Zerode releases the third generation of its innovative downhill bike, the G3

Zerode G3 downhill bike
(Image credit: Zerode)

Zerode has released the third generation of its downhill bike, creatively named the G3. All the time they have saved coming up with a snappy name has clearly been spent on innovation as the G3 will be arguably one of the most innovative downhill bikes on the market.

Hailing from New Zealand, Zerode has long been at the cutting edge of downhill tech. The G1 was launched in 2011 and despite being released over a decade ago its tech concepts could still be considered contemporary with its high idler and enclosed gearbox. 

The G3 follows clearly follows in the G1 and G2's footsteps, as well as drawing from current Katipo and Taniwha enduro platforms. The G3 now features a new frame layout, a Pinion C1.6 gearbox, and a Gates Carbon belt drive.

The drivetrain is the big talking point here. Zerode is able to leverage a number of advantages by using the German-made gearbox. Pinion's C1.6 6sp is the lightest gearbox they make and keeps the entire shifting mechanism protected from dirt and damage. By opting for a gearbox, Zerode has also been able to spec a Gates Carbon belt drive which should result in an ultra-quiet drivetrain that requires almost zero maintenance.

Detail of the Pinon gearbox on a Zerode G3 downhill bike

Zerode stopped using derailleur hangers a long time ago (Image credit: Zerode)

The durable and almost maintenance-free drivetrain is a big plus, but using a centrally-mounted gearbox has other big advantages too. The weight is placed low and in the center of the bike to make it feel more balanced and planted on fast rough trails. Zerode says that the biggest performance gain is the reduced unsprung weight which they say results in better suspension performance. The lower unsprung mass around the rear wheel is said to reduce resistance to suspension motion, minimizing the disturbance to the chassis and rider. Stability and more sensitive suspension equal better grip, harder braking, and faster cornering. All of which is vitally important when riding downhill tracks.

The bike is made from aluminum, features 200mm of travel and uses a mullet wheel setup (29in front with 27.5in rear). Sizing is based on reach and there are three lengths to choose from; 435, 460, and 480. Each size shares a 63-degree head angle and 440mm chainstays.

The bikes will be on show at Crankworx Rotorua and pre-orders will open in April. Production bikes are due to market in the later part of 2023.

For more details, head over to Zerode.com.

Zerode G3 downhill bike ridden down a hill

The Zerode G3 downhill bike in its natural habitat (Image credit: Zerode)
Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road, based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.


Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg