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Which IGH? Pinion, Nuvinci or Alfine 11?

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Which IGH? Pinion, Nuvinci or Alfine 11?

Old 02-17-19, 12:38 AM
  #1  
jade408
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Which IGH? Pinion, Nuvinci or Alfine 11?

So I am trying to figure out how to build up a new bike. Unfortunately mine was recently stolen, and I am thinking about the right upgrades. I previously had an Alfine 8, and I want more range for my next bike. I am a mostly urban cyclist but live in a hilly neighborhood. Also plan to do some short gran fondos in the future.

So these are my 3 options. In addition to adding more range, I value aesthetics, and I like classic 40s vintage style bikes. So whatever I end up with, it'll will look vintage and classic constructeur and randonneuring looking bikes.

Pinion pros and cons:
  • pro: moves the weight from the rear to center, huge gear range
  • cons: doesn't look very classic, locks you into limited frame options
Alfine 11 pros and cons:
  • pro: it is similar to my old hub and I know how it works, lightest option
  • cons: ugly shifter, limited after-market options
Nuvinci pros and cons:
  • pro: unlimited gearing, I've found an attractive after-market shifter option, better belt drive compatibility
  • cons: haven't used it, not sure how it shifts under load
So, anyone have any experience with these hubs - which direction would you go?
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Old 02-17-19, 01:07 AM
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Pinion is the most expensive but also the technologically superior option. If cost is not a concern and you can find a frame builder who offers the kind of geometry you want in a pinion frame, this is an easy choice.

Co-Motion has a pretty good variety available with Pinion/belt drivetrains.

Last edited by General Geoff; 02-17-19 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 02-17-19, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
Pinion is the most expensive but also the technologically superior option. If cost is not a concern and you can find a frame builder who offers the kind of geometry you want in a pinion frame, this is an easy choice.

Co-Motion has a pretty good variety available with Pinion/belt drivetrains.
I am thinking of the custom frame route. It is likely my preferred option. I will likely need to do a custom build as dynamo lights in easy to acquire bikes doesn't really happen often. And if I got a production bike and swapped the wheels then I really should have just built from frame anyway. I had a standard frame, and there were some small fit issues...so it is worth consideration for better fit.

But of course the Pinion would mean I am permanently locked in for that bike. Which is also a bit of a drawback too.

I am looking for a mixte frame to replace the one I lost. Mixtes are super practical for me on multiple levels.
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Old 02-17-19, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I am thinking of the custom frame route. It is likely my preferred option. I will likely need to do a custom build as dynamo lights in easy to acquire bikes doesn't really happen often.
The Priority 600 comes with dynamo lights stock, and also happens to be the cheapest Pinion-equipped complete bike on the market by a pretty big margin. Has a classic aesthetic too.
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Old 02-17-19, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
The Priority 600 comes with dynamo lights stock, and also happens to be the cheapest Pinion-equipped complete bike on the market by a pretty big margin. Has a classic aesthetic too.
I'm super partial to my mixte frame!
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Old 02-17-19, 04:09 AM
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If I was in a hilly area I'd probably go with a 3 speed hub on the back for extreme reliability and simplicity and a hub motor on the front probably more reliable than the over-complicated wide gear ratio hubs and possibly even cheaper. I wouldn't need a huge battery if I was just boosting up hills. Even Rohloff's can be problematic if you don't give them their yearly oil service. I tend to focus on reliability and simplicity and while you may think a hub motor would be more unreliable the modern brushless designs are very good. Is there a wide ratio hub that has long term reliability that isn't called Rohloff?

I would definitely want to do some research on reliability and expected lifespan of the model you are considering especially the provided warranty. I've seen reports of people barely getting out of warranty before their Nexus 7 failed and while it is expected to get 15-20,000 out of Nexus 8 I've seen reports where people seem to have got very little use like 2,000km. As hubs get more complicated reliability doesn't improve normally. I think they are a niche product for a reason. If I really wanted to go down that road for me it would have to be a Rohloff but if I was spending that sort of money I'd definitely prefer a Nexus 3 and hub motor combination.
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Old 02-17-19, 08:34 AM
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Rohloff.
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Old 02-17-19, 10:14 AM
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There are some commercial groups that have been experimenting with NuVinci. Apparently they are extremely durable both under pedal power, as well as electric assist.
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Old 02-17-19, 11:34 AM
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Got to the second chart in this article https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/q...to-derailleurs and look at the efficiency for the Nuvinci hub and you will realize why the company never mentions efficiency in any of their literature.

I rode many thousands of miles on a trike equipped with an older version of the SRAM dual-drive 3X8 and a Schlumpf Mountain Drive. The drivetrain was configured with a 65 tooth chainring and 20" drive wheel. That allowed nearly all riding using the high range on the SMD and middle range for the SRAM dd so that both were in direct drive maximizing the efficiency. If I changed out of either "direct drive" modes and engaged the planetary gears I could sense the loss of efficiency. My current trike uses standard gearing and I bought it that way because of the efficiency and universal availability of repair parts. Try finding repair parts for an internal hub.
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Old 02-17-19, 11:40 AM
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Best?

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Rohloff.
Yea, Pinion is not even a Hub , you buy a bike built around its mid frame location..





Alfine 11 is cheaper, and you can fit a Di2 stepper motot to shift it .. Rohloff now has a electronic shifter, but, as I understand,

It was designed with the Bosch mid drive electric motor in mind, power gets turned off for the moment of the gear shift .. ..






.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-17-19 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 02-17-19, 11:56 AM
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FWIW I have a Bike Friday Travel bike* , I enjoy the step through convenience of the low bar it offers for my daily urban transportation.

* Their NWT, now is made bespoke with a Belt drive IGH option .. so a Mixte like mounting, lower bar, ahead of the saddle ...



Not your classic Oma look, but with the 20" wheels they dont take up so much room in your apartment...






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-17-19 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 02-17-19, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
So whatever I end up with, it'll will look vintage and classic constructeur and randonneuring looking bikes.
Your aesthetic vision wouldn't necessarily eliminate the Pinion. 1937 Adler Drei-Gang Sport:

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Old 02-17-19, 12:40 PM
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Darn bike thieves. How many miles did it have? How about showing the pics again, lovely bike.
NOT Nuvinci for sure, 12+% inefficient battleship anchor. I thought they were going bellyup anyway.
They are POOR on hills.
Pinion is gaining favor but supposedly is 4 or 5% slower than a Rohloff and may suffer gasket leaks which is also the source of the drag. Crank selection is limited. The belt/ chain speed is faster by design, so this ups the drag a bit.

My Rohloff has 15,500 miles now. It's a noisy bugger, but 100% reliable and still puts defailleurs to shame on a heavy bike. I shift 4 spots at a time a lot. Set and forget for a LONG time, my shifter and cables have yet to be adjusted even. Mine has the external shift box attachment, long torque arm and 15mm bolt on with track ends. So there is a tool weight penalty as well, even more on tour. Only Rohloff gets better with age. I have done 8,100 miles on tour at 120 lbs. Last summer I went 3,900 miles in 13 weeks thru Alberta, BC, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. I didn't bother changing the oil on tour yet, it's OK. It now has a Spyre disc brake inside the triangle, never a squeak or slip.

Also consider a SA FDD dyno drum sealed bearing front hub, 70 mm. This pretty brake is unaffected by bags or weather or time, 24,000+ easy no bother miles. Rim brakes are light, but so lame. Dyad rims are fantastic with 35mm tires.

Alfine11 is NOT a worthy substitute for a Rohloff14 IMO, especially the Rohloff trouble free shift box which can NOT collect dirt. Rotary shift parts on the hub side are so complicated and they are now on new SA hub designs.
The Rohloff shifter box can be put out of sync when opened, but otherwise there is NO ADJUSTMENT that can go wrong.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 02-17-19 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 02-17-19, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
Got to the second chart in this article https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/q...to-derailleurs and look at the efficiency for the Nuvinci hub and you will realize why the company never mentions efficiency in any of their literature.
OUCH!!!

Another thing that one should look at is the shifter options.

For example, there are drop bar shifters for the Alfine 11.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/gear-shi...-hubs/?geoc=US

I have a Nuvinci 380 on order. They come with a grip shifter, but I believe that a custom friction shifter setup should be possible (2 wire?)
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Old 02-17-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Alfine 11...
Shimano sez these are stalwart & dead stone reliable, with minimal warranty returns caused by owner misuse & misapplication.

From some of those owners, here's a 48 page, 711 post thread on the CTC forum on their experience with the Shimano Alfine 11's reliability.
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Old 02-17-19, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Your aesthetic vision wouldn't necessarily eliminate the Pinion. 1937 Adler Drei-Gang Sport:

normal cranks! That is a beautiful bike!
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Old 02-17-19, 01:32 PM
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What's with the flat tire?? Didn't they like riding it?
My shifter is on the top tube so I can use either hand and the cables don't flop around out front.
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Old 02-17-19, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
That is a beautiful bike!
Well, it's German instead of French, and a (fancy, top of the line) production bike instead of a 'constructeur', but it is an example of a period enthusiast's machine with a gearbox drivetrain.
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Old 02-17-19, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
What's with the flat tire?
The bike is 82 years old and they complain the tires loose air.
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Old 02-17-19, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Well, it's German instead of French, and a (fancy, top of the line) production bike instead of a 'constructeur', but it is an example of a period enthusiast's machine with a gearbox drivetrain.
Id say for me inspired by vs exact is the way to go. And I am no historian and dont know a ton about different brands. Maybe I should really do a deeper dive on bikes made from 1930-1960ish and scan the details for some ideas on what to incorporate into my next bike.
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Old 02-17-19, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Shimano sez these are stalwart & dead stone reliable, with minimal warranty returns caused by owner misuse & misapplication.

From some of those owners, here's a 48 page, 711 post thread on the CTC forum on their experience with the Shimano Alfine 11's reliability.
Im not super worried about reliability. Im not going too far off the city streets.

There should be a bike shop nearby. Or a bus/train/Uber to assist me in case of emergency. The most adventurous for me would be an organized charity ride.

Im also still going to be riding around town and parking on the street.

The level of conspicuous I am going for is wow thats a great looking bike! Not thats a best in show handmade bike.
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Old 02-17-19, 02:38 PM
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I know there are a lot of unpositive comments about Nexus 8.
Perhaps I am unusually lucky - Have thousands of km on mine, no problems.
If the Alfine 8 was good for you ?
Why not replace it with another one and put a Schlumpf mountain drive in the front ?
NuVinci does not have a much broader range than the nexus did and it weights a lit.
Rolhoff is a great choice, but $$.
Ps.. Consider a three speed SA hub and the Schlumpf up front. Wider range than the Alfine, reliable components, not hugely $. Just not as many gear steps over the range ?

Last edited by martianone; 02-17-19 at 02:57 PM. Reason: Ps...
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Old 02-17-19, 03:19 PM
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BTW, last summer someone arrived on the coast, after touring the States, for months.. on a Rohloff Thorn Raven step through

http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/Th...urBroHiRes.pdf


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Old 02-17-19, 03:42 PM
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Of the three choices, the NuVinci has the lowest range, so if that's important to you, it should be the lower on the list. I can't say anything more about them.

I have an Alfine 11 on my Day 6 (the Buick) and it's very nice. It makes no noise at all; you won't get a quieter ride. I think it has an advantage in being more familiar to bike mechanics than the other two, but you may never need to think about that beyond a periodic oil change, which you can do yourself.

It looks like any of these choices will have the slight disadvantage of making a rear tire repair a bit of a fuss. Whatever you get, just rehearse a tire change at home a couple times.

Sucks bilgewater having your custom-kitted bike stolen; I lost two in about a year and a half. The bikes themselves weren't very special, but I had them fully equipped, which added substantially to the loss. Best of luck with your new ride.

.
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Old 02-17-19, 10:54 PM
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lowest ? or narrowest? big cog+ small chainring , .ratio math, .. lowers the whole range ...


I lock mine up to stuff with heavy locks
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