After many years and many challenging projects, it is only fitting that our 350th custom frame would be something special and unusual. Since we began designing bikes with the Pinion Gearbox in 2012 we have always thought a fat-bike would be the perfect application. Frozen derailleurs, slow unresponsive shifting and finishing a mid February ride in one gear always led us back to discussing the Pinion Gearbox as an alternative. The folks at Pinion obviously heard our calls (and the desire to jump into the growing fat-bike segment didn’t hurt) and now produce a specially offset fatbike crankset and chainring spider allowing us to create the custom O’Beast you see below…
The Ti O’Beast was the obvious choice for our first gearbox equipped fatbike. Having previously built Ti 420’s gave us a leg up with an already proven titanium mounting plate, allowing us to work with our builders and integrate the mount into our current Ti O’Beast frame.
For our first Pinion equipped fatbike we chose the P1.9XR transmission. The P1.9XR is the lightest transmission Pinion produces at 2200grams and features 9 real gears and a 568% overall gear ratio. More than enough to range to tackle the toughest New England singletrack. Pinion also offers a narrow ratio 9 speed, a 12 speed, and even an 18 speed version, If you find you need to make some tweaks as you head into winter you can always play with chainring / cog combinations to find the sweet spot for your riding style.
Using a Pinion transmission mounting plate gives us plenty of room to create chainstay clearance for the Dillinger 4 tires used in this build. The chainline also worked out perfectly thanks to the new offset chainring spider and with a fixed chainline you will never have to worry about the chain catching the tire.
One of the coolest aspects of Pinion equipped bikes is that they use a simple single speed rear wheel. That means that you can use a single bike with a huge variety of different wheelsets. From Fat Bike to 700 x 23 road bike in the time it takes to do a Tour de France wheel swap. A true Swiss Army bike.