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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 01-04-10, 05:21 PM   #1
chico1st
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IGH for the winter

Someone just mentioned that IGH hubs get cold/frozen in the winter and stop working... can I use these on a winter bike?
Should I be looking at using a 3 speed or more? any recommendations?
Will the winter break them?
I would prefer this to a SS/external gear for winter but if they freeze then i wont

PS: Lots of snow and ice where I live.
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Old 01-04-10, 11:15 PM   #2
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Never had a problem with my Swobo Dixon which has SRAM i-9. I've done a 14 mi. RT commute in around 0 degrees F.

As for speeds, it's going to depend on how hilly your riding is. More hilly? More gears.
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Old 01-05-10, 03:24 AM   #3
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Currently my third winter on a Jamis 3.0 Commuter with a plain old non red band nexus hub, Have not had any problems with cold [to -25C] weather shifting. One caveat - I store the bike in an outside shed, so it stays cold,
warm what ever the temp is. IMHO people who say they have trouble shifting a IGH , it is often the cables or shifter that freeze up either from melting snow/ice or condensation - not a problem with the hub.
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Old 01-05-10, 07:40 AM   #4
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I too ride year-round with IGH bikes --mostly on a folder with the Sturmey Archer 8 speed hub-- and have not had any problems. Well, nothing serious anyway. Sometimes, when it's really really cold, the hub (or cable)is sluggish in the morning (bike lives in a shed).

You won't have this problem with an old Sturmey Archer 3 speed; they have oil inside, not grease. But I like 8 speed hubs. I'd recommend a Nexus 8 if you have big wheels (over 20"), or a Sturmey Archer if you have very small ones (there's nothing better for 16" wheels).
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Old 01-05-10, 08:14 AM   #5
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I rode in today (18 deg. F) and have a 7 speed Nexus hub that shifted free as a bird. I've never noticed a problem with the cold and I've ridden it down to 0 deg.

I don't think these hubs freeze. You are getting wrong information.
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Old 01-05-10, 08:33 AM   #6
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Never a problem with the hub itself, but moisture does get into the shifter cables and freezes. The solution is to replace them every few years. I've been using the Nexus-7 for nine years now.

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Old 01-06-10, 07:08 PM   #7
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The earlier versions of the Shimano 4, 7 and 8 speed hubs did not adequately prevent water egress into the hub. With some users this led to both winter use problems and short service life. The latest versions of the 7 and 8 are said to have much improved seals and are getting good user reviews.

HTH,
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Old 01-07-10, 09:43 AM   #8
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I have the nexus red band and it has not failed on me down to -17F.
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Old 01-15-10, 05:42 PM   #9
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The earlier versions of the Shimano 4, 7 and 8 speed hubs did not adequately prevent water egress into the hub.
How do i know which version I am looking at?
I am looking at one of these models right now: Nexus Inter-7 Hub SG-7R46 36h
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Old 01-15-10, 09:48 PM   #10
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I would be running my Rohloff here in the winter if it weren't for all the damn salt Toronto throws on their streets. This is my first winter (back) here, and with this hub. The cables are completely enclosed with the external shifter on the hub, so icing and such shouldn't be a problem.

I have rode it in -10 to -15C, but it was inside at home and at work, so probably not an accurate test. Plus it's only a 20 minute commute.

What I run is a SS/FG for the winter. No problems.
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Old 01-15-10, 09:55 PM   #11
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i have no issues at all with my nexus 8
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Old 01-15-10, 11:13 PM   #12
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nexus 8 worked great in 17-degree commute two days ago
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Old 01-16-10, 10:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico1st View Post
How do i know which version I am looking at?
I am looking at one of these models right now: Nexus Inter-7 Hub SG-7R46 36h
I believe that the linked to hub is the current version. Check the Shimano web site as normally they only show current models.
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Old 01-16-10, 11:40 PM   #14
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My alfine is working All fine. I chose it specifically for winter.
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Old 01-17-10, 09:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martianone View Post
Currently my third winter on a Jamis 3.0 Commuter with a plain old non red band nexus hub, Have not had any problems with cold [to -25C] weather shifting. One caveat - I store the bike in an outside shed, so it stays cold,
warm what ever the temp is. IMHO people who say they have trouble shifting a IGH , it is often the cables or shifter that freeze up either from melting snow/ice or condensation - not a problem with the hub.
I have the same bike, I've had it for the same amount of time and I keep mine in the shed as well. I've never had any problems with shifting in the 3 winters I've used the Jamis 3.0. I made a slight cable adjustment when the bike was 2-3 weeks old and haven't had to touch a thing since.
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Old 01-18-10, 09:41 PM   #16
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I'm on my second winter with Nexus 8. If it's cold and icy/snowy I move to the mtb w/ studs and d/r. We had a dry cold snap and I rode the IGH in single digits (F). I had a little trouble shifting. A combination of two things fixed it. Not very scientific. The bike spent the night indoors next to a hot radiator and I sprayed silicone lube into the cables in the AM. Then spend a few more cold days with the bike in the cold garage at night with no further problems.
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Old 01-18-10, 10:28 PM   #17
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I think we have a consensus.
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Old 01-19-10, 12:56 AM   #18
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I think we have a consensus.
That some IGH models have issues shifting in the cold but in general they are reliable?
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Old 01-19-10, 01:30 AM   #19
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Yes.
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Old 01-19-10, 11:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
The earlier versions of the Shimano 4, 7 and 8 speed hubs did not adequately prevent water egress
Why would you want to prevent water from getting OUT of the hub?
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Old 01-19-10, 11:36 AM   #21
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Mine did not work for three days - it was about -15C. This prompted me to keep the bike inside the house overnight for a week or so - now it works perfect: but it is warmer.

The bike is an Alfine with fully enclosed cables from the shifter to the hub. Maybe there was some moisture in the housing - not sure.

This problem aside - I would still purchase the same bike if I need a bike. The ride is cheap enough that I do not worry about it at all and I generally ride about 300K per week.
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Old 01-19-10, 11:38 AM   #22
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On the particularly snowy days I notice that folk on regular derailleur bikes seem to have more trouble shifting as their cogs are fully ice encased. Also - I rode many winters with derailleurs and I believe that the IGH is more reliable.
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Old 01-20-10, 08:29 PM   #23
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I've never had trouble with a derailleur in snow, but freezing rain convinced me to switch to IGH. Haven't finished the frame up yet or I'd be riding it. I'm being very slow at this for some reason
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Old 01-21-10, 01:25 AM   #24
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I ride the old Sturmey Archer hubs (3 speeds from 1953-1975). I haven't had any problems with cold weather. I have had problems with derailleurs and snow/ice, but the IGH works fine in cold weather.
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Old 01-21-10, 07:59 AM   #25
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I was having some shifting issues when the temps dropped below -15*F, so I did the oil bath technique the German IGH users recommend. Works like a charm.



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