Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Converting to IGH down the line

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Converting to IGH down the line

Old 07-05-12, 10:19 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Converting to IGH down the line

Hello! First post after browsing a ton of threads on here and finally deciding I should just join the discussion

(I think this is where to post but if not I can post elsewhere with your guidance)

I am buying a bike that I will use primarily for exercise and riding around town. I hope to put a bunch of miles on it in like 5-15 mile rides. I live on Whidbey Island, WA currently and the terrain here is rather hilly with long gradual hills rather than short and intense ones. Soon, I hope to be moving to Seattle where you experience more intense hills and such and the bike I buy I'm hoping will work well in both environments. I'm really thinking I'd like an IGH on more of a hybrid frame; the Spot Ajax, Van Dessel WTF or Scott Sub 10 are bikes I'm extremely interested in, though out of my budget. Ideally, I'd like to spend around $600-750 on the bike but make sure I'm not painting myself into a corner and have nice options to upgrade down the line; it's a bike I plan on keeping for a long, long time and I don't envision myself buying a dozen bikes over the next 5 years but I guess everyone says that, right? Here's what I'm thinking of doing and would love your feedback on.

I am in love with the Stop Cycles Proletariat frame. Read good things about the frame, love the looks and they are good guys who have been really helpful and accommodating whenever I've spoken with them. As they no longer make the bike and shops do not have any completes, I'm sort of SOL. However, what I am considering doing is buying a 2011 Novara Big Buzz (18-speed SRAM, disc brakes) I found on Craigslist for around $450-500 with fenders and a rear rack, but also buy the Proletariat frame. I would then take all the components off the Big Buzz and transfer them to the Proletariat, leaving me with a Novara frame and a ready to rock Proletariat. The Proletariat has horizontal dropouts, but my plan is to buy a dropout adapter to mount the rear derailleur to and then down the line buy the IGH and be done with it: I got my complete Proletariat, I just did it in the most unconventional of ways. The Proletariat frame/fork is currently $299, combine that with the Big Buzz for $450 and I'm in for $750...which is right in line with my budget. I may even discover that I really like the derailleur setup and pass on the IGH but at least with this frame I have the option of upgrading, whereas if I got a frame like that Big Buzz with vertical dropouts I have no option to switch to IGH.

Anyone done something similar where you've ridden derailleurs on a horizontal dropout bike? Converted to IGH down the line? Do you think this solution can work...or, would you just avoid it like the plague. If I could build the bike from parts rather than pillaging the Big Buzz I would but I'm just not seeing a way to do that if I can get it all from that bike on Craigslist for that low price.

Thanks and I appreciate any/all feedback you have!
bmills313 is offline  
Old 07-05-12, 11:06 PM
Senior Member
jputnam's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Pacific, WA
Posts: 1,260

Bikes: Custom 531ST touring, Bilenky Viewpoint, Bianchi Milano, vintage Condor racer

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
If your long-term goal is IGH, it might make more sense to find a good used IGH bike as your organ donor. Lightly used, a few years old bike that's been hanging in a garage could get you the equipment you actually want. My Bianchi Milano was so new the tires weren't scuffed, even though it was two years old, under $500 if I remember correctly.
jputnam is offline  
Old 07-06-12, 12:23 AM
El Duderino X's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 253

Bikes: 2007 Dahon Cadenza w/ Alfine IGH11, modified MEC Desire w/Alfine IGH8,+ 2 ebikes: Bionx PL350 & 36V eZee FHB/Tidalforce frames.

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would suggest buying the best possible frame that applies to your commuter project that you can (equipped with everything that you may want: disc brake tabs, adjustable drop outs/fork ends, rack & fender mounts, etc).
That Proletariat frame is pretty gorgeous, though. Failing that may I suggest a Civia Hyland frame?
You can occasionally find these frames online (Ebay, etc.) for around $150.00 USD (plus $20 or so bucks for the drop-outs, $100. or so for the fork. It gets pricey pretty quick.). I suggest this one as it has sliding drop outs which make IGH applications super slick (no chain tensioner) and is pretty much commuter ready once assembled.

Last edited by El Duderino X; 07-06-12 at 12:40 AM.
El Duderino X is offline  
Old 07-06-12, 10:59 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the replies, guys. I agree finding an IGH organ donor would be best, I'm just not seeing much right now and the weather in Seattle is great now and I'd like to get on this bike ASAP. The price of that Big Buzz went down to $400 so now I'm really leaning toward using it as the organ donor and then figuring out buying a better/new frame after the fact (Proletariat, Hyland, etc.). The Proletariat has a less-friendly drop out system than the Hyland or a bike such as the Corduroy Rebel from Civilian, which is a bummer, but I'm not sure it's enough to steer me away from it. I'm visiting REI today, too, and may look at a new Big Buzz from them and scrapping the idea of the 2nd frame if they may be able to negotiate down on the price...but my ideal option is still getting a nicer 2nd frame that will allow me more options down the line.

Decisions, decisions!
bmills313 is offline  
Old 07-06-12, 11:43 AM
Senior Member
Big Lebowski's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 328

Bikes: Trek 9th District, CAAD 10, Crux

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Converting to IGH down the line

I now live in KC, but I think there's a place in Crossroads/Bellevue that will build an IGH wheel for you. Won't be cheap, but you could likely get exactly what you want.

I have a single-speed and I know an IGH can be hard to find.
Big Lebowski is offline  
Old 07-07-12, 10:23 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
So I rode a couple bikes yesterday including the Scott Sub 10 with IGH and Gates Carbon Drive (first IGH or belt drive I'd ever ridden)...wow. The IGH is crazy smooth shifting and that combined with the belt drive made for an incredibly smooth ride and I was amazed at the range in that IGH. I'm not sure for urban or even any sort of paved/path riding you'd ever need more than those 8 gears. I found a couple pretty steep hills to test and was 2 gears from the bottom and my legs were spinning far faster than they needed to be and on the flats I put it in top gear and was really trucking and laboring a bit so with a bit of a downhill I should be flying. So now, I'm basically certain I want the IGH and probably from the get-go rather than riding with a standard derailleur setup and upgrading down the line. That Scott Sub 10 was the devil and now I really want that bike! HAHA!! But, I'm still going to look into finding parts for that Proletariat but see what the cost would be to pick up an IGH on eBay and then have wheels built for it as they're going to be the biggest cost I'll have a hard time finding for cheap or used. I'm probably going to bite the bullett and invest in more upfront than I had planned as I can really see how getting something super nice is going to pay dividends down the line and be something I'll be using a ton. Stoked!!

BTW @Big_Lebowski: where in KC do you live? I went to KU and moved to 119th and like maybe it was Quivira but can't remember the exact street...right behind that grocery store in the strip center with Tanners off US 69 over in OP. Sooo many great bike paths there, you can make a ride down to State Line from there super easily and it's a fun ride!
bmills313 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Road Cycling
05-01-14 04:56 PM
06-03-13 02:04 AM
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
06-04-12 12:22 AM
General Cycling Discussion
02-13-11 06:23 PM
02-27-10 09:27 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.