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Winter bike

bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
edited November 2010 in Workshop
... for next winter, that is:

when the Rusty Raleigh finally gets some peace & the ill-fated Boradman gets replaced, I would like to get the Raleigh properly set up as a winter bike. Now low maintenance is something I desire, but I'm not prepared to go as far as single-speed - I can't see any way I could gear it to cope with 200m climbs and long steady descents.
So I thought abot going half way and cutting down to a single chainring at the front, something you don't seem to see at all these days - except on Bompette's Islabike (thought: when is Isla going to start doing adult bikes?) which inspired the idea.
Then a friend's new commuter bike inspired another idea - it's a 700c hybrid with a hub gear.

Can anyone with more workshop nous than me (that's most of you) tell me whether it's at all advisable / possible / financially viable to convert a typical oldish school (mid 90s) bike to a hub gear?


  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    It is possible, I know, to retro-fit a Rohloff hub but to do it is not only expensive, but because you need chain tensioners and have to set up an entirely different cable routing, you end up losing many of the efficiencies as well, and end up with a pretty awkward-looking set up. Even more, so if you decide you want to keep drop handlebars. Again, it is POSSIBLE to set up a shifting mechanism for a Rohloff hub on drops, but it ain't pretty.

    I looked into this a few years ago for my expedition tourer and walked away.
  • It is certainly doable, but it is very very expensive, personally I'd look at something like the on-one pompetamine versa as a drop barred hub geared winter bike. The only upgrade I'd make would be the stainless steel chain for £2.50 to make it a bit more salt resistant!

    You want discs to handle ice and water as they seem to keep their performance much more than rim brakes in the wet.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Is it worth while? I'm running an old Dawes Horizon as an all year rounder. I personally think that an old steel bike, with rear derailleur and maybe no front, is probably the ultimate commuter - all the advantages of single speed and none of the disadvantages. Maintenance really isn't an issue. Some months ago, the cage spring seemed to fail so I bought a second hand replacement off Ebay that night for £6 inc postage. The spring came back to life (if a little weakly0 with a dose of GT85 and the bike has worked fine ever since.

    I could get a lot of second hand derailleurs for the price of one Rohloff and I still probably wouldn't need any of them :lol:

    Mind you, with downtube shifters I'm not sure losing the front mech is really worth the bother either! There just isn't much to go wrong.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • I run a 1*9 mtb for coaching on the river and commuting afterwards. This has full cable outers to try and keep the shifting slick... Doing about 150-200k a week means the shifting needs tweaking every couple of weeks to stay absolutely spot on (although this seems to be from bending the mech hanger taking it in the back of a pickup to training with 2-3 other bikes) hence i'm seriously considering a hub gear for the back of it; even though it has vertical dropouts I have a cunning way of tensioning it which should avoid having anything at the back to knock out of line.
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