Nexus Drop-Bar – One Month In


I was asked for a follow-up on my post about how I coverted my Single Speed to an 8sp. I rode it for about a month before swapping back to single to get ready for cross season. Here’s a couple bullets on the good and the bad.

The good: – Having gears is super helpful for towing my kid around in the trailer. I’ve got a 42-19 on there and when I drop into the “Granny gear” I can get up all the local hills without issue.
– The gear range was about as big as I needed. The big gear was comfortable at ~22mph which is plenty for what I’m after for the bike. – Drop bar shifter location is easy to use. – Shifting while stopped is pretty cool actually – especially when towing my son. Getting back up to speed after stopping at a light is a lot easier if I can start in an easy gear. – Swapping between geared and non-geared mode is pretty simple. – No derailleur simplicity! – It adds a completely new dimension to a bike for only a couple hundred bucks.

The bad: UPDATE – I’m wrong – the Hubbub can be tightened using an Allen. I need to reef on it next time to see if I can keep from un-tightening it during normal shifting use> – The Hub-Bub. Shifting causes it to loosen. Apparently there’s an allen bolt in there so I’ll see if I can tighten it more solidly. – Changing a rear flat is slow and can be a challenge with normal seat-pack tools. Getting the no-spin washers out was a challenge. – 36 holes is too much for my use. It would be nice if they had a 32 hole option as it would open up rim choice options. – It’s heavy. Hanging the bike in my garage is tough for a skinny-armed dude like myself.

Other observations: – Some gears just don’t “click”. I have to play with the shifter a little to get 5th to work just right sometimes. – The Nexus just doesn’t feel as solid as a traditional derailleured setup. For my purpose it’s fine, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing a out-of-the-saddle sprint workout, or maybe even a race. I just think the hub will last me a lot longer if I don’t “try to break it”. – I don’t think friction would work well. After posting on the Hiawatha Cyclery setup, I just don’t think it’s that easy to know where you need to be. – If this rumored bar-end shifter for Nexus/Alfine happens I’ll be all over it. That just seems to make all the real issues go away. – This bike pulls chicks. Well, maybe not chicks, but at least I get a lot of looks and comments from bike geeks like myself. I’ve never had so many people ask me “how do you like that hub?”.