NuVinci Hub-What a feeling!

I borrowed Moe’s Ibex RSR bike equipped with the NuVinci hub last week and recently had some saddle time with the bike. I’ve ridden this bike before, but not for extended lengths of time and mileage. I’m please to say that I’ve had some decent saddle time on it.

When Interbike 2006 came around, the NuVinci hub was the biggest buzz in the business. By the time Sea Otter Classic happened in 2007, there were tons of demo bikes, including a fancy Elseworth and a Bianchi that had these hubs installed. Honestly, I did fall in love with the way the NuVinci hub works, and in reality, the concept of the CVT transmission was above me. But I didn’t care, all I knew was that this hub was a dream to ride.

Here’s what’s what I loved about our test bike. Well for one, its not a fancy bike, decent parts, fancy color scheme, but it was the hub that made this bike more valuable than its weight in gold. I’ll try to describe what I’m talking about to you in a way that will help you feel what its like to ride this bike. You see, its simply hard to even go into detail as to the feeling you get when riding a NuVinci…but here it goes….

The hub performs like no other geared bike I’ve ever ridden. You can start off pedaling easy just by twisting the grip shifter. While your moving, and you want to pick up speed, you twist the grip even more and what happens is, you feel a smooth and quiet increase in speed without a big shock to your legs. It’s rather seamless if you ask me. Just think of it this way, if you’re in a luxury car that has an automatic transmission, you accelerate from 0-60mph, the car’s fancy transmission will shift through the gears without you feeling a surge/lunge while going through the gears. Well, the NuVinci is pretty much like that. The seamless variable transmission allows you to go from standing still, to coasting at 15mph without feeling like you have to ramp up your cadence to be able to go that fast. Suer you feel your legs working harder, but its not working as hard as it would if you were riding a regular 27spd bike. There’s practically no noise, easy to use, even a monkey can learn how to use the NuVinci.

Our good friend Val of Seattle Bike Supply also provided us a very thorough review of the NuVinci that could be read HERE

I’ll be spending more time on the NuVinci and periodically report on its performance. Tell you what, if you’re in the North OC area and would like to try out this bike, hit us up and we can arrange a time so you can join us for a ride and we’ll set you up on the NuVinci bike.


  1. justin

    Sounds interesting but could you try and make that bike any uglier?

  2. RL Policar (Post author)


  3. Smudgemo

    Doesn’t the hub weigh like eleven pounds? I’m no gram-counter, but that’s a bit hard to stomach.

  4. Ghost Rider

    Is the chain supposed to be that loose? It’s really sagging!

  5. RL Policar (Post author)

    That’s a pretty old photo, Moe has since then fixed it.

  6. RL Policar (Post author)

    It really doesn’t feel all that bad (weight) while you’re riding. I actually forgot that it was that heavy.

  7. Val

    The NuVinci never weighed 11 lbs. It’s not light, but the original was just over 9 lbs, and the latest version is 8lbs. If you can’t be a gram counter, at least try pounds, eh?

  8. RL

    Doh! Thanks Val, I’ll make sure to correct that.

  9. Mike

    So I was reading somewhere that a derailleur hanger is required for some kind of axel anti-rotation device? Is this true? Does NuVinci provide some kind of workaround for those looking to fit one of their hubs to, say, a rear-facing dropout type of bike that might not have a der hanger?

  10. Val

    Mike: The hub was originally designed to be instlled on horizontal dropouts, such as you describe, using antirotation washers that engage with the long slot of the dropout. The plate that bolts to the derailleur hanger was developed in order to install the hub on vertical dropouts that do not have a long enough slot to engage the original washer. In other words, if you don’t have a derailleur hanger, you don’t need one.

  11. Mike

    Sweet–thanks Val!

  12. yuval

    Hi, does anybody can tell me where can I buy a NuVinci bike? Can I buy it in the web?
    thanks for answers,

  13. Val

    Yuval: In the US, pretty much any bike shop should be able to order the wheel (to convert your bike) or a Batavus Intermezzo bike (NuVinci hub stock) from Seattle Bike Supply. Some of these shops may sell on the web, but for something like this, it is better to get it from a reliable shop that you have a good relationship with. Ongoing service is always a good option.

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  16. Kendog

    Design boasts “fluid that changes to solid under extreme pressures of drive system”.
    To a tech like me, this is morse code for downroad maintenance items such as seals, gaskets, and fluid changes.
    Also: do the drive contact surfaces tend to groove and loosen long-term, especially under pedal-mashing acceleration?

  17. Val

    Kendog: according to Fallbrook, one advantage of the fluid as a medium of torque transfer is that there is no actual contact between the driving surfaces – they are always cushioned by a layer of the miraculous fluid (or solid, where it is between surfaces). As a result, there should be essentially no wear on these surfaces. It is also worth noting that the hubs have a six year warranty period during which they should not need to be opened or serviced in any way. Beyond that, we’ll see.

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