How does a Hub Gear work?
In a Hub Gear, small pinions mesh together to rotate the rear wheel at a different speed from the sprocket. Essentially, this means that the entire gear system is enclosed within a sealed casing, protecting it from the elements and any general wear-and-tear, while providing the same function a derailleur. Within the Bafang 3-speed automatic gear hub this process is automatic, intelligently switching mode based on a rider’s speed.
What are the main benefits of a Hub Gear?
A key benefit of a Hub Gear is the ability to build bikes around one chainring and sprocket. This creates one constant chain line, increasing durability thanks to reduced chain twisting. This also allows additional modifications like a protective chain case or even the incorporation of alternate technology such as a belt drive. The Gates Carbon Belt Drive is one such piece of technology, offering twice the lifetime of a regular chain with a fraction of the maintenance. Check out Bafang’s recent joint event with Gates, here.
Also of benefit to riders is the simplicity of installed Hub Gears. By shifting many moving parts into a sealed casing, the reliability of the mechanism improves. No matter how much mud or debris you and your bike take on, the gear-system will remain isolated and protected, both from the elements and from accidental knocks and scrapes.
For daily commuters, this removes much of the maintenance burden and allows easier uptake of a cycling lifestyle. Plus, the most commonly occurring issue when using a gear-hub will relate directly to cable tension, an issue that is relatively simple to adjust at home (unlike fine-tuning a derailleur).
Only one gear shifter is required with standard Hub Gears, removing much of the complexity associated with derailleur systems, which further improves accessibility to problem-free cycling. Say goodbye to crossover or duplicate gears! Clearly, to those wishing for a hassle-free ride, a Hub Gear offers many advantages.