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  1. #1
    30mi/day commuter
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    maintenance of 8sp IGH

    I saw a website which stated that maintenance for 8-sp IGH is beyond that of a hobbiest. If I were making a commuter that I would want to be able to maintain is it possible to use an 8-sp IGH or do I have to stick with a 3-speed?

  2. #2
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    I think he makes some pretty good arguments.

    The barriers to self-maintenance are several: knowledge, tools, availability of parts. You might acquire knowledge with effort and experience, but tools take $$$, and some parts channels are closed to individuals.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  3. #3
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
    I saw a website which stated that maintenance for 8-sp IGH is beyond that of a hobbiest. If I were making a commuter that I would want to be able to maintain is it possible to use an 8-sp IGH or do I have to stick with a 3-speed?
    There's a reason why we charge hourly rates for IGH maintaneance - you never know how long it's going to take. Some repairs we've had to outright refuse because of a lack of expertise. They are not simple by any means to repair, even with the complete exploded diagrams.

    The good news is that they don't **** up very often for commuter applications. And when they do, you're either looking at some sort of warranty problem or a very expensive repair.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  4. #4
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    I'd avoid the Sturmey 8 speed hub, cheap but not so reliable. Near as I can tell, the 'bay is flooded with older non (W) versions that were replaced by SA. The newer (W) version has had failures already.

    For an 8 speed hub Shimano hub , an LBS is going to pull the internals and either give them a cleaning/oil bath or replace the internals if they are too far gone. It's not rocket science, if you're a DIY'er for your car, you can work on an Alfine/Nexus. Lots of docs to help you here:
    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...tech_tips.html

    Here's my Alfine guts getting a bath:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Mr IGH; 01-04-10 at 11:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Gear Hub fan
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    Per posts on the Geared Hub Bikes yahoo group linked to in my signature block the Shimano 8 speed is easy to remove from the housing for oil lubricating and members have done so without any problems reported. As far as disassembly for repair Shimano does not offer most individual parts so normal procedure is to replace the complete internal mechanism which is listed as a available assembly.

    Even experienced IGH bike shops in Europe apparently find Shimano hub units difficult to disassemble and repair to the individual part level so normally replace the complete internals assembly if problems develop.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

    Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/

  6. #6
    30mi/day commuter
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    Even experienced IGH bike shops in Europe apparently find Shimano hub units difficult to disassemble and repair to the individual part level so normally replace the complete internals assembly if problems develop.
    So would you still promote the shimano 8 speed? Nexus or Alfine? How much does it cost to replace the innards?

  7. #7
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Alfine or Nexus 8R31/36 (or the older 8R30/35) are very well sealed. I've fully submerged my Alfine in salt water (the ocean) while riding/shifted gears, no intrusion. The SRAM i-Motion 9 is well sealed also.

  8. #8
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    As an owner of quite a couple of IGH 3 spds and a Bike shop tech for about year. I can honestly say, that if you DON't know what you are doing. Do no bother. What he doesn't bring up is that there is far much less maintenance needed for the IGH. But he is right. It is ectremely more bothersome to work on. And it's pretty much an automatic 150 dollar new wheel if you mess it up.
    12' SuperiorLite SL Pro w/ Sram Rival | 10' SuperiorLite SL Club w/ Sram Force | 06' Giant FCR (Dropbar) w/ Shimano 5700 | 10' GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

  9. #9
    30mi/day commuter
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    yeah i dont plan to actually play with the insides of an 8 speed myself
    What about robustness? Is a 3-speed say SA more "bombproof" than an 8-sp Nexus?

  10. #10
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
    As an owner of quite a couple of IGH 3 spds and a Bike shop tech for about year. I can honestly say, that if you DON't know what you are doing. Do no bother....It is ectremely more bothersome to work on. And it's pretty much an automatic 150 dollar new wheel if you mess it up.
    I guess everyone is different maybe I'm an adventurer. The Shimano and SRAM IGHs have proved to be a little more complex that the old standby Sturmey Archer 3 speed. Much less than some the automotive DIYs I've done. I still remember my LBS telling me I wasn't qualified to service a bicycle chain back in 5th grade. IMHO, you'd have to mess up really bad to require a new hub/wheel...it's not a swiss watch.

  11. #11
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
    ...Is a 3-speed say SA more "bombproof" than an 8-sp Nexus?
    A newer Nexus 8R31 (coaster brake Nexus with Alfine internals) and the Nexus 8R36 (rim/roller Nexus with Alfine internals) are very well sealed and very robust. The older 8R20, 25, etc, not so much. All the dead rusted Nexus internals you see on the web are the older 8R2x Nexus hubs. More "bombproof" I don't know. I stress my Nexus/Alfine hubs way beyond what I've every imagined I could do with a SA 3 speed. If I put a SA 3 speed hub on my mountain bike, the axle would break on the first big drop. OTOH, the clearences are much tighter in a Nexus. When something gets in there, things go wrong very quickly.
    Last edited by Mr IGH; 01-05-10 at 05:48 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    I don't recall seeing cost as a criteria in any of your posts. If you are really commited to the idea of a gearhub and you are concerned about gear range, relatively close ratios, low maintenance and etreme durability, I heartilly endorse the Rohloff as the owner of two of them and having sold and installed a few more.
    On the other hand, I am also a very satisfied owner and user of Sturmey Archer and Shimano Nexus hubs as well.
    I also have a Sram iMotion 9, but I am somewhat less than impressed with that one, due mostly to noise and shifter issues,not to mention lack of tech and parts support from the manufacturer.
    Bottom line, all options currently available are the result of years of refinement, and under most conditions will offer years of trouble free service.

  13. #13
    30mi/day commuter
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    I don't recall seeing cost as a criteria
    It wasnt... until I saw the price of the Rohloff... :0 thats crazy... Sheldon praises it and that means a lot... but I assume my bike will be stolen someday.

    OK last question does everyone agree with Mr IGH that the SA 8 speed is poor? I was looking at the XRF8 (thin IGH which I dont see on the Sturmy Website...only 170mm and up) and the normal SA 8 speed. The XRF8 is only 50$ more than the 3-speed (150$) which raises little flags.
    Last edited by chico1st; 01-05-10 at 08:04 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
    It wasnt... until I saw the price of the Rohloff... :0 thats crazy... Sheldon praises it and that means a lot... but I assume my bike will be stolen someday.

    OK last question does everyone agree with Mr IGH that the SA 8 speed is poor? I was looking at the XRF8 (thin IGH which I dont see on the Sturmy Website...only 170mm and up) and the normal SA 8 speed. The XRF8 is only 50$ more than the 3-speed (150$) which raises little flags.
    The SA 8 speed is really aimed at small wheel bikes like folders due to it's gearing ratios. 1st gear is direct and all others are overdrive. You have to use a rediculously large rear cog and small chainring to approach reasonable gearing on a full size wheel.

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