Review: Kindernay VII
Review: Kindernay VII
Kindernay VII £1,030
When I cycled off-road back to the factory on the outskirts of Oslo, I discovered what company founder Christian Antal and Knut Tore Ljøsne of Norwegian-based Kindernay had experienced many times. The natural trails there feature rocks, wet tree roots, and loose branches – good mountain-biking terrain, but also ideal for ripping off a rear derailleur. Their solution: Kindernay hub gears.
I tested the company’s latest product: the Kindernay VII, on a Santa Cruz Chameleon carbon hardtail. For most of my recent bikepacking trips I have used a Kinesis Tripster AT gravel bike, with a 10-42 SRAM 11-speed cassette, which has a gear range of 420%. The Kindernay’s range is about the same: 428%.
With seven instead of 11 gears, the 28% gear intervals are much bigger on the Kindernay. It took a while to get used to this.
I tested the hub on a weekend bikepacking trip around the Oslofjord in south Norway, and even with a 32/18 drivetrain I was able to ride most uphill sections. Kindernay sells the hub with a 20t or 22t cog, which will improve its climbing ability. The company also offers a 14-speed version with 13.9% intervals across a 543% range.
While longevity and low maintenance are advantages of most internal gear hubs, I wasn’t convinced by the weight penalty and twist shifter of the Rohloff Speedhub that I used on my brother’s Tout Terrain Silkroad tourer. While it worked very well, I never warmed to the experience. Lack of interchangeability was another issue.
The Kindernay hub addresses both concerns. It uses a SWAP hub shell (£130), in which the actual hub sits, so it can be transferred with little effort between wheels. A second thumb shifter (£400) makes it easy to transfer the hub between bikes.
The Kindernay VII fits 142×12mm, 148×12mm and 135×10mm axles, and is available with 28, 32, or 36 spoke holes. It’s compatible with 6-bolt discs. The whole package (1,750g, of which the hub is 1,200g) includes hub, SWAP cage, shifter and cog. It’s available direct from Kindernay and from selected UK retailers.
- Weight: 1,200g (hub), 1,750g (including shifter)
- Matchcap: fits 142×12mm, 148×12mm and 135×10mm axles
- 7 speed
- Gear range: 428%
Pros & cons
+ Low maintenance
+ Swapping between bikes/wheels
- Not suitable for drop bars
Sometimes noisy, but it offers an excellent riding experience and shifts smoothly even under high load. A great choice for a low-maintenance bikepacking, touring, commuting or cargo bike.
Rohloff Speedhub from £1,200
14-speed hub with 526% range, for rim and disc brakes, twist or electric shifter. Available in three colours, 32 or 36H, and to fit axles from 135mm to 197mm.
Shimano Alfine 11 from £500
11-speed hub with 409% gearing range, thumb shifter or Di2. Only available for 135mm OLD frames and CenterLock disc brakes, in 32 or 36H.
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