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Is this foldie a viable credit-card touring platform?

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Is this foldie a viable credit-card touring platform?

Old 04-03-24, 02:20 AM
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It’ll do it, so long as the terrain is mostly horizontal. I don’t like small-wheel bikes with the rear axle under the saddle. I loved doing wheelies on purpose as a kid, but doing accidental wheelies as an adult is something I like to avoid. Putting a little weight in the bag on the front would help keep the front wheel on the ground when going up a hill in a lower gear.

To me, the low-hanging derailleur is not a deal-breaker, I’ve ridden bikes with an SGS derailleur on 20” wheels, and while the derailleur has occasionally bumped into things, it has never broken or knocked out enough to affect the shifting.
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Old 04-03-24, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Au contraire, Dura. Except for the weight, I have nothing but good things to say about the SRAM DualDrive3 three-speed hub. Huge range, too much actually. Good shifting, good efficiency.
Yeah, a dual drive, when in IGH-2nd range, is high efficency, direct drive, and low and high aren't used often. It just has the drawbacks of derailleur gearing that you normally leave behind by going IGH, plus the drawback that most IGHs need an annual teardown and lube if ridden in the wet, $100 here. Compare that with the Rohloff which is all oil-bath, even the main bearings, good seals, and easy to drain and refill, and that keeps it in good shape and saves that $100 a year at the IGH-expert LBS. But yes, the hub alone costs 3X what I have invested in my bike. I vaguely recall reading last year about some new IGHs coming to the market, when I was researching the Pinion trans mentioned to me by a guy on the bike trail. Can't remember the names. Evidently, despite SRAM exiting the IGH market, certainly due to declining demand, others feel there is a market for good hubs, especially with Rohloff at premium pricing, there is plenty of room to undercut them. Pinion looks fantastic but was only available on $5000+ bikes last I looked.
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Old 04-03-24, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
Being oil-lubricated, the A11 is pretty good in terms of efficiency. As for weight, it's ~1,600g so would add a few hundred grams to a derailleur solution.

Pros and cons.

A cheap and safe solution for the Brompton is to get a triangle from AliE and coldset it to 135mm ó note that the frame is not symetrical: The drive side is bent outwards a few mm's more than the left-side. If it fails, it's only a $100 experiment.

As for slippage, besides a folder being used in cities by most users (where a gear hub is nice to have since you can change gears at a stop), it'd be interesting to know the context: Were people standing on the pedals (never a good idea with a gear hub) and/or using it with a mid-drive motor (not a good idea either)?
Yes, the slippage on Alfine 11 that I read about was standing while climbing. I require a bike that I can both spin up hills, and climb while standing. Ironically, I had to modify my folder to get the former. I hadn't known that standing was a problem with other ratchet-pawl IGHs, if true, that's another nail in the coffin for them for my use.
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Old 04-03-24, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
Besides its wider gear range, total silence and shifting at a stop, an Alfine 11 gear hub would be a nice alternative to that huge cassette + derailleur very close to the ground

I really like this idea. Doesn't have quite the range I like but it's an interesting compromise.
Last time I looked it up, there was a suggested torque limit, so heavy riders-out of seat-in lower gears, might exceed that torque.
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Old 04-03-24, 01:28 PM
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The torque limit suggested for Alfine hubs is affected by the chainset-sprocket ratio used. This limits low gears but itís not really a problem with small wheels, as we can stay within the confines of the torque limit and still achieve a 20Ē bottom gear.
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Old 04-03-24, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Yes, the slippage on Alfine 11 that I read about was standing while climbing. I require a bike that I can both spin up hills, and climb while standing. Ironically, I had to modify my folder to get the former. I hadn't known that standing was a problem with other ratchet-pawl IGHs, if true, that's another nail in the coffin for them for my use.
Yeah, the ability to stand and pedal out of the saddle is a must for me. There are hills so steep and long that one must alternate between seated and standing positions lest you collapse midway.

Here's are some examples. My parish is chock full of these steep river ravines when traveling along the east-west axis.
​​​
The Ring of Fire is no joke, bro. Reddleman will likely recognize this type of theater of operations in the North Island of Aotearoa.


Incidentally, I should mention that I have taken two of those climbs on 16" wheels. The suggestion that you'll flip backwards when on steep terrain simply ain't true if you know what your doing.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 04-03-24 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 04-03-24, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
... the drawback that most IGHs need an annual teardown and lube if ridden in the wet, $100 here...
Dg, you are channeling J!pe again, saying things that are plainly untrue or pointing out imaginary problems that exist only in your mind or in a First-World bubble. ​​You keep repeating this and it ain't true. My SDD3 never needed a teardown, repair or rebuild. It was solid, maintenance free. That's why I said earlier that it was great, but for the weight.

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Old 04-04-24, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Yeah, the ability to stand and pedal out of the saddle is a must for me. There are hills so steep and long that one must alternate between seated and standing positions lest you collapse midway.

Incidentally, I should mention that I have taken two of those climbs on 16" wheels. The suggestion that you'll flip backwards when on steep terrain simply ain't true if you know what your doing.
Climbing: You and me both. Stand, spin, and lately coming back from really out of shape, walking.

Climbing stability on steeps: Yep, it's mostly a matter of wheelbase. I had thought my folder was way shorter wheelbase than full-size bikes, it's really not, I've increasingly realized they've aimed for similar wheelbase, even though there was space to go a lot shorter. They're still shorter overall length, especially 16", but overhang beyond the wheelbase matters not for stability. But having some bag-weight on the front axle does help a bit if your wheel and fork are on the light side. Also, climbing or braking on steeps, though the axles are lower, still should matter not (I think), what matters is rider position (height) with respect to ground thrust points of tires, which is the same as large wheel bikes due to minimum height of bottom bracket and thus rider. So if similar wheelbase, similar stability.
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Old 04-04-24, 02:52 AM
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I was talking ago Alfine 11 with local bike shop and mechanic did not seem to be impressed with Alfine which seemed a little harder to setup and not as good (strong) as some with fewer ratios.

I talked about that because I had the idea of building a beach racer from a single speed MTB with disc bake and fit a alfine di2 sealed hub... no cable, may be not chain (belt drive), 60mm wide slick tyres and drop bars all setup to deal with salted water.
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Old 04-04-24, 03:08 AM
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I remember vaguely that the Alfine 8 was sturdier and trouble free.
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Old 04-04-24, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Dg, you are channeling J!pe again, saying things that are plainly untrue or pointing out imaginary problems that exist only in your mind or in a First-World bubble. ​​You keep repeating this and it ain't true. My SDD3 never needed a teardown, repair or rebuild. It was solid, maintenance free. That's why I said earlier that it was great, but for the weight.
Please know, I'm not basing that statement on IGHs in my experience, I haven't used one since early teens. It's based solely on a LBS that seems to be an expert on IGHs, people ship them from around the country to get serviced there. The particular owner/mechanic has been thanked on Sheldon Brown for providing valuable info on a number of subjects. Their web page on IGHs says need annual lube if ridden in rain like our local city all winter. They could be wrong, or just trying to drum up business. I just know that they know more than me. Qualifier: I don't think this applies to the Rohloff or any other IGH with good seals and oil bath lube on everything, both sealed from water well, and consumer-easy to drain and refill.

Scroll down for info on this page from that shop:
https://www.rideyourbike.com/internalgears.shtml
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Old 04-04-24, 05:25 AM
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My understanding of Shimano hub gears is mainly based on the sage commentary found on the Cycling UK forums and not my personal experience. Both Alfine options are easy enough to relubricate at home, but the 11 is oil based and the 8 speed is grease based. The 11 is also more sensitive to damage when the indexing slips due to the short cable pull needed to shift, which the Di2 version obviously avoids. The minimum gear ratio recommended to avoid excessive torque damage is 1.9:1 or thereabouts, which limits the lowest gear on full sized bikes to the mid to high twenty inches, but on a smaller wheeled folder we can still get a twenty inch low gear without breaking this ratio.

Based on all this and the range of shifters produced by Shimano and Microshift, my cheapskate Rohloff equivalent for a rugged small wheeled tourer with plenty of ground clearance would consist of an 8 speed Alfine and a 16T sprocket coupled with a 46-30T chainset with bar end shifters by Microshift.
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Old 04-04-24, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Please know, I'm not basing that statement on IGHs in my experience, I haven't used one since early teens. It's based solely on a LBS that seems to be an expert on IGHs, people ship them from around the country to get serviced there. The particular owner/mechanic has been thanked on Sheldon Brown for providing valuable info on a number of subjects. Their web page on IGHs says need annual lube if ridden in rain like our local city all winter. They could be wrong, or just trying to drum up business. I just know that they know more than me. Qualifier: I don't think this applies to the Rohloff or any other IGH with good seals and oil bath lube on everything, both sealed from water well, and consumer-easy to drain and refill.

Scroll down for info on this page from that shop:
https://www.rideyourbike.com/internalgears.shtml
I have a Shimano Nexus 3 speed and 8 speed IGH, and I've never had a problem with either. I've even used my 3 speed as an upgrade for my now DOA Gravity Single Speed mountain bike. The frame died before the IGH, and my oldest son and I beat the crap out of that bike (his annoying a** kept shifting it while pedaling, and I thought he was going to kill my hub!). My 8 speed Nexus just needs a new shifter, and it's as good as new.

Personally, I'll take the advice of these members over that bike shop any day. Even Bellitte Bike Shop in Jamaica, NY said that IGH's usually last an amazingly long time without the need for service. They're not perfect, but REQUIRING yearly maintenance is POPPYCOCK!
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Old 04-04-24, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Reddleman
My understanding of Shimano hub gears is mainly based on the sage commentary found on the Cycling UK forums and not my personal experience. Both Alfine options are easy enough to relubricate at home, but the 11 is oil based and the 8 speed is grease based. The 11 is also more sensitive to damage when the indexing slips due to the short cable pull needed to shift, which the Di2 version obviously avoids. The minimum gear ratio recommended to avoid excessive torque damage is 1.9:1 or thereabouts, which limits the lowest gear on full sized bikes to the mid to high twenty inches, but on a smaller wheeled folder we can still get a twenty inch low gear without breaking this ratio.

Based on all this and the range of shifters produced by Shimano and Microshift, my cheapskate Rohloff equivalent for a rugged small wheeled tourer with plenty of ground clearance would consist of an 8 speed Alfine and a 16T sprocket coupled with a 46-30T chainset with bar end shifters by Microshift.
I'd love to see this build become a reality...
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Old 04-04-24, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Please know, I'm not basing that statement on IGHs in my experience, I haven't used one since early teens. It's based solely on a LBS that seems to be an expert on IGHs, people ship them from around the country to get serviced there. The particular owner/mechanic has been thanked on Sheldon Brown for providing valuable info on a number of subjects. Their web page on IGHs says need annual lube if ridden in rain like our local city all winter. They could be wrong, or just trying to drum up business. I just know that they know more than me. Qualifier: I don't think this applies to the Rohloff or any other IGH with good seals and oil bath lube on everything, both sealed from water well, and consumer-easy to drain and refill.

Scroll down for info on this page from that shop:
https://www.rideyourbike.com/internalgears.shtml
Mr. Grouch, do you ask your barber if you need a haircut?
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Old 04-04-24, 09:43 PM
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Call him 'DG' instead.
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Old 04-04-24, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta
Mr. Grouch, do you ask your barber if you need a haircut?
I'm a do-it-yourselfer on nearly everything possible, but even I readily admit when it seems someone knows more than me, I don't think that's a bad quality. I take your point. But I'll also say, that LBS didn't say IGHs need an annual regreasing if dry, only if ridden in rain as a habit, and adding more grease and oil above what came with the bike new, is also needed, they charge $40 for that instead of the $100 for teardown, clean, and relube; They showed pics from one rainy winter without that, rust inside. They put a lot of grease on the outer bearings and seals in particular to try to seal out water, in addition to the internal gears. I know from experience on standard hubs that the bearings come with absolute bare minimum coating of grease, and I always add more after cleaning off the factory grease as I don't know if compatible with the grease I use, the green marine wheel bearing grease, as it has a different elemental base. There is also another photo on the site of a dry-ridden hub from Ohio after a year, no rust, looks ok, but they say the grease is starting to turn gray from metal particles and they feel it would only be another season or two before internal pitting. I'm sure that one year of dry wear represented a lot of riding, not occasional short use like many adults use their bike. The Sachs or SRAM 3-speed folder I bought used, mint, I printed out the owner's manual, says "permanently" lubed, and no oil port on the outside. Nah. (I know of Mercedes-Benz automatic transmissions that made the same claim, and a LOT of people had to replace the trans before its time.) I promptly printed out the hub service manual, but never got around to servicing it myself, as I realized in 30 seconds that bike doesn't have enough gear range for me.

Anyway, people have access to the info. A lot depends on yearly mileage and weather exposure. People can do as they wish. For a $300 wheel and hub, yeah I could see just pushing it and then replacing it when it goes bad; anything past 3 years means you're saving money compared to (3) $100 services. A significantly more expensive hub and wheel, I'd probably service it myself annually, but I think I'd need a small workbench and vise. If I get a Brompnot on 349s, it's gonna have an IGH for sufficient top gear, unless it has a 9-36 cassette.

By the way, regarding your quote above, I'm at a point in life where letting my hair grow to any length just accentuates the baldness, so it's all clipped really short, like boot-camp short; Am I gonna pay $20 for a barber to go over it all with the fine clippers in less than two minutes? No. I can do it just as fast and just as easy, in the dark if needed, about every two weeks.

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Old 05-04-24, 08:00 AM
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The question is now being put to the test on my Tour-de-Korea 2024. Follow the action on the Touring channel.


In the Deep South
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Old 05-15-24, 05:12 PM
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The cycling part of my South Korea tour is now complete after riding some 600km in total. I had zero mechanical problems, no flats, no nothing. The Gust still rides smoothly and silently, with no groans, creaks or flex at all. Is the FnHon Gust 16" with ETRTO305 wheels a competent, practical CC-tourer? Yes.

Even better is the fact that it only costs about $550 to custom build new with quality parts, requires no proprietary, non-standard components, has a front block for luggage and full-range derailleur transmission, and weighs under 10kg in stock form.


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Old 05-15-24, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111
Ron, questions for you. You own both 16 and 20 inch wheeled bikes. I've read several times among these posts that 16 inch folders are only good for a few miles, more of a destination hookup than just pleasure riding. I want your opinion on this as you seem to have the most experience on these forums with the 16 inch wheel. My daily greenway jaunt is usually 8 to 12 miles. Is this too much for a 16 inch folder to ride comfortably? Thanks your opinion is valued.
I rode 101km one day, from Daegu to Namji on my tour of South Korea a few days ago. That was only my third longest ride ever on a 16" (305) wheel folder.



Last year, I rode 111km on the 16" wheel FSIR Spin 3 from Seoul to Chuncheon. The record of that haul is in post #11 in this thread: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1271869-tour-de-korea-2023-a.html



Don't believe those who say these small wheel bikes are for short, last-mile hauls only. It all depends on the pony and on the jockey. It all depends on what you and your rig are made of. 😉

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Old 05-15-24, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
Itíll do it, so long as the terrain is mostly horizontal. I donít like small-wheel bikes with the rear axle under the saddle. I loved doing wheelies on purpose as a kid, but doing accidental wheelies as an adult is something I like to avoid. Putting a little weight in the bag on the front would help keep the front wheel on the ground when going up a hill in a lower gear.
I have toured on a 91-cm and on a 92-cm wheelbase 16" wheel folder, and ridden some pretty steep inclines, including at home in Ring-of-Fire Bali, terrain similar to Japan's. Never, ever have I even come close to doing a wheelie. This is only an issue in people's imagination, not in actual reality.


Sorry, J!pe, but I pedalled standing, off the saddle using the "obsolete" method.


​​​​​

Double digit gradient


https://maps.app.goo.gl/y6G3esvHpPjN4Z5a9
​​​​​

View at the top

Let's put this notion that you'll easily or inadvertently flip back with wheelies on steep climbs on short wheelbase bicycles to rest once and for all. It is absurd, false and wrong.

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