New 9 Speed Internally Geared Hub with 554 Gear Range

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
An established German manufacturer since 1903 is now making an internally geared hub with a wide range, fewer gear (nine) that can handle up to 250 Newton Meters of torque. It will be available first on OEM bike with Nicolai currently offering bikes with the new hub. It will eventually be available after market. The hub is grease packed rather than oil bath making it maintenance free for life. It is available with either a twist shift cable shifter or a wireless electronic shifter. At 2 Kilograms it is heavier than most but again so robust that it can handle almost twice the torque.

 
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e-boy

Well-Known Member
Maximum input torque: 250 Nm

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Ken M

Well-Known Member
Half the range is under-drive so that means to have reasonable cadence above 20mph the belt drive sprockets will have to be sized to gear up the ratio which reduces the transmitted torque to thepi rear wheel. When you have a powerful mid-drive motor like the Bafang Ultra it's hard to image ever needing any under-drive gear ratios so don't get too carried away with the total range claim of 554%.

Note: I know someone with a Reise & Muller with a 250W Bosch mid-drive that he uses for urban riding and he says he never uses below 8th gear which is a solid tell that under-drive ratios are not of much use unless doing some serious climbing even with a typical mid drive much less a Bafang Ultra.

Also grease packing is not as good as an oil bath for lubrication. Does anyone know of an automobile with grease lubrication of the transmission?

I not trying to say it's a bad product but there is some room for a better solution for high powered mid-drives for urban mobility use.
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Half the range is under-drive so that means to have reasonable cadence above 20mph the belt drive sprockets will have to be sized to gear up the ratio which reduces the transmitted torque to thepi rear wheel. When you have a powerful mid-drive motor like the Bafang Ultra it's hard to image ever needing any under-drive gear ratios so don't get too carried away with the total range claim of 554%.

Note: I know someone with a Reise & Muller with a 250W Bosch mid-drive that he uses for urban riding and he says he never uses below 8th gear which is a solid tell that under-drive ratios are not of much use unless doing some serious climbing even with a typical mid drive much less a Bafang Ultra.

Also grease packing is not as good as an oil bath for lubrication. Does anyone know of an automobile with grease lubrication of the transmission?

I not trying to say it's a bad product but there is some room for a better solution for high powered mid-drives for urban mobility use.
I live in an area the is quite hilly but also near a broad agricultural river valley with miles and miles of flat riding. We also have the Cascade Mountains within 15-25 miles of our shoreside town. I have owned several bikes with Bosch motors and Rohloff hubs and have made good use of the full range of gears, 1-14.

Having fewer gears with a broader gear range sounds like a winner to me, at least living in an area that will utilize the full range but not needing the finer increments of a 14 speed, which is more suited to a non ebike. I could definitely see this as an improvement over the Enviolo 380 on my Evelo Omega with the Enviolo hub's lower efficiency. Although the lower efficiency of the Enviolo is not so much of a ride factor with a powerful motor, I am sure it would have a significant impact on battery range which could be improved with the 3x3 which appears to have an efficiency matching that of Rohloff.

I am curious as to whether @Ravi Kempaiah at Zen bikes has been evaluating this new hub and what thoughts he may have on it. If Nicolai has bikes coming out for 2023 using this hub, we will soon know more about just how good they are.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I like to spin and I would be afraid of not finding the right gear for the road. on our tandem this is a real Ouse the last three gears its hard to find exactly the right one with our cadence.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
I like to spin and I would be afraid of not finding the right gear for the road. on our tandem this is a real Ouse the last three gears its hard to find exactly the right one with our cadence.
If you have enough motor power the ideal cadence becomes a much wider range.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
If you have enough motor power the ideal cadence becomes a much wider range.
no then you may have to go faster or slower to get your cadence then you want to. its not usually about power. smaller spacing makes things smoother and more flexible. I don't want lots of power.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
no then you may have to go faster or slower to get your cadence then you want to. its not usually about power. smaller spacing makes things smoother and more flexible. I don't want lots of power.
I understand. If the priority is rider power input the gear spacing is very important. But lets say you have a 160nm Bafang Ultra mid-drive ebike with a throttle. I would say that gear spacing at 100% (ie 1;1 to 1:2 to 1:4 3 speed) would be fine. You could cadence to 80rpm then shift to second gear and your cadence would drop down to 40rpm but inherently you would just add a bit more power via the throttle to get back to your desired cadence. To go faster you would again pedal to 80rpm and shift into 3rd gear and then that would be 400% above unity 1:1 so you would have reasonable cadence to 28mph. I do believe in the rider contributing power but in reality above 20mph for most riders the motor will be doing the bulk of the work and on an ebike that is not a bad thing (they are still more efficient than a non-ebike given the calories consumed if you consider all the elements to efficiency). Rider can very easily get a bike to say 15mph with only 2 gears so the 100% jump to 1:4 in 3rd would put more emphasis on the motor's capability. You could still tweak the actual speed / cadence via the belt drive but the 100% gear jumps would be static via the IGH.
 

Rás Cnoic

Well-Known Member
no then you may have to go faster or slower to get your cadence then you want to. its not usually about power. smaller spacing makes things smoother and more flexible. I don't want lots of power.
Alee from Cycling About discusses the cadence issue in his look at a number of new gear boxes for bikes. Mentions that the triple 9 with its bigger gaps being better suited to eBikes.

 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
I haven't put a lot of miles on my Watts Wagon Hydra, which came with the Kindernay V11 geared hub, but so far I haven't felt I needed more gears. MInd you, I probably wouldn't want this setup on my carbon road bike.
The 3x3 Nine looks very interesting, but it won't be available until sometime in 2023.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Alee from Cycling About discusses the cadence issue in his look at a number of new gear boxes for bikes. Mentions that the triple 9 with its bigger gaps being better suited to eBikes.

Given that most electric cars only have one gear (direct drive) the gearing on a powerful ebike become more about allowing reasonable cadence for the rider over the entire use speed range in my opinion. Optimize cadence for efficiency is way less important but keeping the rider able to input power keeps it a bike objectively.

Rad's first edition of the Rad Runner was a single speed model and it didn't have a motor anywhere near as powerful as the Bafang Ultra and yet it was viewed as acceptable for most riding. The did release a version with a rear derailleur as well.
 

Marcela

Well-Known Member
I have both a 9 spd and an 11 spd on Specialized ebike. I really liked the 11 spd and never had experience with the 9 until I changed one of them. I prefer the 9, less shifting and as someone said, my cadence preference expanded.

Re oil bath or grease, I had a 3 point brushcutter on a tractor that wouldn't hold oil. I filled the differential that drives the blade with grease and never had a problem. One of the tractors also had an oil bath gear drive above the front wheels for steering. Wouldn't hold oil so filled it will grease, no problems. There are also different grades of grease, some really hard and some runny.