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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 04-17-07, 11:11 AM   #1
yairi
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Any internally geared hubs suitable for cyclocross?

or that style of riding anyway?

Aside from a Rohloff?

Apparently the SRAM T-3 has essentially the same efficiency as a derailleur system. But I don't know how suited it would be to hard riding.
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Old 04-18-07, 09:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by yairi
or that style of riding anyway?

Aside from a Rohloff?

Apparently the SRAM T-3 has essentially the same efficiency as a derailleur system. But I don't know how suited it would be to hard riding.
Sheldon uses the Red Brand, Ultegra level, Shimano Nexus hub on the Bianchi SanJose to make the SanJos8. He doesn't explicitly say it will hold up to cross, but he does believe it will hold up to touring.
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Old 04-18-07, 10:12 PM   #3
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I don't know, those things are HEAVY. If you're racing, don't bother.
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Old 04-19-07, 06:40 AM   #4
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I thought by the time you took away the 2 front chain rings, the rear cassette, some chain links, the front and rear Derailleur, the front shifter and cable that the weight was pretty much identical.
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Old 04-19-07, 08:35 AM   #5
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i use the red band Nexus 8 on my crosscheck, but as a commuter and so far it is great at that job. too am interested in it's viability for cross as it is not affected by mud/chainsuck and it has a suitable gear range. I plan on trying it out soon with a bit of trail riding, i'll let you know what i think. It can be shifted with out pedaling too, pretty convenient.
Yes, it is heavy, I'm over it. That horse has been kicked. I weigh 218, a 21.8 lb bike is 10% bodyweight. How many 140 lb. guys ride 14 lb. bikes? What i mean to say is: weight is relative, and if weight is really your primary concern I'm sure that your quest for carbon and 200 gram tires would have overwhelmed any thoughts of an internal gear hub... they're just not that sexy.

Thanks to anyone who has any real world experience with riding a gearhub in cross races.

-Leo
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Old 04-19-07, 08:48 AM   #6
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no experience, but also very interested.
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Old 04-19-07, 01:59 PM   #7
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I have built 30 odd or so Rohloff bicycles. I firmly believe in the hub and it has been very reliable for all my customers.

There is a weight penalty but it is not as much as many people make it out to be. Compared to a mid level system like XT it is just a tick over a pound. Guess about 1.5 pounds for a road system. Road bikes that I have made with this hub have averaged around 22lbs. I currently ride a 29nr at 26.5lbs with the hub.

Would this work for cyclocross. Yes and no. It would certainly work and be a very nice system to have in adverse conditions, but compared to some of the ultra light cyclo bikes, if you had to shoulder it a lot the extra weight may be an issue. If you are not racing in the top classes, I would say it’s absolutely fine.

I think more than weight, I just love the hub for its total reliability and great shifting. Many people who pipe up about the hub have never ridden one. I think if they could give it a little time, many would see its advantages.

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Old 04-19-07, 02:28 PM   #8
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I love the idea of the Rohloff. I can see it being the cat's meow for MTBs. What I don't love is the price, weight, and relatively poor efficiency.

I think a 3-speed might be just the thing for me, or maybe a 4-speed. But will they stand up to sprinting, hard out-of-the-saddle climbs, etc. That is the question.
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Old 04-19-07, 04:06 PM   #9
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I would think the three speed will hold up for a while. Sooner or later they will give up but they are relatively inexpensive so maybe it would be worth it.

The price of the Rohloff is in line with other high end parts kits (XTR). Realize that it is a low production, made in Germany item and it could only get cheaper if serious cuts in materials were made and production was moved to Asia. The biggest reason they are as expensive as they are is the historically weak dollar against the Euro and the only ones we have to blame for that is ourselves (government) The Chinese dollar is basically locked with our own and therefore affords us beneficial trade.

Efficiency? The Rohloff is the most efficient gear hub ever produced. Naturally, certain gears are more efficient than others in the Rohloff (i.e. the direct drive gears are nearly 100% efficient) some of the other gears that go through multiple planetaries are less so. This is a condition of all gear hubs, not just the Rohloff. The T-3 is no more efficient than the Rohloff; then again, a three speed hub is one direct gear, one under-driven and over-driven gear.

Whether a reduction in overall efficiency in 3 gears (Rohloff) over a well maintained derailleur system that is not cross-chained makes a real world difference? I haven't noticed it for the kind of riding I do.

Weight, yes its heavier. I do believe you may see a lighter hub at some point but some longevity will be sacrificed to achieve this. The SRAM 3 is not that light either. Wonder if you would really save much?

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Old 04-19-07, 05:54 PM   #10
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By no means arguing that the Rohloff isn't worth the price, I'm quite sure it is, I just don't have the wherewithal at the moment

The efficiency of several of these hubs has been quite thoroughly tested - see here. The SRAM T-3 was the best in this test; however, the example they used had been relubricated with light oil instead of the usual grease. A similarly treated Sturmey AW was right on its heels. The Rohloff was generally superior to the Shimano and Sturmey 7-speeds. Now, I know that the AW has had trouble with jumping out of gear under strain ... I wish I knew whether the SRAM had similar issues. I also wish I could remember where it was that I heard about a fix for that problem.

By the way Dave that tandem you showed at NAHBS was completely mind-bending. Nicely done.
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Old 04-19-07, 10:24 PM   #11
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Thank you for the paper, I had not seen that before. Very informative.

I would say, and it was mentioned in the paper that breaking in a speedhub is critical to how it feels.

This is just personal experience. I have no way to test it, but a Speedhub becomes much smoother in time. Enough that you can definitely feel the difference.

I have spoken to Bernie, the inventor of the Speedhub and he says this is true. The hub is built super tight and none of the gears are pre-polished or pre-run in at the factory. The reason? It would increase the cost even more as would helical gears which would decrease noise. So he leaves it to us, the rider to do the work of breaking in the hub through riding it.

It takes a long time. IMHO at least 1000 mi. I have ridden hubs with over 20k miles and they even feel a lot better than the 1000mi ones. So I wonder if a Sram is more efficient from the start only because its tolerances are so much lower than the Speedhub? And therefore has less friction. It would be interesting to test a brand new speedhub vs. a well worn in hub and see if that actually has an effect on efficiency. It certainly has a huge effect on noise and shifting ease (well broken in hubs are substantially quieter and easier to shift than new ones)

Also, there has been an update to the seals since that test and this has had an effect on initial drag in the hub. It is something that I could tell when they made the change but I don't know if that would effect efficiency or not.

BTW, a small tidbit. The same company that makes the gears for Mercedes Benz also makes the gears for the Rohloff hub.

Thank you for the compliment on the tandem. It is quite fun to ride. Hopefully, that hub will break in twice as fast with double the torque through it....maybe
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Old 04-20-07, 12:32 AM   #12
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I think Rohloff is totally worth the price, and compared to a full XT group, the weight penalty ain't huge. The weight distribution however is an other thing, and changing wheels is slightly more expensive.
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Old 04-20-07, 12:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dbohemian
Road bikes that I have made with this hub have averaged around 22lbs. I currently ride a 29nr at 26.5lbs with the hub.
Road bikes? What shift levers did you go for?
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Old 04-20-07, 01:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguy
I don't know, those things are HEAVY. If you're racing, don't bother.
While the hub is heavy, the rest of the drivetrain isn't. Remember, you are loosing the cassette and rear der. The chain is also much shorter and lighter. If you go just 8 sp, you also loose the ft der. I would venture to say the increased weight of the hub is offset by the decrease of parts.

Tim
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Old 04-20-07, 06:44 AM   #15
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If you go just 8 sp, you also loose the ft der. I would venture to say the increased weight of the hub is offset by the decrease of parts. Tim
14 speeds!

Here is a entry I made to the Tandem list comparing weight of the hub. at least on tandems.

*****************************************************************

"We were speaking of the Weight of a Rohloff internally geared hub on another thread and it got me interested exactly what the difference was so I calculated it.

I went to weightweenies.com for the numbers.

I compared hub, cassette, front/rear mech, shifter/brake levers and cranks

1. First example is shimano XT/ultegra with a rear disk option,

2581 grms or 5.69lbs

2. All dura ace, hugi hub, non disk

2243grm or 4.94 lbs

3. Rohloff disk version, lightweight double crank, and cane creek brake levers, includes shifter

2681 grm or 5.91lbs"


********************************************************

It gives a rough idea.

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Old 04-20-07, 07:03 AM   #16
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Road bikes? What shift levers did you go for?
I just use the standard Rohloff shifter. I cut down the handlebar a few inches, if needed. I then machine a sleeve that goes into the end of the drop bar and bond it there permanently. Then I slip the shifter over it.

It is my favorite spot and a natural one to use. I guess I am dating myself in that I am familiar with bar end shifters so just dropping you right or left hand is normal.

I know people people love the built in brake/shifters but there is no way to make anything like that work with the Speedhub, it just pulls way to much cable.

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