Derailleur or Internal?

So, I'm looking at buying a Rover as my first trike, and the options are either a traditional derailleur or the internal hub shifter thingy.  I was wondering what the pros & cons of both are?  My experience is limited to traditional derailleurs on two wheelers, and an 11 mile test drive on an internal hub Rover.  The only issue I had on that Rover was at the turn around point, I shifted down to 1st gear, and it would not shift out of 1st.  The shop owner had to come fix it before I could continue my ride.

Thank you for your input!

-Sean

Comments

  • Internal is simple to use and clean, but a little tough to fix. Also all internals are not created equal. Even Rover may have different brands I am told- Shimano and SRam apparently better (but supply is limited) than Sturmey Archer -sp, I went with an 8 spd external as it is cheaper -200-300 bucks and I understand how it works and how to service. Check my blog if you want to follow or laughmy experience. I have extensive  experience w my Rover- a whole two weeks and 300km  http://bentonabudget.blogspot.com/
  • I have the Rover with the NuVinci hub. I like that it's easy to operate and you can shift it on the move or standing still. There was a learning curve I had to go through when I first got the trike, but now I think I have it pretty well figured out. I am also having a Schlumpf HSD installed to increase the gear range.
  • I have a Rover 8 with an internal hub.  The only issue I had was one time it would not move to the higher gears.  I found out I had a broken cable.  Once replace, I have not had any problems.

    I would have bought an external if it were available.  I, too, understand how a derailleur works and would have loved to pay the lower price.  But, I don't remember seeing the external on the website and was not offered that option when I went to the lbs to try one and order it.

    My main concern is I don't know how the internal gears work.  But, I'm getting well known at the lbs so, I'm sure they can fix any problem. 

    Look at the picture of the Rover with external gears on this website.  If the mechanism hanging down that far is not a problem, go for it!
  • I collect and restore vintage British bicycles for a hobby, some with derailleurs, most with internally geared hubs. I prefer the IGH bikes as they are in fact more durable and easier to work on. IGH bikes have been around for over a hundred years and are built to last. Stop for a moment and consider this; the driving mechanisms on internal geared hubs are totally protected from the elements and from objects that could cause damage. Derailleurs, on the other hand, are completely exposed to the elements and can easily be damaged through falls onto rocks, curbs or pavement as well as through collisions. And yes, people can and have tipped over on trikes. Another factor to consider is the possibility of missed shifts and the chain coming off of the gears with derailleurs. Oh, I actually own a TT Path with a S/A 8 speed internal hub and I love it.

    Just my two cents.



  • I stopped during my ride yesterday to get a drink of water.  Because the drink holder is so far up on the bike, (I wish they had mounted it near the crossbar) I have to stop and take my feet off the pedals to bend forward to reach it.  Suddenly, I was thinking about how I would have had to gear down before stopping if I did not have a Rover 8 with internal gears.  I normally must drop a few gears to start up again.

    I'm liking internal gears more every day!
  • I have a Rover which originally had the Sram G8 internally geared hub, now discontinued by Sram. The G8 was unreliable from the start, and difficult and time-consuming to repair. It had several critical plastic parts, including the gearchange mech fitted to the side of the hub, which were not fit for long-distance or off-road riding. Failure of an IGH will surely cause a big problem for any rider who is far away from a bike shop! They are built like a watch, with many tiny parts, and the G8 was not properly sealed against mud, dust etc.

    I have now converted my Rover back to the old-style derailleur, because I can carry a few simple tools and spares and fix it myself. After this experience I would certainly not use an IGH for long-distance travel in remote places!
    Martin (based in the UK)
  • MartinC wrote: »
    I have a Rover which originally had the Sram G8 internally geared hub, now discontinued by Sram. The G8 was unreliable from the start, and difficult and time-consuming to repair. It had several critical plastic parts, including the gearchange mech fitted to the side of the hub, which were not fit for long-distance or off-road riding. Failure of an IGH will surely cause a big problem for any rider who is far away from a bike shop! They are built like a watch, with many tiny parts, and the G8 was not properly sealed against mud, dust etc.

    I have now converted my Rover back to the old-style derailleur, because I can carry a few simple tools and spares and fix it myself. After this experience I would certainly not use an IGH for long-distance travel in remote places!
    Martin (based in the UK)

    My hubby and I have been bike riders for over 35 years. Our mountain bikes have been abused unmercifully, road bikes not so much. That being said we did not consider any other option than the derailer. Easy to work on ourselves saving us $$ by working on them ourselves. This is not comparing apples
  • MartinC wrote: »
    I have a Rover which originally had the Sram G8 internally geared hub, now discontinued by Sram. The G8 was unreliable from the start, and difficult and time-consuming to repair. It had several critical plastic parts, including the gearchange mech fitted to the side of the hub, which were not fit for long-distance or off-road riding. Failure of an IGH will surely cause a big problem for any rider who is far away from a bike shop! They are built like a watch, with many tiny parts, and the G8 was not properly sealed against mud, dust etc.

    I have now converted my Rover back to the old-style derailleur, because I can carry a few simple tools and spares and fix it myself. After this experience I would certainly not use an IGH for long-distance travel in remote places!
    Martin (based in the UK)

    My hubby and I have been bike riders for over 35 years. Our mountain bikes have been abused unmercifully, road bikes not so much. That being said we did not consider any other option than the derailer. Easy to work on ourselves saving us $$ by working on them ourselves. This is not comparing apples

    I must have cut off my post, basically stating that if you have the bike mechanic experience the derailer, at least for us was our best option, been out on trails too many times with the need to pull out the tool bag. Personal choice. Happy Trails & some of us like to start simple & tinker LOL
  • Both the derailleur and internal drives can break. In most cases the derailleur with be easier and less expensive to repair.
  • With 20" wheels, plenty of rear and front gears, they have to use a "long cage" derailleur (really a standard derailleur) which in turn means that the bottom wheel and chain can be as close as 1" to the ground. I found this worrying, as sticks on the road, rocks, etc can easily be large enough to hit it.

    Obviously with 24" or even 26" wheels, this isn't an issue. But the "standard trike" size 20", it worries me.
  • TCEd wrote: »
    In most cases the derailleur with be easier and less expensive to repair.

    Do agree there. Especially if your IGH (Internally Geared Hub) gets discontinued...

    ¬ ITL
  • We have only had internally geared hub trikes, and, years-ago on bicycles- dérailleurs. Currently we have one 8-speed Nexus, one 8-speed Sram (discontinued), one CVT NuVinci 380, and one 14-speed Rohloff. Knock on wood, in three years of fairly, heavy, hard riding, we have had zero problems.

    In all fairness, while we still use the Nexus on the Rover w/BBSHD, and, only since the beginning of this year, both, the Rohloff, and the NuVinci. The Sram sits laced to a 20" wheel & tire in reserve.

    We have every reason to believe the Rohloff will likely never fail while we are alive, as long as it is properly maintained and regularly (once a year). The Nexus continues to perform without a hickup, and has roughly 2,000 miles in the three years I've owned it- half of that with the motor (w/gear and break sensors). The NuVinci is unlikely to ever be abused by Nancy, and we will likely continue to get them serviced annually by the lbs. Hopefully it will work flawlessly for years to come.

    There is no doubt that an IGH will both cost more to purchase and to fix, if, and when, it's needed. I've read and been told the best of the IGH's typically run flawlessly for thousands of miles when properly used and maintained. I tinker less and less each passing year, we prefer to pay the trusted lbs experts at Spin, our lbs, to keep the hubs working without issue. So far so good.
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