Urban Velo

Dynamic Internally Geared Road Bike

dynamic_road1 Dynamic Bicycles introduced the Synergy this past week, an interesting road bike simply because it makes use of a Shimano Alfine internally geared hub and Versa drop bar STI-style shifter. Interesting concept for people who see the advantages of an internally geared hub but to this point have not had a road-geometry offering off the shelf. The 8-speed Alfine hub is Shimano’s most efficient one to date, and has about 95% of the range of a compact double crankset. No doubt the hub carries a significant weight penalty, but overall the $1400 bike still comes in at a reasonable 21lbs. I’d venture to guess that we’ll see more bikes like this in coming years as internally geared hubs continue to get better and more people realize the benefits of not having a derailleur system hanging out there to get damaged. What goes around comes around, like the 3-speeds of the 60s and 70s, bikes like this may find they satisfy the needs of a number of riders.

11 Comments

  1. Ghost RiderMarch 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    We were lucky enough to get a prototype of this bike to test a few weeks back:
    http://www.bikecommuters.com/2009/02/15/review-dynamic-synergy-road-bike/

    Compared to a derailleur-equipped bike, the weight penalty for the Alfine hub on this Synergy is about a pound, give or take a few grams. That’s an extra pound I can live with! The STI-style shifters were pretty spectacular, too.

  2. antbikemikeMarch 16, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I wonder how this fits in with their chainless schtick?

  3. Ghost RiderMarch 16, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    It’s a departure for Dynamic, that’s for sure. They seem to be pretty interested in exploring various “alternative” drivetrains…perhaps even including belt-drives in the future.

  4. bradMarch 16, 2009 at 6:39 pmAuthor

    I’ve been threatening an expose on beltdrives for some time now… Someday, someday.

  5. Ghost RiderMarch 16, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Expose as in “blowing the lid off the nefarious underworld secrets of beltdrives”, or expose as in “greatest new bike innovation under the sun” ?

  6. CressersMarch 17, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Shimano hub gears? DON’T DO IT! I made that mistake once and have had many miserable miles to regret it.

  7. AdamBMarch 17, 2009 at 8:20 am

    I have been thinking for quite some time that the not too distant future of bicycle drivetrains should be heading toward belt drive systems- a no brainer for single speeds- but especially for internally geared hubs. Kudos to Dynamic Bicycles!
    I was super pissed when Campy released 11-speed. If they would just put the same energy and focus into internally geared hubs, we could be on some incredible internally geared road bikes very soon. And the weight would just continue to come down while reliability and choices go up.
    Of course, why wouldn’t I want to spend about $500 retail for an 11-speed chain and cassette? That would be un-American!

  8. bradMarch 17, 2009 at 8:49 amAuthor

    Consider that in pure engineering terms there is no more efficient way to transfer power than a chain drive. Even directly meshing gears are less efficient than having a chain transfer the power between them. Belt drives cannot physically match the efficiency of chains when both are considered under ideal conditions, apples to apples. And internal planetary gear systems also have inherent losses within them that cannot be overcome, Newton’s Laws and all that jazz.

    They are viable solutions to given problems of drivetrain cleanliness and end-user friendliness, but until the laws of physics change chain drives are here to stay when ultimate efficiency of the drivetrain is desired.

  9. antbikemikeMarch 17, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I like all the options, but I am really looking forward to more belt drive availabilty.

    It is also good to have many bikes;)

    If I want efficient, I ride my fixed chain drive.

    If I want clean, quiet and easy to use gearing, then internal gear belt drive.

  10. Bicycles FalardeauMarch 17, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I built myself one such bike with a Sachs 7sp. hub and didn’t like the fact there is too much gap between each gear. Got rid of it. Derailleurs protruding from the frame are definitely not a problem to me.

  11. Daily Research » Shared Items - March 17, 2009March 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    [...] Dynamic Internally Geared Road Bike [...]

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