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Igh

Old 04-07-21, 09:52 PM
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Igh

Iíve looked at a couple threads today.

I used the search here. (Not so helpful)

Iíd like to learn about Internal Geared Hubs.
Why arenít they more popular? Do they work OK? Do they have gear oil that gets changed?

Iím ok with being sent links.
Thank you.
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Old 04-07-21, 09:57 PM
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The only two reason I can think of why they are not more popular is: A) an internal geared hub is about 30% more expensive compared to the same bike with a traditional setup and B) peeps that do their own maintenance know how to fix a traditional setup vs an internal hub.
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Old 04-07-21, 10:06 PM
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They work well. They generally have a smaller range than a derailleur setup, so some stay away for that reason. They can be heavy. The require the ability to adjust the chain, so if you are switching from a frame made for a derailleur system, you will need a chain tensioner. If you have a frame with horizontal dropouts the tensioner isn't necessary. They can be a little more work when removing the wheel to change a flat.

If I lived in an area without a lot of huge hills, I would love to run an IGH. As it is, where I love there are hills everywhere, and I tour as well, so I like my 24x36 when I need it, giving me a lower range than I would get with an IGH.
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Old 04-08-21, 12:32 AM
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Hi SkinGriz,

I think one of the reason IGH aren't more popular is their added cost.

When they have been maintained and looked after, they work great. But low maintenance does not equal NO MAINTENANCE REQUIRED. Where they really shine is commuting in adverse weather condition in my opinion.

Depending on which model and make IGH, the oil should be changed periodically. For example new Shimano IGH, after 1000km from new, oil should be changed, this is the break in period. After that, recommended oil change interval is every 5000km or 2 years, whichever first.
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Old 04-08-21, 12:49 AM
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Weight, expense, friction.

Limited gear ratios and ranges.

Pro racers don't use them.

Arguably more delicate; out of saddle climbing is discouraged.

Don't work on vertical dropouts without extra finicky bits.

Socially awkward.
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Old 04-08-21, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post

Socially awkward.

???
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Old 04-08-21, 06:35 AM
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I use a SA 3 speed hub on my commuter road bike (Bianchi from 80's) with a downtube shifter. I like it. It's more than enough gearing for my commute.

The only big advantage, to be completely honest, is that you can shift at a stop. Nice for riding in traffic, but not a huge deal. As far as maintenance - I drip some 3in1 oil into it every now and again. Keeps working.

The yellow thing kind of happened by accident - next tape job is likely yellow as well.
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Old 04-08-21, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
I use a SA 3 speed hub on my commuter road bike (Bianchi from 80's) with a downtube shifter. I like it. It's more than enough gearing for my commute.

The only big advantage, to be completely honest, is that you can shift at a stop. Nice for riding in traffic, but not a huge deal. As far as maintenance - I drip some 3in1 oil into it every now and again. Keeps working.

The yellow thing kind of happened by accident - next tape job is likely yellow as well.
Thank you. Kinda splitting hairs, but would M1 or synthetic ATF work just as well? ATF or synthetic motor oil is what I usually keep in the oil can.

And a 3 speed is +25%, straight, and -25%? Does that one freewheel?
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Old 04-08-21, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Thank you. Kinda splitting hairs, but would M1 or synthetic ATF work just as well? ATF or synthetic motor oil is what I usually keep in the oil can.

And a 3 speed is +25%, straight, and -25%? Does that one freewheel?
You should be fine. Any light oil that doesn't gum up or turn to asphalt during the winter. I've read folklore that 3-in-1 contains vegetable oil that polymerizes over time, and chainsaw oil is too sticky. A friend of mine used 2-stroke oil because it's what he had.

The ratios are 4:3, 1:1, and 3:4, and they all freewheel (there is one non-freewheel 3 speed hub, but it's a rarity). at the present time, 3 bikes in the family fleet have old Sturmey Archer 3-speed hubs. I like the simplicity and lack of exposed parts. I think there are several reasons why they're not more popular, even beyond the added cost. Folks look at the number of gears as a figure of merit for the bike. Also, gearing choice depends on a lot of things, such as your local terrain, physical condition, and even just personal preference. Nobody knows what gears they will "need" until they get the bike and experience it under real use for a while. So, having more gears is an assurance that the bike will serve their needs.

For my riding, the main downside is actually that the gears are spaced too far apart. This leaves me in the situation of being "always in the wrong gear." Unless you gear the whole bike down, or are more athletic than I am, the 3rd speed is practically useless and it's effectively a 2 speed bike. Sheldon Brown recommended choosing a cog that lets you use 3rd gear as your normal cruising gear, with a low and extra-low gear.

And now here's where personal preference comes in. I put up with those limitations because I usually ride by myself, can just ride at whatever speed is appropriate for the available gears, and not worry about it. But if you're keen on riding at the absolutely optimum cadence and speed at all times, or are trying to keep up with a group, having narrower gear steps is beneficial.

We're all agreed that 3 is the wrong number of speeds, what divides us is whether 3 is too few, or too many.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Iíve looked at a couple threads today.

I used the search here. (Not so helpful)

Iíd like to learn about Internal Geared Hubs.
Why arenít they more popular? Do they work OK? Do they have gear oil that gets changed?

Iím ok with being sent links.
Thank you.
Our own resident IGH gearhead Dan Burkhart literally wrote the video on how they work:

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Old 04-08-21, 09:04 AM
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My dad would overhaul his Sturmey Archer hub occasionally. Back then, you could get all the parts from Montgomery Ward. Other than that my main memory of his SA adventures was when he went over the bars when it skipped on him. Which might have been why he overhauled it, don't remember.

I think it's pretty easy to understand why they aren't more popular in the U.S. The hubs with wide gear ratios are expensive, and Sturmey gear ratios are not wide enough. They work great in places where it's flat.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
You should be fine. Any light oil that doesn't gum up or turn to asphalt during the winter. I've read folklore that 3-in-1 contains vegetable oil that polymerizes over time, and chainsaw oil is too sticky. A friend of mine used 2-stroke oil because it's what he had.

The ratios are 4:3, 1:1, and 3:4, and they all freewheel (there is one non-freewheel 3 speed hub, but it's a rarity). at the present time, 3 bikes in the family fleet have old Sturmey Archer 3-speed hubs. I like the simplicity and lack of exposed parts. I think there are several reasons why they're not more popular, even beyond the added cost. Folks look at the number of gears as a figure of merit for the bike. Also, gearing choice depends on a lot of things, such as your local terrain, physical condition, and even just personal preference. Nobody knows what gears they will "need" until they get the bike and experience it under real use for a while. So, having more gears is an assurance that the bike will serve their needs.

For my riding, the main downside is actually that the gears are spaced too far apart. This leaves me in the situation of being "always in the wrong gear." Unless you gear the whole bike down, or are more athletic than I am, the 3rd speed is practically useless and it's effectively a 2 speed bike. Sheldon Brown recommended choosing a cog that lets you use 3rd gear as your normal cruising gear, with a low and extra-low gear.

And now here's where personal preference comes in. I put up with those limitations because I usually ride by myself, can just ride at whatever speed is appropriate for the available gears, and not worry about it. But if you're keen on riding at the absolutely optimum cadence and speed at all times, or are trying to keep up with a group, having narrower gear steps is beneficial.

We're all agreed that 3 is the wrong number of speeds, what divides us is whether 3 is too few, or too many.
Would it be possible to fit the front with a 2x or 3x crank to supplement the gear ratio? It adds parts, but that might be nothing to be of concern if it works.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Would it be possible to fit the front with a 2x or 3x crank to supplement the gear ratio? It adds parts, but that might be nothing to be of concern if it works.
the solution that people have always chosen is to put external gears on the back. Someone just came out with something like that, 2 speed IGH and 11 speed cassette. Sturmey sells an igh hub with a cassette.

The problem I see with most IGH is they are not designed or rated to work with low gear ratios (small chainring/large rear cog). I'm a bit curious if Sturmey upgraded the internals of their externally geared IGH

Thread about this in gravel forum 2x - 1 Derailleur

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Old 04-08-21, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
the solution that people have always chosen is to put external gears on the back. Someone just came out with something like that, 2 speed IGH and 11 speed cassette. Sturmey sells an igh hub with a cassette.

The problem I see with most IGH is they are not designed or rated to work with low gear ratios (small chainring/large rear cog). I'm a bit curious if Sturmey upgraded the internals of their externally geared IGH

Thread about this in gravel forum 2x - 1 Derailleur
With the modern wireless shift ders, the added front e-der using a triple & those additional rear external gears could give a traditional multi-speed setup a ride for its mileage imo.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
the solution that people have always chosen is to put external gears on the back. Someone just came out with something like that, 2 speed IGH and 11 speed cassette. Sturmey sells an igh hub with a cassette.

The problem I see with most IGH is they are not designed or rated to work with low gear ratios (small chainring/large rear cog). I'm a bit curious if Sturmey upgraded the internals of their externally geared IGH

Thread about this in gravel forum 2x - 1 Derailleur
I'd be surprised if Sturmey changed their 3-speed design in any fundamental way. From where I sit, the combination IGH and derailleur seems like a pretty niche use -- where you don't want to have a FD for some reason, and you want the chainring to be a tiny little nub. When I encounter terrain where I'd think about such a thing, I'm usually off my bike and pushing or carrying it.

My own view is that for my own "casual" cycling, 3 speeds is the limit before the IGH starts producing diminishing returns. Beyond that point, I'd be nervous about trying to service one myself, and when push comes to shove, derailleurs have gotten pretty darn reliable.

The industry is faced with the fact that 3 isn't enough for a bike that has to be sold nationwide, and not just in flat towns.

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Old 04-08-21, 09:49 AM
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I ride my Shimano 8 speed IGH bike regularly. I bought it because maintenance is minimal and it has adequate gears. It doesnít use oil, a special grease. Iíve overhauled it twice in five years an it runs well. There are actually a lot of Shimano 8 speeds with very minor differences. When my LBS guy saw it a few months ago he said they can do overhaul, maybe next time. I love the get on and go with no hassle which is why I bought it.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
You should be fine. Any light oil that doesn't gum up or turn to asphalt during the winter. I've read folklore that 3-in-1 contains vegetable oil that polymerizes over time, and chainsaw oil is too sticky. A friend of mine used 2-stroke oil because it's what he had.

The ratios are 4:3, 1:1, and 3:4, and they all freewheel (there is one non-freewheel 3 speed hub, but it's a rarity). at the present time, 3 bikes in the family fleet have old Sturmey Archer 3-speed hubs. I like the simplicity and lack of exposed parts. I think there are several reasons why they're not more popular, even beyond the added cost. Folks look at the number of gears as a figure of merit for the bike. Also, gearing choice depends on a lot of things, such as your local terrain, physical condition, and even just personal preference. Nobody knows what gears they will "need" until they get the bike and experience it under real use for a while. So, having more gears is an assurance that the bike will serve their needs.

For my riding, the main downside is actually that the gears are spaced too far apart. This leaves me in the situation of being "always in the wrong gear." Unless you gear the whole bike down, or are more athletic than I am, the 3rd speed is practically useless and it's effectively a 2 speed bike. Sheldon Brown recommended choosing a cog that lets you use 3rd gear as your normal cruising gear, with a low and extra-low gear.

And now here's where personal preference comes in. I put up with those limitations because I usually ride by myself, can just ride at whatever speed is appropriate for the available gears, and not worry about it. But if you're keen on riding at the absolutely optimum cadence and speed at all times, or are trying to keep up with a group, having narrower gear steps is beneficial.

We're all agreed that 3 is the wrong number of speeds, what divides us is whether 3 is too few, or too many.
I actually like the wide space, makes me use a variety of cadences. I'll use 3rd gear any time I'm pushing it, 2nd for an easy spin, and 1st is climbing only. I've been using the 3in1 for years, no issues. Once a year I add quite a lot right before a ride and let it run out, hopefully carrying some contamination with it. I'll take the hub out of the shell and clean it if it stops shifting well. Hasn't happened yet, but don't have that much mileage on it, maybe 10 000 km. (I got that hub used for a dollar on ebay, built it into a wheel myself)

Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Would it be possible to fit the front with a 2x or 3x crank to supplement the gear ratio? It adds parts, but that might be nothing to be of concern if it works.
If you use a rear derailleur as a chain tensioner, you could get it to work. Easier answer would be to get a 5 or more speed hub instead though, as you're losing some of the advantages in running 1/8 chain and having a static chainline. I actually also have a 5sp, but don't use it becuase I like the 3sp just fine. I might throw the 5sp on there at some point this year and see how it goes.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:17 AM
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What do you guys think of the new Classified Powershift? POWERSHIFT hub | Classified (classified-cycling.cc) Sturmey Archer already had something similar but it's a little hefty at 1155g (Disk version).
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Old 04-08-21, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Thank you. Kinda splitting hairs, but would M1 or synthetic ATF work just as well? ATF or synthetic motor oil is what I usually keep in the oil can.

And a 3 speed is +25%, straight, and -25%? Does that one freewheel?
My hub is 66%, direct, and 133%. Freewheels in all gears. From everything I've read the Sturmey Archer hubs can use just about any light oil, but I haven't used anything else extensively. Some of the other hubs are more particular - but most of them are sealed -the old design Sturmey 3sp aren't, you add oil through the hole for the shift chain - I haven't played with the rotary shift Sturmey's, though they look nice, just the older design 3sp, 5sp Sprinter, the Shimano Nexus 3sp and the SRAM dual drive.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cbrstar View Post
What do you guys think of the new Classified Powershift? POWERSHIFT hub | Classified (classified-cycling.cc) Sturmey Archer already had something similar but it's a little hefty at 1155g (Disk version).
I think it looks cool, but completely different intent - the SA is intended for utility cycling & recumbents, classified for sport cycling. The wireless shift looks cool, and the weight is low - I'm wary of the cost of those custom cassettes though, and haven't seen what their counter-torque arrangement is.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
You should be fine. Any light oil that doesn't gum up or turn to asphalt during the winter. I've read folklore that 3-in-1 contains vegetable oil that polymerizes over time, and chainsaw oil is too sticky. A friend of mine used 2-stroke oil because it's what he had.

The ratios are 4:3, 1:1, and 3:4, and they all freewheel (there is one non-freewheel 3 speed hub, but it's a rarity). at the present time, 3 bikes in the family fleet have old Sturmey Archer 3-speed hubs. I like the simplicity and lack of exposed parts. I think there are several reasons why they're not more popular, even beyond the added cost. Folks look at the number of gears as a figure of merit for the bike. Also, gearing choice depends on a lot of things, such as your local terrain, physical condition, and even just personal preference. Nobody knows what gears they will "need" until they get the bike and experience it under real use for a while. So, having more gears is an assurance that the bike will serve their needs.

For my riding, the main downside is actually that the gears are spaced too far apart. This leaves me in the situation of being "always in the wrong gear." Unless you gear the whole bike down, or are more athletic than I am, the 3rd speed is practically useless and it's effectively a 2 speed bike. Sheldon Brown recommended choosing a cog that lets you use 3rd gear as your normal cruising gear, with a low and extra-low gear.

And now here's where personal preference comes in. I put up with those limitations because I usually ride by myself, can just ride at whatever speed is appropriate for the available gears, and not worry about it. But if you're keen on riding at the absolutely optimum cadence and speed at all times, or are trying to keep up with a group, having narrower gear steps is beneficial.

We're all agreed that 3 is the wrong number of speeds, what divides us is whether 3 is too few, or too many.
I would probably do what Sheldon Brown did. I donít know if I get fast enough to benefit from super tall gearing.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
I think it looks cool, but completely different intent - the SA is intended for utility cycling & recumbents, classified for sport cycling. The wireless shift looks cool, and the weight is low - I'm wary of the cost of those custom cassettes though, and haven't seen what their counter-torque arrangement is.
Surely someone will make there "own" design that accepts the common cassette fitment. At minimum, I'd expect the ability to use the freehub gears once separated from each other using "special" spacers..
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Old 04-08-21, 10:38 AM
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They work just fine, but are less efficient than derailleur systems. (more power lost to drag) Then too they are extra weight. Depending on the hub most have wide gearing spaces, and some have unusual variance in spacing between the gears. These traits may not matter to some.
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Old 04-08-21, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
The problem I see with most IGH is they are not designed or rated to work with low gear ratios (small chainring/large rear cog). I'm a bit curious if Sturmey upgraded the internals of their externally geared IGH.
They did.
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Old 04-08-21, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
They work just fine, but are less efficient than derailleur systems.
The great gear guru Frank Berto dismissed internal gear hubs a 'friction boxes'. Imagine his surprise when years later he ran an instrumented test and found Sturmey and Sachs three speed hubs overall the most mechanically efficient multi-gear systems.
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