IGH Gear Ranges

The following table compares the gear ranges of popular internal gear hubs to a typical 11-28T 9-speed rear cassette.

Hub Range Gears
*9-spd Cassette (11-28T) 255% 9
Rohloff Speedhub 526% 14
SRAM i-Motion 9 340% 9
Shimano Alfine/Nexus 8-speed 307% 8
Sturmey Archer 5-speed 225% 5
SRAM i-motion 3 186% 3
Sturmey Archer 3-speed 177% 3

A gear range represents the difference between the lowest and the highest gears within a drivetrain. To use the Rohloff’s 526% gear range as an example, the highest gear is 5.26 times greater than the lowest gear.

*The cassette range shown is for a rear cassette only. A double or triple crank increases the range of a derailleur drivetrain. A typical triple chainring/cassette drivetrain has a range similar to the Rohloff.

8 Responses to “IGH Gear Ranges”

  • clever-title says:

    Does anyone have experience with the Sturmey Archer S80 8-speed IGH? Is it as reliable as the Shimano products?

    Also, Hubstripping did an IGH review a few years ago and posted it at http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/internal-gear-hub-review/

  • electric says:

    I see a lot of ratios for those IGHs but, I want to find some real-world results regarding durability. These are particularly expensive pieces of hardware and before i ‘d invest in one for winter commuting(salty slush and -10F temperatures) i need to see evidence it will go the distance without causing me headaches to repair(compared to a simple freehub servicing these things are quite complicated).

  • Mike Flanigan says:

    I have been testing out the Sturmey Archer 8 speed [drum brake model] hub for a week now and really like it a lot. I was hesitant to try it, because of the negative reveiw I had seen on Hub Stripping and the unusual gear range…but now after riding it i think it is my favorite hub! However I do need to get some real miles on it. One thing I really like about it is that it freewheels very well. All other internal gear hubs tend to just slow down wheel freewheeling. The shifting is very crisp and it always feels fully engaged. The only thing I do not like is that you have to shift while coasting or at a stand still. The Shimano hub and the Rohloff you can shift while pedaling too.

  • Alan says:


    The Rohloff Speedhub is well-proven in the type of conditions you’re describing.


  • Alan says:


    Thanks for the report, Mike – I’ve been curious about the 8-speed SA. I’ve been riding the 5-speed SA for a year and it’s been OK if not a little underwhelming after riding the Alfine and i-Motion 9.


  • John says:


    I ride my Nexus 8 every day of the year in Portland (which sees 190 days of rain per year). I only put it away when I switched to my old mountain bike with studded tires during this last winter’s “Snowpocalypse.” But that had nothing to do with protecting the hub (would have preferred it in the slush) but that I wanted the big nobby and studded tires of my mt. bike.

  • Tihamér says:

    I have a Nexus hub in my Alleweder velmobile, against everyones advice. They told me that the hub was rubbish, would not last long and isn’t strong enough. Thus far I I have + 26,000 miles with it without any failure. Good enough for me !

  • Mohjho says:

    Maybe you should add a price per gear column.

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