During Taichung Bike Week 2023, Niklas Henkel, product management, and a Pinion team sat down and talked about their MGU drive unit, which has been making waves recently, whether overstocking has been an issue, and some future endeavors.
Pinion was asked about their current product lines and plans. "We just launched the MGU at Eurobike this year," Mr. Henkel explained. “It’s our latest product. We’re also doing mechanical gearboxes and Smartshift with electric shifting. The P-line was the initial product we developed. With the C-line we introduced last year, then the Smartshit system, the electrical shifting version of the C-line, and this year the MGU."
When you see the MGU in person and look at their product breakdowns on their website, you cannot help but be impressed. Mr. Henkel stated, "It is really small when you think there is a 12-speed gearbox; there is nothing on the market for this size and weight." When you understand the principle, it is very simple; when it is built simply, it takes a lot of development.
In a room in the Tempus Hotel, a dissected model of the MGU was shown. It took a lot of effort to develop something so effective and simple in such a small unit.
The inner workings of the MGU.
There will undoubtedly be a high demand for a product as effective and compact as the MGU, and Pinion has some committed launch partners "locked in at a very early stage of the project." "There will definitely be many more next Eurobike," they said.
Pinions MGU launch partners.
Talking to industry leaders at Taichung Bike Week revealed a common theme: how relaxed the environment is for doing business, as opposed to a typical "market presentation" like Eurobike, where OEs are not usually dealt with.
"In Taichung, it is critical to connect with existing and new OEs," Mr.Henkel said. We have a minimal timeframe, but we can have many conversations. I also like the charm of the hotel setup (the event is spread across five nearby hotels).”
When asked about the overstocking issues that have been plaguing many, Pinion stated, "We have no overstocking issues; for us, we have a premium product that is still growing." We do not have these problems, but we see them with our partners; we are still expanding and experiencing high demand. Some customers stabilize, but new customers place large orders.
"In some cases, customers will postpone their development projects because they are looking for different topics." We are not losing any business because it is only for a short time. Most may be stretched on their projects, but this is a new innovation.”
The team was asked about their near-term goals and how they plan to grow. They told us that with their existing gearboxes, they are going global, but with their MGU, they are focusing on Europe right now but will want to enter the North American market very soon.
There are numerous cycling series in Europe that cover a variety of disciplines, but Pinion is not currently part of a team. "It could be an interesting development," they said, "but we are just the motor supplier, and we are not trying to pull any professional teams; if someone is interested, we would definitely support them." Some of our clients supported competitive teams, but not with the MGU."