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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:33 am
Posts: 4
Really happy to have found this forum! So much good info on here.

To the point: Is this combo even physically possible? Is it asinine? Weight? Friction?

I recently picked up a used Madone 5.9 frameset for a ridiculously good price.
I can't afford all the fancy DuraAce components, so I'm cobbling together what I can, but still want to keep the weight down.
I do not race, but I do go really, really fast. I also live in Portland, so there's a good deal of hills around here. I intend to do 60 miles to the coast with this build, which will go over the Cascades (baby mountains, more like big hills).

Now to build up the bike -

Looking for some wheels, found a set of Shimano Alfine 8sp wheels.
Info:
"Shimano Alfine disc wheelset perfect for commuting. The rims are disc only 28 hole Shimano medium v's. The front hub is an Alfine generator hub and the rear is an Alfine 8spd internal hub. The set is basically brand new, I only used them for a few weeks before deciding to go back to single speed riding. They come with center lock rotors as well as the rear shifter. Asking $250 or trades"

Reading the forums, people have concerns about the weight.. but do these full wheelsets (the pair coming in at 3,600g/8lbs) really weight more than a pair of decent aluminum wheels + gears ( http://weightweenies.starbike.com/listi ... roadwheels" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) ??
I was attracted to this combo because of cleanness and possibly a loss in weight - no derailleurs, single front gear... is that moot?
And lastly, I've heard internal gears are less efficient. But compared to what? I'm not getting duraace stuff otherwise. More like 105 or maaaybe Ultegra.

A lot of questions, but really it's all only one.
Thank you for any thoughts and insight!!!

- j


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:53 am 
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Location: Los Angeles / Glendale, California
Not worth it.

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Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:53 am 


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:35 am 
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cool story, bro.

Not worth it in what sense?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:20 am
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Those wheels wont work with your frame as they are disc brake only and your Madone is only for rim brakes.

Aside from compatibility, I honestly wouldn't bother going internal on that kind of bike. It suits commuting where the massive gap in the gear ratios doesn't really matter, but on a road bike it will be very noticeable. You will also be 'missing' the easiest and hardest gears from a standard set up, so long steep climbs could be an issue as could screaming down the other side :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:16 am 
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Location: Los Angeles / Glendale, California
jesiah wrote:
cool story, bro.

Not worth it in what sense?


You're asking about Alfine 8 - which is "mid range" - but really, we're talking about IGH in general, so let's begin...

The discs are not the issue. Alfine hubs are centerlock, so not running discs won't look odd at all.
The rear hubs are spaced for 135mm, although you can move around some washers to get them to 130mm, but it is not ideal, your chainline will be off. You will also need a chain tensioner, which is why horizontal dropouts are ideal - but on a Madone, there ain't no horizontal drop outs, so you'll be running a chain tensioner, which eliminates your "clean look," bro. Unless you run the "perfect chain length", but that's not going to be helpful when your chain stretches or when, inevitably, you need to remove the rear wheel.... speaking of which...

Also consider that changing a flat is a p.i.t.a - not nearly as easy or quick as a traditional hub with quick release. The hub is bolt on... heavy as sh*t.

Gearing: the hub (8spd) will end up weighing essentially the same as a full (average) 20spd set up, only you'll have dramatically less gearing options to your liking. On an alfine-11spd, for example, 2:1 ratio is the best you'll ever get. The gearing is less than ideal.

If anyone ever tells you that internal hubs are reliable, it's utter b*llshit. Go talk to any mechanic in a shop, chances are they'll tell you how much of a pain it is to work on, how often they go awry, and how often they breakdown. The ultra expensive Rohloff hubs? Better but not by enough to make their exorbitant costs worth it for most people who live with realistic budgets.

IGH hubs are inefficient compared to EVERYTHING. Heck, even microshift is more efficient. It isn't the gear mechs that is being referenced for "inefficiency" it is the actual interaction of chain to cog. You lose significant amounts of power with an IGH compared to a traditional set up. Period. They are not efficient in the very basic sense of what mechanical efficiency is on a bike. The differences between different group levels (example, Tiagra up through Dura-Ace) is not efficiency at all: they can each work perfectly fine and just as well as the others. The difference is quality, weight, looks, and employment of materials. When properly adjusted, they're just fine and mechanically efficient. The IGH method is not mechanically efficient.

There's your "cool story bro." :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:20 am 
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According to Shimano, the rims are machined for breaks...
http://www.shimano.com/publish/content/ ... ype-..html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The breadth of the gear ratio is worth considering. I only use 4 gears on my current 12 speed, though, really... but if I can't get the all-the-way lowest gear it might be sad.


Last edited by jesiah on Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:29 am 
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prendrefeu - thanks for the reply! That was a cool story, indeed.


Some of those things I care about, some are inconsequential to me.
The main issues it sounds like are the possibility of needing a chain tensor, inefficiency, and (news to me) the unreliability. Possibly the gear ratio.

I don't race, so spending 30 minutes fixing a flat versus 10 minutes isn't really a deal breaker. I never really get flats, anyway (one in 4 years, ride daily). Weight seems to be a 1-for-1 trade off, imho.

Thanks again... really appreciate the input.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:21 am 
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Location: Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
I have Alfine 8 on my belt drive commuter. It's great for commuting but would just be horrible on a road bike.

Just get 105 or look for 2nd hand Ultegra/DA.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:45 pm 
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My experience with IGHs is not great, either. The least to my liking is the way a bike with IGH rides. These hubs are invariably very very heavy and amplify every road irregularity to become unbearable. Quite unbearable.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:00 am
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
The spacing issue is the biggest one I can think of. Even though all the previous replies could make a person consider the reliability of IGHs their views seem mostly uninformed. The occurrence of breakdowns while very uncommon is much more polarized with IGHs. There are typically no problems, but most you encounter will be devastating. If you keep up on maintenance(there is still SOME required) and have it serviced by an experienced shop it should run for years without replacement. The 8 speed Alfine or Nexus function great for a speedy commuter. Once you're past the 500 mile break-in period and the grease inside has been replaced with oil they're quiet and VERY efficient. The Nexus hub comes in a 132.5mm spacing and is easily reduced to 130mm. Since the weight of the drivetrain is centralized the aspect of rotational weight is barely affected. JTek makes a great bar-end shifter compatible with either hub that looks very tidy. I would stay away from the pre-built wheel system--the rims are a great contributor to it's weight and they'll be noticeably slower than a hub built up to a lighter road rim. If you decide on a hub our blog shows pretty clearly what's involved in servicing the hub.

http://thegoldenwrench.blogspot.com/201 ... d-hub.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:59 am 
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The Alfine 8 has a lot of drag compared to any derailleur system and yes, that is very noticable. There is no difference in drive train efficiency between, 105, Ultegra and Dura Ace, or (practically) any other derailleur system, they all have around 98% drivetrain efficiency. But an internally geared hub like the Alfine 8 - which is a complicated gear box running in grease - has an efficiency of about 92%. So >6% of your power input will be lost compared to a derailleur system, which you will definitely notice.

Then technically: the Alfine is designed to be installed with anti-rotation washers, which make sure the hub stays in the same position so the external gear-shift mechanism doesn't move. The Madone's carbon dropouts are not designed to take these. Plus it will be easy to overtighten the hub on dropouts designed for quick-releases, resulting in damage to the frame.

Long story short: I would heavily recommend against installing an Alfine hub on a high-end racing frame.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:00 am
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
I'd say you're misstating the efficiencies of both systems. They're much closer, and variable, with chainlines, chain condition, sprocket size and gear selected. While the Alfine 8 comes stock with grease it's suggested at the first service interval to replace the existing grease with Shimano's oil. It doesn't seem like you've ever experienced a hub that's been properly serviced in that way. The 5 series should have aluminum dropouts--the new 7 series now has carbon ones. It really just seems like a road race bike turned commuter makes you uncomfortable.


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Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:21 pm 


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