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  1. #1
    drg
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    36 Spoke, rim brake front wheel around Shimano Alfine dyno hub

    Looking for a wheel builder in the South Bay Area (around San Jose) to build a touring wheel around a Shimano Alfine dyno hub, rim brakes. I went to a highly recommended shop/builder and was told that rim brakes not an option w/that hub. (I didn't ask his reasoning, and others tell me it's possible.) Instead he suggested using a SRAM i-light hub, and quoted me about $250. I liked the price, but couldn't find much online recommending that hub.
    Other lbs staff tell me yes, rim brakes are an option w/ the Alfine hub. But also tell me 32 holes will be fine, that 36 holes "isn't really necessary, and 32 holes builds up more nicely."
    My dilemma is: do I go with the shop that says I can't have the hub I want, but will give me my 36 spokes; or do I go with the shop that will build around the hub, but wants to give me only 32 spokes?
    Best solution: Find a builder who knows what I'm after and will build it. (Unless I get an education here first, and realize that what I think I want isn't really a good idea.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drg View Post
    Looking for a wheel builder in the South Bay Area (around San Jose) to build a touring wheel around a Shimano Alfine dyno hub, rim brakes. I went to a highly recommended shop/builder and was told that rim brakes not an option w/that hub. (I didn't ask his reasoning, and others tell me it's possible.) Instead he suggested using a SRAM i-light hub, and quoted me about $250. I liked the price, but couldn't find much online recommending that hub.
    Other lbs staff tell me yes, rim brakes are an option w/ the Alfine hub. But also tell me 32 holes will be fine, that 36 holes "isn't really necessary, and 32 holes builds up more nicely."
    My dilemma is: do I go with the shop that says I can't have the hub I want, but will give me my 36 spokes; or do I go with the shop that will build around the hub, but wants to give me only 32 spokes?
    Best solution: Find a builder who knows what I'm after and will build it. (Unless I get an education here first, and realize that what I think I want isn't really a good idea.)
    Contact Anthony at Longleaf Bicycles. He is an outstanding wheel builder and will give you a recommendation. I don't see what the hub has to do with whether you can use rim brakes or not. I have a city bike that uses a Shimano dynohub with roller brakes, but the roller brake can be left off, dust cap in place and use rim brakes.

    Aaron
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  3. #3
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    Sounds like you should tell the second shop you want the 36-spoke version of the hub... I think they're right, that you don't need more than 32 spokes, but if you walked in with money and wanted a 36-spoke wheel I'd certainly build one for you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    As long as you're sure that you mean rim brakes, not disc brakes, then I don't know why anyone would tell you that. And I have a Shimano dynamo hub that I'm pretty sure is disc-compatible, so I don't even know why they would tell you that, either.
    The idea that any hub would be incompatible with rim brakes seems strange enough that I would want to go talk to the person again and make sure there was no miscommunication. Is there any chance that it's your rim that's not compatible? That said, lower spokes on the front wheel should not be a problem. I was all set to build up my own dynamo hub, but found a Handspun wheel that suited my needs and was about the same cost or cheaper than my building it up. Only problem was that I wanted 36 spokes, but the price was right, so I settled for less spokes, and the wheel has been fine.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    As long as you're sure that you mean rim brakes, not disc brakes, then I don't know why anyone would tell you that. And I have a Shimano dynamo hub that I'm pretty sure is disc-compatible, so I don't even know why they would tell you that, either.
    The first shop is probably confused. Alfine hubs are the only IGH hubs Shimano makes that support disc brakes. But, like any disc-capable hub there's no reason you have to use discs...

  6. #6
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    Shimano make non-groupset dynamo hubs of various grades, with and without brake fittings , in 32 and 36 spoke.
    I got the DH3D71 in 36. I wanted 32 but it want in stock and my wheelbuilder reckons that 36 spokes hold up to disc braking better but with rim brakes, it is not an issue.
    The Alfine is basically this model in black. The centrelock mount comes with a rubber shroud.

  7. #7
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    The first shop is probably confused. Alfine hubs are the only IGH hubs Shimano makes that support disc brakes. But, like any disc-capable hub there's no reason you have to use discs...
    I was a little concerned when I bought my commuter wheel because it was disk capable. But the only concern was that the rim wasn't meant for rim brakes. In that case, it just means that it wasn't machined, and I still haven't managed to wear through the anodizing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I was a little concerned when I bought my commuter wheel because it was disk capable. But the only concern was that the rim wasn't meant for rim brakes. In that case, it just means that it wasn't machined, and I still haven't managed to wear through the anodizing.
    Maybe on your rim that is the case. I don't know which rim you have. Some "disc brake only" rims either don't have enough vertical braking area for rim brakes. Also, the metal can be thinner in this area since they were not meant to be used with rim brakes.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    drg, why do you want the Alfine hub? Is it because the Alfine comes in a 36 hole hub? I would rather have a 32h hub that would have symmetrical dishing, than a 36 hole one that is asymmetrical. Do you just have this hub and want to build a wheel? Or do you still need to buy the hub?

    If you already have the hub, just have it built. It will be fine and can handle rim brakes.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    Maybe on your rim that is the case. I don't know which rim you have. Some "disc brake only" rims either don't have enough vertical braking area for rim brakes. Also, the metal can be thinner in this area since they were not meant to be used with rim brakes.
    This ^^^ my Redline R530 bike came with rims that won't work with rim brakes. The bike came stock with roller brakes. I have since upgraded to a better quality rim, the rims now are rim brake compatible however I am still using roller brakes.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  11. #11
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    Even for a fully loaded touring bike, I wouldn't worry about 32 vs 36 spokes for the front wheel. If you've determined that 36 spokes are sufficient for your rear wheel, then 32 should be fine for the front, whether or not it requires a little dishing for a disc-brake compatibility. I think SweetLou is right-on in post #9.
    Last edited by Derailed; 02-11-12 at 12:04 PM.

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