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Old 04-05-10, 10:45 AM   #1
tdbmd
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Internal gears?

I see that many of the hybrids/comfort bikes have a Shimano internal 8 speed gearing. What is the situation with these? My son will be going away to college in the fall and he will most likely need a bike there. Are these internal geared bikes more maintenance free than traditionally geared bikes? How about if he wants to ride it for some fitness and not just commuting around campus?

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.
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Old 04-05-10, 01:10 PM   #2
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I am no expert, but they claim to be more maintenance free. The other cool thing is you can shift while stoped, at least my gf's retro cruiser with a 3 speed hug gear you can. I think the only downfall is weight.
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Old 04-05-10, 01:32 PM   #3
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I considered these at one point mainly due to the reduced amount of maintenance. However I stopped wanting them after I realised I do hardly any maintenance on my derailleurs and they work ok. Also I can work on my derailleurs myself - don't need to take them to a shop, and they are cheaper, have a better and more adjustable gear range, and weigh less. I saw on "The man who cycled the Americas" that Mark Beaumont was using a 14 speed Rohloff hub, but even with this I don't think I'd swap out my derailleur.

I guess they are good if you want to do ZERO maintenance for a long time, but when the time comes for that maintenance it will need to be in a shop!
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Old 04-05-10, 01:41 PM   #4
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Not for a long time. Modern IGH's seldom need maintenance and those hubs that have malfunctioned are all cases where people do maintenance in spite of the fact its best left up to a LBS!

I have Shimano Nexus and Alfine hubs on various bikes and have never had a problem with them in day to day operation.
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Old 04-05-10, 10:05 PM   #5
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I think a more bigger concern is the bike parking situation at college. I would buy the best Kryptonite Chain and hand it to him because he's going to need it! A thick cable for the front wheel and you should be set.
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Old 04-06-10, 07:17 AM   #6
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I don't have alot of miles on my IGH I built last summer but I like it. for a college enviroment they would be usefull as they may have a chainguard to protect his pants, lower maintenance and fewer external parts for vandals.
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Old 04-06-10, 11:15 AM   #7
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Thanks for the insights. The big question might come down to whether it is basic transportation or if he feels like he wants to use the bike for some exercise, i.e get out for a 10-15 mile ride. It seems like most of the internal geared bikes have the more laid back, comfort type of geometry.
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