25

In 2001, Kyle and Berto published a comparison of the mechanical efficiency of several configurations of derailleur and internally-geared hubs in Human Power, which you can find here. Among the systems tested were a Shimano MTB derailleur system, a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub, the Shimano 7-speed Nexus hub, and the 14-speed Rohloff hub. MTB derailleur systems ...


16

Jan Heine performed some wind tunnel tests of "Real World Aerodynamics" a few years ago. A link to a blog post (and the results published in Bicycle Quarterly) can be found here. Those tests cover only one component (the aero drag component) of commuter-type bicycles vs. "racing" bikes. If you want to make your own apples-to-apples comparisons of ...


11

There are a couple of likely reasons IMO. First, Shimano don't make anything like a Rolhoff and that's intentional. Shimano market strategy is all about mass sales to bike manufacturers, and expensive, complex IGH are not part of that. Even their spare parts - those sales are not a huge profit centre, but they do take a lot of staff time (even though their ...


10

Its unnecessary from a gearing range perspective and adds extra complexity, I suppose. Number of gears, number of distinct gears and gear range are all different things. Having 63 gears over the same 5.26x range that a Rohloff gives isn't much of an advantage unless you actually find the Rohloff gears are spaced too far apart (very few people do). You get ...


9

Replacing a hub is not a "simple" procedure -- it, at a minimum, involves relacing the rear wheel, probably with different sized spokes (whose size you must accurately determine). Relacing is not beyond the abilities of a competent backyard mechanic, but is a skill that needs to be learned. To add a second chainring you must install some sort of device to ...


9

Pure anecdata from my experiences. The Rohloff is substantially cheaper as well as more reliable. I don't know how long a Rohloff lasts because I haven't worn the first one out yet. Three Nexus 8 hubs failed at 5000km each. I had a Shimano Nexus 8 in a single-speed MTB fram that I commuted on for a few years. I only did about 5000km/year, the the hub only ...


9

In the 5 years have you had the hub rebuilt / repacked with grease? The maintenance schedule for the Nexus 8 speed is every 5000 km or 2 years, which ever comes first (I believe). If you have not had any maintenance in your 5 years this is likely the culprit for decreased performance. 20,000 km should be no problem for a properly maintained hub; however, ...


9

Typically you quote gear sizes in gear inches, very basically this is the drive wheel diameter multiplied by the ratio between the two gear cogs, traditionally quoted in inches. Also sometimes mentioned is development which is the amount of distance travelled by one revolution of the cranks (the astute will notice that is going to be proportional to gear ...


9

If this chain has been on it for nearly 9000 miles - I'd suggest a new one! You could shorten it, but the wear is on the link connectors, so the sapcing is going to be wider than it should be - thus wearing the sprockets!


9

My experience as a bicycle mechanic in the Netherlands: don't mess with it. If it is an Shimano, it will probably run >100.000 km. If it is a Sturmey Archer, SRAM or any other well known brand, it will mostly do >50.000 km as well. If there is a small hole for lubricant, only do this once a year or so, with some thin grease, but not oil. Oil is to thin. ...


9

Given that most contemporary internal gear hubs are designed to take up the entire width of a normal rear hub (135mm), there isn't space to add a rear derailleur cassette unless you have an abnormally wide rear frame. Perhaps you could try it with a fat tire bike but most regular bikes don't have the hub spacing to do this with regular IGHs. And would it ...


8

The Schlumpf drives have been around for several years and incorporate a two-speed planetary gear drive attached to the bottom bracket. With the heel of your shoe, you tap a small button centered on the end of the bottom bracket to engage and disengage the planetary gear. Three models are available: a "mountain gear" version that lowers whatever other gears ...


8

I drive the same Rohloff for over 8 years and do not see an end of its lifetime. I cannot speak for other brands, but in all posts above the free-of-charge service by Rohloff, as part of their special corporate culture was not mentioned. Up to now, whenever there was a problem, the thing was being send to Rohloff and I had to pay nothing. That being said, ...


8

You are correct. This is different than "regular" cables. On regular cables you pick the end you want and cut off the other. Thats because the connection on the cut-off end is usually a clamp. You run the cable under a screw/nut and tighten it down. Then you just put a cable crimp on the end to protect the cut cable However, your internal hub cable is ...


8

Oil leaking from the hub has been an ongoing problem for me too. When the bike was still new there was an oil leak from the gear changer side which went to Shimano (twice) before the internal seal was replaced (the external seal was replaced the first time to no effect. Over a year later the leak started again and this time Shimano have had the wheel for ...


7

I've got shimano internal hub for 5 years mainly to commute. pros: no maintenance - at the beggining easy changing at red light or to jump on the sidewalk cons: harder to change tire when flat one day a car bump my wheel: I add to change the whole wheel+internal hub after some time (3000km) some gears are screwed, so it "jumps" when I press too strongly ...


7

A quote from this answer to the "How much maintenance?" question: Those numbers are why people often end up with a dedicated commuter bike that costs a fortune up front. New Rohloff Oil every year at $20 compared to a new Shimano hub every three years at $800 makes the $2000 up front cost of a Rohloff seem cheap (a Rohloff will last 100,000 kilometres or ...


7

I have a Rohloff and have sent some emails to the factory due to severe oil spill (had to replace the seals, successfully). From what they have told me, the 25ml of oil is more than double the necessary amount for the hub to work fine, since the oil is very sticky and it distributes inside the hub. Even the unavoidable oil "sweating" should be considered ...


7

SRAM acquired Sachs in 1997. The main visible difference between the (Fichtel &) Sachs Torpedo 3 hub and the SRAM T3 is that the SRAM T3 comes in an aluminium body, whereas the Sachs Torpedo 3 comes in a chrome plated steel body and the brake design has been changed (but is compatible). There apparently was a successor model to the Sachs Torpedo 3 ...


7

If both bikes have a frame which is set up for it, with the long drop-out on the Thorn pictured below and the EX Box below it, then it would be the work of 5 minutes. Just unscrew (possibly by hand) that big nut on the ex-box, remove the wheel and put it onto the other bike. The only issue to remember is to always shift to the same gear (say, the lowest) ...


7

The closest to that is the Sachs DD3 "dual drive" hubs that are a 3 speed IGH with a standard cassette mount, available in 8,9 or 10 speed cassette versions. According to this site the ratios in the hub are 0.73,1,1.36 giving 1.86 between high and low gears. That's wider than a double chainring setup but narrower than most triples (a 20/30/40T triple has a ...


7

This picture shows a slightly better angle. You need to first loosen the lock nut slightly, then spin the adjuster barrel until it unscrews right off the threaded rod on the chain. When you re-assemble you reverse that, and have to re-adjust the tension so that it shifts properly.


7

Making an internally geared hub with 14 speeds that is reliable is prohibitively expensive. A Rohloff hub alone costs than most people's bicycle. It is a hard sell to most people except for a few, making it a real niche market. There was nothing like it when it first came to market (must be over 20 years now), and once there it was the instant leader of a ...


7

The chain you need is 1/8 inch chain, usually sold as singlespeed chain. A derailleur chain, which are sold as multi-speed chains, is narrower and the cogs may be too thick to fit. EDIT: As said in the other answers, some singlespeed and internal gear hubs have narrower cogs and can use the 3/32 inch chain. An 1/8 inch chain may be slightly noisier with ...


6

Well, about a year ago, I got A shimano Alfine 11 Speed . . . thing didn't even last 700 miles!!!!! (Several of the gears don't even engage . . . at first, thought the chain broke.) And Shimano doesn't even service it. Also have a Rohloff, with nearly 19,000 miles, no problems so far. 'Nough said!


6

It sounds as if you adjusted the barrel adjuster out too far, the last time you adjusted it, and damaged the threads on the adjuster. When the shop cleans and lubes it, it is fine for a few days, and then gets stuck again, because the threads are cross threaded or stripped. If the damage is relatively minor, it can act normal until it is under a little ...


6

I see a few different sizes of chain, broken down as follows 1/8 inch wide chain Single Speed / Internal Hub only, don't use with a standard derailleur. Can fit on 1/8 inch or 3/32 inch chainrings and cassettes. It will have some play when installed with a 3/32 chainring or cassette, but it's usable. So, if you accidentally buy an 1/8 in chain and have ...


6

I can only compare the basic Shimano Acera and Deore (3x8) deraileurs to the Rohloff 14-speed hub, but these are my observations. On the Rohloff hub Rohloff, like most hub gears is slightly less efficient than a well-maintained derailleur, as this PDF study explains. In my experience the difference is not noticeable, perhaps because I've mostly used cheap ...


6

The other answer is a pretty good list of differences, so I'm going to try to complement it with a fluffier, more hands-on answer that I think better describes the experience of riding with hub gears. I switched from derailleur to a Shimano 8-speed hub two years ago. My daily commute was 8 km each way back then, in all weathers. The short answer is that you ...


6

It was the seal on the Alfine Hub leaking. The local service agents for Spot were able to correct the leak by tightening the external seal on the hub and cleaning everything around it. No cost. The hub is currently performing well. I'm as worried about it as I was when I made the decision to buy it, a new model of anything so complicated is likely to have ...


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