Single speed no more - NEXUS!


I finally have my geared option for my One One Pompino cyclocross bike. I worked with Scotty down at uBRDO to finally dig up a Shimano Nexus 8 Speed hub and convert my single/fixed cross bike into sunny day road cruiser. I’ve been planning on doing this for quite some time, but was re-engerized to make the move after seeing the Hiawatha Cyclery bike.

As for the details, I re-spaced the hub down to 123mm by removing a bunch of the unecessary spacers so that it would work with my track spacing (120mm). The steel frame easily accomodates the 3mm difference. The reason I’m so big on this is that I can swap out the wheel to go back to single speed of fixed in just a few minutes. All that is required is to snip a couple zip-ties and slide out the HubBub/shifter and I’m ready to roll.

I am one of those guys who won’t ride his race bike until February, but there’s plenty of sunny days in December that I’m looking forward to riding the new rig!

Nexus Shifter mounted on the “HubBub” bar converter:<br/> Nexus<br/> <br/> Nexus<br/> <br/> The Drivetrain:<br/> Nexus<br/> <br/> Nexus<br/>


Love it. While in Boise, I spent lots of time on an Afline-equipped bike and longed for a drop-bar version.

Did you look into possible geared ‘fixed’ options? 

What I really want is to have variable output per pedal revolution, but still have the fixed ability to provide back pressure to better control the bike.

So far the mythical ASC hub is my only hope, if they ever make it.  Have y’all found any other options?

Cool.  I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing with a Specialized Langster.  Sheldon Brown’s site has a link to Harris Cyclery which builds up a Bianchi San Jose with with that same hub.

Is it me or does that cable setup look like trouble?

For a minute I thought this was :my wife’s

Until I saw “Nexus 8.” Gear envy.

@victor - what’s the worry with the cable routing?  It uses zip-ties rather than cablestops, but otherwise it seems fine.

I’ve been really toying with the idea of building up a commuter with a SRAM iMotion 9spd system and a Carbon belt drive ( this winter.

I haven’t quite figured out if I want flat bar or not… any suggestions on a frame and/or bar configuration?

Who knows, maybe this bike will have to wait and I’ll get an imotion roller instead.

If you go with the belt drive - take a look at the frames that have the mini-S&S coupler on the chainstay rather than the screwy cut rear dropout.  You can have that installed on most any frame to make it work with the belt drive.  If it was me - I’d add it to a Surly Travelers Check .  Going with a greaseless option for a travel bike sounds like a GREAT idea.  I have always planned on cutting my single speed to add the couplers so I can have it be my travel bike as well.


Great idea, but I doubt that the carbon drive belt would fit.  As I understand, you need a Shimano 9-speed cassete hub (without the cassete) in order to slide on the custom carbon drive cog.  You might be able to fashion a custom mount, but I’d ask the guys at Spot Brand bikes before trying anything - they’re really helpful.

Also, keep in mind that the carbon belt isn’t able to be disassembled like a regular chain.  For a standard rear triangle, you’d likely need to cut a notch in your rear dropout and re-weld or bolt on a bracket to install the belt.

Anyways, best of luck in your vision… I would love to build a 29er with a carbon belt and Rohloff hub - indestructable!



and belts slip when wet. i’d like a belt drive, but there’s a reason we’re not seeing them deployed.

Mr. Martin.  Please keep us updated on how this guy rides.  Seems there are at least a few of us who are interested in this concept.  Personally, I would like an opinion about how the gear spacing is for all-purpose fast(but not race speed) riding, if the system “feels” less efficient than a conventional system and if a rear weight bias is noted. As well as any other real-world observations.  Thanks in advance!

fixed shifter…it is my understanding that the teeth within internal gear hubs can not withstand the pressures induced by back pressure of a fixed gear system; therefore you will not find any fixed internal gear hubs. 

-d…Carbon Drive systems is projecting support for Rohloff, Alfine and Sram internal gear Fall 08.  So theoretically no custom cog will be necessary.  However, it does seem that these drive systems are not hitting the market according to the planned release dates.  Someone I talked to suspects there are production or reliability problems.

Tip: we’re hearing from Industry Insiders that Drop Bar Nexus is coming in production. In 2 months at Interbike, we’re on the look out for them. Belt drives are problematic, yes, especially when climbing or in wet terrain.

@Trev - I’ll post a follow-up after I give it a good ride.  At this point my longest ride is only a few miles.  I’ll ride it to work round-trip next week and report back.

@Byron - Nexus Drop-bar shifter in the works?  For real?  Awesome.


Be aware that your Langster has 120mm spacing and most Nexus options are 130 or more.  There is a 120mm coaster brake version, but you cannot disengage the coaster brake component of the hub without hampering the operation of the hub.  You might be able to coldset the dropouts but that’s a lot to bend.

Beware of a future flame from me on the bike industry and rear spacing! It’s part of an ongoing series about why the industry is so hard on itself? Are they underpaid morons, no sense of standards, don’t give a flying f’? etc.

@Mark - I’ve got a 120 spaced frame as well.  I was able to replace a lot of the extranious non-drive spacers wil thinner nuts to get it down to 123mm OLD.  This is one of the nice features of the Nexus8 Premium over the Alfine (which is Disc only and reportedly not re-spacerable).

I’ve seen someone around my town (Olympia, WA) running one of these nexus 8 speeds with a modern shimano bar end shifter. I’ve been thinking about such a setup myself. I assume that the cable pull for each ‘click’ of the shifters must be the same. Can anyone confirm this?

@rhubarb - The setup for the 8sp bar-end configuration is captured here:

Hiawatha Cyclery out of Minnisota was the first I’d heard of anyone figuring that one out.

Very cool. I wanted to do something similar, but did not want mess with that hubbub thing. I opted for a sturmey archer 3sp with a coaster brake. Track spacing was no problem in this case.

Very, very cool… If you don’t mind a geeky question, how exactly did you manage to cut the hub spacing down to 123mm?

I’ve ordered an 8-spd nexus wheel for my Langster (120mm) and would really like to know the specifics (there is no re-spacing an aluminum frame).

I emailed Harris Cyclery and was told it’s a non-starter :(. Say it ain’t so…

@rich - Alex got me started on the right foot with this comment.

“It’s been a while since I’ve done this (almost 10 years), but I don’t think that you need to bring anything extra. Basically if you don’t install the brake it keeps a bunch of parts off of the axle. There is an exploded diagram here.

A thinner nut to replace #28 would get you back a few mm. I think the axles are threaded 10x1 (same as other Shimano axles) so a locknut from any Shimano hub should do the job. If you have a chance to swing by Recycled and grab one that would be good. If not I can probably dig up an extra. You get 7.2mm plus the thickness of the brake sheet (probably around 1mm) by not installing the brake and the brake nut.”

Alex has some amazing projets… thanks for passing along the info. Will follow up once I get the nexus wheel bolted on the bike. Can’t wait…


After plenty of online research and emails to Harris Cyclery the verdict was resounding “no-go” for getting the 8-speed nexus trimmed down to fit my Langster’s track spacing.

After checking this site I ordered the hub anyway and crossed my fingers.

Big props to Kevin at Mike’s Bikes here in SF - he hot-rodded the hub for me and built the wheel. - it works great. Kevin removed the non-essential plastic spacer that covers up where the brake would have gone and replaced a thick nut with a skinny one and viola - 120mm.

The only hiccup was that I had to elongate the flat portions of the axel with a dremel in order to get the no-rotate washers to slide on fully on the outside of the dropout on the right (?) side. Worked fine.

I mated the hub to an Alfine trigger shifter (see Harris Cyclery’s website - Alfine and Nexus shifters are interchangable). The only hiccup here was that the clamp diameter was too small for my bars - I fixed this by basically slicing straight through the top of the clamp (dremel again), basically just cutting half the clamp off. This allowed it to function in two parts like a vise, rather than like a collar. This works fine and it will accept any handlebar diameter - as long as you don’t mind the Flintstones aesthetic.

Oh, and lastly I had to slice the capped ends off the axel nuts (yup, dremel) so the extra length of axel could thread out the back - no problems here.

Thanks for all the info and inspiration. Cheers!


Looks great! Love that frame.
I just got a 7 speed for my Bianchi San Jose.
Did you cut down the hubbub adapter, because I have about 1.5 inches of exposed adapter left over. Maybe other shifters are just bigger than this one.

Theres been a few more iterations of bikes like this since Andrew posted this, including the [Modal Nexus](

Hi,  Can you tell me what unecessary spacers you removed and how?  I’m looking to do the same thing to a nexus 8 to fit on my pake track frame which is spaced at 120.  A bike shop here can spread the dropouts, but I’d like to still be able to swap in my track wheels.  Thanks!

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