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Interchangability of IGH

Old 04-23-18, 09:00 AM
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msweig
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Interchangability of IGH

So in my looking for a new bike I've run into some curiosity on how feasible it would be to swap the IGH on a bike. I'm tempted to get a Priority Bikes Classic Plus Gotham, which has a Shimano Nexus 3 speed IGH, but I'm not sure if that will be enough gears, and if I'll get annoyed with it down the road. How viable is it to swap that hub out with a Nexus 7 or 8 or Alfine 8 down the road if I want? I realize this would consist of taking the old hub off and dropping the new one in (with needing to redo all the spokes), but is this viable? I have no idea if there would be frame differences, or other things I need to consider.

Last edited by msweig; 04-23-18 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 04-23-18, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by msweig View Post
So in my looking for a new bike I've run into some curiosity on how feasible it would be to swap the IGH on a bike. I'm tempted to get a Priority Bikes Classic Plus Gotham, which has a Shimano Nexus 3 speed IGH, but I'm not sure if that will be enough gears, and if I'll get annoyed with it down the road. How viable is it to swap that hub out with a Nexus 7 or 8 or Alfine 8 down the road if I want? I realize this would consist of taking the old hub off and dropping the new one in (with needing to redo all the spokes), but is this viable? I have no idea if there would be frame differences, or other things I need to consider.
Your best bet is to find a bike that you can actually ride first and see for yourself. Don't buy a cheap-o online bike that you cannot ride and then try to upgrade, it will cost a lot more then getting what you want from the get go. You might even find the Alfine 8 isn't quite enough and the 11 is better or you may find that IGHs aren't your thing or you may find the 3 speed stuff is ok but you won't really know till you test ride some stuff.
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Old 04-23-18, 09:20 AM
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Rear axle width specifications matter..

if the frame was made for a 120 wide hub, fitting a 135 wide one will be more difficult,

+ there is the issue of the chain line , If it is wider for the wider hub.. so you need to alter the chain ring location..to match..


rather than 'down the road' get what you want now .. there won't be price deflation in the future..





....
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Old 04-23-18, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Your best bet is to find a bike that you can actually ride first and see for yourself. Don't buy a cheap-o online bike that you cannot ride and then try to upgrade, it will cost a lot more then getting what you want from the get go. You might even find the Alfine 8 isn't quite enough and the 11 is better or you may find that IGHs aren't your thing or you may find the 3 speed stuff is ok but you won't really know till you test ride some stuff.
The major issue it finding LBS with belt drives is rather difficult, and I live in a big city (Houston). I've hit pretty much every shop within 10 miles of my house, and can count on one hand the number of belt drives I've even seen (much less the one they have is in my size). I even tried the Spot Wazee, which was awesome, but way more than I want to spend. My guess is the bike I mentioned would be fine for my uses, but was curious about upgrading in the future if I wanted to.
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Old 04-23-18, 09:40 AM
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I have a Brompton with a 3-speed hub and I continually find I want more gears as I never seem to have the right one. As they say, though, YMMV. If you live in a very flat area (I don't) then it may be fine. Personally I like my gears close together and always put the closest ratio cassette I can get away with on my road bikes. A Sturmey-Archer three-speed hub has around 33% gear inch differences which is a lot, and I assume the Nexus will be similar.
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Old 04-23-18, 09:46 AM
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To add to the previous comments, what's most important to many, especially casual, riders considering IGH hubs is the range of gearing, not the number. More gears with a similar range to a particular 3 speed hub you're considering may end up requiring more frequent shifting without a lot of benefit to you, depending on your use. This is where a local shop often makes the purchase decision easier, since they can ask the right questions about your intended use, they know your local terrain and riding conditions, and they have access to information on gear inches/range of gearing on all your options. You can find it all on the net, but it may all be ancient Greek to you if you aren't familiar with the terminology and concepts.
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Old 04-23-18, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
I have a Brompton with a 3-speed hub and I continually find I want more gears as I never seem to have the right one. As they say, though, YMMV. If you live in a very flat area (I don't) then it may be fine. Personally I like my gears close together and always put the closest ratio cassette I can get away with on my road bikes. A Sturmey-Archer three-speed hub has around 33% gear inch differences which is a lot, and I assume the Nexus will be similar.

Check with Glasgow brompton dealer Ben Cooper, he has made new forks and rear sections
to use Alfine 11 speed disc Hubs front and rear

You might like the 6 speed brompton you have a 2 cog half step combined with the BWR hub offers tighter gearing..

2 chainrings can extend the range , too..
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Old 04-23-18, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by msweig View Post
The major issue it finding LBS with belt drives is rather difficult, and I live in a big city (Houston). I've hit pretty much every shop within 10 miles of my house, and can count on one hand the number of belt drives I've even seen (much less the one they have is in my size). I even tried the Spot Wazee, which was awesome, but way more than I want to spend. My guess is the bike I mentioned would be fine for my uses, but was curious about upgrading in the future if I wanted to.
True they are sometimes hard to find but are becoming more popular. That Wazee looks like an excellent bike and I would have no qualms getting one if I was a Spot dealer. It looks like a pretty nifty little bike especially with a steel frame which is not something you often find with a belt. For the price it is a much much much better spec then even the "nicest" of those Priority things and would also be more comfortable with steel frame and fork, vs aluminum.

We actually just had the "top of the line" Priority in the shop and you could tell it was cheap in a lot of areas and those NuVinci hubs are just no fun on an analog bike and a pain to deal with when you have issues with it. Plus even if it were a nice bike you still cannot go to your local shop and test ride one.

The Champa which is also on their closeouts would be an excellent bike as well and probably ride pretty similar to the Wazee. I have met a few Spot owners and they love their bikes.
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Old 04-23-18, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Cross Creek View Post
To add to the previous comments, what's most important to many, especially casual, riders considering IGH hubs is the range of gearing, not the number. More gears with a similar range to a particular 3 speed hub you're considering may end up requiring more frequent shifting without a lot of benefit to you, depending on your use. This is where a local shop often makes the purchase decision easier, since they can ask the right questions about your intended use, they know your local terrain and riding conditions, and they have access to information on gear inches/range of gearing on all your options. You can find it all on the net, but it may all be ancient Greek to you if you aren't familiar with the terminology and concepts.
Bingo. I absolutely hate having a bunch of gears really close to each other.
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Old 04-23-18, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
True they are sometimes hard to find but are becoming more popular. That Wazee looks like an excellent bike and I would have no qualms getting one if I was a Spot dealer. It looks like a pretty nifty little bike especially with a steel frame which is not something you often find with a belt. For the price it is a much much much better spec then even the "nicest" of those Priority things and would also be more comfortable with steel frame and fork, vs aluminum.

We actually just had the "top of the line" Priority in the shop and you could tell it was cheap in a lot of areas and those NuVinci hubs are just no fun on an analog bike and a pain to deal with when you have issues with it. Plus even if it were a nice bike you still cannot go to your local shop and test ride one.

The Champa which is also on their closeouts would be an excellent bike as well and probably ride pretty similar to the Wazee. I have met a few Spot owners and they love their bikes.
I actually almost bought the Champa this weekend, but decided to wait until I could ask them some questions this morning. Then of course they were sold out by then (in the size I want). My luck.

Good to know on the Priority bike. That helps. Thanks
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Old 04-23-18, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by msweig View Post
I actually almost bought the Champa this weekend, but decided to wait until I could ask them some questions this morning. Then of course they were sold out by then (in the size I want). My luck.

Good to know on the Priority bike. That helps. Thanks
No worries happy to help! Get the Wazee and I am sure you will be happy and probably ride it a ton and get a lot out of it and that cost will long be paid off with smiles! It can be hard to make a jump to nicer bikes but when you do you are well rewarded.
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Old 04-24-18, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Check with Glasgow brompton dealer Ben Cooper, he has made new forks and rear sections
to use Alfine 11 speed disc Hubs front and rear

You might like the 6 speed brompton you have a 2 cog half step combined with the BWR hub offers tighter gearing..

2 chainrings can extend the range , too..
Yes, I'm aware there are options for extending the number of gears on a Brompton, but they all cost money which is in rather short supply at the moment. This seems like one of the best value upgrades at just under £400, but it just isn't worth it to me.

Any way, my priority is my road bike at the moment: I do a much higher mileage on the road bike which has a bunch of components dating back 15 years or more and they're all starting to wear out.
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Old 04-24-18, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by msweig View Post
So in my looking for a new bike I've run into some curiosity on how feasible it would be to swap the IGH on a bike. I'm tempted to get a Priority Bikes Classic Plus Gotham, which has a Shimano Nexus 3 speed IGH, but I'm not sure if that will be enough gears, and if I'll get annoyed with it down the road. How viable is it to swap that hub out with a Nexus 7 or 8 or Alfine 8 down the road if I want? I realize this would consist of taking the old hub off and dropping the new one in (with needing to redo all the spokes), but is this viable? I have no idea if there would be frame differences, or other things I need to consider.
Anything is possible.

Test ride a 3 speed - any 3 speed - before you buy to see if youíre comfortable with this set up.

A Nexus 7 or 8, or an Alfine 8 is going to cost $200 or more. Then there will be the cost of either rebuilding the old wheel or of mounting it on a new wheel. Then there will be the additional cost of new shifters to match the 7 or 8 speeds. By the time you get finished, youíll be paying more money than if you simply bought a bike with more gears in the first place.

I own a Priority Glide, which sells for $799 and is currently being offered with a $50 discount. I couldn't be more pleased. If you are prepared to spend the extra money for an upgrade to the Classic Plus Gotham, for less than $250 more, you can be set with a Nuvinci hub from the start.

Bike shops will tell you that Nuvinci hubs are difficult to deal with. And they can be for small bike shops. But Priority Bicycles is one of Nuvinciís biggest customers in the U.S. They get quick service from Nuvinci, whose American HQ are in Texas. These hubs are popular in Europe and are slowly gaining acceptance here. The staff at Priority are great to deal with and respond quickly to questions by e-mail. If you have concerns, contact them with your questions before you buy. They also have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee with a 30-day return policy. I suggest that you discuss that policy in advance so that you have assurances up front. (I live close enough to NYC that I was able to test ride one at their showroom before I purchased.)

As far as build quality is concerned, itís good enough for any abuse that Iíll subject it too. You have to decide that for yourself. I find that avid bikers on sites like this, who might spend thousands of dollars on a bike, can have very high standards for a bike build. But not everyone needs the build quality of a mountain bike bike that is going to take the pounding of off roading or of a road bike that is going to be ridden 50 miles a day. Perhaps the best way to get an opinion is to contact Wheel Fun Rentals (wheelfunrentals.com), a bicycle tour company in San Francisco who rents the Priority Glide out every day to tourists. Their bikes probably accumulate more miles and take more abuse than a bike ridden by anyone who posts here. You can see their comments on their website, and can contact them directly about their experience with the Glides.

Good luck with your purchase. There are a lot of good choices out there . . . which only makes things more confusing. LOL.
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Old 04-28-18, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Gem View Post
The staff at Priority are great to deal with and respond quickly to questions by e-mail. If you have concerns, contact them with your questions before you buy.
I agree with this. If the OP asks, Priority will respond. They are super helpful.

In thinking about the OP's original question, the better course is to settle the "how many speeds?" question before buying. I'm a hobbyist and would enjoy making a massive change by converting a three-speed into an eight-speed. Love having the extra parts to play with. Enjoy the work. Not worried too much about cost. It's not a course I'd recommend to the non-enthusiast though. Deciding the number of speeds up front seems the more prudent approach.

Last edited by JonathanGennick; 04-28-18 at 06:38 AM. Reason: Typo
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