|Not a Night Crawler!|
Yep! It really doesn't have "gears". It has balls and ramps though! Without twisting your mind into mush explaining the inner workings of a Nuvinci, (which if ya gotta see, can be found here), just know that it is the smoothest shifting hub ever. Well, shifting isn't really the right word for it. You twist a throttle like collar, and the pedaling feels different.
Harder or easier, really, that's about the size of it. You want to spin? You can keep your cadence perfect, no matter if you have hills or downhills, until the terrain exceeds the capacity for the hub to keep up. That was the only downer on the Crawler. It just wasn't quite geared low enough.
Otherwise, you twisted one way for going up, and the other for flatter or downhill terrain. It was really interesting how you can fine tune the cadence you desire accordingly to speed and how you feel. It was really intuitive and fun, actually.
The bad side? This hub weighs a metric ton. It made the rearward weight bias on the Crawler really noticeable, and the entire bike had to weigh well north of 40lbs.
The thing was, I was looking at the bike that was the closest to my ideal winter rig. Single speed type drive, IGH type drive train, and the only thing missing here- the Gates Center Track.
Now that and a lighter set up would be totally killer in winter.