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Drop bar hub gear bikes?

Old 01-01-15, 03:29 AM
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Jingo Lingo
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Drop bar hub gear bikes?

I've looked around but can't seem to find many options in drop bar road bikes with hub gears. My budget would be around $700 so I'm probably in the Nexus 8 speed territory. I really like the look of the Cube Hyde but its a flat bar. I know the nature of the twist shifters would be more suited to a flat bar bike but I'd really prefer drops. Anyone know of any suggestions?

If I do have to go with flat bars does anyone have any other options besides the Cube Hyde I've mentioned? There seems to be surprisingly little out there. A nice steel frame would be great but I'm really after something lightweight.
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Old 01-01-15, 10:56 AM
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Sussex Enterprises - Innovative bicycle components for Shimano internal hubs. Shaft drive bicycles, chainless bicycles, road bicycles, mountain bikes.
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Old 01-01-15, 11:03 AM
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You could always build your own from a Motobecane Uno or something similar. Get the nexus 8 and have it built into a rim and you'd most likely be less than the 700.
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Old 01-01-15, 12:41 PM
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Note Post Number 2, get a bike you like other than the Bars, if it has not drop Bars, do the Conversion , or Hire the shop To do it for you .

The Versa Road Shifter for Shimano Internal Hubs is made for either the 8 or 11 speed Hub



A Bike is a bunch of parts , change the ones you wish To.. Or Buy a Frame and Pick parts 1 at A Time.
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Old 01-01-15, 01:00 PM
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I have been riding my Diamondback Sti-8 (Nexus 8-speed) for more than two years and am completely satisfied with its performance. It looks good too. I have no criticisms. It has proven to be reliable, comfortable, stable, fun and relaxing to ride. I ride it every day; it is my car. I have another more sophisticated bike to ride (Cannodale Synapse) but the Diamondback is what I use the most. I shop with it, ride with my wife on it and get on it whenever I just want to relax around the neighborhood.

I have made a bunch of changes, but then, I tend to do that (I like to ‘fiddle’). None of them were necessary but it has been fun and the bike now fits and works better for me .

I just looked up a link (Amazon.com: Diamondback Bicycles 2015 Insight Sti-8 Complete Performance Hybrid Bike: Sports & Outdoors) that you might find useful.

Also, Diamondback’s page for this bike is: Diamondback Bicycles - Insight STI-8

Without reservations, I recommend this bike.

Joe
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Old 01-01-15, 01:35 PM
  #6  
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There are a few solutions out there.

The Versa shifters, which fietsbob mentioned, are a great solution. We built a Spot Ajax into a drop bar bike and it was great, but way out of your budget.

Another shifter to consider is a Jtek bar end shifter, for Shimano IGH. Used one of these on another customer's bike, a Trek Soho Dlx being converted to mustache bars. Also worked flawlessly.

Problem with converting some flat bar bikes into drop bar bikes is the frame geometry. I find that the top tube on a flat bar bike frame is usually longer than a similar drop bar bike, so if that's the direction you are going, compare tt measurements and get the correct size flat bar bike -- it may be a size smaller than you'd normally consider. Get a shorter stem, too...

Another way to go would be to build around a Sturmey Archer IGH setup. they offer bar end shifters for both their 3- and 5-speed models. Either will also disassemble off their bar clamps so you could use the shifter on a downtube mount, if that's they way you wanted to go.

Torker U3 is an off-the-shelf S/A 3sp option which retails for $500 or so... Couple of oddball throwbacks from Pashley might also fit the spec, if not the budget, Clubman Urban and the Speed 5, but they are not cheap and both would require more mods to get to what you describe.

My money; your situation? I'd find a drop bar singlespeed that I liked and which fit, then drop more cash on a S/A 5sp wheel(set) and bar end shifter:

Dawes SST 1
: $230
Soma Iggy 5sp rear wheel: $240
Soma Iggy front wheel (I like matchy-matchy wheels...): $120
S/A 5sp shifter: $37

Total: $627

DIY build, you'll need to spend a bit more, maybe $40 on small parts like cable/housing, housing clamps, S/A cable stop and hardware; Have a shop build it for you and you may be looking at just over $700... or have them order the Soma parts and see if they'll give you a package deal right at $700.

My money; my situation (bike mechanic, shop discount, same $700)? Higher end base singlespeed frame/fork, complete mid-range custom parts package, self-built wheels. Retail price would probably be closer to $1100.

Advice: find a Torker U3 to try out the concept. If it works but you want more range? Splurge later on a 5sp setup. Doesn't work out? You'll get most of your money back if you take the time to find the right buyer for an oddball bike.
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Old 01-01-15, 07:12 PM
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Thanks everyone for the excellent info. I wasn't aware of the Jtek bar end shifter. I've used bar ends in the past and really like them so that's something i'll look into. I am open to a custom build but I live in Sydney Australia so shipping parts here can be cost prohibitive. The Torker U3 looks really good if only I'd had the 8 speed hub. @ mconlonx, any reason you'd choose the S/A hub over the 8 speed nexus?
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Old 01-01-15, 08:15 PM
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My first thought...... Drop bars make shifting tricky (you gotta move your hand off from gripping even with that bar end lever) ......... gear hubs are supposed to take the tricky out of shifting etc....

My advice for if you're serious about doing this, is either set a bike up (stock or not) where you can attach a short bar to mount the index shifter on, or get a bar that has room for the index shifter & mount it before you put the tape on.

Thats just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-01-15, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
My first thought...... Drop bars make shifting tricky (you gotta move your hand off from gripping even with that bar end lever) ......... gear hubs are supposed to take the tricky out of shifting etc....

My advice for if you're serious about doing this, is either set a bike up (stock or not) where you can attach a short bar to mount the index shifter on, or get a bar that has room for the index shifter & mount it before you put the tape on.

Thats just my 2 cents.
It wasn't that long ago when we didn't have brifters, moving your hand to shift is no big deal. It was done for many years and still many do it today.

Internally geared hubs do shift different than derailleurs because you're supposed to not be pedaling (even just a for a second) when you shift. It makes it more convenient to shift while stopped, that's the removal of trickiness.

Last edited by onfloat; 01-01-15 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 01-01-15, 11:03 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Jingo Lingo View Post
@ mconlonx, any reason you'd choose the S/A hub over the 8 speed nexus?
Price. Otherwise, no reason at all -- have commuted with a nexus 8 hub bike, like them a lot. I've set up and tuned a Jtek shifter and it worked just fine. So doeds the Versa brake/shifter, for more money.
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Old 01-02-15, 06:30 AM
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Old 01-02-15, 11:57 AM
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In 1962 I put drop bars on my old JC Higgins 3 speed , fit a friction downtube lever on it..

The new NIG design even removes the false neutral between 3rd & 2nd if you dont pull the lever far enough, by feel and Habit.






People above may have posted bike Brand You can't get where You live, not saying where that is, that Happens..
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Old 01-02-15, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by onfloat View Post
It wasn't that long ago when we didn't have brifters, moving your hand to shift is no big deal. It was done for many years and still many do it today.

Internally geared hubs do shift different than derailleurs because you're supposed to not be pedaling (even just a for a second) when you shift. It makes it more convenient to shift while stopped, that's the removal of trickiness.
I was thinking putting the grip shifter on something like this:
https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...l#post17404351

- Andy
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Old 01-02-15, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Wow thanks for that. Exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. Just a bit pricey..
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Old 01-02-15, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
I was thinking putting the grip shifter on something like this:
https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...l#post17404351

- Andy
The Denali has it right on the bar for its derailleur setup...


But I wouldn't do it. Keep it simple.

The lever shift can be mounted as a thumb shift in a similar location, or the down tube or the bar end. And truly the IGH is not meant to be shifted like a derailleur set up, all you have to do is pause your pedal stroke for a second and shift. It comes in handy when stopped, climbing a steep hill with a load or any other time the rider feels the need to shift, but doesn't have the momentum to keep pedaling.
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Old 01-02-15, 10:53 PM
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Something curious I noticed, a lot of manufactures seemed to carry hub gear bikes a few years ago but no longer have them in there line up. Kona and Wilier are two that come to mind. There's numerous others. I read a review or see a second hand bike for sale, I google it, only to discover it's discontinued and there's no model to replace it. Or they use the same model name except the new model has no IGH. Seems strange.
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Old 01-03-15, 10:20 AM
  #17  
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Jingo I noticed that too and it even crossed my mind when I was writing my earlier post. I think in fact bikes direct sold one for a while. I'm not sure of the reasons but speculate that internal gear hubs are foreign to the vast majority of people looking to buy a bike. That combined with most shops don't know how to service them if problems were to arise.

I have one on a Bianchi San Jose with the Versa shifters mentioned earlier. It's cool but really for my climate and riding there's no overall benefit. It's also finicky and at times skips in 4th gear. No shops around here service them so it's up to me to deal with the issue. If I want it serviced I will need to take the entire wheel off and ship it to Shimano or a shop that is able to work on it.
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Old 01-03-15, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by onfloat View Post
The Denali has it right on the bar for its derailleur setup...


But I wouldn't do it. Keep it simple.

The lever shift can be mounted as a thumb shift in a similar location, or the down tube or the bar end. And truly the IGH is not meant to be shifted like a derailleur set up, all you have to do is pause your pedal stroke for a second and shift. It comes in handy when stopped, climbing a steep hill with a load or any other time the rider feels the need to shift, but doesn't have the momentum to keep pedaling.
A quite low end derrailleur Of reduced Quality But the price was to be Low.
those sell in big Box stores, IDK .. GMC dealerships Maybe several got thrown in for free with the Truck?

German Frame Builders get a drop Bar bent Out of 7/8" (22.2mm) to slip grip shifters (Rohloff only needs one) over then combine the 2 halves in the stem.

There are also Companies Making an oversize grip Shifter big enough to make it around the bar Bends , then an eccentric shim
fits inside , with a Gap so the brake cable under the Tape can pass thru under the shifter grip.

Many things can be done when the Buyer's Budget is of sufficient Size.


In the US a lot of what gets made , in Numbers, depends on what the Dealers Buy ,
and the PreSeason orders at the Big Trade Show in Las Vegas carries a Lot of Weight
on the contract batch Numbers Ordered from the Taiwan Companies that Make Them.

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-03-15 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 01-03-15, 03:01 PM
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I use mustache bars with a Nexus thumb shifter instead of the twist shifter. Over 30,000 trouble-free miles so far.

Behind Bars II by joshua_putnam, on Flickr
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Old 01-03-15, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jputnam View Post
I use mustache bars with a Nexus thumb shifter instead of the twist shifter. Over 30,000 trouble-free miles so far.

Behind Bars II by joshua_putnam, on Flickr
That's basically the setup I had on n IRO. Worked great. For those looking to do such a setup, make sure you get 22.0/mtn bar diameter mustache bars.

IGH bikes got dropped from manufacturers' lineups because they didn't sell. Part of it is, they are more expensive than similar derailleur bike. Check out the cost difference between Electra Townie 7d and 3i. Unless a customer comes in specifically looking for IGH, they are a tough sell, and there's not enough IGH buyers to sustain those models.
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Old 01-04-15, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jingo Lingo View Post
Something curious I noticed, a lot of manufactures seemed to carry hub gear bikes a few years ago but no longer have them in there line up.
Yep, well, the North American line-up. Other countries/markets, you couldn't throw a chain without hitting one.

BTW, the only bike share I've run across world wide that uses derailleurs is the one in Rio de Janeiro. Everywhere else is IGH (mostly two and three speed).
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Old 01-05-15, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jingo Lingo View Post
Something curious I noticed, a lot of manufactures seemed to carry hub gear bikes a few years ago but no longer have them in there line up. Kona and Wilier are two that come to mind. There's numerous others. I read a review or see a second hand bike for sale, I google it, only to discover it's discontinued and there's no model to replace it. Or they use the same model name except the new model has no IGH. Seems strange.
Yea, the economic downturn really had a lot of companies trim their product line. The one reason i really got turned on to breezer is ASI didn't do that, they kept offering better stuff for same price point.

- Andy
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Old 01-06-15, 01:14 PM
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Another vote for the JTek. It is inexpensive, well constructed, and has worked flawlessly in combination with the Alfine 8 speed shifter on my CX bike. My only complaint would be that they don't offer an 11 speed version.

The Versa is nice, but $$$ for what it is. By the time you purchase the shifter and hub, you'll put a big dent in your $700 budget.

Check out the CX/gravel forums for more info on alternative shifters for drop bars.
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