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Kindernay VII internal gears – intro & test ride

The Kindernay VII internal gear system was introduced a few months ago. We finally had the chance to see and test it. Watch the video or continue reading below.

Cheaper

We rode the 14 speed Kindernay XIV a few years ago. The new Kindernay VII is quite a bit cheaper, with a price tag of €999 ex VAT. This includes the gear hub, rear cog, shifters and a torque arm. The “SWAP cage” is included too. This is a cage that holds the hub, and the rear wheel is built around it. If the Kindernay VII is installed on a full suspension bike, you’ll need a chain tensioner too.

Even though the price is reduced, the Kindernay VII isn’t a cheap option. But comparing it to an external gear system, the Kindernay could end up being the cheaper option in the long run. One 12 speed chain and a cassette can easily be €150. An eager rider will have to swap the chain multiple times every season. Run an 8 speed chain with the Kindernay VII and it will be way more durable. Another benefit is the risk of failure is greatly reduced, there is no rear derailleur that can crash into trail obstacles.

Kindernay VII

Less weight

The new 7 speed hub is a couple of hundred grams lighter than the older Kindernay XIV. Weight of the external gear systems has increased for the last few years, in part thanks to bigger range cassettes. The Kindernay VII is about 1.900 grams, all included. In comparison, the new ebike-specific Shimano XT M8130 Linkglide system is about 1.700 grams. This includes a hub with a steel cassette body, which is common on emtbs. There isn’t much weight separating these systems any more.

Kindernay with a small chain tension arm

Big range

The Kindernay VII has a gear range of 428%. So, what does that mean? A cassette with 10 teeth on the smallest cog and 43 on the biggest has a range of 430%. Here are the figures for a few common external gears.

  • 10 speed 11-42t – 382%
  • 11 speed 11-46t – 418%
  • 12 speed 10-50t – 500%
  • Kindernay XIV – 543%

The gear range for the Kidernay VII equals to an 11-47t cassette. We are only considering the difference between the biggest and lightest gear. The VII could probably be configured to equal a 10-43t cassette, or a 12-51t cassette. This is determined by the size of the chainring and cog. We haven’t calculated which ratios are actually possible to achive.

Kindernay for belt drive
Kindernay for belt drive

First ride

We were eager to test the new “Onesie” gear shifter, and it did not disappoint. The feel and feedback when shifting felt solid with a well defined click. It felt a bit like shifting with the more expensive Sram shifters. We were never in doubt whether we had finished the shift, and despite our best efforts we never had a missed shift.

Next, we were interested to see if 7 speed is enough. Shimano is running 11 speed on their external gears with the same range. There is just 6 clicks between the highest and lowest gear on the Kindernay, and we were often surprised at how fast we went between high and low. We’ll get an emtb with the VII for a long test shortly, we will have more to say on the subject then. So far, we don’t think the big step between the gears is much of an issue though. For some, it’s most likely a matter of getting used to, and a matter of preferences.

We are left with a very positive first impression. The Kindernay VII feels solid and precise. It is able to shift under a good bit of load and it allows multiple shifts at once. The ability to shift while stationary is very nice, it can easily become a habit!

  1. Finally a bit more choice.
    I’m very happy with my Rohloff and i thought the Kindernay 14 was a great idea too, but anything which helps mountain bikers get away from derailleurs is a great thing i think. More choices, more riding!