Shameless self-aggrandising but just arrived home from a bike tour of “Holland” with wife and 2 small children
We have a electric cargo bike the R&M Load 75 for my partners’ use with children and mostly used trekkers huts which are like glamping. Mostly fine accept child 2 (4 months old) struggled some nights in a small space waking everyone or needing to be taken away…and our cargo bike belt (modern chain) snapped; this is so rare that they basically aren’t available - far from I’m our return port!
We’re big fans of Not Just Bikes so were commenting on all sorts of infra of course
Done a couple of tours now (the other without children) and the worst/hardest part is setting off - finding which parts of your bike don’t work well or what isn’t tied down properly. This is usually ‘solved’ by the time you first interact with public transport on the way out. Do it.
A review, and bit of an overview, of internal hub gears Shimano vs Rohloff:
I’m sure these are not all that new, but as someone who hasn’t owned a bike in nearly 2 decades I was intrigued hearing about their pros and cons. Bicycle derailleur gear systems seem RIPE for a viable alternative. Especially as electric bikes become more widespread. He also has a review of another alternative gear system:
The biggest reason for the internal-gearing vs. derailleurs is in the screenshot of the second video: belt drives. They can’t use derailleurs, and if you’re a fan of low-maintenance drive-trains, belts are a pretty good option.
I thought I knew about internal gearhubs, but I learned some things in that first video. I had no idea that they had one that was compatible with Di2. That’s a huge deal.
My road bike I think is definitely going to be staying with a derailleur, but my touring/commuting/beach bike came with a SRAM drive train and mechanical disk brakes that are perfectly fine, but I’ve never been completely happy with them. When they wear out I would strongly consider that 11 speed hub, belt drive, digital shifting, hydraulic brake combination. The only real downside is that swapping in that hub isn’t so easy as I would need new wheels, or at least a rebuild on the rear wheel.
I don’t think I’d like a mountain bike with the rear suspension pivot point in the middle of the front crank. But I can’t explain why without a full essay on bike geometry.
A derailleur takes up the slack with both different gears AND the change in suspension of a mountain bike, and this belt drive and gearbox combo only solves this problem by messing with the bike geometry and making it shit.
Might be good for a hardtail mountain bike though.
I was just thinking about the screenshot, not the video itself. I think you can’t actually have it with the rear pivot for that exact reason, the frame needs to be rigid.
My primary bike is a commuting machine, so I’m probably the opposite of a lot of American cyclists. I don’t care about a road bike or a mountain bike. Give me a stable frame that’s low maintenance that can carry as much weight as possible. I’ve got the 12-speed pinion hub, rack, fenders, and dynamo lights. All things that are probably not common outside of Europe and possibly some more dedicated bike stores in bigger cities.
And it’s hard to swap from one style of drive train to another. If you need to go belt drive, you need a frame that can split so you can mount the belt. It’s more than just rebuilding a wheel, it would take a machine shop to do frame work.
The video shows versions with a gear box and rear suspension with a good pivot point, but that requires a chain tensioner, and they only work with chains, not with belts. That was my main point. Belt instead of chains is good only for hardtail bikes, not modern rear suspension bikes.
I have two bikes, my mounts bike and my city bike. One has derailleur gears and the other has a internal hub gearing. I love them both for their different strengths, and would hate a mtb with a hub gear and I’d hate a city bike with a derailleur.