Alfine-based commuter / roadie – any experience or recommendations?

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  • Alfine-based commuter / roadie – any experience or recommendations?
  • Premier Icon Ben_H

    I’ve reached a point where the 9-speed drivetrain and some other bits of my Cotic X need renewing.

    I did try out a mash-up of my Cotic Soul with 700c wheels and XT/R drivetrain (thereby having only one bike), but that was too nice to use as a daily ride that I frequently lock-up at the railway station.

    I’ve costed-up a 10-speed drivetrain and other bits for the X. However, I’ve put this on ice while I look at alternatives.

    Particularly, I’m wondering whether to go for a flat bar, Alfine-based bike? My work’s cycle scheme is coming around soon and I’ve been looking at the likes of a Charge Grater 3, Cooper Casablanca, Genesis Day One or Roadrat.

    Drop bar Alfine bikes seem to rely on Versa or bar end shifters, which I don’t like much.

    Any recommendations or experience? Thanks. 🙂


    I have a Roatrat with Alfine 8. At some point I’m changing it to normal derailleur, Alfine is draggy and heavy at the back so feels weird bunny hopping up curbs. I changed it to an oil bath to lessen the drag a bit but it lets out some oil which finds its way onto the disc rotor. It also slips occasionally under load in 2nd gear, think its wear & tear.


    I have a Trek Marlin SS framed bike, running a 700c Alfine8 for my commute. Its one of two Alfines i have, the other is on my winter hardtail 26″ trail bike.

    Its a flat bar bike with discs front and back, to keep those pesky cars away. Carbon straight blade fork, with lighter weight old components from my MTB. It’s fast and tough for hammer through the traffic, over potholes, and up/down curbs.

    With a quick change to some CX tyres, i’m set up for some light bridalway/sustrans type stuff with the family too.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito

    For a couple of years I had a singular peregrine with an ALfine:

    Using versa shifters on midge bars.

    Alfine never felt draggy, but indexing was a faff, wheel removal a right pain, and it wore the teeth off 5th gear (fixed under warranty)
    In comparison to my Rohloff, you could see why it was cheaper.

    That said, hub gears are the way forward, especially for commuting. my brother-in-law has a Civia Bryant, to add belt-drive low maintenance into the mix


    Alfine 11 Pompetamine here; heavy but reliable. Some toe overlap with mudguards, and for the rare puncture on the rear, I mend it with the wheel in situ to avoid the effort in detaching gear wire, mudguards & axle nuts.
    Not sure I’d bother with another, but happy to keep using.


    I have one of these Revolution Shadow 13 £750 at the moment
    I like it a lot


    Oh and I have a flat bar with Nexus twist shifter, the normal triggers work backwards (like Rapid rise or whatever it was called) so I was always shifting the wrong way. As for mudguards, a gap at the rear between tyre and guard which is bigger than the end horizontal dropout to axle the back allows you to pull the wheel out OK once the cable is unclipped, which can be a messy faff.


    Commuted in on my Mk1 Pompino fitted with an Alfine8 for the last 4/5 years (plus have a mtb with one for 5+ years), bingo bars, Alfine hydro disc on the front (frame is from before discs).

    A little heavy, a little draggy (in the lower gears) and the range is a little staggered.

    I had a little trouble with it in the start, but that’s more to do with the track ends and lack of knowing what I was doing. Both my hubs have been ultra-reliable so far, ride, leave bike wherever and then ride again without paying much attention to it. My mtb has suffered from jetwashing (2-3 times) and not being serviced so the bearing are rumbling on the pitted cup (you can get the big ball race for a fiver from sjs cycles), the commuter hasn’t been washed and has been serviced and is fine. Only things changed are tyres, brakes pads and grips on the 2 bikes so far.

    Removing the wheel is easy with a correct spanner (I’ve a 15mm stubby attached to each of my frames on the water bottle bosses).

    Mine is set up to do a bit of everything, 15mile each way hilly commute, towing kids around the local woods, scooting to the pub and I’ve even done the Wicklow 200 (125miles and 10K climbing) and the Dublin city triathlon on it.

    If you can live with its little quirks it’s a really lazy set up that barely needs looking at from month to month.

    I’ve been commuting on a second hand On-One Pompetamine with Alfine 8 that I bought off here, for the last 18 months or so.

    In that time I’ve had no problems whatsoever with the gears. I did do the ATF dip last summer which took about an hour.

    The frame itself is a poor design at the rear IMO (you cant run 35c tyres and have a properly working rear brake) and I’ve posted a thread in the past about it, but the Alfine gearing system is great. I just wipe the chain down with a rag evey few weeks, slap on a bit more wet lube and away I go in all weathers.

    If you have SKS guards you can just buy a couple more of the quick release mounts to use on the back.

    Also, I don’t get the thing about it being a faff to undo the shifter cable. It’s not. I’ve seen ‘guides’ with people using allen keys to push the sprung collar round, and pliers to pull the cable out etc. None of that is necessary. Put into a low gear, twist the collar thing round against the spring with your fingers , grab the now slack cable and rotate the ferrule out of the hole. 2 seconds. No tools. Dunno what the issue is.


    My Pompetetamine, now Biscuitpowered’s, was a great bike for the price. Never any problems and as above still none. It is minimal maintenance which is great for commuting. Keep it clean, oil the chain and adjust the gear cable so the yellow dots line up. Could be more simply other single speed.
    I had a run of rear puncture at least daily and sometimes more due to a faulty tyre. Other than needed to carry a 15mm short spanner to remove the rear wheel I could change an inner tube over in less than 10 minutes including unbolting the rear mudguard stays as Biscuitpowered touches on above.
    Only downside is the weight at the rear of the bike.

    Oh yeah, it’s heavy. It’s definitely that. But I’m commuting, not riding a time trial. Slow and steady 😉

    Alfine-8 roadrat.

    It works with no serious issues / complaints.

    I had a cannondale bad boy with an alfine 8 for around 2years commuting in Bristol.
    The alfine was great – slightly more draggy than a conventional setup but unnoticeable after a few days. Gear ratios were great for the city but I wouldnt go climbing any mountains with one. Best thing was the instant gearshift ing I when stationary at lights etc. Dudnt have any maintenance issues.


    Cube editor for me.

    11 speed alfine. Feels heavy on the back at first, but you get used to it.

    Other than a couple of phantom shifts I’ve had no issues in the last 10 months, other than me falling off it last friday:(

    Done about 2500 miles on it.

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