Internal geared hubs - what's best?

Discussion in 'BIKE TALK' started by Pudge, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Pudge

    Pudge

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    I'm looking for some advice on an internal geared hub (3spd, 7 spd, or 8 spd). Currently I don't have a single bike with gears and I'm thinking about starting my search for an internally geared hub that I will eventually learn how to lace into a 26" wheel (another thing I've never done). I'm a "whistles and bells" guy and want a nice one. My hope is that I can get some advice as to what's best. I am only familiar with the Shimano Nexus hub, and I'm thinking about a 7 speed. Are there other good ones or better ones or easier ones for me that I'm not aware of? It's completely flat around here so I'm even wondering if I need 7 or 8 gears and would consider a similar 3 speed. I need some help guys. Tell me what I need to know. Thanks.
  2. karfer67

    karfer67

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    the nexus 3 is probably the easiest to install because it has the same spacing as a standard coaster. the 7 and 8 are good too but have wider spacing. another hub you might consider only because you mentioned the bells and whistle factor is the nu vinci hub that is continuously variable they are super slick but a bit spendy.
  3. FunkyStickman

    FunkyStickman

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    From what I've seen, the new Sturmey hubs are the cheapest, though they have a LOT of different models to choose from, I have their 8-speed drum hub, and I (sadly) can't recommend it for a 26" tire bike because of the way it's geared, you'd need about a 24T chainring to make it ridable. Other than that, it's treated me well. It's cheap, but it's a bit noisy. Their 3-speeds have been the industry standard for 100 years. I wanted a cheap 7 or 8-speed hub with brakes, and Sturmey had what I needed... I knew about the gearing beforehand, so it wasn't an issue for me.

    I've heard good things about all of the Nexus hubs, they are traditional Shimano quality.

    In my opinion, the prices they're asking for a 7/8-speed are not much more than the nicer 3-speeds, so I don't see why you shouldn't have twice as many gears for a few more $20 bills. You need to factor in your frame's dropout width, what kind of brakes you want on it (if any at all) and whatnot. Sturmey makes their hubs in 36 and 28 hole versions, Shimano makes them I believe in 36 and 32 hole.

    Wheel lacing isn't hard at all, as long as you have spokes that are the right length, and a straight rim. If you have questions, let us know, we'll be glad to help, I've built a few wheels, including different lacing patterns.
  4. Pudge

    Pudge

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    karfer and Funky,
    Thanks for the feedback, guys. This is exactly the kind of info that I need in order to make a better decision. As far as the NuVinci hub goes, I appreciate you turning me on to that space age technology, karfer, but wow, it's a bit (quite) outside of my $$$ range, especially since I haven't even started licking my wounds from Christmas yet. At this point I'm leaning towards the Nexus 7 or 8 spd and haven't yet decided on the braking system, but am leaning towards discs. Again, thanks for your input.
  5. yeshoney

    yeshoney

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    I can highly recommend Nexus hubs either 7 or 8 speed. I have one bike with an older 4 speed and it has a balky 3rd gear. They have been known burn out an internal bearing. i would stick to 7 or 8 speeds if you want multiple options with many size front sprockets. I have 2 - 8 speed bikes and 5 - 7 speed bikes, all but one have been retrofitted to older bikes by gently spreading out the rear dropouts. On most older bikes it requires about 3/8" on both sides equally. nexus hubs can be found in both silver and black for both the 7 and 8 speeds which gives you a choice when constructing your wheel. Complimentary wheel and spoke colors can be created.

    Good luck!
    Joe
  6. B607

    B607 Pro Member

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    I've always put 2-speed kickbacks on all my bikes but decided to try an internally geared hub. I bought a slightly used Nexus 7 with the coaster brake. These also come with a roller brake but I've read that they are not that good, plus require an extra cable. I mounted my Nexus on a '41 Schwinn frame with a 52T chain ring. It's also dead flat around here and this '41 is the fastest bike I've ever owned. For hilly country, you'd have to have a 36T chainring to get the low gears low enough, but for flat ground the 52T gives you some super tall gears. Along with the Nexus 7, I put Bontrager "Hank" tires on it that are high pressure...75psi, along with alloy rims. With the rock hard tires it rides like a 10-speed road bike and is almost as fast. After building this one, I'm no longer too excited about riding my Phantom and B6 with the 2-speeds and mushy tires. Bottom line...the Nexus 7 kicks butt. Gary
    [​IMG]
  7. DeadBolt89

    DeadBolt89

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    If you'll ever have the chance to get a Fichtel & Sachs (older ones) or Sachs (newer ones) hub, take it! The "Torpedo" 3spd-hubs Model 515 and H3111 are among the most reliable hubs ever build. They are also very easy to install and maintain. On Ebay Germany they are sold for about 15€...
  8. onelesspedestrian

    onelesspedestrian

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    I have considered some of these myself, but I'd also like to know... can a shimano 7 or 8 speed hub be controlled by a rapidfire shifter, or do you have to use the included twist shift?
  9. Uncle Stretch

    Uncle Stretch Moderator

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    I have three Nexus 7 speeds and a Sach's 7 speed and a bunch of Nexus 3 speeds. Stay away from the discontinued Nexus 4 speed though, the gearing in them is messed up and you have to run a real small back sprocket. A 3 speed is all you probably all you will ever need ....but 7 speeds are so much fun.Gives you something to play with while you ride. :lol: Their all getting cheap now.
  10. 2manybikes

    2manybikes

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    I think the index spacing is different on shifters designed to work with a deraileur. Shimano offers a rocker shifter for the Nexus 7that is similar to a trigger type shifter.

    Paul is right they are getting cheap, Niagara cycle has the 3 speed coaster brake hubs for less than $60.
    http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_inf ... _id=410067
  11. Uncle Stretch

    Uncle Stretch Moderator

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    Oh on the trigger shifter. Somebody said that the ones for a 7 speed are discontinued. I asked a guy and he can get them ,but they are about $30. Kinda pricy. They make the thumb shifter for the 3 speed ,but its not as cool and the one for a 7 speed Nexus. Nexus are state of the art right now. They work good and the adjustment is so easy . If you were to ever have a problem they come apart without anything jumping into never never land. Wash them out and regrease them and then stick them back together. Really a simple design. A 7 speed with a click shifter and a coaster brake is a winning combo.
    Note: I have run into several Nexus hubs that use a 1/4 '' longer little stick/spring shifting rod. I dont know if they are older ones or newer ones. I took one off of a couple year old Del Sol and it had the longer rod. Make sure . Nexus hubs really only have one problem that I have found . As they get used alot the three small fingers in the sprocket wear and it makes the hub start to clunk. Change the sprocket and it is fixed.
  12. Pudge

    Pudge

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    OK, I'm already contradicting myself. I think I'm going to search for a Nexus 7 with a coaster brake. I'll put a disk brake on the front.

    Hey Uncle Stretch, I know you've weaved magic on many a Worksman rim in the past and I have a soft spot for them too! Give me an idea of how much trouble it would be for a novice like myself to lace a new 7 speed Nexus hub w/ coaster brake into a 26" Worksman rim, the one with the fat spokes and the dimples where the spoke nipples come through. Would I have to go with a skinnier spoke or would I drill out bigger holes in the hub? I'd hate to mess that thing up! I haven't quite decided which bike I'd throw that rig onto but most likely it'd be a mid 50s Monark or my daily rider, a late 70s Schwinn cantilever. I just measured and it looks like the Monark is about a 1/4" wider between the drop outs than the Schwinn. Any guess on which one would be easier to coax its legs apart wider as needed?!?!

    I appreciate everyone's info and hope I can attain even more thoughts on this thread before it sinks lower and lower. This will be my first endeavor of this type. So far all I've done with any of the nine bikes in my quiver is to break them down to nothing, clean, shine, and lube them and put them back together. I'm ready to tackle something new that'll keep me out in the garage and away from the fridge this winter......errrr...... well at least away from the kitchen...... my "adult beverage fridge" is in the garage! :mrgreen:
  13. Uncle Stretch

    Uncle Stretch Moderator

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    If you look at the yellow set I just finished they are the Worksman Clincher rims. There is no magic to laceing the 10 gauge spokes Worksman uses. They just do over over over...on a cross three. Normally you would do an over over under when laceing,but it would be real hard to bend those heavy spokes. These were 24'' wheels.

    [​IMG]
    The only thing you will have to have is a nexus hub with the right size holes in it for those big spokes. I dont know if I have one with a 7 speed and a 26'' Worksman clincher rim. I can give you a spoke measurement for one with 26'' laced to a 3 speed nexus,with the 10 gauge spokes. I think I have a couple of them.

    [​IMG]
    This was an oddity that picked up . Its a Worksman silver alloy 3 speed nexus laced with stainless 10 gauge spokes. Never found the matching front to it. I would imagine Worksman would want your first born child for a matching front. The spoke length is 10 5/8''
  14. yeshoney

    yeshoney

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    Not trying tosidetrack this thread, just offering what I have in the right place. I have these for sale. They are the Worksman Alloy wheels, 36 hole, NOS.

    Shoot me an email if you are interested, TFGNJRG@aol.com

    Joe

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    [​IMG]
  15. Pudge

    Pudge

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    (attaching drool cup under chin now) Wow, until Unc. Stretch's and YesHoney's posts, I didn't even know they came in alloy!

    Joe, Email enquiring about $$$ for the rims sent to you.

    Gary - Dude, your Speedway Black Panther above is amazing! I went back and checked out the whole series of pics from February or so and that bike is beautiful! What an inspiration!
  16. Bigcam59

    Bigcam59

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    I've been using both the Newer Shimano Nexus 3 speed and the older Shimano 333 3 speed coaster brake hubs and have no complaints at all. The Nexus actually surprised my with its stopping power. Another plus with the Shimano stuff is it might be a bit easier to track down parts.
  17. MadMick

    MadMick

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    I recently installed a SRAM 3 spd with coaster (onto a Mavic 317 disc rim) on my Africa bike. It's the old Sachs Torpedo deep down. Plain guage, 3X, brass washers at the bend. Bomb-proof.
  18. B607

    B607 Pro Member

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    Thanks Pudge. Wait until I get the fenders painted! I ditched the Black Panther decal and now have one on it that says "Interceptor". Gary
    [​IMG]
  19. ej599

    ej599

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    I'm a Sturmey Archer man myself. Made in England, dependable, strong, most parts are readily available (Harris Cyclery) and they have a cool history. A 3 or 4 (rare) speed with a Dyno-hub is a cool setup. I have a couple bikes with their S-5 5 speed hubs.

    Harris has a variety of sprocket tooth/counts available to suit your needs.

    There are always some neat old unusual S.A. hubs on ebay, especially in England. Just pay attention to your spoke hole count.

    Good luck!
  20. stephen

    stephen

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    I've got an XRD-3 and I love it! (AW internal with drum brake) used to have a Sachs 5 speed now I think 3 is enough, and easy to change the rear cog to get another ratio.

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