We recently reviewed the Priority 600x Adventure belt drive bike that uses the Pinion gears. This revolutionary system we found so impressive we thought it worth a deep dive. So here we cover the Pinion C-Line Gearboxes for bikes. More information on how they work if considering a bike fitted with this system.

Priority Bikes 600x Adventure belt drive MTB

What is a Pinion C-Line gearbox?

The Pinion C-Line gearbox is a type of transmission system designed for bicycles. The gearbox is manufactured by Pinion, a German company that specializes in developing innovative bicycle transmission systems. It comes in a range of gearing options with 6, 9 or 12 gears. I tested the 12 speed gearbox which offers the widest range of gears. The Pinion P-Line gearbox has a slightly larger ranges of gears with 18 gears.

It is an alternative to a traditional derailleur and cassette setup. Instead of using a chain to move between gears, the Pinion C-Line uses a series of gears housed within a sealed gearbox. This offers a number of advantages over traditional systems, including increased durability, smoother shifting, and a wider gear range.

Pinion C-Line gearbox for bikes

How does a Pinion C-Line gearbox work?

A Pinion C-Line gearbox works by using a series of gears housed within a sealed gearbox. When testing the Pinion C-Line it was coupled with a grip shifter that worked well on the Priority 600x. Inside the Pinion C-Line is a 4 gear unit matched to a 3 gear unit. The combination of these two sets of cogs results in 12 gearing pairings. With both the cogs directly housed together there is no loss of power. No chain separating the cogs but power directly applied.

Read about the Priority 600x and other belt drive innovative bikes in our round up of the best belt drive bikes buyers guide 2023.

Pinion C-Line Specification

Number of gears1296
Total range600%568%295%
Step size17.7%24.3%24.3%
Easiest gear1,821,820,95
Fastest gear0,300,320,32
Gearbox weight2.1kg2kg1.8kg

Where is the Pinion C-Line installed?

The Pinion C-Line is a sealed unit that sits at the bottom bracket of the bike. Aa seen on the Priority 600x it is housed where the pedals attach to the frame. It consists of a series of gears, housed in a compact, lightweight magnesium alloy casing. The gearbox is designed to provide a wide range of gears with a smooth, reliable shifting action.

What are the benefits of using a Pinion C-Line gearbox?

One of the key benefits of the Pinion C-Line gearbox is its ability to offer a wider gear range than traditional derailleur systems. The Pinion C-Line gearbox is available in several configurations, with up to 12 gears, which allows riders to easily tackle steep climbs and fast descents with ease. Pinion also have developed an 18 speed gearbox, the P-Line gearbox.

Another benefit of the Pinion C-Line gearbox is its durability and low maintenance requirements. The gearbox is completely sealed, which means that it is protected from dirt, dust, and moisture, reducing the need for regular cleaning and maintenance.

Pinion C-Line gears

As the gearbox does not use a chain to move between gears, which reduces wear and tear on the drivetrain and results in smoother shifting. From my testing the biggest benefit was the complete silence of the gearbox. Whn you couple this with a belt drive it allows you to have a bike that is smooth and quiet.

How does a Pinion C-Line gearbox compare to traditional bike drivetrains?

The Pinion C-Line gearbox has interconnecting gear cogs within the housing. Two sets of gears directly connected. This differs from a chain where the cogs are on the crank with the pedals and the second on the rear wheel hub. This creates a divide between the cogs bridged by a flexible metal chain. Pinion combines the magnesium cogs directly creating unique pairs of cogs for 12 gears. This makes a smooth and near silent mechanism. It also means no loss of power that you would experience with a chain.

What types of riders would benefit most from using a Pinion C-Line gearbox?

The Pinion C-Line gearbox is ideal for mountain bikers who want to ride in all weather conditions. The sealed gearbox design provides increased protection from mud, dirt, and water. Additionally, the wider gear range and smoother shifting make it easier to tackle steep climbs and fast descents. If you use the Pinion gearbox with a belt drive it maximises the value from the low maintenance gearing.

Summary of the Pinion C-Line Gearboxes for bikes

Overall, the Pinion C-Line gearbox is an innovative and reliable transmission system that offers a range of benefits over traditional derailleur systems. While it may be more expensive than traditional systems, many riders find that the improved performance and low maintenance requirements make it a worthwhile investment.

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Billy Ferguson

Having founded Trivelo in 2015 after many years competing in triathlon Billy continues to enjoy training and triathlon. Founder Billy is strongest in the water but continues to try and convince his body that he is an ultra runner.