February 1st, 2016


We offer two types of gearing on our bikes. The first type is called an “internal gear hub.” An internal gear hub is where the chain and gearing system are encased in a sealed mechanism. You can’t see the chain, thus it can’t fall off and dirt and grime can’t get inside. An internal gear hub is also the only type of gearing that allows you to shift when you’re at a complete stop or coasting. That’s a handy feature if you’re in a lot of stop and go traffic. Our PUBLIC C7i, D8i and M7i bikes have this type of gearing.

The second type is called an “external derailleur.” It’s the kind where you can see the chain on the outside of the gears and is most likely the type of gearing you had on your very first bike. Our PUBLIC C7V7R16 and R24 bikes have this type of gearing.

Depending on where you live and how you ride, internal gear hub or external gearing might be better for you. We asked our PUBLIC team members to advise on when an internal gear hub might be the right choice and their advice is below.

Our customer service department, aka Justin says an internal gear hub could be the best choice for you for 3 reasons:
1. Internal hubs are easier to maintain than derailleurs. Internal hubs only really require the rider to maintain proper tension in order to achieve smoother shifting and the occasional lubrication. Derailleurs and cassettes require frequent cleaning and lubrication to maintain smooth shifting. Derailleurs and cassettes also experience more frequent wear and tear due to the chain flexing and twisting in between gears.

2. I find that the one of the biggest advantage of the internal gear hub versus external gearing is the overall reliability of the hub. All moving parts and the gears are completed sealed within the hub protecting you from dirt, water, debris and other road elements that would likely affect an external shifting mechanism. The shifting is quite smooth from one gear to the next, unlike the clunky gear shifting you may experience with a derailleur. Derailleurs are prone to being being or damaged due to elements of the road, while internal hubs are quite difficult to damage. Plus, they have a 2 year warranty unlike Shimano derailleurs.

3. I find that the internal hubs are much more user friendly and welcoming to riders getting back on bikes. It’s the only drive system that allows you to changes gears while coasting or from a stand still. A much more practical option for those commuting in terrains with a consistency of stop and go traffics.

Our Store Operations Manger, Juls thinks an internal gear hub might be right for you if:
1. You can do minor tune ups yourself, no mechanical experience required. It is just a matter of lining up 2 dots in a window!

2. If you’re a parent, an internal hub is great for pairing with a Yepp Maxi seat. Parents don’t have to worry about rogue snacks or toys falling into the gears. Plus, because you can change gears whether you’re stopped or coasting it can be an easier ride if you have a lot of stops and starts on your route.