Beautiful hub gear commuters, do they exist?

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  • Hello everyone,

    I've been lurking your forum for a couple of weeks now (don't even remember how I discovered it) and finally had the courage to post here. I've always loved cycling and I have always been far more interested in bicycles than I have been with cars or any other vehicles. For me, how the bike looks like is just as important as how it feels to ride. The problem is that I find most of the bikes they make these days really ugly. I hate the thick aluminium frames, I don't like the colors or the matt finishing many bikes seem to have, and the forks.. well they look like some fat mans legs. I guess this is why I love the bikes in the "bike porn" & "RGR Risers Gonna Raise (hybrid commuted geared bikes) "Fitness" "dadbike"..." threads. Many bikes in those threads are absolutely gorgeous!

    One of the biggest reasons I am writing here is because I've been trying to find a new bike, and was wondering - because it seems that I share a somewhat similar taste with at least some of you - if any of you would know any bikes to recommend. What I am looking for is a flat bar commuter with hub gears, preferably Alfine 8 or 11 that would actually look good. I know most of you probably use and prefer external gear hub and derailleur, but I'd like to have a commuter with as little maintenance as possible, and a single gear just won't do it because there are so many hills on my way to school & work.

    As much as I don't like how the modern bikes look like, I have found a couple of decent ones which I might consider getting. One of the problems is that they're either no longer available, or they're not sold here in Finland. I just can't imagine buying a bike before I've been able to ride it. Anyways, here are few bikes that I've found which I kind of like. If you know anything similar I'd be really happy if you could post them here.

    Trek Zektor B (2017):

    Revolution Shadow:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6toyOgd­6nM

    Boardman URB 8.9

  • I'm a big fan of the Gustave by Schindelhauer:

    But then I do own one, so very biased indeed.

  • I had an Alfine 11 a few years ago, it was made of cheese inside and only lasted 5000km. Replaced it with a Rohloff, and it's taken me all over Europe without missing a gearchange.
    I remember hearing the alfine 8 was a bit stronger but I've never used one.

  • Vintage SA 3 or 5 speed? Have seen some pretty builds. Those hubs are still around for a reason. Otherwise, Rohloff.

  • I think Rohloff is way out of my budget. I've also heard some bad things about Alfine 11, so most likely what I am looking for is something with Alfine 8. I have no idea what are "vintage SA 3 or 5 speed" :)

  • Sturmey Archer. You can still find vintage ones out there (they do last after all), as well as Torpedo ones (pre SRAM), but the Alfine 8 is the one you should be looking for if you are after an OTP.
    A belt drive would be a logical pairing IMHO.

  • Apologies. I meant (mainly) British 3/5 speed bikes with Sturmey Archer hub gears (I have several 60s/70s hubs - all still shift flawlessly). Very low maintenance and pretty cheap. But might be harder to get in Finland.

    This type of thing (not the prettiest, but an example nonetheless):

  • Oh, and look at the German brands (Diamant, VSF, Rose etc...).

  • Skeppshult do some decent looking hub gear bikes:

    https://www.skeppshult.se/sv/cyklarna/ma­n/elit-7/

  • That looks pretty neat. A pair of Berthoud mudguards and you're good to go.

  • ^ that is nice

  • Buy a regular bike and then convert it to an internal hub?

  • Maybe if I'd have the money and skills to do that :) I might consider it if I'd find a decent looking used bike, but even then buying the Alfine 8 and everything else is not cheap, not to mention the cost to install everything (I might try it myself first of course).

  • Yeah I've been checking out the Marin bikes (when I was a kid a spent all my savings on getting Marin Muirwoods) but I really don't like how the frames look like. I'm picky, I know :)

  • I might consider this, if I could find it used or with like 40% sale. It's a beauty.

    Pashley Coutryman

    Might even make an exception and not get a flat bar, if I could get this with decent price:

    Pashley Pathfinder Trail:

  • OMG this is such a beauty, put Alfine 8 here (and maybe disk brakes) and I have found what I'm looking for:

    Bombtrack Oxbridge Singlespeed Roadbike

  • "Bombtrack" always makes me think "bumcrack". I have no opinion about the bikes, never having seen or ridden one.

  • You are from Finnland? Take a look at Pelagos offerings. Ticks all the boxes.
    Steel,clean classic esthetics, hub gears, more affordable then some others and they are from Finnland.
    https://www.pelagobicycles.com/bicycles/­hankocommuter.html

  • The Alfine 8 speed is a pretty good option (it’s no rohloff but it’s smooth and reliable - don’t believe the promo stuff - you’re best off pausing pedalling when you change gear). Alfine 11 is poor and nexus 8 are a bit crap. Nexus 7 is pretty good, but you’re better off coughing up for the Alfine 8. Sturmey archer 3 is effective and serviceable, sturmey 5 is shit and sturmey 8 is reliable but agricultural.

    I bought a commuter with a premium nexus and was unimpressed - ended up putting a derailleur on with a dropout adapter.

    Are you sure you want a hub gear? 1x10 and a regular wipe down of the chain is a much better option ime.

  • Maybe if I'd have the money and skills to do that :)

    It's unbelievably easy if you buy a pre-built wheel from somewhere like Taylors wheels. https://www.taylor-wheels.com/bike-wheel­s/28-inch-bike-wheel/28-inch-rear-wheels­/?laufrad_hr_nabe=327

    it is literally just a wheel and shifter change, then adjust the chain. (Ok if you have a double or triple crankset you might want to swap that out as well)

    This is my husband's 1998 steel mtb converted to hub gear. This one is not a beauty I know, but shows it can be done as a straight switch. https://www.lfgss.com/comments/14255088/­

    Belt drive is not simple, but just IGH is probably the easiest switch you can make.

  • Just a thought. Would IGH oil/grease gum up or solidify in Finnish winter conditions?

    P.S. The Pashleys above weren't far off what I was on about.

  • Not sure if I will ride all year round, I mean you have to have studded tires when there's snow on the ground, and I am not a fan of riding when it's -20 celcius outside :) And yes the bike you linked wasn't that far off.

  • Thanks! I actually might consider this.

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Beautiful hub gear commuters, do they exist?

Posted by Avatar for The_Finnisher @The_Finnisher

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