Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 9th, 2010 at 8:41 am
I wouldn't typically write about a product launch party, but this isn't any ordinary product. The N360 hub could be the Next Big Thing in drivetrains for all types of bicycles (and vehicles beyond bikes for that matter).
It uses something called a Continuously Variable Planetary Transmission, which means it shifts without any indexed "steps" or external derailleurs. Imagine an internal hub with infinitely variable "gears" that shift smoothly and effortlessly (it has a 50% shorter "throw," which means less wrist shifting).
For a much clearer explanation, watch a video demonstration below:
When a previous version of the N360 was released in 2007 (the N170), it won design awards, but initial excitement from builders and consumers waned because of its size, price, weight, and lack of adaptability to various frame configurations. Fallbrook has addressed all of those concerns (and more) and the result is some seriously positive buzz in the bike industry.
I asked local bike builder (and BikePortland business manager) Jonathan "J.R." Reed for some insight on why this is such a big deal. He's built up one of his Quixote Bicycles with the new hub (it will be on display in the NuVinci booth at the show) and says, "What all this means is another excellent option for a low maintenance, easy shifting bike."
Stop by booth number 700 at the show this weekend to learn more and try the N360 out for yourself.