I had to take back my work stand and work time for a couple of nights to get my commuterized Scattante XRL cross bike back in action. It was a simple rim transplant, but had to be done. Meanwhile, The good road bike needs a serious cleaning after being pressed into utility use for two consecutive weeks. The shop is a mess, which is my own fault but is still a hindrance. Meanwhile my dad's "old enough to have a lugged frame" Trek 930 has rolled into the shop for a fork transplant. More on that later. Anyway, with the cobbler's children shod for the time being, I can get back to the fun stuff, soon.
When I tell people about Dan's project, I get a lot of questions about the Nuvinci Hub. Mostly, what is it, why would you want one, and how does it work? So here goes:
What is it?
The Nuvinci hub is a rear hub for a bicycle that contains a transmission inside. Unlike all other internal-transmission hubs, though, the Nuvinci is constantly variable. So, while hubs are available with three, five, eight nine and even fourteen (!) "speeds," the Nuvinci has an infinite number of gear ratios.
Why would you want one?
For a lot of the same reasons you might want any other internally geared hub. It cleans up the look of the bicycle, there is no need for a chain tensioner, and since all the shifty bits are inside, they are not subject to wear from moisture, grit, and lubricant loss. Internal hubs also allow you to shift the bike even when you are not pedaling. Anybody who has stopped for a red light only to stomp and grind when it was time to go again because they forgot to shift before stopping knows why this might be an advantage. With the Nuvinci, you get the added bonus of infinitely adjustable gear ratios, no "clicks" between "gears" and the all-important "coolness factor" of having something on your bike that almost nobody else has.
How does it work?
This is where I really falter in the conversation, usually I say something about large ball bearings, (It's all ball bearings these days...) angles, and viscous non-newtonian fluids and then people kind of go blank. If only I had this video with me to help explain:
Well, next time I should have an update on the progress of our actual bike, so stay tuned, and have a great long weekend.