G-BOXX Planetary, first pics


Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
There is already a gearbox thread.
Let's move any talk of pinion, zerode, or other, into it or into their own threads.
Let's leave the g-boxx thread until the magical g-boxx 3 with trigger shifters appears.
I may be a very old man before that happens.


Turbo Monkey
Mar 22, 2004
vancouver eastside
great looking gearbox; compact & refined looking. esp. compared to this anchor:

shame about proprietary cranks and chainring, but they're inevitable concessions with this sort of design. looks like custom chain retention of some sort is in order as well.


May 26, 2008
UK, Carlisle
Shame they can't tuck the tensioner out the way so it's basically parallel with the chainstay.

I dig it tho, I'd probably even rim a fat bird for that bike.


Sep 10, 2007
I thought the whole point was to not have a floppy, vulnerable chain tensioning device hanging off the back.
I agree, this is where the zerode design is superior IMO although any gearbox is way better than a deraileur

no skid marks

Jan 15, 2006
ACT Australia
I thought the whole point was to not have a floppy, vulnerable chain tensioning device hanging off the back.
There's many many other points. You could build a virtual low pivot concentric to not have a tensioner, but it's more wrong IMO.

I agree, this is where the zerode design is superior IMO although any gearbox is way better than a deraileur
Zerode has a tensioner all tucked up nice n neat. This could be worked better on this bike. But it's not an issue, so there's no point. A tiny tensioner is nowhere near as frail as a mech.
I'd rather a lower Horst link, more rearward axle path, idler and a longer tensioner on the Nicolia.

I prefer the Nicolai to the Alutech.
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used an iron once
Jan 20, 2009
Wow I never thought I'd see a Roox component on a new bike, the Alutech's have always been a slightly odd looking bike.

The nicolai looks alright but I wish they would use some decent sized bearing instead of the pissy little needle rollers.

EDIT- Actually the pivots would probably have their snazzy self lubing resin bushes, my bad.


Turbo Monkey
Jun 13, 2007
I think there will be some cool bikes with Pinion g-boxx on Eurobike this year ... It's pity I won't be there this time :|
Sep 17, 2011
In europe some guys race on gearbox bikes where they center a rohloff planetary gearbox very low in the frame. It looks like an old lawwill bike or more like a real rhomboid. I found some pictures of the bikes: The bike is called Tollwut Stonedigger or Stonedigga Evo 3




Jun 21, 2004
Port Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
Looks really strong(accept maybe the CNCed stuff). Weight is centered so it'd ride relatively lightly.
Exactly. As much as I like gearboxes, I just can't get on board with this.

The CNC'ed windows on the upper "swingarm", between the upper pivot and the top shock mount, look horrible. Triangles are one thing, but parallelograms are another. I can imagine huge stress concentrations and deflections, and wonder if they did any FEA on it.


Turbo Monkey
Apr 12, 2007
Sleen,The Netherlands
I know this thread is mostly talked about the Pinion G-Boxx but I always liked the look of these B1 G-boxx bikes back in those old days,a bit of old school if you monkeys don't mind for me posting this bike in this thread.
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Aug 10, 2003
Edmund NAGEL unveilled an interesting ratcheting-type CVT at NAGELCRAFT (website unfortunately in German, only). Although it isn´t the first approach to this type of bicycle gearing, Edmund says that he has more than a dozen patents pending, related to this gearbox. The acclaimed data sound promising.

Technical data according to NAGELCRAFT:
  • continuously variable transmission
  • efficiency like the best premium chaindrives
  • gear range 520%
  • weight is just over 1,000 grams,
  • volume capacity less than 400 ccm
  • shifting under load and at rest
  • shifts by an ultra-light single handlebar switch or alternatively automatically by a bike computer
  • fits on any bike (trekking, racing and mountain bike) with BSA bottom bracket
  • fully encapsulated, stain-resistant, runs in an oil bath
  • straight chainline
  • no transmission parts at the rear wheel
  • extremely durable such as a planetary gear
  • ideally suited for e-bikes, too
The gearbox will be unveilled at Eurobike 2011. According to the website Edmund has already acquired OEMs. At the moment he is searching for licensees as well as investors. It is announced that the gearbox should make it into production already in 2012. The intended price point should be below a premium derailleur drivetrain.

Tech sheet (pdf)

NAGELCRAFT gearbox animation
It's interesting, but I've still got some Nageling questions.

Availability of spare parts?
Does it have to go back to the lab for service?

Right now it looks like a solidworks pipedream, but I'll reserve judgement until there are some real-world reviews.
Maybe that w00dy´s "NAGELing questions" will never (or at least not too soon) be answered. Unfortunately, Edmund Ferdinand NAGEL announced that he fall ill and retired from the "NAGELCraft" team :shocked:. All of his patents and technical know how regards the "NAGELCraft" CVT are for sale now. So I hope that some financially powerful Ridemonkey user in the bike business will buy and continue Edmund´s interesting gearbox conception :brows:.

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Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
Warsaw :/
I like the weight. I think most people can live with an extra kg. What I don't like is it increasing the q factor but if you could fit that inside a frame it would be great.


Aug 10, 2003
Even though I believe that Edmund´s primary intention was to build a CVT that is retrofittable to most of existing frames, I see not any reason why not to fit that gearbox inside a frame that is built around it. I think one of the most interesting questions would be the reliability of that sort of ratcheting-type transmission in MTB use. So far I know, Edmund was planning some long-time trials in cooperation with a German supplier most recently (from fall 2011 through to spring 2012) before he retired.
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Aug 10, 2003
No fear, as long as I have no intention of buying these patents like "felis in sacculo" (a pig in a poke) I will not be at risk. BTW, I was already aware of some controversy concerning this topic.

A good news for all ИICOLAI G-Boxx 1 aficionados is the announcement of a trigger shifter that will be built specifically for the ROHLOFF SpeedHub 500/14 by Tjeerd MITTELMEYER. The shifter should be available starting in September 2012. I´m curious. Good things come to those who wait, eventually. :)

(Neutral position) ; (Downshift) ; (Upshift)

Last but not least, the roll-out of the gearbox PINION P1.18 will delay at least until mid-August 2012 because of a major supplier of PINION can´t keep the scheduled date of delivery.


Aug 10, 2003
Falco MILLE, the former PR assistant of the NICOLAI GmbH meanwhile responsible for the PINION brand communication, made some informative remarks on the current status of this coming new gearbox in the above cited PINION-related Pinkbike article/discussion. Summary:

"Having the premiere test of the P1.18 on Pinkbike was something we had been planning for a long time, but it was the final 2012 production version that was supposed to be tested, not the pre-production version from 2011 Matt was riding. We were supposed to get the P1.18 into regular production at the beginning of May - as we were timing it on the delivery dates our suppliers assured us of. The internal P1.18 parts are produced by different German automotive suppliers and one of them admitted a delay in production of three months on short notice, which came as a surprise to us. The part was that important and challenging that we couldn't change the supplier. The bad news reached us when the date for the test-ride with Pinkbike was already set and we seriously considered cancelling it. The shifting performance under load is an important issue when riding a Pinion-equipped bike, and it is the major improvement we made from the pre-production version of the Alutech Fanes test-bike to the final version. We have completely redesigned the ratchet braces inside the freewheel that are responsible for a smooth and well-defined shifting process. As Matt has pointed out correctly, you can't shift the P1.18 from a long gear to a short gear under full load. That's not the problem. You can't do it with a hub gear either nor from a bigger to a smaller front sprocket with a derailleur system. You need to diminish the load for a split second. On this pre-production version of the P1.18 you can shift under full load from a shorter to a longer gear and with the final version of the P1.18 the shifting from long to short will significantly be improved under part load. The first P1.18 serial gear boxes will now be shipped to the bike manufacturers at the beginning of August."

"Pinion manufacturer notes
... Pinion is not a one product brand. The P1.18 is our initial product that is best for enduro and all mountain riding. The P1.18 is based on a platform technology that allows different gear sets. A Pinion gear box with a reduced downhill or freeride gear ratio is planed, also an 8-speed gear box e-motor unit, a light-weight or a budget version. ..."

"Maintenance and Service:
The Pionion P1.18 is a low maintenance drive and this is one main advantage compared to a derailleur system. An oil change is recommended in annual intervals and can easily be done even by riders with substandard mechanical skills. Changing cables or the front sprocket is easy too. A service manual will be available with the product release. The internal gear assembly itself is rated for endurance strength. We warrant a service life of at least 40.000 miles. In the unlikely event of a internal damage the Pinion P1.18 can be replaced within minutes, as it is mounted to the frame by only three bolts. For repairs or replacement we are establishing a modern service network, including bike manufacturers, distributors, service centers and dealers. Service and replacement for Pinion bikes will be as comfortable as known from derailleur or IHG bikes."

The cable length that is needed to shift 18 gears in a row does not allow a common thumb shifter design. We are aware that many riders (including myself) are averse to grip shifters, as we might know them from some bad riding experience back in the nineties. So we really put some effort in designing a better grip shifter, excluding the known disadvantages. May be you give it a try. Besides we are working on an alternative solution. Hydraulic, mechanical or electric – we are checking all options."

"We are checking different shifter options, also for future gear boxes with less gears, but by now it's too early to publish any forecasts. We've not done any research on automatic shifting."

"The P1.18 design provides a good ground clearance. Nevertheless the serial version will come with a mounting options for an upper chain guide and a bash guard."

As the Pinion P1.18 is not a regular add-on part you can't compare its weight directly with the weight of a derailleur system. The P1.18 is replacing some other bike parts like rear sprocket, derailleurs and shifters and is also integrating a BB shell, bearings, axle and cranks.The stand alone weight of the complete Pinion P1.18 system is 2.7 kg. This makes an additional weight of a bit less than a Kilogram compared to a complete bike with a high-end 3 x 9 derailleur drive. - But with a low and centered mass and a lighter rear wheel."

"More Shifting:
With the Pinion rotary shifter both individual and multiple gear shifts can be made with split-second precision. The indexing of the shifting is at the gearbox so unaffected by damaged or stretched cables or cable housings."​

I´m curious.
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Aug 10, 2003
Recently, SR SUNTOUR communicated (German SR SUNTOUR manufacturer forum) that they allegedly were succsessful to overcome reliability-related problems with the V-Boxx (bearings, load peaks), and that they were currently shipping them to OEMs yet exclusively. They will not supply the aftermarket for now.

For the more skillful V-Boxx geeks: repair instruction by Dlogic.

Dlogic´s V-Boxx Clinic

by Dlogic » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:59 am

Part 1

Hi members,

just yesterday my Suntour V-Boxx broke down on me in the middle of a ride. When shifting down from the ninth to the eigth gear it just kept popping out. The same occured with gears number 3 and 6. A weird clicking noise could be heard when pedaling. Once home i decided to operate the thing. So after having put on my white doctors clothes things got nasty.

To say it right away i took the whole thing apart. To the last spring, screw, shifting cam, sprocket, washer, freewheel, etc. Nothing was left together in order to find out what whent wrong. This post will include loads of pictures and a detailed explanation of how this mechanical wonder works. If you ever have any problem with your box then don´t hesitate to write me a message. Why? Because i got the thing back together and it works better then ever before.

WARNING! You have a 2 year warranty on your V-Boxx. Doing what i did voids this immediatley.

Step 1

Remove the shifter housing by loosening the 3 screws that hold it in place. That´s the thing with the 2 shifting cables coming out of it. Now gentley pull it up and away. Now prior to opening the gear box clean the case with a mild cleanser and blast dry with compressed air. We don´t want to get any dirt inside!!

Step 2

On the same side where you´ve removed the shifting unit it´s now time to get rid of all the screws that hold the side plate in place. Around the crankshaft you´ll find a small round piece with a green rubber seal inside. This is held in place by 5 screws. Remove these and gently pull up.

Step 3

Now you´re ready to lift up the side plate. Don´t force it open using the screwdriver method. You´ll end up damaging the plates rubber seal.

Step 4

With one side gone, remove the aluminium housing between the two plates by simply pulling it up and away. Now unscrew the 4 aluminium control rods where the cams rotate over. CAUTION!!!! The 2 bearings on each control rod are located at different positions. You must mark which rod went where and of course the side of the plate they sit on.

Step 5

The Now turn the V-Boxx over to one side and use a rubber hammer to get the crankshaft out by gently giving a few taps on the hexagonal end still protruding from the other side plate. You´ll notice a black round aluminium piece will come loose. This sits on the hexagonal shaft and gives the green rubber seal a smooth round surface to run on. It has been pressed onto the hexagonal shaft, so that´s why you must use that hammer. Be gentle though, just remember that this is all clock work.

Step 6

Great Job! Now let´s take the middle gear shaft apart. Use a 5mm allen key to prevent the gear from turning and another 6mm one for loosening the aluminium top screw. Now you can pull of the big upper sprocket, the aluminium spacer and the sprocket below.

Step 7

It´s time to remove the output shaft. Grab yourself a 8mm allen key and get rid of the center screw that holds the piece in place where your chain sprocket is boltet onto with 4 screws.

Step 8

Now the output shaft can be removed. That´s it. You´re done!!

Step 9

Now the shafts can be dissasembled. You just pull of all the pieces and put them side by side. This is how the output shaft looks when stripped down.


This is what broke down on my V-Boxx. The bearing inside the sprocket used for the 3,6 and 8 gear.

Step 11

Yeah, found it. The bad part though where the bits and pieces that fell inside the V-Boxx. That´s why i washed all the parts with a special cleaner and blastet them dry with compressed air. Now with everything clean the task of finding this thin ring bearing with flange was almost impossible.

These types fit: JNK F2027 VRS (That´s the original bearing)
F61704 2 RS (Alternative 1)
61808 2 RS (Alternative 2)

To make things worse when i finally found a company that had it in stock, they wanted 27 € for it. Ouch. The only thing the flange is needed for is to prevent the sprocket from moving in axial direction. When the bearing failed this is what happened. The clutch snaped in and my V-Boxx whent bananas. So i did the following. By simply pressing a 2mm wide ring, i made on my lathe, into the sprocket i could use a standard bearing. The price was just 2,70 €. Hey Suntour, why don´t you make the sprocket like this? Also these tiny bearings aren´t made to take big axial loads. Underneath this sprocket an axial bearing takes the load from the springs of the clutch below. But all this presses against the bearing with the flange that fell apart. Not good at all. In my opinion this leads to failure sooner or later. I rode the V-Boxx exactley 7842 km.

Step 12 (Reassembly and adjustment)

It´s time for the most difficult part. Start with the crankshaft and the middle gear shaft. These are placed through the bottom side plate. That´s the one opposite from where the shifter unit with the cables go. Use the crank to press the black aluminium spacer back onto the hexagonal shaft. You simply tighten the cranks screw and this automatically pushes the piece into place.

Step 13

The lower camshaft of the output shaft is next. I fixed the springs with some grease to prevent them from falling out. You then flip it over and place it onto the bearing still inside the side plate. Don´t forget the washers that should be placed between the bearing and the springs. Warning!!!! The thick washer is where the springs rest upon. The thin ones adjust the axial play between the bearing and the piece that will hold the chain sprocket later. If you place the springs on the thin washers then these will wear out rapidly. Since i modified the sprocket to use a normal bearing i had to grab myself these adjustment washers to control the axial play the shaft has. A simple method is that the hexagonal shaft must sit about 0,05 mm above the piece that holds the chain sprocket. If the shaft sits below then once you tighten the center screw, this will excert unnecesary pressure on the bearing causing the shaft to stop rotating with ease. You also adjust the height of the gears inside. You can move the whole shaft up and down like this. If you leave it up to high, then the shifting cams will not rotate smoothly. If it sits too low, then the clutches won´t open enough. They should open at least 1,3mm.

Step 14

Now that you´ve got all 3 shafts back in place it´ll get a bit tricky. It´s time to insert the 4 aluminium control rods. The ones you´ve removed in step 4. These feature 2 bearings on each piece and this is where the cams rotate over making the clutches close or open. Now to the complicated part. The 4 cams have a logic to them. Of course, they are responsible for the gearshifting to work. Fortunatley there is a final, or should i say start postion of these. The control rods bearings have to sit on that final part where the cam faces upwards. The bearings don´t go past this point. That´s what you have to do. Rotate the top and bottom cams to this position and bolt down the control rods. Look at the picture here. You can clearly see the end position of the cam. The cam is of black color and just touches the bearing.

This step has to be repeated for the crank and of course the output shaft. The other 2 control rods that are boltet down in the front part of the vboxx don´t have this final position.

They just work in parallel to the back control rods to help the shifter cam move up and down with less effort. Once you´ve got all for cams facing this way, it´s time to insert the main shifting shaft. That´s the piece with the 4 cogs with equal teeth. The final position of the shifting cams is very unstable. When inserting the shifting shaft you have to be very careful. If any of the cams move then the gears won´t shift correctly later. To be sure that you´ve inserted the shifting shaft the correct way you simply look at the rear part of the vboxx to check if all the cams are still at the final postion against the bearings of the control rods.



Aug 10, 2003
Part 2

Step 15

The top of the shifter shaft features a square surface where the shifting unit will be boltet down with 3 screws. This is the worst part now. Turn the twist grip to the first gear and check out the position of the internal square of the shifting unit. This has to correspond with the postion of the square on your shifting shaft. Mount the top plate now leaving the 2 more or less aligned. You´ll probably notice that the milled out outer form for the shifter unit on the top plate will not fit it. Why? Because both have to be aligned perfectley. This is the bad thing about the Vboxx. The German Rohloff indexes the gears inside the hub. The Vboxx does both. The cams slide into position and the twist grip shifter also features positions that lock in. If the cams and the twist grip don´t lock into position both at the same time then your gears won´t be selected perfectley. On the first gear all 4 clutches are open. If you push your bike backwards and hear a clicking noise then this setup has not been done correctley. If seen a lot of Vboxx bikes where this was the case. This adjustment takes time. Once you´ve got it right the shifting unit is boltet down on the top plate with just 1 screw.

Step 16

You´re almost done. However this setup, without the housing is no good for riding around. We´re doing this so you can see what happens inside the box when you rotate the twist grip shifter. Look at the cams closeley now. On the first gear all the clutches have to be opened. Now switch to second gear. The lower clutch of the crankshaft should close now. When the twist grip clicks in to position then the clutch must be closed all the way. If not, or it starts to open just a bit then it´s time to adjust the lower shifting sprocket on the shifter shaft. With a 2,5 mm allen key you have to loosen the 3 screws that fix the sprocket to the shaft. You can then rotate the cam into position. This can be done with all 4 cams.

Step 17

Notice that i´ve colored the head of one screw with red paint. This is necessary so you know which to loosen last, since you have to rotate the shifter shaft around a bit to reach the 2 other screws. When you rotate back, you just loosen this red screw and turn the cam into position where the clutch closes all the way.

Step 18

Remove the top plate and then you will have to slide the aluminium case over the 4 control rods. Be careful that the shifting shaft doesen´t move. You can see that i´ve marked the tooth insert with white paint. It´s helpfull as long as the top plate is still missing to give an optical indication that everything is still in place. Now very,very carefully slide the top plate over the shafts and tighten the screws.

Step 19

Reinsert and bolt down the shorter screws that go into the control rods.

Presto, that´s it you´re ready to enjoy the Vboxx once again. There are still loads of details i haven´t written down here. This guide is only for the true enthusiast. A high level of skill and lots of patients are requiered for a succesful repair. So please don´t make me responsible if this doesen´t help you out. Mechanical knowledge is a must for this.