I have a bike that I rather like, but it's geared entirely for high-speed road bike type work. It's fantastic on the flat areas of the route that I take every day, but I also have a couple of serious hills that I cannot climb with this one (I can climb them with a different bike).
So, I'm looking at the possibility of saving money to replace the entire bike, or to regear it. An option that I saw today was something like the Shimano Alfine 11-speed hubs. I've not calculated gear ratios, but it's claimed that they have a very wide range and such a thing would benefit me.
So, if I wanted to retrofit my bike to an internally geared hub, what is involved (and what are the terms I'm looking for)?
- size of axle?
- distance across the rear fork?
- what to do with no-longer-used rear derailleur?
- will my existing grip-shifter need to be replaced, and does that entail anything other than just putting the new one on and attaching the wires?
- will my entire rear wheel need to be replaced?
I'm pretty vague on what industry terminology would be used in this case. I'm also trying to evaluate the viability of even doing this as I balance my options for adjusting or replacing the bike to better fit the city I live in. The only adjustment I haven't mentioned is for me to replace the front chainring (there's only one on this bike) with something a little smaller. I'd lose level-ground power but gain some climbing power. And that, really, might be the least expensive and easiest of all of my options.