Internal Gear Hub

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Re: Internal Gear Hub

Postby rifraf » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:49 pm

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"
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.
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by BNA » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:59 pm

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Re: Internal Gear Hub

Postby rifraf » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:59 pm

HelmutHerr wrote:
rifraf wrote:I looked at an Alfine 11 for a Surly Ogre 29"

A Surly Ogre what?

I picked up a 24" last week thinking it's the largest frame available. Either that's a typo or I'm going back for a bigger frame. :P

Hi HelmutHerr,
sorry for any confusion.
I was referring to wheelsize as many of the questions I've been fielding lately as to my interest in frames, has been
most easily explained via wheel size eg. Ogre 29" vs Troll 26".
I have to admit I'm a little anxious about correct (for me) frame size and the weight of the Surly frames.
I'm really hoping that it equates to longevity as another frame I'm contemplating is a kilo lighter which starts to add up
when you start paying bigger bucks for lighter componentry. A kilo saved (in just the basic frame) is not to be sneezed at
when it comes to overall weight. Weight shouldn't be the "be all and end all" but its still got to be a significant factor (IMHO).
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.
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Re: Internal Gear Hub

Postby HelmutHerr » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:12 am

rifraf wrote: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.
----------
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"

I guess the maintenance depends on how much time you want to spend on it. I'm tempted to splash the cash for a setup that only requires basic chain maintenance and no derailer fiddling, and a Rohloff isn't as vulnerable to getting bashed out of shape on trails.

In my web wandering I've only seen one account of someone gladly switching back to derailers from a Rohloff, but people who don't find IGHs appealing won't buy them in the first place, so it's not much use as an example.

I'd love to see an actual breakdown of ongoing bike maintenance costs over five years or so.


rifraf wrote: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).

Rotating mass! Everybody run! :D

Blood has been spilt over this, but my position is that rotating mass is unimportant to cycling, extra unimportant when it comes to a hub that's at the centre of a wheel, and super extra unimportant for eveything but cyclocross racing.

For the vast majority of cyclists, replacing a 1.5kg standard drivetrain with a 1.5kg IGH will only have the effect of moving the bike's centre of balance slightly rearward.

rifraf wrote:I was referring to wheelsize as many of the questions I've been fielding lately as to my interest in frames, has been most easily explained via wheel size eg. Ogre 29" vs Troll 26".
I have to admit I'm a little anxious about correct (for me) frame size and the weight of the Surly frames.
I'm really hoping that it equates to longevity as another frame I'm contemplating is a kilo lighter.

A kilo counts, but the Ogre and Troll frames could survive a nuke, have great geometry, and will happily adapt to mountain biking, commuting, touring, trekking or cargo carriage.

It probably depends on how many bikes you want or plan to have. I'm not going toward competitive cycling, so One Frame to Rule Them All suits me really well, so that I can railtrail it for a lazy couple of days, then a week later switch it out to a downhill MTB, and have it cruise along with my groceris and work stuff the rest of the time.

I love versatile tools and the Ogre and Troll are the Swiss army knives of bikes. Obviously I'm going to talk them up because I just bought one, but I looked at a lot of bikes before deciding, and it's been great so far.
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Re: Internal Gear Hub

Postby MattyK » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:10 pm

HelmutHerr wrote:I'd love to see an actual breakdown of ongoing bike maintenance costs over five years or so.

For my bike (Nexus 8 speed): ~4+ years of daily commutes, 3 sprockets, 3 chains, 1 chainring, 2 regreasing.

Technically though, none of that needed to be done. The sprockets (and one chain, due to a wider sprocket) were to chase the preferred gear range. The chain and chainring were because they were starting to look worn after about 3 years. Only just failed on my 1% chain gauge though.

Teardown and regreasing was more out of curiosity than need; the internals were perfect. Some metal flakes did wash out with the grease, normal bed-in stuff though. Second regrease was to use Shimano Nexus grease instead of the heavier automotive hub grease I had used. Only in extreme weather (as said I commute daily in Melbourne) or salt/deep water would it be likely to NEED a rebuild due to failure/water ingress.

So cost in that time has been about $150, but could be closer to about $25 for maybe one chain and sprocket, if I cared less.

eg, here is the 18T sprocket after ~ 3 years of use:
Image
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Re: Internal Gear Hub

Postby HelmutHerr » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:50 pm

Thanks MattyK.

So that's been your maintenance history minus derailer parts and adjustments, which is far from maintenance free, but voluntary as you say.

How have you found the Nexus? I've been thinking about a Nexus 3 speed for the Ogre, but the reports and reviews seem mixed. So mixed that I wonder if the manufacturing quality was/is really inconsistent.
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Re: Internal Gear Hub

Postby rifraf » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:15 pm

HelmutHerr wrote:
In my web wandering I've only seen one account of someone gladly switching back to derailers from a Rohloff, but people who don't find IGHs appealing won't buy them in the first place, so it's not much use as an example.



Hiya HelmutHerr
dont know where your situated but did you see Adelaidecyclist's thread with the 700c wheels for sale.
Alfine dynohub front and Alfine 11 rear for sale
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=55675
I wont something different for my build if I go for it but I think thats a pretty fair price for as new.
Thought maybe it might help you :)
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.
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