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Anyone have an opinion on the Incline Sport Bike from webbicycle.com?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
A short while back while researching bicycles I found a web site that offers bikes with a shaft drive and internally geared rear hubs (Sturmey-Archer & Shimano Nexus). They're web site is http://www.webbicycle.com and they're called the "Incline Sport Comfort Cruz" and "Incline Sport Comfort Cross" bikes. Both are available in options with either hub.

Not having bought a bike for about 16 years I'm not up to date on the technology and hence don't have a useful opinion on the quality of the components they list. I thought an internally geared hub would be easier to deal with, and the shaft drive could keep maintenance to a minimum. I'm not an avid biker, this would be for weekend or evening exercise along the bike path by the local lake or on the streets getting there. Among the reasons I don't use my old bike are lack of comfort, too much maintenance required to keep it running, and for the life of me I could never get it into the right gear.

Where I live the road conditions tend to be poor in the spring - lots of damage to the roads from the snow, ice, salt & plowing of winter. And there are a lot of unpaved side roads, even near the bigger towns. A mountain bike would be overkill for anything I would be doing, and I don't want too many gears. Even with the new twist shifters I'm sure I'd never find the right one if I had to choose from 24 of them.

I went to my local bike shop and tried out a Raleigh C40 comfort bike & a Trek 7300 hybrid. Both were comfortable enough in the parking lot, the Trek a bit smoother, but on an uneven bike path I think the Raleigh would have worked better. The bikes from webbicycle.com are both billed as comfort models and they have the same tires and some other components as the Raleigh, so I think they'd be similar.

The Raleigh is $390, the Trek is $430, and shipped the webbicycles.com bikes would be in the $420 range (assuming I go with the Nexus-7 hub). I'm a bit nervous about ordering a bike I've never seen or tried, so I'm looking for a local supplier (if they have one) and I'm hoping that by calling around I can find a bike shop in the state that has hub equipped bikes (the store where I tried the Raleigh & Trek did not).

Does anyone out there have an opinion on the shaft drive, the Incline bikes in particular? I'd even be interested in informed opinions about the major components they list for their models (Cruz & Cross 3) just to judge overall quality. Thanks.
post #2 of 2

Re: Anyone have an opinion on the Incline Sport Bike from webbicycle.com?

Hello! I too, am looking into shaft bicycles. The Incline web page is under development at this time (12-05-04) so you cannot get any details except from the webbicycle dealer. If you type in "chainless bicycles" in your search engine you can get a better idea of what's out there. (Not a lot if you are in the US) The Chinese and Taiwanese are marketing the shaft at a number of sites and I think this is where Incline is getting their shaft. Also ZERO bicycles in England has shaft driven bicycles as well as BIOMEGA.dk from Denmark (available in the USA). Most salesmen in bicycle stores who I've talked with have been less than enthusiastic about shaft driven bicycles. The main reason they give is that the efficiency (two 90 degree turns) is much less that that of the direct drive of a chain. The weight of the shaft itself (about 4 pounds) lessens efficiency. Another reason is that they would be difficult to repair and since they are not widely distributed, parts might be hard to get. Plus the experience needed to repair is not in abundance. Also they don't sell them so they would not make any money.
However, many of these salespersons, who are, for the most part, experienced cyclists and VERY helpful fail to appreciate that an older working person who has little time or skill in maintaining bicycles wants something easy and is willing to sacrifice expending some energy for piece of mind and time. You could also call the webbike number and talk to someone, which I have yet to do.
Another alternative might be to get a bike that has the gears in the hub. Nexus and SRAM can have 7 or 8. And there are ones with 3 or 5. Rohloff has one with 14. Coupled with an enclosed chain or at least a chain guard, maintenance would be lessened.
Hope this has been helpful. Please let me know if you find or learn anything more.
Thanks now I scottogo
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