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Hub gears or derailleur gears: Which suits you?

Making decisions when buying an e-bike or bicycle can be challenging, especially when it comes to choosing between a hub gear or derailleur gear. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but which one suits your needs best? In this blog post, you'll learn everything you need to know about hub gear and derailleur gear to make the right decision for your next bike.

Hub gears versus derailleur gears – Why are there different types of gears on bicycles?

There are different types of gears on e-bikes and bicycles, namely derailleur gears and hub gears, to meet the different requirements and preferences of riders. This variety results from the different areas of use and needs. While derailleur gears are known for their high efficiency and wide gear range and are therefore popular on road bikes and mountain bikes, hub gears offer a low-maintenance option that is particularly attractive to commuters and riders who value comfort and reliability. The existence of different types of gears therefore makes it possible to configure the bike according to individual needs and areas of use.

How a hub gear works on a bicycle

A hub gear works through a closed gear system located inside the rear wheel hub. Unlike derailleur gears, gear changes are made by sliding gears inside the hub, rather than moving the chain between different sprockets. This allows for smooth and low-maintenance gear shifting even when stationary, as the movement of the bike is not a factor. The hub gear is particularly popular for its protection from dirt and ease of use, making it ideal for commuters and riders who value comfort and reliability.

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These are the advantages and disadvantages of hub gears

The hub gear offers a number of advantages that are particularly attractive to commuters and riders who value comfort and low maintenance. The advantages include low maintenance, as the closed gear system requires less care and is protected from dirt and the elements. The hub gear also allows you to shift gears while stationary, making it easier to start at traffic lights and stops. Its design makes it less susceptible to dirt and grime, which keeps the bike or e-bike cleaner. In addition, intuitive shifting is often easier for beginners, making the hub gear easier to use.

However, there are some disadvantages to using a hub gear. It is usually heavier than a derailleur, which results in a higher overall weight of the bike. In addition, bikes or e-bikes with a hub gear are often more expensive to purchase. Compared to the direct power transfer of a derailleur, a hub gear can have a slightly lower efficiency. Adjusting the gear ratio can also be more complicated than with a derailleur due to the design of the gearing. Despite these disadvantages, the hub gear remains a popular choice for many cyclists due to its low maintenance and high level of comfort, especially for daily commuting and leisurely rides.

Advantages and disadvantages of hub gears at a glance

Advantages of hub gears:

  • Low maintenance: Closed gear system requires less maintenance and is protected from contamination
  • Shifting while stationary: Allows you to change gears even when stationary, making it easier to start at traffic lights and stops
  • Cleanliness and protection against contamination: Less susceptible to dirt and contamination as the gear is protected in the hub
  • Intuitive gear shifting for beginners: Easy to use, particularly suitable for novice drivers

Disadvantages of hub gears:

  • Weight: Heavier than derailleur gears, leads to higher overall weight of the bike
  • Higher purchase costs: Bicycles with hub gears are often more expensive
  • Lower efficiency: May be slightly lower in efficiency than derailleur gears
  • Difficulty in changing gear ratios: Adjustments can be more complicated due to the gearbox design

How a derailleur works

A derailleur system works by passing a chain over various gears located on a hub on the rear axle and on one or more gears on the crank of the bottom bracket axle. The choice of gears determines the gear ratio of the bike or e-bike. By operating the shift lever on the handlebars, the derailleurs (front and/or rear derailleur) are moved to transfer the chain to the desired gear. The derailleur system allows the rider to seamlessly switch between different gears while riding to adapt to riding conditions and optimize efficiency and performance.

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These are the advantages and disadvantages of derailleur gears

Derailleur gearing offers a variety of benefits that make it a popular choice for mountain and road bikes. Its light weight allows riders to ride fast and agile without carrying extra weight. Thanks to the direct transfer from the chain to the gears, derailleur gearing is extremely efficient, meaning less energy is lost and performance is maximized. The wide range of gears allows riders to precisely adjust the gear ratio to suit different riding conditions, whether climbing steep hills or accelerating on flat stretches. Another advantage is the ability to seamlessly switch between gears while pedaling, allowing for a smooth and uninterrupted ride. In addition, individual parts of the derailleur gearing can be easily replaced, making maintenance and repair easier.

However, there are some disadvantages to using a derailleur. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure smooth operation and a longer lifespan. There is also a risk of corrosion, especially when riding in adverse weather conditions or humid environments. Another disadvantage is that both the cassette and chain need to be replaced regularly as they wear and tear over time. Despite these disadvantages, derailleurs remain a popular choice for many cycling enthusiasts due to their versatility and performance.

The advantages and disadvantages of a derailleur at a glance

Advantages of derailleur gears

  • Lower weight: especially popular with MTBs and road bikes
  • High efficiency through direct power transmission from the chain to the gears
  • Precise adjustment of the gear ratio to different driving conditions thanks to a large gear selection
  • Seamless shifting while pedaling
  • Easy replacement of individual parts for maintenance and repair

Disadvantages of derailleur gears

  • Requires regular maintenance to ensure smooth operation
  • Susceptibility to corrosion , especially under adverse weather conditions
  • Wear: Frequent replacement of cassette and chain

Which Carver bikes have which gears?

At Carver Bikes we offer you a wide selection of bicycles and e-bikes with different gear systems. If you value low maintenance and comfort, our Carver Tour and Tour-E models with hub gears could be just the thing for you. Take a closer look if you are interested in a hub gear: To the E-Trekking Comfort models

For those who prefer derailleur gears , all other Carver bikes, such as MTBs , E-MTBs , E-SUVs , Route-E Series or gravel bikes, are available. Our derailleur bikes are perfect for you if you are a touring cyclist, mountain biker or road cyclist and value performance and efficiency. The models with a hub for flat terrain, on the other hand, are ideal for leisurely riders who want little maintenance and value comfort - whether for everyday use or relaxed excursions.

With us, you have the freedom to choose the bike that best suits your needs and preferences, regardless of whether it has a derailleur or hub gear.

Derailleur vs. hub gear

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