Internal hub gears - yey or Ney utility commuter bike

andyh01 Posts: 599
edited September 2018 in Commuting chat
So looking for a new bike looking at ultegra drop adventure, I'm currently borrowing a hybrid which has 7 gears on an internal hub and got me thinking would I be better off with internal gears.
The things that put me off are weight, initial costs and flexibility of changing gearing or wheels as well as maintenance/repairs if something did go wrong
How efficient are internals compare to std ?
I don't go through that many chains or cassette I occasionally clean and lube the drive chain but not religiously maybe with a new bike I'll look after more then usual
Main use is 9 miles each way commute and everyday riding.
Thanks Andy


  • asprilla
    asprilla Posts: 8,440
    I had one with a Gates Carbon Drive a few years ago. I thought it was the future.

    Actually it was heavy, inefficient and and had weird spacing between gears.

    Ditched it and haven't looked back.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • Had an Alfine 8-speed on my old Saracen Plylon8, absolute bargain bike for £350 back in 2008. Decent spread of gears and being able to change gear while stationary was handy, but I could really feel the weight of the bike up the ~5% hill back home.

    Gutted that I found a crack ~66% around the seat post in 2014 near the top tube join... Decided I didn't want to risk losing more teeth by riding it after that! :shock: :lol:
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • CitizenLee
    CitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    I had an Alfine equipped Cube Hyde for a while and it was great in use for my short commute, but wasn’t without it’s issues which ultimately made it more hassle that it was worth.

    The main problem was the spokes would go very loose every 100 miles or so. I assumed it was just a bad build from factory then I met a guy at work with the same bike and the same issue. He put Loctite on his nipples (oo-er) which solved it for him. Seems the extra rotational weight likes to work them loose. The strange thing is it wasn’t a progressive, over time loosening, they just all seemed to go…. like they all just decided “nah, we’ve had enough!”.

    The other issues were the way the cable attaches to the hub makes it super fiddly it is to adjust cable tension, the fact you’re stuck with that wheel, and the noticeable weight penalty.

    I bought a new commuter recently, and didn’t even bother looking at any hub geared bikes this time.
    NukeProof Mega FR 2012
    Cube NuRoad 2018
    2015 Genesis CdF 10, 2014 Cube Hyde Race, 2012 NS Traffic, 2007 Specialized SX Trail, 2005 Specialized Demo 8
  • I've got a 1978 Raleigh Twenty folding bike (AKA 'Shopper') with a 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub. Perfect for that sort of bike.

    For long distances or commuting though? Forget it! Heavy and cumbersome. You're always worried about the difficulty of getting the back wheel off if you get a puncture, so you end up running Marathon Plus tyres, which just make the bike even more unpleasant to ride.

    Have you thought about getting a bike with only one gear? All the advantages of a hub gear in terms of maintenance and durability, with none of the weight. I'm not sure where you live, but for most of South East England, gears are pretty unnecessary.
    1938 Hobbs Tandem
    1956 Carlton Flyer Path/Track
    1960 Mercian Superlight Track
    1974 Pete Luxton Path/Track*
    1980 Harry Hall
    1986 Dawes Galaxy
    1988 Jack Taylor Tourer
    1988 Pearson
    1989 Condor
    1993 Dawes Hybrid
    2016 Ridley Helium SL
    *Currently on this
  • andyh01
    andyh01 Posts: 599
    Having done a bit more research whilst the Rohloffs super with carbon gater belt I think the cost and weight penalty outweighs the positive of wider ranging gears and maintance/reliability.
    Whilst I would like to do a trans continental race through mud/gravel, it's not going to happen. At best may do C2C or LEJOG unsupported in the main day to day use/commute standard derailur gears be fine.

    Next question - do I want an electric bike? Probably not