Open Forum: Internally Geared Hubs

Sheldon Brown - Internal Geared Hub
Every time I flip through a new commuter magazine or bike catalog there are more bikes with internally geared hubs. This is a very exciting movement forward for commuter’esque bikes, but I must ask the question

Are Internally Geared Hubs Worth It?

5 years ago I built up my first Rohloff hub equipped bike for a customer. The bike was a fully custom 29er race bike. This bike would last for years, decades and possibly centuries of the right user maintained it. Playing with the Rohloff I was in love, but not in love with the weight. Riding the bike around was enjoyable and easy to maneuver, the gearing was intuitive and could be done while mashing up the hills. On the flip side there was the cost. Until there is a superior internally geared hub that answered all the worlds problems and lit up the road in front of me, I couldn’t pull the trigger on that much money.

What Happens When It Breaks?

It will happen, something inside of that pretty hub will break. Most shops can’t fix it, so you have to ship it off to someone that can. There are many times that even the most skilled mechanic can’t fix that “thing-o-bob” inside your hub. Are there some hubs easier to maintain than others, as well as fixable?

Which Hub Do You Recommend and Why?

Go ahead, rant on about your internally geared hub nirvana and why it is far superior from any derailleur systems out there. I want your input and guidance down the testing of internally geared systems.

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