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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, 04:19 PM
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IGH vs SS- which has the greater longevity?

Couldn't make up my mind if this question should be asked in the Winter, Mechanics, or General, so I posted here.

I'm convinced that I'll be jettisoning external gears on my next bike, due to various factors of my environment and personal choice. 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.
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Old 02-09-11, 04:24 PM
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An IGH drive train has a lot of parts that can wear that aren't present in a SS drive train. There really aren't any parts in a SS drive train that don't exist in an IGH drive train. SS would be simplest and cheapest assuming it would work for your commute.
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Old 02-09-11, 04:34 PM
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Yeah, an IGH has basically all the same parts as a SS + a bunch more.

I think a better question is whether or not the longevity of an IGH is good enough for your purposes. I'm guessing there are at least a few IGHs for which that would be true.
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Old 02-09-11, 04:42 PM
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Singlespeed is simpler, second only to fixed gear, but it depends if you're up to single speed cycling. I know I certainly wouldn't go without my three gears. IGH removes the external derailleurs and so retains many of the advantages of single speed, and gives you extra options at the expense of a little complexity.
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Old 02-09-11, 04:46 PM
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I guess it really is a lop sided question, as both have a front chain ring, chain, and rear cog. Better question would be the service interval and durability/longevity of the IGH- say a S-A 5spd. I know that my primary LBS is not too keen on servicing IGH's, but I think that may have more to do with the fact they don't sell or see that many bikes that has that particular type of drive train.
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Old 02-09-11, 04:50 PM
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I have a bike with a hub made in 94 it still works perfectly..
A Sturmey Archer AW3 hub has every part in it available, when needed ,
SRAM and Shimano, OTOH are weak on small parts distribution.

3 gears are 3/4, 1, and 4/3.. or .75, and 1.33, they don't disengage
the driver and driven gear just change roles.

say I have a 58" middle gear , the other 2 are 43.2, and 77.14..

last spring I got a second IG . its in the cranks, for 6 ratios,
the next lower gear..
is High,in the low range, then 2 lower.

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Old 02-09-11, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post

last spring I got a second IG . its in the cranks, the next lower gear
is High,in the low range, then 2 lower.
How does a AW handle the torque from the reduction gear? I'm thinking of setting up a 'third-step' hybrid gearing with a triple crankset but don't want to overtorque the hub. Is it something to worry about or is it mainly so the manufacturer is covered?
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Old 02-09-11, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Couldn't make up my mind if this question should be asked in the Winter, Mechanics, or General, so I posted here.

I'm convinced that I'll be jettisoning external gears on my next bike, due to various factors of my environment and personal choice. 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.
Schlumpf makes a bb conversion that gives one a second gear...don't know much about it other than it's pricey. If you can do 90% of your commute on an ss there's a good chance you could do the whole thing. On my way home I've got an 0.4 mi 18% grade hill that requires switchbacks to climb, but the rest of it goes along pretty easily. In fact now I do the whole thing on fg.
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Old 02-09-11, 05:41 PM
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My singlespeed and fixed gear bikes have many thousands of KM's on them. To be honest I haven't had to do anything other then lubing and replacing my chains as they get stretched. Singlespeed freewheels will need few drops of oil if you ride in winter slush. Fixed gear is the most reliable ,trouble free and longest lasting drivetrain that you can get... as long as your track cog and lockring is installed properly, only an act of god could destroy one.
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Old 02-09-11, 05:50 PM
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If you use one of the durable IGH the wear parts are pretty much the same as what is on a single speed.

I have one Raleigh Sports 3 speed (Sturmey Archer AW) that has well over 30,000 miles on the hub with nothing other than an occasional chain swap and one cog swap, that was more to change gearing than because the cog was worn out. It is heavily worn but not to the point that it was causing chain skip.

I prefer the IGH because of gear choices. I have mine set up similar to what fietsbob posted above. I have around 30 bicycles and around 20 are IGH for a reason.

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Old 02-09-11, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
If you use one of the durable IGH the wear parts are pretty much the same as what is on a single speed.

I have one Raleigh Sports 3 speed (Sturmey Archer AW) that has well over 30,000 miles on the hub with nothing other than an occasional chain swap and one cog swap, that was more to change gearing than because the cog was worn out. It is heavily worn but not to the point that it was causing chain skip.

I prefer the IGH because of gear choices. I have mine set up similar to what fietsbob posted above. I have around 30 bicycles and around 20 are IGH for a reason.

Aaron
So, how does one identify a durable IGH?
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Old 02-09-11, 06:00 PM
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You may decide on IGH. Otherwise, fixed gear has even less potential issues than SS, namely no pawls to freeze in extreme cold.
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Old 02-09-11, 06:12 PM
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The Shimano three-speed hub on my Breezer lasted four and a half years, or about 17,000 miles. I replaced it with an SA. So far, so good.
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Old 02-09-11, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
You may decide on IGH. Otherwise, fixed gear has even less potential issues than SS, namely no pawls to freeze in extreme cold.
But a frozen SS = FG.
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Old 02-09-11, 06:49 PM
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No contest, SS outlast IGH.
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Old 02-09-11, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
You may decide on IGH. Otherwise, fixed gear has even less potential issues than SS, namely no pawls to freeze in extreme cold.
I've never been to Northeast Oklahoma, but I doubt that's a possibility for the OP. I've commuted through 3 Minnesota winters, and I've never personally had it happen to me with cheap old freewheels.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
But a frozen SS = FG.
Unfortunately not. A frozen freehub/freewheel means you can coast forwards and backwards. In fact, all you can do is coast. It's sort of the opposite of a FG.

Last edited by tjspiel; 02-09-11 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Scheherezade View Post
I've never been to Northeast Oklahoma, but I doubt that's a possibility for the OP. I've commuted through 3 Minnesota winters, and I've never personally had it happen to me with cheap old freewheels.
It happened to me this year for the first time (freehub and not freewheel). I think some moisture might have gotten in the works. It wasn't completely froze, just sticking badly. I was able to get to work and it's been fine ever since. Wasn't even all that cold.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:29 PM
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SS/FG or IGH longevity -
clearly the SS/FG is going to last longer.
The question, IMHO, to consider - what set up meet your needs more effectively.
It sure is nice to have two or three gears when the wind is blowing or when you just don't feel very peppy.
Have two bikes with IGH - run them both year around. They get muddy, icy, slush covered, rained on, ridden below zero. They just seem to keep on ticking. The parts most affected by weather is the shifter - which probably is the biggest potential drawback. In cold weather - trying to avoid frequent freeze and thaw intervals - the shifter will be fine. IGH have been around over a hundred years, have provided great service, probably will be doing so in another hundred years.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Unfortunately not. A frozen freehub/freewheel means you can coast forwards and backwards. In fact, all you can do is coast. It's sort of the opposite of a FG.
I can see that happening as well, but the one time I had a hub freeze up, it went FG.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
So, how does one identify a durable IGH?
Research? I would highly recommend the Sturmey Archer AW hubs. Post 1984 are best because they don't have the neutral, the pre 1970 ones are almost bullet proof. Good news is that there are parts still readily available for them. A lot of people don't like the gear steps, but that is a personal issue IMHO. As I pointed out early I have one SA hub that has rolled over 30,000 miles. Still have the bike and it is is pretty ugly but still rolling along. Maintenance has consisted of replacing worn out parts and adding a couple of squirts of oil to the hub whenever I thought about it. I tore the hub down a year or so ago and it was clean and showed very little internal wear. I have a couple of Shimano hubs, but none with that kind of mileage, but Shimano is nearly impossible to order replacement parts for.

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Old 02-09-11, 07:51 PM
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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.
I'm just lucky, I guess. I've had them freeze up both ways.
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Old 02-09-11, 07:58 PM
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I've been running the AW3 made in 94, in my Brompton , with a Schlumpf Mountain drive,
(Ref #6) Florian has a model that has a torque arm that sits on top of the BB/Rear Hinge plate.

For regular bikes , he makes a different torque arm, uses a strap around the chainstay,
like a coaster brake but of course for the bigger diameter of the big end of the chainstay tube.

http://www.schlumpf.ch/hp/md/md_engl.htm

They have been made for a long time ,, seems AW3 is pretty robust,
where Rohloff has Needle bearings,
the Planetary gears revolve on hardened steel pins, in a Sturmey hub,
and the other parts in there are tempered steel too ..

6 gear ratios , of course the lower 3 are closer together ..
though the % between them is consistent.

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Old 02-09-11, 08:48 PM
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Okay, based upon the responses, I think that I will see go with the IGH. I actually have two IGH models and 2 SS models I'm considering. The IGH contenders both feature the S-A 5spd. The selection process will be based upon price and availability.
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Old 02-09-11, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Unfortunately not. A frozen freehub/freewheel means you can coast forwards and backwards. In fact, all you can do is coast. It's sort of the opposite of a FG.
Yup. Frozen SS == gravity racer.
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