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SRAM pulls the plug on IGHs

Old 02-17-17, 09:19 AM
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SRAM pulls the plug on IGHs

SRAM is pulling out of IGHs because of declining sales. No more SRAM Dual Drives.

SRAM ends sales of internal gear hubs | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
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Old 02-17-17, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
SRAM is pulling out of IGHs because of declining sales. No more SRAM Dual Drives.

SRAM ends sales of internal gear hubs | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
I won't miss it, those things are real boat anchors. You can do better with a decent derailleur drivetrain.
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Old 02-17-17, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
SRAM is pulling out of IGHs because of declining sales. No more SRAM Dual Drives.

SRAM ends sales of internal gear hubs | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
That's too bad. Gosh at 100,000 units of sales per year, the supply chain isn't interested in producing parts. That still a large niche. I guess these companies like SRAM can't afford or aren't interested in producing their own sub components.

I have a SRAM i-Motion 3 sitting on a shelf. I replaced that with a Sturmey Archer x-rf8. My 20" folder as a Shimano Nexus 8 in it. It appears I have all of the big three IGH's... or at least the ones mentioned in that article.
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Old 02-17-17, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by edelay
That's too bad. Gosh at 100,000 units of sales per year, the supply chain isn't interested in producing parts. That still a large niche. I guess these companies like SRAM can't afford or aren't interested in producing their own sub components.

I have a SRAM i-Motion 3 sitting on a shelf. I replaced that with a Sturmey Archer x-rf8. My 20" folder as a Shimano Nexus 8 in it. It appears I have all of the big three IGH's... or at least the ones mentioned in that article.
As someone with all 3, what do you think about them? I have a Shimano Nexus 7 and as someone used to derailleurs (and someone coming from the road bike world) I was surprised by how draggy my Tern D7i feels compared to my roadie, or even a touring full-size frame. I've been wondering if it was just a bad hub?
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Old 02-17-17, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by slickginger
As someone with all 3, what do you think about them? I have a Shimano Nexus 7 and as someone used to derailleurs (and someone coming from the road bike world) I was surprised by how draggy my Tern D7i feels compared to my roadie, or even a touring full-size frame. I've been wondering if it was just a bad hub?
It could be a combination of multiple factors rather than due solely to the hub. For example, I swapped out a derailleur system for an Alfine 8 on my mountain bike, then went back to a derailleur, so I had the chance to do an apples to apples comparison. There was some difference in feel, but not nearly as much as many like to assume. However, I also have a bike with an Alfine 11, dynamo hub, big heavy tires, an upright geometry, etc, and that feels like a boat anchor compared to my road bike.
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Old 02-17-17, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by slickginger
As someone with all 3, what do you think about them? I have a Shimano Nexus 7 and as someone used to derailleurs (and someone coming from the road bike world) I was surprised by how draggy my Tern D7i feels compared to my roadie, or even a touring full-size frame. I've been wondering if it was just a bad hub?
Here are my ratings below. If the Nexus 8 came in a 120 OLD, I wouldn't even have a reason to look at the other hubs. I hope that Sturmey Archer can make the 8 as efficient and as quiet as the Nexus/Alfine line some day.

Someone else mentioned that their Nexus 7 had a lot of friction as well.

Shimano Nexus 8 (SG-8R30)
- this is the one I like best overall
- least amount of friction, almost imperceptible difference from a derailleur
- shifts are nice and clean
- I don't generally have to fiddle with the adjustment on this
- 5 gear is direct drive, which has the lowest friction and is a nice near for toodling around in
- a nice wide gear range of 307% which is perfect for my commute and general usage
- while the steps in the gears aren't all even, they are even enough
- decent looking hub
- reasonable price
- adjustments are easy, you line up some lines in a window
- hub is silent

Sturmey Archer 8 (x-rf8w)
- this is my 2nd favourite
- this has noticeable friction
- shift are nice and clean if you keep it in adjustment
- I do have to adjust this one a bit more
- adjustments are easy, you line up a line into the centre of a window
- great looking hub with polished metal
- gear steps are nice and even except the lowest and the highest... which I don't mine
- wide gear range of 325%
- hub is noisy
- has a 120 OLD (Over locknut dimension) so is good for folding bike that have narrow dropouts
- direct drive is gear 1, and all gearing is up from there, so is great for smaller wheeled bikes

SRAM i-Motion 3
- only used this for a month or so
- seemed almost as efficient as the Nexus 8
- gear changes seemed a little grabby and clingy but not sure if that was the hub or the twist shifter
- just wasn't enough gears for to to maintain a good cadence, which isn't a flaw of the hub, just didn't match my riding style'
- 120 OLD

I will likely get a single speed Brompton this spring. If I'm adventurous, will widen the rear triangle and put the Nexus 8 in it. If not will certainly put a Sturmey Archer 8 in it.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Last edited by edelay; 02-17-17 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 02-17-17, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi
I won't miss it, those things are real boat anchors. You can do better with a decent derailleur drivetrain.
I happen to prefer derailer drivetrains as well; but the SRAM DDs were reliable and provided an excellent gear range without using a long cage rear derailer.

Originally Posted by edelay
That's too bad. Gosh at 100,000 units of sales per year, the supply chain isn't interested in producing parts. That still a large niche. I guess these companies like SRAM can't afford or aren't interested in producing their own sub components.
I found that surprising that someone couldn't continue production given that the tooling was already in place.
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Old 02-17-17, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi
I won't miss it, those things are real boat anchors. You can do better with a decent derailleur drivetrain.
Better at what? Both have their strengths and weaknesses, which is why there is a good spread of both systems out in the world.
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Old 02-17-17, 01:57 PM
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Sad, although I only ever tried a couple of SRAM offering... well, actually only one. I had a bike with a SRAM iMotion3 Disk hub and it was great. At the shifter, felt like a better quality hub than either S-A or Shimano 3spds. I also had a DualDrive hub on a bike, but that was actually one of the original SACHS units, pre-SRAM.

I can understand the reason given, and at least there are alternatives. Hopefully, this strengthens Sturmey-Archer market share so they don't stop production, either, and/or maybe spur Shimano to create a DD replacement.
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Old 02-17-17, 02:11 PM
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Bummer, does that leave Sturmey-Archer as the only maker of a 2-speed, cable-free gear hub? I found the idea of the Automatix more appealing than the Kick-back. I've got one in the closet waiting to be built into a project, and I had another project in mind for one. Might have to grab one while they're still around.
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Old 02-17-17, 04:26 PM
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got me a handful of 2 speed automatix coaster brake option to built wheels with, found out that my stock in prebuilt wheels was pretty thin. Now I have some more for at least a year or so ...


Its a sad that Sram let the commuter market go
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Old 02-17-17, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
SRAM is pulling out of IGHs because of declining sales. No more SRAM Dual Drives. SRAM ends sales of internal gear hubs | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
Thanks for posting invisiblehand. I always thought the Automatix hub was a briliant hub in theory but I never got to try one. Thor is smart to stockpile a few before the become extinct.
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Old 02-17-17, 07:08 PM
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Too bad. I was curious to try a lightweight folder or mini-velo with the Automatix. I suppose there will still be some available for awhile.

I was tempted by a folder with Automatix back in 2015 when I first resumed cycling after a 30+ year hiatus. At the time I wasn't fit enough to handle even moderate hills on a two-speed bike loaded with groceries. But now I could, although I'd prefer the Automatix on a lightweight folder just for casual riding and being able to take it onto the bus or toss in the trunk of a car.

I haven't found the weight of an IGH to be noticeable in casual riding. A friend has a couple of IGH bikes, both lighter than my comfort hybrid. On our modest hills the weight isn't noticeable. He says he notices some drag on one bike but I haven't ridden 'em enough to notice the difference. I'd probably need to be able to ride above my usual 12 mph average for it to matter.
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Old 02-17-17, 07:12 PM
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SRAM DD fan here

I've been a vocal fan of SRAM's DualDrive hubs. This is what i wrote in another thread a few weeks back about it after using it for 25 months.

'25 months on...
Twenty five months on, and I've had absolutely no problems or issues with the SRAM DualDrive hub. The bike was bought second hand so the hub's been going for longer than that. No mis-shifts, no noises, no discernible resistance, no clickbox falling off, no maintainace woes, no adjustment, no nothing. The thing just works. Period/full stop.'


Those who say that a derailleur system is just as good or better obviously forgot that a long cage derailleur on a 406 wheel is risky. What derailleur system is going to give me on a 406 wheel the 18.6-113 gear-inch range that the SDD hub gives me using a RD that hangs well above the ground?

Then there are those who the clickbox is finicky, fragile and difficult to source. Simply not true. In 25 months of use, often in the rocky country roads of Bali, the thing has never come off, and it remains intact. It can be easily and quickly sourced from Amazon.

Last edited by Abu Mahendra; 02-17-17 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 02-17-17, 08:07 PM
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I've got a few new 2spd Automatix on the shelf at $55/ea .. PM if interested
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Old 02-17-17, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightdiver
Better at what? Both have their strengths and weaknesses, which is why there is a good spread of both systems out in the world.
Better at lighter weight. I thought my comment reflected this.
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Old 02-17-17, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ThorUSA
got me a handful of 2 speed automatix coaster brake option to built wheels with, found out that my stock in prebuilt wheels was pretty thin. Now I have some more for at least a year or so ...


Its a sad that Sram let the commuter market go
I still have the Curve D3 Automatix you sold me. I don't ride it much, but it's a neat little bike.
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Old 02-17-17, 11:09 PM
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Not sure about my facts... I thought SRAM brought the Automatix back from Sachs days after user requests through Hubstripping.
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Old 02-18-17, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by slickginger
As someone with all 3, what do you think about them?
This older article claims Sram is not abandoning all its IGHs and is developing a new series for e-bikes.
Lets see, I have an in-laws 40+ year old, SA 3-speed/coaster brake Schwinn Collegiate in the garage. It gets ridden occasionally to the end of the street to pick up the mail. Only two speeds work but they work well.

A few years ago I bought a nearly new Downtube folder with a SA 8-speed. It was the older SA X-RF8 version with a narrower gear range than the current X-RF8(W) offering. With the OME 53 tooth single chain ring it had a pretty ridiculous 40-121 inch range. I changed to a Patterson 28/45 internal crank set which made it a nearly ideal for me 21-102 range. The SA hub was very fussy to keep it indexed. When the rear rim started to head south, I decided not to lace the new rim to SA hub and opted for a Nexus 8 IGH.

There is no real comparison. The Nexus is saddle and steering tube above the SA in quality and performance. The stock Patterson/Nexus with the 17 tooth cog (the smallest) gave the system a 16-80 inch range, which is a pretty low range, but come to find out Sam Patterson has a 32 and 36 chain rings options to replace the original 28. The 32 would give this old man something like a 19-90 range which should work. I suppose what Im saying is changing out the SA for the Nexus will probably also require some changes to the crank set but also big changes in performance. When I up graded to a Dahon MU the Nexus/Patterson drivetrain was transferred without a hitch.
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Old 02-18-17, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra
I've been a vocal fan of SRAM's DualDrive hubs. This is what i wrote in another thread a few weeks back about it after using it for 25 months.

'25 months on...
Twenty five months on, and I've had absolutely no problems or issues with the SRAM DualDrive hub. The bike was bought second hand so the hub's been going for longer than that. No mis-shifts, no noises, no discernible resistance, no clickbox falling off, no maintainace woes, no adjustment, no nothing. The thing just works. Period/full stop.'


Those who say that a derailleur system is just as good or better obviously forgot that a long cage derailleur on a 406 wheel is risky. What derailleur system is going to give me on a 406 wheel the 18.6-113 gear-inch range that the SDD hub gives me using a RD that hangs well above the ground?

Then there are those who the clickbox is finicky, fragile and difficult to source. Simply not true. In 25 months of use, often in the rocky country roads of Bali, the thing has never come off, and it remains intact. It can be easily and quickly sourced from Amazon.
Similar Experience: Bought a used Dahon TR with Sram DualDrive 7 or 8 years ago....While not my daily commuter its been a primary back up. Like Abu I have never had any issues with it.

Its great to have a derailleur bike that you can shift while stopped. I am surprised this has not seen wider application since it works so well and is reliable.

Is there any one else making a IGH that you can put a cassette on?
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Old 02-18-17, 08:36 AM
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Sturmey-Archer | CS-RF3 Black
Here is a 3 speed which will take a freewheel. SA products listed by them may b hard to find: they have a very light 4 speed which I have never seen for sale.
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Old 02-18-17, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra
Heavier than SDD. Max cog 34T (why?). BruceMetras once posted saying he preferred the SA to the SDD. i wonder whether he meant this one.

Hey Abu, where did I write that? Please show quote..
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Old 02-18-17, 12:03 PM
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Sorry, you preferred the Sachs, not the Sturmey Archer. My mistake. The thread where you said you preferred the Sachs to the SDD is post #13 here.

So, why do you prefer the Sachs?

Originally Posted by BruceMetras
Hey Abu, where did I write that? Please show quote..
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Old 02-18-17, 12:46 PM
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I'm actually a big fan of both the Sachs and the SRAM .. the SA had lots of problems when it was standard issue for the hybrid drive Terns .. the solution for some of the customers after dealer adjustments and replacements was to install a SRAM Dual Drive.. I still have my SRAM DD SpeedPro, which continues to work flawlessly since 2005 ..

I like the pull chain Sachs for my MTB application because it's less exposed and a neater arrangement..



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Old 02-18-17, 02:41 PM
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I'll be extra nice to my SRAM i-Motion 3 hub from now on!

Actually, this makes me really sad. My very first bike had a Sachs 2 speed coaster brake hub. It was brilliant. I kicked the heck out of it for years through snow and rain. Never needed any adjustment or cleaning, iirc. Been through years with deraillers, life is just too short. I use a bike for transport, not as a hobby. But to each his own. Shimano, here I come (someday, I guess).
Update six years later:
A few years ago, I found 3 SRAM i-Motion 3 coaster hubs on Ebay; someone was selling them for about $40 each. My first one lasted for 8 years of almost daily riding, without maintenance or adjustments. Switching them out is really easy too. Glad to have back - up.

Last edited by wesgreen; 05-19-23 at 07:31 PM.
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