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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This winter I put a Nuvinci N171b on my Big Dummy. I was reluctant to get the older hub except for that I found one on a complete bike for $200. So, I felt like it was worth it just to try it out, and I can sell the bike with a different rear wheel for a hundred bones to cut the cost. I love the hub, and for a commuter I can't imagine a better solution. It has shifted and performed flawlessly at -9 below, and it has taken me uphill with four bags of groceries and my six year old son.

This post is to add to the pool of information available to people using these hubs. I know it's old school at this point, but there may be more people looking for better ways to deal with the inherent problems the hub poses.

There are two problems that have plagued this hub, and there have been various solutions to these problems. There are other issues that may or may not be problems depending on your perspective. I for example like the ease of taking the shifter box off of the wheel for removal. The new hub has a very slick mechanism inside the dropouts, but for my purposes the old style works well.

Problem one: The vertical dropout kit requires adds an allen bolt to the installation. Another bolt to remove when you have a flat.

Problem two: The shifter box on the hub doesn't allow enough room for many chain dropout mounted chain tensioners.

I spent too much time looking at how different people solved these problems, and wasn't satisfied with many of them. I didn't want to hack away at the shifter box housing to make space, and the cable ties to hold the box in place as it competes for space with the tensioner just looks a bit temporary.

What I ended up doing was putting a piece of rear QR axle into the derailleur mount on the dropout. After all the no-turn plate is to prevent the axle from turning, and a "pin" in that position will arrest the rotation as well as a bolt. By using a pin I eliminated the need for the bolt to affix the plate to the dropout, and the pin stays put when I remove the wheel.

In the end the best tensioner setup I discovered was to put it ahead of the dropout on the chainstay. By doing this it allows plenty of room for installation of the wheel which was a problem when I had the tensioner mounted below the box on a plate.

I am probably not done tinkering with my setup, but this is working well. I hope this helps other people facing these issues.


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