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  1. #1
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    IGH for commuting- sturmy archer vs. shimano vs. sram

    Going on a cx bike I have set up for commuting and gravel. Gets ridden approximately 180 miles a week through the winter in MN with a good portion of that being on gravel. This bike will also be the bike I take bike camping or touring.

    On a budget here- specifically looking at the 7 speed nexus hub, the sturmey xrf8 and the sram imotion (all of which I have access to lightly used and relatively cheap specimens of).

    Ideally, I need a range of gear inches from just below 30 up to at least 70, but would take advantage of 95 or 100.



    The sram is the most expensive and seems to be the biggest ??? in terms of reliability etc.. It would also require me to buy a new cog for it from harriscyclery (a 21t) in order to work properly with my bike and give me the gear range I want. One big advantage I see of the sram is that it is the disc version- thus i could install my tomicog and always have a back-up plan so far as switching to fixed. it's also supposed to be the easiest to change a flat with.


    shimano nexus 7 doesn't have a super wide range, but otherwise gets decent reviews and is the cheapest.

    sturmey archer may not be quite as reliable as the shimano???? it would also require me to run a 26t chainring up front with a 25t cog in the rear, which seems a little weird.

    input? thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I have a Nexus 7 which came on a Dahon 26" wheel folder. I recently moved the wheels over to my friend's bike and built a SRAM i-motion 9 wheel for my Kona Dr. Dew. The Nexus system worked very well, but I didn't feel like I had enough gears. On the SRAM bike I have a 42T chainring and a 20T cog. That gives me a range of about 31-105 gearing inches based on a 27" wheel chart. My commute is mostly flat, but I occasionally take detours up some steep hills for variety. It give me all the range I need and I can always find a comfortable gear while jamming on the flats. The plus side of the SRAM is the even gearing, wide range and Disc compatibility. Discs are the only way to go when it is wet. The only thing I am unhappy about is the Grip shifter. I thought about modding a bar-end shifter but the cable travel on the i-motion is so high (8-9mm per shift). It shifts correctly and all, but I would like the flexibility to use drop bars or any bar with some bends in it. I don't have S-A experience. I think the SRAM is closest to my road bike gearing, just doesn't have a decent shifter option. I am happy with my SRAM i-Motion 9.

  3. #3
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    I run a disc up front, no rear brake currently. Can you comment on the shifting quality and durability between the two. I'm relatively comfortable looking at the gear chart with what I can do with the nexus 7, and for just more than half the cost of sram. I would not mind swapping between 34 and 38t chainrings based on the season.

  4. #4
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    My understanding is the Shimano Nexus 7 and the Alfine 8 are pretty similar, so this may be or interest to you.

  5. #5
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    I think the Shimano IGH's have shifting more like their indexed derailleur systems. They are very precise and easy to set and forget. It took me a couple of rides to get my i-Motion adjusted just right. The twist shifter feels mushy and cheap to me, but like I said before, it works. I've never had the gears slip or never missed a shift. If you've only used Shimano SIS in the past, i-Motion may seem like a notch down in quality. I grew up with friction shifting and then have used everything inbetween. The first Campy indexed systems were a little vague and you often needed an extra nudge to get the chain in the desired gear. I am just trying to say that little quirks in shifting don't really bother me, I just adapt to them. I don't really notice any noise that others have reported, but maybe it's just because I am totally focused on riding and the synergy between myself and my bike. As long as I am moving smoothly forward with each pedaling effort and manage not to get killed on my way home from work, life is good.

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