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Thread: nexus 8 status?

  1. #1
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    nexus 8 status?

    Anyone know what's happening with the availability of the Shimano Nexus 8 speed hubs, particularly in the US? Last I read, it was expected for this fall, but I'm curious to know if anyone else has managed to get one or has heard differently.

    I am somewhat confused by the words "sport" and "premium" when used to describe the different varients of this hub. It was my impression that the "sport" versions started with the model name "Inter-8R" as opposed to "Inter-8", but then of these "sport" hubs, I've seen some listed as "premium"

    Are STI road levers usable on all versions of this hub? Are roller brakes usable on all versions of this hub? The impression I got from reading their european site was that the "roller" brake was not an option on their "premium" hub, but perhaps I'm just very confused.

    If anyone knows the precise meaning of the words "sport" and "premium" in the context of the Nexus 8, I'd be quite interested in knowing too. I've heard about differences in weight, mechanical efficiency and durability, but I'm still unsure of which one to order.

    For my commuter frankenstein, my hope is to switch my rear wheel to a Nexus 8 hub with a "roller" brake. The setup will ideally be controlled by an 8-speed right STI brifter.

    I guess we'll know more about all of this when people return from interbike.

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    Bikeman.com (my favorite place to order parts from) up in Maine has an 8 listed on their site...

    http://www.bikemannetwork.com/Mercha...Code=COMPHUINT

    The image they have has a hub with a red stripe which I believe indicates the Sports model... but you'd want to email first to find out...

    They also have the revo and thumb brifters listed...

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    SoCal Commuter DanO220's Avatar
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    Rowsdower;

    The shimano 8 speed has been spec'd on the Electra Townie 8, Breezer Uptown 8, Novara Fusion 2005, new Bianchi Milano and Trek Navigator, to sample a few. You might be able to find a dealer who stocks them and take a test ride. I'd jump at the chance just to see how it works. However, I would wager that none of them will feature the Nexus 8R or 'sport' version. Here's a link that will describe the difference.

    http://www.shimano-eu.com/cycling/cu...ticleid=12437&
    ips_index=8

    Unfortunately, these hubs are far more popular, and thus, available, in Europe. I would suspect that news and reviews will initially come from across the pond, since that is Shimano's primary market for these hubs. Personally, I am far more curious about info on the Nexus 8R, since that seems to be Shimano's best effort, and the only one I would seriously consider.

    Also; roller brakes would not be an option on the Nexus 8R, or 'sport', version for the simple reason that they simply are not very effective at slowing a bike down - let alone stopping it. I rode a Burley Runabout with a disc brake up front and the Shimano roller brake in back and the difference in braking performance was down right alarming. In fact, trying to use them together was so unsettling that it was the primary reason that I decided against buying the bike. Instead, I built my own internally geared hub commuter with a Sram 7 speed 'freewheel' version, so that I could fit a good set of rim brakes. The very market segment Shimano is targeting with their Nexus 8R would run the other way if a roller brake were spec'd.

    Hope this helps. DanO

    PS; as far as the durability issure goes... we can only wait and see. Unfortunately, if you're frustrated by the time it takes for the thing to be released, you'll have a long wait until any real reviews are in. I can say that the ability for the home mechanic to service these hubs is an issue. After my Sram 7 developed a bit of play in the bearings or cups that I could not remedy by simply adusting the external cups, I began to have doubts about even finding a pro shop willing to take the thing apart for service. I went so far as to download teardown and reasembly instructions from Sram's website, but this only confirmed my fears as to the inherent complexity of the design. So I converted my ride to a single speed.
    Last edited by DanO220; 10-05-04 at 12:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robertsdvd
    Bikeman.com (my favorite place to order parts from) up in Maine has an 8 listed on their site...

    http://www.bikemannetwork.com/Mercha...Code=COMPHUINT

    The image they have has a hub with a red stripe which I believe indicates the Sports model... but you'd want to email first to find out...

    They also have the revo and thumb brifters listed...
    Yeah. I enlarged that image and found that it says 8R25 on it, which is the "premium" model, but who knows if that image is of the product bikeman is selling, or just being used as a generic "Nexus 8" image. I shall have to call them.

    Thanks for the info!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanO220
    The shimano 8 speed has been spec'd on the Electra Townie 8, Breezer Uptown 8, Novara Fusion 2005, new Bianchi Milano and Trek Navigator, to sample a few. You might be able to find a dealer who stocks them and take a test ride. I'd jump at the chance just to see how it works. However, I would wager that none of them will feature the Nexus 8R or 'sport' version. Here's a link that will describe the difference.

    http://www.shimano-eu.com/cycling/cu...ticleid=12437&
    ips_index=8
    I know of at least one bike available in the US (for the 2005 model year) with the "premium" version, and that is the Cannodale Fifty-Fifty, one of their "street" bikes. It looks like a nice commuter, with fenders and an eccentric bottom bracket, but it has 26" wheels, lacks a chainguard and drop bars. I imagine it's also aluminum, which is not what I'd want to be subjecting to the streets of NYC. Probably hella expensive too. I don't expect to see this bike in wide distribution here in the US.

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/05/c...del-5MRFF.html


    Also check out their "Street Rohloff", which has got to be even more expensive, and is only available in Europe. It's similar to the Fifty-Fifty, but has a Rohloff SpeedHub and Hydraulic Disc Brakes. I don't need to tell you how awesome that is (especially with the EBB), but it's certainly a theft magnet. A bit beyond my budget, too, and still has the major shortcomings of the Fifty-Fifty.

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/05/ce/model-5SS5K.html


    As for that Shimano URL, I would say that they are rather unclear with the sentence fragment, "An 8R Nexus hub equipped with STI shifters to suit more sports oriented bikes." This does not explicitely say that STI shifters will not work with the regular nexus 8, only that they will work with the 8R.

    Also confusing is the sentence, "This internal gear hub can be combined perfectly with Shimano roller brakes.", which would suggest that roller brakes are usable with the regular and "sport" version.

    I'm going to call around and see what can be determined.


    Thanks for your ideas!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanO220
    Also; roller brakes would not be an option on the Nexus 8R, or 'sport', version for the simple reason that they simply are not very effective at slowing a bike down - let alone stopping it. I rode a Burley Runabout with a disc brake up front and the Shimano roller brake in back and the difference in braking performance was down right alarming. In fact, trying to use them together was so unsettling that it was the primary reason that I decided against buying the bike. Instead, I built my own internally geared hub commuter with a Sram 7 speed 'freewheel' version, so that I could fit a good set of rim brakes. The very market segment Shimano is targeting with their Nexus 8R would run the other way if a roller brake were spec'd.

    Hope this helps. DanO
    Very helpful indeed. Thanks!

    That was actually my idea. To have the roller brake in the rear and eventually change my fork and have a disc brake in the front. Until then I would keep my cantilever brake in the front. I don't rely on my rear brake all that much as it is anyway. It would just be nice to have a rear brake that doesn't require much maintainance, works in all weather, and would be harder to steal than a disc brake.

    My current "good" bike is a Cannondale Cyclocross Disc, with cable-actuated Avid disc brakes. There is no comparison between discs and cantis. They do make a little noise, but they work reliably, in all weather, and adjusting them is quite simple.

    Your commuter bike looks pretty slick. I love to see internal gear hubs on bikes with drop bars.

  7. #7
    SoCal Commuter DanO220's Avatar
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    That was actually my idea. To have the roller brake in the rear and eventually change my fork and have a disc brake in the front. Until then I would keep my cantilever brake in the front. I don't rely on my rear brake all that much as it is anyway. It would just be nice to have a rear brake that doesn't require much maintainance, works in all weather, and would be harder to steal than a disc brake.

    My current "good" bike is a Cannondale Cyclocross Disc, with cable-actuated Avid disc brakes. There is no comparison between discs and cantis. They do make a little noise, but they work reliably, in all weather, and adjusting them is quite simple.

    Your commuter bike looks pretty slick. I love to see internal gear hubs on bikes with drop bars.[/QUOTE]


    Heck, I would be pretty tempted to ride my 'good' bike all the time! I would sure like to build a bike with those discs. But I digress. I have only one more caution to your roller brake option. Keep in mind that it will be one more connection you will have to deal with in order to remove and replace the rear wheel. When I decided on the Sram 7 speed hub for my bike, I did so because it has a slick quick release for the shifting mechanism and it's cable. I don't know how the cables are attached on the Shimano hubs. But if you have to actually disconnect the cable from the shifting mechanism to remove the rear wheel, then reattach and adjust it when you're done, it might take quite a while to fix the inevitable flat tire. Ditto for any brake attachments. While this would be a real hassle on a pleasure ride, it could mean the difference between getting to the job on time or being tardy.

    I agree that canti's aren't all they're cracked up to be. It must be a old school Cyclocross tradition thing. I tried the Avid shorty's but changed them out for set of V-brakes. Much better. DanO

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    Quote Originally Posted by rowsdower
    Anyone know what's happening with the availability of the Shimano Nexus 8 speed hubs, particularly in the US? Last I read, it was expected for this fall, but I'm curious to know if anyone else has managed to get one or has heard differently.

    If anyone knows the precise meaning of the words "sport" and "premium" in the context of the Nexus 8, I'd be quite interested in knowing too. I've heard about differences in weight, mechanical efficiency and durability, but I'm still unsure of which one to order.
    I have the Bianchi Milano with the Nexus 7 and here is my opinion.

    1. The roller brake is fine for a town bike - The roller brake will lock the rear tire but has a certain degree of fade after going down a large hill. The Milano uses a V brake up front which makes for a very good combination. I mostly stop or slow the bike with the roller brake and use the V brake to come to a complete stop. It saves alot of wear and tear on the V-Brake and will extend it's life. If you have to ride in rain, snow and mud the roller brake makes a lot of sense for a utility bike.

    2. Still no Direct drive - I don't like the fact that Shimano still did not include a direct drive with the Nexus 7 or 8. This means there really is no efficient gear among all 8 gears which is a mistake. I don't have to tell you that Nexus 7 suffers from friction losses. Direct drive on the Nexus 8 should be the gear mostly used which is gear 5!

    3. Does anyone know how much this thing weights??? - Having that heavy hub on the rear wheel is like riding with 2 water bottles attached to the hub. Have you noticed all these hub manufacturers (Sram, Shimano, Stumey Archer, Rohloff) try to hide the weight of their hubs? When all the weight is in the center of the wheel, it loses momentum mush faster than one with a cassette. Still. I'm willing to make this sacrifice ONLY because it's a commuter bicycle and not my weekend ride.

    I happen to like the Sturmey Archer AW-3 (3 speed). My 3 speed has several thousand miles and it works like a charm. My Nexus hub hasn't given me any problems but then again, I don't ride that bike much since I've discovered the cassette.

    If you design (small chainring or large cog) a 3 speed bike with a low direct drive (2nd gear) then 1st gear ends up real low and that's all you need for commuting. In a utility bike, all you really need are 3 gears for commuting unless you have huge hills.
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 10-06-04 at 07:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanO220
    Heck, I would be pretty tempted to ride my 'good' bike all the time!
    Yeah. Me too. Except, this is NYC, where thieves go around with bolt cutters in plain daylight and steal bikes in front of large crowds. None of the places to which I commute have indoor storage. :[ Finding covered storage is hard enough. I'm already planning to smear black paint over this bike so as to make it look dirty/greasy. A little brown paint will create the illusion of rust. If I get any expensive internal gear hub, I'll find a way to disguise that too! :] It shouldn't come down to security through obscurity, but the problem is that it's very difficult to secure every component to the frame.


    Quote Originally Posted by DanO220
    I would sure like to build a bike with those discs. But I digress. I have only one more caution to your roller brake option. Keep in mind that it will be one more connection you will have to deal with in order to remove and replace the rear wheel.
    Hehe. Indeed. And one more connection the thieves will have to deal with. If I were to go that route, I'd invest in puncture-resistant tires. There are all sorts of kevlar and "carbon" tires, some of which I've used and have been quite amazed with. If I should ever need to fix a flat or change the tire, I wont be too upset, but you make a valid point in that this is very much a matter of how easy of a disconnect this is. If the hub I use has some kind of quick-release on the cables, and a cable stop on the assembly, I shouldn't have too much trouble. My frame has vertical dropouts which are something of a blessing in disguise.


    Quote Originally Posted by DanO220
    When I decided on the Sram 7 speed hub for my bike, I did so because it has a slick quick release for the shifting mechanism and it's cable. I don't know how the cables are attached on the Shimano hubs. But if you have to actually disconnect the cable from the shifting mechanism to remove the rear wheel, then reattach and adjust it when you're done, it might take quite a while to fix the inevitable flat tire. Ditto for any brake attachments. While this would be a real hassle on a pleasure ride, it could mean the difference between getting to the job on time or being tardy.
    Yeah. While some people have said that the SRAM clickbox is junky, I like the concept too. It must make the wheel easy to remove, and from what I've seen most of the installations feature a guard of some kind. It can't be any more in harm's way than a derailleur.


    Quote Originally Posted by DanO220
    I agree that canti's aren't all they're cracked up to be. It must be a old school Cyclocross tradition thing. I tried the Avid shorty's but changed them out for set of V-brakes. Much better. DanO
    It would be great if any of these hubs (in addition to the expensive Rohloffs) took disc brakes. I think I'd go that route, even if it means having to get more creative in how I secure the bike.

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    I just bought my wife a Trek L200 Navigator with the Nexus 8 on it (whole bike cost slightly more than the hub alone, flea markets rule). I've only ridden it a short distance as it's a little small for me, but the overall inpression of the hub was great. Quiet as can be, very smooth, and quite a large range for only 8 gears. As for weight, it does seem a little heavy, but the bike is a bit of a tank due to it's design. I probably wouldn't use it if I were going for speed, but it's great for commuters/trekking bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    I have the Bianchi Milano with the Nexus 7 and here is my opinion.


    If you design (small chainring or large cog) a 3 speed bike with a low direct drive (2nd gear) then 1st gear ends up real low and that's all you need for commuting. In a utility bike, all you really need are 3 gears for commuting unless you have huge hills.

    Steve, I agree that a 3-speed as you describe is enough for most commuters, I have two long climbs on my commute and although I sometimes feel like I have to muscle them in the low speed once I am in commuting shape I can handle it, I love the reliable simplicity of the 3-speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfz
    Steve, I agree that a 3-speed as you describe is enough for most commuters, I have two long climbs on my commute and although I sometimes feel like I have to muscle them in the low speed once I am in commuting shape I can handle it, I love the reliable simplicity of the 3-speed.
    Yeah. I may go this route, or do something similar. I have a 3-speed bike that is my current beater. It's a dept. store POS, and I end up mashing my way up most big hills, which is never good. It has one of those one-piece cranks. Perhaps a modern 3 or 4 speed is the way to go, with the right size chainring.

    Anyone know of some internal gear hubs that can be made to work with STI brifters? I suppose I'll hack together some interesting controls or adapters if there aren't any.

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    Well if it's just three speeds you're after... When I was desperate for a bike that was lighter and faster than my porky 'infernally geared hub' bike I built the following - mainly out of parts I had lying around.

    Took an old REI, 26' wheel, aluminum mountain/city bike frame
    had a rear wheel built around a Novatec single speed freewheel hub
    fit a 48/38/28 triple chainring up front with a Paul Melvin tensioner in the middle
    found an old friction thumb shifter and cheap front derailleur

    The Melvin tensioner (which looks similar to a derailleur) took up enough slack to handle the 20 tooth difference between small and large chainrings, but just enough. However, the system worked. You could use an old derailleur for this as well. But the Melvin is pretty slick. I put high pressure 1.25 inch slicks on the rims for speed. But you would have the option of running something bigger, depending on what kind of terrain you need to cover.

    Of course this system didn't give me that slick single speed/track chain profile, but if that's what you want you might just have to grow a set and go single speed. Ha, ha. I can say that this system was simpler and thus more mechanically reliable than the 'infernally geared hubs' available to me.

    DanO

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    Shimano USA hopes to release the 8-speed hubs to market by Spring in both the standard and sport/premium versions. The sport/premium is lighter and is saturated with needle bearings in the shell and planetary gears for durability and less rolling resistance. They believe you will see 10,000 km on a sport/premium hub BEFORE you see the first signs of wear and any necessary maintainence. An AWESOME hub if you've ridden it. (from a friend at InterBike)

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    I've got a trek 7400 .. i don't think it was released in north america. that little bad boy came with a nexus 8 speed and i'm loving it. the bike itself has a rigid setup so its good in sydney to get around on.

    i've had minor issues with the nexus 8. if not properly installed you might notice that your back tyre may pull to the left, losening your chain. That can be easily fixed though. Also i found that in 8th the highest gear i'm not getting enough transfer through .. ie .. i can't pedal quick enough to keep the speed up. That too was easily fixed by getting a smaller back chain cog.

    All in all its a definite goer ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wanderer
    Shimano USA hopes to release the 8-speed hubs to market by Spring in both the standard and sport/premium versions. The sport/premium is lighter and is saturated with needle bearings in the shell and planetary gears for durability and less rolling resistance. They believe you will see 10,000 km on a sport/premium hub BEFORE you see the first signs of wear and any necessary maintainence. An AWESOME hub if you've ridden it. (from a friend at InterBike)
    ====UPDATE====

    I called Shimano North America today. None of the 8-speed hubs will be available for direct sale to stores and thus consumers until Q1 2006. This is the same story that many bike shops had told me, but I called Shimano myself just to get a confirmation. As for those bikes you see marketted with the 8-speed hubs, Shimano confirms the popular theory that they are selling only to OEMs.

    Perhaps one might get a different answer from bike shops abroad. From what I've seen through google, however, I don't think that is the case.

    Another option sometimes suggested by the desperate few is to buy a bike from one of the OEMs. I don't think it's worth it to buy a bike just for this hub, unless the bike comes with everything one wants. I'm not going to buy a bike with an undesirable frame, 26" wheels, "comfort" handlebars, and canti brakes.

    For the interim I just ordered a SRAM Spectro S7 through bikeman.com. I haven't read many positive reviews of this hub, but I'm stubbornly giving it a shot anyway. I may eventually revert back to a 3-speed. I've seen some options for a 3-speed with a disc brake.

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    Not to mention if you had to repair/replace the hub could you get parts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KleinRider
    Not to mention if you had to repair/replace the hub could you get parts?
    I have seen diagrams of the inside of these hubs. Maybe a Swiss watch maker would be willing to try to replace an internal part, but I doubt it.

    As a practical matter, if there is an "internal" malfunction, the easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to replace the rear wheel, hub included. The good news is, this type of hub seems immune to failure. Rohloff makes a 14 speed hub that is even more complex than the Shimano hub. Rohloff claims that not ONE has ever failed.

    People generally buy these hubs on bikes that are used around the neighborhood, and for short commutes. The fact that many internal hubs are going strong after thirty or forty years of use may relate to the relatively few miles these sorts of bikes are usually ridden. A 1965 Ralaigh three speed bike might only have a couple thousand miles on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    I have seen diagrams of the inside of these hubs. Maybe a Swiss watch maker would be willing to try to replace an internal part, but I doubt it.

    As a practical matter, if there is an "internal" malfunction, the easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to replace the rear wheel, hub included.
    This was the point I was trying to make, as the apparent only way to get one of these hubs is to buy a bike.
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    Harris Cyclery has a limited supply of Nexus 8 Roller Brake hubs on their website for $200 (plus $25 for shifter). These probably won't last long...

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/index.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wanderer
    Harris Cyclery has a limited supply of Nexus 8 Roller Brake hubs on their website for $200 (plus $25 for shifter). These probably won't last long...

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/index.html
    This hub could handle most riding for most people. If 1 to 1 is set at 61 inches, the hub provides a range of 32 inches to 99 inches. That would cover ALL of my needs, and then some.

    Hummm...just the hub though, not the "whole" wheel. Still gotta buy a rim, spokes, and get the wheel built. I can understand the temptation just to go buy a bike that is "pre-equipped" with the hub.

    www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/shimano-nexus.html

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    Will this hub really be compatible with brifters, like rowsdowser was asking? That would be pretty awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  23. #23
    1980s Steel Cro_Moly_Body's Avatar
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    I like what the first guy did, got fed up with the complexity of it all and just kept it simple, stupid = singlespeed happiness.

  24. #24
    Wheelbuilder
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    I have seen diagrams of the inside of these hubs. Maybe a Swiss watch maker would be willing to try to replace an internal part, but I doubt it.

    As a practical matter, if there is an "internal" malfunction, the easiest and cheapest thing to do would be to replace the rear wheel, hub included. The good news is, this type of hub seems immune to failure. Rohloff makes a 14 speed hub that is even more complex than the Shimano hub. Rohloff claims that not ONE has ever failed.

    People generally buy these hubs on bikes that are used around the neighborhood, and for short commutes. The fact that many internal hubs are going strong after thirty or forty years of use may relate to the relatively few miles these sorts of bikes are usually ridden. A 1965 Ralaigh three speed bike might only have a couple thousand miles on it.
    The 8-speed hub is easier to disassemble than the 7-speed hub but you will need some special tools.
    I'll see three problems vith the 8-speed hub.
    1. The weight.
    2. Moist. I've returned four moist damaged hubs already.
    3. The hub shell is made of steel. That will cause harder life for the spokes.

    /Martin Olsson

  25. #25
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    Hi all,

    I am riding the nexus inter-8 deluxe for some 1,5 months now and it already starts to break down.
    I have to admit that the hub had to bear the worst conditions. We had lots of snow which was heavily mixed with salt. Now after some guessed 600KM (about 350 miles) the hub starts to miss-shift even though I readjusted the system several times. The first 3 gears tend to ratch trough under load.
    Gear 4 tends to shift between the transmission ratios of gear 1 and gear 5 depending on how much power I put in.

    This is by the way only the 3rd shimano hub I destroyed within one year.
    O.K. the first two were nexus inter-7 where the planet wheels simply wore away.
    O.K. I rode some 4600KM (3000 miles) that year but 1,5 months for the inter-8 is not acceptable.

    The only question is - what are the alternatives.
    I don't want to spend 800 bucks on a Rohloff.

    Regards
    Stefan Kulms


    Quote Originally Posted by Martin O
    The 8-speed hub is easier to disassemble than the 7-speed hub but you will need some special tools.
    I'll see three problems vith the 8-speed hub.
    1. The weight.
    2. Moist. I've returned four moist damaged hubs already.
    3. The hub shell is made of steel. That will cause harder life for the spokes.

    /Martin Olsson

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