NuVinci N360

NuVinci’s new N360 CVP hub is due to debut at The Bicycle Show in Portland, Oregon this weekend. NuVinci lists the following improvements over their original model N170 hub:

  • Lighter Weight: Over 30% Lighter
  • Smaller Size: 17% Smaller Diameter
  • Wider Ratio Range: 360% “Gear-Free” Shifting
  • Easier Shift Effort: Even Under Load
  • Less Shifter Rotation: 3/4 Turn from Low to High
  • New, Sleek Shifter: More Intuitive; Easier Twist Adjustment

The sheer bulk of the original hub turned off a lot of people. This is still a big, heavy hub (5.4 lbs.), but it’s within a more realistic range for commuter bikes now. In my opinion, one of the most important improvements is the shorter throw on the shifter, which in the past was ridiculously long. I’m looking forward to learning more about this hub once it’s out in the wild.

N360 Datasheet [PDF] →
Fallbrook/NuVinci

18 Responses to “NuVinci N360”

  • Dolan Halbrook says:

    Still a neat concept, but yeah, IMHO needs a few more iterations to truly be competitive with the major players, unless the price is absurdly low.

  • bongobike says:

    I tried one of the original models in Austin several years ago and was impressed with the smoothness and the gear range. But yes, it was a hog! I’m glad they are refining it.

  • Rick says:

    I’m glad they’re refining it as well, but I can’t see the need for one–if it’s performance in a non-derailleur you want, then the Shimano 11 speed (that’ll be coming to our shores soon) will do the trick at 40% less weight; if you can shift using a derailleur, there’s examples galore of the utility of such a system; but this, it just reminds me of an example of a solution to a problem that one one is complaining about… but I could be wrong. :-)

  • Alan says:

    I too had the feeling the N170 was a solution looking for a problem. Perhaps this new hub will be more appealing with the shorter throw and lighter weight.

  • David says:

    Really slick engineering concept, but this technology is begging for a closed loop, where it’ll automatically maintain a fixed torque requirement on the engine (the biker in this case) no matter what the load on the vehicle. Without closing the loop with an automatic mechanism (e.g. force feedback from the cranks), it’s just a heavier way to shift gears and offers no real advantage over any other IGH.

  • joe says:

    Good point David. I was thinking along the same lines, just couldn’t put it to words. Guess thats why I’m not an engineer, lol. The smaller size is really a plus to me, almost as much as the lower weight and less shifter rotation. Well, rotation being a close second. The one thing that always turned me off the Nuvinci was its huge size.

  • jdmitch says:

    From a performance point of view, yeah, David’s right the Nuvinci CVT won’t be a killer until feedback control is incorporated. However, from a transportation / cargo point of view, this rocks all other IGHs. Even before this update, I was not looking at anything else for when I have my dream family bike built. This update just makes it all the nicer.

  • Erik Sandblom says:

    Velovision did an article about hub gears where they said that the NuVinci was one of the few hubs being rated for tandems and cargo bikes. These bikes use low gears and thus put a lot of torque on the hub. The other cargo-rated hubs were the Rohloff and one of Sram’s five-speed hubs, iirc.

    Is the new N360 also cargo-rated?

  • James from Organic Bikes says:

    Organic Bikes is putting the new hub on several of our upcoming models. The price has come down quite a bit and with the added weight savings it is really a great hub at a great price.
    In all honesty I feel like you have to ride one of these hubs in order to truly appreciate it. For our customers the thing we like the best is the intuitive way the shifter works. People don’t have to sort through any shifting points or clicks- they just move the shifter till their cadence feels right. The newer version of the shifter has a shorter throw and can be shifted under torque. NuVinci also has a booth set up here in Milwaukee this weekend at the Bike Expo and has received a lot of positive feedback from the general public. If you are near Milwaukee come down and try out the new hub for yourself (http://bikeexposale.com/).

  • Alan says:

    @James

    Thanks for the input. I’m curious to give one a try. There were some appealing aspects to the first generation model, though overall I couldn’t see myself putting one on one of my bikes. Now that it’s lighter and the shifter throw sounds as if it’s more useable, I could see speccing one an a commuter or especially a cargo bike.

    Alan

  • Doug R. says:

    The correct answer for the problem is : Alfine 11! Rick nailed it! I am a derailleur man by nature, but the one half the weight and 11 gears idea makes me at least want to try one out!

    Alan, when do you get one to test? Dougman

  • jdmitch says:

    Erik, you’ve got a good point. I can’t find torque specs on the N360 datasheets. However I think the sprocket ratio limits are similar to the N170. I do remember that the N170 torque specs weren’t on the datasheets either. They were someplace else and were SIGNIFICANTLY higher than the rohloff or even the SRAM P5 Cargo.

    Ideally I’d love a Alfine 11 for personal and N360 for family. Kind of like having a fun car AND a minivan;)

  • David says:

    Good point about the Nuvinci’s high torque tolerance for cargo or tandem applications, I hadn’t considered that. Where I really think it’d shine though is in electric drive applications, where you want to keep a steady, high torque on the motor regardless of terrain or speed.

  • AdamM says:

    This is a great development of an interesting hub. I can’t wait to get an Alfine 11 in my Singular Peregrine for the perfect all weather commuting/light touring set up (IGH, disc brakes, rack).

    I am also really keen to get a cargo bike set up one day, maybe by bolting an Xtracycle into my MTB, and the NuVinci might be the way to go for that if the price is competitive. Although, people have been doing all sorts of things with existing Alfine hubs that they aren’t ‘rated’ for and the hubs are surviving just fine.

  • louis says:

    Re: cargo specs..

    Lots of people (including me) run regular Shimano Nexus 8 hubs on bakfietsen. We’ve never had a problem & I haven’t heard of others either. That said, we tend to carry bulky (or squirmy-(-kids)) cargo rather than heavy cargo. I’ll bet that we’ve only gone over 100lbs a few times.

  • AdamM says:

    “I’ll bet that we’ve only gone over 100lbs a few times.”

    I’ll bet that’s probably the norm for most people with cargo bikes!

  • beth h says:

    NOTE: Speaking for myself here, and NOT representing the views of my co-workers.

    I tried Version 1.0 last week. I tried Version 2.0 yesterday at the Pedal Nation bike show in Portland. While the technology is fascinating, it’s still not only a heavy hub, but an expensive one. Perhaps the average bike rider who frequents this site spends more money on a bike or components than most of my customers do, but the fact remains that I would feel almost sheepish inviting a typical customer at our shop to install a $300 IGH system on a $485 bike, especially when we sell more $485 bikes than $1500 bikes by far.

    To put this into a different perspective, I can get a broader range of gearing by installing a traditional triple crank and derailleurs on my mountain bike frame — and the savings in both weight and cost are just too significant to ignore, not just for me but for the majority of our customers who ride externally-geared bikes as affordable transportation.

    It’s fascinating technology, but at this point in its history it’s neither cost-effective nor light enough for the average bike rider on an hourly-wage kind of budget. It will be interesting to see where the development of this kind of system goes in the next five years.

  • Erik Sandblom says:

    A friend of mine has a Nihola with Schlumpf drive and Sram 7 internal gear hub. The IGH kept breaking, so now he has a derailer with a hub electric motor instead. The Schlumpf is still there.

    I guess if you don’t have a Schlumpf, an average IGH is sufficiently robust.

 
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