Review: Kindernay VII

The Kindernay VII can be transferred with little effort between wheels
Markus Stitz takes this wide-range 7-speed hub gear that can be swapped between different wheels out on the road

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.


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.

Other options

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.

First published in Cycle magazine, December 2021/January 2022 issue. All information correct at time of publishing.

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Tech spec

  • 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