ROTORUA, New Zealand (BRAIN)—Zerode owner Rob Metz was sort of pestered into starting his own mountain bike brand.
A mechanical engineer by training, the New Zealander has been riding his own home-built bike frames for more than 10 years. One creation a few years ago was a gearbox-equipped carbon trail bike. “I made the gearbox from scratch, then built a frame around it. It was the interest and relentless questions about this bike while out riding that really inspired me to have a go at getting a gearbox bike to market,” Metz said.
The result of his home engineering has now hit U.S. shores with the launch of ZerodeUSA, which is selling Metz’s Zerode G-1 gearbox aluminum downhill frame (pictured) direct to consumers via ZerodeUSA.com, based in Atascadero, California.
The 9.25-inch-travel frame is manufactured by Portland, Oregon-based Sapa Profiles—maker of frames for Turner Bikes—and comes with a Fox DHX RC4 shock, shifter, gearbox, tensioner, rear sprocket and spacer kit, axle and carbon bash guard on the downtube to protect the shock. Price is $3,499.
Where the Zerode G-1 differs from such gearbox predecessors as Germany’s Nicolai is its use of an eight-speed Shimano Alfine internal hub for shifting duty inside the gearbox, rather than the more widely employed Rohloff hub. “To my knowledge, it’s the first downhill gearbox bike to use the Alfine setup,” said Ian Wilkinson, president of ZerodeUSA.
To find out more about Zerode and its plans for the U.S. market, read the December issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.