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  1. #76
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    Singular Gryphon with Nuvinci

    I'll jump in the mix and add to the growing number of folks who are sharing their experiences with the N360.

    I just built a Gryphon with a N360, to be used as my daily commuter as well as offroad (quick removal of fenders/rack, tire swap).

    I've just started riding it on my commute (16 mi RT) and so far, I'm really liking it. I'll report back as I spend more time with it.
    It seems that I am keeping similar (perceived - I do not have a speedo) pace as with my old Alfine 8 and with my son's XT-equipped Motobecane (with slicks). The "feel" is very smooth, and to my legs it feels pretty efficient right out of the box - very solid, no mushiness.

    One thing I'm already finding is that when I start from a stop (at a light, for example), I can twist the shifter smoothly while out of the saddle to give me a really smooth acceleration to my cruising speed. Cool. I could not do that on either the XT or Alfine drive trains without some form of skipping/grinding.

    I posted pics and more about the build here, but here's a couple of teaser pics for this thread (in commuter guise):
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails NuVinci N360: Amateur Review-gryphon-side1.jpg  

    NuVinci N360: Amateur Review-gryphon-nuvinci-1.jpg  


  2. #77
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    canyoneagle - Welcome to the N360 family! I'm glad you like your hub so much. Over time, either mine has gotten 'more' efficient or I just got better with shifting because my average speeds match my old derailleur equipped bike. I can easily cruise around 18 mph now. Your Gryphon is gorgeous, I saw your thread in the commuter forum.

    Two questions: 1. what is on your water bottle boss on the seat tube? 2. What are you gearing your at right now? That's possibly the smallest chainring I've seen on this setup! My Vaya is quite similar to your frame, but I'm quite jealous of the eccentric hub. I have to use a tensioner

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazylemurboy View Post
    canyoneagle - Welcome to the N360 family! I'm glad you like your hub so much. Over time, either mine has gotten 'more' efficient or I just got better with shifting because my average speeds match my old derailleur equipped bike. I can easily cruise around 18 mph now. Your Gryphon is gorgeous, I saw your thread in the commuter forum.

    Two questions: 1. what is on your water bottle boss on the seat tube? 2. What are you gearing your at right now? That's possibly the smallest chainring I've seen on this setup! My Vaya is quite similar to your frame, but I'm quite jealous of the eccentric hub. I have to use a tensioner
    The seatpost box is my super secret turbo boost. shhhh!
    No, it is actually my lock. I use an Abus bar-link folding like, and like it quite a bit.

    The chain ring is a 32t, and my hub came with a 18T cog. This gives me a gear spread (with my 700x50's) of about 25-90 or so gear inches.

  4. #79
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    Ah, I didn't factor in the large wheel. That will definitely increase the gear ratio. I'm using a 48 x 22 T setup right now with a 700 x 38 tire. Lately I've considered going down just a smidge to 47 in the front. I kind of wish I could throw on the bigger rubber, I love the way the fat tires roll. I can't imagine getting over 42mm of rubber under my fenders. Love your setup, thanks for the tip of the lock. One last question: does the front fork have rack bosses?

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazylemurboy View Post
    One last question: does the front fork have rack bosses?
    Nope. In time, I plan to try my hand at brazing some bosses on there and re-painting the fork.

  6. #81
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    I just built up a wheel with the N360 for my Marin Hamilton 29er. Have not yet been able to ride it more than just around the block, but I am a heavy guy, and it has worked fine so far. After learning how it works, I wanted to see for myself about the slippage or lack thereof; I put the front brake on and stood on the forward pedal, and there is nothing in the way of slippage. Kind of weird thinking about totally smooth ball bearings against totally smooth rings not slipping, so the real magic here is the oil. My intent is to have a do everything bike, from road rides (30 miles), to commuting, to technical singletrack, to pulling my son around the sidewalks in his trailer (1 year old), and I think this bike nails it thanks to this hub. It has plenty of top end, and a low enough gear to make the steep hill at the end of my street easy (with a 32x18 set up). I am really looking forward to getting a decent ride in to be able to really use this in a variety of situations.

  7. #82
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    From that standpoint, it really is a unique hub that can't be matched. I agree, "slippage" is a non-issue, although I do feel mine was a little draggy, and the smoothness and quietness is unmatched. I think you'll be really happy with yours for your intended uses.
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  8. #83
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    To add to my original reply, I went on a 15 mile ride through rolling hills with 2 steep, longer climbs to really shakedown the hub system, and I can say that I am sold. It is a completely different way of riding, responding to drops in cadence rather than drops in speed or effort. Grinding a 18% grade in full underdrive, where some said you can feel the resistance, I didn't notice it at all. Maybe I need to find a steeper off road grind to truly test this, but if there is any major resistance I didn't notice it. The bike accelerates on a slight downhill grade, and I completed the 15 mile loop in the same amount of time it takes me on my road bike. I think the best thing is being able to pedal and slowly roll the shifter back to smoothly accelerate from a stop, and doing the same with rolling terrain.

    I am a heavy guy, over 250lbs, so the extra weight is a moot point for me. My only complaint is I would like more top end, but I think a swap for a 16t on the back will help out without losing too much granny gear. I am looking forward to trying some technical singletrack with this bike now!

  9. #84
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    Rousting this thread from its slumber because I am in the horns of a dilemma...please help.

    I have a Pugsley that is going to be used for the following activities:
    - Replace my commuter/kid hauler/human powered SUV
    - Ride on the sand on the annual beach vacations we take
    - Extend my mountain bike season with some snowy trail riding here in Eastern Pa.

    I have a standard 2x9 transmission on there now, and the beach riding tore it up something awful this summer. For this and many other reasons I want to give the IGH option a go.

    The plan: I have some 80mm rims on order to build up a puffy wheelset for the sand/snow. The hub is going to be an Alfine 8 or a NuVinci n360. The Rohloff is just too pricey, and would never make it past the CFO veto. The current wheelset is a standard Large Marge deal, but I have 26x3.0 street tires on there. Eventually I will gut one of them and put another IGH in that set as well.

    My priorities: durability and gear range...primarily for snow and sand. Seems like n360 would be the shoe-in, but in reading this thread it seems like the n360 likes to be in the upper gear ranges. On my Pugs I will probably be doing most of my off road riding in the 35-55 gear inch range.

    My assessment: Put the Alfine into the 80mm rim snow/sand wheel set first. Eventually put the n360 into the commuting wheel set when funds allow.

    Outstanding questions:
    - Which would you choose for snow covered single track with technical features here and there?
    - Which hub would tolerate riding in the 25 gear inch range better?
    - Why did Diller sell the n360 Pug?
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  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    - Why did Diller sell the n360 Pug?
    Yo I shouldn't have, I miss that thing.

    I sold the Pug to my best friend, privately. He couldn't keep it, because of objections from his SO and a small living space / not using the bike for what it's intended. So I sold it publicly. To a guy I knew would give it a good home.

    My wife also didn't want me having a frivolous amount of fat bikes. So I sold it after finding a buyer who I knew would give it a good home.

    Both the Alfine and the N360 have the same unsatisfactorily high gearing range when it comes to snow and sand crawling. Sucks, man.

    I had no functional problems with either hub in the cold or wet, though. Only thing with the Alfine: keep that shift cable clean.

    The only problem I had with undergearing the N360 was a squishy, inefficient feeling in the bottom portion of the gearing gradient. But, when you're plowing over or through 4" or more of snow, efficiency is kind of a "haha, efficiency" conversation. Big Fat Larry and 100mm rims are easily available these days, which I think will have a greater impact than fretting over which hub.
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  11. #86
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    buddhak, on the which-hub-of-the-two question... that's tough. If you can handle thinking about the way Alfine likes to be shifted (back off when shifting to an easier gear), go that route. On the other hand, snow can be pretty wacky and the completely thoughtless shifting of the N360 was cool. Also, easier to shift the N360 grip shifter inside a pogie.

    Tough call.
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  12. #87
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    I don't know if you can get the N360 to 25 gear inches and stay within the manufacture's specs. If you can, or if you get close, I think you will be at the lowest end of the range. I don't know that riding around in the lower gear range of a Nuvinci is a problem. The hub is just at maximum efficiency in the middle of the range. Efficiency is something that seems to give some people pause and bothers others not at all. If I hit a hill, and drop my bike into it's lowest gear, I sometimes wish I could go a little lower, but never think, "Wow, this is inefficient."

    That said, my bike is not a fatbike and not a mountain bike. But I dream of fatbikes at night, and they all have Nuvinci hubs, for what it's worth. With any IGH/single chainring combo, the lower you gear it, the lower the range. If you could gear the Alfine lower than the Nuvinci, you could get those 25 gear inches you want, but you'd also loose a lot more from the top end. If you were strictly mountain biking, maybe that would be fine, but if it's also your 'round town utility bike, you might occasionally want that high end. I use my whole range, and even though in commuting/round-town mode my bike is geared higher then the minimum (38-134 gear inches), I spend a decent amount of time in the top half of the range.

  13. #88
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    Thanks for the feedback, Drew.

    I can't fit the big meats on the Pugsley, so I went the 80mm route. That and the GFS rims cost $30/piece! This is a tough call, indeed. So, am I correct in interpreting from your post that although the n360 felt squishy in the low ranges, it didn't really bother you while you were in the heat of the moment? Because, if that is the case, I may grab the NuVinci first. The 100% sealed construction and infinite gear steps (and wider range!) sound perfect. The only thing holding me up was the low range behavior of the NuVinci.
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  14. #89
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    I'm sure Drew will chime in with his fatbike experience, but I will say that for my part the low end "squishiness" was weird, but not bad. Just different. And either it didn't last or I'm so used to it now that I don't notice.

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    I don't know if you can get the N360 to 25 gear inches and stay within the manufacture's specs. If you can, or if you get close, I think you will be at the lowest end of the range. I don't know that riding around in the lower gear range of a Nuvinci is a problem. The hub is just at maximum efficiency in the middle of the range. Efficiency is something that seems to give some people pause and bothers others not at all. If I hit a hill, and drop my bike into it's lowest gear, I sometimes wish I could go a little lower, but never think, "Wow, this is inefficient."

    That said, my bike is not a fatbike and not a mountain bike. But I dream of fatbikes at night, and they all have Nuvinci hubs, for what it's worth. With any IGH/single chainring combo, the lower you gear it, the lower the range. If you could gear the Alfine lower than the Nuvinci, you could get those 25 gear inches you want, but you'd also loose a lot more from the top end. If you were strictly mountain biking, maybe that would be fine, but if it's also your 'round town utility bike, you might occasionally want that high end. I use my whole range, and even though in commuting/round-town mode my bike is geared higher then the minimum (38-134 gear inches), I spend a decent amount of time in the top half of the range.
    Thanks Rob E,

    More good feedback.

    On the Sheldon Brown gear calculator, assuming a fat wheel/tire hits the 29" diameter mark, the 1.8:1 ratio minimum for the n360 gets you in the 26-27 gear inch neighborhood. Upper range in the 88-90 gear inch range. Let's say I sacrificed warranty concerns and set up the gearing lower - say, to a 19-71 gear inch range. Would that improve the feel of the NuVinci in the approximate 25 gear inch range? I know torque would increase, but the position of the balls on their track would also change. Does that make a difference at all, or is it torque induced changes in the oil viscosity that affects the feel of the hub?
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  16. #91
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    I am only guessing and trying to remember from early days with my hub, but I want to say that the squishiness seemed more related to being at the bottom of the range rather than being tied to the torque. I could be 100% wrong on that. But if I'm right, then undergearing it would give you a more solid feel at 25 gear inches. But unless you felt that you wanted that 19, I would at least try the hub in manufacturer's specs before under gearing it.

    Again, the folks who have used the hub in mountain biking applications will have better input, but I would say make your decisions based on highest low gear you can enjoy, and put thoughts of squishiness out of your head. You will get used to it or it will go away.

  17. #92
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    I am using mine on a 29er mountain bike with 32x18 primary drive. This gives a range of 26 to 93 gear inches, which handles the off-road stuff beautifully. I see no real reason why a 30x19 wouldn't work, even though NuVinci suggests against it, because the amount of force I am applying to the hub when standing in low is significant (I am 280#). It just keeps working smoothly through all conditions. Another thing I noticed, I started my IGH journey with a 2 speed kickback hub from SA, and I kept breaking cogs. They were the lousy 3 tab ones for coaster brakes. Shimano has a 4 tab, because I looked at the Alfine, but they are still rounded off. High torque applications might be an issue, they sure were for me. The N360 has the 9 spline cassette cogs, which are bulletproof so far

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    am I correct in interpreting from your post that although the n360 felt squishy in the low ranges, it didn't really bother you while you were in the heat of the moment?
    That's a fair statement. It bothered me on sustained, greater than 10% grades. Which, if attempted on warm snow, isn't going to happen anyway no matter what gearing you have going.

    I don't think gunk is a big deal for the Alfine either. I'd clean it after a season (this is my first with one), and there are instructions on how to do it. My own hub is second hand and several Alaskan seasons old. The previous owner cleaned it once a year and it works fine.

    One other thing I really like about the N360 is the ability to change the cable pull direction. Can't do that on the Alfine.

    Alfine still gets the prize for standing-still shifts, though. N360 can shift through part of the range while not pedaling, but not all of it. Possibly important after falling into a snow drift (which is hilarious going in and infuriating getting out).
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  19. #94
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    Another thought buddhak - if you're concerned about damaging the N360 from undergearing, and you're mostly on snow. Dude, when you push the pedals really hard, the tire slips. Even a Surly Nate, in the wrong kind of snow/slush. Hard to over torque anything when the tires are struggling for purchase, meaty as they may be.

    EDIT: I guess what I'm saying if you're really jonesing to get into the fat bikes for snow thing, expect some pushing. It varies with the snow present, just like with any snow sport. Some days it's great. Some days it is simply a grueling workout and people think you're nuts.
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  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    I can't fit the big meats on the Pugsley, so I went the 80mm route. That and the GFS rims cost $30/piece!
    Also, you can squeeze BFLs onto 80mm rims and still make the Pugs stays. You're good there.

    GFS rims have a garbage reputation, but you know... they do the job.
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  21. #96
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    Right on, Drew

    I have been out in the snow on my 29er on a few occasions. It was fun, but 1 mile felt like 10. I am anticipating much suffering with the Pugs. I know the GFS is a crude product, but at least it is priced accordingly! One day I may graduate to the Rolling Darryl or UMA.

    By the way, I am now much better informed, but no less confused about which hub to get.
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  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak View Post
    By the way, I am now much better informed, but no less confused about which hub to get.
    LOL

    I try.

    To be fair I'm still in the same boat. I think about bike drivetrains more than anyone should. Same with software dude. Just because something IS doesn't mean it SHOULD.
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  23. #98
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    The Alfine is meant to be a commuter hub, not to say it can't be on a mountain bike. The N360 is more all around, and has come as OEM on an Ellsworth mountain bike. Get the hub that offers the features you want

  24. #99
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    Very good review, thanks a lot OP, this makes decision process easier.

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    Thread resurrection time!

    I am considering a N360 for a 29" mountain tandem, so weight is not an issue, but low end gearing is a potential issue.

    The Rohloff is expensive and it still requires shifting, also it is not an undergear champ unless I run outside mfd specs. I want the Nivinci for the things that a CVT can provide:

    1) improved transitions, esp in tight terrain where getting just the right gear can be hard when your managing 350# plus bike weight
    2) less abrupt starts, smoother low speed climbing turns, reduced overtorque
    3) more range than a standard 3 x 9.

    The plan is to build a Nuvinci 360 wheel and retain a 2x front drive, so doubling the range to ~700%.

    Right now we are running 44/33/22 x 11-34

    Am I going to suffer for a lack of undergearing?

    Am I crazy?

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