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  1. #1
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    SRAM out of hub gear business

    Just when you think maybe now's the time for them to come out with an mtb hub...

    Effective May 1, 2017 the internal gear hub platforms Automatix, I-Motion 3 and Dual Drive including the Pulse systems will be brought to bed. The production of all other SRAM’s IGH’s, the T3, P5, S7, G8, I-Motion 9 and E-Matic was already stopped earlier.

    That's 110 years of history out the window.

    Original article:


    SRAM Stops Remaining Internal Gear Hub Production - Bike Europe
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  2. #2
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    With the expense of a Pinion or a Rohloff; (especially if you want to use multiple wheel-sets) single, dingle or (tringle ?) speed is becoming a more attractive unproven personal theory. Seems like I read something about being able to run a 26 - 28 - or 30 tooth ring/bash-guard off a 104 spider; so; use that set-up off a Pinion 104 cassette spider to get a 'tringle' speed? If only there was a 58/104 cassette spider?
    "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway" John Wayne

  3. #3
    _CJ
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    Lame.

    Not that I cared about any of those hubs, but I was really hoping they were going to come out with something to compete with the Afine 8/11 hubs.

    Guess they decided overpriced crap that gets ripped off your bike by branches, and destroyed by water/mud is a better business model.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    Lame.
    ...Guess they decided overpriced crap that gets ripped off your bike by branches, and destroyed by water/mud is a better business model.
    I think you've nailed it.

    The irony is they are giving up their gear manufacturing capabilities just as the gearbox bike gains traction. A bad decision IMO.

    I agree, there weren't any of their hubs that appealed to me, but it wouldn't have taken much if they had used the resources available to them.

    Hubgears can be made bulletproof by having a torque limiter/override, internal indexing, and a rigid enough axle for mtb use.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  5. #5
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    IGH and gearboxes are really popular with the high powered ebike crowd, since they don't need the gear range we do and mtb drivetrains don't hold up with the increased torque. I'd be shocked if they aren't working on ebike related versions to be produced in Asia since the market for higher powered ebikes is opening up in NA. I can't see how the emtb future isn't a middrive motor/gearbox combo.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    IGH and gearboxes are really popular with the high powered ebike crowd, since they don't need the gear range we do and mtb drivetrains don't hold up with the increased torque. I'd be shocked if they aren't working on ebike related versions to be produced in Asia since the market for higher powered ebikes is opening up in NA. I can't see how the emtb future isn't a middrive motor/gearbox combo.
    I fear that you are correct.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post

    Guess they decided overpriced crap that gets ripped off your bike by branches, and destroyed by water/mud is a better business model.
    Maybe it's also a technical issue, a IGH has more parts, requires higher precision on parts, cannot hire/use low-intelligence staff, higher need of quality control, e.g. more work for less profitt.

    A derailler system is really a very simple system to manufacture, it's a lot of big parts meshing together, instead of a lot of small parts meshing together in a big part. It's sad that IGH isn't so widespread as derailler.

  8. #8
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    I would assume they just weren't competitive. In the US, at least, gear hubs seem to be the the exception. Given how they show up on a minority of bikes, there are a decent number of options. Of course there are places where gear hubs are more popular, but even so, when I've looked at SRAM, they have a couple of hubs I like, like the automatic, two speed, but they have very little that I can't get something similar from other manufacturers. There's little in the SRAM line that I can't get a comparable model from Shimano or Sturmey-Archer. Meanwhile both Shimano and SA have done better at implementing newer models, with Shimano now offering an 11 speed and SA offering fixed-gear gear hubs. SA even has a dual drive competitor, which I didn't realize until just now. I don't have much interest in the Dual Drive, but there's still something like it out there, even without SRAM. I feel like they've let that part of their business coast, while others are still innovating, and maybe that's why they are shutting it down.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    Lame.

    Not that I cared about any of those hubs, but I was really hoping they were going to come out with something to compete with the Afine 8/11 hubs.

    Guess they decided overpriced crap that gets ripped off your bike by branches, and destroyed by water/mud is a better business model.
    It's the opposite, in general people don't have that many issues with derailleurs and therefore there's little demand for gearboxes:

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/1-ques...down-2017.html

    I mostly ride natural trails and all through the winter but only had one derailleur break on me, if they were as chronically problematic as is often made out there's no way I'd still be using them but they're not.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMcL7 View Post
    It's the opposite, in general people don't have that many issues with derailleurs and therefore there's little demand for gearboxes:

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/1-ques...down-2017.html

    I mostly ride natural trails and all through the winter but only had one derailleur break on me, if they were as chronically problematic as is often made out there's no way I'd still be using them but they're not.

    John
    Gearboxes are not hub gears. Gear boxes have failed to take off, true, but hub gears have been around for a hundred years.

    But I agree that deraillers are a perfectly workable option for many people. I'm just not sure that translates into too small of demand for hub gears to make a business of it. After all, deraillers have been around a long time, too, and hub gears continue to have a place in the market. Sram may be out of that market after many, many years, but Nuvinci and Rohloff have both entered the market in the last 20 years and seem to have had a degree of success. Meanwhile Sturmey-Archer and Shimano have continued to innovate.

    So while the frailty of derailers may be overstated, hub gears have been in use alongside derailers for a very long time. I doubt you can blame Sram getting out of the hub gear market on all the derailer users suddenly realizing that their derailers still work.

    Also, for what it's worth, I don't remember breaking a derailer, but I've had to pull weeds/tall grass out of my drive train a time or two. You ride through the weeds, eventually it happens. And it can happen in any drive train, but in my experience, the closer your chain gets to the ground, the more likely it is to happen. This means it happens more of my 20" wheels than my 26" and it happens more when I'm running a derailler than when I'm not. So just because people aren't breaking deraillers left and right, it doesn't mean there's no advantage to be had by ditching the derailer, nor does it mean there aren't any other reasons why someone might choose to not use a derailer. The derailer vs. hub gear preference is just that: a preference, but there continue to be benefits and drawbacks to both systems.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    ...The derailer vs. hub gear preference is just that: a preference, but there continue to be benefits and drawbacks to both systems.
    The manufacturers and bike shops prefer derailleurs. They get to sell you a complete new drivetrain every few years...
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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