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fixedup 03-22-08 06:29 PM

Thoughts on these for a tour rig

Im starting to think of possibilities for a tour rig/everyday bike ( im used to riding fixed gears only) and like internal gear hubs, they seem to give an adequate amount of gear inches. Anybody got any opinions or thoughs?

Rowan 03-22-08 06:47 PM

If you dig further, you will find Sheldon appeared to be a big fan of the new Shimano Alfine range, too. Add that to your list of possibilities. Sheldon obviously had seen and tried the hub prior to its release, and was impressed. You may be lucky enough to get on to them as retail stock -- I think Sheldon said they were only coming out initial as original equiipment on certain models of new bikes.

As to the lighting issue, you need to decide how much night riding you actually intend to do. Dynohubs aren't necessary for touring when a headtorch can double for camp and emergency night riding. However, if you intend to use your new rig for commuting and do a lot in winter darkness or you work shifts and you like riding/touring at night (some of us do!), then a dynohub has distinct advantages over batteries -- it's there, permanently, ready to go. As to friction, Shimano have, I believe, improved their dynohubs considerably and the drag factor is almost negligible for ordinary, utlity riding.

Halthane 03-23-08 10:55 AM

Was digging through the quality bike parts catalog a couple days ago and I'm pretty sure I saw alfine hubs listed for individual purchase.

fixedup 03-23-08 11:05 AM

They are available for individual purchase. Im still debating though on getting them. I'm also debating on what frame I will be putting them on. I'm trying to decide on a surly frame.

ricohman 03-23-08 11:31 AM

I like both of these hubs. But the only "problem" I can see with them is if something goes wrong, can I fix it in a campground with my tools? This really pertains to the drive hub as I can live without light.
I can shorten my chain to run any gear in a worse case scenario on a conventional bike. But internally geared hubs, like a 3 speed hub, have many little parts that need to be just right.

Bacciagalupe 03-23-08 11:45 AM

From what I've heard, if you're going for a Nexus make sure to get the Red Band. You could go for a Rohloff, if you have a lot of disposable income. ;)

In general though, with IH's, pros: Low maintenance; less susceptible to dirt and mud; no worries about rear derailleur clearance; straight chain.

Cons: Not repairable in the field; less efficient than derailleurs; heavy.

As to frame, fwiw I'm using a Cross-Check, so far so good but haven't toured on it yet. The higher BB feels a little odd at first and you have to go a size smaller than you normally would, but it's quite comfortable and stable. Very good for rough pavement, gravel, dirt and so forth.

58Kogswell 03-23-08 02:09 PM

Originally Posted by fixedup (Post 6389413)
They are available for individual purchase. Im still debating though on getting them. I'm also debating on what frame I will be putting them on. I'm trying to decide on a surly frame.

Nice photo of a Surly CrossCheck equipped with Afline hub here:

and see the blog at for a little more information about this one that they put together which uses bar-end shifters. Jim says he has these hubs for sale individually.

fixedup 03-23-08 04:06 PM

That cross check is almost identical to what I want in a build, and WITH a bar end shifter. I was really hoping to find a way around the twist grip or rapid fire shifters that shimano offers.

Rowan 03-23-08 04:29 PM

I sometimes think this repairability issue in the field is overstated. The reliability of most of these hubs (front and rear) is high, as far as I am aware. I know it's a different brand, but the SON dynohub I have has been running for over 40,000km in randonneuring and commuting conditions, and has not been touched once. I think perhaps Shimano learned a bit from SON in terms of seals and efficiency.

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