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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Alfine 8 vs Shadow Plus 10spd?

    Anyone have any thoughts on a Shadow Plus as an alternative to IGH?

    Seems like you get some of the advantages without some of the downsides:
    quiet - no chain slap
    high reliability
    less prone to damage on the trail (Shadow Plus is a little more compact than old derailleurs)

    I recently installed an Alfine 8 and it works nicely, though I don't like the mushy and slow engagement. Maybe I'll get used to it, but so far it's a bit annoying.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. #2
    will rant for food
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Yep, you make a good point.

    I've been thinking that I could be convinced to return to a derailleur drivetrain if and only if it could have:

    1) Shift while coasting. This could be done with a trials specific crank that has a freewheeling chainring, and binding the hub freewheel pawls. The crank could also be a Hammerschmidt or a Metropolis Patterson (though I don't think the latter is rated for MTB), as they both freewheel at the crank by design.

    2) A derailleur guard that really, really works.

    3) No front derailleur - this is already commercially available, XX1 chainring or Wolftooth Components chainring (cool guys btw).

    I'd be all over that.

    I like the shift-at-standstill feature of a geared hub, but it is not essential.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  3. #3
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    If you don't mind the loss of the SS chainline with simplicity and robustness why not? Like Drew, if combined with a SS ring like wolftooth, no FD, I'd be happy. There are times out in the woods that I am glad I don't have an RD or cassette though, with sticks crunching and flying around.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I do really like the SS chainline and have ridden SS for years. But the mushy feeling of the Alfine is also as big turn off. It's send like the trade off is a cleaner drivetrain but mushy engagement or a less clean drivetrain but much better engagement. The Zee Shadow Plus is a very short cage and in a 1x10 drivetrain won't provide a huge amount of clutter. I'm going to give it a try.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    I run several A8's and an A11 IGH as well as a Shimano Zee derailleur setup 1 x 10 on my FS MTB.

    The IGH will always have the upperhand in terms of minimal maintenance since the chain only goes around and doesn't have to shift on a cassette. If you have a hard tail and can run an IGH without a tensioner the IGH setup is hard to damage on vegetation and during crashes or when traveling. I really like that aspect for my bikepacking bike since it gets abused and a failure would be a bigger problem than on a trail ride.

    If you have to use a tensioner the IGH still is less maintenance and a good tensioner [say a Rohloff dual pulley] is far more robust than even a DH derailluer so hard to damage and easier to hack back into service if it is damaged.

    Having said all that I really like the Zee deralilluer and MRP chain guide on my FS MTB. Quiet and reliable and pretty robust. The main reason I don't use an IGH on that bike is the unsprung weight it would add to the bike. The fact I would also need a tensioner makes it less attractive as well. Plus that is the MTB I stay closest to help with so a failure is less of an issue than on a backcountry bike tour.
    Safe riding,


  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    The sluggishness that people chat about is easily overcome (if you are willing) to service the IGH yourself.. it is not that difficult and once done you will be amazed at the difference.

    I have stripped my down a few times (made a few daft mistakes first time around) but when I re-lubed it, I cleaned with decent automatic gearbox stuff and re-greased it with even better automatic gear box stuff (that is car automotive stuff) and now it runs silent and smooth and gear changes are INSTANT.. and I mean instant - now I could be just lucky but there is no way even the best rear mech can shift like this.

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