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Low gear, high ratio internal gear hub?

Old 01-16-18, 07:40 AM
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Low gear, high ratio internal gear hub?

I was wondering if there is bicycle internal gear hub that has high ratio like Rohloff or external gears but without lots of different speed modes which only internal gear hubs more expensive, difficult to produce and add lots of weight? I think I could be happy even with three or five speed modes which would even simpler to switch but which would have fastest like 526%, medium and low for hills. Nuvinci 360 or 380 is like that although it's mechanism has some issues and has limited gear ratio.
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Old 01-16-18, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by elfmachine
I think I could be happy even with three or five speed modes which would even simpler to switch but which would have fastest like 526%, medium and low for hills.
That's a tough one. Sturmey Archer has a four-speed hub that I rode a few a months ago. The range is only 210% on that. Sturmey's five-speed gets you to 243%. It seems like currently the number of speeds and the range go hand in hand, at least insofar as IGHs.
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Old 01-16-18, 05:33 PM
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I've found the better use of simple internal gear hubs was to give up the high gears. An old school Sturmey Archer typically had gears of 89, 66 and 45 inches. I would switch out the 19 tooth cog for something big enough for 66, 45 and 33 gear inches, or maybe 70, 50 and 38. It didn't make me faster but the low 33 gear was more useful than the high 89 gear for riding errands around town because I never had to avoid hills or get off and walk. YMMV.

em

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Old 01-16-18, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by elfmachine
I was wondering if there is bicycle internal gear hub that has high ratio like Rohloff or external gears but without lots of different speed modes which only internal gear hubs more expensive, difficult to produce and add lots of weight? I think I could be happy even with three or five speed modes which would even simpler to switch but which would have fastest like 526%, medium and low for hills. Nuvinci 360 or 380 is like that although it's mechanism has some issues and has limited gear ratio.
No. Both lower gears and more ratios come from having multiple planetary gearsets which can run in series.

Once paying for the parts to get a lower ratio, companies are better off spending the negligible incremental cost so they can price their offering like competitors' parts with more gears and higher price tags.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 01-16-18 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 01-16-18, 07:11 PM
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Forgetting the technical issues, an overly wide range with few steps, would make each individual step too large, and have you scrambling for something in between.

A typical road derailleur bike has a range of roughly 250% (ie. 40-100gear inches), and divides that into at least 12 steps allowing for overlap and duplication). 500% is greater range than a typical mtn bike with wide range gearing (triple front) and that also has plenty of steps.

Might I suggest that you start by determining what you need as a low, then what you'd get as a high with a typical 177% 3 speed hub. If you can live with a 40" gear, you'd get a 72" high, which is pretty reasonable for a level ground cruising gear. a 5s hub (250%), geared on the same philosophy would give you a nice range of gearing with steps small enough to be very practical.
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Old 01-16-18, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Forgetting the technical issues, an overly wide range with few steps, would make each individual step too large, and have you scrambling for something in between.
While I feel cassettes with a two tooth jump before the 19 cog are inappropriate for road riding, three widely spaced gears would get you a single speed for flattish terrain plus bail out high and low gears for steeper inclines going up and down-hill.

A typical road derailleur bike has a range of roughly 250% (ie. 40-100gear inches), and divides that into at least 12 steps allowing for overlap and duplication). 500% is greater range than a typical mtn bike with wide range gearing (triple front) and that also has plenty of steps.
If you buy an entry level bike today, it comes with a compact crank and pie plate cogs like 50-34 x 11-32 which is 430%.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ro...ompact/p/39858

250% is more of a racing setup like 53-39x12-23, or throwback to the bike boom when 10 speeds meant 5x2 and bikes came with 52-42 x 14-28.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 01-16-18 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 01-16-18, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
Kids these days are running compact cranks with large cassettes.

If you buy an entry level bike today, it probably comes with something like 50-34 x 11-32 which is 430%.

250% is more of a racing (53-39x12-23) setup, or throwback to the bike boom when 10 speeds meant 52-42x14-28.
Fair enough, but doesn't change my point that 500% in only 3 steps makes each step too large, leaving huge holes in the gear choices.

In any case, marketing and fashion aside, I wonder whether most people need anything close to 400% spread for most (road) applications. It makes sense off road, where ultra steep slopes and embankments are common, but road grades don't approach that steepness, so reasonable gearing for most folks would be so something running from say 35" to 95" which is less than 3:1.

The OP is asking for something that doesn't exist, which is why I suggesting he assess his actual needs, so he can make the smarter tradeoffs.
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Old 01-16-18, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
The OP is asking for something that doesn't exist, which is why I suggesting he assess his actual needs, so he can make the smarter tradeoffs.
Right.

Eddy Merckx dominated the classics with a 52x13 big gear, amateur racers win criteriums with a 39x12 big gear after their front derailleur breaks, and most riders need less. You can always give up pedaling and tuck on down-hills.

On the other end, cadences of 50-60 are manageable for 2 hour seated climbs.
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Old 01-17-18, 12:43 AM
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I'm not exactly sure what you're asking about or looking for, but Sturmey Archer makes a (standard) three speed hub with a freehub for an 8/9/10 speed Shimano casette. Would that be helpful for you?
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Old 01-17-18, 01:09 PM
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Swap the crank set out to the largest feasible triple set that could create a taller final drive ratio. That with an IGH of highest % might just be suitable in achieving the end goal?
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Old 01-17-18, 01:16 PM
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If you want a hub with a wide gear range without breaking the bank on a Rohloff, look into the Shimano Alfine 11. That has a spread of 409% from low to high, which I think would even be suitable for touring. It's may not have quite the range of the Rohloff or be quite as indestructible, but it's less than half the price and seems to be fine for most people. I understand it can be found for less than $500 without too much trouble.
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Old 01-17-18, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
Right.

Eddy Merckx dominated the classics with a 52x13 big gear, amateur racers win criteriums with a 39x12 big gear after their front derailleur breaks, and most riders need less. You can always give up pedaling and tuck on down-hills.

On the other end, cadences of 50-60 are manageable for 2 hour seated climbs.
BITD in my peak touring years, I was riding 10s (5x2) with a overall range from about 44-93". That was adequate 99% of the time, and fine for climbing long grades, though I had to work hard on anything steeper. On the bright side most of the steepest sections of climbs tend to be relatively short.

At the high end, I'd sometimes run out of gear, but only on long shallow descents. Otherwise I'd end up coasting anyway. I used and appreciated the tight choices of gears between 60 and 80" far more than I missed anything at either end.

a 2:1 overall range would allow a range from 40-80. That should be high enough for most casual (and not so casual) riders. With 80" gearing one can cruise along at 15mph with a leisurely cadence of 60rpm. 90rpm would have you flying at 22.5mph.

Wide gear ranges are useful,m especially in truly mountainous areas, but one is best served by getting into decent shape, such that you can sustain 15-20mph with cadences of 60-90rpm.

So, back to my original advice. Ride the area, determine your low gear needs, then what you can achieve easily as a high gear. If you can meet your low needs and have a high of 80" or so, then you're covered and don't have to shell out big dough.
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Old 01-17-18, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
Swap the crank set out to the largest feasible triple set that could create a taller final drive ratio. That with an IGH of highest % might just be suitable in achieving the end goal?
Originally Posted by tcarl
I'm not exactly sure what you're asking about or looking for, but Sturmey Archer makes a (standard) three speed hub with a freehub for an 8/9/10 speed Shimano casette. Would that be helpful for you?
The problem with those solutions is that you still need derailers. Why would you bother with an IGH if you had derailers anyway?

em
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Old 01-17-18, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Ride the area, determine your low gear needs, then what you can achieve easily as a high gear. If you can meet your low needs and have a high of 80" or so, then you're covered and don't have to shell out big dough.
When I commuted on a 3 speed, I lost the high gear entirely. It made no difference in my trip times, and gave me 2 useful lower gears. A Sturmey Archer with an 80 high would have a 60 and a 45. The 80 is too high for flats, the 60 is too low, and the 45 isn't low enough. 70, 52, 39 worked better for me, but I was happy to coast down a lot of hills. YMMV.

em
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Old 01-17-18, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by eddy m
When I commuted on a 3 speed, I lost the high gear entirely. It made no difference in my trip times, and gave me 2 useful lower gears. A Sturmey Archer with an 80 high would have a 60 and a 45. The 80 is too high for flats, the 60 is too low, and the 45 isn't low enough. 70, 52, 39 worked better for me, but I was happy to coast down a lot of hills. YMMV.

em
I agree, and only used that as an example, to make the point that a typical 3s hub, is a well thought out concept, and provides a good balance between range and step interval.

The availability of sprockets allows one to set it to taste, with the high being used for normal riding using two lower gears for climbing various hills, being fairly common.

My point from the beginning isn't to suggest any specific gearing, but to free the OP from the notion that extreme range is necessary, and show him that there are plenty of practical options.
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Old 01-17-18, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart
Interesting, but I think this response somehow ended up in the wrong thread.
Thanks, I deleted and reposted the errant post. Please delete yours quoting it, se we can move on.

(BTW - will be deleting this in 10 minutes)
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Old 01-17-18, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tcarl
I'm not exactly sure what you're asking about or looking for, but Sturmey Archer makes a (standard) three speed hub with a freehub for an 8/9/10 speed Shimano casette. Would that be helpful for you?
I had this, and i just used the three hub gears whilst the chain sat on the 11T all the time. The hub was much smoother, and lightening fast, compared to the deraileur.

I'm also interested in a wide range hub. On the Merlin i'm on 11T most of the time, cranking the shifter over eight cogs just to go over a canal bridge, then tapping back over eight cogs again to get back to the other side of the casette.

On my 3-speed shopper (Sturmey AW) i only ever use 1st and 3rd. And i mean only ever. I just don't see the point in having the three gears so close together.

I'd actually be quite happy with a 3-speed rear cassette bejeweled with 38/24/10 teeth. Or preferably, a hub version.
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