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IGH vs SS- which has the greater longevity?

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IGH vs SS- which has the greater longevity?

Old 02-09-11, 10:12 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
I can see that happening as well, but the one time I had a hub freeze up, it went FG.
Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I'm just lucky, I guess. I've had them freeze up both ways.
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Yup. Frozen SS == gravity racer.
Didn't read the other post first, did you!
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Old 02-10-11, 07:54 AM
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There were documented reports of Sturmey 3-speeds running 30-40,000 trouble-free, unmeasurable-wear miles over one hundred years ago. Heinze Stucke toured the world on a Fichtel and Sachs three speed equipped bike continuously from 1962 until 2007.

Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
IGH vs SS - which has the greater longevity?

I could do like 90% of my current commute SS, but think a little bit more wouldn't hurt. Just trying to figure the long term service and replacement costs for each.
I don't believe I understand your inquiry. You'd tough it out over 10% of your commute every day and struggle into the occasional head wind so you could have a rear hub that might last 90-120,000 miles instead of 50-70,000 miles? You're trying to forstall any major component replacement from the year 2035 until some point beyond 2050? I'm clearly not getting something, but it's quite possibly not worth your time to explain your thinking to me.

FWIW, I'm seeing 'net prices of $64 for a Sturmey 3-speed hub with shifter and fittings, $255 for a long-lasting Campy track hub and $86 for a SRAM Torpedo SS with a built-in freewheel. Chains and chainwheels will be the same for each. The Sturmey hub will use up a $7 cog every couple of ten-thousand miles, and a track-style hub will need a new freewheel (I'm seeing Shimano's for $28) probably more often. You'd probably need a shift cable for the Sturmey (~$7) at some point.

HTH,
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Old 02-10-11, 09:36 AM
  #28  
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Congrats on making the transition to a non-derailleured drivetrain.
I think you'll love it!

Your final choice really depends on you. SS with a 45-55 inch gear can be ridden on short, moderate hills at the cost of a little top end cruise speed. The tradeoff with SS is pretty mild unless you have significant winds or a couple of bruiser hills, and you can't beat the simplicity. It is addicting and liberating.

I have a SS/FG and an IGH (my 3rd IGH bike) and love them both. I like having the IGH when I'm not feeling spunky and want the luxury of being able to take it slow, or, conversely, when I really want to crank it out. the IGH allows me to tackle hills and headwinds without an issue (8 speed Alfine).
The SS/FG is blissfully simple and is an absolute joy to ride. I love 'em both.

My wife now has an Alfine 8 equipped bicycle after having ridden conventional drivetrains for years. She's a convert. I think her words were "why didn't I do this sooner".

Back to the original question: which is lower maintenance/longer lasting? - SS/FG hands down, but as has been mentioned, it is all relative. Ether option will have you wrenching/cleaning far less than you did with your derailleured bike and will likely last you many, many years of daily use.
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Old 02-10-11, 09:41 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
But a frozen SS = FG.
No, when the pawls freeze they won't drop to make contact. You can pedal your butt off but you will not go anywhere.
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Old 02-10-11, 09:56 AM
  #30  
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Speaking as a 47 year old who was shocked to discover that he didn't stay 25 forever, I'd guess that a single speed setup might very well outlast your knees' ability to ride a single speed. (Although that would be very much affected by your local terrain.)

Which will last longer isn't necessarily the most important question. If you could go 10 years before servicing an IGH, but 20 before servicing a SS, that's a 100% difference, but is that an important enough difference to decide for the SS? That depends on your commute, your needs, and your knees.
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Old 02-10-11, 11:34 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by uber_Fred View Post
Speaking as a 47 year old who was shocked to discover that he didn't stay 25 forever, I'd guess that a single speed setup might very well outlast your knees' ability to ride a single speed. (Although that would be very much affected by your local terrain.)

Which will last longer isn't necessarily the most important question. If you could go 10 years before servicing an IGH, but 20 before servicing a SS, that's a 100% difference, but is that an important enough difference to decide for the SS? That depends on your commute, your needs, and your knees.
True comment.
I'm 44, and very fit for a middle aged guy, but one cannot deny time. I cannot attack hills the way I once did without my knees reminding me of this fact. Definitely a consideration.
My SS riding is primarily on the flats, where this is not so much of an issue.
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Old 02-10-11, 02:46 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
No, when the pawls freeze they won't drop to make contact. You can pedal your butt off but you will not go anywhere.
Sometimes, but sometimes they freeze such that they are engaged. At least two of us have had this happen were our bikes turned into FG.

It has actually happened, get over it you guys, or at least read the rest of the post before you respond.
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Old 02-10-11, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Sometimes, but sometimes they freeze such that they are engaged. At least two of us have had this happen were our bikes turned into FG.

It has actually happened, get over it you guys, or at least read the rest of the post before you respond.
I'm still trying to figure out the mechanics on this one.

If I understand freewheel operation, when the pawls freeze in the open position it's because the grease inside the freewheel has gotten so thick that the pawls stick in an open position. They're engaged, they click past the first ratchet point, and don't spring back into the catch position.
For a freewheel to freeze into a fixed setup, the mechanism would have to freeze solid and bind the pawls against the ratchet hard enough such that slippage couldn't occur and the force of resisting the pedal motion couldn't break the bond. Or maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 02-11-11, 03:56 PM
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I think that I'm going to opt for the IGH route. A bit more versatility and still the aesthetic of the SS.
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Old 02-11-11, 04:07 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
I think that I'm going to opt for the IGH route. A bit more versatility and still the aesthetic of the SS.
Yup!

To me, it is a real sweet spot - the versatility and range of gearing with the aesthetic and functional simplicity of a clean driveline. I love it. Also, I have spent alot less time cleaning and maintaining my drivetrain since losing the derailleurs and going the IGH Route.

I highly recommend the Sheldon Brown Gear Calc - it is great for dialing in the combo that will work best for your needs. Plus, you can load conventional drivetrain gearing that you may be accustomed to and compare with the IGH options. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
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Old 02-11-11, 04:20 PM
  #36  
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My favourite hub is the venerable SA AW 3 speed as it is among the most reliable components ever made and can deliver service life in excess of 40,000 miles and is relatively easy to overhaul.
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Old 02-11-11, 06:47 PM
  #37  
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They make IGHs with drum brakes or discs too... I've just built up some SA drums, they seem to stop me as well as the v-brakes I have on another bike. I have found that the cable routing I used on my bike is causing some shifting headaches, so frame choice does play a role, but it does with SS too.
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Old 02-11-11, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
I'm still trying to figure out the mechanics on this one.

If I understand freewheel operation, when the pawls freeze in the open position it's because the grease inside the freewheel has gotten so thick that the pawls stick in an open position. They're engaged, they click past the first ratchet point, and don't spring back into the catch position.
For a freewheel to freeze into a fixed setup, the mechanism would have to freeze solid and bind the pawls against the ratchet hard enough such that slippage couldn't occur and the force of resisting the pedal motion couldn't break the bond. Or maybe I'm missing something.
I understand what your saying. But it did happen to me and at least one other poster here. I will admit that I did not try pulling the hub apart while frozen to figure it out. I also do not recall trying to back pedal hard enough that it might have broken the pawls loose - I just finished the ride home without freewheeling and let the bike warm-up at home.
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Old 02-12-11, 11:42 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
They make IGHs with drum brakes or discs too... I've just built up some SA drums, they seem to stop me as well as the v-brakes I have on another bike. I have found that the cable routing I used on my bike is causing some shifting headaches, so frame choice does play a role, but it does with SS too.
I really like how S-A has done their drum brakes in contrast to shimano's method. I like how the torque arm slides into a sleeve on the stay or fork, making wheel removal much more convenient than with Shimano's coaster brake type of setup, where the torque arm is held with a bolt and nut.

The Shimano Alfine series is centerloc disc compatable, and I know that there are some other disc-compatable options out there.
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Old 02-12-11, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
I really like how S-A has done their drum brakes in contrast to shimano's method. I like how the torque arm slides into a sleeve on the stay or fork, making wheel removal much more convenient than with Shimano's coaster brake type of setup, where the torque arm is held with a bolt and nut.

The Shimano Alfine series is centerloc disc compatable, and I know that there are some other disc-compatable options out there.
The SA drum brakes seem like they'd be good to build up into some old fixie frames that'll start showing up in a few years. I'm entertaining thoughts of building up one of the new rotary shifting 3 speed hubs they have now too... not that I really need another bike...
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Old 02-12-11, 08:30 PM
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The late great Sheldon Brown was convinced that with the improvements in IGH hubs and the increase in commuter / utilitarian cyclists that there would be an increase in the number of models of sold with IGH hubs and that at some point, only high performance bikes would be fitted with derailleur gears as an IGH has so many advantages for normal day to day use.

Add a full chaincase to an IGH and you may forget you ever have to service your drivetrain,
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Old 02-13-11, 06:16 AM
  #42  
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Did SS, then realized that when it's windy and I'm tired from work I didn't like it as much.

I love the Nexus IGH's, and the others are probably great -- I've not used them. IGH's are extremely practical drivetrains for the riding that probably 90% of people I pass going into DC do.
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Old 02-13-11, 11:46 PM
  #43  
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Have you considered that can have it both ways by simply having a spare rear SS wheel?

I've swaped wheelsets on my surly cross check quite often over the last many years, Rode it SS for only for years, but now more often than not it's with an Alfine IGH. I keep different types of tires on the different wheel sets (i've got several now) , Cross, slicks, studs. Depending on my mood, or conditions, or where I'll be riding, I'll swap em out. It only takes a couple minutes. The chain length is about the same so with the horizontal dropouts on the CC it's no worries. I wrap up up the cable when not in use. You can pick up a SS rear wheel for pretty cheap.

As far as you original question, day to day maintenance is the same with either, and far less than external geared bikes. I ride year round so no matter what you ride you can't ignore it or you'll be sorry. Lubrication, and a new chain every year, chain rings and freewheels as needed. No big deal, but I can't say for sure about any long term IGH maintenance issues at this point as I've had none yet. I'm sure that that day will come, it has too. An IGH has a mess of parts and gears inside there and sooner or later something is gonna wear out. But that's no reason not to choose one if that's right for your uses.
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