Alfine's ???

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Alfine's ???

Postby Chuckles1981 » Wed May 21, 2008 2:13 pm

hey peeps
Im looking into a commuter bike but cant decide if i should go internal or not...i have'nt ridden much bikes so i dont know the performance or other issues it might have. but the two bikes im looking at is the Trek Soho 4.0 & the Moongoose Saborosa Ocho both around the $1300 price mark...
NOW
Trek 7.5 FX
Jamis Ranger 3.0

NEXT
Giant Trance X1
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by BNA » Wed May 21, 2008 8:11 pm

BNA
 

Postby vitualis » Wed May 21, 2008 8:11 pm

The Cell SS101 runs on the Shimano Alfine groupset as well and is substantially cheaper at $750. It uses V-brakes rather than disc brakes, however, and doesn't come with the Alfine dynamos.

http://cellbikes.com.au/p_565_CELL__SS_ ... aintenance

In terms of shifting, it is absolutely marvelous. As the chain doesn't have to jump from one cog to another, the shift is extremely smooth. Indeed, you can shift when coasting or even when stationary. Also, unlike a standard freehub it is absolutely silent when coasting.

Furthermore, there is effectively no maintenance. Adjusting the shift cable is as simple as adjusting the tension until two marks line up.

The disadvantage though is that gearing is not as wide and there are bigger jumps between gears. However, I never found this to be an issue when using this bike for commuting.

Cheers.
Michael Tam
Photos: Michael's bicycle obsession
2009 Pegoretti Responsorium Ciavete Custom :: 1982/3 Colnago Super :: 2006 Cannondale Six13 Pro :: Late 1980s Repco Superlite
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Postby Dcyclist » Wed May 21, 2008 8:46 pm

My commuter, (Avanti Blade8) has the Nexus8 shimano hub gears, as do the Giant CRX city, and Merida's Speeder i8. All of these bikes sell for $1000 or less. I'm not sure of your location, or where you are planning to ride, but I would not go with internal gears for any location that involves substantial hills on a regular basis. As vitualis said the gear range is not as wide as dérailleur systems, but for commuting on a regular basis they are fantastic. I'm not saying that you can't ride hills with these bikes, just that they don't do hills as nicely as some other bikes do. I have ridden in the Dandenong Ranges several times on my Blade, and it has performed well. When I first got it though, I wasn't as fit, and found some hills a bit of a struggle. Over the last year, I've managed to tune the engine a bit better, and generally find that hills are no longer a problem.
Dave
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Avanti Blade8
Bianchi C2C Via Nirone
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Postby Hotdog » Sun May 25, 2008 1:09 am

My old commuter has a Nexus Premium 8-speed hub, which I believe is internally identical to the Alfine hubs (the main different between the Alfine and Nexus groups, as far as I can tell, is that Alfine is designed for disc brakes rather than roller hub brakes like the Nexus group). They're great for urban riding, basically maintenance free and the ability to shift to any gear you want in an instant even while coasting or stationary is really handy in traffic.

As the others say the overall gear range isn't huge and I did struggle on a few of Sydney's hills for a while until I got fitter, but to be fair it is still more than a factor of three. While that's somewhat narrower than a touring bike/MTB (triple) derailleur setup it's still more range than a lot of road bikes have.

The main downside for me wasn't the range really, it was more the interval between gears. I don't know whether the Alfine is different, but with the Nexus the intervals between gears were somewhat uneven and the result was a couple of particularly large steps. The big jump between 5th and 6th irked me a bit on group rides, the groups I rode with often rode at just the right speed to leave me wishing for a 5 1/2th gear in order to get a comfortable cadence. This was never a problem commuting though, when riding on my own I'd just naturally ride at speeds corresponding to good cadences for the gears I had available and I didn't notice the gaps then.
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Postby vitualis » Sun May 25, 2008 11:36 am

Probably same with the Alfine. The lower gears are okay for stop-start traffic where you are basically riding at < 24 km/h. However, there are some pretty big gaps in the top gears (basically from gears 5-8).

Regards.
Michael Tam
Photos: Michael's bicycle obsession
2009 Pegoretti Responsorium Ciavete Custom :: 1982/3 Colnago Super :: 2006 Cannondale Six13 Pro :: Late 1980s Repco Superlite
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Postby Geoff3DMN » Sun May 25, 2008 2:38 pm

I love the internal gears on my Giant Cypress city... so smooth and really wonderful to use.

Like other posters have said though... there are some gaps and I found myself wishing for extra gears at times.

I love the range of ratios on my Fuji but in comparison gear changing feels noisy and sluggish.

Maybe a bike with a 14 speed Rohloff hub is the ideal solution :wink:
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

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Postby Hotdog » Sun May 25, 2008 5:48 pm

vitualis wrote:Probably same with the Alfine. The lower gears are okay for stop-start traffic where you are basically riding at < 24 km/h. However, there are some pretty big gaps in the top gears (basically from gears 5-8).

Yep, I believe internally the Alfine is identical to the Nexus Premium.

Actually, the gap between 6th and 7th isn't that big and the gap between 7th and 8th is one of the smallest of the lot, it's just the gap between 5th and 6th that's big. Here are the fractional steps, taken from Sheldon Brown's internal gear page:

1st -> 2nd: 22.2%
2nd -> 3rd: 16.1%
3rd -> 4th: 13.8%
4th -> 5th: 17.5%
5th -> 6th: 22.3%
6th -> 7th: 16.0%
7th -> 8th: 13.8%

Only really a problem if your chainring, sprocket and wheel size are such that your normal cruising speed ends up falling in the big 5th-6th gap.

Geoff3DMN wrote:Maybe a bike with a 14 speed Rohloff hub is the ideal solution :wink:

I'd love one too... :D 14 ratios, perfectly even spaced 13.6% apart for a total range of 526%. And within the next year the lighter weight version will be available, with an even greater overall range (still 14 ratios, so slightly wider spacing). They cost a fortune though, but it's been argued that in the long run the total cost of ownership is about the same as high end derailleur gears as Rohloff drivetrains last forever with minimal maintenance whereas derailleur parts wear out more rapidly.
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