to read the full comments:

    Rohloff-equipped Schlick Tatanka | FAT-BIKE.COM

    Again my point is that very light oils may allow these types of systems to function in subarctic conditions without too much friction loss. But until someone makes it to McGrath with one, we really won't know for sure.
    --Peace

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars_D View Post
    But until someone makes it to McGrath with one, we really won't know for sure.
    I can think of better tests -- at least one guy has made it to McG with a recumbent. Note that I didn't say he rode it...

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