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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-26-09, 06:17 PM   #1
ginsoakedboy
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IGH - Is Alfine pretty good bang-for-th-buck?

Thinking about an IGH for the winter commuter. Assuming I don't want to spend the long green on Schmidt or Rohloff, is Alfine my best alternative?
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Old 07-26-09, 06:46 PM   #2
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Even more affordable would be the Nexus-8 or -7.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
Even more affordable would be the Nexus-8 or -7.
Probably not looking for the absolute rock-bottom dollar option, but I couldn't spend what a Schmidt or Rohloff costs. I was looking for something more moderately priced - but still decent.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:57 PM   #4
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If you don't need disc brake compatibility, the Nexus SG-8R36 is identical internally to the latest Alfine but less expensive.

Even less expensive yet is the SRAM S7, with the same overall range of the Shimano 8s in more even steps. I was on a street corner in Munich for some 45 minutes watching hundreds of bikes go by and I swear every fourth or fifth bike had an S7.

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Old 07-27-09, 04:21 PM   #5
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I think so at least for me so far. I got lucky and bought a brand new Alfine/Salsa rear wheel on Craigslist at a great price. At this point I really am happy with the performance for what it is. Dura Ace shifting precision it's not, but it's damn good for my formerly single speed commuter bike, and for the price. Also it's silent which is really cool. I'm looking forward to seeing how it does this winter.
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Old 07-27-09, 04:28 PM   #6
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Nexus 8 user here. IMO -the shifts are crisp and the range is fine for various terrain.
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Old 07-27-09, 05:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for the various replies. So as between the Nexus and the Alfine, it really just comes down to exterior finish and apparently the ability to choose 32h or 36h with Alfine?
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Old 07-27-09, 05:42 PM   #8
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I have an Alfine and I think it's very solid. It certainly feels better than the Nexus I rode.

I rode both the Alfine and Nexus in the same year. Some people have suggested that although they were the same year, they were different models and the latest Nexus is the same internally as the latest Alfine. It's possible, I have no idea. What I know for sure is that I wouldn't buy an older used Nexus - I think they're rather bottom of the barrel.
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Old 07-27-09, 06:19 PM   #9
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Ginsoakedboy--
This is not completely true. There are two levels of Nexus 8-- the regular, and the redband or "premium" nexus 8.
The normal nexus 8 is good by any standard, but apparently the premium model and the Alfine are on a different level, shifting up and down without noise or hesitation stopped, moving, or even under heavy pedaling load.

I have heard that the Alfine has an improved clutch mechanism over the nexus 8 premium, although I'm not sure this is true. In any case but both are supposed to be excellent. Many have said, in fact, that if you don't need a huge gearing range the Alfine is a better hub than the rohloff-- smoother, easier shifting, and lighter.
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Old 07-27-09, 06:37 PM   #10
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Nexus 8R35 = Alfine 500 guts
Nexus 8R36 = Alfine 501 guts

I'd get an Alfine, that way you can have a disc if you want it later, with Nexus you're stuck with a roller drum brake. I have an Nexus 8R35 and two Alfine 501s, shifting difference and quietness is very close. Alfine may be sealed better, hard to tell.
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Old 07-27-09, 06:38 PM   #11
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I used disc brakes last winter, and now I won't use anything else in the snow. If you have ice and snow in the winter, I recommend going with Alfine and disc brakes.

The Swobo Baxter looks like a nice ride. I've been looking at the Breezer Finesse too.
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Old 07-27-09, 08:07 PM   #12
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I like my Alfine. It is the only IGH I've ridden in, say, 40 years, so I couldn't compare it with others on the market.
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Old 07-27-09, 08:37 PM   #13
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I used disc brakes last winter, and now I won't use anything else in the snow. If you have ice and snow in the winter, I recommend going with Alfine and disc brakes.
Thanks for the confirmation.
My Surly 1X1 is in my LBS right now getting set up with IGH. Getting a little tired of the static mph on the single speed. Also heartily agree on disc brakes in the winter muck.
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Old 07-28-09, 06:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by alpacalypse View Post
Ginsoakedboy--
This is not completely true. There are two levels of Nexus 8-- the regular, and the redband or "premium" nexus 8.
This is not completely true. There have been four releases of the Nexus 8 (1) and four releases of the Nexus Premium 8 a.k.a. "Red Band" (2).

1. SG-8*20, -8*22, -8*30, -8*31
2. SG-8*25, -8*27, -8*35, -8*36

Despite having been suplanted by three subsequent, improved models, I still see the original -8*20 on large numbers of OEM bikes at the LBS and I suppect this lowest cost model is still in production along with the -8*31 and -8*36.

Some posters who have spent the extra dosh on the Alfine SG-S500S or -S501 swear that they work better than the less expensive Nexus SG-8*35 or -8*36 hubs even though Shimano's literature says they are identical internally. Sorry, but the OP asked about bang-for-buck.

HTH,
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Old 07-28-09, 06:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
I'd get an Alfine, that way you can have a disc if you want it later, with Nexus you're stuck with a roller drum brake...
..., caliper brakes or a coaster brake.

Best,
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Old 07-28-09, 11:05 AM   #16
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Thanks to all -- I think that's the info I was looking for. Minneapolis is my location also, so the info about the disc brakes will definitely bear upon my decision -- Although I will say that I have managed winter commuting successfully with rim brakes. Thanks again.
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Old 07-29-09, 02:40 PM   #17
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One happy Alfine user here, esp for wet winter commuting.
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Old 10-15-09, 09:09 AM   #18
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There is definitely a difference between the Nexus Standard and Nexus Premium. The Premium is much smoother. I haven't tried the Alfine, but I hear most people can't determine the difference between Nexus Premium and Alfine. I will have to try it out myself.
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Old 10-15-09, 09:40 AM   #19
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Having pulled apart a Nexus 8R35 and an Alfine 501 I can say the Alfine is much better sealed, esp on the non-drive side.
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Old 10-15-09, 11:55 AM   #20
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Having pulled apart a Nexus 8R35 and an Alfine 501 I can say the Alfine is much better sealed, esp on the non-drive side.
Wonderful, given that the -S501 is the latest generation Alfine and the -8R35 is the previous, now obsolete version Nexus. Progress is good.

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Old 10-15-09, 12:12 PM   #21
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Wonderful, given that the -S501 is the latest generation Alfine and the -8R35 is the previous, now obsolete version Nexus. Progress is good.
LOL, if you go to:

http://techdocs.shimano.com

and look at both diagrams, you'll see the 8R35 and the 8R36 have the same non-drive side cones set up...so the info is good...the upgrades are to the internals....
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Old 10-15-09, 12:14 PM   #22
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You might want to check out this article:

http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/in...ar-hub-review/

Contains some technical information but still an easy read. Best of all, it's unbiased. All the responses above are based in personal experience and may be of even more value. Who's to say? You're question made me think of this article so, for what it's worth, here it is. Happy dilemma!
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Old 10-15-09, 12:50 PM   #23
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I'm really, really tempted to go with a nuvinci for the next commuter I get, but as it would be strictly a commuter, and not any super speed, the 8 lbs wouldn't be much of a penalty...
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Old 10-17-09, 07:56 AM   #24
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If you're not riding in extreme conditions, the SRAM im9 is a good option. They can be had for the same price as the new 501 Alfine. IMHO, it's better for the road, the gear steps are even, the Alfine/Nexus 5-6 step is huge, right in the sweetspot. Has disc mount, gripshift only.
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Old 10-17-09, 08:18 AM   #25
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If it is any consolation, I understand that SRAM used to be Sachs.
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