NuVinci’s new N360 takes their original planetary gear hubs and drops three to four pounds depending on the model, coming in at about 5.4 pounds. That’s still a little heavier than Shimano’s Nexus hubs, but close, and the real difference is in the ride quality.
The planetary gear design allows for an infinite range of gears between their highest and lowest setting, there are no predefined gear ratios. This means the shifting action is smooth as butter (we’ve ridden them around on various occasions) and can be set exactly to the effort level desired. The other benefit is it can be shifted while standing still, like at a traffic light.
Internally, they’ve redesigned the amount of cable pull required to shift through the range, reducing it from 1.5 turns of the shifter to 0.75.
The weight savings comes from a better look at the power actually generated by riders and motorized e-bikes. The original designs were “way over built and were even being used on two stroke scooters,” says Kim Merrill, NuVinci’s PR manager. The new model is designed specifically for bicycles.
It’s available now for $399 for disc, rim or roller brake models. It should also be popping up on commuter bikes from Novara, Breezer and Jamis. Also, because it’s so much lighter, even Dahon is spec’ing it on their folding bikes that are designed to be carried up stairs.