I recently finished this custom mountain bike build for a client in Telluride, and it marks an exciting time for Myth Cycles. We are now building with Pinion Gearboxes.
This was the first build we’ve done with a Pinion gearbox, but it most certainly won’t be our last. If you aren’t familiar with Pinion, it is a drivetrain replacement that acts like a transmission. All the gears are in a box that is bolted directly to the frame, and gear changes all happen between the crank and chainring. This means you can run a simple singlespeed rear hub, and even a Gates Carbon belt drive if you want to. The gearboxes come with 6 to 18 speeds, but the most popular (for mountain bikes) seems to be the C1.12, which has 12 speeds and about one more gear of range than an Eagle drivetrain.
These gearboxes keep all the gears in an oil bath, which means very low maintenance. They require an oil change every 10,000 Km, or every year. If you have a chain connecting the gearbox to the rear wheel, it will require normal chain maintenance. But a belt will require very little, in the right conditions (i.e. no mud).
Pinion does add weight to a bike. It’s hard to calculate exactly because it replaces a lot of parts, and it’s integrated into the frame. By my reckoning, it adds roughly 3lbs, give or take. But the weight is low and central, so it’s not as noticeable.
Shifting under load? Nope. This is the first thing a lot of people ask me about Pinion. That sounds like a downside if you’ve never experienced it before. However, we have a Rohloff on our tandem which shifts in a similar fashion. Yes, you have to pause pedaling for a split second, but the nice thing is you can dump a ton of gears if you want to. With a little getting used to it, it becomes very natural.
Right now we are only offering Pinion on custom bikes. For a little more info and pricing, our Custom Framebuilding page now has a Pinion section. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via our Contact page.