The first thing I noticed was the speed at which gears can be changed. It’s almost instant compared to derailleur gears and gears can be changed when stationary. I found myself changing gears more often constantly tuning the cadence for the gradient. I can see why hub gears are the best solution for commuter bikes.
The next observation was the affect of the wide Jones handlebars on oncoming traffic. The width coupled with the front rack made me appear bigger and I was being given a bit more room.
The bike comes into its own when pulling heavy loads which I do all the time. It can be a pain changing derailleur gears on an incline with 40kg on the back, but with hub gears its a doddle.
So how are the GTRO gears? so far they have behaved perfectly, The Alfine has missed a gear occasionally but that may be my changing technique. The GTROs have been flawless in their operation and have provided a comprehensive range given its the equivalent of a 28/40/50 chainset. I’m still experimenting with different sized rear sprockets having started with 24 tooth, then gone down to 17, I think 20 would be ‘plenty’.
The GTRO can certainly cope with heavy loads, however I do detect slight efficiency losses in the high gear compared to 1 to 1. I have not tried to replace a cable yet as the cable is embedded in the gear shell. That would be for a future occasion. I think the guys in Poland, where GTRO originated, are working hard to get the price down and find a distributor. I will be keeping this configuration for the foreseeable future.