Since there seems to be a lot of Interest in my German Review of the NuVinci Hub, I have made the effort and translated it to English. I hope it's understandable..
Great! I have finally received a sample of the ATC NuVinci Hub from the first Production. Now I can test the Hub on one of our Bikes!
We assembled the Hub on one of our Bikes, called wegwärts sport. This Bike is normally equipped with Shimano Nexus Inter8 Premium and BR-IM70 Rollerbrakes. (The ATC NuVinci Hub is compatible with Shimano Rollerbrakes and Disc Brakes)
The look of the Hub is not very exotic and won’t catch much attention. It is slightly larger then an ordinary internal gear hub. It blends in with the rest of the Bike perfectly well.
If you turn the shifter when the bike is still there is hardly any resistance. One starts wondering if there is really something happening “down there”. The shifter is pretty and has a neat Gear.. well.. Transmission-Display. If you are in small „Gears“ the orange Plastic line is pushed to the left and will look like the symbol of a big hill to climb. If you turn the other way, the Plastic line is stretched and the “hill” disappears. Someone has really given this some thought!
The area around us ( Central Switzerland, just before the alps ) is perfect for a test drive of the NuVinci. There is a nice Panorama of the Alps and some rolling hills to try the different transmission ratios of the Hub:
Once you ride the Bike it takes some getting used to having to turn the shifter much more then on a Shimano or Sram Hub. To shift the full range you have about 3 times more way ( don’t know if this is understandable in English.. ). However, once you ride the bike for a while it makes perfect sense, since it will allow you to adjust your ratio very accurate.
If you have load on the Hub the resistance on the shifter will become a little more. Not dramatically, but enough so that I think you will get used to taking a little load of the Pedals when shifting to have this ultra-smooth shifting experience. The Hub still shifts well under full load. There is no noise, a truly seamless shifting process! It still amazes me!
Die Transmission feels very direct. The efficiency of about 97% feels about accurate. Theoretically there is a slight decline in efficiency going away from the middle section. However, I can’t say that I could feel a difference.
On longer climbs the Hub is a great advantage. If the climb changes slightly you can adjust your ratio to exactly the right level, so that you can keep pedaling like before. The slightly bigger range compared to Shimano Nexus ( 307% and SRAM iMotion 340% ) comes in handy. However, the setup with a 38T Chainring on the testbike was a bit too big, i think that using a 33T Chainring would be better. Or we will change the Sprocket in the rear, so we can still use the Hebie Chainglider! It would also be a great option to use the Schlumpf Speed Drive and therefore get a Range of 577% with no gear restrictions at all! (350% * 1.65m )
I will try to get as many different riders on the Bikes as possible to get some more Feedback. Also we will try to get some Mileage on the Hub to see how it holds. I can say though, that I have no doubts about the Quality of the Hub. If Winter finally arrives in Switzerland we can also see how the Hub rides in extreme cold.
The way things are developing I am hoping to be able to present a simpel.ch NuVinci Bike in March that will be available in May. I am really looking forward to that!