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  1. #1
    o.O Seggybop's Avatar
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    brifter for internal gear hub?

    I was looking around randomly and discovered that Campagnolo front brifters are friction instead of indexed. I know that you can use standard friction shifters for internal gear hubs, albeit a bit sketchily. Brifter-type is my preferred shifting mechanism and it would be awesome to set up an old multispeed hub with one. What are the chances of a setup like this working?
    mi yu mi yu

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    Campy front brifters aren't exactly "friction" shifters which implies infinitely small adjustments. They are more like ratchets with several finite steps so you can use them with a variety of front derailleurs and cranks. They are more versitile than Shimano brifters (which have specific indexing steps and only work with their own dreailleurs and cranks) but aren't adjustable in fine enough steps to work reliably as friction shifters for your purposes.

  3. #3
    o.O Seggybop's Avatar
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    Not even good enough for a 2 or 3 speed hub? Seems like it'd be ok at least for that, since it ought to correspond to the 2 or 3 front derailleur positions?
    mi yu mi yu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seggybop
    Not even good enough for a 2 or 3 speed hub? Seems like it'd be ok at least for that, since it ought to correspond to the 2 or 3 front derailleur positions?
    Only if the "clicks" happen to line up exactly with what the hub requires.

    Remember, internal gear hubs are pretty intolerant of misaligned shifts so close enough isn't good enough. If the shift location isn't spot-on, the engagement clutches are only partly in contact and they will either pop out of gear or break.

    A quote from "Glenn's New Complete Bicycle Manual", (1987 Edition) says;

    "A multispeed hub must have a click stop for each gear. Do not use a derailleur control lever. Operating "between gears" will soon damage the hub."

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    Hillriders comments echo pretty much the same as I've been told when I looked into this idea.I wish shimano would make a brifter for their nexus hubs. Doesn't look like it will happen any time soon though. My guess if anyone has ever made a brifter work with a gearhub it would be the German or Dutch guys. Seems they are always engineering a fix for something and since gearhubs are a lot more common in their market maybe they have something we haven't heard about yet.

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    I'd personally be delighted if there were just a bar-con for internally geared hubs. I don't know whether the tolerances are such that this is impossible, though.

    One might imagine, perhaps, a cable-pull ratio changer like the 'travel agent' for brakes, that would allow you to use an 8-speed barcon with a Nexus 8 hub. That would be da bomb for touring. Yes, you'd have to coast down hills but, hey, enjoy the scenery.

  7. #7
    o.O Seggybop's Avatar
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    I've got a 2 speed fixed gear hub that I was controlling with a downtube friction shifter. Since a 2 speed hub has only 2 positions (all the way one way or all the way the other), it ought to work, even if no system more complex would?
    mi yu mi yu

  8. #8
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    I am using a downtube friction shifter with a three-speed hub, with no problems whatsoever. I'm not sure I'd shell out the money to try a Campy brifter if I wasn't sure it would work, but just because it "shouldn't" be done doesn't mean you can't make it work.
    One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach -- all the damn vampires.

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    Senior Member meatwad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seggybop
    Not even good enough for a 2 or 3 speed hub? Seems like it'd be ok at least for that, since it ought to correspond to the 2 or 3 front derailleur positions?
    If you are talking about three speeds I put a shimano 3 speed controler onto a heavy duty reflector bracket that bolts onto the stem and its in a great place for me. getto brifter. Im working whith 80s stuff though.

    As for a seven the easyest way to see if it might work is to see if both units pull the same amount of cable. Chances are they dont.

    That being said anything less than a seven speed and the brifter will probably be more expensive the the rest of the bike.

    Don't let it stop you though.

    Ive got a gas pipe nishiki with brifters on it that most would say "why" but as both were given to me free so why not?

  10. #10
    Senior Member SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
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    Dahon used a set up with Shimano Tiagra brifters mated to a SRAM dual drive hub. Maybe a similar solution could work.
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  11. #11
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeeDemon View Post
    Dahon used a set up with Shimano Tiagra brifters mated to a SRAM dual drive hub.
    Ja, low spec (no "trim") LH brifter for triple + three speed hub.

    TCS
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    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

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    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spider-man View Post
    I am using a downtube friction shifter with a three-speed hub, with no problems whatsoever. I'm not sure I'd shell out the money to try a Campy brifter if I wasn't sure it would work, but just because it "shouldn't" be done doesn't mean you can't make it work.
    The fact that you're doing it now and have not experienced any obvious problems to date does not mean that it is wise or not causing damage to your hub or danger to your health. It's not a good idea, period.

  13. #13
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    The fact that you're doing it now and have not experienced any obvious problems to date does not mean that it is wise or not causing damage to your hub or danger to your health. It's not a good idea, period.
    Unecessary fear mongering. Friction shifters do the EXACT SAME THINGS as an indexed shifter - just doesn't have handy clicks. Please tell us theoretically how it could be damaged by using friction instead of indexed assuming the person shifting isn't a moron.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  14. #14
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    Partial engagement of the really small gears in the hub? Off just a bit, hit a hill, stand, oops ...
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    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Unecessary fear mongering. Friction shifters do the EXACT SAME THINGS as an indexed shifter - just doesn't have handy clicks. Please tell us theoretically how it could be damaged by using friction instead of indexed assuming the person shifting isn't a moron.
    I know how the levers work. Fear mongering isn't something I'm generally accused of! There are lots of things that "conventional wisdom" suggests are bad ideas that are actually perfectly harmless. I encourage creative mechanical solutions. This isn't one of the good ideas, though.

    With derailer systems, there's plenty of audio and visual feedback to tell you whether you are squarely on the gear when using a friction lever. You don't get this feedback when using a internal gear hub, many of which are rather sensitive to the precise alignment of the gear shift mechanism. There are two possible issues here. One is that being out of alignment will cause greater wear to the internals of the hub, eventually damaging it in much shorter order than normal use. The other is that some hubs are designed such that, when the hub is not precisely in gear, it can actually "slip" out of gear, with the potential for injury (Sturmey-Archer, I'm looking at you). When using a friction lever, it's impossible to tell if the hub is adjusted just so. So yes, "theoretically" the hub or rider could be damaged by using a friction lever to shift the hub. It's not a death sentence or anything, but it's really just not a good idea - there's no way of knowing how well things are going or not until something breaks. Given that solutions abound for shifting internal gear hubs (do you think that a brifter would be cheaper than the Hubub and Nexus 8 shifter?), it's a pretty dumb thing to kludge. And I like kludges! But this one is pretty ill-advised.

  16. #16
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    The fact that you're doing it now and have not experienced any obvious problems to date does not mean that it is wise or not causing damage to your hub or danger to your health. It's not a good idea, period.
    If his 3 speed is a Sturmey Archer, I see no reason why a friction shifter cannot be safely used. Full cable pull gives you 1st gear, complete cable slack for 3rd. The driver is engaged to the ring gear for both 1st and second, the only difference is that in 1st, the ring gear pawls are retracted, in 2nd, the driver moves just far enough into the ring gear to release the pawls to the engaged position, thereby providing direct drive to the hub. I'm sure a bit of practice would allow you to learn the feel of it.
    As others have said, however, I would not be trying this with a 5,7 or 8 speed, and I don't know enough about the internals of a Nexus 3 speed to comment on that one.
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  17. #17
    dbg
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    This has come up before. I have experimentally tested a brifter through a travel agent to successfully shift a Nexus-7 through its entire range. Check out the last few posts from this thread:
    Travel Agents?
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  18. #18
    holyrollin' FlatTop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    If his 3 speed is a Sturmey Archer, I see no reason why a friction shifter cannot be safely used. Full cable pull gives you 1st gear, complete cable slack for 3rd. The driver is engaged to the ring gear for both 1st and second, the only difference is that in 1st, the ring gear pawls are retracted, in 2nd, the driver moves just far enough into the ring gear to release the pawls to the engaged position, thereby providing direct drive to the hub. I'm sure a bit of practice would allow you to learn the feel of it.
    As others have said, however, I would not be trying this with a 5,7 or 8 speed, and I don't know enough about the internals of a Nexus 3 speed to comment on that one.
    Dan Burkhart
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    I respectfully disagree, at least as far as this applies to the Sturmey Archer AW hubs that I'm familiar with.
    The old SA hub has no problem with 1st gear or 3rd, but direct gear has a false neutral position that it can slip into, due usually to a bad cable adjustment or defective shifter. A friction shifter can potentially induce the same problem, unless care is taken to reference the shifter position to the proper engagement point.

    The new SA hub doesn't have this neutral position hazard.

  19. #19
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatTop View Post
    I respectfully disagree, at least as far as this applies to the Sturmey Archer AW hubs that I'm familiar with.
    The old SA hub has no problem with 1st gear or 3rd, but direct gear has a false neutral position that it can slip into, due usually to a bad cable adjustment or defective shifter. A friction shifter can potentially induce the same problem, unless care is taken to reference the shifter position to the proper engagement point.

    The new SA hub doesn't have this neutral position hazard.
    Correct. However, the false neutral occurs between the point where the driver dissengages from the ring gear and engages the planetary carrier. If you can feel precisely the point where direct is engaged and stop the shifter there, I don't see a problem. The AW hubs will tolerate quite a lot.
    As I may have neglected to mention, I have not tried this, but I would not hesitate to.
    Like I said before though, hubs with more than 3 gears are less tolerant because of the stepped gearing in the planet carrier. The clutches need to be moved in precise increments for full engagement.

  20. #20
    holyrollin' FlatTop's Avatar
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    Dan, thank you for making this clearer. I may experiment with a friction shifter/SA hub setup to find out how easy it is to slot into 2nd gear, and how much finesse really is required.

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    Dan,

    During the course of your bike business do you ever get to talk to any representatives of Shimano or Sram about gearhubs? If so, what is their opinion on brifters for their hubs?

    Maybe we should all start pestering the companies to build them. Seems like discussing it amongst ourselves isn't getting us any closer to having brifters.

  22. #22
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    This has come up before. I have experimentally tested a brifter through a travel agent to successfully shift a Nexus-7 through its entire range.
    A fellow on another list claimed to be operating a Sturmey 8-speed hub with a Campy brifter and a Travel Agent. Sorry, no further information.

    TCS
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  23. #23
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlton View Post
    Dan,

    During the course of your bike business do you ever get to talk to any representatives of Shimano or Sram about gearhubs? If so, what is their opinion on brifters for their hubs?

    Maybe we should all start pestering the companies to build them. Seems like discussing it amongst ourselves isn't getting us any closer to having brifters.
    I do have contacts at both Sram and Shimano. Just how much influence these individuals have over product development, I don't know, but I will certainly put the bug in their ears.
    Dan Burkhart
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    I do have contacts at both Sram and Shimano. Just how much influence these individuals have over product development, I don't know, but I will certainly put the bug in their ears.
    Could you ask about the future of this product:
    SRAM i-MOTION 9 Carbon
    Photo: http://phil.veloblog.ch/gallery/7/img%20043.jpg
    http://www.sram.com/en/sramnation/lo...cf70da146c8dc8

    After the successful i-MOTION 9 production kick off, SRAM presents exclusively at IFMA 2006 the future of internal gear hubs in a concept bike: an i-MOTION 9 carbon bike with 18 gears. The future bike uses the successful i-MOTION 9 hub with brand new carbon features. This combines highest efficiency with high-tech-design for a luxurious look. Carbon associates minimum weight with maximum stiffness, at the same time it can stand extreme loads. Until now, carbon was rather used in aerospace engineering and formula 1 racing cars. So far carbon hubs have only been available for high-end-roadbikes. Due to an its own carbon manufacturing facility, SRAM is setting new standards for internal gear hubs.
    The target of this 18-speed drivetrain is to offer an alternative to standard sporty external drivetrain systems and to promote sportive trekking bikes. The concept bike features all known i-MOTION 9 benefits: large transmission, close and even gear steps, shifting while standing and shifting under load.

    Further equipment:
    The SRAM concept bike will be equipped with trigger shifters, guarantying sportive gear changing.
    The 18-speed drivetrain is made possible by a double chainring, which is activated by a front derailleur. The rear chain guide with its double pulley mechanism helps to create the necessary chain tension. New Avid Juicy Ultimate hydraulic brakes and their carbon levers will provide the necessary stopping power.

    Gear hub technical data:
    Hub: SRAM i-MOTION 9 Carbon
    Gears: 9
    Transmission range: no information
    Weight: extremely light

    Find more information and pictures at www.sram-imotion.com
    Tobias Erhard
    PR Coordinator Comfort email: terhard AT sram.com

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