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  #11  
Old 09-12-2012, 04:45 PM
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q`Tzal q`Tzal is offline
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Default On the other hand ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by keithwwalker View Post
Convincing traditional conventional wisdom cyclists on the merits of the belt will never work.

The reason it won't work, is that you are also telling them to throw away their derailleur as well. A lot of cyclists will never switch to an internal hub.

kww
... from a marketing perspective there is great appeal in a product that appears sleek and simple.
A great deal of market research has documented the allure of the more expensive/well designed Apple iPhone versus the relative anarchy of the Android smartphone market space.
Often a better user experience can be found in an Android smartphone but it requires more user knowledge and intervention. The iPhone ecosystem is designed to hide all the complicated technical bits.

So too with a well designed internally geared bike we can offer the general "non gearhead" public a cycling experience where the fragile complexity is hidden and protected from the elements, abuse and general external wear.

This is not an experience that the American bicycle industry is prepared to cater to. We have all come to expect that frame manufacturers will make their frames compatible with a wide range of publicly available parts. To truly make an "iPhone" of bikes without the look of kludged addons to a once beautiful frame the frame manufacturer will have eat the cost of permanently integrating components that can only be replaced with OEM parts. This would have to be a DARN good bike and an exceptional product overall to sell profitably.

So while I think that the general public might be quite amenable to the idea of internally geared bikes us old gearheads will likely refuse to buy something we can't tinker with until we get sick of it.
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Last edited by q`Tzal; 09-12-2012 at 04:47 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-12-2012, 04:57 PM
canuck canuck is offline
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That terrible rear derailleur makes life a lot easier.

The simple task of fixing a flat with an internal hub is a PITA.
Gotta undo the shift cable to take the wheel of.
Then on reinstalling the wheel having to work out the chain tension.

Both issues resolved by the derailleur.

And how simple and graceful a design is the rear derailleur. Some springs and pivots, apply tension and the gears change. So few moving parts the even when broken pretty much allow you to still ride although with limited gear selection.

Unlike an internal hub that when it fails, can leave you with a fixie from hell.

I'll stick with my Campagnolo, SRAM and Shimano gruppos.
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  #13  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithwwalker View Post
Convincing traditional conventional wisdom cyclists on the merits of the belt will never work.

The reason it won't work, is that you are also telling them to throw away their derailleur as well. A lot of cyclists will never switch to an internal hub.

kww
During my time as a designer and engineer, the one saying I kept close at hand is --- "Never say never".

Yeah I love my 27 speed - or I should say my old legs do. I'm sure internal hubs and belts will continue to develop. Racing will always use chains as they do in motorcycles - but a clean reliable belt would be nice on a commuter
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2012, 09:01 AM
lovedoctor lovedoctor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck View Post
That terrible rear derailleur makes life a lot easier.

The simple task of fixing a flat with an internal hub is a PITA.
Gotta undo the shift cable to take the wheel of.
Then on reinstalling the wheel having to work out the chain tension.

Both issues resolved by the derailleur.

And how simple and graceful a design is the rear derailleur. Some springs and pivots, apply tension and the gears change. So few moving parts the even when broken pretty much allow you to still ride although with limited gear selection.

Unlike an internal hub that when it fails, can leave you with a fixie from hell.

I'll stick with my Campagnolo, SRAM and Shimano gruppos.
Have you used one of the newer IGHs? I installed an Alfine8 IGH about a month ago after several less-than-stellar experiences with an older Nexus7 hub. It's used with an old Raleigh road bike with semihorizontal dropouts without any sort of axle aligner doodads. After you get used to the steps involved, I can change out a tire/tube etc. in less time and with less chain grease (my next upgrade will hopefully involve a belt - to keep this thread on course) on my hands than with a derailler. Once you get the process programmed in your cerebellum, it's very easy. As with any new system, fear of the unknown is the greatest barrier. I won't speak for other IGHs, but the Alfine8 has been around for years and many folks never touch them for any maintenance, save a re-greasing every 2 years or so, with excellent reliability. And if you are mechanically handy, they are relatively easy to service. Again, fear of the unknown.

This isn't to say that IGHs, or even belts, are inherently superior to chain/deraillers in all situations, but for many folks who don't race, IGHs/belts offer substantial advantages. Manufacturers are starting to realize this, as Spiffy can attest to.
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  #15  
Old 09-13-2012, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck View Post
Then on reinstalling the wheel having to work out the chain tension.
I'm worried about this with my belt drive... I'm told you should use a special tool to check the tension but I'm not sure how important that is... I'll likely just get it as close as I can to what it was before removing the wheel... the shop didn't mention anything about it when they showed me how to unhook everything to change a flat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck View Post
Unlike an internal hub that when it fails, can leave you with a fixie from hell..
and when a derailleur completely fails is it even possible to ride the bike without it?

the reason I went internal on my grocery getter was because of the time I downshifted too fast and somehow the derailleur ate spokes and I came to a screeching halt in the middle of an intersection... took me about 45 minutes to get everything disassembled, bent back into shape, and reassembled...
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  #16  
Old 09-13-2012, 03:39 PM
canuck canuck is offline
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Yes if your der goes south, which usually is due to the cable snapping, you can tie it off and make it a single speed. If it has really bit the dust and something in the der has broken, if you have a chain breaker you can take the der out of the equation and shorten the chain running it from the front cog to what ever gear you want in the back.

And what does it take to maintain both in a major breakdown
A rear der, worst case scenario, couple of days to get it ordered in and half an hour to install and adjust.

Internal hub, that means an rebuild, and will your shop do that or does it have to be sent to a service center. Or replacement, that means a wheel rebuild and again will that be done in the shop?

Again I'll stick with the simple pivots and springs over a complicated transmission.
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  #17  
Old 09-13-2012, 05:06 PM
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I will concede that early internal gear hubs were not so reliable unless you were willing to drop the 1500 dollars plus on a Rholoff internal gear hub.
In fact I apply the same rule to bicycle parts I have applied to computers since 1981: let the early adopters bang their heads against the wall and lose money because they've got the cool new technology.

The simple fact of the matter is is that technology is not the enemy.
All of the problems that I can infer from your opinion of internal gearing you have experienced are the same sort of problems I have experienced with in with external gearing equipment, derailers front and rear.

My opinion on internally geared systems comes down to engineering and metrics.
From engineering standpoint internally geared systems are sealed off from weather, dirt and other external chemical and mechanical factors.
From a metrics standpoint bicycles with external gearing seem to require a great deal of maintenance.
By great deal of maintenance I mean for the amount of miles total that bicycles are ridden in the United States versus the amount of miles total automobiles are driven in United States we seem to have a lot of bicycle maintenance and bicycle mechanics.

It appears that for every mile ridden by a bicycle verses miles driven by an automobile it seems to require several times more maintenance to keep a normal bicycle maintained properly than does for a car as a total percent of the cost of ownership.

A car obviously is more expensive and it's maintenance is more expensive.
A bicycle is less expensive and yet as a total cost of ownership the maintenance on that bicycle with external geared systems if you are in the weather, if you're riding everyday can be quite more percentage wise the percentage cost of maintaining the evil evil technology of an internally geared car transmission.
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