Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

alfine hub and disc brakes

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.

alfine hub and disc brakes

Reply

Old 02-07-12, 07:55 PM
  #1  
jeff51
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
alfine hub and disc brakes

my son's going to start getting around by bicycle, and i'm thinking of getting him a bike with shimano alfine 8 speed hub and afline hydraulic disc brakes. i wonder if anyone has had experience they'd like to share with that setup. particularly interested in maintenance, reliability, and ease of getting wheels off the bike to fix flats. thanks a lot, jeff

http://bicycletouringoncarfreepaths.org/
jeff51 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-12, 08:39 PM
  #2  
Rhodabike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Potashville
Posts: 1,079

Bikes: Reynolds 531P road bike, Rocky Mountain Metropolis, Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10, Look 566

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
There are several threads on this subject, just type Alfine into the search box.
I have a bike with these components and find it pretty reliable. Mind you, I don't do huge distances on it. Getting the wheel off means having a 15mm wrench in your kit. Slightly more hassle than taking off a quick release wheel with a derailleur gear, but not so difficult. Practicing at home a few times is a good idea.
The cable may need tweaking after that.
Here's a video of the process. Ignore the advice to shift to 4th gear for taking the wheel off, you actually want to be in 1st gear to have the cable as loose as possible. 4th is what you need to be in to adjust the cable tension.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGEXjpXtw4g
Rhodabike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-12, 04:41 AM
  #3  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Alfine is a great piece of kit. Removing the wheel is not that difficult, the only extra step is unhooking the cable and that takes about 5 seconds. I never need to adjust the cable for wheel removal, it just slots in and out.

Reliability is excellent, the only issue I had was the grease solidifying in very cold conditions (-10C), leaving the bike stuck in gear. The std maintenance treatment for Alfine is an oil dip of the innards. Very few shops will attempt this but its not difficult. Most home mechanics use cheap automatic transmission fluid rather than the really expensive shimano oil. My hub runs smoother with oil than with grease.
I use my bike in all weather, wet/dry, day/night and the hub gear stays cleaner than a derailleur system.

With any hub-geared bike, you need to consider how to tension the chain. Dont get a std bike with a spring and pulley tensioning gadget, these are for retrofitting the hub to derailleur bikes; they collect dirt and need cleaning as much as derailleurs.. Get a frame with:
Sliding vertical dropouts
Eccentric bottom bracket
Horizontal dropouts

The Gates belt-drive system for hub gears is very clean and neat but it requires a frame with a splitable rear triangle so you can fit the continuous belt through the frame. I think that sooner or later Gates drive will take off in a big way.
MichaelW is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-12, 08:31 AM
  #4  
newkie
dazed and confused
 
newkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 249

Bikes: 2011 Cube Hyde Team Alfine 8 IGH, 2007 Giant Rock hardtail mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, great advice so far.

I'll only chime in to say I've had a bike with this setup for a year and am really pleased. I used to have to constantly adjust my brake cables as I have some downhill corners. If you're sick of adjusting your brakes, hydraulic is the way to go. No more cable stretch!
newkie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-12, 10:22 AM
  #5  
canyoneagle 
Senior Member
 
canyoneagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chapel Hill, NC (temporary)
Posts: 4,512

Bikes: Jamis Dragon 29er. Frame waiting for roads: 1990 Zullo EL-OS

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
I've ridden the Simano Nexus 8 and Alfine 8 on my primary transportation bicycles for the past 6 years, and am extremely pleased with my experience.
My wife's bike has the Alfine hub/hydraulic disc combo and it is a very nice setup. Excellent quality all around.

I'll add another note regarding wheel removal - it is EASY, once you know how to do it. It is daunting to do the first time, because it is so different than a derailleur setup. What I've found is that I actually find it easier to do than with a derailleur - there's no navigating around a pulley or tussling with the springy derailleur to align things before slipping the wheel into/out of the dropouts.
So, follow the advice posted thus far and get your hands on it to get comfy with it.
I highly recommend having a 2mm hex key (or I use a 6" length of an old spoke) to insert into the hole (that shimano has provided for this purpose) to rotate the mechanism, making the cable process ridiculously easy. Takes me 5 seconds or less to remove or re-install the cable.

As far as reliability, once the initial indexing is set up properly, it is a spectacular system that will give you many, many miles of trouble free service (or least, it has in my experience).
__________________
Main bike: retro-mod build - 1990 Zullo EL-OS frame with 2018 Chorus
canyoneagle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-12, 04:25 PM
  #6  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 38,964

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 155 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6018 Post(s)
One thing about hydraulics, they self adjust for pad wear, so when the wheel is out
stuff something in the caliper and/or dont touch the brake lever
or the pads will move together and wont retract. so put a disk keeper in the patch kit.

Avid BB7 seem good enough, and don't have that issue.
fietsbob is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-12, 05:10 PM
  #7  
mikepwagner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 523

Bikes: 2012 Motobecane (BikesDirect) Immortal Force; 2011 (?) Civia Bryant Gates Carbon Belt Drive (upgraded to Alfine 11 and Gates CenterTrack)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The Civia Bryant is supposed to come with an alfine 11 in 2012. I don't think that the brakes are hydraulic.

http://civiacycles.com/bikes/bryant/bryant_belt_alfine/
http://www.beltbik.es/civia-cycles/2...nt-belt-alfine
mikepwagner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-12, 05:12 PM
  #8  
mikepwagner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 523

Bikes: 2012 Motobecane (BikesDirect) Immortal Force; 2011 (?) Civia Bryant Gates Carbon Belt Drive (upgraded to Alfine 11 and Gates CenterTrack)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Maybe another possibility?

http://www.rei.com/product/825377/no...tham-bike-2012
mikepwagner is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service