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Old 03-29-18, 01:31 PM
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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Bikes: Downtube 8H

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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
Which NuVinci model did you get, and how do you like it? What made you get that over a Sturmey Archer? Price? Quality? Curious...
It sure wasn't price. The Nuvinci is considerably more expensive, usually. I think it was the N360, and I got a deal on it that brought it closer to the SA 8 price, but with normal pricing it's more than twice as much. I got it because I was running a Nuvinci on my other bike, so when the deal came along as I was trying to upgrade the Twenty, it seemed like a good idea. And maybe it was...

It has more range than an 8 speed hub. On the other hand, the Nuvinci is heavier than just about any other hub on the market that I'm aware of. The shifter is also a lot more fiddly. The range is great, though. I think it sits between the Alfine 11 and Rohloff for range, but I haven't looked that up in a while. I love the shifting of the Nuvinci more than any other hub, too. It's just the set-up that can be tricky, and some aspects of it you have to deal with every time you remove the wheel.

My rational was that it wasn't going to be easy to figure out a front shifting solution, so if I packed enough gear range in the back, it wouldn't matter. That mostly worked, but I geared it too low, and as a result it was a pretty pokey bike. That was an issue I was going to address one day with some cog/chainring changes. It was also supposed to be possible to add a drum brake to the Nuvinci, which was going to solve my rear brake issue. Unfortunately, even after cold-setting, clearance was too tight for the drum brake.

I read somewhere that lately Nuvinci is not doing great financially. If you consider a Nuvinci hub, I would not count on the warranty. I had two hubs and I think they each had warranty issues at some point. Nuvinci was really good about fixing or replacing them, but if they go out of business, you just have to hope the hub lasts. Fortunately, a lot of people have put their hub through its paces and not been able to break it.

So, yeah, gear range and consistency between my bikes. I have since stopped switched my full-sized bike to an Alfine 8 hub, and my folder has a Nexus 8. For most of my riding, 8 gears has been enough, and I think if I were setting up a Twenty again, I go 8 speed with a coaster brake. I like limiting the number of cables you have to deal with when folding the bike, plus there's the whole brake-compatibility issue on the Twenty. If I had no intention of taking it far, I might go with a 2-speed hub and coaster brake. No cables to the back at all.
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