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Alfine 8 speed for daily commuter

Old 10-27-15, 09:20 AM
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magomaev
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Alfine 8 speed for daily commuter

Looking for a new bike. Very interested in Alfine 8 speed for daily commuter. Like Giant Seek 1.
Interested to hear from people who own Alfine drive bikes.
What are the pros and cons?
Any comments would be appreciated.
Thank you

Last edited by magomaev; 10-27-15 at 09:39 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 10-27-15, 08:34 PM
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My understanding is that it shifts a little slower and differently. You have to stop peddling for it to shift. Just what I heard.
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Old 10-27-15, 09:08 PM
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I have a standard Nexus 8, and a premium Nexus 8.
I prefer them to my derailleur bikes for commuting as they can be shifted when stopped, are more durable, require less maintenance, and less vulnerable. A nice advantage is that they use cheap, durable 1/8" chain in a straight run, which substantially increases the life of the chain, chainring, and cog.

It's not necessary to stop pedaling to shift, just momentarily lighten pressure, but they basically shift just as fast and crisp. If using a grip or lever shifter, one can jump any number of gears in one shift. The gearing range is a little on the narrow side for my very hilly terrain, but adequate. It adds a couple of steps to removing the rear wheel, disconnecting the shift cable, and tensioning the chain, but its only a minute or so.
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Old 10-27-15, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I have a standard Nexus 8, and a premium Nexus 8.
I prefer them to my derailleur bikes for commuting as they can be shifted when stopped, are more durable, require less maintenance, and less vulnerable. A nice advantage is that they use cheap, durable 1/8" chain in a straight run, which substantially increases the life of the chain, chainring, and cog.

It's not necessary to stop pedaling to shift, just momentarily lighten pressure, but they basically shift just as fast and crisp. If using a grip or lever shifter, one can jump any number of gears in one shift. The gearing range is a little on the narrow side for my very hilly terrain, but adequate. It adds a couple of steps to removing the rear wheel, disconnecting the shift cable, and tensioning the chain, but its only a minute or so.
Perfect this is exactly what i was looking for. Just one more question. What bike do you have?
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Old 10-27-15, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I have a standard Nexus 8, and a premium Nexus 8.
I prefer them to my derailleur bikes for commuting as they can be shifted when stopped, are more durable, require less maintenance, and less vulnerable. A nice advantage is that they use cheap, durable 1/8" chain in a straight run, which substantially increases the life of the chain, chainring, and cog.

It's not necessary to stop pedaling to shift, just momentarily lighten pressure, but they basically shift just as fast and crisp. If using a grip or lever shifter, one can jump any number of gears in one shift. The gearing range is a little on the narrow side for my very hilly terrain, but adequate. It adds a couple of steps to removing the rear wheel, disconnecting the shift cable, and tensioning the chain, but its only a minute or so.
Note: That's a feature of all IGH's. The reason is that pedal pressure holds the clutch against the driver. It's not so much of a drawback, as it's just something to remember and make a habit.
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Old 10-27-15, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by magomaev View Post
Perfect this is exactly what i was looking for. Just one more question. What bike do you have?
The standard Nexus is the OE hub of my Gazelle Toer Populair, and the Premium Nexus 8 is currently in an old Robin Hood sport, with plans to switch it over to my Flying Pigeon path racer.
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Old 10-27-15, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by magomaev View Post
Looking for a new bike. Very interested in Alfine 8 speed for daily commuter. Like Giant Seek 1.
Interested to hear from people who own Alfine drive bikes.
What are the pros and cons?
Any comments would be appreciated.
Thank you
Pros:

Silent coasting
Generally smooth shifting
Mechanicals largely protected from the elements
Can shift while stopped
Adequate range
Longer chain life
Simple adjustment


Cons:

Heavy (if that matters to you)
Largish gap between 5th and 6th gear
Lubricant thickens in really cold weather (replacing grease with oil helps)
When it does require maintenance, it's a bit of a job
A significant problem usually means an expensive replacement
Slightly more work to remove the wheel
Limited low end gearing (not an issue unless you have REALLY steep hills)
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Old 10-27-15, 10:05 PM
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I have a 2015 GT Eightball Shimano Alfine 8 Speed IGH bike.

Smooth, crisp and reliable drive.

Only con is slightly heavier weight though an all-aluminum frame and fork mitigate it.

I can recommend Shimano Alfine IGH for day to day riding.
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Old 10-27-15, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Note: That's a feature of all IGH's. The reason is that pedal pressure holds the clutch against the driver. It's not so much of a drawback, as it's just something to remember and make a habit.
Yes, and it quickly becomes second nature, although when cruising under light load, or up shifting on downgrades it's usually not necessary.
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Old 10-27-15, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post

Silent coasting
That's something to keep in mind if one is used to the sound of a freewheel alerting others to their presence, but also very nice when one has the opportunity to ride somewhere quiet.
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Old 10-28-15, 07:15 AM
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i was thinking about giant seek 1. I see a lot of bikes that have a combination of alfine and carbon belt. But i am a bit worried about belt tension, so i am thinking of getting one with the chain
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Old 10-28-15, 07:27 AM
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Also I would probably have to research what is the difference between Alfine 8 and premium Nexus 8.
They got to be very similar.
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Old 10-28-15, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by magomaev View Post
Also I would probably have to research what is the difference between Alfine 8 and premium Nexus 8.
They got to be very similar.
I've had both. The Alfine works with disc brakes, the Nexus premium with roller brakes. Either can work with rim brakes of some type. Otherwise they are the same, unless that is something that's changed in the last year or two.

So if you want disc brakes, the Nexus won't work. At least not without a hard to find German gizmo that lets you mount a rotor on it.
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Old 10-28-15, 08:13 AM
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FYI, the Allfine trigger shifter will work with all 3. I use one on my Gazelle and really like it
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Old 10-28-15, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by magomaev View Post
Also I would probably have to research what is the difference between Alfine 8 and premium Nexus 8.
They got to be very similar.
The difference is the Alfine can work with disc brakes and the Nexus cannot.

There are several versions of the Nexus, but the Premium (red band) is otherwise identical to the Alfine.

Earlier versions of the Nexus had issues with water intrusion, so be sure you are getting the Premium if you buy it.

You can tell by the red band but also by the model number.



I have a Dynamic shaft drive winter commuter hybrid with the Alfine 8, a Trek 700 converted to Nexus 7, a Raleigh Misceo 4 with Alfine 11, and folding bikes with Alfine 11, Nexus 7, NuVinci 360, Rohloff and Sturmey Archer internal hubs so you could say they I'm pretty big into them.
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Old 10-28-15, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ShortLegCyclist View Post
The difference is the Alfine can work with disc brakes and the Nexus cannot.

There are several versions of the Nexus, but the Premium (red band) is otherwise identical to the Alfine.

Earlier versions of the Nexus had issues with water intrusion, so be sure you are getting the Premium if you buy it.

You can tell by the red band but also by the model number.



I have a Dynamic shaft drive winter commuter hybrid with the Alfine 8, a Trek 700 converted to Nexus 7, a Raleigh Misceo 4 with Alfine 11, and folding bikes with Alfine 11, Nexus 7, NuVinci 360, Rohloff and Sturmey Archer internal hubs so you could say they I'm pretty big into them.
i figured this would be perfect for my winter commute. Giant Seek 1 has Alfine 8 hub with Shimano disc brakes. I figure I will get that. I do not need 11 speed. I ride mostly flat.
I spoke with guys at local LBS and they are saying that changing oil is easy. Buy $20 bottle on ebay and they will show me how to change it for another $20. That is what i am thinking.
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Old 10-28-15, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by magomaev View Post
i figured this would be perfect for my winter commute. Giant Seek 1 has Alfine 8 hub with Shimano disc brakes. I figure I will get that. I do not need 11 speed. I ride mostly flat.
I spoke with guys at local LBS and they are saying that changing oil is easy. Buy $20 bottle on ebay and they will show me how to change it for another $20. That is what i am thinking.
On youtube you can search for "alfine oil bath" to get an idea. If it weren't for the stupid split ring, it would probably be easy, - depending on your definition of easy. You have to pull the guts out and there's a fair number of steps to get to that point.

Some IGHs just have an oil port. That's what I would consider easy.

I wouldn't let it factor into your decision, especially if they're willing to do it for $20 if you decide you don't want to do it on your own.

Last edited by tjspiel; 10-28-15 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 10-28-15, 11:10 AM
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Note that IGH need a chain-tensioning system. Avoid spring-loaded tensioners. Look at sliding vertical dropouts, a good eccentric bottom bracket (EBB) or plain horizontal dropouts.
EBB can be secured with 2 external bolts clamping the BB shell, an internal wedge, a self-releasing wedge, a small set screw.

Set screw is the worst method, and wedges should be self releasing. My external bolt clamp is simple and easy.
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Old 10-28-15, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Note that IGH need a chain-tensioning system.
What standard OEM IGH eguipped bike (one front sprocket, one rear sprocket) needs a chain-tensioning system?
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Old 10-28-15, 11:39 AM
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2 guys from Sweden brought over step thru commuter bikes with nexus 8 speed IGH

they started in Anchorsage Alaska and passed thru here in November,

were heading down the coast, across the southern tier route then planned to fly back to Stockholm from Miami..

....

Ones just using a vertical dropout frame they made so many Of..

particularly with a Disc Brake .. the wheel and brake dont move in relation to each other

My Bike Friday Pocket Llama , hinges to fold behind the BB so It has a Chain Tensioner..





.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-30-17 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 10-28-15, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Ones just using a vertical dropout frame they made so many Of..
Who is "they" who equipped vertical dropout frames with IGH hubs and chain tensioners, other than tinkerers; and of course folder bikes and fabricators of other not-so-typical bicycles?
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Old 10-28-15, 11:56 AM
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Your question, do the work ..



They is the huge Taiwan monster factories.. Maxway, Merida and Giant ,each make dozens of other brands, as well as their own logo.





If you Bought the newest redesign of the Bi Fri NWT, the frame is divided ahead of the BB

so it will work with a Belt drive , or take the slack out of your Chain..







.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-30-17 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 10-28-15, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Your question, do the work ..
I've got the answer: As expected, few, if any standard upright bikes equipped with an IGH sold in the U.S require a chain tensioner. There may be a few odd ball configurations and home brews like folders made for fringe uses, but that doesn't explain the previous comment from Michael W. "Note that IGH need a chain-tensioning system."
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Old 10-28-15, 12:59 PM
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I have a Giant Seek 0. The Nexus is OK. My only real gripe with it is that some of the gears are pretty widely spaced. It's not uncommon for me to get into a situation where one gear is too low and the next is too high. I don't have that problem with derailleurs. Possibly I could change the cog and move that transition somewhere it wouldn't bother me.
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Old 10-28-15, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I've got the answer: As expected, few, if any standard upright bikes equipped with an IGH sold in the U.S require a chain tensioner. There may be a few odd ball configurations and home brews like folders made for fringe uses, but that doesn't explain the previous comment from Michael W. "Note that IGH need a chain-tensioning system."
Although I didn't buy a complete bike, one configuration it was sold in had an IGH. It has vertical dropouts and an EBB. They later switched to sliding dropouts. I don't think it's that unusual. Anytime a disc brake is involved (pretty common with Alfines), you probably have vertical dropouts.
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