Bicycles

NuVinci unveils cheaper continuously-variable transmission for bicycles

NuVinci unveils cheaper contin...
The NuVinci N330 planetary hub transmission, with its C3 controller
The NuVinci N330 planetary hub transmission, with its C3 controller
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The NuVinci N330 planetary hub transmission, with its C3 controller
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The NuVinci N330 planetary hub transmission, with its C3 controller

Shifting gears while cycling can be a hassle, which is why a growing number of bicycle manufacturers are outfitting their bikes with the NuVinci N360 continuously-variable hub transmission. Now, NuVinci parent company Fallbrook Technologies has announced the lower-priced NuVinci N330, which is designed to bring the technology to less expensive bikes.

Like N360, N330 doesn't have individual gears that it clicks in and out of, but instead allows users to smoothly transition between different gear ratios. The difference is, whereas N360 covers a 360-percent ratio range, N330 is limited to 330 percent.

Also like N360 though, the new product is sealed and thus maintenance-free, and allows for shifting while under heavy pedaling loads or even while stopped. Users control it using a simplified new version of N360's handlebar-mounted controller. N330 is also compatible with NuVinci's existing Harmony auto-shifting system for e-bikes, via a different controller.

According to Fallbrook, some N330-equipped bikes should start showing up in stores later this year, although a wider launch is scheduled for 2016.

Source: Fallbrook Technologies

12 comments
Dax Wagner
"Lower priced?" Where is the price???
Freyr Gunnar
> Also like N360 though, the new product is sealed and thus maintenance-free, and allows for shifting while under heavy pedaling loads or even while stopped. All internal gear hubs allow shifting gears while stopped. Besides, changing gears while riding is really no biggie: Just like with derailleurs, you simply have to be gentle on the pedals while the chain/gears move around.
Tom Benson
Changing gears while riding is no big deal but as someone who commutes daily in San francisco on heavily traveled bike routes I am constantly amazed that the majority of riders fail to do so. They rarely shift at all, stating out in intersection having to stand on their pedals to go and then overspinning by mid-block - why? Why by the twenty seven speed bike if you always ride in the same gear? While most bike shop employees regard internal hubs as some sort of gimmick I think (know) the majority of commuter riders would be much better off with them. Slow start at a busy intersection is a very dangerous time for inner-city bike riders. As some one who owns both types of bikes I can't emphasis enough that the ability to shift while standing still at stoplight is hugely underestimated in its utility.
christopher
If it had no shifter, it would be better. Surely it can't be that hard to figure out how to auto-select the best ratio based on the strain?
mhpr262
The non-shifters are a puzzle to me, too. A special favourite of mine are the people with deraillueurs who always run the chain on the smallest sprocket in front ... and also on the highest gear in the back so the chain runs at the worst possible angle.
The Skud
Anything that simplifies cycle riding, especially taking off in the 'right' gear is a plus for me!
Max Kennedy
Nice tech, cost please.
MD
Ineptitude is usually inexplicable to those versed in the art. Bring on more stepless, stationary changes, though a manual mechanical control would be nice for those who prefer rugged mechanics, and electronics-free operation, or does the controller come with a solar panel.
Alan Braggins
The electronic controller is for use on electric bikes. I'm fairly sure the standard shifter uses standard mechanical gear cable linkage.
YuraG
Well, if N360 costs $360 on Amazon, N330 must go $330:) But I'd rather it goes somewhere below $200.