Convert your Bike to IGH

I just converted this bad boy from single speed to 3 speed and cannot believe how smooth it went. 

Let's go for a quick ride then walk through the conversion step by step.

If the chain on your mid drive skips off the cassette or maybe you have a single speed and just want some extra help climbing hills or towing cargo - an internal geared hub can give you a simple, sturdy, low maintenance transmission.

Converting this eBike from single speed to 3 speed will help reduce stress on the motor and prevent it from overheating. With 186% gearing range, the Shimano Nexus 3 low gear can help tow heavy cargo up steep hills while the high gear will help me keep my legs in the game instead of ghost pedaling at cruising speed. This should also help me grind out a few more miles per hour when I need to safely maintain the flow of traffic. Internal geared hubs require less maintenance than derailleurs and also give the ability to use a belt drive.

The Nexus 3 is a small, simple, solid hub that can hopefully handle the abuse of the Bafang Ultra. We'll be beating on this thing in upcoming speed and range test videos - so make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay updated.

Let's talk about how to convert your bike to an internal geared hub.

First check your frame for compatibility before searching for wheel options. Make sure your frame has a horizontal dropout - if not then you'll probably just need to add an external chain tensioner. 

Remove your rear wheel and measure the inside of the dropout. The new hub's over locknut dimension should match the frame dropout spacing, but usually you'll have a few millimeters tolerance. Some steel frames can also be adjusted slightly if needed.

Install the sprocket and mount the tire on the new wheel.

I had this wheel built by the Brooklyn Bike Doctor - he's a pro wheel builder and does great work, so give him a ring if you're looking for an affordable custom wheel. If you haven't already, checkout our previous video for some tips about how to get your hands on a perfect custom wheel.

When mounting a new wheel it's always a good idea to test fit for brake and chain alignment.

Reinstall and adjust the chain - this is very easy to do with an internal chain tensioner. I usually just finger tight the left axle nut, adjust the tensioner then torque both axle nuts. Double check that the wheel and chainline are both straight.

Now we can install the bell crank.

Remove the grip and install the shifter - then check the brake lever for clearance

Now we can setup and adjust the bell crank

Now the fun part - double check all your fasteners and take her for a spin!

If you have any questions about something you're working on - let us know in the YouTube comments - maybe we can help.

Having a low gear will give this high powered Bafang Ultra some help at startup and reduce overall stress on the motor and battery. It also adds a high gear to maintain cadence which should help me get a few more miles per hour at cruising speed. These hubs usually require less maintenance and are easier to adjust than derailleurs. I've never been a fan of finicky derailleurs - they're an outdated technology and are not ideal for most high powered eBike applications. Have you ever seen a moped or motorcycle with a derailleur?

We'll be testing and beating on this hub in upcoming videos - so subscribe to our YouTube channel if you'd like to be notified. In the meantime support your local bike infrastructure and try commuting by eBike. Thanks for watching, see ya soon.