Author Topic: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)  (Read 1028 times)

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Loosely related to my other wheel thread, I'm strongly mooting having a IGH build made for me, on tubeless rim-brake 650b rims with sapin spokes and brass nipples. My question is - on a budget which rules out rohloff and super tip-top £399 hubs - which hub (and shifter)? I would probably have £100 as my ceiling.

I am using flat bars but may switch to a bullhorn or something else silly at some point, so would prefer a shifter unit that is fairly easy to move between bars like the old school SA levers you see.

My spec is broadly speaking, to use as my town bike. I live in south London which has some lumpy bits, so I'd like a top gear that lets me hum along the flats faster than my current fixed gear, and a bottom gear that doesn't have me panting and grunting to get up our steeper bits. So I don't need a Rohloff-quality big range for alpine audaxing or win a Queen stage of la vuelta or whatever, just enough for a bottom gear, regular motor and a flats/downhills big dog.

Looking at SJS there's a huge range, everything from £19 SA hubs to £200 or more 8-speed jobbies and I'd appreciate some expert opinions on what's a good daily driver. Please note since the wheel is being made for me, it'll need to be an in-production product. I'd instinctively think SA would be the way to go as a neighbour has had a SA-equipped bike for longer than I've been alive, but I don't know if new SA is as good as the old sort.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 08:04:25 pm »
Avoid the XRF8.  It's 1:1 in 1st and gears up from there, which is ideal for small wheeled bikes, but with a full sized wheel it'll be overgeared unless you use a 50p for a chainring.

(I've got one on my Brompton, and it's fine for that application, allowing a normal chainset, on a bike where you don't really care about efficiency.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 08:22:26 pm »
Loosely related to my other wheel thread, I'm strongly mooting having a IGH build made for me, on tubeless rim-brake 650b rims with sapin spokes and brass nipples. My question is - on a budget which rules out rohloff and super tip-top £399 hubs - which hub (and shifter)? I would probably have £100 as my ceiling.

I am using flat bars but may switch to a bullhorn or something else silly at some point, so would prefer a shifter unit that is fairly easy to move between bars like the old school SA levers you see.

My spec is broadly speaking, to use as my town bike. I live in south London which has some lumpy bits, so I'd like a top gear that lets me hum along the flats faster than my current fixed gear, and a bottom gear that doesn't have me panting and grunting to get up our steeper bits. So I don't need a Rohloff-quality big range for alpine audaxing or win a Queen stage of la vuelta or whatever, just enough for a bottom gear, regular motor and a flats/downhills big dog.

Looking at SJS there's a huge range, everything from £19 SA hubs to £200 or more 8-speed jobbies and I'd appreciate some expert opinions on what's a good daily driver. Please note since the wheel is being made for me, it'll need to be an in-production product. I'd instinctively think SA would be the way to go as a neighbour has had a SA-equipped bike for longer than I've been alive, but I don't know if new SA is as good as the old sort.

Your budget probably restricts you a bit (like SA 3sp or possibly 5sp). You will have to look for bargains to get under £100 anyway by the time you have shifter, cog and nits and pieces.

I like my SA 5sp but it is now an obsolete model even if I got it new this autumn. However the shifter is not what I would choose for traffic-jamming. The rapidfire trigger on my Alfine 8 would be much better but well over budget. What I paid for my SRF5-W would be in budget but the rotary change 5sp probably wouldn't (but a better hub to install if, like me, you have heelstrike problems with a cable running outside the chainstay. I run mine down the seat stay now, a bit like the good old utility 3sp routing).
On the whole a good old AW might well be as good as anything and the trigger is a good choice for commuting. (Get a 36h hub all the same! That means one of the modern ones probably ;) )

On a side question (and 'cos I am a 650b fanatic - or luddite nutter depending on your view of these things) what rim and tyres are you thinking of using? I didn't think there were any 584mm rims that combined rim brakes and tubeless tyres. Make sure you can get a spoke drilling that corresponds to your hub (ie 36h almost certainly if you are asking a wheelbuilder to build it for you).

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 08:31:07 pm »

Your budget probably restricts you a bit (like SA 3sp or possibly 5sp). You will have to look for bargains to get under £100 anyway by the time you have shifter, cog and nits and pieces.

To be clear I budget about £100 for the hub and shifter unit, not the entire wheel or the labour.

Quote
I like my SA 5sp but it is now an obsolete model even if I got it new this autumn. However the shifter is not what I would choose for traffic-jamming. The rapidfire trigger on my Alfine 8 would be much better but well over budget. What I paid for my SRF5-W would be in budget but the rotary change 5sp probably wouldn't (but a better hub to install if, like me, you have heelstrike problems with a cable running outside the chainstay. I run mine down the seat stay now, a bit like the good old utility 3sp routing).
On the whole a good old AW might well be as good as anything and the trigger is a good choice for commuting. (Get a 36h hub all the same! That means one of the modern ones probably ;) )

On a side question (and 'cos I am a 650b fanatic - or luddite nutter depending on your view of these things) what rim and tyres are you thinking of using? I didn't think there were any 584mm rims that combined rim brakes and tubeless tyres. Make sure you can get a spoke drilling that corresponds to your hub (ie 36h almost certainly if you are asking a wheelbuilder to build it for you).

I have no clue. I had my eye on https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/rims/products/borg31-kinlin-xr31t-650b-bicycle-road-cx-tubeless-compatible-rim but they're sold out wherever I've looked. I'm just going to have to ask Billy what he can bring up on his computer from the shop supplier. Otherwise I'll have to get creative... Maybe I could use a coaster brake rear hub with a 27.5 MTB rim and a hub brake on the front?
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Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 08:52:49 pm »

Your budget probably restricts you a bit (like SA 3sp or possibly 5sp). You will have to look for bargains to get under £100 anyway by the time you have shifter, cog and nits and pieces.

To be clear I budget about £100 for the hub and shifter unit, not the entire wheel or the labour.

Quote
I like my SA 5sp but it is now an obsolete model even if I got it new this autumn. However the shifter is not what I would choose for traffic-jamming. The rapidfire trigger on my Alfine 8 would be much better but well over budget. What I paid for my SRF5-W would be in budget but the rotary change 5sp probably wouldn't (but a better hub to install if, like me, you have heelstrike problems with a cable running outside the chainstay. I run mine down the seat stay now, a bit like the good old utility 3sp routing).
On the whole a good old AW might well be as good as anything and the trigger is a good choice for commuting. (Get a 36h hub all the same! That means one of the modern ones probably ;) )

On a side question (and 'cos I am a 650b fanatic - or luddite nutter depending on your view of these things) what rim and tyres are you thinking of using? I didn't think there were any 584mm rims that combined rim brakes and tubeless tyres. Make sure you can get a spoke drilling that corresponds to your hub (ie 36h almost certainly if you are asking a wheelbuilder to build it for you).

I have no clue. I had my eye on https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/rims/products/borg31-kinlin-xr31t-650b-bicycle-road-cx-tubeless-compatible-rim but they're sold out wherever I've looked. I'm just going to have to ask Billy what he can bring up on his computer from the shop supplier. Otherwise I'll have to get creative... Maybe I could use a coaster brake rear hub with a 27.5 MTB rim?

I would have thought that that was a disc specific rim and quite probably 32h drilling - so it wouldn't meet your needs. Ryde ZAC421 might be close, there is an Ambrosio rim favoured by the Confrérie for their builds which is 36h (but it isn't tl ready) and recently I have seen that XXCYcles have an Exal rim which is lighter (I think) than the Ambrosio. Other than that check Velocity and Alexrims but be warned that between what is in the catalogue and what is imported into Europe ther is a big difference. You really need a cousin the other side of the ditch to get a decent choice - and the worst choice of all is in France (who are supposed to be the fanatics for this tyre size; explain me that one!)

I am using SJS own rims which are light and not bad but they are 32h (I couldn't find reasonably priced 32h rims in France) and some Rigida ZAC19, which are no longer made in 650B according to the catalogue, for the 36h wheels on the tandem.

650B rims for disc brakes are very common but frequently a bit wide for road tyres. All the ones that interest me are 19mm wide for 32mm tyres.

Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 09:04:53 pm »
quote author=bludger link=topic=114212.msg2447444#msg2447444 date=1575318667]

Your budget probably restricts you a bit (like SA 3sp or possibly 5sp). You will have to look for bargains to get under £100 anyway by the time you have shifter, cog and nits and pieces.

To be clear I budget about £100 for the hub and shifter unit, not the entire wheel or the labour.

[/quote]

Yes I was also talking just about the hub cost. I don't know all the prices in my head but I think that SA8sp, Alfine/Nexus8sp and the hub-brake versions of the SA5sp are all over budget (as is the 3sp fixed hub). Shop around. My SRF5-W came from Holland. Someone was selling a complete wheel on the sales board but I think it was a 26". Can't remember the price though!

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 09:16:03 pm »
A 3-sp hub would be fine for what you want. Set the top gear around 80-88”-ish if you want to hoon it on the flat. Various folk have done world tours, PBP and early TdF on 3-sp hubs. More gears are heavier and more sensitive to cable adjustment.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2019, 09:42:08 pm »
Just checked that Kinlin rim. I stand corrected, rim brake and 19mm width. However it is only available 32h at most. Don't forget that you will want a symmetrical rim for an IGH.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2019, 09:54:04 pm »
i've went through a stage of ig hubs, rode and tested them all (the popular ones, at least) and couldn't find a single one without annoying features. if you can live with rattling noise, then sa srf-3 is ok(ish).

Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 10:17:24 pm »
It's above your budget, but I really like the Alfine 8 speed. It's a great hub for commuting. Maybe import one from Germany?
Looks to be £130 from ride cycles, plus the shifter and shift box unit in the hub, it'll be closer to £200.

Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 01:26:44 am »
I agree with other posts above; £100 budget means a new 3s hub more or less.   However a used Alfine 8s hub could fit the bill.  Nexus 8 twistgrip shifter is cheap and will work that hub.   Also worth a go is Nexus 8 premium (red band); this has roller bearings on the planet gears just like the alfine 8.


But TBH I'd try the 3s hub first and see how you get on with it.

If you are used to riding singlespeed then riding in gear 2 on a three speed is pretty much as efficient (and I suggest that you set it up so that you have about the same size gear in gear 2 as you would ride singlespeed) , but you also have a high gear and low gear to choose from too.

The most versatile 3s shifter is the old style trigger shifter; this is meant to fit 22.2mm bars but the clip is steel and can be easily adapted for use with other mounting positions.

cheers

Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 08:03:52 am »
The 3 speed SA shift much more cleanly than anything with more gears. I’m only familiar with the Brompton-branded versions -  no idea what the SA versions are like.

The current shiney chrome SA lever design is essentially a downtube shifter on an adapter for either bar end or handlebar mounting. So in theory it’s flexible, but I don’t think they sell the adapters separately.

Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 10:27:14 am »
Might be worth asking one of the German discount wheel suppliers what they can do for you.  For example Taylor Wheels do a 700c Nexus 8, complete ready to fit for £140
https://www.taylor-wheels.com/bike-wheels/28-inch-bike-wheel/28-inch-rear-wheels/28inch-bike-rear-wheel-zac2000-with-nexus-inter-8-622-19-black

Though starting with the budget seems the wrong way round to me, whenever I've done so it's resulted in buying at least twice. 

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2019, 12:32:29 pm »
So I popped through my spec through to the boys in the shop and it seems like they might have been able to come through with the goods. It seems there was an 8 speed hub and shifter of some kind knocking around the shop which no one knew what to do with. Will hopefully have some exciting news later!
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2019, 12:57:17 pm »
The 3 speed SA shift much more cleanly than anything with more gears. I’m only familiar with the Brompton-branded versions -  no idea what the SA versions are like.

The current shiney chrome SA lever design is essentially a downtube shifter on an adapter for either bar end or handlebar mounting. So in theory it’s flexible, but I don’t think they sell the adapters separately.

The Brompton branded gears are made by SA and use the same parts throughout as SA hubs with two major exceptions

a) in the BWR gear there is a different planet cage assy and
b) in the BWR gear there is a different driver assy, (but it only differs externally)

The BSR hub is basically a NIG-AW, lock stock and barrel.

Needless to say the Brompton hubs shift the same and behave the same as other NIG-AW type hubs, for the very simple reason that they are essentially exactly the same thing


FWIW the 'chrome' shifters SL-S30 etc you mention are anodised aluminium.  They look nice but they stick (in the wrong place potentially) on downshifts (into second gear especially) and (no matter what you do with them, although if you rebuild the shifter with less preload and better lube you can slow down the wear) you get extra backlash as time goes on. The backlash is double-bad news if you try and use one of these shifters with an older (Non -NIG type) AW hub; this type of shifter pulls more cable 2-1 than is necessary for the older hub when it is new, and once it develops backlash, it pulls even more, briefly on every shift.  This means the shifter won't latch into gear 1 without pulling super hard on the cable, which is very likely to cause damage and/or put the cable out of adjustment.

These shifters are versatile though; they do fit onto various different brackets, including those also sold with 'SunRace' branding for derailleurs.

BTW there is such a thing an an S3X hub, three speed fixed; this is no longer made but you may find NOS still.  This has third gear as direct drive, so is best configured as 3rd = 'normal' with two lower gears for climbing. In truth it isn't a brilliant fixed gear; there is too much backlash to keep purists happy, and, being based on the (2009-2016) 5s (W) models it has some baggage/problems carried over from this design too.  You get the same gear ratios as S3X  in freewheel form using a 5s(W) hub plus two extra high gears as well.  With the 5s(W) hubs the three middle gears are spaced about the same as in an AW hub, so (unlike older 5s SA hubs) there is no benefit interms of having the middle three gears a bit closer together. However  second and fourth gear in a 5s(W) hub use an inherently less efficient gear train  than first and third in an AW, so there is a small difference there too.

If you are getting a shimano  8s hub then be sure that you get one with roller bearings on the planet pinions; the other sort are pretty horrid to ride on (I think).

 If you are thinking of getting a SA 8s hub then I'd suggest that the best home for this would be a bike with small wheels that you never want to ride fast; direct drive is first gear and the gears you use most often are incredibly inefficient, because they all use at least two gear trains in series with one another.

cheers



Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2019, 01:26:02 pm »
So I popped through my spec through to the boys in the shop and it seems like they might have been able to come through with the goods. It seems there was an 8 speed hub and shifter of some kind knocking around the shop which no one knew what to do with. Will hopefully have some exciting news later!
Your friends at PlanetX have been selling Nexus 8 speed hubs at a bargain price though its not clear if they have stock at the moment? https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HUSHNEXSG/shimano-nexus-sg-c6010-8r--8-speed-hub-32h
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2019, 01:36:39 pm »
Yes I have had an eye on the PX hubs, in fact I think it may have been what gave me the ghost of the idea. However I heard that reliability of some IGHs has been very mixed, and that someone with an alfine hub ran into race-ending trouble for example ( https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=106188.100 ) so I'm dead keen to get opinions of those experienced with them.

See https://chpt3.com/blogs/journal/for-the-journey-transbromptonental :

Quote
After 1,200km of racing across Europe on a CHPT3 Brompton, Roger has had to scratch from the sixth edition of the Transcontinental race. Pushing his bike, body and equipment to the absolute limits, those limits were eventually found, frustratingly in the form of a non-standard Brompton part. The Alfine hub which was fitted in order to allow enough range of gearing to summit cols of this race failed, leaving Roger to ride his final 250km with drag equivalent to a brake being applied - not to mention a mind-numbing knocking sound.


Thank you for your inputs everyone, they are valued.
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Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2019, 05:51:55 pm »
so I'm dead keen to get opinions of those experienced with them.
My experience - Nexus 4, Nexus 8 Premium, Alfine 8 and two Rohloffs - they've all worked fine, they've all had minor issues, none has failed to finish any ride, which I can't say for the derailleur systems I've done far less mileage on.  The Nexus/Alfine benefit from better lubrication than Shimano provide, Brucey's the man, though you'll have to pop across to his other home on the CTC forum for the detail.  They're also said to be dependent on good cable adjustment, it isn't hard, just line the marks up, IMO it's easier than keeping a derailleur working well.
The example above is the Alfine 11, I have no experience of it, though it doesn't have as good a reputation as the 8. 

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2019, 08:18:25 pm »
Consider buying a complete, used bike. Take the transmission off and rebuild the rear wheel in to what you want. Choose the right bike* and you'll be able to convert it from your spare derailleur bits, then flip it back on ebay or whatever. Done right you could be close to breaking even...

*Done this at least 3 times. Orange P7, Ridgeback Flight & just bought a 13 hybrid to repurpose into an OnOne InBred.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2019, 08:31:02 pm »
So it turns out the boys have got an 8 speed hub plus shifter I can have for £100 which will be covered by shop warranty. I'm not sure which but I'm guessing it's some variation of nexus or Alfine. I will have a look when I next pop in.

I already have all the other gubbins which I got from a special sample sale off planet X for £200. I've never owned an igh bike before. Exciting!!!
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Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2019, 08:46:23 pm »
So it turns out the boys have got an 8 speed hub plus shifter I can have for £100 which will be covered by shop warranty.

You're not in Leeds are you...?
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2019, 08:47:15 pm »
Sadly not I'm in the smoke.
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Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2019, 09:51:35 pm »
Funny coincidence. I was offered an Alfine hub via a 3rd party with the same deal but in Leeds...
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2019, 11:33:55 pm »
Instead of starting a third thread about my wheels, I'll ask another question here.

Does anyone have a strong opinion on the best way to secure rear hub wheel axles from theft? I use a D lock with an extender cable for my wheels for the moment but would be interested in any sensible ways to make wheel theft that bit less easy.



The obvious guess would be one of these wheel locks. Adds quite a bit of weight but I know they are dependable (though I'll need one that can 'reach' the 650b rim!). How about some kind of secured wheel nuts that only take a hex key? I don't know if that's such a thing. I know they are for QR axles...

https://www.pitlock.de/en/shop/solid-axles-protection.html bloody hell these are expensive! 80 EUR for a set of bolts? Though granted they also allow for a registration service and whatnot...
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Middle/lower budget internal hub gearing opinions (not rohloff for now)
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2019, 12:24:40 am »
Instead of starting a third thread about my wheels, I'll ask another question here.

Does anyone have a strong opinion on the best way to secure rear hub wheel axles from theft? I use a D lock with an extender cable for my wheels for the moment but would be interested in any sensible ways to make wheel theft that bit less easy.



The obvious guess would be one of these wheel locks. Adds quite a bit of weight but I know they are dependable (though I'll need one that can 'reach' the 650b rim!). How about some kind of secured wheel nuts that only take a hex key? I don't know if that's such a thing. I know they are for QR axles...

https://www.pitlock.de/en/shop/solid-axles-protection.html bloody hell these are expensive! 80 EUR for a set of bolts? Though granted they also allow for a registration service and whatnot...

I have pitlocks on my bike. I like them. Just need to make sure I carry the key, and a 14mm spanner. The key nut thingy lives on my key ring, they make a nice thingy to make it easy to carry.

The lock you link above is the defacto standard thing attached to Dutch bikes. Security is adequate. And you can get them with a bloody huge chain that connects in to go round what ever impractical acid trip the bike parking designer has created. Most of them have the design "Feature" that you have to leave the key in when it is unlocked. The result is that most people have their big bunch of keys plugged into the side of the bike as they ride along, which makes a right racket. Today cycling home from work I got stuck behind someone who with every pedal stroke the keys would bang against the wheel and rattle. I was too knackered to get away from the noise. I am of the belief that a bike should be silent. These locks make that very difficult if you also don't want to make the risk of losing keys higher than it needs to be.

Personally, I have an Abus Granit X plus 540 U lock, and a Abus Granit X plus Bordo 6500. Both keyed alike. In theory with the two together, plus the pit locks, it should be pretty much the most secure solution available. But I'm still not brave enough to lock my bike up in Amsterdam. The two together is also 3.2kg...

The best solution is to not leave your bike unattended. If I need to cycle in the centre, I take the Brompton, and take it in with me, if I can't take my big bike in.

J

--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/