We are lucky to see so many bikes here in Seoul of all levels and quality. Many bikes make us look back in admiration, however there is only one bike, so far, that made me look back a few times and actually made me feel funny in my pants. Maybe this is what cyclists talk about when they mention bike porn; I never really got it till now…this bike is truly a “wow” moment to see it roll by you. It is truly a love at first sight.

Say hello to Zero Cycles’ “Swamp Donkey” with Pinion drivetrain, also affectionately dubbed the “DonkeyBox”. It is a custom titanium road bike sporting some cool designs and cutting edge technology.

Zero’s frames are all hand built using tubing custom designed and built for their own company. No flexy small-diameter off-the-shelf tubing here, that you’ll find on most any other custom titanium frame.

For the Swamp Donkey and DonkeyBox frames the custom tubing is fat and arched, with continuous dual toptubes that sweep down to become the bullet-tipped seatstays. The tubing and lines look very clean and flowy, and that is accented by the internal cable routing to keep visuals clean and uncluttered.

Other than the sexy swoopy lines of this frame, the main eye-catcher is the drivetrain. This isn’t your typical noisy, dirty, finnicky derailleur setup: it’s an internally geared Pinion transmission offering 12 speeds, connected to the rear wheel by a Gates carbon belt drive. This combination gives the bike a very clean, quiet, low maintenance drivetrain, still with much more gear range than any derailleur setup. Pinion is a German company, started by two ex-Porsche transmission designers when they wanted to improve their own bike riding experience.
No more rusty chains, chain oil, or peeing on your iced up rear derailleur while Winter commuting to keep it spinning. No more derailleurs going into your rear wheel, or getting ripped off in crashes.  

The frames also sport hydraulic disc brakes, a much more reliable option for year round riding in the rain, snow, ice, mud, or for loaded touring. The frame and fork both have large diameter tool-free throughaxles as an interface with the custom carbon wheels. They are much safer, stronger, stiffer and much more reliable that the typical flimsy QR levers you find on your average road bikes.

Michael, Zero Cycles’ Canadian designer and owner says Zero stands for “Zero compromises in building the perfect bicycle frame for every customer, Zero broken frames, and Zero bullshit in the process of having it built up.” “When you get one of our custom titanium bikes, we work with you every step of the way to build up something that you can love and ride hard for the rest of your life.”

Zero Cycles customizes your build according to your body measurements and riding style. They have sexy and rugged custom titanium XC, AM, Road, Touring, Cyclocross, and Bikepacking frames available. According to Michael, “These bikes are made to be loved….and by “loved” we mean spanked; hard and dirty.”

Check out Zero Cycles’s Facebook page for more pictures about their great looking bikes and past, current and future builds. I am sure we will see some more amazing bikes coming out from this company.   www.facebook.com/ZeroCycles

Company overview:

- Zero stands for Zero comprimises in building the perfect frame.

- Currently producing rugged custom titanium XC, All-Mountain, Road, Touring, Cyclocross, and Bikepacking frames.

- Owner is trusted bicycle designer, mechanic, welder and knows bikes.

- Uses cutting edge technology and products for your custom bicycle


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Facebook page:




Pinion gearbox website (in English):