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Abiding hatred for bicycle derailleur drive trains

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Abiding hatred for bicycle derailleur drive trains

Old 11-22-19, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
OK, & belts don't require any lube. But I'm not saying that chains are horrible, just questioning why spend extra money on IGH/chain.
I don’t use IGH because I can’t see spending the extra money on the hub. Even with high end derailer systems, they are a fraction of the cost of an IGH. My point was that even with a derailer system and a chain, you don’t have to spend the amount of time that people do on cleaning.
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Old 12-02-19, 04:22 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
a belt only adds ~10% to the Rohloff price & means a drastic reduction in maintenance time.
Drastic reduction in maintenance? I think the average owner of a chain drive IGH bicycle needs to do maintenance about once every 10-20 years. This even when living in a winter environment and leaving the bicycle outside all year. So what's a drastic reduction? Once every 100 years?
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Old 12-03-19, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne
Drastic reduction in maintenance? I think the average owner of a chain drive IGH bicycle needs to do maintenance about once every 10-20 years. This even when living in a winter environment and leaving the bicycle outside all year. So what's a drastic reduction? Once every 100 years?
The "drastic reduction" I referred to is the chain, not the IGH. But IGH itself needs more maintenance than once every 10 years. Sturmey-Archer advised to add 3 drops of oil each month & also to tighten the cable occasionally with the barrel adjuster. Shimano advises to change Alfine oil every 2 yrs/3,000 miles & Rohloff once/yr I think.

In re chains, anyone who rides regularly, say 50+ miles/week, has to at least lube occasionally & install a new chain every 2-5 years. Whereas a belt is near-zero maintenance unless used off-road where sand & dirt might build up. Even then belt is trivial to clean,
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Old 12-04-19, 12:25 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by Old ABLA Member
Derailleur drive trains are putrid piles of pus. They are promulgated by the industry for two reasons: 1. To make your cycling life at some point in the not too distant future dysfunctional, filthy with grease, out of adjustment, worn out and miserable which then sends you to number 2. A bicycle shop or mail order house for new freewheels, chainwheels, cables and housings, and chain. My hatred for this lousy dirty exposed to the elements high maintenance system goes back to the 70's when I first got into bike racing. I've been stuck dealing with this crap system ever since.


<HUGE SNIP>

They don't call'em derailleurs for nothing - they derail your cycling happiness when they irritate your cycling life.
Brilliant first post. Simply brilliant.
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Old 12-04-19, 05:36 PM
  #130  
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Can't believe this stupid troll rant went on for 6 pages. Oh oh, there I go giving it new life. 🤨
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Old 12-05-19, 06:54 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by noglider
[MENTION=76415]Boxkite[/MENTION], to my thinking, a combo system that uses both an IGH and a derailleur has the disadvantages of both, and that's why it's not that common. But with the IGH you can shift while standing, so at least you retain that advantage.
Is that to say you can't shift with a derailleur while standing? I do it all the time (rear only). Or am I misunderstanding you?

-scott
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Old 12-06-19, 09:56 AM
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Thank you for all the responses. At a minimum I seek to have a drive train with close to zero maintenance with added weight not being a concern if it's just a pound or two. At present the alternatives are an internal rear hub like one of those nexus 11 speeds or 8 or 7 speed,.. even a three speed. This combined with a chain drive cover over the perfectly aligned front and rear cogs with a hole up top to open and drip in the odd bit of oil as needed as you turn the crank for even distribution. That would be it for maintenance of the drive train in any kind of conditions. This could easily be achieved if someone would please create a line of top quality adjustable chain drive covers easily fitted to any single rear and front cog drive. It could just be made of lightweight rust free rigid black recycled plastic with a 'universal' mounting system. This does not exist at present. He who creates and patents such a cover will sell many of them. I found a place in Holland that sells steel traditional ones. The time is right for the chain cover I described. So how about it engineers out there?

The other available alternative is the significantly more expensive Pinion Gear box combined with the Gates Carbon Drive. This requires a frame that comes apart to allow the installation of the drive belt. This is an uncommon frame, and thus this low maintenance drive train is not suitable for retrofit onto what must be 99% of the frames out there.

Perhaps the racing component people would attempt to design a lightweight 15 speed rear internal hub. The chain drive would be shrouded in an aerodynamic low maintenance cover.

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Old 12-06-19, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
Is that to say you can't shift with a derailleur while standing? I do it all the time (rear only). Or am I misunderstanding you?

-scott

Only issue with this is if you have downtube shifters. Any shifter on the handlebars can be used while standing, although I suppose it could be an issue with bar end shifters, but I haven't had those enough to have tried.
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Old 12-06-19, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
Is that to say you can't shift with a derailleur while standing? I do it all the time (rear only). Or am I misunderstanding you?

-scott
You can, within limitations. I'm saying that you might like a derailleur because it's lighter than an IGH, but if you have both, then you have the high weight of the IGH. If you like an IGH because of its lower maintenance and you have both, you will still have the high maintenance of the derailleur.
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Old 12-06-19, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Old ABLA Member
Thank you for all the responses. At a minimum I seek to have a drive train with close to zero maintenance with added weight not being a concern if it's just a pound or two. At present the alternatives are an internal rear hub like one of those nexus 11 speeds or 8 or 7 speed,.. even a three speed. This combined with a chain drive cover over the perfectly aligned front and rear cogs with a hole up top to open and drip in the odd bit of oil as needed as you turn the crank for even distribution. That would be it for maintenance of the drive train in any kind of conditions. This could easily be achieved if someone would please create a line of top quality adjustable chain drive covers easily fitted to any single rear and front cog drive. It could just be made of lightweight rust free rigid black recycled plastic with a 'universal' mounting system. This does not exist at present. He who creates and patents such a cover will sell many of them. I found a place in Holland that sells steel traditional ones. The time is right for the chain cover I described. So how about it engineers out there?

The other available alternative is the significantly more expensive Pinion Gear box combined with the Gates Carbon Drive. This requires a frame that comes apart to allow the installation of the drive belt. This is an uncommon frame, and thus this low maintenance drive train is not suitable for retrofit onto what must be 99% of the frames out there.

Perhaps the racing component people would attempt to design a lightweight 15 speed rear internal hub. The chain drive would be shrouded in an aerodynamic low maintenance cover.
You are describing a chaincase. They most certainly work. Problem is removing the rear wheel. On traditional bikes such as a Raleigh DL-1 or what is commonly called a Dutchbike the seatstay unbolts before the chaincase comes off. The only way around that is partial chaincases (which are just elaborate chainguards) and fabric chaincases which have a whole different range of problems. Most who own bikes with chaincases will always take to bike shop to fix a rear flat. If you live in Amsterdam that may be reasonable. Other places be prepared to pay and to discover shop doesn't want to do it a second time.

There is an engineering solution. It's been done. It would be nice if it were done again but do not hold your breath. If you are old enough to call yourself an ABLA member you may recall Cinelli Bivalent hubs. The wheel came off while the entire drivetrain remained attached to the bike. Hub connected to sprockets with large but shallow splines. Combining the Cinelli system with an IGH and a chaincase would make a lot of sense. Do you want to pay for prototypes? It would all be perfectly straightforward. Machining costs and detail design problems would be expensive but it could certainly be done.

The historical best chaincase was the one fitted to Sunbeams in the 20s and early 30s. That one was a full oil bath and did not leak. Chains lasted indefinitely. The proprietary Sunbeam epicyclic 3speed hub also lasted indefinitely, which it should have, as every part was hand machined and hand fitted.

Modern 7,8,11,14 speed IGH hubs have their place but they are hardly trouble free and are very heavy.
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Old 12-06-19, 02:09 PM
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Part of the problem is the same as with internal combustion engines vs hybrids/electrics/alternate engine types(Like turbines, or the Rosen bros drivetrain, for instance.) Derailleurs have had many years of refinement. Manufacturers are reluctant to fund development for new ways when the old ones work well enough and cheaper.
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Old 12-06-19, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Only issue with this is if you have downtube shifters. Any shifter on the handlebars can be used while standing, although I suppose it could be an issue with bar end shifters, but I haven't had those enough to have tried.
Bar end shifters can be used while standing, but it's definitely clumsier than with STI. Where you are in the gear range (angle of the shift lever) and whether you're pulling or releasing cable affects the ergonomics of the situation.

I'll sometimes shift bar-ends out of the saddle if I'm going easy, but if it's a maximal effort I'll generally momentarily touch back down on the saddle.
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Old 12-09-19, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan
The "drastic reduction" I referred to is the chain, not the IGH. But IGH itself needs more maintenance than once every 10 years. Sturmey-Archer advised to add 3 drops of oil each month & also to tighten the cable occasionally with the barrel adjuster. Shimano advises to change Alfine oil every 2 yrs/3,000 miles & Rohloff once/yr I think.

In re chains, anyone who rides regularly, say 50+ miles/week, has to at least lube occasionally & install a new chain every 2-5 years. Whereas a belt is near-zero maintenance unless used off-road where sand & dirt might build up. Even then belt is trivial to clean,
Those may be recommendations and certainly good to do but the reality is the vast majority of people, likely over 9 out of 10, ride them until something breaks and then take them to the bike shop. The average person in The Netherlands rides about 85 miles per week and I'd guess, other than a tyre or frozen cable, take their bicycle in for maintenance less than once every 10 years. And yes, at this point things are in poor shape so definitely a good cleaning, new chain, oil in the IGH and oil in the cables. Possibly an IGH rebuild. And we'll see you in another 10 or 20 years.
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Old 12-09-19, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne
Those may be recommendations and certainly good to do but the reality is the vast majority of people, likely over 9 out of 10, ride them until something breaks and then take them to the bike shop. The average person in The Netherlands rides about 85 miles per week and I'd guess, other than a tyre or frozen cable, take their bicycle in for maintenance less than once every 10 years. And yes, at this point things are in poor shape so definitely a good cleaning, new chain, oil in the IGH and oil in the cables. Possibly an IGH rebuild. And we'll see you in another 10 or 20 years.
Sounds accurate to me; OTOH in the big Dutch cities bike theft is a huge problem so folks ride junky bikes for commuting & have little incentive to do maintenance. A friend who used to live in the Netherlands said that many folks have a second nicer bike for recreation/touring. In the best-seller book The Happy Hooker, (Dutch) author Xaviera Hollander wrote that she oiled her bike chain, I was impressed, heh.
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Old 12-09-19, 08:46 PM
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If you must run into the store for something then put your bike into its highest gear. You just might catch the thief if you see them get on your ride and try to pedal away! Sorry for hijack
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Old 12-11-19, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne
The average person in The Netherlands rides about 85 miles per week and I'd guess, other than a tyre or frozen cable, take their bicycle in for maintenance less than once every 10 years.
So that's like a 40,000 mile service interval? Gosh, I better get a Dutch bike
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Old 04-14-21, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
Sorry but no.

First or easiest is to remove the area of tube on one side, patch and repair while wheel remains on bike IF you know where the puncture is and the cause is easily removed. This is sometimes called the Dutch method.

However, if the cause is unknown, as is often the case, it's a royal pita to try to rotate and work on a tube while the whole thing is pulled out of the tire (in order to find the source of the flat). At that point it is easier to remove the wheel so you can feel inside the tire for the offending sharp object while making note of where the tube and tire line up. Avid cyclists often carry a spare tube and just swap that out so they can patch the punctured tube later at their leisure, not on the side of the road. But if you don't find the source of the initial puncture you may just wind up with a secondary flat in short order.

To remove the wheel the easiest method is to have a quick release skewer, not a removable triangle or spreaders for the stays - I've actually never heard of that before. With Al or CF you will probably crack the stays and with steel that procedure is called cold setting, usually done for about 5mm or so to fit a modern hub into an old school frame.
Here's the proper procedure. And yes, it is as daunting and convoluted as it looks:
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Old 04-14-21, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 63rickert
So that's like a 40,000 mile service interval? Gosh, I better get a Dutch bike
CrankyOne is WAY off. Dutch figures show 2 1/2 miles a day.
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Old 04-14-21, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Really good ideas often get adopted for other applications. Early bicycle designers quickly saw that the roller chain had real advantages. Now the rest of the design world has had roughly 80 years to copy the derailleur. Machinery driven with roller chains are common. More than a few also have gearboxes. Derailleurs are lighter, cheaper and very reliable. I have to confess I've had my eyes closed all my life and never noticed any of the industrial derailleur systems out there.
Likewise all of the industrial wheel systems with individually adjustable spokes.
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Old 05-21-21, 01:23 PM
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I too hate derailleur geared bikes for every day practical bikes and touring bikes where you have to ride in all weathers come rain or shine. In Europe particularly Germany and Holland there are many more practical bikes with IHG such as the Rohloff Speedhub and gearboxes such as Pinion and with belts instead of chains and those bike with chains have enclosed chain covers to stop your day clothes getting oil marks on them. Sensible or what?

The Rohloff Speedhub is a revelation compared to an open derailleur gear system. It is a precision engineered hub that works faultlessly every time. I have two bikes with Rohloff hubs, one with a Gates belt the other with a chain inside a Hebie Chainglider cover. You simply cannot apply the same high maintenance regime and fragility of components that you have with a derailleur gear system to a Rohloff hub or Pinion gearbox. Both are far far far more advanced in engineering terms. If you like well engineered things such as for example Porsches then the Rohloff is for you. You can then spend more time cycling than being stuck by the side of the road repairing or replacing derailleurs or having to clean and relube at the end of a wet day.

The Rohloff gearshift is precise and effortless every time. The hub has a great range in gears with not too big steps 13.4% between the gears. With a Gates belt drive on one of my Rohloff bikes it is genuinely a zero maintenance bike in the transmission department. You can ride it in all weathers and on any surfaces without it gumming up like a chain, put it in the garage at the end of day and next morning jump on it and it will still perform the same. The Rohloff with chain with the Hebie Chainglider cover is nearly as good as a belt as the cover keeps the chain pretty clean. This means you get a lot of miles from each chain and no oil or muck on your hands, clothing, the bike frame or wheel or anything else. Also with a Rohloff, Pinion and belt drive there is no changing chains after only 3-5k miles as with a chain on a derailleur bike. Derailleur gear bikes really are Flintstones technology.

The haters who rubbish Rohloff hubs and other gearboxes like Pinion are people who cannot afford them. The drag is so much of a non issue as is the noise in gear 7 compared to the clack clack clack combine harvester noise of a derailleur with little lube on it from a few drops of rain washing it off making changing gear a painful hit and miss experience. The Rohloff hub once run in, is pretty much silent and so efficient and reliable. It does not skip, jump or slip gears. With a Rohloff or Pinion gearbox you can change as many gears as you like when stopped or indeed on the move which is great for loaded riding say climbing a steep gradient stopping and getting started again or even when you have to abruptly come to a stop in an urban environment and need to get going again quickly with no fuss. You can't do this with a derailleur transmission. You just can't.


I have used derailleur bikes for 30 years and been through all the pain and suffering of the high maintenance that they regularly require especially in poor weather conditions. I am so glad that I can now afford to ride a bike with a much much better enclosed gear system. In the end constantly cleaning and lubing derailleur transmissions and replacing chains etc and other components when they wore out after a few thousand miles became a real chore which I came to hate. I couldn't wait to fit my first Rohloff hub once I'd bought it. And then I bought another a few years later.

Over the long run a Rohloff or Pinion gearbox will save you money as you simply do not need to replace the components every few thousand miles as you would have to with a derailleur transmission.

One of my Rohloff hubs has covered about 30k trouble free miles and the other 10k again trouble free miles. I bought them both new. Derailleurs = Flintstones technology. All you need to do with a Rohloff or Pinion gearbox is to keep up with the oil changes and that really is it. More time to actually spend riding. I would never go back to riding a derailleur bike. Simply no.
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Old 05-21-21, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ariane
i too hate derailleur geared bikes for every day practical bikes and touring bikes where you have to ride in all weathers come rain or shine. In europe particularly germany and holland there are many more practical bikes with ihg such as the rohloff speedhub and gearboxes such as pinion and with belts instead of chains and those bike with chains have enclosed chain covers to stop your day clothes getting oil marks on them. Sensible or what?

The rohloff speedhub is a revelation compared to an open derailleur gear system. It is a precision engineered hub that works faultlessly every time. I have two bikes with rohloff hubs, one with a gates belt the other with a chain inside a hebie chainglider cover. You simply cannot apply the same high maintenance regime and fragility of components that you have with a derailleur gear system to a rohloff hub or pinion gearbox. Both are far far far more advanced in engineering terms. If you like well engineered things such as for example porsches then the rohloff is for you. You can then spend more time cycling than being stuck by the side of the road repairing or replacing derailleurs or having to clean and relube at the end of a wet day.

The rohloff gearshift is precise and effortless every time. The hub has a great range in gears with not too big steps 13.4% between the gears. With a gates belt drive on one of my rohloff bikes it is genuinely a zero maintenance bike in the transmission department. You can ride it in all weathers and on any surfaces without it gumming up like a chain, put it in the garage at the end of day and next morning jump on it and it will still perform the same. The rohloff with chain with the hebie chainglider cover is nearly as good as a belt as the cover keeps the chain pretty clean. This means you get a lot of miles from each chain and no oil or muck on your hands, clothing, the bike frame or wheel or anything else. Also with a rohloff, pinion and belt drive there is no changing chains after only 3-5k miles as with a chain on a derailleur bike. Derailleur gear bikes really are flintstones technology.

the haters who rubbish rohloff hubs and other gearboxes like pinion are people who cannot afford them. the drag is so much of a non issue as is the noise in gear 7 compared to the clack clack clack combine harvester noise of a derailleur with little lube on it from a few drops of rain washing it off making changing gear a painful hit and miss experience. The rohloff hub once run in, is pretty much silent and so efficient and reliable. It does not skip, jump or slip gears. With a rohloff or pinion gearbox you can change as many gears as you like when stopped or indeed on the move which is great for loaded riding say climbing a steep gradient stopping and getting started again or even when you have to abruptly come to a stop in an urban environment and need to get going again quickly with no fuss. You can't do this with a derailleur transmission. You just can't.


I have used derailleur bikes for 30 years and been through all the pain and suffering of the high maintenance that they regularly require especially in poor weather conditions. I am so glad that i can now afford to ride a bike with a much much better enclosed gear system. In the end constantly cleaning and lubing derailleur transmissions and replacing chains etc and other components when they wore out after a few thousand miles became a real chore which i came to hate. I couldn't wait to fit my first rohloff hub once i'd bought it. And then i bought another a few years later.

Over the long run a rohloff or pinion gearbox will save you money as you simply do not need to replace the components every few thousand miles as you would have to with a derailleur transmission.

One of my rohloff hubs has covered about 30k trouble free miles and the other 10k again trouble free miles. I bought them both new. Derailleurs = flintstones technology. All you need to do with a rohloff or pinion gearbox is to keep up with the oil changes and that really is it. More time to actually spend riding. I would never go back to riding a derailleur bike. Simply no.
ok....
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Old 05-21-21, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
ok....
33 posts since 2009. Just a lot of pent up feelings that probably need to be released more often before a gasket is popped.
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Old 05-22-21, 06:26 AM
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Or could never find a satisfying lube for keep the chain with cassette quiet.
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Old 05-22-21, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Old ABLA Member
Derailleur drive trains are putrid piles of pus. They are promulgated by the industry for two reasons: 1. To make your cycling life at some point in the not too distant future dysfunctional, filthy with grease, out of adjustment, worn out and miserable which then sends you to number 2. A bicycle shop or mail order house for new freewheels, chainwheels, cables and housings, and chain. My hatred for this lousy dirty exposed to the elements high maintenance system goes back to the 70's when I first got into bike racing. I've been stuck dealing with this crap system ever since.


I've wanted a drive shaft system with an infinitely variable ratio from say 20inches to 110 inches, with the only adjustment knob on your handlebars being selector of pedal rpms you want to maintain which the infinite ratio adjuster adjusts so that your pedal rpms stay within that general ballpark setting. There would be no visible parts with all the drive train hidden behind protective shrouding in an oil bath.



Ahh! just think about it - no maintenance, you just grab your bike and go, no more roadside filthy greasy hands anymore when the chain pops off, no more cable adjustment of new or stiff cables, no more derailleur screws to finagle with etc.etc.

I've wanted this for the last 4 decades. We could put a man on the moon with the computing power of a modern smart phone but we can't come up with my desired drive train. Why? Because the industry is not willing to put in the R&D to design and tool this because they know they will be shooting themselves in the financial foot. They don't want a bunch of happy cyclists simply doing what they want to do which is just go for a ride and not have to deal with the grief and expense of the derailleur system.


Imagine my excitement about the new Pinion 12 speed 637% gearbox and totally greaseless Gates Carbon Belt Drive. It's not my dream system but it's a huge leap forward. I recently purchased the Priority 600 and am setting it up now. I live on a dirt road and am pretty excited about it.


On my other old primary bike the derailleur drive train is worn out now and slipping under torque when hauling groceries. I'm thinking the next best thing is to have a Nexus multispeed hub on the rear with the perfect chain alignment that a single rear cog gives you, along with no god awful rear derailleur.

They don't call'em derailleurs for nothing - they derail your cycling happiness when they irritate your cycling life.
It would seem that this a rant from someone that maybe has a very cheap RD, or simply doesnt know how to do the simple adjustments. After adjusting the RD on my bent and trike, they go months with no attention at all, and shift quick, quite, and without any fuss or noise.
Over ninety percent of time when I shift my bike or trike the loudest noise you hear is the click from the twist shift.

Last edited by rydabent; 06-21-21 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 05-22-21, 08:56 AM
  #150  
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NO noise??? LOL hahahahaha
The newest itteration of defaileur bikes sound like little kids' and New Years Eve noisemakers, when coasting. I would ride ZERO miles with such. I hear their grinding shifts 50 feet away. Then there's the clips crunching in when starting up. Gross.

But yah, my Rohloff is noisy too, going up hills. My SA wheels are silent except for the click the shift makes. I HATE noise.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 05-22-21 at 09:29 AM.
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