Trying to not break my Nuvinci hub

BrockD

New Member
I recently bought my first eBike, an Origin 8 Crawler with a 36v 350w mid drive and Nuvinci N360. The N360 sprung a leak early on while climbing a very steep hill. A few rides later it broke while powering up a short but steep hill. Nuvinci sent me an N380 replacement. It also sprang a leak on a short but steep hill. I can't keep breaking these things. I am contemplating two opions: 1. Sell the N380 (the new one under warranty replacement) and install a cassette, or 2: Replace the front sprocket with a smaller (current is 6-inch I think) to make hill climbing easier. I really like the Nuvinci drive, but I'm concerned my area and terrain is too much. Will lowering the gear to make it easier to climb hills spare my next N380 replacement, or is this thing going to fail under pressure every time?
 

Al P

Active Member
After two broken hubs I would think it is definitely a case of too much strain on them. I use my N360 on hills all the time, but occasionally I have to gear down to avoid heavy strain. If you like the NuVinci like I do you should definitely replace it again and shift down if the hills are too steep.
 

BrockD

New Member
I'm using the lowest "gear" I can. This is a heavy fat tire bike on mountainous terrain. The inclines can get steep enough to require dismounting, but that was not the case with the n380. While I had to stand and pedal, I was able to power up the hill, but it sprang a leak. Might be a bit different than your riding. It's under warranty and will be, so I'll probably try replacing the front sprocket for a lower range. If it still fails, I'll have to replace it with a cassette.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I'm using the lowest "gear" I can. This is a heavy fat tire bike on mountainous terrain. The inclines can get steep enough to require dismounting, but that was not the case with the n380. While I had to stand and pedal, I was able to power up the hill, but it sprang a leak. Might be a bit different than your riding. It's under warranty and will be, so I'll probably try replacing the front sprocket for a lower range. If it still fails, I'll have to replace it with a cassette.

Troubling to hear of breaking Nuvinci hubs given that I have the N380. I have few hills in my area however. Sorry for my ignorance but when it starts leaking where does it leak from (ie center of the hub or side or a cable etc)? I haven't noticed any issues with mine but I'd like to know what to watch for. I only noted wishing I had more gear range for flats where I could get more MPH out of Eco mode. A bike shop employee asked me the other day if I "had noticed any skipping in the Nuvinci". I didn't really know what he was referring to by skipping (and thought maybe he meant to refer to the Gates belt or perhaps he meant to say "slipping" but he didn't clarify).
 

Al P

Active Member
I'm using the lowest "gear" I can. This is a heavy fat tire bike on mountainous terrain. The inclines can get steep enough to require dismounting, but that was not the case with the n380. While I had to stand and pedal, I was able to power up the hill, but it sprang a leak. Might be a bit different than your riding. It's under warranty and will be, so I'll probably try replacing the front sprocket for a lower range. If it still fails, I'll have to replace it with a cassette.
You must be riding extremely steep hills. I have never had to use the lowest gear ratio, and this is with a 250w motor on some fairly steep hills. When ascending hills, it is very difficult to gear down unless I stop pedaling. Are you sure you are gearing all the way down?

I have not experienced skipping.
 

flymeaway

Well-Known Member
or is this thing going to fail under pressure every time?
It's a little late in the game, but someone mentioned Rohloff Speedhub in a prior post and that really is the long term solution. I have three bikes (including a tandem) with the Rohloff installed, all driven with Bafang BBS02 750W mid-drives. My regular commuting bike has over 3,000 miles over the last year and the Rohloff IGH runs flawlessly. I also have an N360 on a BBS02 500W installed bike, and I haven't had any problems (yet) but I do tend to be much more attentive to the terrain and the gearing. Even though the Rohloff is very expensive, any mid-drive bike I build will have one installed.

Court J.
 

gumster

Member
Wondering: are the hub dimensions of the Nuvinci N380 and Rohloff such that one can (relatively) easily be substituted for the other? (new spokes, new gates belt, new cable routing, new switchgear...)
 

BrockD

New Member
Wondering: are the hub dimensions of the Nuvinci N380 and Rohloff such that one can (relatively) easily be substituted for the other? (new spokes, new gates belt, new cable routing, new switchgear...)
Rohloff is far too expensive. I sold my 380 system and replaced it with a 9 speed cassette. Much happier and only lost about $60 on the switch.
 

flymeaway

Well-Known Member
Wondering: are the hub dimensions of the Nuvinci N380 and Rohloff such that one can (relatively) easily be substituted for the other? (new spokes, new gates belt, new cable routing, new switchgear...)

Yes you will need all new components, the Nuvinci is a larger diameter. The Rohloff is an amazing hub, it has taken 3 years of my abuse on the bike I commute with and hasn't given me any trouble at all. I like the Nuvinci hub, it does what I expect, but I am more cautious about stress when I ride the bike with the Nuvinci. I "abuse" the Rohloff every ride and it works like the day I installed it. Yes, it is expensive, but it eliminates every problem that arise with conventional shift systems. One other advantage; you can use a heavy gauge chain for much longer chain life.

Court J.