hub gear chainset

pedalpower Posts: 138
edited January 2012 in Road general
Hi. I'm new to derailleur-less setups but am putting together a 26inch wheel frame with the alfine 11 speed hub. I'd like to ideally run 1/8 inch chain on this with a reversible single chainring (probably 39tooth). I'm a bit unsure on the technicalities of achieving nice chain-line, what crankset to use and which sprockets can be attached to the hub. I can't seem to find any good value single speed cranksets whereas a Deore 9 speed crankset with bottom bracket can be had for only £60! I was expecting single speed cranksets to be cheaper.
If i don't stick with the Alfine sprockets and crankset will i create problems for myself with chainline? I've heard it might not be possible to run 1/8 chain on the Alfine chainring and sprockets because of the chainguards.
Any recommendations welcome.


  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    I use a Sturmey Archer 1/8 sprocket on my Alfine8. The metal is too thick to fit onto the hub so you have to take it down a bit. I worked the inner face for about 2 hours over some coarse sandpaper on a flat surface until the engraved writing was barely visible. It didn't affect the chainline and the metal chainring guard on my cheap cranks copes OK with the thicker chain.
    You can fit a thicker chainring to any crankset.
    Velosolo do a number of chainsets with 1/8 chainrings.
  • thanks for your reply. What's the advantage of doing what you did with Sturmey archer sprocket rather than using the Alfine sprockets? Is it just because you could get the sprocket you wanted from the Alfine range?
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    You can use a 1/8 chain on a 3/32 Shimano sprocket but the thicker ones run smoother and last longer. The only 1/8 hub gear sprocket you can get is from Sturmey Archer; Freemans in Norwich have them as stock items.
    1/8 track sprockets are much more common but dont fit onto hub gears.
  • Thanks. But you say the sturmey archer sprocket doesn't fit properly either - has to be ground down?

    If i go with an alfine or Nexus sprocket (3/32 width) would i be better off with a matching 3/32 chainring and chain or would it still be worth using a 1/8 chainring and chain?
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    I still use my existing 3/32 chainring and it works fine. I will probably change it to 1/8 when it is worn.
    The SA sprocket is a smidgeon too thick to fit on the shimano hub and needs to be thinned. At full thickness, the springy retaining ring is wedged too far apart and cant close sufficiently.
    Any 3/32 to 1/8 issues are too small to affect chainline.
  • Seems quite difficult to get 1/8 chainrings in small sizes. I might stick with 3/32 setup. Temted to stick with shimano slined bottom bracket too although square seems favoured for more variety of axle length.