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Thread: Alfinesse

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    Alfinesse

    I'm in the process of fitting up a couple of bikes with Alfine hubs, but having trouble with cranks and chainrings and could do with some enlightened advice.

    First of all, is it possible to obtain spare rings and/or guards? AFAICT you just have to buy a complete new crankset. This is appalling. What happens if you damage just the ring or guard or simply wear out the chain ring (aluminium so hardly long lasting)? Buy a whole new crankset? Every time? I must be missing something here.

    I tried fitting an Alfine crankset to a Cannondale Super V3000. Well, as std. it won't. The LHS crank hits the Rr SwingArm:-( But half an hour with an angle grinder on the inside top of the crank and it fits now:-) Anyone else had trouble fitting these?

    I then tried to fit the same crankset into a Cannondale F1000 frame. Pretty std I thought, shouldn't be a problem. Then I discovered that the actual chain ring hits the chain stay. A 39T ring is better than the 45, but still hits it. Again, anyone else had these problems with Alfine?

    This got me thinking about chain line as I understand that Alfine uses a narrow chain line. So I checked the Shimano website and discover a couple of odd facts:-

    1. They apparently offer cranks with either single or double guards. Hmmm, not seen these options in any sales outlets. Each option has a different chain line, either 42.7 or 49.2.

    2. Neither of the above matches the 41.8 chain line of the hubs (both 8 and 11 spd.).

    I must be missing something more here too. I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that sprockets ought best to line up and this is obviously impossible on the Alfine whose single rear cog should make this possible, something that is mostly IMpossible with regular derailleur.

    I didn't think so, but is the Alfine rear cog 'adjustable' in any way for a different chain line?

    I started out thinking about a triple front derailleur in conjunction with the Alfine since in my head I figured you could have perfect alignment with the middle ring and only slipping to extra high or extra low (with chain out of line) for short periods. That's when I started looking into Alfine chain lines which don't make any sense.

    Or I could instead utilise a double front setup. So neither front ring would give perfect alignment, but only slightly out and since Shimano themselves don't seem to care, maybe that would suffice. It would also perhaps be simpler to achieve satisfactory alignment.

    What would be a good double ring crankset, ideally with each ring either side of the Alfine hub chain line?

    Could anyone enlighten me on all/any of the above?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiKenG View Post
    I must be missing something more here too. I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that sprockets ought best to line up and this is obviously impossible on the Alfine whose single rear cog should make this possible, something that is mostly IMpossible with regular derailleur.

    I didn't think so, but is the Alfine rear cog 'adjustable' in any way for a different chain line?
    i am sure someone will jump in and correct me if i am wrong but off the top of my head aren't the rear cogs around 48.5mm chain line flipped around? have you tried that cause that would get you really close to what you are looking for.

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    Well, cannot be Shimano's intention as their Alfine cogs have a guard attached and that would have to be cut off in order to reverse the cog.

    I'm thinking a double chain ring might be the best solution. Just need to find a crankset with the right chain line. Suggestions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiKenG View Post
    Well, cannot be Shimano's intention as their Alfine cogs have a guard attached and that would have to be cut off in order to reverse the cog.

    I'm thinking a double chain ring might be the best solution. Just need to find a crankset with the right chain line. Suggestions.
    you will notice that most cogs sold which fit the alfine (used by other IGHs for many many years as well) do not have the guard. you don't have to take my word for it...if you do some reading and check out the pics in the other IGH forum threads you will see almost no one uses the guards. you will find people talking about cutting the guard off right away before installing.

    you will also hear a lot of talk and see pics of people running the cog flipped around or what i would say looks to be "dished outward." based on popular crankset specs i would guess that the vast majority actually do. i run it that way as well without an issue with a truvativ crankset that i think is somewhere in the range of a 49-51mm chain line. good luck.

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    I wasn't doubting that people do this (I myself have a bike with the rear cog fitted this way), just that it cannot be Shimano's recommended method or they wouldn't put the guard on.

    I have discovered that the chain ring of an Alfine crankset can be mounted on the outside of the crank. you have to accept no guard, but it does widen the chain line and allow the ring to miss a chain stay that would otherwise interfere with the ring.

    I also think you could run the 2 sizes of Alfine ring on the same crank. Small one in normal location inside the crank and the larger one on the outside. No guard of course, but might be handy even without a derailleur so you could easily swap to a different ratio once stopped.

    Just tossing thoughts around at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiKenG View Post
    I also think you could run the 2 sizes of Alfine ring on the same crank. Small one in normal location inside the crank and the larger one on the outside. No guard of course, but might be handy even without a derailleur so you could easily swap to a different ratio once stopped.
    the range is pretty good on the alfine 11 so i am not sure you would need that too often unless you had some really really varied terrain. i know i personally wouldn't even with my use being both trail and commuting.

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    I was being somewhat economical in my ramblings. One of the bikes I'm working on is to be single speed and I obtained an Alfine crank for that too as it's a nice crank and can be got for very reasonable money (just as well if you have to buy the whole assembly every time you need to replace the chainring). I then thought it might actually be quite handy to have the option of 2 different front sprockets, although no derailleur so still single speed while riding, but I could manually select from 2 different ranges before setting off.

    Maybe this is a terrible idea, but maybe not. The reason for doing it is, well basically, because I can:-)

    Meanwhile, the Alfine 11 shod bike will have the std Alfine crank and single normally mounted ring. As you say, should be no need for anything more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BiKenG View Post
    I was being somewhat economical in my ramblings. One of the bikes I'm working on is to be single speed and I obtained an Alfine crank for that too as it's a nice crank and can be got for very reasonable money (just as well if you have to buy the whole assembly every time you need to replace the chainring). I then thought it might actually be quite handy to have the option of 2 different front sprockets, although no derailleur so still single speed while riding, but I could manually select from 2 different ranges before setting off.

    Maybe this is a terrible idea, but maybe not. The reason for doing it is, well basically, because I can:-)

    Meanwhile, the Alfine 11 shod bike will have the std Alfine crank and single normally mounted ring. As you say, should be no need for anything more.
    ah i see. search for "dinglespeed" if you havent already. sounds like that could be a good option for you.

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