I have a Firefox Roadrunner Pro. I wanted to know if it was a good idea to install an internal hub gear on it. I want to install it to reduce dust accumulation and oiling and to simplify the wheel-removal process.

I have been told the I would need to add a new chain tension-er and that would eat away the advantages of the hub gear.

And which gear hubs would give a better gear ratio than i already have with my SHIMANO TZ21 14-28T, 7 speed

  • I seriously doubt that wheel removal would be simplified. And you would still want to clean/oil the chain at about the same interval as you do now. Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


No, it is not a good idea.

You'd be spending more than the bike is worth even for a basic internal gear hub (even assuming you got the wheel rebuilt for free using the existing rim and spokes, if possible), let alone buying a rear wheel with an IGH built in. You do need a chain tensioning pulley or horizontal dropouts, which while can be built more robustly than most derailleurs, still is more complicated than most people who want an IGH would deal with and eliminates one of the key advantages.

If you want better gearing, your best bet is probably to use a different freewheel (TZ71 is a 7 speed shimano freewheel - note that this is not the same as a cassette). If you want a lower gear, you may want to find an old 7 speed Shimano Megarange freewheel (or more likely, you'l probably have to go Sunrace these days). Any higher probably doesn't make much sense (Sunrace makes a 13t I think in 7 speed, but its not buying you much, with that style of bike - just spin faster).

Removing the wheel with an IGH on that bike would be about as complex as without it due to the pulley, so you're not significantly changing the complexity. Cleaning is about as difficult as well, with a chain cleaner like the Park Tool CG-2, and you still have to oil occasionally either way.

If you want an easier way to remove the rear wheel, consider getting a quick release wheel if you do not have one already (if you have a solid axle, you could try adding axle release).

But really, with a bike of that quality, you're best off just keeping it running and if you want to do any upgrades, just buy a better bike to begin with and then start upgrading it. If you want to run an IGH, look for something designed for it (likely, it will have horizontal dropouts - think something like Surly CrossCheck).

  • The Cross check looks like a normal geared bike. surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check Could you point out what is the limitation of my frame that wont allow installing a simple wheel with IGH. Could you point out the difference between my bike and this. brimages.bikeboardmedia.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/… Would it help if I also changed the crankset? Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 20:21
  • The cross check has semi-horizontal drop-outs (google that term to see pictures) which allows an IGH to be used without a chain tensioner. The bike in your link has horizontal/track drop outs which provides the same functionality as the dropouts on the cross-check.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 20:37
  • So there is no difference between the frames of a Cross check and a Firefox Roadrunner ? Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 21:29
  • 2
    The Firefox Roadrunner (aside from being a BSO pile of garbage) looks to have vertical dropouts. This means in order to tension the chain, you need a pulley (or an eccentric rear hub which precludes IGH, or if you're lucky an eccentric BB which is more expensive than the bike anyway). The default crosscheck is sold as a single speed or derailleur'd bike, but there are a decent amount of them built with IGH's. A side note is that horizontal dropouts and track dropouts are a bit different, but either would allow an IGH. Some single speed frames also don't have cable routing for shifting an IGH.
    – Batman
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 22:40

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