HelmutHerr wrote:I've done a lot of reading about IGHs since I test rode a couple of bikes with Alfine 8 speeds, and the bottom line seems to be that 3 speed hubs are light and fun, but if you need higher gearing than they provide, you're best off saving for a Rohloff.
Not only is the Alfine 8 mechanically crude and the Alfine 11 a weak imitation of the Rohloff, but the money saved on drivetrain maintenance for derailers and shifters means that the Rohloff pays for itself in about 5 years of use (including initial capital for a standard drivetrain).
The huge disclaimer here is that I have no first hand experience of using those hubs in the long term, and I'm reporting the summary of what I've read online.
Other side of the coin is that the Rohloff, chain and chain tensioner (if used) still need cleaning/maintenance.
The 5 years I think is dubious as you can buy a lot of derailleurs/chains/rings for the price of a Rohloff.
These parts last a long time if properly cleaned/maintained. The long term lifespan however is impressive imho.
There is also the physics of adding so much weight to your rotating mass as this path flies in the face of the logic of
lighter wheels being more important (to output and rider fatigue) than frame weight and a more impressive upgrade path than others for many competitive cyclists (from my interpretation of what I've read).
I'm impressed by the Rohloff but I've yet to be 100% convinced of the cost effectiveness and benefits vrs weight penalty
as there are many still touring via derailleurs/cassettes and not everyone whose trod the path of Rohloff IGH has joined the choir of the newly converted. This doesn't mean I wont get one to try but it might put off its "top of the que"