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  1. #1
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    Nuvinci's new 360 CVP impressions... (Sea Otter)

    The following are some thought / first impressions I wrote up and posted on the Yahoo! Xtracycle forum; cuttin' and pastin' here. Some of it may be a little out of context, but you'll get the gist.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++

    I stopped off at the Nuvinci booth at Sea Otter yesterday, and kicked around the
    new Nuvinci 360 CVP.

    Here's a real quick assessment:

    At $399, this is going to be a real bargain.

    First, the biggest news: The redesigned hub does indeed get rid of the oddball
    21mm and 11mm drive-side axle nuts. This is great, because who wants to carry
    all those extra tools around in case a flat tire needs to be changed? The size
    of a 21mm wrench is obscene and you almost need an Xtracycle Freeloader to carry
    one without it being a burden.

    So that's all switched over to a very conventional gear hub setup with 15mm
    crown nuts over each axle. Quite nice. Very, very nice, in fact, and that change
    alone makes this hub worth recommending without a bunch of disclaimers.

    I'll take Nuvinci's claims as accurate re: weight loss; holding the new hub in
    one hand and their old one, a cut-away display model, in the other, the weight
    difference wasn't obvious, but I don't know whether the old model was fully
    loaded with all of its steel drive balls, or how much the cut-away material
    represented in missing weight.

    The new hub partially accounts for its weight loss by doing away with two of the
    balls. This may be the reason that Nuvinci is not yet warrantying it for cargo
    bike use -- that may come with time in service. They say they're keeping their
    old hub around for that, since "it's bombproof." Well, I suspect that the
    popularity of the old hub with the electric bike crowd (and all sorts of other,
    non-traditional, "creative" uses) paved the way for development of this revised
    hub, so it might be silly for the company to turn their back to these "high
    input torque" users -- that is to say, I'll bet money the new model is
    sufficiently sturdy.

    The hub is indeed easier to shift under load, but the flip side is not that it's
    difficult to shift at a standstill (!!!). Go figure!?! Not so bad it's
    impossible, but just a lot stiffer at the shifter. The amount of twisting
    required to shift through the full range -- from high to low, or vice-versa --
    is seriously reduced, but I don't know how representative the test bikes I
    played with were. They were all using the old (current) grip shifter, as the new
    redesigned units hadn't yet arrived to outfit the demo fleet.

    Speaking of new shifters, they look roughly the same -- they still have the
    "inchworm" gear indicator and same look and feel. But the inchworm now has a
    rubber bicycle and rider molded on to it, so you actually get a pictorial
    representation of the bike climbing the hill or charging across the flats, lest
    there be any confusion amongst the masses. Ok, it's cute.

    But more importantly, the bulging, oversized display has been repositioned such
    that it no longer interferes with the brake lever clamp bolt on some models
    (current Avid Single Digit levers, for instance, are incompatible with the
    Nuvinci shifter). And according to Jeremy, the Nuvinic rep I was speaking with,
    the redesign removes the display from the pavement/trail "danger zone" that
    apparently scratches up the face of the current shifter when a bike is flipped
    upside down onto saddle and handlebars for during-the-ride field repairs.

    The new shifter cable-to-hub interface in pure genius: The cables engage a metal
    ring which snaps onto the hub inside of the dropout. With the flick of a very
    small locking tab, it releases from the hub, and the wheel can be freed from the
    bike (after loosening the 15mm axle nuts, of course). Not that the current
    external shifting pod attachment poses many problems, but any time an assembly
    like this is located outside the dropouts, the potential exists for it to be
    knicked off the bike.

    Lastly, the hub diameter is considerably smaller than the current units. It's
    still slightly larger than hubs from Rohloff, Sram and Shimano (if my eyes
    didn't deceive me), but if anything, this should make finding spokes of the
    appropriate length just a little bit easier.

    Riding the new hub is just as smooth as before, and as I've stated in previous
    posts, compared to the various Speedhubs, Sram and Shimano units I own on
    various bikes, this remains, hands down, the smoothest and quietest of the lot.
    How it stacks up in efficiency vs. the others or derailleur setups -- well, that
    remains to be seen. Oh, and this new version has improved on overall gear range
    by a small percent -- still more than any gear hub other than the Rohloff
    Speedhub.

    That pretty much summarizes it. Nuvinci is saying the new version should be
    available in July. I may be sticking with my old Nuvinci because all the hurdles
    I had to jump through to get it working on the Xtracycle are behind me, but than
    again, leaving that 21mm wrench at home sure sounds like a nice idea. I've got a
    few months to decide.
    speedub.nate
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  2. #2
    Rohloff
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    Thanks for the review. I love seeing the progress of IGHs.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    They say they're keeping their
    old hub around for that, since "it's bombproof."
    Interesting. In one of Fallbrook's press releases from the Taipei Cycle Show they said they were discontinuing the older model.

    Was the demo unit @ SeaOtter an American-built prototype or a Chinese-built production model?

    JD

  4. #4
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    They had a whole slew of them outfitted on demo bikes (just using old shifters). I don't know where they were manufactured but my guess is that they're so complicated that the only domestic prototyping that gets done is on a CAD screen. Each hub was anodized and had what looked like production graphics on the shell.

    I forgot to mention one other change: The thread-on BMX style freewheel has been replaced with a standard cassette spline pattern, with the freewheel built on to the hub, much like a traditional rear derailleur hub. This is great because it adds a who bunch of flexibility to gearing selection, since the BMX freewheels are commonly available only in a handful of sizes.

    The new ratcheting mechanism is somewhat loud and hollow sounding. Not that I noticed it on my demo ride, but holding the hub in-hand, it's evident. Though it could have been amplified by the cup-like shape of the Gates belt drive cog (!!!) attached to it.
    speedub.nate
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  5. #5
    T.W.O.
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    Their web site says that it's also for MTB, would it hold up. Do you recommend for MTB trail use?
    Thanks

  6. #6
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    That's a tough one. I can't honestly call it a "performance oriented" hub just because of the weight. Cruising pavement on a Nuvinci is great, and I'm sure that it's well sealed because it holds fluid. I'm pretty sure it would hold up well off road, but there's no getting around that this is a heavy hub.
    speedub.nate
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  7. #7
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    I would definitely be interested to ride one of these. Just need wait until the pound is stronger.....

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    Hmm, 6 pounds instead of 9. Tempted to try one on my Big Dummy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtheheathen

    Hmm, 6 pounds instead of 9. Tempted to try one on my Big Dummy.
    I'm not entirely sure how they come up with their weight loss figures, but plan on them not including the cog, shifter, axle nuts, etc in their % reduction numbers.

    Still, it's a considerable weight savings over the original.
    speedub.nate
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  10. #10
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    New Nuvinci N360s finally shipping?

    (Aug. 31st) http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fallbr...18994.html?x=0
    speedub.nate
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  11. #11
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    Yeah! I ordered one through QBP via Calhoun Cycle in MN. It showed up at their shop today. Should be built up no later than Sunday. It's going to be attached to a '07 Surly Pugsley. Heeeeaaavy =D

  12. #12
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    w00t, sounds like I'll get it a day early, I'll post pics tomorrow if so!

  13. #13
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    Well, I got the bike this evening, and ran out of good light. So, the first pictures are indoors with a poor camera, and therefore look like garbage!

    Unfortunately it sounds like I was one of the lucky few to nab one out of this first QBP shipment to my area, and that more are perhaps on their way by end of September / early October, but don't quote me on that; ask someone who actually knows.

    Anyway, the hub is sweet! The only complain I have is that the grip shifters I'm used to are twisted top-away-from-me to get to a harder ratio, whereas doing the same twist with this system gives you an easier ratio. I am trying to retrain my brain to think of it being like a motorcycle throttle, twist top-towards-me to "go faster". I went for a short jaunt off road, and the technical sections, I kept changing ratio in the wrong direction But, that is by no means a defect.

    I wasn't really conscious of extra weight of drag; this was a 34 pound bike as a single speed, after all.

    Above all, it does what I bought it for, and it does it really well: panic shifts! This thing shifts under any amount of torque, which is too cool.

    As a bonus, now that I have a gear high enough to actually get the Pugsley up to speed, I now have experience to work with to argue with people who insist that the Endomorphs must roll like crap. They don't. They roll much faster than they deserve to.

    You can change the gears some of the way when at a dead stop. Not all the way. Not a big deal: you can usually turn far enough to get to a reasonable spot, I haven't yet found the lack of full range at standstill to be an issue.

    You can feel the rearward weight bias when picking up the bike. I couldn't feel it on the trail. My bunnyhops feel just a touch more difficult to do, but I didn't knick anything.

    I'm not sure if there is a loose spot in the easiest ratio, sort of feels like it slips or changes to an easier gear when I mash on it. BUT, take that with a grain of salt! I've been riding single speed bikes for way too long so having variable ratios feels like pedaling on clouds. This might be exactly how the granny gear on a regular bike feels.

    There is some slight pedal feedback in the lowest ratio. It's not enough to be annoying, or even noticeable on singletrack.

    The freewheel is q-u-i-e-t. But then, I moved from an White Industries ENO, so that is just an unfair comparison. I'll put it this way: on pavement, when I get up past, say, 8 mph, the far and away dominating sound is that of buzzing Endomorphs.

    I'm pleased so far.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nuvinci's new 360 CVP impressions... (Sea Otter)-img_4130.jpg  

    Nuvinci's new 360 CVP impressions... (Sea Otter)-img_4131.jpg  


  14. #14
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    You ought to be able to flip-flop the cables where they engage with the hub in order to reverse the shifting action.. Your inchworm indicator will be backwards, but at least the shifts where behave how you want them to.

    I'm still on the fence but will probably pick one up for my cargo bike.
    speedub.nate
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    You ought to be able to flip-flop the cables where they engage with the hub in order to reverse the shifting action.. Your inchworm indicator will be backwards, but at least the shifts where behave how you want them to.
    Yeah. That occurred to me while installing a new chain this evening.

    I generally don't take my eyes off the trail when off-road, so the inchworm isn't of much use to me there. That and it'll be covered by a BarMitt for the entire winter.

    It is cute though.

    One minor drag (literally) after spending some more time with it... I took the rear brake assembly all the way off to see how the wheel would coast to a stop. It's a little disappointing, but it's less of a stopping effect than what I've seen from disc brakes that rub lightly when not actively braking.

    That said, when I was in the 1:1 ratio (so, same as my single speed earlier), I couldn't perceive a "this one tastes better!" level of obvious difference.

  16. #16
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    You're just talking hub drag, not the drum / coaster brake?

    Yeah, I've got their original hub now and I think it robs a little efficiency. It's hard to tell because it's not geared as low as I'd like and I'm usually carrying my son and some other stuff on it, so my seat-of-the-pants analysis compared to my Speedhubs is laughable.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    You're just talking hub drag, not the drum / coaster brake?
    Yes, just hub drag. It's a disc brake, I took the caliper housing off.

    FWIW, my e-bike hub is awful in this regard, and I can perceive that drag. But it still only shaves off part of 1 mph for a given effort. I'm not bothered by it, but I could see how it would be an issue for racers.

    I think I'm going to race it anyway =) I've always been meaning to try a MTB race but never followed through.

  18. #18
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    I ended up switching the cables around so that it shifts in the same direction as a SRAM grip shifter. It was about as easy as popping the cover off any other grip shifter: undo a small fastener and then finesse one of the seams with a tiny flathead screwdriver. The cable heads were tucked in real tight, had to use the _smallest_ flathead I had (that kind that could cause puncture wounds easily).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    Their web site says that it's also for MTB, would it hold up. Do you recommend for MTB trail use?
    Thanks
    I was talking to the guys at Interbike about the 29er they had built up. One of the guys said he had been riding it at the local trails (their offices are about 30 miles form me) trying to break it and hadn't had any issues yet. Seriously considering getting one of these for my commuter pretty soon.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller
    Well, I got the bike this evening, and ran out of good light. So, the first pictures are indoors with a poor camera, and therefore look like garbage!

    Unfortunately it sounds like I was one of the lucky few to nab one out of this first QBP shipment to my area, and that more are perhaps on their way by end of September / early October, but don't quote me on that; ask someone who actually knows.

    Anyway, the hub is sweet! The only complain I have is that the grip shifters I'm used to are twisted top-away-from-me to get to a harder ratio, whereas doing the same twist with this system gives you an easier ratio. I am trying to retrain my brain to think of it being like a motorcycle throttle, twist top-towards-me to "go faster". I went for a short jaunt off road, and the technical sections, I kept changing ratio in the wrong direction But, that is by no means a defect.

    I wasn't really conscious of extra weight of drag; this was a 34 pound bike as a single speed, after all.

    Above all, it does what I bought it for, and it does it really well: panic shifts! This thing shifts under any amount of torque, which is too cool.

    As a bonus, now that I have a gear high enough to actually get the Pugsley up to speed, I now have experience to work with to argue with people who insist that the Endomorphs must roll like crap. They don't. They roll much faster than they deserve to.

    You can change the gears some of the way when at a dead stop. Not all the way. Not a big deal: you can usually turn far enough to get to a reasonable spot, I haven't yet found the lack of full range at standstill to be an issue.

    You can feel the rearward weight bias when picking up the bike. I couldn't feel it on the trail. My bunnyhops feel just a touch more difficult to do, but I didn't knick anything.

    I'm not sure if there is a loose spot in the easiest ratio, sort of feels like it slips or changes to an easier gear when I mash on it. BUT, take that with a grain of salt! I've been riding single speed bikes for way too long so having variable ratios feels like pedaling on clouds. This might be exactly how the granny gear on a regular bike feels.

    There is some slight pedal feedback in the lowest ratio. It's not enough to be annoying, or even noticeable on singletrack.

    The freewheel is q-u-i-e-t. But then, I moved from an White Industries ENO, so that is just an unfair comparison. I'll put it this way: on pavement, when I get up past, say, 8 mph, the far and away dominating sound is that of buzzing Endomorphs.

    I'm pleased so far.
    Cool. Will be interested to hear how it performs in the cold weather.
    Andy

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