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Posted by E-bike Lovers on March 28, 2022 - Latest revision April 7, 2023  Reading time: minutes remaining

Review: The Enviolo Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) Hub for E-bikes

By Paul Levett. Images courtesy of Paul Levett and E-bike Lovers

Why I chose an Enviolo hub

I previously wrote on this blog about my experience converting a pedal bike to an e-bike at E-bike Lovers. I decided to upgrade to an Enviolo Heavy Duty (Cargo) hub with a manual shifter interface.

I had to replace my Shimano Nexus-8 IGH hub because it broke, likely due to the torque of my Bafang BBS01 motor. A Canadian bike shop owner reported on Twitter the Shimano Nexus-8 IGH can only take torque up to 48 Nm, and my motor is rated closer to 80 Nm. The Enviolo hub was laced into the rim of my rear wheel and installed by my local bike shop Papillon Cycles, of Arlington, Virginia. 

In the Washington DC Metro area, there is a good chance you have seen or ridden an e-bike with the Enviolo CVT hub. Enviolo hubs feature on approximately 1,500 Capital Bikeshare e-bikes (CaBi+) and another 200 CaBi pedal bikes with the red rear wheel cover, or approximately one-third of the Capital Bikeshare fleet.

Enviolo hubs feature on approximately 1,500 Capital Bikeshare e-bikes (CaBi+) and another 200 CaBi pedal bikes.

My experience riding CaBi+ e-bikes convinced me of the merits of the Enviolo hub.

From NuVinci to Enviolo

Designed by Fallbrook Technologies from Texas, the hub was called NuVinci until a reorganization in 2017-18 when Fallbrook’s Bike Division was rebranded as Enviolo, with operations run from an HQ located in the Netherlands. In February 2022, Enviolo was acquired by London-based private equity group Inflexion.

Pros and cons of the Enviolo hub

  • Unlike traditional internally geared hubs, Enviolo offers stepless shifting, where the gear ratio can be changed manually by twisting a grip shifter. Enviolo also offers an automatic shifting option, called Automatiq, where you set your preferred pedaling cadence using either a phone app or a controller on the handlebars.
  • The gear ratio spread of 380% on the Trekking and Heavy-Duty models is wider than most internally geared hubs, except the Kindernay and Rohloff hubs, and is equivalent to an 11-42t cassette.
  • The hub is sealed, maintenance-free, and weather-resistant.
  • Enviolo hubs require no oil changes.
  • There are three ways to shift gear ratios.
  • The optional Automatiq shifter interface uses Bluetooth to pair with a handlebar controller or the Enviolo phone app. In both cases, you can set a comfortable pedal cadence, and motors in the Automatiq shifter interface will automatically change the gear ratio without changing your pedal cadence.
  • The Automatiq handlebar controller allows “manual” gear shifting in 5% increments by pressing up and down thumb buttons - this is particularly helpful for riders with wrist impairment, or carpal tunnel syndrome, who might otherwise find the manual twist shifter action too painful to operate.
  • QBP’s price for an Enviolo cargo hub as of spring 2022 is $400. A trekking model would be $350. The parts for the Enviolo manual shifter interface, sprocket, and cables are an additional $140. The Automatiq shifter interface for the Cargo model is $310. The wheel rim, spokes, and other parts (say $250), plus labor to have the hub laced into a rear wheel. It costs around $850 to have a bike shop convert a bike to an Enviolo hub with the manual interface and approximately $1,000 for the Automatiq. This compares favorably on price with a Rohloff conversion, which is $1,000 just for the hub.
  • The Enviolo Heavy Duty models provide more strength (100 Nm for the Cargo, 120 Nm for the Sportive models) to cope with the torque forces of higher power mid-drive motors than a Shimano Inter-5e IGH (approximately 70 Nm).
  • Enviolo hubs are not as efficient at about 85% efficiency. Some power loss is inherent to the design of the CVT hub from the internal rotating balls during power transfer between the input and output rings. Since converting my bike, I find myself riding in PAS level 4 of 5 when previously I more often used PAS level 3 of 5.
  • Using the manual twist shifter, I can shift down in small increments while pedaling uphill, but the hub will not shift up until you momentarily pause pedaling.
  • As with other internally geared hubs, Enviolo hubs can be shifted while stationary, which is helpful for riding in stop-start city traffic. The manual shifter can’t be rotated through the full 380% range, and you need to be moving to complete a full low-to-high shift.
  • The Enviolo cargo hub weighs about 5.5 lb.

Table 1: Types of Enviolo hub

Enviolo Hub Model

Gear Ratio Range

Continuous Torque from Motor

Brake Options

Maximum Weight



50 Nm


140 KG



50 Nm


160 KG



85 Nm


180 KG

Heavy Duty


100 Nm


250 KG



100 Nm


300 KG

Extreme Gearbox


85 Nm


500 KG

Source: Enviolo (2023), Enviolo Products, https://enviolo.com/products/.

For the 2020 model year, the Heavy-Duty hubs were strengthened to accept higher torque to work with 500w rated e-bike motors. Some brands, including Serial 1 and Evelo, began to pair the Enviolo Sportive model with more powerful 750w mid-drive motors.

For the 2023 model year, Enviolo introduced 'Extreme' models aimed at the commercial Cargo bike market. City e-bikes from brands including Gazelle and Azor tend to use the Enviolo Trekking model. Child hauling cargo bikes from Tern and Urban Arrow use the Enviolo Heavy Duty model.

The new Extreme hubs are designed to cope with a maximum gross vehicle weight, including rider and cargo, of 300kg/660lb for the Extreme model, or 550kg/1100lb for the Extreme Gearbox model. This is in line with emerging trends in commercial cargo e-bike and trike designs incorporating automotive technologies such as ABS, independent rear suspension, heavy duty swing arms, and heavier moped-rated rims and tires.

The Enviolo City and Commercial hubs appear to be used primarily on pedal bikes such as the Priority Turi, except a couple of e-cargo trike models from Bunch Bikes and Babboe.

Table 2: E-bikes with Enviolo hubs available in the US



Enviolo Hub


Riese & Müller

All models with Vario option

Trekking or Heavy Duty + Automatiq option

Bosch CX & Performance Speed

Serial 1

Rush/CTY models

Sportive + Automatiq

Brose S Mag & TF Mag


Omega, Aurora, Galaxy, Atlas

Trekking + Automatiq

Dapu MD750R &
Bafang M600


Turbo Vado 5.0, Como 5.0

Trekking + Automatiq option

Brose/Specialized 2.0


Ultimate C380 & C380+


Bosch Active Plus & Performance Speed

Urban Arrow

All models

Heavy Duty

Bosch CX Cargo

Zen Ebikes


Sportive + Automatiq

Bosch CX & Performance Speed



Trekking + Automatiq option

Bosch CX & Performance Speed



Trekking option

Shimano Steps e5000


FR8, KR8

Heavy Duty

Bafang BBS02




Wuxi Truckrun TM01


Drop, Kope

Heavy Duty

Bafang BBS02

Bunch Bikes


City + Automatiq

Bafang M400


Cargo Hybrid

Heavy Duty

Bosch CX Cargo


Premio Nu


Bosch CX


All Yamaha models


Yamaha PW


All models

Heavy Duty

Brose S

ICE Trikes


Trekking + Automatiq

Shimano Steps EP8


Hannah, Heinrich

Trekking + Automatiq

Bosch Performance



Unclear if the CVT option is Trekking or Sportive

Bofeili mid-drive


Electric Long


Shimano Steps e5000


Café Moto Go!


Bosch Performance Speed

Butchers and Bicycles


Heavy Duty + Automatiq

Bosch CX


Centauri & Sirius





Enviolo Extreme CVT with Automatiq

Bafang BBS02


Fetch+ 4

Heavy Duty

Bosch Performance Cargo

Enviolo works with over one hundred bicycle and e-bike brands; a comprehensive listing is available on the Enviolo website. Table 2 is a selection of e-bikes and e-trikes with Enviolo available in the US. Several models are not widely available in bike shops but have an importer in North America.


Enviolo hubs are sealed against water ingress and require no internal servicing maintenance or Valvoline traction fluid changes or top-ups for the life of the hub. 

The manual shifter uses two gear cables that require servicing, similar to other bicycle cables. Regular servicing of the manual shifter includes checking that the gear cables are fully seated and not frayed at the handlebar twist shifter and hub interface. 

The Automatiq optional handlebar controller is powered by a CR2032 coin battery that periodically needs replacing. If the battery runs down, the Enviolo phone app can be used to change pedal cadence.

Changing a flat tire on the manual shifter involves unhooking the two shifter cables before unbolting the axle nuts. On the Automatiq you must first unplug the power cable from the shifter interface before unbolting the axle nuts. The Enviolo website has videos showing the procedure.

Tips for DIY e-bike builders


Enviolo hubs are manufactured in China and are fitted to fully manufactured class 1-3 e-bikes from European and North American brands. The hubs are also available for retrofitting to DIY e-bikes. In North America, bike shops can order the hubs for building into a wheel rim from Quality Bicycle Products (QBP).

Alternatively, you can buy the hub laced into a rear wheel online from Universal Cycles or Modern Bike. The Enviolo website has a custom ordering tool for bike shops that lists the parts required. By way of illustration, here is the parts list my bike shop ordered from QBP in January 2022. The bike shop reused my rear wheel rim. I ordered an Enviolo Heavy Duty Cargo model with the manual shifter interface:

Parts list ordered to convert my bike.

What frame can I use?

For DIY builders Enviolo recommend fitting their hubs to a frame with horizontal or semi-horizontal sliding rear dropouts. It may work on a frame with vertical dropouts if fitted with a chain tensioner. If your bicycle frame has a rear frame break or a raised chain stay, the Enviolo can be used with the Gates belt drive. A chain can be entirely encased using the Hebie chain glider chain case, which is available with a rear part to fit Enviolo hubs. Enviolo hubs are heavy, adding approximately 5.5 lb.

When Papillon Cycles of Arlington converted my bike, they laced the hub into the rim, adding reinforced brass spoke head washers and nipples. Care should be taken at the hub end of the two gear cables emerging from the end of the cable housing to cut them to an exact length.

Enviolo sells a cable hardware installation tool that measures the correct cable length. Routing the stiff housing of two bicycle gear cables from the handlebar to the rear hub may require some creativity.

Do I need a gear sensor?

You do not need to fit a gear sensor to cut motor power while shifting. There can be a short delay between the sensor signal and the motor cutting power, whereas the planetary balls inside the Enviolo hub react instantly to gear shifting cable movement. You cannot upshift under load, and Enviolo recommends that you momentarily pause pedaling during shifting.

What size or tooth count rear sprocket and front chainring should I use?

Your choice of sprocket/chainring combination should be guided by the approved gearing ratios listed in the Technical Manual.

How do I power the shifter interface for the Automatiq?

The Automatiq shifter interface attached to the Enviolo hub is powered by any e-bike battery that can supply 18-55v current. Enviolo sells power harnesses with various connectors that communicate with multiple motors, e.g., Bosch systems. For other systems, Enviolo has a generic open-ended cable product # WIRE-AT3-DS-OE.

WARNING: Be sure to follow the pin-out diagram here

Connect the yellow voltage and blue ground wires to your red positive and black negative battery terminal wires. The WIRE-AT3-DS-OE power cable also has two additional red and black wires, which are meant for Can Bus communication. While I have not used the connection, I know someone who converted the Bosch system from a manual to Automatiq system using this power cable. I was told the Canbus wires do not need to be connected for the Automatiq shifter interface to work. I recommend that you confirm this with Enviolo before building this configuration.

Can I convert a pedal bike already fitted with an Enviolo hub?

The answer depends on what type of Enviolo hub is fitted to the pedal bike you wish to convert and what type of motor you want to use. Keep in mind the maximum continuous torque rating of the different Enviolo hubs as described in the Enviolo technical manual.

Good candidates for an upright city e-bike Enviolo conversion are from Dutch brand Azor. Their online pedal bike configurator offers an impressive array of custom components. You can build up various frames with an optional Enviolo Trekking hub and front disc brake. Azor’s e-bike frame option uses a Shimano Steps e5000 with modest torque (40Nm). A better bet for steep hills would be to build up an Azor pedal bike to convert with a more powerful DIY kit motor such as the Bafang BBS02 or Tongsheng TSDZ2. Your custom configuration can be passed on to their US distributor Amsterdam Bicycle Company when saved to the My Azor website.

If you want a Gates belt drive and are thinking of converting a prebuilt Priority brand pedal bike, be aware. Priority uses more than one type of Enviolo hub. For example, the Priority Turi model is fitted with the Enviolo City hub, and I would not recommend a mid-drive motor. Still, the bike could work with a 250w front hub motor. By contrast, the Priority Continuum model is fitted with the Enviolo Trekking hub, and it could work with a 500w mid-drive motor.

If you want to use a more powerful motor rated above 500w but producing no more than 120 Nm torque, I recommend using the Enviolo Heavy Duty hubs: the Cargo and Sportive models.

Where can I find manuals and warranty support?

Enviolo has a comprehensive website with manuals and videos. QBP handles claims under the 2-year Enviolo warranty in Bloomington, Minnesota.


The information in this article is from various sources, including the Enviolo website, e-bike brand websites, online e-bike forums including electricbikereview.com, electricbike.com, and Bike Twitter, YouTube videos and conversations with the staff at Papillon Cycles who converted my bike with an Enviolo hub.
Paul Levett - E-Bike Lovers - Senior Contributor

Paul is a librarian, cyclist, and Dad, who emigrated to the US from the UK in 2005. He started riding a bicycle for transportation at age 10, delivering newspapers. Currently he rides a Breezer Downtown pedal bicycle converted to an e-bike with a BBS01 kit motor. Paul lives in Arlington, VA.

Favorite e-bike: Tern HSD

Paul Levett


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