Internal Gear Hubs?

Hey all, does anybody have any experience playing on a bike with an internal gear hub? Thinking of a “polo touring” setup, but not sure if this is feasible or a complete fantasy…


In my humble opinion it won’t hold the charge long term and may be a pain to handle while playing (these int. hub are pretty heavy).

But a second or third opinion could be helpful here.

Another option could be to look to a double freewheel option, not the best range and a bit of a pain to switch everytime you leave the court but i know some player that rides that kind of thing ( @OGxBENJI i think):

hi ! i reply to all comments in order

-internal gear : heavy and will get damaged by the polo, then hard to fix. maybe you could have a panier setup with your spare polo wheel attached on the side while touring, and have your internal hub wheel on ? or install an actual 7 speed cassette ?

-double white industry : i dont use it but saw players with it , very solid for polo BUT only a few teeth gap between each sprocket / cog

so it really depend on your chainring ! if you run the usual 32 teeth chainring then you wont get far in term of comuting ratio : your polo frewheel will be 20 for a ratio of 1.6 and the other 18 for 1.77

for my lightfoot 26"i did this : 40 teeth chainring with bashguard with 22 freewheel for polo (1.81 ratio) and 16 teeth for comute (2.5)

as you can see your dropout length will limit the teeth gap you can use.


Thanks for the comments! I’m going to testride the bike I’m eyeing and see how it feels. It doesn’t have to be super heavy duty, I’d probably still take my regular polo bike for very competitive events, but to pass by a city on bike and be able to play some pickups would be cool …

if you come by london we have tons of loner bikes that will handle better than a touring one ! i like the idea of a fully functional polo bike that you can tour on and flip for the tournament. if mongrels did it in new zealand then it must be possible !

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I had an internal hub in my polo bike - it was superb comfort for going to the court.
The cable went also on the inner side of the frame, so nothing was outside the frame - it couldn’t be damage during the play.
Grip shift never made a problem.
My neutral gear was polo gear (1, first)

If you’ll find a hub that cable goes on the inner side of the frame and you don’t care about the weight I think this is good idea.

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I am currently running a fixed cassette, oldschool trials hub with a splined freewheel and spacers. In theory, the cassette could fit two freewheels side by side. So, providing you find two splined freewheels of different sizes, you may have some gears without flipping the wheel.

Then again, running a regular cassette hub, with a bunch of single-speed cogs is a feasible option (the best one, IMO).

As for the internal-geared hub, it is a hell of a compromise. Such hubs have a rather poor engagement, with a lot of free play. The weight and added complexity are also downsides.

I’m running a 32 on the front and a Chris king singlespeed hub with a 19 and an 11 cog and take two chains - it works with the max power due to the sliding drop outs.

It worked great when I was riding around europe in 2018

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i managed to fit 32 x 18 and 12 on regular dropouts ! with the same chain.

but ! i really have to force the chain in when i put the 18 on lol so i might change this for peace of mind. if the drop outs where a little bit deeper tho …

[edit update] im keeping the tight combo, its just too perfect and i can barely change the ratio but i love it. here is a video of my struggle

the chain length is perfect , bringing the polo ratio to the maximum inside the drop outs and the comuting at the tip of the it ( but not too much on the edge)

There was a really nice polo player in Florida, (can’t remember his name!!) Who had an alfine hub on his polo bike and toured all over the place with it in 2010 or so. He was satisfied with his rig. It worked!

I myself prefer an auxilery cog on my casette, it has it’s limitations but still awesome.

roger bike polo just advertised their own drop out ( for frame builders to use in their frame)

i went and ask them if it was possible to get custom length dropouts ( with this topic in mind) and they say yes !

so if you on the market for a new frame and you want that extra length to swap gears , go roger !