A bikes typical shifting mechanism, called a derailleur, dangles quite vulnerably off the rear right side of the bike, and since it’s exposed, it is vulnerable to the weather, obstacles and other environmental factors that could damage it.
Plus, a derailleur requires regular maintenance for proper functionality. Internal hubs, on the other hand, negate the need for a derailleur, and conceal the internal components so you don’t have to worry about sand, dirt, or snow getting in the mechanism. They shift without the need to pedal (which is important on urban rides) and they’re virtually maintenance free. The internal hub is a beautiful and simple piece of machinery that complements the simplicity of our bicycles and delivers consistently smooth shifting in any riding conditions, and will keep your hands, pants and skirts clean when you’re en route to the office, a date or the flea market. They just work, which lets you worry less about maintenance and more about riding safely.
Bicycling Magazine produced an exceptionally detailed look at the same Shimano Alfine internal hubs that we use on The Runwell, which is also similar to the Shimano Nexus hub we use on The Bixby.