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I'm trying to keep an open mind about this one, because the concept of a continuously variable transmission is pretty cool, and hell, any competition in a market segment works to produce better products.

But I'm a little skeptical on this Nupace hub, and from what I've gathered, this Dave Flather is somewhat of a character. I'm reserving judgement, though -- very interested in reading some ride reports and hopefully throwing a leg over one in the not too distant future.

<img src="https://www.freeridehub.com/Products/Freeride_silver_bicycle_hub.jpg">

Scanning the specs, what initially jumps out at me is the overall gear range.Here's how it lines up:

244% Shimano NEXUS 7 Speed Hub
254% 11-28 cassette (i.e. 1x8 setup)
<b>305% Nupace CVT Hub</b>
307% Shimano NEXUS 8 Speed Hub
309% 11-34 cassette (i.e. 1x9 setup)
509% Compact 24-speed drivetrain (44/32/22 triple + 11/28 cassette)
<b>526% Rohloff Speedhub</b>
617% Compact 27-speed drivetrain (44/32/22 triple + 11/34 cassette)

Secondly, the 2120g weight is a bit of a surprise. I was expecting the Nupace to hold a greater advantage over the Rohloff, which clocks in at around 2300g complete in its lightest form, and adds weight as disc brakes, tensioners and external shifters are opted in. With Rohloff announcing their "Speedhub-Lite" (expected 400g+ weight reduction), I gotta wonder...

Lastly, I'm surprised no efficiency data is included with this announcement.

Again, I'll be watching with interest. If Nupace is a strong contender it can only lead to better options for us as consumers.
 

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Yeah it will be interesting. Thanks for the data! I'm surprised with the narrow gear range. From the look of the site I'm assuming that the hub is more DH orientated anyway.

Do you have any more info on Dave Flather, or should I do some searching?? :D

Cheers, Dave.
 

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Low_Rider said:
don't like them paying out Rohloff on their front page. Not a good way to push your own product.
Agree! When this beef between Freeride Hubs & Rohloff first surfaced a few months ago, I began asking some folks about to find out what happened. Everyone is tight-lipped, but this is my "unauthorized" account (don't take this as 100% factual -- different sources and all) of what happened:

Dave F, founder of Extreme Sports Group, hooked up with Thomas S at Rohloff USA a few years back, in an Interbike booth-sharing venture where Thomas pimped his hubs and Dave pimped his freeride bike videos.

So the story goes that Extreme Sports Group worked out an exclusive Canadian distributorship deal with Rohloff, and launched the FreerideHubs.com and RohloffHubs.com (the latter to Rohloff<font color="blue">&#153;</font>'s displeasure). Everything was going smoothly until...

I heard that after Interbike last year, Thomas of Rohloff USA lost his entire equipment trailer to some low-life thief, which included some hubs, some bikes, and whatever else a vendor would tote 600 miles to Interbike in Las Vegas. Sucks, right?

Well Dave is sooooo convinced that Thomas staged this "disappearing act" himself in order to rip off the company, that he writes a letter back to Rohloff's headquarters in Germany. Oh, and in the letter he admirably volunteers to take over Rohloff's entire North American distributorship -- what a guy!

Now at this point I should mention that Dave is a bit of a loose cannon. Ask one of the BTI guys about the letters they received threatening legal action if BTI sold Speedhubs to any customer north of the US border. Apparantly other US distributors got similar nastygrams. Ask some of the guys on this board who have dealt with Dave directly about their perception of his mental state. I've heard some weird ****.

Anyhow, Rohloff AG gathers up all this correspondence and, well... I know that Thomas has a lloonngg history dating back over 10+ years with the Rohloff's. I can guess who they sided with, and you can guess who they cut loose.

Oh, I did ask Rohloff about the "loose bolts" problem mentioned on the ESG website, and they admitted to me that they had "a few" hubs which slipped through production undertorqued, during the changeover to new assembly equipment in the facility they recently moved to. (And what exactly does UCI have to do with product recalls, anyway?)

So anyway, that's my unofficial version of what transpired. If anyone knows something different, feel free to chime in and correct me.
 

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My buddy bought a Speedhub last summer I believe, and he received one of the "loose-bolt" on the hubcap units. He lost some oil very quickly a few days after installing it. The Speedhub guy (Thomas I assume) immediately helped him out after one phone call, explaining the situation as a mistaken torque spec in the factory or whatever.
The bolts were tightened; end of story. My friend loves his speedhub to death.

I know this is a cheap shot, but I've noticed this FreerideHubvideo guy's website for a few years... The whole endeavour and overall tone smacks of bizarreness and incompetence. Just look at the guy's bike. I think I would go with Rohloff if I were going to spend the coin.

One additional note: I think there is some irony that we are discussing this issue on the "New Product and Innovations" board. I consider the Rohloff Speedhub to be one of the most innovative MTB products out there; though I feel there are still some issues to be worked out with the design.
This FreeridehubVideo guy, who clearly swallowed the Rohloff idea hook line and sinker, has allegedly engaged in some ridiculous shenanigans that, if he were to succeed, would only stifle Rohloff's genuine innovation so that he could continue to make a quick buck off Rohloff's idea. And to top it off he now has what appears to be a badly-performing clone that he's selling at a drastic mark-up while attempting to ban Rohloff from selling in his country.
Plus, he is a Canadian; we can't even blame the US's sue-happy and rabidly free-market culture for this one. Let's hope he doesn't get some investors willing to give him a lot of cash to pay for patent lawyers. It reminds me of the Ellsworth/Turner thing.

-rob in Brooklyn
 

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I agree with you. I'm going to be getting myself a rohloff in the next several months or so. I just wonder if their new version with be out by the time I'm ready to buy...
 

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Wish I Were Riding said:
Any more info/news/speculation on the new Rohloff?
I only know four things about the new hub:

- It's coming soon
- It's about a pound lighter
- It's got a 200 pound rider weight limit
- It's more expensive

I can't find squat on it anywhere online. The pics of the red Mystery Hub that showed up recently in the Interbike forum are not it, just a modified Speedhub. Bicycle Retailer supposedly is sitting on an article, and I've been checking their site daily with no luck.

Given the 200 pound weight limit, I'd let some others test it out for durability and performance. Something had to give to shave that weight. At 200 pounds, I'm not the guy to test it :)
 

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856er said:
This may be of interest,
disc compatable too.
http://www.sturmey-archer.com/hubs_8spd_XRK8.php

Opps forgot the spec's

XRK8
Description
• 8 Speed Internal Gear Hub for use with Disc Brakes

Specs

• Hub Shell Material - 6061 Aluminum
• Axle Diameter - 13/32” Slotted
• Axle Length - 185.0mm
• Over Locknut Dimension - 131.0mm
• Right Axle Protrusion Length - 27.0mm
• Left Axle Protrusion Length - 27.0mm
• Spoke Holes - 36
• Pitch Circle Diameter - 89.8mm
• Flange Width - 66.0mm
• Spoke Compatibility - 13g or 14g
• Sprocket Teeth - 23 or 25 tooth
• Chain Line - 45.0mm
• Weight - 1510g

Gear Ratio

• Overall Range - 305%
• Gear 1 - 1.00 (Direct Drive)
• Gear 2 - 1.28 (+28%)
• Gear 3 - 1.45 (+45%)
• Gear 4 - 1.64 (+64%)
• Gear 5 - 1.86 (+86%)
• Gear 6 - 2.10 (+110%)
• Gear 7 - 2.38 (+138%)
• Gear 8 - 3.05 (+205%)
 

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Sturmey Archer have been doing internal geared hubs for years. I still have nightmares from playing with old dead 3 speed road bike hubs years ago....

In my mind their hubs have always been for touring or commuting style bikes though. I'm not sure if it would last under heavy abuse.

Cheers, Dave.
 

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The Nupace (and Sturmey) are 1:1 in the lowest gear, which makes it difficult to set up in the lower range of gears (bottom half of a conventional system). Even with a 25t cog, you're looking at ~20t front chainrings to get an equivalent low gear. Efficiency was reported at 95% @ 1:1, and ~85% @ 4.3:1 from thier patent, althought the current hub only goes to 3:1. It would be nice to try one.
 

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Who... that NuVinci design is really cool.

Thats the first CVT design that I actually like. I hope they can make it work.
 

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Who... that NuVinci design is really cool.

long_strange_ride said:
Thats the first CVT design that I actually like. I hope they can make it work.
With the NuVinci transmission, the torque is transfered from the drive rings to the steel balls by friction (smooth surface), which means there has to be a fair bit of pressure. Changing gear ratios requires the rotational axis of the ball to tilt, and if you watch thier video, they use a threaded crank to move the ball, looks like it needs a bit of force. Also, the interbike writeup says they use an oil bath - which doesn't mix well with a friction torque couple - but who knows how accurate that writeup is. I sure hope they get a working model out, it would be a very cool hub if they get it to work well, and I'd definitely be interested in trying it.
 
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