For 10 years now there is the still unique bottom bracket gear from Pinion already. Instead of at the rear wheel, this gear is installed on the bottom bracket and also completely enclosed in a housing, which makes it particularly low maintenance and robust.
What began with the P1.18 gearbox and its 18 gears, already spectacular at the time, has since developed into a broad range with two product lines. The P-Line was later joined by the somewhat less expensive C-Line, and the range now extends from 6, 9 and 12 to the aforementioned 18 gears. What all models have in common is manual operation with a Gripshift on the handlebars.
The fact that this is now changing with a new model series is mainly due to the fact that the popularity of Pinions gearboxes has increased significantly in recent years due to the increase in e-bikes. And since there is a power supply in the e-bike, the path to an electrically shifted transmission is almost logical!
And indeed: with the new Pinion Smart.Shift, they present the electric version of the C-Line gearbox, which is shifted electrically via a new trigger on the handlebar (this replaces the previous Gripshift). As before, this should not only be possible while riding, but also when stationary and under load. The advantages of the electric assistance should then be noticeable in a lightning-fast shifting speed of only 0.2 seconds, and the trigger should also offer a crisp shifting feel thanks to a defined pressure point.
The Start.Select feature, which allows the user to define a desired gear that is automatically engaged when the bike is stopped as a starting gear for riding from a standstill, will be extremely practical in everyday use. Thanks to a CAN bus interface, the gearshift also communicates with the rest of the e-bike’s drive system, which not only allows the current gear to be shown on the bike’s display, but also allows the gearshift to independently show shifting recommendations on the display.
A big plus point offers the Pinion Smart.Shift gearbox but also in the system integration in the bike. Thanks to the electric control, the two and quite conspicuous cables on the left side of the gearbox can now be dispensed with, which will lead to a much tidier appearance. The same applies to the cockpit, where these two lines are also omitted.
At launch, Pinion presents the Smart.Shift system in the Stromer ST7, the Swiss company’s new flagship S-Pedelec. Since the electrified shifting system is only available in conjunction with certain e-bike systems, it remains to be seen if and when the new gearbox will find its way into the numerous Pinion bikes with Mahles X35 hub motor-system. It will also only then be possible to judge how high the surcharge for the additional e-technology will be.