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Old 10-19-11, 12:16 PM   #1
Derailed
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IGH Folder for Touring -- Worth the Weight / Reduced Gear Range?

I know these topics have been discussed before, but if anyone is so inclined, I'd be interested to hear current thinking based on the latest options in terms of bikes and hubs.

I already have a nicely equipped Surly LHT (link to a blog post about my LHT), but I'm interested in a folder that I could readily take on Amtrak for roughly week-long tours with front and rear panniers.

It seems like my best bet is probably Bike Friday's New World Tourist (link to Bike Friday's page on the NWT Select), but I'm intrigued by internally geared options such as the new (availability?) Tern Verge S 11i (link to Thorn USA) or maybe even a custom NWT built around an Alfine 11 hub.

I'm more concerned about extra weight than I am about reduced gear range. Although I've never had to on my LHT, I don't mind the idea of having to get off and push were I to tour in a mountainous area. My attraction to the IGH is to reduce vulnerability when the bike is folded up and placed in luggage compartments and overhead luggage racks and, I suppose, overall sleekness.
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Old 10-19-11, 01:19 PM   #2
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thorn usa ??? lol
I know I am a thorn in a couple peeples side....

its a matter of preference .... IGH are cool as they offer a clean look, with greatgearing and usually low maintenance .... but they do weigh more and in case u have a problem only few shops can fix them
the verge s 11 i is a very cool bike and is promised for November

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Old 10-19-11, 01:41 PM   #3
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thorn usa ??? lol
I know I am a thorn in a couple peeples side....
Sorry for the typo, and thanks for the reply!
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Old 10-19-11, 02:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Derailed View Post
I know these topics have been discussed before, but if anyone is so inclined, I'd be interested to hear current thinking based on the latest options in terms of bikes and hubs.

I already have a nicely equipped Surly LHT (link to a blog post about my LHT), but I'm interested in a folder that I could readily take on Amtrak for roughly week-long tours with front and rear panniers.

It seems like my best bet is probably Bike Friday's New World Tourist (link to Bike Friday's page on the NWT Select), but I'm intrigued by internally geared options such as the new (availability?) Tern Verge S 11i (link to Thorn USA) or maybe even a custom NWT built around an Alfine 11 hub.

I'm more concerned about extra weight than I am about reduced gear range. Although I've never had to on my LHT, I don't mind the idea of having to get off and push were I to tour in a mountainous area. My attraction to the IGH is to reduce vulnerability when the bike is folded up and placed in luggage compartments and overhead luggage racks and, I suppose, overall sleekness.
I had toured more than 8 months off the Western States of USA a few years back with a New World Tourist equipped with a Sachs 3x7 and an 8 speed derailleur. In terms of reliability, the hub never broke. Though I had to pay lots of moola after riding it 8000 miles later for a major overhaul.

It's true that IGH reduces the chance of a bent derailleur hanger. But you can always remove the hanger during transport. It's relatively easy.
Things I don't like the IGH hub for are 2 things. Weight and efficiency as I feel that the hub was dragging. I usually end up either on high or low and rarely on the direct end of the hub. Plus, you have to carry a wrench to remove the wheel to fix a flat. With a derailleur bike, you only have to deal with quick release skewers. Again, more weight.

Lastly, IGH hubs are geared fixed with ratios that you might or might not use all on a tour. Rule of thumb when touring is to ensure that all the gears you carry you use. Otherwise, it's going to end up as dead weight and you'll going to regret it when you start climbing.

My current Dahon Mu SL has a 2x9 gear system custom chosen to be used in almost all terrain (steep hills to flat pancake), applying what I learned from my many tours to a bike gearing system that is efficient (no dragging) and light weight.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-19-11, 03:28 PM   #5
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We have Dual Drive Systems (3-speed IGH and 9-speed Derailleur) on our custom Fridays. Have been riding them for 4 years with zero problems. We don't ride the distances OP is considering, but I am on mine almost every day. I have gone to a chain ring size (46T) that keeps us in direct-drive on the hub for 95% of our riding - don't really feel any drag in High or Low though. Anyway, who cares about drag on the high end - we are not trying to set speed records on the downhills. On the climbs it's nice to have all the extra gears - wife always wants a couple of extras, just in case.

We have two pocket 8's to compare with 8-speed derailleur, only. No real performance difference IMO.

If weight and "drag" are concerns, then the 2 x 9 set-up mentioned by pacificcyclist would seem to be a good solution.

Lou
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Old 10-19-11, 04:45 PM   #6
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I have 2 planetary gears: a mountain drive crank and an AW3 rear hub,
the range is large ,
because the 3 hub gears are used twice, in Low and High range.

both being planetaria , the shifting can function at any speed, even stopped.
heel on crank shift button and the 3 speed trigger on the bars.

So a low of 18" and a high of almost 80 GI results.
on my Brompton..

their 6 speed uses a pair of cogs on a 3 speed hub. It works too.
wider hub internal ratios, half stepped with a 13&15t cog..

I read of another's touring on theirs , adding a 2 range crank with 2 chainrings

don't so much as shift between the 2, as have one for a lot of climbing,
and another for rolling milder terrain changes .
greasy finger for the upshift. so chain settles in for a while..

recent buy: a Bike Friday pocket Llama, featuring a Rohloff hub,
has an adequate gear range, proven, to suit many world travelers, ..
though not the folding ability of the Brompton, it is made to pack down
for travel rather than fold as a daily commuter

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-20-11 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 10-19-11, 07:13 PM   #7
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I've had an Nexus 8 Bike Friday NWT for years. It works great. The whole IGH question is a set of trade offs:

- IGH less vulnerable, but if they break you are out of luck vs. a derailleur
- less maintenance, but heavier
- stronger wheel, but heavier
- easier to adjust, but lower efficiency

I've got Rohloffs, Alfines and I've had 3 x7 pre-dual drive combo systems as well as lots of derailleur bikes.

Ultimately I think it's a wash. If you gave me a 3 x 8 derailleur NWT I just get on it and ride. I can certainly select specific scenarios where you might be better off with a IGH or a derailleur.
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Old 10-20-11, 06:52 AM   #8
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
My current Dahon Mu SL has a 2x9 gear system custom chosen to be used in almost all terrain (steep hills to flat pancake), applying what I learned from my many tours to a bike gearing system that is efficient (no dragging) and light weight.
I would be interested in learning more about your gearing for the Mu SL. I have an SL which I love, but would prefer an extended gear range for some longer distance rides (day tours). I am low tech, so need to know if this is an adaptation that can be made reasonably easily on an existing 9 speed bike, and what would need to be changed to make it work well. Thanks.
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Old 10-20-11, 07:25 AM   #9
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The only person on the Yahoo IGH board who compared a Shimano Alfine 11 head-to-head with a NuVinci N360 returned the Shimano hub to the shop where he purchased it, and happily continued riding the NuVinci. Yeah, this surprised me, too.

Anyway, if you like the Tern Verge S11i, also take a look at the Dahon Mu N360.
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Old 10-20-11, 08:16 AM   #10
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an easy upgrade is to get a second front chainring ... a couple teeth lower count ( not 10 or more ) 5 or 6 is a good step in the right direction... than just "shift" the cahin with your hands if it gets hilly , or when you pull a trailer, or if its supoer hot.. you get the idea.

works better when u keep the chain nice and clean :-)

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Old 10-20-11, 08:54 AM   #11
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The only person on the Yahoo IGH board who compared a Shimano Alfine 11 head-to-head with a NuVinci N360 returned the Shimano hub to the shop where he purchased it, and happily continued riding the NuVinci. Yeah, this surprised me, too.

Anyway, if you like the Tern Verge S11i, also take a look at the Dahon Mu N360.
A guy contacted me on my blog super excited about the Nuvinci he installed on his MTB. He even sent me a review which I posted. Less than a year later he emailed me to tell me he had ditched the hub. I can't recall if he went to another IGH or back to derailleurs. I've tried Nuvinci bikes and I've been offered screaming deals to review a Nuvinci, but I've just been so underwhelmed so far that I don't want to spend even a few $$ on one.
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Old 10-20-11, 11:23 AM   #12
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Love my Dual drive folders!!
But a good multi speed IHG must make sense on a bike thats folded alot and needs to take alot of hammer.
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Old 10-20-11, 01:28 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Ms. Bibendum;13389855]
Quote:
I would be interested in learning more about your gearing for the Mu SL. I have an SL which I love, but would prefer an extended gear range for some longer distance rides (day tours). I am low tech, so need to know if this is an adaptation that can be made reasonably easily on an existing 9 speed bike, and what would need to be changed to make it work well. Thanks.
It's pretty easy. The Mu SL already runs a normal double crankset with a 130BCD. So, if you are cool with the 53, simply remove the chain guard and move the 53T chain ring into that. Then, the space where the 53 sits in can be replaced by any number of chain rings sizes. FSA and other companies sell a number of unique sizes in 130BCD from 38 all the way to a 55T in good teeth increments. Thor is correct. Go down 5 to 6 tooth from 53T yield around a 46T/48T as your second chain ring. This combination may give you a similar range as a typical 700c roadie double crankset. Use Sheldon Brown's gear calculator to help you get the right ring size. 2x9 is good enough to do centuries (I have done that). For light loaded touring, I replaced both the 53T/46Twith a 46T/39T setup. I have 2 chains setup and have no problems dragging 4 panniers. But then, I have to really watch my loaded weight as the pair spoked wheels aren't meant for serious loaded touring. Very easy to install and take off for any low tech person.

There are ways to change the gears. If you don't want to have greasy fingers, buy a bunch of popsicle sticks (cheap) and use that to switch. I have flexible ankles(thanks to Yoga), so I use my toe to downshift. Sometimes, I can upshift using my toe or use the stick. Back pedalling helps to switch the gear more easier.

If you want to add a little bit of automation however, good old Thor USA sells a front derailleur hanger so you can shift using a shifter setup. He sells one for the Mu frame for like around $40+ or so.

Ask him.

Last edited by pacificcyclist; 10-20-11 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 10-21-11, 06:47 AM   #14
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Thanks guys,
That helps a lot, and gives me something to think about and work on when the snow flies. I am OK with the 53T ring for the lower gears, but was hoping to get a little higher gearing to better keep up on the flats with a bunch of people who mostly ride road bikes. Would a 55T ring give me this and would it fit?
Maybe it's the ancient engine I am not well versed in the mechanics of gearing and have to look up most things! Comments and advice are always welcome.
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Old 10-21-11, 09:00 AM   #15
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Ms B,
If you can reduce the size of the cog on the hub,
one tooth less is = to more, in terms of %,
than a couple teeth, added to the chainring.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-21-11 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 10-21-11, 02:03 PM   #16
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Gettin reduced gearing with a IGH and double chainring.

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Old 10-22-11, 11:58 AM   #17
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Ms. B,

You might want to consider building another rear wheel using the Shimano Capreo. This gives you two smaller cogs
to bring your gears higher in conjunction to your double chain ring. This setup will give you very close to road gears, easy to keep up with any road rider.
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Old 10-23-11, 09:44 AM   #18
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A lot of Brompton owners seem to tour just fine with the reduced gearing on the 6 speed version. I don't know first hand as I don't tour, my B is just to always have a bike in my vehicle and I couldn't care less about keeping up with other riders, I ride for my pleasure and exercise. However, do a little googling and you'll find many people touring on Bromptons without more than six gears. Personally, I have mixed feelings about IGH gearing but that's what you get on a B. As to weight, lose a couple pounds.
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Old 10-23-11, 10:30 AM   #19
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NB, It, an IGH, replaces a lot of derailleur drivetrain parts,
so weigh the stuff that is not needed, in forming a conclusion..
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Old 10-23-11, 11:07 AM   #20
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Thanks for the replies, everyone!

Regarding the weight: my concern isn't for while biking, but for when I carry the folder onto trains. I currently have a Dahon Boardwalk S1, and at 31.5 pounds, I frequently wish it were lighter when I carry it on and, occasionally, have to lift it overhead.

I've toured in the Midwest on a full-sized bike with a Nexus 8-speed IGH, and that provided plenty of gearing. I bet I'd be fine with either that or, even better, the Alfine 11.

I won't be buying until late winter: I'm looking forward to an early-spring tour either from SF to LA or from DC to Pittsburgh along the C&O Canal / GAP, using Amtrak to get me to the start and end points in either case. I mention this just to stress that I've got some time to play with.

Currently I'm leaning toward a NWT with the Alfine 11, but perhaps after learning more about the Terns I'll tip that way. That said, I don't yet know the cost of an Alfine 11-equipped NWT, and although price isn't a huge issue, it's not a trivial concern, either.

Anyway, thank you all again for the food for though -- it is much appreciated!
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Old 10-23-11, 01:44 PM   #21
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Currently I'm leaning toward a NWT with the Alfine 11, but perhaps after learning more about the Terns I'll tip that way. That said, I don't yet know the cost of an Alfine 11-equipped NWT, and although price isn't a huge issue, it's not a trivial concern, either.
Whichever folder you get make sure it fits well. Bike Fridays are available in custom sizing to suit you. I haven't paid that much attention to Terns so I'm not sure if they are doing the one size fits some thing like Dahon or if they've something new in the works??
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Old 10-23-11, 04:12 PM   #22
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This is on the bay right now http://www.ebay.com/itm/Raleigh-fold...item4aaffb6fe8
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