That's a bit of a bummer, yessir - but at least you won't make the same mistake again
I had the second ride on the (at the moment) Alfine 8 equipped Hummingbird today, just scratching around in the hills and forests behind my place.
At the minute I've decided on -
Things that I like -
Quiet, smooth drivetrain.
No rear mech to get caught in the heather and branches.
Nice gearshifts (mostly).
Hub appears to be nice build quality, looks pretty enough too.
Plenty low enough bottom gear (with 22T sprocket).
Fast engagement (if a bit softer than I'm used to).
Spot on chainline with Middleburn Uno (47.5mm).
Ability to change gear while trackstanding.
Things that I don't like
The extra weight (but no surprise there).
Shifter that works ok but looks cheapish (and isn't
The worst change is 4th to 5th (which is the 1:1 ratio unfortunately).
Anti-rotation washers that wouldn't suit my dropouts - I had to get the welding gear out and add some custom lugs to them - 500% better!
Tacky looking acorn axle nuts - they had to go in favour of some red ano. ones.
However, having ridden singlespeeds almost exclusively for the last three years, I've reached the conclusion that I don't actually like
climbing in low gears if I can possibly grunt my way up in my usual SS ratio, which is 32:20 - I found myself changing down and then almost immediately changing back up to 5th again (which is 32:22 in my case).
I also find technical stuff harder with gears at the minute, as unless in 5th, I don't seem to have the same awareness of how far a pedal stroke will take me and how it will get me up a step-up or boost me off a ledge.
I miss the "hard" engagement of a Hope Pro2 too...
Still, it was nice to have the luxury of a bail-out gear or two for the stuff that would otherwise have me walking, plus a higher gear for climbs that otherwise wouldn't let me be out of the saddle.
I noticed the weight especially when doing endo turns on downhill switchbacks - it just needs more forward weight transfer.
So, how long it'll be until the SS wheel finds itself back home again, who knows? I bought it and built the wheel to - a) amuse myself, b) scatch my IGH itch and c) to in some way future-proof my Hummingbird for when I become too old and frail to ride a singlespeed reasonably well (you think I'm joking?)
For me, a quality, light, three-speed hub would do the job - ratios of .66:1, 1:1 and 1.5:1. Use 1:1 90% of the time and a crawl gear and a tarmac cruising gear. Perfect !