Hub Motor Brands: The Complete Guide. Electric bike hub gears

Hub Motor Brands: The Complete Guide

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Hub Motor Types, Brands, and the E-Bikes That Use Them

All consumer-ready e-bikes provide assistance to their riders through either a mid-drive motor or a hub motor. While mid-drive motors are placed centrally at the bottom bracket and tie into their e-bike’s cranks, hub motors – as their name suggests – are mounted at the center of either the front or rear wheel. We’ll FOCUS on the latter type in this complete guide to e-bike hub motors; read on to learn the differences between types of motors, and keep scrolling to examine some of the best hub motors on the market!

At the present time, electric hub motors are much more affordable than mid-drives, and are subsequently much more prevalent. Additionally, hub motors are often much lighter than their cousins, and make practical additions to urban e-bikes or folding frames that need to be carried often. They also function well in conjunction with belt drives and internal gear systems that are nearly maintenance-free. In fact, you’ll find hub motors on some of the best electric bikes we have had the pleasure of reviewing.

Mid-drive motors, on the other hand, have a reputation for being more efficient and responsive than hub motors – though hub motor technology is improving constantly and coming ever closer to bridging the gap. Mid-drives are also known for their ability to replicate or approach the feel of non-electric bikes. They are, however, much more expensive, and as such are most commonly found on higher-end models.

The topic of e-bike motors is complex enough that we have a separate guide to mid-drive motors. In this article, focused exclusively on e-bike hub motors, we will dive into the most common manufacturers, discuss some of the best e-bike brands who use their products, and also cover some unique one-offs.

Rev your engines and get ready to read!

Hub Motor Types

We discussed the two main types of motors already, but when looking closer at the category of hub motors, the subject can be divided even further.

Front Hub and Rear Hub Motors

The first sub-category of hub motors is divided by their placement – either in the front or rear wheel hub. There are a few e-bikes out there that use dual (both front and rear) hub motors, but these tend to be special cases. The vast majority of e-bikes with hub motors have them mounted on the rear wheel. These types are known to give their riders the feeling of being pushed from behind, though this characteristic is often subtle and easy to get used to.

Front-hub motors, however, offer the opposite experience; the feeling of being pulled along. These have an advantage over rear-hub motors in that they are often smaller and lighter, but they can suffer from a tendency to lack traction.

The Eunorau Defender S is a rare example of an e-bike with both front and rear hub motors.

Geared and Direct Drive Motors

Regardless of their placement, hub motors can transfer power to drive their e-bikes in two different ways, and so have two further divisions or sub-categories; e-bike hub motors can be either direct drive or geared. We have a full article that goes into detail about direct drive and geared hub motors, but a brief mention of their distinctions is appropriate here.

In a nutshell, geared hub motors use a system of internal gears that drive (and turn) the shell of the motor. These are the most common type of hub motor, and are typically smaller, lighter, more efficient, and better at climbing hills than direct drive motors. They are also less expensive.

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Direct drive motors are gearless, and use magnets to turn their shell, which is an essential part of the motor itself. Direct drives are larger and heavier, but are quiet and incredibly long lasting. Direct drive motors are also typically most efficient when operating at high speeds, and so are most often used only on Class 3 (speed pedelec) e-bikes.

Torque and Cadence Sensors

All e-bike motors require input from a sensor in order to provide assistance appropriately. There are two types of sensors used with e-bike motors: either torque or cadence. Usually, just one type is used at a time, but some e-bikes use a combination of both.

Cadence sensors are the most common variety used with hub motors. Again, they are also less expensive. These require only that the pedals be moving in order to activate their motor, and as such are less efficient than torque sensors that rely on rider input. Responsive cadence sensors can trigger motor assistance after only a quarter-turn of an e-bike’s cranks, while slower versions take a half or even up to a full turn.

Torque sensors are less common and more expensive than cadence sensors, but generally regarded as better. They are also more efficient, because they sense how much effort the rider is choosing to give (or HAVING to give, depending on gearing, terrain, etc), and respond accordingly. We often say that they allow the motor to meet the rider halfway at whatever level of effort they choose.This allows torque sensors to provide a level of responsiveness similar to that of a non-electric bike – a feature that, when combined with a mid-drive motor, adds to its already natural feel. For this reason, they are most commonly paired with mid-drives, though the technology is becoming cheaper, and seen more often with hub motors. For example, we have appreciated seeing torque sensors on the updated lineup of Aventon e-bikes.

Popular Hub Motor Brands

While we will provide information on some of the largest hub motor manufacturers out there, the full list of them is far too long for this article already, and continues to grow rapidly. The companies on this list produce some of the best hub motors on the market.

While their branding is not always so obvious, Bafang motors can be found on e-bikes in each corner of the market.

Previously known as Suzhou Bafang (due to their home office in the city of Suzhou near Shanghai) and 8Fun, Bafang is arguably the largest manufacturer of e-bike hub motors in the world. They are well-established at this point, having been established in 2003. The company’s philosophy is a commitment to quality and innovation. While their main manufacturing center is located with their home office in China, the company has a dedicated mid-drive motor factory in Poland, as well as sales and service centers in the USA and across Europe.

In addition to producing motors, they also manufacture batteries, sensors, controllers, and HMIs (human machine interfaces – displays and button pads) for e-bikes, as well as a range of products for electric scooters. At the time of writing, Bafang offers roughly a dozen models of rear hub motor ranging from 250W to 1000W, nearly as many mid-drives, and a handful of front hub motors.

Due to their quality and affordability, Bafang products have been used on a massive range of e-bikes; from small startup companies to large name brands like Pedego, Juiced, Aventon, and Charge.

The Suzhou Shengyi Motor Company, usually shortened to just Shengyi, is another large and well-established company with a home office and development center in Suzhou, China. Founded in 2003, the company surpassed sales of over 800k units in 2020, and by now is likely to be approaching 1 million (if they have not passed that mark already). Shengyi has manufacturing facilities in Suzhou and Taiwan, and sales offices in Germany and Tianjin, China.

In addition to both mid-drive and hub motors for e-bikes, the company builds other motors for electric scooters and motorcycles. Currently, they have a lineup of over a dozen rear hub motors, around 10 front hub motors, a few mid-drive options, and a couple of brushless single-piece wheel units with integrated motors. These range in output from 180W up to 1000W.

Shengyi products have been found on e-bikes past and present from globally-recognized companies such as Giant, Rad Power Bikes, MFC, and Aventon.

Aventon has been known to use Bafang and Shengyi products on their e-bikes, such as the Level 2 commuter.

Dapu, also known as the Chuo Bussan Group, is a Japanese-owned company with over a decade of experience in producing e-bike components. They place a FOCUS on making durable, powerful products with precision. Dapu has manufacturing plants in Japan, China, and Vietnam, which supply e-bike companies in the US and Europe.

Like Bafang, Dapu’s portfolio is diverse. They FOCUS exclusively on e-bike products, but currently produce an expansive selection of front and rear hub motors, torque sensors, HMIs, controllers, and a few mid-drive models. Dapu’s catalog of nearly 20 motor models range from 250W-1000W of output.

Well-known e-bike brands such as Pedego and Evelo have used Dapu products.

Founded originally as the Changzhou Huayuxinfeng Motor Company in 1996, this manufacturer began to FOCUS on e-bike products in 2004. They later changed their name to the Changzhou MXUS Import and Export Company, and have since expanded throughout Asia, Europe, and both North and South America.

MXUS offers a wide range of products for both e-bikes and e-scooters. Their full catalog of e-bike components includes batteries, chargers, controllers, HMIs, throttles, and even cargo racks. When it comes to motors, the company focuses exclusively on producing front and rear hub systems. They have a total of over 25 models between the two types, in both geared and direct drive models. Interestingly, MXUS makes one of the most powerful hub motors available; their products range from 180W of output all the way up to a staggering 5000W system.

MXUS products have been seen on e-bikes from the Electric Bike Company and other brands.

Electric Bike Company e-bikes like the decked-out Model Y have sported MXUS rear hub motors.

Other Manufacturers

The Taiwan-based company TranzX makes a full range of e-bike components – nearly everything but frames. They offer a small selection of motors (two hub motor options and two mid-drives), some of which have been found on Raleigh folding e-bikes and models from Diamondback, Bergamont, and Lapiere.

The Aikema Electric Drive System Company, or just Aikema, is a Chinese company with a respectable selection of motors and other components. They are partnered with some recognizable names like Ampler, MAHLE (see below) and VanMoof.

A German-based manufacturer called Neodrives produces paired motor / battery / display systems that have been used with some Pegasus, Raleigh, and Rennstahl e-bikes.

Another Taiwanese manufacturer, TDCM produces e-bike hub motors as well as components for the automotive, EV, and medical industries. Their products have been used by Brompton, Stromer, Flyer, and in bike ride share programs from Lyft.

SR Suntour is originally a Japanese company known primarily for their magnesium suspension forks. Their three models of HESC (Human Electro Synergy Components) hub motors have been used with Carrera e-bikes and other brands.

Unique Hub Motor Brands

As opposed to the ubiquitous, previously mentioned large-scale manufacturers, the companies in this next section stand out due to their tendency to approach things differently.

Karbon Kinetics / GoCycle

In 2002, Karbon Kinetics was founded by Richard Thorpe, with the goal of creating the perfect e-bike. Thorpe combined cycling passion and design experience from his history as a designer of McLaren racing components to create the GoCycle. The first generation of this lightweight, folding e-bike was released in 2009, and was designed to be elegant, fun, and highly functional. Since then, the company has continuously released updated models that frequently set new standards due to their fast folding, inclusion of bluetooth technology, and their use of innovative materials and manufacturing methods.

One of the core elements of the GoCycle in its current iteration is its proprietary G4drive front hub motor. This 500W unit is tiny and unobtrusive, but packs a surprising amount of power for speed and uphill travel. We loved the motor’s performance when we had the chance to review the GoCycle G4 – and due to its proprietary nature, it’s only available on this specific e-bike.

The GoCycle’s proprietary front-hub motor is small enough to go almost unnoticed but manages some impressive power.

As a division of the MAHLE Group, which focuses on the development of automotive technologies and components, MAHLE SmartBike Systems designs both hardware and software for use by e-bike owners, dealers, and manufacturers. MAHLE is based out of Palencia, Spain, and prioritizes innovation in their cutting-edge products, with the goal of making transportation comfortable, efficient, and environmentally-friendly.

While they manufacture components like batteries, chargers, shifters, and displays, all of these elements are designed to be used exclusively in conjunction with MAHLE’s limited selection of two drive systems, the X20 and X35. Both of these rear hub motors are extremely small and lightweight, and all of their unobtrusive components are designed to fit seamlessly into an e-bike’s frame. In fact, MAHLE advertises the X20 system as the lightest drive system on the market.

The X35 was originally manufactured by Ebikemotion prior to MAHLE’s purchase of the company in 2018. It is still sometimes referred to as the Ebikemotion X35 for this reason.

Considering their high-performance nature and intended use with electric mountain, urban, gravel, and road bikes, MAHLE products can be found on more sophisticated models from BMC, Orbea, Cannondale, and SCOTT.

Owned by an automotive technology company called Eldor Corporation since 2019, ZEHUS is able to leverage international development and manufacturing resources to produce innovative EV, e-scooter, and e-bike drivetrains.

Prior to 2023, the Italian-based ZEHUS were known solely for their cable-free BIKE all-in-one system that combines a motor, battery, sensors, and Bluetooth connectivity in a single package. This 250W system provides 40 Nm of torque, and can travel a minimum distance of 35 km / 22 miles in Turbo mode, or a maximum of 60 km / 37 miles in Eco mode. It is available in a single speed version, as well as a cassette version with either 4, 7, or 9 gears.

At the CES in 2023, the company unveiled an upgraded version called BIKE with a claimed unlimited range, thanks to the unit’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) that uses regenerative braking when backpedaling to recharge the battery.

ZEHUS systems are primarily found on European e-bikes such as those made by Cooper Bikes, Neomouv, and Hummingbird.

Velotric’s proprietary Velopower motor was designed by the company’s team of engineers and is built by a leading but unnamed motor manufacturer.

Globe / Electra / Volt / VanMoof / Velotric / Etc.

These names are listed together due to the fact that they likely all have a similar approach: partnering with one of the larger, previously mentioned companies for the production of their own proprietary systems. We say “likely,” because in the case of Globe (which is a subsidiary of Specialized), VanMoof, and Electra (which is owned by Trek), details about their motor manufacture are not readily available through their respective websites. With Globe, this is more understandable, since (as of the time of writing) details about their first e-bike are still scarce. Electra, on the other hand, advertises their use of Bosch mid-drives, but their less expensive line of “Go!” e-bikes use proprietary rear hub motors.

Other brands are more open about their partnerships, such as Volt’s pairing with Bafang for the production of their SpinTech rear hub drive system. Similarly, Velotric – while keeping the name of their specific manufacturer to themselves – have been up-front about a partnership in developing their proprietary Velopower motor.

E-Bike Motors with Custom Branding

Separate from the partnerships previously mentioned, it is worth noting that many motor manufacturers offer custom branding services with orders of significant quantities. For this reason, it can be difficult or impossible to discover the manufacturer of a motor that displays an e-bike brand name instead of a manufacturer’s stamp, and also difficult to discern such a motor’s quality. Some may be made by reputable companies like Bafang, while others could just as easily be made by a small startup offering low-quality parts.

Hub Motor Conversion Kits

While far less popular now than in the early days of e-bikes (due most likely to their increasing availability and falling prices), conversion kits used to turn a non-electric bicycle into an e-bike can be an affordable solution and can also allow a favorite bike to get more mileage. The aforementioned Bafang offers conversion kits, but there are still some smaller, more unique contenders in the game as well.

The Swytch Kit is considered by many to be the best – and most common – hub motor conversion kit on the market.

Swytch was founded in 2017 with the goal of converting drivers into cyclists by expanding the accessibility of electric-powered transportation. They also place a FOCUS on sustainability. The UK-based company began through a highly successful Indiegogo campaign for their Swytch Kit, then released a second-gen model in 2019 using the same approach. Swytch currently has over 60,000 customers worldwide.

At the time of writing, Swytch makes two conversion kits – one universal model, and another specifically designed for folding bikes. Each system uses a 250W geared front hub motor in conjunction with one of two battery pack options that are scarcely larger than a smartphone. One pack offers up to 15 km / 9 miles of range, while the MAX model can power the motor for up to 30 km / 18 miles. Swytch Kits are available in nearly every wheel wheel size, and are compatible with both disc and rim brake systems.

In 2019, Bimotal was founded after its CEO experienced a skiing accident that left him unable to climb steep hills when mountain biking. The San Francisco-based company set out to produce a lightweight and easily removable drive system to enable healthier lifestyles. Bimotal’s founder, Toby Ricco, is an engineer with experience at Tesla, and the company employs a team of other engineers with Formula 1 and aerospace backgrounds.

Bimotal’s single product, the Elevate, is technically not a hub motor, but we feel it’s close enough to warrant discussion on this list. Instead of having a fixed placement at the center of the wheel hub, the Elevate is a removable system that mounts to a non-electric bike’s externally-mounted disc brakes (though it is not compatible with all frame designs) with the addition of a special brake rotor/cog system. It is a 750W motor that produces between 50 and 100 Nm of torque, and can provide a range estimated between 15 and 30 miles. Additionally, it has been designed to attach or be removed in seconds. The unit’s stealthy cylindrical battery has an appearance similar to a water bottle and mounts to the bike’s frame with the use of a cage.

The company also has a mid-drive system in development with even greater torque for a better eMTB experience.

The Bimotal Elevate system is a conversion kit that attaches and separates in seconds.

Like the ZEHUS system covered previously, the SmartBikeWheel is an all-in-one system, though its hub shell is significantly larger. The reason is simple; instead of a torque or cadence sensor, the front hub system uses an internal gyroscope and tachometer to sense changes in terrain and provide assistance appropriately. This SmartAssist technology, in combination with Bluetooth connectivity and an internal battery providing roughly a 35-mile range, makes the SmartBikeWheel functional, affordable, and user-friendly.

In our review of the SmartBikeWheel, we were seriously impressed by the system’s power and performance; it rivaled and surpassed that of many entry-level e-bikes we have tested.

Internal Gear Hub Vs Derailleur: My Pros and Cons List

Internal gear hubs are becoming increasingly popular on bicycles these days. Particularly on touring and commuter bikes. After some extensive research and testing on a Rohloff and Shimano hub, I put together this internal gear hub vs derailleur pros and cons list to help me decide if the conversion is worth the money. Hopefully, this list helps you decide as it has helped me.

What is an Internal Gear Hub?

The internal gear hub, also called hub gear or abbreviated IGH is a system used to change a bicycle’s gear ratio. It achieves this using planetary or epicyclic gears that are housed and sealed within the rear hub. The internal gear hub is an alternative to a derailleur.

A Bit of History About the Internal Gear Hub and Derailleur

Surprisingly, the invention of the internal gear hub actually came before the derailleur. The first patent for a hub gear was issued to Seward Thomas Johnson, an American machinist, in 1895. In 1905, Paul de Vivie, a French bicycle tourist, invented the rear derailleur. The first models of both gear shifting systems came equipped with 2 speeds.

Even though the invention of the derailleur came 10 years after the internal gear hub, the technology progressed much faster. The simpler derailleur system allowed for more gears and a wider gear range with the technology available at the time. Internal gear hubs topped out at 3 gears for decades. This is how derailleurs grew to dominate the cycling market originally.

Now, things are changing. In the past couple of decades, internal gear hub technology has progressed significantly. In terms of gear range and performance, they are catching up to the best derailleurs. Internal gear hubs also include a number of other benefits over derailleurs that I outline in this article. These days, the decision is harder than ever to make. Here’s my list of the pros and cons of internal gear hubs vs derailleurs.

Image: “Belt-drive internal-geared multi-speed rear hub”, by AndrewDressel, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Internal Gear Hub Cons

Derailleur Cons

A Third Option: Hybrid Gearing

Some drivetrains combine an internal gear hub with a front or rear derailleur. This unconventional setup is known as hybrid gearing. This system offers some of the benefits of both internal gear hubs and derailleurs. It can also provide a wider gear range and closer gear ratio spacing. Hybrid drives are common on folding bikes and recumbent bikes.

The most common style of hybrid gearing uses a 3-speed internal gear hub with 2 sprockets attached for a total of 6 speeds. A rear derailleur allows you to shift between the sprockets. Usually, the rear sprocket gears fall halfway between the gears in the hub. This allows for half-step gearing so the difference between gears isn’t so great. This setup usually requires a chain tensioner.

This system is useful on bikes that can’t accept a front derailleur, like many folding bikes. For example, the 6 speed Brompton folding bike uses a 3 speed Sturmey Archer IGH with 2 rear sprockets. The SRAM Dual Drive, which is also common on folding bikes, uses a similar setup.

Dual drives are common on some types of recumbent bikes as well because they allow the rider to downshift while stopped. This makes it much easier to get started riding again after making a stop. It is hard to get going in a high gear with a recumbent bike because you can’t use your body weight to begin pedaling.

Internal gear hubs can also be combined with double or triple chainrings and a front derailleur. Sometimes both a front and rear derailleur are used. This widens your gear range but increases the weight and complexity of your drivetrain considerably.

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Types of Internal Gear Hubs

Hub gears come in 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 14 speed options. Generally, the more gears, the more complex the hub will be and the more critical maintenance becomes. 2 and 3 speed hubs are pretty simple. They keep going with minimal maintenance. For touring, the more gears the better. For commuting, you may be better off with a simpler hub with fewer gears.

You also have the choice of the type of brakes you want to use. You can choose from disc brakes, rim brakes, or hub brakes. Many hubs come in disc and rim brake versions. Hub brakes are less common. You’ll have to decide which type of brakes you’re going to use when buying the hub.

The number of spokes is another consideration. If you’re touring and plan to carry a heavy load, you’ll want more spokes to support the extra weight. Most internal gear hubs use either 32 or 36 spokes.

As far as pricing goes, basic 3-speed hub gears start around 100. Premium hubs that are suitable for touring start around 1600. Mid-range options start around 450.

Popular Internal Gear Hub Options

When shopping for an internal gear hub, you have quite a few options. You’ll want to consider the number of gears you need, the type of brakes you plan to use, the number of spokes, pricing, quality, performance, etc. Below, I’ll outline a few of the more popular internal gear hubs available.

Rohloff Speedhub

Designed and manufactured in Germany, the Rohloff hub is known for its longevity, solid build, low maintenance, and amazing engineering. This is the king of internal gear hubs. The Speedhub offers an incredible 526% gear range with a uniform 13.6% difference between gears through the range, making it ideal for touring.

T o keep this hub going, all you need to do is change the oil once every 5000 km. This is about a 20 minute job. Rohloff hubs commonly last 100,000 km without failing. Rohloff offers a number of variations on their 14-speed hub. It is available in disc and rim brake versions, 32 and 36 spoke versions, as well as touring and cross country style axle versions.

Shimano Alfine

Alfine is Shimano’s higher-end line of internal gear hubs. They work great for urban commuting and light touring. Alfine hubs come in 8 and 11-speed versions. They are compatible with belt drive as well. These hubs use a bolt-on axle rather than a quick release.

The 8 speed Alfine offers a gear range of 308%. Unfortunately, the gear intervals are pretty uneven.

The 11 speed Alfine offers a gear range of 409%. The jump from first to second gear is 30%. From there, the interval between gears ranges from 13-14%.

For a great budget/value internal gear hub option, consider the Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Geared Disk Break Hub. Shimano also offers a lower-end line of internal gear hubs called the Nexus. These are available with a coaster brake option.

Sturmey Archer

Sturmey Archer was founded in Nottingham, England in 1902. These guys have been in the internal gear hub business for over 100 years. In 2000, the Sturmey Archer sold to the Taiwanese cycling company Sun Race and production moved to Taiwan. They are famous for their 3-speed hub which is known for its longevity low maintenance. This is a great choice for folding bikes and city bikes.

This Sturmey Archer S30 3-Speed 36h kit includes the hub, shifter, cables, and mounting hardware.

Maintaining Internal Gear Hubs and Derailleurs

One of the main advantages that internal gear hubs have over derailleurs is that they require less frequent maintenance. Once your internal gear hub is set up, you can ride for thousands of miles without touching it.

Derailleurs, on the other hand, require a bit of regular maintenance to keep them running smoothly. The reason is that they’re a bit more exposed to the elements because the system is open.

One job that is the same regardless of which system you choose is cleaning. You’ll have to degrease and lube your chain every 200-500 miles depending on the conditions.

In this section, I’ll outline what you’ll need to do to keep your internal gear hub or derailleur running smoothly.

Internal Gear Hub Maintenance

Generally, the frequency of maintenance depends on the complexity of the hub. The more gears there are, the more critical maintenance becomes. Internal gear hub maintenance involves replacing the lubricant inside of the hub.

There are grease-based and oil-based internal gear hubs. Generally, hubs with 3-8 gears are greased based. Hubs with more than 8 gears are usually oil-based.

Simple grease-based hubs typically need to be cleaned out and re-greased every 12-24 months depending on how frequently they’re used and the conditions they’re used in. In some cases, cheap 3-speed hubs are pretty much considered disposable. You just ride it until it fails then replace it. They often last many years without any maintenance. These basic hubs may last 50,000 Km without any service.

Higher-end oil-based internal gear hubs like the Rohloff and Shimano Alfine require regular oil changes to keep them running smoothly. This involves draining the old oil and replacing it with new. You usually have to do this every 5000 km or once per year.

Another hub maintenance task you’ll need to do is replace the seals once in a while so the oil doesn’t leak. Some internal gear hubs also use chain tensioners. These need to be adjusted when you’re installing your hub. You may need to re-tension the chain when you remove your rear wheel to fix a flat.

As the chain and sprocket wear out, they will need to be replaced as well. Keep in mind that these parts last much longer than they do on bikes with derailleurs. Oftentimes IGH chains and rear sprockets last 2-4 times longer.

Derailleur Maintenance

Derailleur maintenance is simpler but more frequent. To keep your bike shifting smoothly, you’ll have to periodically readjust your derailleurs as shifter cables and chains wear. If you bump your derailleur, you may need to re-adjust it. This is a simple but somewhat tedious job. Some derailleurs are a bit touchy. All you’ll need is an Allen key or screwdriver to adjust most derailleurs.

In addition, you’ll also need to replace your chain and cassette as they wear out. A derailleur drivetrain requires new chains and cogs more frequently than an internal gear hub due to the extra wear from moving around on the gears. In some conditions you might only get 500-1000 miles out of a chain. Cassettes need to be replaced every 2-3 chains or 3000-5000 miles.

Final Thoughts on Internal Gear Hubs Vs Derailleurs

As of now, internal gear hubs are incredibly reliable but do lack a bit in the performance department. They are probably the best option for riders with a higher budget and those who don’t race.

As the technology advances, I imagine internal gear hubs will continue to grow in popularity. In the future, I imagine almost all of the drawbacks can be overcome with enough research and development. Gear range will improve. gears will be added. Efficiency and performance will increase.

Having said this, derailleurs will always have their place in cycling. It’s a much simpler technology that is completely user-serviceable and more efficient. Derailleurs have been the standard for decades.

Cost is also a major factor. Only the most avid cyclists want to spend thousands of dollars on their bikes. Most casual riders are better off sticking with derailleurs at this time.

What are your thoughts on the internal gear hub vs derailleur debate? Share your experience in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!

from Where The Road Forks


Our 14 speed, performance bicycle I.G.H. impresses all with its high level of quality and efficiency.

Comfort Meets Continuity

Experience the world with the most reliable bicycle drivetrain on the market.

You love cycling? You love to leave the stress and hectic nature of every-day life behind you for a few hours? Then why take the stress of an impaired transmission with you? Choose a Rohloff SPEEDHUB equipped bike for your next tour and use it to power your passion.

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Extremely Low Maintenance

Experience a bicycle transmission, that requires just a bare minimum of maintenance. One, quick oil change per annum or 5000km – that’s all that is needed.

Aside from this oil change, you need only keep an eye on the primary transmission wear. Childs-play when compared to the multi-sprocket transmissions of lesser bicycle transmissions with their delicate linkage derailleurs. We want you to ride, not repair! The SPEEDHUB helps you do exactly that.

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Rohloff E-14: Perfect for Ebikes

E-14; combined with the SPEEDHUB 500/14 to provide the best shifting performance for your Ebike. High shifting comfort and a synchronized shift at the push of a button.

No bicycle transmission is able to cope with the large, E-motor forcesas well as the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and no other transmission is able to shift faster. E-14 provides lightening quick shifts changing gears in just 180ms. Shift single, or multiple gears with just one press of a button. The Rohloff SPEEDHUB forms the durable basis of every premiumE-Bike.

The Price is Right

Just as exceptional as the level of Rohloff quality, is the price/performance ratio of the SPEEDHUB transmission.

When one assesses the unbelievable life-expectancy of a SPEEDHUB, one quickly realizes that one is riding a product with extremely small running costs. The SPEEDHUB possesses zero cassettes, prone to fast wear, nor does it require the use of extra narrow and thus fragile chains. The SPEEDHUB is an investment that pays out, increasing its cost-effective balance with every kilometer covered as opposed to a regular derailleur transmission.

Perfectionist Workmanship

The Rohloff AG is still managed by the original founders (Bernhard and Barbara Rohloff), located in the center of Germany. 99% of our flagship product, the SPEEDHUB is produced in Germany ensuring premium quality at every step of the production process.

Die Rohloff AG ist inhabergeführt und ein besonderer Arbeitgeber in der Mitte Deutschlands. Alle Zulieferer stammen zu 99% aus Deutschland. Jedes kleinste Stück Material wird eingehend geprüft und erst dann verarbeitet. Entscheiden Sie sich für das Premiumgetriebe von Rohloff.

Shift Evenly

The correct transmission shifts riding pleasure to the next level!

The most important aspect of a great transmission, is the correct size of increments between each subsequent gear. The linear gear ratios within the SPEEDHUB, combined with the large overall gear ratio and total number of gears is your guarantee for fluid cycling performance. Furthermore, one SPEEDHUB attribute that is impossible for a derailleur system to compete with, is the incredible shifting speed. Shift easily to and from any desired gear with just one wrist movement – while pedaling or stationary.

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The Rohloff SPEEDHUB – your trusted companion.

We are proud to state that even gear-units from our original pre-production series have yet to be returned due to damage or wear. We have been contacted by customers who have clocked up a phenomenal 326,000KM mileages on their hubs and these units are still going strong. This is just one of a few reasons why the SPEEDHUB has become the benchmark transmission for expedition cyclists. As such, there is practically no space left untouched on this earth, to which a SPEEDHUB has taken an intrepid adventure.

Bike Finder

Browse a large selection of complete bikes and individual frames, specifically designed for the integration of a SPEEDHUB transmission.

DEALer Finder

Here you can find retailers in your area who have a Rohloff test bike ready for you.

What is an Internal Geared Bike and How Does it Work?

An internal geared bike appears trim and clean compared to a bicycle with external gears and chain. In this type of bike, the gears are contained within a closed gearbox that don’t require maintenance. Although this technology has been around for many years now, internal geared bikes are quite new in the sport of cycling, as of the year 2011. The transmission system is comparable to cars. This low-maintenance bicycle provides simplicity and smooth shifting, which cannot be found in regular bicycles.

Internal geared bike is cleaner than a regular bike, as the chain and gears are not exposed. While the chain on a regular bicycle can be clogged with dust, mud, and debris over time, an internal geared bike protects its gears from such hazards. The grease applied on the chain can also wear off over time, while a bicycle with internal gears doesn’t require any lubrication beyond that which is provided by its manufacturer. General cleanliness, smooth shifting, and low maintenance are the main advantages of internal gears. Also, the rider can change gears even when his bike is not in motion, unlike with a regular bicycle. This means you don’t have to find the right timing to shift gears. You can do so anytime you need to. Also, gears slipping, chains falling off, and grease on the rider’s pants will all be eliminated.

The chain on a regular bicycle is replaced by a driveshaft on an internal geared bike. The gears connect the pedals to the driveshaft. which allows the shaft to transfer pedal power into a gearbox mounted on the rear wheel. Such power spins a rod that mover the rear wheel, powering the bicycle. The driveshaft is impenetrable to dirt and debris, unlike the chain on a normal bike. Note: some internal geared bike still has the regular chain but, just the same, gears are protected.

Hub Transmission

The hub transmission on an internal geared bike replaces the stacked gear system of a regular bicycle. Factory-lubricated and sealed by the manufacturer, this hub transmission doesn’t require maintenance, therefore it doesn’t need to be opened. The gears are protected from dirt, rain, and debris as they are switched over inside the hub. Inside, the different gears move around a central fixed gear. There is a different number of teeth on each gear. The different methods in which the gears combine act to provide the different gear ratios or speeds on the bicycle. Debris that might get into the stacked gears of a regular bicycle will not affect a sealed hub transmission.

Check out custom internal gear hub bikes from Zize Bikes, the maker or extra sturdy bicycles for everybody, including bicycles for heavy people which are able to support riders up to 550 pounds.

Watch this video and find out the difference between external bicycle gear derailleur and an internal geared bike.

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