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Nexus Hub gears(11 posts)

Nexus Hub gearsTinto
Mar 28, 2001 3:23 AM
Any one know anything about these? How do they work - hear they are 4 speed - sounds a bit like too few - ok round town? Are they really heavy?

re: Nexus Hub gearsSpoke Wrench
Mar 28, 2001 5:23 AM
I don't really have a lot of experience with Nexus hubs, but I have worked on a few. Frankly, I find them to be inferior to derailleur gearing systems in all respects.

My biggest objection is the amount of work it takes to remove a rear wheel. I'm told the newer ones have reduced this problem, but I'm not convinced. Basically, a Nexus hub turns a flat tire repair from a 5 or 10 minute job beside the trail into a 30 to 60 minute task in the shop.

Next thing is why? Derailleur systems have been around for a long time and are reliable. Derailleur systems are as easy to use as internal hubs. Shift cables don't stretch any less because it's connected to an internal hub and fewer people know how to adjust them. You lose a greater percentage of your pedaling power to the gear-to-gear friction of internal hubs. They also weigh more.

I think there are good reasons why more people don't use bikes that have internal hubs. Even if you assume that I'm an idiot because I don't know how to service these hubs better, there's no getting around the facts that they are heavy, less efficient and still don't work any better than a derailleur system.
Nexus 7 on my MilanoDog
Mar 28, 2001 6:07 AM
For their intended purpose, they work great. Yes, the hub is pretty heavy, makes it hard to remove/replace rear wheel, and you get a little ratcheting sound in most gears, but for a slow speed cruiser like the Milano, it works well. It takes a whole lot less maintenance, any fool can use it, less messey, and are fairly bombproof, from what I've been told. I only have about a thousand miles on mine, but it's required no attention whatsoever during that time.

For a commuter or fun bike, or for someone who's totally mechanically inept (like my wife), I'd prefer it over a derailleur system.

Aside from that, it can up to serious duty. When my EV2 broke the steer tube last September a block from my house getting ready to meet 2 other racer guys for a 80 mile mountainous ride, I jumped on the Milano and went for it. It wasn't a pretty sight, me having to wheel suck all the way back after a climb to 5,000 feet elevation up 10-20% grades, but the Nexus hub worked flawlessly.

I'll never use it for anything but fun and emergencies, but it does work well. It's not bad, it just has it's own characteristics.

It's not that bad...TJeanloz
Mar 29, 2001 7:36 AM
With the exception of the fact that a derailleur system offers a wider range of gears, the internal hub mechanism is superior in all aspects. Yes, it's heavy for a hub, but the Nexus replaces not only the hub, but front and rear derailleurs and cassette. Once you factor all of that in, I'd bet weights are pretty similar.

As for the amount of work it takes to remove the rear wheel, it's like any other rear wheel removal- it takes practice. It's like removing a rear wheel from those backwards-horizontal Klein dropouts. The first time you do it (and a few times thereafter) it seems like the dumbest system ever; but once you figure it out, it's no harder than a regular wheel.

Why? Internal hubs actually predate derailleurs, and there are more bikes worldwide with internal hubs than with derailleurs. Maintenence on these are nil. Yes, the cables will stretch, and I feel sorry for people who aren't smart enough to figure out the in-line cable adjustment mechanism. But I am in business to serve such people. Seriously though, people will bring in a 1955 Schwinn three speed, all rusted out, and the gears still work like the day it was new. The unit is entirely sealed, if you crash the bike, or even lay it down on it's side, you won't break or bend the hub.

In short, derailleurs have their place- my Vortex doesn't have a Nexus hub on it. But internal hubs have their place too- they're ideal for low maintnence, high use bikes. They're for people who don't worry about how much their bike wieghs, or how much efficiancy is lost in the drivetrain. Basically, they're for people who don't want to worry.
Mar 28, 2001 6:55 AM
Interesting - I ask cause I have seen a good deal on a bent (always wanted one to mess around on) - it's a pretty basic around town one rather than one of the racey ones, so sounds like it might be good enough for that. Interestingly, when new, this make (Dutch) offers 7 shim derail or 4 Nexus for the same price...
other thoughtsfuzzybunnies
Mar 28, 2001 7:22 PM
The other convenience of them is that you don't have to pedal to change gears, and while they are heavier most people don't take into account the lack of a derailleur, cassette, and less chain all of which can add an easy pound of weight to a standard hub unless you're dealing with high end equipment. Usually requires shorter spokes which can make for a stiffer stronger wheel and drops a little more weight off. TTFN
Wise words.....(nm)tinto
Mar 29, 2001 5:32 AM
perfect for commutingDog
Mar 29, 2001 6:02 AM
If I commuted to work by bike (kind of hard in a suit), I'd use the Nexus hub without a doubt. You want a trouble free, low maintenance, relatively clean, shiftable at a stop bike for commuting, right? As you say, the weight is not much more, all considered, and besides, weight's not critical for that purpose.

perfect for commutingmuncher
Mar 29, 2001 7:03 AM
We are of a mind - I am about to buy one for commuting - seems like fun to me, and here (south UK) the weather if awful at the moment - I am getting really bored of hoseing the grit, mud and rubbish out of my derail and stuff on my commuter. If they had enclosed belt drive (even Harley engineering can manage that one) that would be even better....
what about one i saw that was some german sounding name and hadjohn de
Mar 30, 2001 8:19 PM
it had something like 11 gears and was 700 bucks ..just for the hub..sounds nice if it works and is light enough.

ive ridden one of the nexus alot and theyre very nice
re: Nexus Hub gearsLeroy L
Apr 1, 2001 6:29 PM
My Electra Sunny Garcia cruiser has a Nexus 7-speed set up and it's a blast to ride. Try it yourself - you'll probably like it, too. No maintenence, no skill - just take off - like when you were a kid. Twist the SRAM shifter and you get a smooth gear change. The gears range evenly from about 32 to 80+ gear inches. Stop with the coaster brake. Check out for an article on the internal hubs. Sheldon equipped an old PX-10 with a Nexus 7 for commuting.