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  1. #1
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    Any commuters with Nuvinci N360s?

    I bought a Giant Seek 0 a few years ago and the 8-Speed Alfine has always been a bit finicky. Any other commuters with N360s out there? Just curious as to your feedback.


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    I converted a BikeE CT (recumbent) over to this hub and I like very much. ;-) It's also the bike I lone to friends that come over that hasn't ridding in a long while.
    Life is good O^o

  3. #3
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    Yup!
    FWIW, I used Alfine and Nexus 8's with no issues (setup is key), so depending on what you mean by "finicky", it could be something that you can resolve with setup or perhaps warranty (if it is not setup related).

    For my current bike, I chose to build the rear wheel with a Nuvinci N360 since I planned to use the bike on single track as well as on the road, and was not willing to risk a pricy Alfine 11 (with no warranty coverage for offroad use).

    First off, I really like the Nuvinci overall. It has a slightly different "feel" than the Alfine - less mechanical - which took a little getting used to. Here's my quick and dirty synopsis:

    The Good:
    - allegedly maintenance free. The hub is factory sealed with its own proprietary fluid, and is "designed" to not need maintenance.
    - Very smooth, and very little "drag" if you are a "spinner" (80-100 rpm pedal cadence). The drag is more noticeable if you are a "masher", but that is bad form/less efficient anyway
    - Designed to take high torque (e-bikes), so these hubs are getting a reputation for being pretty bombproof and reliable.
    - continuously variable gearing, so you never have to deal with a "gap" between gears (such as the one between 5 and 6 on the Alfine)

    The "eh" (i.e. not "bad" in my book, just not preferable or could be better IMO):
    - 1 pound heavier than an Alfine 8 speed hub. I only notice this when I lift the bike. I can't really tell much of a difference when I bunny hop.
    - The grip shifter spans the entire 360% range of the hub in 3/4 of a turn, so I've needed to learn how to make REALLY small micro-turns to fine tune the gear to my pace. IMO I'd rather have a shifter that makes smaller adjustments, but I've adapted.


    I have not found any things about the hub that I would consider "bad" yet.

    Here's a shot of mine:

    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
    Coming soon (winter project) Ciocc Designer '84 mod build
    Temporary (on loan from a buddy): 1985 Raleigh Prestige

  4. #4
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    I have one and regret the purchase. The hub is likely well under 70% efficient. It feels like trying to pedal in tar. I converted a nexus 3 speed and will be going back. With the nexus I could pop my front wheel off the ground when taking off from a stop, not so with the Nuvinci. I also have to take many rests on the larger hills here when I did not need to on my nexus. I have about 150 miles on the Nuvinci and don't see putting many more, it's just that bad.

    Now on flat ground the hub works as it should and is easy to shift.

    I HIGHLY suggest trying one out first. At this point I feel robbed of $500.

  5. #5
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
    I have one and regret the purchase. The hub is likely well under 70% efficient. It feels like trying to pedal in tar. I converted a nexus 3 speed and will be going back. With the nexus I could pop my front wheel off the ground when taking off from a stop, not so with the Nuvinci. I also have to take many rests on the larger hills here when I did not need to on my nexus. I have about 150 miles on the Nuvinci and don't see putting many more, it's just that bad.

    Now on flat ground the hub works as it should and is easy to shift.

    I HIGHLY suggest trying one out first. At this point I feel robbed of $500.
    $500? Mine was $325.

    Interesting to hear your observations - certainly not my experience with it thus far. I spin at 80-110 rpm, and do not notice any drag, though I've heard that you can feel drag at lower rpms. Again, I don't notice it, but I rarely drop below 80.

    That said, if my bike were only to be designated for pavement/gravel riding, I'd personally go for the Alfine 11 (I had actually purchased one, but reconsidered after reading about people blowing the 1st and 2nd ratios offroad). The Nexus/Alfine 8 is a really nice hub, too, but the 5-6 jump is a deal killer for me, after having spent many miles in headwinds between the two gears.
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
    Coming soon (winter project) Ciocc Designer '84 mod build
    Temporary (on loan from a buddy): 1985 Raleigh Prestige

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    Quote Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
    I have one and regret the purchase. The hub is likely well under 70% efficient. It feels like trying to pedal in tar. I converted a nexus 3 speed and will be going back. With the nexus I could pop my front wheel off the ground when taking off from a stop, not so with the Nuvinci. I also have to take many rests on the larger hills here when I did not need to on my nexus. I have about 150 miles on the Nuvinci and don't see putting many more, it's just that bad.

    Now on flat ground the hub works as it should and is easy to shift.

    I HIGHLY suggest trying one out first. At this point I feel robbed of $500.
    I read something about the efficiency of it but no one had any numbers so I actually did a little experiment myself. I didn't check it over the entire range but I picked a couple spots and I found it to be within 5-7% of the efficiency of my derailleur-equipped setup. I'd be surprised if I was off more than a couple percentage points, plus I think being able to bring yourself into that optimum cadence could improve the human efficiency enough to make the whole thing a wash. I know my max power output pedaling at 80 rpm is less than it is at 100 rpm.

    Any pics of the other N360-equipped bikes?

  7. #7
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    I use one all the time and really like it. The adjustment (shifting) is easier if you are not up mashing the pedals, but it's never difficult. Shimano can take their units and stuff 'em. After a small retaining pin broke in mine, they told me my only possible solution would be to buy a new unit, they stopped making parts when they changed the unit. So I bought a new one, a Nuvinci and have been very happy with it in daily use for the past two years.
    IMG_0496.JPG
    Marc
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    $500? Mine was $325.

    Interesting to hear your observations - certainly not my experience with it thus far. I spin at 80-110 rpm, and do not notice any drag, though I've heard that you can feel drag at lower rpms. Again, I don't notice it, but I rarely drop below 80.

    That said, if my bike were only to be designated for pavement/gravel riding, I'd personally go for the Alfine 11 (I had actually purchased one, but reconsidered after reading about people blowing the 1st and 2nd ratios offroad). The Nexus/Alfine 8 is a really nice hub, too, but the 5-6 jump is a deal killer for me, after having spent many miles in headwinds between the two gears.
    I'm a bicycle commuter, not a sports cyclist. I don't record my cadence, nor do I care. If I had to guess I likely am well under your 80-110 rpm as I am a slow rider, rarely breaking 15kph. So I likely am around 50 or so. (Sorry if this sounds rude)

    All I can say is it just does not feel like my pedals are connected to my wheel. I step on the pedal and I feel a give without any wheel turning. The people at the Nuvinci forums claim this is normal for a new hub and it will break in (wish the advertising would have mentioned this). They also sidestep the issue when asked about efficiency. It's clear they know the hub has an efficiency problem but just don't want to face facts.

    That is sad as I do like the shifting of the hub and find it simple to find a good gear when on flat ground. I also like how smooth the pedaling is, again on flat ground. Any incline and the hub totally bombs. If I could get the efficiency of the nexus with the shifting of the Nuvinci I would be happy.

    All I am saying is take a test ride first if you can. I may have a bad hub and they may actually be quite good, but that's just not been my experience.

  9. #9
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
    I'm a bicycle commuter, not a sports cyclist. I don't record my cadence, nor do I care. If I had to guess I likely am well under your 80-110 rpm as I am a slow rider, rarely breaking 15kph. So I likely am around 50 or so. (Sorry if this sounds rude)
    Nope, not rude at all.
    I don't record my cadence, either. Even when riding slowly, I maintain a steady cadence (cadence is not related to speed, it is related to the gear ratio you've chosen).

    I agree that the Nuvinci does feel "different" than the more mechanical Shimano hubs - not bad in my estimation, just different. I've not noticed the "disconnected" feel that you've experienced. If I want to pick up the pace, I spin up a bit and adjust the gearing to suit my comfortable cruising cadence, and it feels pretty seamless to me. I've done some pretty steep hills, and the hub has worked fine for me. I suspect that the efficiency is a touch lower in the lower range, though it could be a cadence thing. If I'm grinding up a really steep grade in the lowest gear setting and cannot maintain my spin (out of saddle, etc) I do feel a little drag in those circumstances.

    Because of this, I am inclined to guess that the lower cadence that you maintain is what might be contributing to your experience. I'll try it on my bike on the flats and will report back.

    For general info on this thread, I have been out lately in our cooler air, and can report that I do not notice any difference in the hub's operation in the 5-15 degree F temperature range. This has been an area of curiosity with folks on other forums, wondering about if cooler temps affect the viscosity of the fluid.
    Last edited by canyoneagle; 01-01-13 at 02:11 AM.
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
    Coming soon (winter project) Ciocc Designer '84 mod build
    Temporary (on loan from a buddy): 1985 Raleigh Prestige

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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    Nope, not rude at all.
    I don't record my cadence, either. Even when riding slowly, I maintain a steady cadence (cadence is not related to speed, it is related to the gear ratio you've chosen).

    I agree that the Nuvinci does feel "different" than the more mechanical Shimano hubs - not bad in my estimation, just different. I've not noticed the "disconnected" feel that you've experienced. If I want to pick up the pace, I spin up a bit and adjust the gearing to suit my comfortable cruising cadence, and it feels pretty seamless to me. I've done some pretty steep hills, and the hub has worked fine for me. I suspect that the efficiency is a touch lower in the lower range, though it could be a cadence thing. If I'm grinding up a really steep grade in the lowest gear setting and cannot maintain my spin (out of saddle, etc) I do feel a little drag in those circumstances.

    Because of this, I am inclined to guess that the lower cadence that you maintain is what might be contributing to your experience. I'll try it on my bike on the flats and will report back.

    For general info on this thread, I have been out lately in our cooler air, and can report that I do not notice any difference in the hub's operation in the 5-15 degree F temperature range. This has been an area of curiosity with folks on other forums, wondering about if cooler temps affect the viscosity of the fluid.
    I tried out lower cadences and still felt "connected." It might have been a bad hub. I think they have a pretty good warranty.

  11. #11
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    Nope, not rude at all.

    For general info on this thread, I have been out lately in our cooler air, and can report that I do not notice any difference in the hub's operation in the 5-15 degree F temperature range. This has been an area of curiosity with folks on other forums, wondering about if cooler temps affect the viscosity of the fluid.

    I had a problem with the shift interface in very cold weather. I found that water had gotten in, it is a plastic case which attaches the cables to the hub. After I cleaned it and relubed the little gears with Phil grease, I had not problem.

    Marc
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    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    I had a problem with the shift interface in very cold weather. I found that water had gotten in, it is a plastic case which attaches the cables to the hub. After I cleaned it and relubed the little gears with Phil grease, I had not problem.

    Marc
    Hey Marc,

    What part of Michigan are you from? I can't PM yet but I can probably receive them.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    For general info on this thread, I have been out lately in our cooler air, and can report that I do not notice any difference in the hub's operation in the 5-15 degree F temperature range. This has been an area of curiosity with folks on other forums, wondering about if cooler temps affect the viscosity of the fluid.
    I too can report the hub feels and acts no differently in -15°c weather compare to 40°c. The shifter is a different story as in colder weather it gets a bit harder to shift, and harder still at a stop, but it is still usable. I have more problems with brakes in the winter than the drivetrain anyway. I can put up with take offs being a bit slower, I don't like longer stops.

  14. #14
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    I'm looking to replace my Nexus 8 with either a N360 or an Alfine-11. The bicycle I'm going to be putting it on is over 50 lbs unloaded, regularly hauls 25-35# of groceries, and I'm planning on getting a cargo trailer for it. Most of my area is flat, but there are some doozies - 10% grades for a 1/4 mile or so. Which hub would be best? I don't think my bike could take disc brakes, so the braking systems available aren't a factor.
    Last edited by kookaburra1701; 01-03-13 at 02:00 PM.
    2014 Specialized Dolce, 1987 Schwinn Tempo, 2012 Windsor Kensington 8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 View Post
    I'm looking to replace my Nexus 8 with either a N360 or an Alfine-11. The bicycle I'm going to be putting it on is over 50 lbs unloaded, regularly hauls 25-35# of groceries, and I'm planning on getting a cargo trailer for it. Most of my area is flat, but there are some doozies - 10% grades for a mile or so. Which hub would be best? I don't think my bike could take disc brakes, so the braking systems available aren't a factor.
    I noticed my Alfine-8 did not like to be shifted under heavy loads (really accelerating, going up steeper hills, etc). And going up a 10% grade on a 50# lb bike with a trailer sounds like you'd be in that situation quite often. I think that's really one of the conditions where the Nuvinci really shines. You can downshift after you transition onto the hill instead of having to preempt it with the geared IGHs.

  16. #16
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    I test rode a bike not too long ago with the newer N360, and it blew my mind. I really went all out, pushed the limits in a large parking lot. I'm a big guy and it could take my weight and everything i threw at it. My old cruiser had a nexus 4 speed, and it definitely needed downshift BEFORE hills, vs adjusting real-time. My verdict so far on N360 is 2 thumbs up.

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  17. #17
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I also have a Seek 0, and if the hub goes at some point I'm going to really think about the Nuvinci. I find the gear jumps on the Alfine 8 to be too wide, sometimes I can never find the right gear.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  18. #18
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    These things are pretty awesome sounding; if I was upgrading from any other hub I'd certainly check it out.

    M.

  19. #19
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    I love my Nuvinci. It took a while for me to learn to shift in increments. Now I shift in small amounts constantly adjusting for slight changes in wind and slope.

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