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Old 05-09-06, 06:12 AM   #1
Crankypants
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Shimano 8 speed hub

As a cheaper alternative to Rohloff, would the Shimano Nexus be capable of serious expedition touring? Is it a durable hub, or does it need a bit of tweeking while on the road? I would probably use it with very low gearing to pull BOB on my folder, and I have ended up in some far flung places in the world. I guess that I am just fed up with my derailleur system and I am looking for some alternatives. Thanks! Bonne Route!
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Old 05-09-06, 06:29 AM   #2
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I built a bike for my wife this winter and used the Nexus 8spd hub, so far so good. she has about 400 miles on it. Would I take it on a tour? Probaly not, first it isn't designed as a serious touring hub even though I went with the " redline" version( better bearings) it really is meant for casual use. secondly derailluer systems are very simple and durable. If need be repairs can be cobbled together using parts from junk 10 speeds if the need arises. If you are having issues with a derailluer system you need to learn to work on it yourself.
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Old 05-09-06, 06:31 AM   #3
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I'm doing some little tours around the UK with an SRAM Spectro 7 at the moment, but I wouldn't take it on expedition. The main reason is the gear range - I can get a 22" lowest gear using a 32 chainring and a 22 sporocket, which means that in top gear I can only pedal at about 32km/h. That's fine for hilly country, but if it was fairly flat I'd need to swap the sprocket for something smaller, maybe a 16 sprocket. I guess I could carry along sprockets for all conditions, but I'm not sure I'd want the hassle of swapping sprockets and changing chain length every few days.

Does the Shimano hub take a QR skewer? If not then how would you attach a BOB?

I think a Rohloff is the only hub gear with proven reliability in extended expedition condition - this is not to say the Shimano or SRAM hubs wouldn't be quite reliable, but its yet to be proven.
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Old 05-09-06, 09:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amaferanga
I'm doing some little tours around the UK with an SRAM Spectro 7 at the moment, but I wouldn't take it on expedition. The main reason is the gear range - I can get a 22" lowest gear using a 32 chainring and a 22 sporocket
I don't know if the hub was ment to go that low. In fact, I believe you may have extended the hub beyond it's limit and can result in damaging the internals. No internal hub gear was ment to go that low.

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 05-09-06 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 05-09-06, 10:47 AM   #5
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I have used a nexus-7 spd internal hub during light touring expeditions (hotels and sag vehicles). It was great and I'd consider it for more adventurous expeditions. BUT if the expedition were really far out, I think I'd stick with derailers. I know them and can deal with any issues better. Wouldn't want to try dismantling an "internal" in the field.
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Old 05-09-06, 10:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velonomad
I built a bike for my wife this winter and used the Nexus 8spd hub, so far so good. she has about 400 miles on it. Would I take it on a tour? Probaly not, first it isn't designed as a serious touring hub even though I went with the " redline" version( better bearings) it really is meant for casual use. secondly derailluer systems are very simple and durable. If need be repairs can be cobbled together using parts from junk 10 speeds if the need arises. If you are having issues with a derailluer system you need to learn to work on it yourself.
Actually, I do most of the work on my bike when I tour. Derailleurs work great, but if you have a bike with 20" wheels, it is more prone to being bumped by obstacles if you do anything offroad. I am careful when I ride, but I have smacked it a few times, and have had to rebend it. I am assuming by casual use that you mean that the hub would be overstressed by pulling a trailer up a steep incline. I guess I'll give it a practice run on the Great Divide, and see.....
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Old 05-09-06, 10:52 AM   #7
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I don't think that is too low for this hub. I can't find any mention of the lowest chainring/sprocket in the SRAM tech manual so (if indeed it isn't stated) in theory that means you can use any combination you want without worrying about devoiding the warranty. I know others who use similar chinring/sprocket combinations without problems. The only instance I've heard of an S7 being mashed is when someone tried using one with a Mountain Drive that gave an very very low bottom gear.
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Old 05-09-06, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amaferanga
I'm doing some little tours around the UK with an SRAM Spectro 7 at the moment, but I wouldn't take it on expedition. The main reason is the gear range - I can get a 22" lowest gear using a 32 chainring and a 22 sporocket, which means that in top gear I can only pedal at about 32km/h. That's fine for hilly country, but if it was fairly flat I'd need to swap the sprocket for something smaller, maybe a 16 sprocket. I guess I could carry along sprockets for all conditions, but I'm not sure I'd want the hassle of swapping sprockets and changing chain length every few days.

Does the Shimano hub take a QR skewer? If not then how would you attach a BOB?

I think a Rohloff is the only hub gear with proven reliability in extended expedition condition - this is not to say the Shimano or SRAM hubs wouldn't be quite reliable, but its yet to be proven.
There is an attachment for BOB that can be bolted on solid axles.
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Old 05-09-06, 11:40 AM   #9
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I've not tried the Nexus, but judging by what's been written by many that have, it's a durable, reliable hub & should be fine for touring. My wife & I have done a couple of tours with the Sachs Super 7 hub (predecessor of the SRAM 7 speed hub); one 1300 mile trip on 700c touring bikes & a 600+ mile trip on 20"-wheeled Moultons, both in hilly terrain. While we could have used a taller gear a few times, we both really like riding & touring with hub gears (after quite a few years touring with derailleur-equipped bikes, which we also still use). Each system has advantages; it's all pretty subjective.
On the other hand, we like travelling on bikes regardless of transmission type! It's always more about the experience than the equipment.... we'd travel on coaster-braked single-speeds if that's all we had.
The folder section has some postings about obtaining greater gear-range with hub gears.
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Old 05-09-06, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankypants
Actually, I do most of the work on my bike when I tour. Derailleurs work great, but if you have a bike with 20" wheels, it is more prone to being bumped by obstacles if you do anything offroad. I am careful when I ride, but I have smacked it a few times, and have had to rebend it. I am assuming by casual use that you mean that the hub would be overstressed by pulling a trailer up a steep incline. I guess I'll give it a practice run on the Great Divide, and see.....
Nothing wrong with giving it a go, My reservation about using it has to do with being new and unproven. Accelerated wear may be more of an issue than any outright failure. If and when you do buy the hub be aware there are recommended service intervals for the hub oil. The manual should be on Shimano's web site. Sheldon Brown is a good source of info on this hub and sells the Red band version. he was a lot of help when I was specing out the hub
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/shimano-nexus.html
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Old 05-09-06, 12:00 PM   #11
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I just read about Heinz Stucke, who has toured 415,000 km for the past 42 years straight. He has hauled 40 to 50 kg using a 3 speed that he has had for the past 25 years. Now, he has "upgraded" to a Shimano Nexus. That seems rather encouraging!
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Old 05-09-06, 12:46 PM   #12
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Where did you read that article, Cranky?
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Old 05-09-06, 01:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Crankypants
I just read about Heinz Stucke, who has toured 415,000 km for the past 42 years straight. He has hauled 40 to 50 kg using a 3 speed that he has had for the past 25 years. Now, he has "upgraded" to a Shimano Nexus. That seems rather encouraging!
.....and just had his bike stolen in England. Lets hope he gets it back again soon!
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Old 05-09-06, 01:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by amaferanga
.....and just had his bike stolen in England. Lets hope he gets it back again soon!
How sad. It goes to show you that he probably would have been better off riding a rusted, beat up looking 3 speed bicycle instead of a brand new Bike Friday.

People are mean. I doubt someone is going to return that bike back.
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