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To IGH or not, that is the question

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To IGH or not, that is the question

Old 04-07-10, 12:23 PM
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damnable
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To IGH or not, that is the question

I'm looking at a bike to commute on. I already have a road bike, but I'm not sure if it's the best thing to be using. I'm certainly going to try it and have all the gear to do it. Maybe it's a bit of n+1 but I'm looking at a dedicated commuter.

My commute will be 33Km each way and I've ridden the route but unloaded. It's a combination of roads and bikeways. I plan on shortening it at first.

So I never really considered the internal gear systems so I don't know a lot about them. In general I was looking for a bike a little more upright than the road bike (so I can look around easier), with disc brakes for the wet and peace of mind, and probably a flat bar so I have more room to fit lights and other goodies. But I still want to travel relatively fast and efficiently as to me it's a long commute and I need some energy for other physical hobbies.

So someone suggested the IGHs, probably the Alfine as it's disc brake compatible. It sounds good, particularly the lack of required maintenance, so it will save me money in the longer run. My only concerns are the added weight - not a huge concern considering the amount of weight to be lost from the engine. The other concern and the major one is the decreased efficiency of the hub which I've read about. Is it really that bad and should I be worried about it?

I've been having trouble finding places that sell them around here, so test rides are hard to find, especially comparing it to the same bike with standard derailleurs rather than my road bike. I'll keep looking though.
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Old 04-07-10, 12:35 PM
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I think being more upright will slow you down more than an IGH would.
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Old 04-07-10, 12:40 PM
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While I'm a huge fan of IGH, I don't think I would recommend it for your route. 33km is really far. For me, a small downside of IGH (but I have a short commute) is that you can't easily fine tune the perfect gear. On my IGH the gears are just too far apart that for longer routes you end up never 100% happy with the gear you're in. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-07-10, 12:58 PM
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Go for it! I've never had a problem with Shimano Nexus and Shimano Alfine hubs. They are durable for commuting and an IGH is perfect for cyclists in stop and go city traffic.
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Old 04-07-10, 01:08 PM
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Thats about the distance I regularly ride (17-25 miles, each way) and I've commuted mostly on a mtb, last 6 months on a Trek Soho IGH, rarely on a road bike (old trek 1200)

I found that I could careless which bike style (mtb, Soho, road bike) I ride because, in due time, your muscles will adjust. What really matters is the time you have available to do the commute. If you are stressed for time, or find annoyances due to the commute, then adjust those first. I found that regular maintenance really started to bug me, so I switched to the Soho IGH for, the IGH, the belt, and the roller brakes.

I also added heavy tires and thorn resistant tubes to essentially eliminate flats.

In other words, I like the bike commute and am willing to spend the time on the biking part of the commute, but not associated hassles with regular bikes. 40 miles a day adds up real fast to 200 miles a week, 40 weeks a year, for 8,000 or so miles a year, which is pretty tough on a regular bike rode in all types of weather, not just sunny weekend rides.

There are some folks who comment in this forum who think anything over 10 miles each way puts commuting bikes out of reach and recommend road bikes with, or without igh. Personally, I think its more like 25 miles each way even in moderately hilly areas. But I'll stick to my original premise and suggest its more about your time constraints since a commute bike as in a 30-40 lb commute bike that is upright, heavy, loaded for bear, may be slower on long stretches of traffic light free road than a 7 lb brittle carbon frame rocket.
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Old 04-07-10, 01:11 PM
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How much of a time difference do you see on your trip using the various bikes?
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Old 04-07-10, 01:25 PM
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It may depend on your riding style and the type of commute you have. I have an IGH, and I love it. My commute is 6-8 miles (10+ km) one way, urban riding, lots of stop and go. I love being able to shift into a lower gear from a stand still. I use a Nuvinci, so finding the right gear ratio is also not an issue, but if you're worried about weight, Nuvinci is the heaviest of the bunch.

I also ride an old 3-speed bike. There I can see where a cadence-minded person might have trouble finding the right gear. That's not how I ride, though, so it works out okay for me. But then I damaged my hub and have been single-speeding it until I get the new wheel built, and that has not been as bad as I feared, either. I suspect if you're terribly worried about keeping just the right cadence, then any sacrifice in your gear steps is going to hurt, but otherwise you can probably find a hub that suits your needs.

IGHs definitely have a rep for being more weather proof, so it's especially useful if you'r riding rain or shine. Maintenence seems easier and less frequent since most of the parts are protected. I think generally there is only one point of adjustment (if that) and most hubs make that pretty straightforward. In comparison I can sometimes fiddle for a while with my rear derrailleur trying to stop it from skipping a gear.

I just don't know about efficiency. It comes up a lot in IGH discussions, but I can't tell if it's really a practical consideration or just theoretical. I've used IGHs and I've used cassettes. I've never really thought, "Woah, this feels really efficient!" (or inefficient). I can't see that being a factor in my purchases, but it may be something that another rider would notice and be put off by.

I've done both. I'm not a speed-minded, or cadence-minded person (which is not to say an IGH prevents you from going fast). And I ride primarily in the city. My main ride is now IGH, my secondary ride is going to be an IGH bike (again) soon, and I'm building up a little folder, which will also have an IGH. Your situation/needs may be different, but if not, you might at least try one. With most bikes you should be able to swap it for a derailleur set-up if it's not to your liking, and a pre-built IGH wheel will probably fetch a decent price on eBay.
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Old 04-07-10, 01:42 PM
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I would have gone IGH long ago except for the horizontal dropout (rare) or chain tensioner (klugy) requirement.

When I do eventually do it though, I'll probably get one of the new NuVinci hubs. Infinite gears! The only problem is the one guy that I know that has tried it says that after 5 minutes with it, you'll think all other shifting systems suck.
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Old 04-07-10, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by damnable
I'm looking at a bike to commute on. I already have a road bike, but I'm not sure if it's the best thing to be using. I'm certainly going to try it and have all the gear to do it. Maybe it's a bit of n+1 but I'm looking at a dedicated commuter.

My commute will be 33Km each way and I've ridden the route but unloaded. It's a combination of roads and bikeways. I plan on shortening it at first.

So I never really considered the internal gear systems so I don't know a lot about them. In general I was looking for a bike a little more upright than the road bike (so I can look around easier), with disc brakes for the wet and peace of mind, and probably a flat bar so I have more room to fit lights and other goodies. But I still want to travel relatively fast and efficiently as to me it's a long commute and I need some energy for other physical hobbies.

So someone suggested the IGHs, probably the Alfine as it's disc brake compatible. It sounds good, particularly the lack of required maintenance, so it will save me money in the longer run. My only concerns are the added weight - not a huge concern considering the amount of weight to be lost from the engine. The other concern and the major one is the decreased efficiency of the hub which I've read about. Is it really that bad and should I be worried about it?

I've been having trouble finding places that sell them around here, so test rides are hard to find, especially comparing it to the same bike with standard derailleurs rather than my road bike. I'll keep looking though.

Shimano IGH's works best for much shorter commutes than yours. To begin with Shimano IGH's are somewhat of a design failure, and earlier models where plagued by self destructing because of bad seals and over torquing by strong riders. On top of that, their grease based lubrication system is so horrible difficult and time consuming to service correctly, that Shimano gave up on it and now just recommend flushing the IGH in oil when it needs servicing. So after first service Shimano IGH's effectively becomes oil lubricated IGH's even though they where designed to be grease lubricated. The new Shimano 11 speed IGH simply scraps the entire mess and is designed to be a proper oil lubricated IGH.

The Alfine is one of the better Shimano IGH's with improved sealing, bearing races, and over-torquing limiter. But AFAIK, the service interval is around 5000 km the first time, and then apparently every 3000 km thereafter, probably because of the use of oil instead of grease.
The point is that you reach 5000 km after only 76 commuting days, and then every 46 days thereafter.
So be prepared to experience some downtime at regular intervals when the IGH is being serviced by a mechanic (the oil based maintenance scheme should be easy to do by yourself though).
IGH's like the Alfine also contains regular hub bearings just like any other bicycle hub and these should be serviced and inspected at some regular intervals too, just like on any other bicycle hub. Failure to do so may result in pitted bearing races and since the these are an integral part of the hub shell, that again means one has to buy an entirely new IGH (usually this means a new rear wheel).
Such problems of course depends on how frequently the bike is ridden in wet weather, winter salted roads etc.

So to summon up, IGH's aren't maintenance free, they just require different maintenance than derailleur systems. Also, the potential running cost in the long run may be quite high if the IGH should fail from eg. pitted bearings. Because of the design and maintenance scheme of current Shimano IGH's, they may not be the best choice for high mileage commuters.


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Old 04-07-10, 05:05 PM
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I have a love-hate relationship with my IGH. My commute is 15 miles each way, a mix of downtown city (stops & starts) and rolling suburban hills.

loves:
+ in the city, the IGH is invaluable for the frequent and often unexpected stops. being able to shift while sitting at a stoplight and thus not having to brake while shifting while pedaling is huge fo rme
+ shifting seems smoother than my derailleur was, though it was low-end so maybe that's not a big difference
+ I used to always be tweaking my derailleur setup, but I haven't touched my IGH in the months that I've had it
+ once I fell over on my old bike, which pushed the derailleur into the spokes

hates:
- the 8 gears on the Nexus don't give enough range. heading down hills, I could use another gear or two on the top end. going up the hills, which is a more frequent problem. there just isn't a true "granny" gear, so I stand up on the really steep hills. the Alfine setup may have more range, and I'm told the Sturmey-Archer IGH has a much-lower low gear and much-higher high gear
- not sure that I have an opinion on the whole "efficiency" debate, but the direct-drive 5th gear does seem more responsive than all the others.
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Old 04-07-10, 05:13 PM
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I would wait for the 11 speed Alfine to be released later this year. It looks like being a huge step forward over the current 8 speed, with 405% gear range versus 307%, evenly spaced gear increments around 13-14% (8 speeed is all over the place), better lubrication system , better everything.

Google it. There is a bit of information out there, and some test ride reports.
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Old 04-07-10, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Abacus
I would wait for the 11 speed Alfine to be released later this year.
I'm excited about the new Alfine 11 spd as well. But I didn't want to wait - and frankly, didn't have the additional 4 or 5 hundred a bike so equipped would cost just now. So I just took delivery of a new Swobo Baxter with the Alfine 8 spd. https://www.swobo.com/catalog/product...cPath=201_1473

First impressions are very positive. The Alfine runs much smoother, quieter, shifts great, and feels head and shoulders more efficient than the Sram 7 spd I ran a few years ago. I find first gear is plenty low for climbing (then again, I'm a single speeder as well) although it does spin out on descents (then again...). I'm just getting back into commuting, so I'm driving halfway to work then riding the rest. It's still about 12 miles with two good ascent/descents. And like tjspiel said; the upright position of the bike is more of a factor than the IGH. To that end, I'm going to fit a mustache handlebar I've got in the parts bin which will give me some additional hand positions and the ability to get more aero from time to time.

In the final analysis, I'd say the Baxter feels about 80% as fast/efficient as my cyclocross bike with road tires. I also LOVE the disc brakes.

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Old 04-07-10, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
I have a love-hate relationship with my IGH. My commute is 15 miles each way, a mix of downtown city (stops & starts) and rolling suburban hills.

loves:
+ in the city, the IGH is invaluable for the frequent and often unexpected stops. being able to shift while sitting at a stoplight and thus not having to brake while shifting while pedaling is huge fo rme
+ shifting seems smoother than my derailleur was, though it was low-end so maybe that's not a big difference
+ I used to always be tweaking my derailleur setup, but I haven't touched my IGH in the months that I've had it
+ once I fell over on my old bike, which pushed the derailleur into the spokes

hates:
- the 8 gears on the Nexus don't give enough range. heading down hills, I could use another gear or two on the top end. going up the hills, which is a more frequent problem. there just isn't a true "granny" gear, so I stand up on the really steep hills. the Alfine setup may have more range, and I'm told the Sturmey-Archer IGH has a much-lower low gear and much-higher high gear
- not sure that I have an opinion on the whole "efficiency" debate, but the direct-drive 5th gear does seem more responsive than all the others.
The Nexus 8 speed and Alfine have exactly the same internal ratios. The new 11 speed reportedly has wider overall gearing and more even steps between gears in addition to oil bath lubrication. It will be interesting to see if the wheel bearings area of the 11 speed hub is also oil lubricated as the Rohloff and NuVinci are.

The new version Sturmey Archer 8 speed has a slightly wider overall range than the Shimano 8 speed hubs but the direct drive gear is the lowest gear. I feel that it is designed more for small wheel folding bikes than standard wheel size ones. Difficult to get a really low gear ratio when fitted to a standard wheel size bike unless you fit a very small front chainring. This would also raise the input torque to the hub, potentially shortening the life.

IMO most IGH makers went to grease lubrication for low mileage and ignore maintenance type of users who did not oil their oil lubricated hubs. Grease is not a permanent lube. As others have pointed out high mileage IGH users do need to perform maintenance if they want the hub to survive. The old oiled SA hubs could do 40,000+ miles reportedly if treated right.

For high mileage IGH use I would recommend the Rohloff or possibly either the new Nexus 11 speed or recently announced NuVinci N360. All of them use oil bath lubrication and the NuVinci claims theirs is good for the life of the hub. The new NuVinci claims to be 33% lighter than the current one and has a slightly wider range.
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Old 04-08-10, 10:09 AM
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Wow, 33km each way is 20.5 miles each way. That is a long, long, *long* ways to ride - 40 miles each day.

I personally own a Civia Highland with an Alfine 8 hub and a front dynamo. It's not as fast as my road bike, and it's more work to bike the same distance. I know - I tried it last summer with regular 28c tires. In fact, 50% of the reason I bought a summer commuting bike (and relegated the Civia to winter-only duties) was because it was a slower bike that took more effort to bike places (the other 50% was that a road bike fit into my car, while a bike with straight handlebars did not). To be fair, the bike is also upright handlebars and has a dynamo front hub, but the front dynamo guys would also claim (just like the igh guys) that a loss in efficiency is totally theoretical.

I agree that you sometimes feel like you can't quite get in the right gear with my Alfine, but I'm also not sure it's actually a big deal - I kinda wonder if my legs are just used to certain ratios, and they would adapt to the Alfine's ratios over time. I also never actually had much of a problem with running out of gears - I personally never felt like I needed lower than the low gear or higher than the high gear.

However, after buying on and owning one, if I did it again and wanted low maintenance, I would buy one of the "IGH + Belt Drive" models. I find the supposed "lack of required maintenance" on an IGH with chain to be highly, highly overblown.

Because - an IGH still has a chain. And I own 4 bikes right now (3 derailleur), and after the first 100-300 miles where the cables stretch (and even there, I had to adjust my IGH for cable stretch as well), the derailler itself doesn't have any maintenance. It just keeps working. And if it did need adjustment, it's actually just a little hand-screw thing on the back of the derailler that you spin a little to adjust it - if you learn to do it, the only tools you even use would be that it's easier to do if you have a bike stand to hold the bike off the ground, but that's not "required" just makes it easier. My deraillers just don't seem to go out of adjustment. No, my bikes aren't from target. I don't own any a bike with a derailleur below Tiagra grade. But with adequate components, I'm not "constantly adjusting them". Occasionally they feel like they're not quite perfectly tuned. Imagine my suprised this winter when I got that exact same feeling on my Alfine bike this winter! Seems like I need to check the little cable adjustment thingy on my Alfine again...yeah, it's not making a "click-click-click" noise while I pedal (and you can adjust that by hand on a derailler if it was), but it's just not shifting quite right.

Nearly all the "regular maintenance" on a bike comes from the chain. Which - an IGH bike still has. Oiling the chain. Cleaning the chain. Squeaky chain after it rains. All that stuff that people regularly do maintenance on - is on the chain. And an IGH still has a chain (unless you get one of the cool belt drive models). 2 bikes shops that sell IGH's here thought that the chain would last less long under constant tension on an IGH than it would on a derailler system. So where's the maintenance savings? Even the cassette - and igh only has one cog, while a derailler system has several, but it still wears out just like a cassette on a derailleur system does.

In terms of speed, I don't know that I noticed wind resistance being a problem when there's no wind, but I sure did notice it when I had to bike into the wind. It was a big difference. The road bike lets you get more narrow and the wind doesn't affect you as much. The upright handlebar bike turns you into a giant sail into the wind. I didn't like the effect for 5-10 miles. Going 20 miles...

So, as someone who owns one and regularly rode one last summer, for your kind of distance I would say -
1. It's probably a good idea to get a separate commuting bike - if nothing else, it's nice to have 2 bikes for transportation in case something happens to 1.
2. A road-style bike. Heading into a wind on an straight bar bike is slower. If you're having trouble finding one with rack mounts, I know of at least 2 good racks designed to be mounted on a road bike without mounts.
3. A traditional derailler - in my experience, an IGH is slower for some reason and with a chain it's not actually less maintenance.

If you did really, really want an IGH, I would highly suggest you get one of the few models that uses a belt rather than a chain, as they look like they're *actually* less maintenance. I know the Civia Bryant is one of those those bikes. I believe Trek? makes a version with upright bars if you really wanted to go that way.

Let me put the time/distance tradeoff this way - on average a 20 mile trip might take 1.5 hours assuming you're in good shape, but might run into a few stoplights or something. If an IGH, upright handlebar bike is only 10% slower, that's 90 minutes * 10 times a week (twice each way) = 900 minutes, 10% of that is 90 minutes. So each week you'd spending 15 hours commuting, and an extra 90 minutes on the bike. Even with a belt IGH, it's very very difficult to believe that any extra maintenance you would theoretically be doing would be enough to make up for losing 90 minutes each week.

I want to be clear - I'm not someone who "doesn't like an IGH theoretically". I bought one. I own one. I rode one last summer, and still use it as my regular winter bike. And if your commute was 5 miles and you biked in the winter I wouldn't have a negative opinion about it. But having owned an used one, I wouldn't use it for a really long commute each day, based on experience with the one I own.

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Old 04-08-10, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by damnable
How much of a time difference do you see on your trip using the various bikes?
The routes I take are somewhat dependent on the bike, but the fastest route on all three bikes is about 18 miles. On a dry day, some wind, on the road bike, (remember this is a Trek 1200, nothing special, on Schwalbe Marathon Plus), I can put 70 minutes to, 55 minutes from. The MTB, was a Cannondale F6 furio set up on Panaracer Dart Front, Specialized CrossRoads Tires, which are very road friendly, took 80-90 minutes to, 60 minutes from. The Trek Soho IGH on Panaracer T-serv Protex Front (Slow but great grip), Continental Travel Contact Rear, 90 minutes to, 65 minutes from, with full mini-panniers and a 1/2 full toolkit (so maybe an additional 30 lbs over the other two bikes so its not a completely fair comparison, with the ability to put on two garbage bag panniers.)

So unladen road bike with derailleur to partially laden upright IGH over 18x2 miles costs me 30 minutes a day minus 10 minutes maintenance differential = 20 minutes per day.

20 minutes per day x 4 x 40 or roughly 3200 minutes per year. So 2.2 ride days per year I gained, glass is half full, and so on, and so forth, big grin.
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Old 04-08-10, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers
Wow, 33km each way is 20.5 miles each way. That is a long, long, *long* ways to ride - 40 miles each day.

However, after buying on and owning one, if I did it again and wanted low maintenance, I would buy one of the "IGH + Belt Drive" models. I find the supposed "lack of required maintenance" on an IGH with chain to be highly, highly overblown. Because - an IGH still has a chain.

If you did really, really want an IGH, I would highly suggest you get one of the few models that uses a belt rather than a chain, as they look like they're *actually* less maintenance. I know the Civia Bryant is one of those those bikes. I believe Trek? makes a version with upright bars if you really wanted to go that way.
I ride an IGH with a belt drive and roller brakes (Trek Soho Carbon Drive). I can say that it has been maintenance-free, no fiddling with gears, brakes, or chain at all in the hundreds of miles I have ridden it.
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Old 04-08-10, 07:21 PM
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As far as drop bars versus flat bars riding position is concerned it is perfectly possible to build a drop bar IGH bike. I have two set up that way. One uses the Alfine hub and Jtek bar end shifter and the other has a SRAM P5 hub and a twist grip shifter mounted on the handlebar end using a Hubbub type adapter.

For the Nexus 8 and Alfine there is also now a combined drop bar brake lever and shifter available. A couple of makers are fitting it to drop bar Nexus/Alfine hub bikes.
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Old 04-08-10, 07:42 PM
  #18  
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Fixing flats on an IGH wheel is a slight PITA, as is dealing with them when/if something does go wrong; long waits for expensive parts & tricky repair.

They're cool when they don't give you any trouble, but they're not entirely maintenance free. It's good to have a backup bike, is all I'm saying. But that goes for all the time.
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Old 04-08-10, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tatfiend
As far as drop bars versus flat bars riding position is concerned it is perfectly possible to build a drop bar IGH bike. I have two set up that way. One uses the Alfine hub and Jtek bar end shifter and the other has a SRAM P5 hub and a twist grip shifter mounted on the handlebar end using a Hubbub type adapter.

For the Nexus 8 and Alfine there is also now a combined drop bar brake lever and shifter available. A couple of makers are fitting it to drop bar Nexus/Alfine hub bikes.
And if you're lazy (don't want to build it yourself), you can buy a Civia Bryant that's curly bars, IGH, belt drive -





I'd still prefer a derailler setup for 20 miles each way though. But it does give you -actual- lower maintenance (no chain) and drop bars. Also costs $1680.

But would still prefer a derailler for 20 miles each way (hahaha - sorry to be repetitive).
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Old 04-10-10, 08:48 AM
  #20  
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I'm switching my bikes over to IGH as I go...I have 2 Rohloffs, 1 Alfine and 2 Nexus 8 IGHs. Ideally you'd use a bike with horizontal dropouts or an eccentric BB to tighten the chain without using a tensioner. That gives you the most benefits of the IGH in terms of minimal maintenance and highest reliability. Having said that one of my Rohloff bikes uses the Rohloff tensioner and it works fine - has needed no attention in a couple years.

Don't worry about loss of efficiency or weight with a Rohloff or Alfine/Nexus 8 - it's simply not an issue. It's far more important what tires you are running if your concerned about max efficiency. I never ride one of my IGH bikes and even think about the hub gears vs. derailleurs. I also still have a few derailleur bikes so I get to switch back and forth regularly for comparison purposes. I'd always rather be on an IGH bike.
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Old 04-10-10, 11:41 AM
  #21  
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Have you noticed majordifferences between Nexus and Alfine?

Originally Posted by vik
I'm switching my bikes over to IGH as I go...I have 2 Rohloffs, 1 Alfine and 2 Nexus 8 IGHs. Ideally you'd use a bike with horizontal dropouts or an eccentric BB to tighten the chain without using a tensioner. That gives you the most benefits of the IGH in terms of minimal maintenance and highest reliability. Having said that one of my Rohloff bikes uses the Rohloff tensioner and it works fine - has needed no attention in a couple years.

Don't worry about loss of efficiency or weight with a Rohloff or Alfine/Nexus 8 - it's simply not an issue. It's far more important what tires you are running if your concerned about max efficiency. I never ride one of my IGH bikes and even think about the hub gears vs. derailleurs. I also still have a few derailleur bikes so I get to switch back and forth regularly for comparison purposes. I'd always rather be on an IGH bike.
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Old 04-10-10, 05:33 PM
  #22  
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IIRC, the big differences in IGH hubs show up in randonneuring use. The rando answers on which hub are something like Rohloff, SRAM 7, Sturmey Archer AW, Shimano Alfine 8, Shimano Nexus. The Nexus is apparently pretty easy to munch if you're a high mileage rider... but that's over 10k miles per year. If I manage to ruin my Nexus from riding it too much, that's a cause for celebration since it and the bike would be over 30k miles. Then I have an excuse to get a SRAM 7

For the OP, that kind of thing is definitely a concern. For a under an hour commute... not so much.

(I went IGH since I lean towards being a SS type rider... I like cadence variation, and I'm ok with pushing to get up a hill. But I'm not very strong at all, and it's tough to put together a singlespeed bike that would be geared low enough to suit me. IGH lets me have my 30 and 40 gear inches worth of cruising gear, but I can go higher if I'm having an extra strong day)
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Old 04-11-10, 12:37 PM
  #23  
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Nexus 8 vs Alfine:
The Nexus 8R36 has Alfine internals (as did the older 8R35). Biggest issue commuting with Alfine/Nexus 8 is the big step between 5th and 6th gear, ~25%. I'd consider the SRAM i-Motion 9 for commuting, I have one and the even steps are very nice. I guess Shimano understand this issue, the new Alfine 11 has even steps like the Rohloff and i-Motion 9.
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Old 04-11-10, 12:54 PM
  #24  
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I think you have a lot of courage, taking on a 66km round trip. My round trip is 50km which, depending on weather and other variables, can feel pretty long.

Once in a while I take my 7spd IGH 'comfort bike' to work. It's sort of the backup for my 27spd road bike. Even though it's slower and takes me 10min extra to get home or to work, it can be quite nice to ride. I prefer the road bike though, and I'm glad I have her fixed up now. It's been 3 weeks since I've ridden her, and it will be a blast
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Old 04-11-10, 01:48 PM
  #25  
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Just got an IGH myself, an 08 Soho. The original set up had a 44 X 18 which gave it a low of around 35 inches and a high around 106, way more than I would ever need. Switched it to 39X22 and now the range is more reasonable for my very hilly commute. I like it in spite of the weight. There tends to be a little clutch slip from my experience. Feels a little weird but easy to adjust to. Don't know enough about IGH to know if this is common or if I got a bad hub.
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