Shiman Nexus Hub, Maintenance Free (i.e. don’t open it up!)
Lately, I have been having some vibration occurring when I pedaled faster on the highest gear. This was quite noticeable, like the wheel was out of round. I put the bike on the stand and started diagnosing the problem. Wheels were in round and the rims were true. Maybe it was an imbalance issue. I removed the wheels and gave the rims a fast spin and the vibration started creeping back up again. It only occurred while pedaling fast.
I decided to crack open the hub and inspect for damage. I following the hubstripping.com guidelines and got it stripped down. I noticed no damage except after one incident. A peculiar spring shot out from the cluth mechanism and slashed my fingertip! I have no idea how to put it (the spring, not my finger) back on after that. There are no instructions and it looks like you need a special tool.
In the meantime, I learned a few things about 8 speed gear hubs.
– They really are heavy!
– The have loads of gears spinning inside the hub. It makes it really apparent how much energy is lost compared to single speed or derailleurs. Spin the hub and watch the gears spinning fast in a sea of grease.
– They say they are low maintenance. That is great because I would probably want to buy a new one than ever work on is myself again. I consider myself fairly mechanically inclined, but working on that hub probably is similar to the latest Hubble space telescope repair mission!
– It is easy to disassemble the hub, but you need special tools to reassemble it.
Dont’ get me wrong, up to this point, I liked that hub. The shifting was outstanding and so smooth. I am debating getting an Alfine hub, which is an upgrade to the Nexus for $270.00 or possibly converting to a single speed or fixed gear.
UPDATE: I am taking a leap of faith and going fixed gear. Life is short. Why not explore the hype on my next short bike tour? I came across an ad in craigslist for a set of custom fixed gear swift folder wheels. Surly flip flop hub, 14t cog, black spokes. They should come in by Thursday and in time for the Spokane trip. I calculated a 5.2 gain ratio, which is about what most fixed gear swift folder riders are using at the moment.