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  1. #1
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    Internal hub enough for touring?

    So now that I've decided on this little project, I'd like to hear from those who have experience touring on the BD with a Rohloff/Shimano. My initial plan was to go one of these routes (leaning toward the Alfine 11) but I'm curious if the gearing is enough for on/off road touring on these bikes? I've read through the internal hub threads but those are not much help because they are all on much lighter mtb set-ups.

    I don't want to be limited in where I can take this rig...if I decide I want to do the Sierra Cascades route, White Rim trail and anything in between I don't want to be stuck pushing this thing up every hill because my gear ratio sucks. I ride singlespeeds now so I'm not too proud to get off and push but pushing a mountain bike with no gear vs a fully loaded BD are two very different worlds. Should I just save myself some money and go with a more traditional set up?
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  2. #2
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    I've been wondering nearly the exact same thing...just with a bit more of an Urban Commutig v Adventure Touring perspective...I'm buying a Transport and am wondering about an IGH. I don't imagine I'll be rolling anybody's bedroom set across town or mashing a three-week camping trip up a ridge-line in granny-gear, but are IGH stout enough for these applications?

    Also wondering about tire / rim clearance...I'd like to use Snowcats (44mm) and 2.5 tires (slicks and / or knobs)... but that's for another post...
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  3. #3
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    Yep, I plan on using mine for commuting as well, but its pretty flat around here. I'm hoping this will become my 'go to' bike so I am trying to set it up for use in many applications if possible.
    "too weird to live, too rare to die" - HST
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  4. #4
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    I am not really sure what the question is?

    What do you mean by enough?

    If you have read the IHG forum, then you know that the rohloff definately has the RANGE of a 3x9 setup and the alfine11 is close to the rohloff.

    What actual low gear you get is determined by chainring/cog combo.

    The rohloff (I cannot speak to the alfine, but the IHG forum says the 8 is bomber, the 11 questionalbe) definately is robust enough to survive.

    I run a rohloff on my dummy which sees mostly city duty with a 7 and 8 year old on the back, in a town with definate hills (SLC, UT).

    I have ridden the crest trail loaded with overnight gear. I have ridden the shoreline trail with another bike on the back on the wide loaders (and a 30 pack of pbr). And a big dumb white rim is in the works...

    In my experince, the rohloff will not limit you.

    g

  5. #5
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    Unfortunately my budget for this project has taken quite a hit as of yesterday and I'll probably be moving in a totally different direction, though still hopefully in the cargo realm. Thanks.
    "too weird to live, too rare to die" - HST
    "Oh Gravity, thou art a heartless *****" - Sheldon

  6. #6
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    So the Rohloff = stout Alfine 8=stout enough Alfine 11=probably not stout enough Nuvinci=?
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  7. #7
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    I haven't read anyone questioning the durability of the Nuvincis...they're a bit less proven than the Alfine/Rohloffs, and there are some concerns about the viscosity of the fluid used in it at very cold temps, but I've read good things about the durability thus far.

  8. #8
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    I have a Rohloff and can attest to its range being surprisingly amazing. I can granny up the big hills around town and still make it up to 45-50km/h on the highest gear. I'm running 40T x 16T on the Rohloff which is a good combo for keeping the low gears you might want for long hills with lots of cargo.

    The nuvinvi's are very, very durable. The mechanics inside are totally different than any other IGH. Instead of gears its large ball bearings on a CVT mechanism. This means it can take a lot of torque abuse (like a lower ratio on your outside cogs for a lower overall gear). However, weight for weight, its performance isn't great. Its a heavy hub for the total range you get. So if you can muster up the funds, you'll be happier with the Rohloff, but if not don't let it stop you, get a nuvinci or alfine8.

    I love the fact that I no longer have derailleurs to fiddle with, break or clean. And I love changing gears arbitrarily. After flying down a hill and stopping at a red light, I can just twist back to the start. IGHs are very cool!

  9. #9
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    I own an alfine 8 and 11 and can certainly say the 8 is a beast of a hub. I've only had the 11 for a year, and I got the first run that did have a return spring issue which was remedied quickly by Shimano. I would recommend not doing any serious loading on the hubs until after the break-in period. Have the 8 "dipped" and the 11 needs an oil change. Both at around 500 miles. They are also careful to recommend not running a ratio lower than 1.85 I believe. You may want to heed this warning considering a longtail loaded. If seeking more range and still on a budget, a double ring up front with a two pulley tensioner is a great option to consider with the 8 and you don't really need to worry about chainline with that kind of chainstay length.

  10. #10
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    I have the old Nuvinci hub, and it is quite heavy, but it has proven very reliable. I don't know how cold it would have to be to run into problems. I have used it on -9 f. mornings and it hasn't given me the slightest problem. My bike is stored in an unheated outside garage, so it wasn't that it had just left the comfort of home.

    If you haven't ridden a Nuvinci it's a completely different kind of ride than other transmissions. I guess what I'm saying is that it can't simply be compared based on range, and weight. The ability to nudge your gear slightly higher/lower allows you to keep your cadence exactly where you like it, and not a little fast/slow. That has translated to a much nicer riding experience overall.

    My input gear is 2:1. I know a lot of people run it lower than that even down to 1.6:1. I was originally going to run a lower gear, but tried it with the supplied 16t, and found it to be good for my commuting. If I was going to run a long steep grade I may switch it out, but it would have to be pretty steep.

    I have done long distance self contained touring on a touring bike, and at this point I wouldn't hesitate taking my Nuvinci/Dummy on a cross country tour. It's heavy, but it's rock solid, reliable, and the onlyl time you really go fast on a tour is downhill anyway.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrops View Post
    I have the old Nuvinci hub, and it is quite heavy, but it has proven very reliable. I don't know how cold it would have to be to run into problems. I have used it on -9 f. mornings and it hasn't given me the slightest problem. My bike is stored in an unheated outside garage, so it wasn't that it had just left the comfort of home.

    If you haven't ridden a Nuvinci it's a completely different kind of ride than other transmissions. I guess what I'm saying is that it can't simply be compared based on range, and weight. The ability to nudge your gear slightly higher/lower allows you to keep your cadence exactly where you like it, and not a little fast/slow. That has translated to a much nicer riding experience overall.

    My input gear is 2:1. I know a lot of people run it lower than that even down to 1.6:1. I was originally going to run a lower gear, but tried it with the supplied 16t, and found it to be good for my commuting. If I was going to run a long steep grade I may switch it out, but it would have to be pretty steep.

    I have done long distance self contained touring on a touring bike, and at this point I wouldn't hesitate taking my Nuvinci/Dummy on a cross country tour. It's heavy, but it's rock solid, reliable, and the onlyl time you really go fast on a tour is downhill anyway.
    Nice report on this hub thanks.

  12. #12
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    I don't mean to sound like a Nuvinci pusher, but it really is a great thing. I bought mine on the cheap just to try it out. I was considering buying the newer, lighter, smaller version, but the old one came in around a hundred dollars already built into a wheel, so I couldn't pass. I figured at the time that it was risk free. If I didn't like it I could sell it for what it cost to someone else looking to try it out. It's been no looking back. I love being able to shift regardless of temperature, and at a complete stop.

    I don't have a lot invested in it, and got it without any predisposition to like it. I imagine that if I had invested more into it I might have worked harder to like it, but that wasn't necessary.

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