MartinC wrote: krull wrote:
If you can get one (Alfine
in the UK. The last time I looked they were £600-700. You might as well get a Rohloff?
Wow! I gave one away about a month ago (it was to a good cause). I hated it. Always riding in 2 or 3 stage gears, irregular gaps, treacly roller clutches. The Nexus 7 is a pleasanter hub to ride.
I agree that for some riders the spongy feeling of the roller clutches and the gear intervals are real hurdles. I have eventually concluded that (for myself) I am prepared to put up with one or the other, and in fact for me uneven gear intervals are preferable to spongy feelings when I push on the pedals. Of the shimano multi-speed hubs I have ridden I agree Nexus 7 feels
the most direct, and the gear intervals are better than A-8 but even so I know it is draggy in the most used gears.
Older N8 (and some older A8) hubs use fewer roller clutches and these can feel better than later models. Alfine 11 hubs have even gear intervals and are spongy in many gears; 'treacly' is a good adjective. There are 3-stage gear ratios in A-11 but not in A-8; there are only two gear stages in A-8 hubs. However in both hubs there are gears which use multiple roller clutches and if/when these add sponginess it can feel like there are more than two gear stages.
For decades I have ridden most IGH miles on various types of obsolete SA hub and I have gravitated to using them mostly in the direct drive ratios and accept that I will take a hit on efficiency at other times. The hubs still feel direct in any of the gears because they use pawls. I have spent a lot of time and money trying other IGHs and it has been very interesting but when the dust has settled, few of the alternatives have all that much appeal to me. If you want a direct feeling hub which isn't perfectly efficient and has more than a few gears I guess it is a toss-up between Nexus 7 and SA 8s hubs, (or Sachs/SRAM 7s hubs if you are prepared to use something with limited parts back-up and a few quirks). Most IGHs (including Rohloff) have various quirks, I guess it is a question of what you are prepared to accept in return for the benefits on offer.
FWIW Alfine 8 hubs are listed by Bikester for ~£135 in 32h but not 36h . OK they are not in the UK even though they have a .uk web address. But £600 or £700....? Crayzee money...