Internal Gear Hubs?

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by HandsomeRyan, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    Have you ridden any? Do you love them? Hate them?

    I picked up a SRAM S-7 wheel from my LBS for a ridiculously low price after another customer ordered it then didn't like that you have to stop pedaling to shift it. I wedged it into the back of my fixed gear and rode the heck out of it. It has a coaster brake which alternates between fun and a PITA though.

    I'm working on building up a new bike and I was originally thinking about a traditional drivetrain but now I'm leaning more toward a shimano 8-speed hub. I like the idea of the new shimano 11 speed hub but they only offer 1 shifter (not terribly compatible with drop bars) and i wouldn't describe it as a proven component yet. For the casual riding i do i feel like the 8 speed is probably 'good enough' and I can always upgrade to the 11 speed later.

    Share your tales of internal gear hubs here!
     
  2. Saugus18

    Saugus18 Specialized Crosstrail

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    Well I don't know to much about them, and I didn't know you have to stop pedaling to change gears, but I really like the idea of being able to change gears while being totally stationary. Sometimes I find while riding in a tall (or your tallest) gear and you have to stop quickly, not having time to downshift. Makes it tough to get going again, especially if this happens while going up a good incline. This happened to me a couple of times and I had to turn around and go back downhill just to get in a lower gear, then do a U and continue back up again. I suppose there could be some cons about these hubs, I have no idea, but the ability to change gears when not moving would be something I would welcome big time.
     

  3. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    Them more I think about it the more i like the idea of finishing my build with a IGH. If you've never ridden one I suggest you go find a local bike shop that stocks a bike with an IGH (many manufacturers make at least one) and take it for a test ride. They are great for riders like me who are happy with a slow-n-steady approach and don't care about the lightest weight or the fastest speed. More performance oriented riders will find them to be heavy and probably not readily geared high enough for the riding they like to do.

    Cons of gear hubs include- They are usually pretty heavy and although they are very reliable, don't expect your local shop to be much help in fixing them if they do break as most shops don't rebuild the internals of gear hubs.
     
  4. Saugus18

    Saugus18 Specialized Crosstrail

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    Thanks for the info, the hubs do sound interesting, however, as you mentioned, I'm wondering if any of the current ones would be geared high enough for some of the riding I do... I have a 21 speed Crosstrail, and at times I really wish there was just one more taller gear to go to. I find at my current highest speed going down slight declines or hills my legs are just spinning to fast, about as fast as I can pedal. The bike seems to be begging for just one more taller gear, (or my legs are begging for it) The bike has the low gears covered pretty good, no complaints there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  5. Saugus18

    Saugus18 Specialized Crosstrail

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  6. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    I ordered the Nexus 8-speed wheel set. It should be here tomorrow!

    I'm excited to get rolling on this new bike and I've decided that if I decide to get more serious about touring I can always install a traditional drive train later. I've always wanted a clone of the late Sheldon Brown's Bianchi San Jos8 and this bike will serve a similar purpose.
     
  7. Green

    Green Completely Human

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    Funny that I have been thinking EXACTLY the opposite on this issue.
    Admittedly I commute way more than I tour but touring for me is an issue of durability and dependability. Gear hubs pay these benefits in spades. No derailures, simplified shifting mechanisms, less chain, easier shifting...
    I am abandoning my Shimano 3x9 in favor of an Alfine 11 for touring and commuting.... 1 shifter covers all of my useable range for both applications!

    I still secretly want a Nuvinci CVT for commuting though... LOL!:rolleyes:
     
  8. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    My friends equipped their shiny new Santa Cruz MTBs with Rohloff hubs before heading out to ride the Continental Divide. Good stuff in bad weather.
     
  9. Green

    Green Completely Human

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    GOOD STUFF PERIOD IH!
    But the price..... I mean really.....
     
  10. Green

    Green Completely Human

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    OK, let me clarify why I have such an issue with the price of the Rohloff.
    This price (currently $1500 to $1900 depending on source) is an acceptable amount if you are a competitor in biking events and you bike is locked away when not used, but, for most cobbleknocker tourers and Jack of all trades commuters like myself our bikes spend a substantial amount of time stored in the bike rack or chained to something sturdy.
    We all know that a person could lock up a ride with the biggest baddest chain, yoke, ground stud and ring, etc... and they will simply fail to deter theft if a person wants your ride. The problem is not bad locks or chains, it is time... Given enough time and the right tools at thief will steal your bike as if you did nothing at all, AND, having a $2000 drive train on a $2000 bicycle frame with $2000 of accessories, bags and tools is almost too much to resist for most thieves.
    I hate being tied to my bike when touring and thankfully I have never had one stolen yet but I have ridden with people who have...
    My theory is that if a person builds an ugly, heavy sturdy bike and is not afraid to pedal it on tour, they should have no problems, if on the other hand a person simply must have a super light weight frame with all the latest bells and whistles, skinny tires, all in flashy electric blue with chartreuse pinstripes..... well... a person might as well just go throw $3000 in the crapper and buy a pair of hiking shoes!
    The Rohloff, albeit a gem, is cost prohibitive in the extreme and is also wicked mean attractant for ne'er-do-well opportunists.