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  1. #1
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    Alfine 8 5th gear, 1 to 1

    I'm a dinglespeed rider and considering building up an Alfine 8 for a long tour with some bikepacking. Is the hub actually an efficient direct drive in 5th gear? I'm assuming if I ran 32-20 gearing (which I use now) I could still climb and ride trails in 5th gear and, with the exception of the extra weight, still be as efficient as I would be on a freehub. Also will the hub have less stress on it with power used in 5th as opposed to other gears. Thanks!

  2. #2
    dru
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    If you are riding single speed you'll hate an Alfine the second you pick up the bike. I'd guess it will add 3 pounds.

    I've never ridden my Salsa with anything other than the Alfine so I can't directly answer your question. There is some drag for sure; some gears have more, others less.

    I wouldn't worry too much with 32/20. That's safe for the hub, and many have gone way lower before blowing stuff up.

    Mine's been bullet proof and was installed in the spring of '09. I've even raced it. I treat it the same as any bike with the exception of shifting technique.
    occasional cyclist

  3. #3
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    Although 5th gear is a 1:1 ratio it's not direct - the gear train is still used and therefore it's not likely to be any more efficient than any of the other gears. I also find that there's more drivetrain lag in 5th than any other gear, for some reason.
    Yes, it'll add some weight but you soon get used to it - I mostly run mine geared at 32:22 and so far (2 years +) all seems well.
    Mine's done the odd race too - I like it for all sorts of riding but especially technical stuff where the ability to select a gear while coasting/trackstanding is one of the best aspects of IGH's.
    That and having no mech to collect undergrowth.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
    Although 5th gear is a 1:1 ratio it's not direct - the gear train is still used...
    Here's how the Shimano 8 actually works.

    jd

  5. #5
    jrm
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    You could also

    Set up a 3 spd where the 138% top gear could have the same gear inches as the 32/20 and then the lower two gears could be your lower climbing gears.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_dalhart View Post
    Here's how the Shimano 8 actually works.

    jd
    So I was wrong then - every day's a schoolday

    All the backlash must just come from clutch engagement then - it's certainly the worst gear in that respect.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_dalhart View Post
    Here's how the Shimano 8 actually works.

    jd
    Good read. Thanks!

  8. #8
    dru
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    Quote Originally Posted by john_dalhart View Post
    Here's how the Shimano 8 actually works.

    jd
    + 1 rep for you.

    'cause I've always wondered how it worked.
    occasional cyclist

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