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  1. #1
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    What do you guys think of modern internal hubs?

    I've looked at some of the Shimano and Sturmey Archer branded models... (rohloff is way beyond my price range)

    Are they any good? I know that's a general statement. Reliable? Unreliable? noisy? Inefficient?

  2. #2
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    For me, the benefits are outweighed by the downsides. The biggest benefit I could reap would be... uh... that I wouldn't be likely to break my chain from vicious power-shifting. Something else might break, like a planetary gear... but the chain would be fine. The next-greatest benefit would be immunity to slush buildup between my cassette cogs when the weather is hovering just around freezing and I'm riding in snow, but that's not a very frequent problem.

  3. #3
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    In general I'm pretty picky about a good drivetrain. I like it quiet and smooth. I don't want to know it's there. I really only ride fixed gears but want to build up a 1x8 (standard cassette) or a 1x(whatever internal hub I find)

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    If you know anyone who has IGH, give it a try. But if you know anyone with a walk-in freezer, also march in there with an IGH bike and try a complete rear flat-tire repair with numb fingers, by the light of a small flashlight. You'll be WISHING the drivetrain weren't even there

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Have 2 Sturmey archer hubs,UK AW3 & TW BSR, updated version of the same.. they are fine .

    Also Have a Rohloff a 7 speed in 2 ranges, the planetaria roll on needle bearings in those ,
    an oiled bushing in the simpler hub.
    OEM Torque stop following the hub into a longer Dropout , on the QR axle Rohloff
    is not too bad at puncture time..

    The 3 speeds are on Bromptons, so there is 2 nuts on the right side
    1 holds on the Chain-tensioner , the other holds on to the frame..

    pull the indicator chain, unscrewing at both ends,

    it and the wheel will come out..

  6. #6
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    Sturmey Archer 3-speeds are virtually indestructible when properly adjusted and lubricated. Their 5-speed hubs are effectively two 3-speeds with different ratios. The older versions used a second cable and shifter to switch between close and wide range, but the modern ones do this with a single cable. Removing the wheel isn't that difficult- aside from the axle nuts, all that needs doing is disconnecting the gear cable. If you patch the tube rather than replace it, you don't actually need to remove the wheel anyway.

    Any difference in efficiency between a well-maintained derailleur system and an equally well-maintained 3-speed is on the order of a few percent, certainly not enough to worry about for general transportation riding. Using a chainguard makes the hub gear system easier to keep clean, and sturdier 'single speed' 1/8" chain can be used.

    In terms of noise, I find my derailleur bike to be far noiser than the 3-speed. There is a constant buzz from the derailleur pulleys as you ride along. With the 3-speed hub, everything's nice and quiet.

    I like the ability to change gears stationary with an IGH bike, something which makes a lot of sense for stop-start town riding. In addition, the whole setup just looks neater- just a chain connecting the front and rear sprockets. This has a practical benefit as well- there's no extra hardware hanging off the side of the bike waiting to get bashed by debris. This is particularly useful if you ride away from paved roads.
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Also, Older 5 speeds narrowed the inner ratios , new 5 speed adds 2
    to the AW3 like ratios ,
    So , wider % high to low , wider jumps.

  8. #8
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronAnderson View Post
    In general I'm pretty picky about a good drivetrain. I like it quiet and smooth. I don't want to know it's there. I really only ride fixed gears but want to build up a 1x8 (standard cassette) or a 1x(whatever internal hub I find)
    Well, you know you can go fixed gear with a gearhub. The Sturmey Archer S3X is a marvelous hub. If it's silent you want, this one's got it. Top gear is direct, there is no ratcheting pawls.
    I have one and I love it.
    I also have Sturmey Archer -S2C 2 speed
    -XRF5 5 speed
    -XRF8W-8 speed
    Shimano - SG8R25-8 speed

    Rohloff 14 speed speedhub X2
    In the past, I have had the lesser version of the 8 speed Nexus (SG8R20), Sachs Super 7, Sram iMotion 9.
    All function superbly well, though not all are silent.
    Apart from the fixe, the quietest of these hubs is the Shimano Nexus, and newer, updated versions are quieter still.
    Dan
    Certified gearhub nut.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  9. #9
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    New SA are very nice. SRF-3 is quite a good update of the classic AW 3 speed. With an IGH you can achieve almost perfect chainline smoothing your drivetrain quite a bit. You do get some small and i mean small frictional losses with IGH, however, nothing you will notice. SA is good, Shimano Alfine 8 speed as well although more pricey. SA imho you get the biggest bang for the buck. If you are the tinkering type you can get an older SA hub off ebay for 10-20 bucks.

    -Carcinogent

  10. #10
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    Dan, That's what I wanted to hear! I looked at the Sturmey Archer S3X and kinda loved the way it looked on paper... I think that one is even available in 120mm widths...

  11. #11
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronAnderson View Post
    Dan, That's what I wanted to hear! I looked at the Sturmey Archer S3X and kinda loved the way it looked on paper... I think that one is even available in 120mm widths...
    Yup, 120 or 130 are the options.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    S3X is different from the AW3, as It is 2 reduction gears , with 1:1 top gear

    where the AW3 is a .75 low and a 1.33 high a 3/4 & 4/3 ratio ..

    1:1 is in the middle .

    the 8 speed is 1:1 bottom and 7 overdrive ratios.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-19-11 at 02:47 PM.

  13. #13
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronAnderson View Post
    I've looked at some of the Shimano and Sturmey Archer branded models... (rohloff is way beyond my price range)

    Are they any good? I know that's a general statement. Reliable? Unreliable? noisy? Inefficient?
    My third Alfine 11 hub is a little flaky at times and may or may not eventually be submitted for warranty. We shall see. The quietness and smoothness is great! Friction losses are not much.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ight=Alfine+11

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...more-I-ride-it.

    Don in Austin

  14. #14
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    I think it's gonna be an S3X for me. It will be going on this bike: http://imgur.com/a/igsIR - I like the ability to switch cogs and go to a freewheel. I travel a lot and sometimes it's nice to coast for a few minutes

  15. #15
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronAnderson View Post
    I think it's gonna be an S3X for me. It will be going on this bike: http://imgur.com/a/igsIR - I like the ability to switch cogs and go to a freewheel. I travel a lot and sometimes it's nice to coast for a few minutes
    That's a perfect candidate for an S3X.
    We'll be waiting to read all about the conversion and how you like it. I can't get the smile off my face when I ride mine. It's just too much fun.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


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  16. #16
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monster Pete View Post
    Sturmey Archer 3-speeds are virtually indestructible when properly adjusted and lubricated. Their 5-speed hubs are effectively two 3-speeds with different ratios. The older versions used a second cable and shifter to switch between close and wide range, but the modern ones do this with a single cable. Removing the wheel isn't that difficult- aside from the axle nuts, all that needs doing is disconnecting the gear cable.
    Removing the gear cable is not necessary.

  17. #17
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    I like the modern internal hubs but I think they are still very expensive.

  18. #18
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by relyt View Post
    I like the modern internal hubs but I think they are still very expensive.
    Compared to what? A complete mid level derailleur group with cassette, shifters and everything will cost as much or more than most gearhubs.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  19. #19
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    Yeah, the 3 speed I'm talking about is 120 bucks.

  20. #20
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    I ride a recumbent tadpole trike (heavily modified). I have a Schlumpf high speed drive on the front (34 and 85 tooth effective rings) and a nexus inter7 on the rear. The net effect is a 610% gear range, fairly quiet, and a chain which stays in exactly the same place all the time and never falls off. To remove the rear tire you just unhook the chain (about a 3 second process) and undo the two retaining nuts, that's it. I really like being able to shift from any gear to any gear while sitting still, coasting or pedaling. Both drives are very tough. (JMO)

    I got both drives on ebay and paid substantially less than 1/2 price.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monster Pete View Post
    Sturmey Archer 3-speeds are virtually indestructible when properly adjusted and lubricated. ....... Removing the wheel isn't that difficult- aside from the axle nuts, all that needs doing is disconnecting the gear cable. If you patch the tube rather than replace it, you don't actually need to remove the wheel anyway.

    Any difference in efficiency between a well-maintained derailleur system and an equally well-maintained 3-speed is on the order of a few percent, certainly not enough to worry about for general transportation riding. Using a chainguard makes the hub gear system easier to keep clean, and sturdier 'single speed' 1/8" chain can be used.

    ......

    I like the ability to change gears stationary with an IGH bike, something which makes a lot of sense for stop-start town riding. In addition, the whole setup just looks neater- just a chain connecting the front and rear sprockets. This has a practical benefit as well- there's no extra hardware hanging off the side of the bike waiting to get bashed by debris. This is particularly useful if you ride away from paved roads.
    I absolutely agree. I'm a recent convert to IGHs, they are so much more convenient riding around town, and also the 7 and 8 speeds allow you to skip some intermediate gears quickly and simply.

    I've very recently posted on here a walk-thru of getting the rear wheel off an IGH Dutch bike with a full plastic chaincase. It's no big deal really -- I suspect someone's impressions of that task will depend on when and where they first had to do it. By the roadside on a dark rainy night without the right tools, you'd get a dreadful first impression and would never want to do it again. But in a planned scenario, with time on your side, the right tools and resources, and at home -- well it won't seem so scary the next time.

  22. #22
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monster Pete View Post
    I like the ability to change gears stationary with an IGH bike, something which makes a lot of sense for stop-start town riding.
    I find this a total non-issue, as I'm in the habit downshifting as I brake.

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronAnderson View Post
    It will be going on this bike: http://imgur.com/a/igsIR
    You might want some dual-pivots on the front... also your rear brake housing looks about 4cm too long.

  23. #23
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    I'm used to riding in town with downtube friction shifters on a 3x8 system so all that "shift before stopping" is second nature. I changed to a Shimano Alfine systems for more carefree city riding and that is exactly what I got. I find that I have to pay less attention to dealing with the bike so I can pay more attention to traffic, whats for lunch, pretty girls, mmmm beer.
    Wheel removal is a little bit more involved but not much. No cable adjustment is needed when refitting.
    The bike collects less dirt esp during dark, damp winters so the only regular maintenance I do is lubing the chain. In 3 years I have stripped and oil-dipped the internals once and they were in fine condition.

  24. #24
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronAnderson View Post
    What do you guys think of modern internal hubs?
    I think the SRAM iMotion3 and Sturmey RSRF3 are the best three-speed hubs ever, even better that William Reilly's "X".
    "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

  25. #25
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronAnderson View Post
    Unreliable? Inefficient?
    The fastest bicycle ride around the world record is currently held by Vin Cox who rode a bike equipped with an Alfine 8-speed IGH.
    "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

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