Could you run a hub gear, like Alfine, with a front mech?

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  • Could you run a hub gear, like Alfine, with a front mech?
  • bencooper
    Member

    It can be done – but you need a proper tensioner which can take up enough slack. Even a Rohloff tensioner only has a 10t capacity, so if you want a decent difference in front rings you need to bung a rear mech on there.

    I’ve got a Moulton in my shop window at the moment with an Alfine 8 on the back, using as mech as a tensioner.

    Sounds to me like the worst of both worlds.

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
    Subscriber

    I would say if you are going to the hassle of having a rear mech, then save yourself a whole load of weight and fit a normal cassette instead! Try an alfine, you might not be as bothered about the perceived lack of gearing range as you think. They are not light though.

    bencooper
    Member

    Pfft, amateur – I’ve built a 108-speed bike 🙂

    DualDrive at the back – that’s a 3-speed hub gear and 9-speed derailleur, Schlumpf Speed Drive at the front with two chainrings. So 3x9x2x2.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I would say if you are going to the hassle of having a rear mech

    Yeah but I’m thinking, if you were making something from scratch, you wouldn’t need a full rear mech – you could do something like a half a mech, i.e. maybe just a single sprung jockey wheel without all the other gubbins ?

    Must test ride an Alfine.

    tinsy
    Member

    How many mechs and hangers have you broken in the last year?

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    what about a Schlumpf or Hammerscmidt with an Alfine?
    Not sure on the total gear ratios, but it could work…

    what about a Schlumpf or Hammerscmidt with an Alfine?
    Not sure on the total gear ratios, but it could work…

    Ratios? Too many! But yes, it would certainly work.

    Belt driven, internal gearing is the future.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    If you fancy trying a Rohloff, you’re welcome to pop up the valley and give mine a go.
    Sold my Alfine-8 a while ago.

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor
    Subscriber

    I logged in to post but mk2fan beat me to it.

    It’s even Alfine groupset branded!

    ir_bandito may have sold his Alfine but I still have mine. AND I cycle through Wylam most weekday mornings.

    I’m sure someone posted some ugly triple-clamp forked yellow nicolai with a Hammerschidt and Alfine a while ago.

    In theory I gues you could do it but you’d lose some of the benefits (which are not mech-snapping, which is indeed pretty rare). I love my Alfine because…

    Works regardless of the amount of clag collected

    Straight chainline meaning the chain and rings last for ages.

    It doesn’t need adjusting, and when it does it’s lining up two yellow bars in a window, which even cack handed numpties like me can do without breaking bike or self…

    It doesn’t go wrong – just keeps working. silly time between it needing maintaining.

    TM

    Premier Icon teamslug
    Subscriber

    @bencooper…you got many overlapping gear ratios on that then?

    bristolbiker
    Member

    Why bother – range on the 11-spd isn’t an issue. On the road, mine is geared so 1st is my bail-out gear and I rarely get into top (44/20). Even then gear spacing is fine. Offroad – can’t comment….

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
    Subscriber

    twiglet – my alfine chain line is terrible. i run a 34t in the middle ring position and a 16t nexus cog on the back back to front (it is supposed to be dished inwards, i fitted it dished outwards) and it still doesnt quite line up. i would like to run a 40t front, which would involve running it in the big ring position, but there is no chance of getting the rear cog to line up.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    So I’m kind of interested the Alfine 8 / 11 system.

    Seems like a splendid idea to get rid of the rear dérailleur – especially on mountain bikes, where it is vulnerable to rocks, and commuters/utility bikes where it is vulnerable to neglect.

    But the range of gears seems like an issue. So I’m wondering if anyone has considered running some kind of front mech with these systems?

    Obviously the biggest stumbling block there is that you’d need some way of taking up the chain slack as you changed gears, but I am sure there are interesting solutions to that:

    maybe something like half a dérailleur, or perhaps a sprung chain device that mounts on the chain stay and pushes the chain upwards from the bottom?

    Madness?

    bencooper
    Member

    @bencooper…you got many overlapping gear ratios on that then?

    Just a few 🙂

    I just build ’em, I don’t ask questions. Though Rohloff + Schlumpf High Speed Drive is much tidier. 10″ to 140″ gear ratios with single cog and single chainring. I’ve built a bunch of recumbents with that setup.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Seems like a splendid idea to get rid of the rear dérailleur – especially on mountain bikes, where it is vulnerable to rocks, and commuters/utility bikes where it is vulnerable to neglect.

    The official Alfine tensioner has about the same footprint as a derailleur, with a similar cage length. It works really well though.

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)

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