Our founder Jamie was one of the lucky few who managed to get their hands on Zerode‘s all new Katipo 29er before it’s official release. Even though he had to keep it under his hat, he had a good few months testing it out right here in Rotorua where it was designed and built. Pretty cool really – local innovative mountain bike company and a ground breaking new bike being put through it’s paces by a local mountain biking tour operator. Here are Jamie’s off-the-cuff thoughts he noted down after his very first ride a while back.
The all new Zerode Katipo
Running mountain biking tours here in New Zealand on all manner of terrain and conditions, I naturally want to be on a bike that can pedal well, give me lots of confidence on the descent, and be fast through low gradient trails so that I can keep my flow easily. Was this bike going to be as capable as I was expecting??
YUP. And that’s a big yup.
My first ride and in the moment observations of the Katipo here on the trails around Rotorua – here goes…
First up a climb. 160mm of travel front and rear and yes it pedals really well. Equipped with a Pinion C1.9xr Gear box means that I have a huge range split over 9 gears and I can chop through as many as I want all at once if I want to. Super handy on this pinch switchback and the person in front is fumbling through their rear cluster. As with the Taniwha, you can literally track stand and chop through all of your gears to the one that you want and you’re there without a single crunch!
Top of the climb, standing at the top chatting and I have just picked the perfect gear, click through to it and we start descending with no mucking around. I drop into the trail, hit the first root section. Silence, and the sensitivity in the rear end means I’m floating through the roots feeling the back wheel return to the ground and stick to it. Perfection.
A steep chute looms, no problem. With the rolling power of the 29 inch wheel out front, I’m feeling pretty invincible, no need to drop off the back of the bike and compromise steering through the drops. I get low and throw the bike into the trail and braaap! Mega traction in the bottom turn. At this point I have a grin the size of the moon on my face.
Into a tight and steep section of switch backs. Again, easy. Coming into the first one with speed I pop up into a high line and shred the first, swing the rear wheel into the next and then flick it back into the last… all due to the light rear end. With the gearbox under your feet in the center of the bike, all of that weight is off of the back end of the bike, meaning better sensitivity for the suspension and a more balanced bike.
…and hear from Jamie himself in the video below
SUPER stable * Confidence that I’ll grip the ground and pop easily when I need it to * Floaty on rocks, scree and techy roots * Perfectly balanced * Easy and fast shifting whether I’m in a track stand or on a pinchy climb * No derrailleur means riding into anything with reckless abandon.