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  1. #1
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    Internal gear hub advice needed

    Hey guys I'm planning on building a bike for my girlfriend to cruise around the neighborhood and local bike paths. I'm going to base the build on an older mountain bike frame I think. I built this one for my sister out of an old schwinn Moab and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I suppose with an internal gear hub I'd need an ss comparable frame?

    Looking to do something similar for my girlfriend but I'd like to try an internal gear hub for durability and the clean looking rear end. Ive never built anything with interanl gearing but its something I'd like to try. I need at least 3speeds and non-coaster brake. Any recommendations for what system to go with?

    Internal gear hub advice needed-image.jpg

  2. #2
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    A Single Speed specific frame would make tensioning the chain the cleanest option, otherwise a dangly bit of something would be hanging from your rear end, if you did it with vertical drop-outs and no ebb.

    I'd recommend the Alfine 8. You can run a disc brake and it's a lot less expensive than the eleven. I ran a Nexus 7 for many years and it was flawless and fast. I don't actually have experience with the Alf'8, but if it falls somewhere between my N7 and A11 it should be a great option for you. I hear you can run 'em with an oil bath too.

  3. #3
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    Each manufacturer has it's own foibles, but my recommendation would be to go with Sturmey Archer 3 speeds, for the vast supply of replacement parts. They are available in coaster brake and non coaster brake versions. Shimano's Alfine hubs are better supported in terms of spare parts, but the only company that will really sell you parts to rebuild a hub completely is Sturmey Archer.

    Shimano hubs (at least the 3 speeds) are poorly sealed, in my experience. I am not as familiar with the newest SA hubs, but the internals are largely unchanged from older versions. What I will say that Shimano's hubs have going for them is setting up the indexing is dirt simple, and flats are easier to change because of the gear shifting mechanism.

    If you are not entirely opposed to having a coaster brake (remember, they don't preclude you from using rim brakes) and at least 3 speeds, SA makes a 2 speed kick shifted hub that is pretty neat. It'll be hard to find anything as clean in terms of cabling.

  4. #4
    jrm
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    So far ive used the shimano nexus 3 and currently the sturmey archer S2 2spd kickback. The nexus was a pretty good hub shifted well. i didnt really like the bell housing shifting mech and the twist shifter was crap. If i went that route again id go with a 3 spd SA hub b/c the mech is easier to deal with and there are better shifter options.

    i gotta say i like the S2 alot. Its 120mm spaced/freewheel version w/o coaster brake. the hubs laced 32H 3x to a mavic OP and sits in a on one ill pompino frame with fork ends. Its such a clean application w/o cable or shifters. Getting used to the shifting takes a little time. My only gripe is how SA set up the gearing. Instead of using the 1.1 gear as the primary and having a gear below that the primary gear is the 1 to 1.38 gear leaving the 1 to 1 gear as the low gear. As a result if you gear the 1 to 1.38 to say 60 to 65 GI's the low gear is only around 40 to 45 GI.

    The on one frames are cheap and of pretty good quality.

  5. #5
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    I am trying to get my wife to ride again. She hates shifting, so though it is a bit heavy, I am thinking Nuvinci. She just rotates to the ratio that feels good. Cheaper than the 11 pr 14 speed hubs but more than the Shimano 8. There is an internal gear hub forum here: Internal Gear Hubs

    The AS hubs are now Taiwanese and they apparently retooled the lot (old english tooling was worn out) so they should be better than ever. I have a 90 mm drum/dyno hub that though heavy, is great on the errand bike.

    BrianMc

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    So far ive used the shimano nexus 3 and currently the sturmey archer S2 2spd kickback. The nexus was a pretty good hub shifted well. i didnt really like the bell housing shifting mech and the twist shifter was crap. If i went that route again id go with a 3 spd SA hub b/c the mech is easier to deal with and there are better shifter options.

    i gotta say i like the S2 alot. Its 120mm spaced/freewheel version w/o coaster brake. the hubs laced 32H 3x to a mavic OP and sits in a on one ill pompino frame with fork ends. Its such a clean application w/o cable or shifters. Getting used to the shifting takes a little time. My only gripe is how SA set up the gearing. Instead of using the 1.1 gear as the primary and having a gear below that the primary gear is the 1 to 1.38 gear leaving the 1 to 1 gear as the low gear. As a result if you gear the 1 to 1.38 to say 60 to 65 GI's the low gear is only around 40 to 45 GI.

    The on one frames are cheap and of pretty good quality.
    I have a pompino frame as well and I recently built a scandal 29er for someone else. I'm a big on-one fan. I really wish they sold a complete version of the inbred 26 so I could convert it to IGH. I've debated over whether or not to do a cross based bike for her but I think a Rigid MTB woul be more comfortable for relaxed cruising and trips to the bar!

    Right now I'm looking for a cheap SS MTB frame preferably used around the $150 mark. Any ideas?

  7. #7
    jfk
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    I haven't seen it mentioned, so I will point out that most IGH 3 speed hubs I have seen are setup for 120mm axle. This is more typical in single speed cruiser world. Most MTB frames are 135mm. The non-3 speed hubs usually fit these, those typically do not have coaster brakes.

    I have been riding a Alfine 8 speed for 2.5 years now (4000+ miles) and I like it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfk View Post
    I haven't seen it mentioned, so I will point out that most IGH 3 speed hubs I have seen are setup for 120mm axle. This is more typical in single speed cruiser world. Most MTB frames are 135mm. The non-3 speed hubs usually fit these, those typically do not have coaster brakes.

    I have been riding a Alfine 8 speed for 2.5 years now (4000+ miles) and I like it.
    Was thinking possibly something along the lines of this though I haven't done a tone of research on it. It's available with 135mm spacing.

    SRAM i-Motion 3spd Disc-Ready 36H Hub - Bikewagon

  9. #9
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    this might be the wrong thread but im looking at getting a hub gear in the future and id like a Alfine 11 but will it work combined with something like a Truvativ HammerSchmidt AM Crankset?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_desh View Post
    this might be the wrong thread but im looking at getting a hub gear in the future and id like a Alfine 11 but will it work combined with something like a Truvativ HammerSchmidt AM Crankset?
    Not sure if it will work, but it might be unecessary. My commuter has an Alfine 8, and the gear range with a single chainring is pretty wide. I suspect the 11 would be even better, eliminating the need for the Hammerschmidt.

    For the OP - another vote for the Alfine 8 - simple, low maintenance setup. So far very reliable (as are the cheapo Shimano hydraulic discs I'm using with it).

  11. #11
    jfk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikingnerd View Post
    Not sure if it will work, but it might be unecessary. My commuter has an Alfine 8, and the gear range with a single chainring is pretty wide. I suspect the 11 would be even better, eliminating the need for the Hammerschmidt.

    For the OP - another vote for the Alfine 8 - simple, low maintenance setup. So far very reliable (as are the cheapo Shimano hydraulic discs I'm using with it).
    Unnecessary? Phwww... Yeah, probably so, but it sounds cool. I've thought about it before.

    desh: I think he might get better advice on the IGH forum. I believe there are some requirements on the frame for the HammerSchmidt, that might not make it an ideal commuting bike. You are after all mixing AM parts and commuting parts (Shimano doesn't recommend MTB with either of their IGH lines). If you are wanting to mountain bike with it, then dream big: HammerSchmidt + Rohloff 14speed IGH.

    On a slightly more serious note, IGHs are less efficient than a derailleur system. Having two IGHs could be a much more noticeable drop in efficiency, depending on what gear you are in (The HammerSchmidt is direct drive in one gear and planetary driven in the other). BUT, if you do it, I want to know how it all works out for you.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I decided on a setup. I'm going with the nexus sg-3d55 laced to velocity arrowheat rims, 32h, 135mm spacing. I'm going to try and pair it with the newer sturmey archer thumb shifter (SL-S30 I think.) The Full wheelset should and the shifter should be below $300 so not too bad. I'm hoping that 3speeds will do the trick.

    Will report back soon!

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