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Old 08-19-07, 04:44 PM   #1
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which internal Gear hub?

I'm looking into building up a bike with an internal gear hub and wanted some feedback. I'm looking for a hub that can take a beating. If I had loads of money burning a hole in my pocket, I'd get a Rolhoff, but thats not in the budget.

Background on the bike: Its going to be a intown, college commuter. I'm specifically going to build/weld the frame to the hub (internal routing, track drops, sliding disc dropouts if going with a disc version). 26" wheels with pretty standard 26" mountain bike geometry w/ridged fork.

So Sram (i-Motion 9, or S7), Shimano (Alfine, Nexus 8, Nexus 7), Sturmey-Archer (S80)
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Old 08-19-07, 05:13 PM   #2
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In town, college, commuter.

Have you considered one of these?

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/coaster-brakes.html

So unstylish it's zub-sero cool.
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Old 08-19-07, 05:47 PM   #3
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The Shimano Nexus series has a pretty decent track record. The Sturmey is less expensive initially but I am not sure about the durability on them. There were some issues when the production first started up.

SRAM is an unknown to me...I have heard of it but have no firsthand experience with it.

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Old 08-19-07, 05:47 PM   #4
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You want sliding dropouts or horizontal dropouts, disk or no disk (although you can take up chain slack with a tensioner like the Surly Singulator or On-One Doofer).

If you can get your hands on an Alfine go that route, they're new to the US and I'd love to see a review; the Europeans seem to like the a lot.
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Old 08-19-07, 10:22 PM   #5
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Background on the bike: Its going to be a intown, college commuter. I'm specifically going to build/weld the frame to the hub (S80)
Not a good idea. Bolts work just as well. You can't get the perfect amount of chain tension if you can't move your hub. You won't be able to change tires and you won't be able to fix a flat easily. You will never be able to use the hub or the frame again if you weld.


As for hubs, I have a ShimNex Inter-7 w/coaster brake. I like it, but it's a bit heavy. I find the coaster brake paticularly useful, but it takes some getting used to. I believe the Inter-8 is almost identical to my hub, except that it has one more gear instead of the coaster.

I have put together a bike with a Modern StAr 3-speed. The paticular model had a very limited range of gears (75%, 100% and 133%). I would not recommend such a limited range for a relatively strong cyclist. (I myself could barely feel the differnce between the highest and lowest gears).

thats all I know.
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Old 08-19-07, 10:26 PM   #6
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^^^^
I didn't catch that. Yeah, welding you wheel to the frame is a poor idea at best. If you are worried about wheel theft use pitlocks and a good u-lock. Also park next to carbon racers with quick release wheels and cable locks too.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:45 AM   #7
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Before you pick your hub, I suggest looking at the following things on the one(s) you are considering:

1. Gear ratios (use Sheldon Brown's gear calculator!) The way the different brands and models are geared will make a difference, depending on your wheel size. The Sturmey-Archer is ideal for bikes with small wheels (I have them on two bikes with 16" wheels).

2. How the shift cable attaches to the hub, and how you adjust it. I used to ride a nexus-inter-4, and it was a real pain to adjust the cable, in contrast, say, to either the Sturmey-Archer 3 or 8 (though the SA 3 is easier to adjust than the SA 8).

3. How the shift cable attaches to the hub, and how durable it will be. On the Nexus and SA-8 the cable attaches on the inside of the frame, while on the SA-3 (and all the SRAM's, I think) it attaches to the end of the axle, i.e. on the outside of the frame. This is potentially more easily damaged (but the old SA-3's are really tough anyway).
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Old 08-20-07, 08:41 AM   #8
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Not a good idea. Bolts work just as well. You can't get the perfect amount of chain tension if you can't move your hub. You won't be able to change tires and you won't be able to fix a flat easily. You will never be able to use the hub or the frame again if you weld.


As for hubs, I have a ShimNex Inter-7 w/coaster brake. I like it, but it's a bit heavy. I find the coaster brake paticularly useful, but it takes some getting used to. I believe the Inter-8 is almost identical to my hub, except that it has one more gear instead of the coaster.

I have put together a bike with a Modern StAr 3-speed. The paticular model had a very limited range of gears (75%, 100% and 133%). I would not recommend such a limited range for a relatively strong cyclist. (I myself could barely feel the differnce between the highest and lowest gears).

thats all I know.
no, no, I'm not welding the hub to the frame. I'm building the frame to the specs of the hub.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:33 AM   #9
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^^^^
I didn't catch that. Yeah, welding you wheel to the frame is a poor idea at best. If you are worried about wheel theft use pitlocks and a good u-lock. Also park next to carbon racers with quick release wheels and cable locks too.

Allen,
That may be a positive of internal hub vs. exposed gear bike. Thieves will always favor QR hubs over bikes with bolt nuts. I've never seen this as an advantage in a interal hubbed bike.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:00 PM   #10
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Allen,
That may be a positive of internal hub vs. exposed gear bike. Thieves will always favor QR hubs over bikes with bolt nuts. I've never seen this as an advantage in a interal hubbed bike.
I only want an internal gear to make it look clean and to try something new. Theft isnt a problem in my area so qr vs bolt on isnt an issue.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:07 PM   #11
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I'm looking into building up a bike with an internal gear hub and wanted some feedback. I'm looking for a hub that can take a beating. If I had loads of money burning a hole in my pocket, I'd get a Rolhoff, but thats not in the budget.

Background on the bike: Its going to be a intown, college commuter. I'm specifically going to build/weld the frame to the hub (internal routing, track drops, sliding disc dropouts if going with a disc version). 26" wheels with pretty standard 26" mountain bike geometry w/ridged fork.

So Sram (i-Motion 9, or S7), Shimano (Alfine, Nexus 8, Nexus 7), Sturmey-Archer (S80)
Shimano Nexus 7 or 8. I have the Shimano Nexus 7 speed hub installed on my Raleigh Superbe and its durable. Its no worse than the original Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub that it replaced.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:11 PM   #12
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be sure to look at the NuVinci


nuvinci.com
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Old 08-20-07, 10:14 PM   #13
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be sure to look at the NuVinci


nuvinci.com
I have that one installed on my Peugeot PX10. I still can't say how good it is as a hub. It was heavy but then again I like being an early adopter of new technology
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Old 08-21-07, 07:22 AM   #14
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The nuvinci weighs 4,200g (according to QBP) and costs more than twice as much as a nexus 8 hub (at my cost)

On a bike like this, weight isn't too much of a concern but since I'm a roadie, i really don't like the idea of doubling the weight of my bike with just the rear hub. I'm building this cause i dont want to be riding my Record bike to class. Also the cost and unproven longterm durability
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Old 08-21-07, 07:58 AM   #15
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I have that one installed on my Peugeot PX10. I still can't say how good it is as a hub. It was heavy but then again I like being an early adopter of new technology
Real Early Adapter! How available is this item besides in press releases?
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Old 08-21-07, 08:03 AM   #16
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I would go with the Nexus 8 "Red Band" version. It is lighter and has better bearings than the standard Nexus 8 by most accounts. Are you in Athens, Ohio?
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Old 08-21-07, 08:08 AM   #17
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Real Early Adapter! How available is this item besides in press releases?
NuVinci hubs have been on the market for a while, looks like the first batch is almost gone through at my distributor.
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Old 08-21-07, 09:37 AM   #18
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Real Early Adapter! How available is this item besides in press releases?
Seattle Bicycle Supply carries them, so most any LBS can get one in now. I have one on my cargo bike.
Nice item, and impressively smooth, nicest shifter of any hub I've ridden, great riding hub in general.
They also have a quiet clutch, no click, clack when coasting.
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Old 08-21-07, 10:06 AM   #19
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Is there a difference in quality between the Nexus 7 and 8 besides the extra speed? I've heard anecdotally that the 8 is "smoother" but I can't really find anything definitive on that.
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Old 08-21-07, 10:30 AM   #20
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The nuvinci weighs 4,200g (according to QBP) and costs more than twice as much as a nexus 8 hub (at my cost)

On a bike like this, weight isn't too much of a concern but since I'm a roadie, i really don't like the idea of doubling the weight of my bike with just the rear hub. I'm building this cause i dont want to be riding my Record bike to class. Also the cost and unproven longterm durability
There is a strong advocate of the NuVinci hub in the folding bikes forum. My instinct would be to stick with the Nexus 8 Redband. Given the gear range, it is lighter and smoother by most reports than the alternatives. Sheldon Brown seems to be a strong advocate of the hub.

The Sturmey Archer 8 is not a bad hub, by the way. I have worked out a few bugs and it operates well on my folding bike. But given that the direct drive is the lowest gear, it is inappropriate for most full sized bikes.
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Old 08-21-07, 05:53 PM   #21
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I would go with the Nexus 8 "Red Band" version. It is lighter and has better bearings than the standard Nexus 8 by most accounts. Are you in Athens, Ohio?

yup, atown.

Last edited by nitropowered; 08-21-07 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:37 PM   #22
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yup, atown.
Home sweet home. Riding up Jeff Hill was always a kid's hill climbing challenge.

Good luck on the build.
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Old 08-21-07, 09:25 PM   #23
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yeah thanks. I used to ride fixed gear (50x19) but going to sell that to build up my cross bike. Also since I've started building frames, i'm going to build this new bike. I thought about single speed, but with time split between working at the bike shop, class (maybe), my framebuilding, and training, i figured i want something with gears. I want it to look clean like a SS so internal gear popped in my mind.
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Old 08-21-07, 09:29 PM   #24
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NuVinci hubs have been on the market for a while, looks like the first batch is almost gone through at my distributor.
I tried it on my commuter... the hub is heavy as hell but you don't notice it on the bicycle. I must say after a ride, the Nuvinci grip shift twister is completely intuitive. Even a child can learn to operate this system. Its really simple to use and instead of having two shifters, there's just one! I like it so much I can't wait for a disc compatible MTB model to become available!
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Old 08-22-07, 06:30 AM   #25
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The Sturmey Archer 8 is not a bad hub, by the way. I have worked out a few bugs and it operates well on my folding bike. But given that the direct drive is the lowest gear, it is inappropriate for most full sized bikes.
Why? Just because you have to use a small chainwheel? This causes your group to get more cavities or what?

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