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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 10-15-12, 04:24 PM   #1
Skankingbiker
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IGH for gravel grinders?

Looking to expand my gravel grinding endurance events next year. I am wondering if an IGH would be appropriate. Particularly, I am looking at the S/A S3X 3-speed "fixed hub" and the Sram Automatix 2-speed auto-shift. I normally ride single speed, but want an extra gear for the hills. Would either of these two hubs stand up to the dirt/mud/dust of a long distance gravel grinder?

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Old 10-15-12, 04:33 PM   #2
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IGHs are great for eliminating the derailleur that can get ripped off by branches or ruts. I would probably stick with a freewheeling one so that you can avoid pedal strike in the ruts. (I was nearly toppled a couple times riding my fixed-gear on during this year's Gravel Metric.)
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Old 10-15-12, 04:40 PM   #3
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IGHs are great for eliminating the derailleur that can get ripped off by branches or ruts. I would probably stick with a freewheeling one so that you can avoid pedal strike in the ruts. (I was nearly toppled a couple times riding my fixed-gear on during this year's Gravel Metric.)
You can run a freewheel on the S3X
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Old 10-15-12, 06:22 PM   #4
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I have an S3X that I use for in town commutes. I personally find that the gear range isn't wide enough for the mixture of terrain that one finds in New England, so I personally wouldn't use one for a gravel ride, but I do love the hub for getting around the city.
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Old 10-15-12, 06:39 PM   #5
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I don't know where they get all the money for gravel around here, but it's tough to stand up on our hills. Kinda wish they would skip a year on the gravel, it makes it a little too exciting sometimes. Not sure how much fun it would be on an over-geared bike.
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Old 10-15-12, 08:13 PM   #6
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Gravel grinding doesn't involve the really technical terrain faced in mountain biking or the heavy loads of touring. These are two applications where IGH has generally not been recommended unless you run a very sturdy IGH like a Rohloff. So, it would be an interesting experiment to try an IGH for gravel grinding. Weight has always been the #1 concern as IGHs are still about the same or heavier than a derailleur system (depending on what you choose.) Fixing flats apparently requires at least a larger nut wrench (which many multitools don't have) and possibly a little longer time (YMMV.) If I were going that route, I personally, however, would also choose an IGH that offers lower gear ratios.
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Old 10-14-13, 07:31 PM   #7
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I just did 50 miles on a 26er with a Nexus IGH 8 spd. It was fine. Here in MN terrain is pretty flat but we had some decent hills. I spun out on the downhills but never used gears one or two. I know that info does not really help bc I don't know the inches on the bike but whatever.

The bike was totally heavy - Cetma five rail on the front, loaded pannier on the back, but weight was not my concern. If weight was a concern, no way on the IGH. As mentioned, extra tools are too much (and I have a roller brake).

Yes. I know it's a year old.
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Old 10-15-13, 05:44 PM   #8
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Yeah, it's an old thread....

The S3X hub has a pretty narrow range. I ride one on Long Island. Good fun. But there are no gravel roads there, and the sand is too soft to ride on. So that bike doesn't go off road.

I have a bike with an old AW hub, and fatter tires, that I ride on sand roads in New Jersey's pinelands. No problems.

Off road riding is really more about the tires than the transmission.
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