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Old 05-14-12, 11:14 AM   #1
harshbarj
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NuVinci N360 qestion?

I am in the market for a new hub and wonder if anyone has used the NuVinci n360? I currently use a nexus inter-3 and used a nexus inter-7 before it failed. It would be used on a trek belleville city bike and used only for commuting and runs to the store.

I guess I just want to know what to expect from the hub. Is it good for climbing fairly steep hills and such.

Also where would I get a full pre-built wheel? I can install it myself, but I can't build a wheel and don't want to go through the wait of my LBS building it for me.

Thanks!
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Old 07-10-12, 04:31 PM   #2
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Just an update. I bought a n360 hub and had it installed over the weekend. I am now feeling it was a mistake. I would be shocked if the hub efficiency is even 70%. I use to have a shimano nexus 3-speed hub and could climb about any hill in Omaha without resting. Now I need to rest after even the slightest incline. I am very disappointed in the hub. I'll try and play around with the hub this weekend and see if trek adjusted the hub correctly as they have never seen one. If it's just an adjustment problem I'll amend my recommendation but for now I have to put the n360 at a don't buy. I am left wishing I had bought a nexus 8 as it would have been cheaper and I KNOW it would have worked.
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Old 07-10-12, 04:47 PM   #3
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FWIW, I'm quite happy with my N360, after having owned several Nexus and Alfine hubs. The Alfine units are great, too, but I needed something I could reliably use offroad.
I commuted with my N360 last Spring, and felt that it ran fine (to my legs). The only place I notice a loss of efficiency is in the absolute bottom of the range (steep climbs), but even then, it is not too bad.

Good luck with it! It might be worth checking in with Nuvinci to see if you have a faulty unit.
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Old 07-10-12, 04:59 PM   #4
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Is it the actual hub efficiency that makes you feel more tired or the weight of the thing? They are heavy beasts...
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Old 07-10-12, 05:38 PM   #5
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I can't see that the extra weight could account for the OP's observation. Yes it's heavy, but it still only amounts to about 3 or 4 extra pounds or about as much as a couple extra full water bottles. Sure that'll slow me down a bit on a climb, but it won't make as drastic a difference as reported. AFAICT, NuVinci has been very secretive about efficiency estimates and has given out no information about it. And I have yet to see a review with any quantitative data. But the reviews I've seen have not reported such large efficiency losses as the OP seems to have experienced.

Please let us know if you resolve the efficiency issue.
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Old 07-11-12, 12:19 PM   #6
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I can't see that the extra weight could account for the OP's observation. Yes it's heavy, but it still only amounts to about 3 or 4 extra pounds or about as much as a couple extra full water bottles. Sure that'll slow me down a bit on a climb, but it won't make as drastic a difference as reported. AFAICT, NuVinci has been very secretive about efficiency estimates and has given out no information about it. And I have yet to see a review with any quantitative data. But the reviews I've seen have not reported such large efficiency losses as the OP seems to have experienced.

Please let us know if you resolve the efficiency issue.
I carry 40-80 lbs of groceries every weekend so I don't think 5lbs is that much of a difference.
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Old 07-21-14, 01:59 PM   #7
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Just a followup. I still have and use the N360, and it's no better. I bought a Nexus inter-8 6 months ago for another bike and now mainly use that. The N360 is just SO inefficient. Which is sad because it otherwise is rock solid and well built. It's just that any kind of hill is too much and any headwind means shifting to the lowest 'gear' and feeling like you are pedaling in tar.

At this point I have to say the N360 is a failure. Fallbrook has been unwilling to publish efficiency data and can never answer a question with a direct, straight answer. It's still possible I have a defective hub, but I HIGHLY doubt this because other than the efficiency, I have no other complaints. Rolling resistance is almost on par with a derailleur system and shifting works as it should.

And just for a comparison. I the other day brought home about 13 liters of soda on my shimano inter-8 bike and it was still easier climbing the hill to get home than on just the N360 bike without hauling anything. Weight really is never an issue as I can haul hundreds of pounds by bike without getting too tired. Just pathetic really.
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Old 07-21-14, 08:24 PM   #8
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This is the exact reason why my N360 sits in a box in the attic... unmoved for years. And I was one of the suckers who paid near full price for it I want to like it, but its a bear. I would rather run 1x5 gearing.
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Old 07-21-14, 10:24 PM   #9
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13 liters of soda? And you're complaining about drivetrain efficiency?
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Old 07-21-14, 11:22 PM   #10
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13 liters of soda? And you're complaining about drivetrain efficiency?
Seemed like an effective semi-quantitative description of the lessened efficiency to me. If bike A with an extra load of about 60 lbs. is still easier to pedal uphill than unloaded bike B, then there's a serious problem with bike B, especially when both bikes have appropriate gearing.

I'm puzzled by the variations in user reviews of the N360 since some users see no efficiency issue while others, like the OP, report very major losses. The lack of data offered by the manufacturer is not reassuring.
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Old 07-21-14, 11:25 PM   #11
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Perhaps someone can think of a way to measure this. @Dan Burkhart?
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Old 07-22-14, 12:38 AM   #12
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13 liters of soda? And you're complaining about drivetrain efficiency?
Diet Soda. Plus a full weeks groceries. I made that soda last nearly 3 weeks. When there is a good sale I stock up. I was actually worried because about 9 of those liters were in my front basket(plus other things). I nearly doubled the max weight limit stamped on the basket. Needless to say I went VERY slow, just in case and swerved around every pothole.

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Seemed like an effective semi-quantitative description of the lessened efficiency to me. If bike A with an extra load of about 60 lbs. is still easier to pedal uphill than unloaded bike B, then there's a serious problem with bike B, especially when both bikes have appropriate gearing.

I'm puzzled by the variations in user reviews of the N360 since some users see no efficiency issue while others, like the OP, report very major losses. The lack of data offered by the manufacturer is not reassuring.
Likely hills. I noticed on flat terrain it's almost unnoticeable. The second one hits a hill the problems start.

I also have noticed people complain about the shimano nexus inter 8 in the same way, yet my opinion is they are actually nice hubs. It could also be the difference between utility cyclists and sporty cyclists. I have notice sporty types tend to be more picky while utility cyclists are happy if it works, even if it weighs more.

Last edited by harshbarj; 07-22-14 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 07-22-14, 12:44 AM   #13
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I think Rohloff weighs less , less energy loss , wider range . but yes it, Hand made in Germany , costs more.
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Old 07-22-14, 05:59 AM   #14
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Diet Soda. Plus a full weeks groceries. I made that soda last nearly 3 weeks. When there is a good sale I stock up. I was actually worried because about 9 of those liters were in my front basket(plus other things). I nearly doubled the max weight limit stamped on the basket. Needless to say I went VERY slow, just in case and swerved around every pothole.



Likely hills. I noticed on flat terrain it's almost unnoticeable. The second one hits a hill the problems start.

I also have noticed people complain about the shimano nexus inter 8 in the same way, yet my opinion is they are actually nice hubs. It could also be the difference between utility cyclists and sporty cyclists. I have notice sporty types tend to be more picky while utility cyclists are happy if it works, even if it weighs more.
I have been using my N360 for several years, year 'round, without the issues you describe. It is 1-2 pounds heavier than Shimano, Sram, Rohloffs or all the stuff it replaces for traditional gear. That does slow me down, but I'm not racing with it. The weight difference is about that of a good U-Lock. I use it for a commuter and grocery getter and don't have any of the issues I've heard described here. I think it makes a good reliable city bike.

Marc
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Old 07-22-14, 06:21 AM   #15
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Perhaps someone can think of a way to measure this. @Dan Burkhart?
Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I think this one is a bit beyond what I'm equipped to do.
I can't find it right now, (where is tcs when you need him), but somewhere there is a page showing efficiency data on various gearhubs and derailleur drive trains. I don't remember if the Nuvinci was included.
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Old 07-22-14, 06:43 AM   #16
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I think Rohloff weighs less , less energy loss , wider range . but yes it, Hand made in Germany , costs more.
It does weigh substantially less. Here is a Nuvinci hub (the old version, not a 360) I built into a Rhyno Lite rim with a reasonably lightweight tire.





Compare to a Rohloff with a heavy downhill rim and tire.



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Old 07-22-14, 07:06 AM   #17
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After several months of using my uptown with the N360, i can say i couldn't be happier. The ONLY thing i'd change is the high end ratio, which would in real world terms only really translate into more speed over flat areas & downhill. My specific bike is rim brake only, so i'm not sure there s a big case for more speed. It's not built for speed, it's built for hauling.

This hub, with the recommended chainring & crank sizes, is built for climbing hills, especially ones where on a internal geared bike you'd be running out of low end ratio, or in some cases attempting to switch down on an internal hub with 10+ gears which we all know is not fun when they are under load.

What size wheel are you going to be building around this? Local bike shop would be able to do this for you. I would also recommend looking into the harmony automatic shifting system which is designed to pair with this hub.

One final note on the low end climbing... That low ratio puts out a LOT of torque to the spokes, so it might behoove you to get ovoid (semi-aero)or heavy duty spokes and corresponding nipples. I would also recommend a medium depth double wall rim for optimal performance, if not a deeper/aero v rim.

As for the weight & efficiency..... The old hub (N117?) was heavier and had about the same ratio range as a 4 speed internal hub, the N360 is more like a 8-11 speed. It weighs less than the old design, and is more compact. I have found no noticable difference in efficiency coming from my shimano nexus 4 speed with coaster brake. I have now ridden in 90+ temps, as well as down into the low 50's, and no issues with thermal variation. It remains to be seen how it will handle the winter, but based on the performance thus far, i'm extremely optimistic.

Keep us posted if you do purchase, photos of wheel etc!

- Andy
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Old 07-22-14, 10:03 AM   #18
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Dan, are those pounds or kilograms?

@harshbarj, something is wrong. I think your experience is not normal.
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Old 07-22-14, 10:08 AM   #19
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Dan, are those pounds or kilograms?

@harshbarj, something is wrong. I think your experience is not normal.
That's pounds. Those numbers would be beyond ridiculous if it was kgs.
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Old 07-22-14, 10:12 AM   #20
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That's pounds. Those numbers would be beyond ridiculous if it was kgs.
Yes, they would, which is why I had to ask if they were ridiculous or beyond ridiculous.
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Old 07-22-14, 10:47 AM   #21
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my n360 works fine and I regularly carry 15 liters of soda. Not diet... Also I clip coupons so I'm really annoying to be behind at the supermarket checkout.
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Old 07-22-14, 10:56 AM   #22
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We have a variety of city bikes with a variety of IGH's and I do switch around occasionally so get to experience each. I love the N360 and that is on my primary Workcycles Opafiets. That said, anecdotally, I think that it is less efficient than the Nexus and Alfine 8's or Sturmey 3-speed. No idea by how much but I can imagine that on a steep enough climb that you do everyday it'd be noticeable. My limited engineering mind thinks that'd be the case as well with the ball mechanism's likely higher friction in the N360 vs a planetary.
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Old 07-23-14, 05:38 PM   #23
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Dan, are those pounds or kilograms?

@harshbarj, something is wrong. I think your experience is not normal.
All I can say is I have seen a LOT of similar complaints online.

I rode that bike to work today and same issues really. super slow takeoffs from a red light and a general feeling like I am trying to pedal in tar. I did notice today that the harder I stomped down the more the hub seemed to resist. If I took it easy I got up to speed faster than standing up and giving it everything I have. Which is odd as on EVERY other bike I have, when in low gear I can almost flip the bike. On the N360 I can't ever get the front tire off the street. Not that that's something I want to do, but feel it's a clear indicator that the power I put in is just not reaching the wheel.

Sad as I like the overall feel, the smooth rolling and the smooth shifting. The hub is also whisper quiet, something I can't say of any hub I own, even a classic derailleur has more noise. I'd say it's almost on par with a single speed. If it was not for the efficiency thing, I would HIGHLY recommend it. At this point, outside of recreational use in flat areas and where speed is not important, I just can't recommend one. If you want one, test ride it first. Don't buy it unseen.
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Old 07-23-14, 05:40 PM   #24
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OK, sorry, but I have no advice.
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Old 07-23-14, 05:54 PM   #25
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Dan, are those pounds or kilograms?

@harshbarj, something is wrong. I think your experience is not normal.
Those weights are not in the ballpark for the N360, and the complaints I am hearing don't compare with the product I am using.


I think it's a great product for a city bike, I wouldn't use it for anything else.
I also use mine year 'round in Michigan winters.

Marc
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