A local Retro-Modern bike shop in West Seattle.    RideYourBike.com    

Internally Geared Hubs (IGH)

An internally geared hub with drum brake replaces many parts:

Aaron's Bicycle Repair, Inc. is committed to selling and servicing internally geared hubs and bikes so equipped.

Internal gears increase cycling enjoyment by solving several disadvantages of derailleur systems:

  • The chain does not fall off.
  • You can shift while stopped.
  • Simple linear shifting: Low through High.
  • Gears last longer because they are inside the hub.
  • A chain case can be used to protect the chain from the elements and clothing from the chain.
  • Back pedal brakes (coaster brakes) are an option, further simplifying the bike (no rear brake cable).
  • Clean look!


Bendix     NuVinci     Shimano     Sturmey-Archer     SRAM / Sachs     Rohloff     Schlumpf

Bikes we have built with internal gears.

Internal Gear Hub Service

If your LBS won't work on your hub, then we will.
Encouraging your LBS to fix your hub will encourage the bicycle industry to support parts and service.

Bike shops: scroll to the bottom of this page for our IGH Service Notes.

First, send an email to aaron@rideyourbike.com with pictures of your rear wheel (both sides, preferably on the bike). Include the make, model, date (if known), etc. We will get back to you with a yes or no answer as to if we can service your hub.

Labor is between $60 and $200 depending the model and condition of the hub. An old Sturmey-Archer AW 3 speed, for example, that has never been serviced or ridden much may still cost more since it takes extra time to clean the hardended grease off the internals.

Parts, return shipping and tax are extra. Tax is only charged on labor and shipping on out of state orders. Minimum charge is $30 examination charge plus return shipping if we cannot fix your hub. We cannot give you a comprehensive estimate until we see your hub and in many cases completely strip it. If your hub cannot be repaired due to excessive wear/corrosion/lack of parts availability or if you decide the repair is too expensive then your hub may be returned disassembled!

If possible do not send just the hub as some require the hub to be held by the spokes in a wheel to remove and adjust the internals. If you do not have your hub built into a wheel contact us first! Ship the wheel with the tire installed and inflated to 30-40 psi. Please include the hub end shift mechanism (indicator chain, bell crank, shift rods, cassette joint). Include all axle nuts and non-turn washers. You do NOT need to send us the shifter or SRAM click-box. Remove disc rotor. You may send for inspection it but it can get damaged if shipped installed.


Shipping Address:

Aaron's Bicycle Repair, Inc.
9988 15th Avenue SW, Suite E
Seattle, WA 98146

(206) 938-9795

(read carefully and follow instructions exactly)

Go to your LBS and ask for a one wheel box and plastic axle protectors. They will know what you are talking about. If you cannot find them, use blocks of wood with a 1/2" hole drilled in them. Secure them to the wheel as shown at right. DO NOT USE DUCT TAPE, use black electrical tape. If you use duct tape, then we will charge you $20 to remove it. It makes a mess is time consuming to remove from your spokes!

You are not packing fine dinnerware. Bubble wrap is a waste of money and offers no protection. If you use packing peanuts, then we will charge you $50 labor for chasing peanuts around our shop! Not only are sytrofoam peanuts environmentally unfriendly, and offer little protection, THEY MAKE A HUGE MESS IN OUR SHOP! If you like, use rolls of cardboard to fill in the spaces between your wheel and the box so the wheel does not flop around inside. There is no need to fill the entire box with peanuts or wadded paper.

Ship the wheel with the tire pumped to 30-40 psi (even if shipping airmail, it will not explode).
DO NOT SHIP WITH TIRE DEFLATED! An inflated tire will protect your rim better than any packaging.


Once we are done with your wheel, we will re-box it in the same box, so use a good box! New boxes cost $10. You will recieve an email with the invoice attached as a PDF file. It will contain payment links from Intuit Payment Network (a free payment service) and Paypal (5% Electronic Payment Fee).
The invoice will list the box weight and dimensions. Use your choice of shipping services and email us the shipping label as a PDF. Be sure to schedule a pick-up if you need your wheel fast, otherwise we will just wait until we see the carrier. UPS, FedEx and USPS drivers deliver to our shop every 2-3 days.

Finally, when you get your wheel or hub back, proper installation on the bike is required. Also, proper cable routing, installation and maintenance is necessary for a hub to shift properly. These two things are out of our control unless you bring us the entire bicycle!
We gurantee your hub will be properly cleaned, lubricated and will shift perfectly.
We strongly recommend you take it to a professional bike shop for installation and adjustment.

Internally Geared Hub Labor Rates

More Internal Geared Hub Info:

Internal Gear Hub Calculation Table   ( Google download)
All About Hubs
Bikesmith Design Source for IGH cogs (if you can't make it to our shop!)
Hub Stripping
John S. Allen's Drive Ratios of Bicycle Hub Gears
K A R S T I L O . n e t
NuVinci Hub Gear Comparison Chart
Sturmey-Archer Heritage
Old Bike Trader Sturmey-Archer parts in the UK
Tony Hadland's Bicycle Gears
Yahoo Geared Hub Bike Group

We service and stock parts for nearly all internally geared hubs.

Sturmey-Archer 3 & 5 Speed
Other Sturmey-Archer
Sram F&S and Sachs
New Departure
Coaster Brakes
IGH Tools

If you can't find it at your LBS, then email us at aaron@rideyourbike.com.

If we don't have your part we recommend: Old Bike Trader in the UK.


We charge $40 for oiling & greasing a new hub. Cheap!, considering that the below hubs cost over $350 each!

SRAM i-Motion 9

This hub was ridden less than one year in Seattle.

It is easy to add lube to this hub. Simply remove one rotor bolt (or dust cap if no rotor is installed) and inject 90 weight gear oil. We use Phil Wood Tenacious Oil. Just make sure you wipe any oil off the rotor! Rotors should be cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. Even with oiling, IGH hubs should still be overhauled once a year with heavy or extreme use (example: commuting in Seattle).

Shimano Nexus 8 Speed Internally Geared Hub with Roller Brake

This hub was ridden less than one year in Seattle. Neither the shop nor Shimano used enough grease and oil for NW weather.
If you bring us your bike we can preemptivly weatherize* your hub and avoid expensive repairs.
Unfourtunately, the only way to fix this hub is replacement. The hub shell bearing races were badly pitted. The hub functioned, but with a very loud rumbling noise.
* Every metal part is coated in Phil Wood Tenacious Oil and the gears are lubricated with blue marine grease (a.k.a. boat trailer wheel bearing grease, the kind used for backing boat trailers under salt water!)

Below is a picture of the void where oil will pool when the bike is at rest.

Growing up in Seattle, we know rain! Corrosion prevention is one of our main objectives as mechanics. Sheldon Brown agrees!

This is what the stock lube looks like after about a year's riding in Ohio, mostly fair weather. Note how the white grease on the ball bearings has already turned dark. Metal has worn from the races an discolored the grease. There was no wear on the races but left un-checked the hub would only last another year or two before the contaminated grease broke down and stopped protecting the races letting pitting happen.

It is extremely important to make sure your axle nuts are tight (30 foot-pounds each MINIMUM!). Grease or heavy oil the threads prior to installing the nuts. Check the torque once in a while. As you can see the axle threads were damaged from the axle trying to rotate in the non-turn washers. This is minor damage but it still made lockwasher removal moderately difficult. The axle is softer than the non-turn washers, but harder than most frames. If the axle does manage to rotate, your frame or hub may suffer frame damage (as pictured below).

Also note the marks and recess created by the non-turn washer's teeth. This happened because the axle nut threads were not greased and torqued to 32-35 foot-pounds. Axle movement is the enemy! But since bicycles are put together by folks that may or may not know all the proper methods, dropouts should be built with replaceable steel inserts. Better yet, a steel frame!

Below is what happened to a Shimano Alfine 8 speed hub when the axle rotated.

Hebie Chainglider
This product is perfect for most internally geared bikes. Chainring size is limited to 38, 42 or 44 teeth and rear cog size 18-22 teeth.
Models also fit Rohloff and SRAM i-Motion 9
Horizontal drop-outs or an eccentric BB are required. Chainstay lenght (rear center) should be more than 44cm

We have imported all the repair & common wear parts for the SRAM Spectro 7 speed hub.

Schlumpf Drives

We figured that since we sell Schlumpf Drives, we should stock the parts for them!

Schlumpf Mountain Drive

We are a service center for Rohloff hubs!

We can drill your Rohloff hubshell for 48 spokes. (please note this will void your warranty, but a new hubshell is only around $200 if it should ever crack. However, the only Rohloffs that we have ever heard of cracking, are from tandems. 32 spokes may be strong enough, but the durablility is just not there for heavy loads. The guts of the hub, however, are plenty strong!)

More pictures

We can service any part from Chris King.

Shimano Roller Brake.

Shimano IM-70-R Roller Brake.
Improved brake shoes and heat sink / cooling fins.

SunTour 'com' Coaster Brake

Bevel gears and shaft drives have been around as long as the bicycle. Restoration is a book written about one such bike. The Hill Climber was unique in that it shifted between 3 sets of bevel gears to change gears instead of using an internally geared hub.

Hook spanners for F&S hubs and others.

How to make this mount.

IGH Service Notes for Bike Shops:

You will need special tools, contact the manufactuer and/or refer to the specific exploded diagrams for the tool numbers.
If you cannot find a specific exploded diagram or service manual, then send a request on shop letterhead to info@rideyourbike.com and we will email you the documents if we have them. For end users we offer consultation services for a fee. Send request to same email. BR>Why do we differentiate? We want to encourage the rest of the bicycle industry to step up to IGH service while still making an honest living!

Clean the parts with any normal bike shop solvent. We use citrus degreaser for the small parts. For Shimano Ring Gear Units, Axle Assemblies, planet carriers and similar we recommend soaking in kerosene. Use rubber golves and a tooth brush. If the sub assemblies are not cleaned well, then the hub may have excessive drag. All parts must be thoroughly dried before reassembly.

In the pictures on our various IGH pages you can see how we lubricate hubs. The gear teeth and ball bearings get a load of CRC Sta-Lube Boat Trailer Wheel Bearing Grease (product code SL3125). The roller bearings, pawls and the rest of the parts get coated in Phil Wood Tenacious Oil. The grease on the bearings helps keep the oil inside. It also acts as a barrier to water intrusion by filling all the spaces. Do not use heavy grease on the rollers or the hub may slip. Cold climate users may want to use only oil or a lighter grease with a low operating temperature. We have had reports of success using Lucas Heavy Duty 80W-90 Gear Oil (It is good down to -36 degrees C). You may also use Rohloff Speedhub Oil or Shimano SG-700 Oil. Note that all 3 oils are for sealed hubs like the Alfine 11 and will leak faster out of lesser sealed hubs.
Shimano Nexus/Alfine 8: Clicking in gears 5 and higher is normal. Cleaning and re-lubing sometimes makes this clicking louder. Nothing is wrong with the hub. There may also be slight gear change delays, but they will go away very soon.
Always replace the cable and housing every overhaul. Use Jagwire slick stainless or similar, metal ferrules and quality index housing. Full length housing is always recommended to limit cable movement and dirt entry. Shimano cassette joints pop apart with ease into 2 parts without tools and should be cleaned and installed dry. DO NOT LUBE THE CASSETTE JOINT!