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  1. #1
    Stubby-legged
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    How close is the gearing to de-railer set-up?

    I am looking at an Alfine for my wife's Pug. She seems to have a constant shifting problem. Difficulty in the front..then the rear...twist is too tough...can't reach the thumbpads, too far a reach with mitts...Not really b!tching or whining, just an honest tough time.

    This bike is her main ride, both summer and winter. She spends most of her time in the granny/middle front and the 1-7 gear in the rear.

    We ride the great Northeast trails of New England.
    Thanks for any help.
    1sd1way

  2. #2
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    The alfine 8 speed has 305% gear range, which is roughly equivalent to a 11T-34T cassette.

  3. #3
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    On the Alfine you don't get as low a ratio as on a triple and 8-9 speed cassette without undergearing.
    I run 32 x 24 which is just about ok unless grinding up particularly steep stuff.

  4. #4
    dru
    dru is offline
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    That Pug tire is nearly 29er size in diameter.

    Assuming that, and running 32/24 you'd have a low gear of 5.5 mph at a cadence of 90 and a high of almost 17 mph at the same cadence.

    5.5 6.7 7.7 8.8 10.4 12.7 14.7 16.7

    Running 32/20 which is what I run on my Alfine equipped 29er, low is 6.5 mph and high is just over 20.

    6.5 8.0 9.3 10.6 12.4 15.2 17.6 20.1

    here's the #s for my 2x8 26er bike for comparison

    24/34/bashring and 12/32 cassette

    mph at 90 rpm

    granny middle

    13.9 19.7
    11.9 16.9
    10.4 14.8
    9.3 13.1
    8.0 11.3
    7.0 9.9
    6.0 8.5
    5.2 7.4

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  5. #5
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    IMO not close enough...roholff scrapes through though.

  6. #6
    President, CEO of Earth
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    You never need to ask this type of question again...

    Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

    But he answer, assuming she has a 22 tooth cog up front and a 12-32 in the back...

    Using the granny and gears 1-7 (approximate - in bold) based on my gearing guesses:

    93.0 67.6 46.5
    85.2 62.0 42.6
    73.1 53.1 36.5
    63.9 46.5 32.0
    56.8 41.3 28.4
    48.7 35.4 24.4
    42.6 31.0 21.3
    36.5 26.6 18.3
    32.0 23.2 16.0

    If her bike is set up with a 32:30 chainring:cog ratio, her gears will be
    15.4
    18.8
    21.8
    24.8
    29.1
    35.6
    41.4
    47.1

    Which has a more top end and a wee bit more bottom end than the gears she currently uses.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  7. #7
    Frt Range, CO
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    I run a 32x22 on my Alfine 8 Pugs, for really technical trails I only use 1,2 and 3 gear. I just ordered a 31T front ring and a 26T rear cog, that should give me a much lower gear and 2 more useful gears (1,2,3,4 and 5).

    Quote Originally Posted by TobyNobody View Post
    ...If her bike is set up with a 32:30 chainring:cog ratio....
    Largest Alfine cog I've ever seen is 26T. If you want to go low, a Surly Mr Whirly will allow a 29T or even a 22T front chainring.

    Next question is how low can you go before the Alfine 8 is damaged. Right now the minimum hasn't really be established. I am setting up my Moonlander to be able to run an Alfine at 1:1 (22x22) to explore how low I can go.

  8. #8
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    When my buddy was considering a switch over to an IGH, I wrote this up for him: The Dusty Musette: Why You Won't Miss A Cassette

    It's more road-oriented because he's building up a gravel-grinder, but the general principles apply.

    TobyNobody beat me to the punch with the link to Sheldon's calculator. I would only add that setting to speak to you in MPH or KPH at a given cadence can be more useful to those who don't speak gear inches yet.

    I also noticed that your wife was having a lot of problems with the controls. I wonder if a different cockpit setup wouldn't help her. Narrower bars, maybe? Or trimmed grips?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter View Post
    Next question is how low can you go before the Alfine 8 is damaged. Right now the minimum hasn't really be established. I am setting up my Moonlander to be able to run an Alfine at 1:1 (22x22) to explore how low I can go.
    I'm looking forward to the results of this experiment. Can I ask what would be acceptable to you? I mean, if that gearing works, but thrashes out the Alfine after two years of riding, would it be worth it?

  10. #10
    Frt Range, CO
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    I'm going to run it so low it breaks right away or it makes it to 1:1. There will be much thrashing in an attempt to break an Alfine by riding it too hard. No breakage from loaded shifting. If 1.1:1 or 1:1 wears out an Alfine in a couple years I don't know what I'll decide.

  11. #11
    Stubby-legged
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    I ordered some new shifters from my LBS. Upgrade to x-7 from 5's. Hopefully the 1:1 shift action will be easier.
    That leaves me with an excuse to build another wheel for me....IGH here I come!

  12. #12
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    x5 and x7 has the same 1:1 shift action otherwise you'd have to change the rear D also... but it may be a bit smoother shifting...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  13. #13
    Stubby-legged
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    Damn...that screws that theory....Hopefully the smoother shifting will help. The old shifters seem to be more of a commuter style and the new ones are more "dirt".

  14. #14
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    hope it works for her...

    but if not here are some thoughts (me thinking out loud)

    NuVinci N360... totally variable hub... has a grip shift but no notches so I imagine it is pretty smooth to twist... also her being fairly small she prob won't get the "mushy" low gearing that the bigger riders get when in the lowest gearing... also has a range similar to a 22/32 - 11/34 2x9 drivetrain if you gear it right...

    another thought... I wonder if going with shimano rapid rise would help at all... on the sram the bottom BIG leaver is the one that puts tension on the cable to push it into the bigger cogs... the other one is just a snap release that drops it down to smaller cogs... in contrast shimanos rapid rise naturally sits in the big cog... so when you pull the cable tighter (like you do with the bottom leaver on sram) it's going to a lower gear... I have no experience with these... but I do wonder if she would have less problems...

    another thought... perhaps trying the "floppy" type brake/shiftier combos... again no first hand experiance but the longer levers should give a good bit more mechanical advantage... mix this with rapid rise and who knows.... from what I understand its a you love it or hate it... and at this point they would have to be NOS or used but I liked the concept.

    just some things to look into/consider

    best of look
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  15. #15
    President, CEO of Earth
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter View Post
    I run a 32x22 on my Alfine 8 Pugs, for really technical trails I only use 1,2 and 3 gear. I just ordered a 31T front ring and a 26T rear cog, that should give me a much lower gear and 2 more useful gears (1,2,3,4 and 5).



    Largest Alfine cog I've ever seen is 26T. If you want to go low, a Surly Mr Whirly will allow a 29T or even a 22T front chainring.

    Next question is how low can you go before the Alfine 8 is damaged. Right now the minimum hasn't really be established. I am setting up my Moonlander to be able to run an Alfine at 1:1 (22x22) to explore how low I can go.
    You can actually pretty easily modify a shimano or Sram compatible cassette cog to work on an Alfine/Nexus/SA/etc hub... remove the cog you want from the casette, then use a dremel to grind out three alternating keys on the inside surface of the cog, and re-shape the remainign three to be round similar to the stock cog... it takes a bit of trial and error to get it to fit properly but it is not difficult. It will also affect the chainline because the cog will be flat and not offset like the stock ones, and that is a very important problem to resolve.

    What is the largest cog currently available on cassettes - 36 or 38 teeth? I dare someone to set up a 22 X 36 on an Alfine 8 and report back.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  16. #16
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyNobody View Post
    ...I dare someone to set up a 22 X 36 on an Alfine 8 and report back.
    A 22x36 gives a 9" low gear on a 29er, I'd have trouble pedaling such a low gear. Even with an 18" 1st gear (30x24) I find it hard to climb out-of-the-saddle, it's only usable to me as a sit-n-spin gear.

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