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  1. #1
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    Interested in IGH

    Just a question or a few,
    I am thinking of running one of the Shimano IGH systems

    1. can i use my existing rear wheel
    2. what is a good gear pairing to start off with
    3. and lastly how much does it cost to convert over

  2. #2
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    1. you can use your existing rear rim, and probably the nipples. If the spokes are still serviceable, and are not double butted, you can likely have them re-cut to the correct length (most IGH's have larger flanges than standard hubs). If they are double butted, they might still work, but you'll have to assess whether or not there is enough "fat section" above the butted portion to allow re-threading.
    Depending on your intended use, you won't save very much by re-building your wheel. Pre-built wheels are readily available and competetively priced - however, these wheels are aimed primarily at commuters and tourers, and may not be the best choice for significant offroad use.

    A big question - does your current frame have horizontal dropouts or an eccentric bottom bracket? If not, you will have to use a chain tensioner - not a deal killer, but a compromise for sure.

    2. This depends on your terrain, your personal fitness level and your riding style. Plus, the range will depend on the hub you choose. 3 speed? 5 speed? 8 speed? 11 speed? 14 speed? The hub model will have a recommended "input ratio" (ratio of # of teeth on the chainring vs. the rear cog). This is a good starting point, and there is MUCH debate over the acceptable limits of gearing lower.
    Are you running disc brakes or rim brakes?

    3. depends on the hub. Here's my assessment of what a conversion might cost:

    HUB: $75-$1,700 depending on your choice. $225-350 is the sweet spot for the 8 speed (alfine, Nexus, Sturmey Archer) hubs or the Nuvinci N360 (CVT - infinite range between max an min, no gears). I have no experience with SRAM, so perhaps someone with more knowledge on those hubs will chime in.

    WHEEL BUILD: Varies. Are you building the wheel yourself? If so, the costs will be re-cutting spokes (cheap) or purchasing new ones ($25-80 depending on choice). Add $35-50 for labor if not building it yourself.

    SHIFTER: Standard trigger shifters for the Alfine/Nexus 8 are about $35 and include the cable. The very nice J-Tek bar-end shifter is $80. The Shimano grip shift is $20-25 and includes the cable. Most Sturmey Archer hubs and the Nuvinci include the shifter with the hub.

    Tensioner (if needed) - $25

    Labor (if not doing it yourself) - the conversion can easily be done in under an hour. Shop rates vary, but estimate 1 hour of shop time.




    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by canyoneagle; 09-05-2011 at 01:40 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    Labor (if not doing it yourself) - the conversion can easily be done in under an hour. Shop rates vary, but estimate 1 hour of shop time.
    LOL took me more than 1 hour to build my wheel. Of course, it was my first time wheel building.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corporal Punishment View Post
    LOL took me more than 1 hour to build my wheel. Of course, it was my first time wheel building.

    To clarify, by "conversion", I mean the conversion of the bike once the wheel w/ IGH is on hand.


    =)

  5. #5
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    In my case, I bought an alfine 8 complete with small parts and shifter for $262 plus new spokes for about $50 from Niagara Cycle. I reused my rim, nipples, rim tape and centerlock rotor (had a shimano hub before). In hindsight, I should have taken my spokes to a LBS to be cut and re-rolled, however, I got the spokes I wanted and had spares as well.

    At first, my stretched out chain worked as a magic gear, but when it stretched further it started hopping off so I bought a godspeed tensioner from amazon for $25. I also dumped my old, heavy, cheap crankset and bought a raceface SS crankset. Loving the extra clearance and bashguard. Helps me slide over the big log rolls no problem.

  6. #6
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    not sure what getting spokes cut and rethreaded would cost but i ordered 32 brand new Sapim double butted spokes with brass nipples from Dans Comp shipped to my door for around $26.

    i know this is not in everyones budget but i personally i thought it was worth buying another rim and spokes (stans arch 29er + spokes = ~$100) so i would have my regular cassette wheel intact in addition to the Alfine 11 wheel. if there are problems (some problem reports are rolling in...) with the IGH i can switch back as i cant really live without my 29er for any length of time (commuter and trail bike).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkonbobo View Post
    not sure what getting spokes cut and rethreaded would cost but i ordered 32 brand new Sapim double butted spokes with brass nipples from Dans Comp shipped to my door for around $26.
    That's a good deal. Wish I'd seen that before I ordered mine.

  8. #8
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    I've read in several places that wheel builders usually toss the rim and spokes and only keep the hub when rebuilding a wheel. I'm sure there is a good reason for this.
    “Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jvan_wert View Post
    I've read in several places that wheel builders usually toss the rim and spokes and only keep the hub when rebuilding a wheel. I'm sure there is a good reason for this.
    It is case by case, depending on age/mileage and quality. If the wheel has seen some serious abuse and long miles, then I'd definitely toss the spokes and probably the nipples. Unless the rim has visible signs of fatigue, or is lower quality (no reinforced eyelets, for example), it may well be re-useable.

    A newer wheel should be OK for a full re-use.

  10. #10
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    I know you are asking for a different application, but a couple of years ago I put together a bike for my wife to commute on.

    When I did this for my wife's commuter/rain bike, I found it easier and faster to buy a finished rear wheel with the hub (Nexus). She also needed a rear wheel, as the old steel Norco road frame we were going to use only had a front wheel -- which we are still using. It's got to be 25-30 years old.

    By the time I got the spokes, found a rim, nipples, tape, etc and built the wheel -- which I'm not good at -- it would have been days and days.

    -Hub approx. 175$
    -Wheel with everything approx. 100$
    -Shifter and cables - can't recall, but around 60$
    -Labour - very important, as the guys at the shop knew how to mount the rear wheel quickly, whereas I'd be scrounging bolts. They were under an hour, so 40$

    Bike has worked like a charm for 3 years, with only one oil change in all that time. Great for my wife on those rainy Vancouver days, and we get a lot of rain. On nice days she rides a road bike.

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