Brompton Hub Comparisons

With a bunch of different hubs available for the Brompton, I thought a comparison would be a good idea:

KindernayRohloffAlfine 11Alfine 8Enviolo
Sturmey 8
Number of gears1414118n/a8
Gear range543%525%405%307%380%325%
Gear ratios18″-98″19″-100″24″-99″24″-74″25″-95″29″-95″
or Thumb
Lever*Lever*TwistTwist or Thumb
EfficiencyVery goodVery goodGoodMediumGoodMedium
AxleSolid 10mmQuick releaseSolid 10mmSolid 10mmSolid 10mmSolid 13/32″
Disc brakeYesYesYesYesYesNo
Kit cost£1795£1595£795£725£725£395

Gear ratios are the most common possibilities – with the Rohloff and Kindernay, they are with the smallest possible rear cog and largest Brompton front ring (54t). With the Alfine and Enviolo, it’s 18t/50t. So getting higher gears is possible on the Alfine and Enviolo hubs, more difficult with the Kindernay and Rohloff.

I know it seems a bit odd that the Kindernay has a wider range than the Rohloff but has very similar gear ratios, but it’s because the difference between 18″ and 19″ at the bottom end is a much bigger difference than between 98″ and 100″ at the top end.

Other factors are harder to quantify in a table: In terms of fitting, the Rohloff is easiest – it’s a simple quick release hub (though I usually use an Allen key skewer) and cable fitting is very simple. The Alfine and Enviolo hubs are nutted, so need a spanner to fit, but cabling is pretty simple. The Kindernay is the most complex, with a nutted through axle, and hydraulic shifting that has to be cut and perhaps re-bled to fit.

*A rapid-fire shifter is available, but I strongly recommend the Jtek shifter for the Brompton handlebars.