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Decent commuter - Alfine - Belt drive - Hydraulic disc brake

19821982 Posts: 26
edited December 2013 in Commuting general
Don't like the idea of using my CX or FS at salty roads in the winter, internal gears sounds nice for winter conditions but what does the experienced say? Think Planet 2.0 looks really really nice but I haven't found 2014 in stock yet, don't really get the difference between 2.0 and 3.0 except gear ratio.

SUB 10 have "Shimano Alfine SL-S500 Rapidfire Plus"-shifter according to the specs and Planet 2.0/3.0 "Shimano Alfine" - Same same or more than one to shifter available for Alfine?

If you know some other similar commuters/hybrids I'm very interested, would be cool to find one with carbon frame/fork but no luck yet. Build one some might say but if so winter will be over before I'm ready ;)

Scott SUB 10
http://www.scott-sports.com/se/sv/produ ... peed-10-s/

Focus Planet 2.0
http://www.focus-bikes.com/index.php?id ... 1f07a1e5d7
fo14_planet_tr_2-0_3D.png

Focus Planet 3.0
http://www.focus-bikes.com/index.php?id ... 3103181eb5

Posts

  • Have you looked at Milk? http://www.milkbikes.com/bikes/9-rda-the-commuter.html

    The Focus looks nice though.

    - Jon
    Commuting between Twickenham <---> Barbican on my trusty Ridgeback Hybrid - url=http://strava.com/athletes/125938/badge]strava[/url
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    If the above 3 are seriously winter commuter bikes WTF don't they have mudguards? All 3 guilty of form over function leaving the buyer having to fit some ill fitting plastic mudguards to it.

    I really like the idea of the Afline hub and decent hydrolic discs, not sure belt driven is an essential. A single speed chain is pretty robust and easy to clean / maintain over winter, its derailleurs that take a hammering in the censored weather.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • 19821982 Posts: 26
    jonnyboy77 wrote:
    The Focus looks nice though.

    - Jon

    Thanks for the tip, haven't seen them before but I don't think I can live without Planet 2.0 ;)
    t4tomo wrote:
    If the above 3 are seriously winter commuter bikes WTF don't they have mudguards? All 3 guilty of form over function leaving the buyer having to fit some ill fitting plastic mudguards to it.

    Eye candy =)
    t4tomo wrote:
    I really like the idea of the Afline hub and decent hydrolic discs, not sure belt driven is an essential. A single speed chain is pretty robust and easy to clean / maintain over winter, its derailleurs that take a hammering in the censored weather.

    True that but I'm willing to try it, don't think it will be extreme conditions at my every day commuting in other words it's mostly road salt and water I'm worried about and the bike is parked warm at both ends = perfect conditions to rust.

    Always trouble to decide which size to get, got in contact with two dealers and one of them said Small would be the right size for me and the other Medium... :|

    I'm 173cm short without shoes and about 80cm inside leg measurement. Which size do you recommend and why?

    I have one Boardman CX in size Small, a little bit small but quick and fun at technical riding:

    bmge.jpg

    Also have one Specialized Epic 29, feels perfect in size Medium and I mostly ride XC:

    sege.jpg

    I just sat on a Scott SUB 10 Medium in store but it didn't feel to big:

    ssge.jpg

    Planet 2.0 doesn't have to be small and technical but I won't be happier with a To big frame either:

    fpge.jpg
  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    If you want effort-free as well as (almost) maintenance-free winter riding, I'd recommend a front dynamo hub & light set.
    Location: ciderspace
  • Yummy:

    bmc-alpenchallenge-ac01-alfine-8-2014-hybrid-bike.jpg

    Several versions available, including an Alfine 11 Di2. And takes mudguards!

    http://www.evanscycles.com/search?query ... nge+alfine
  • I got my LBS to build my commuting bike with Alfine 11 and hydraulics discs based around a Cotic Roadrat frame (no belt drive, however) Personally I liked the process of spec'ing all of the components along with the LBS.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    1982 wrote:
    Don't like the idea of using my CX or FS at salty roads in the winter, internal gears sounds nice for winter conditions but what does the experienced say?
    Keep it lubed, conventional chain and gears needs 'little and often' maintenance, a lot of the experiences posted on here suggest belt and hub gears need 'lots but occasionally' maintenance, and when needed it is more expensive per mile.
  • 19821982 Posts: 26
    Yummy:

    Several versions available, including an Alfine 11 Di2. And takes mudguards!

    Nice! But a bit pricey for what it is in my opinion.
    The Rookie wrote:
    1982 wrote:
    Don't like the idea of using my CX or FS at salty roads in the winter, internal gears sounds nice for winter conditions but what does the experienced say?
    Keep it lubed, conventional chain and gears needs 'little and often' maintenance, a lot of the experiences posted on here suggest belt and hub gears need 'lots but occasionally' maintenance, and when needed it is more expensive per mile.

    Been reading quite much about pros&cons and "Gates Carbon Drive" seems to be good overall, they started production for cycles in 2007 and sure their journey haven't been flawless but recent years they seems to manage.

    From a review in 2012:

    "The hour spent toiling over the proper tension was worth it. After four months of abuse I have not had a single issue with the system. I’ll even admit that in the last few weeks of my test period I was trying to break the thing. Leaning back and mashing with everything my 225-pound censored could muster, only to have the damn thing spite me and continue to work perfectly. I’ve done no maintenance since it was installed; no scrubbing, wiping, or hosing down, and it continues to perform flawlessly."

    http://www.dirtragmag.com/reviews/revie ... ive-system

    Sounds good for a commuter in the winter =)

    That said the same review say that it is possibly hell on earth to change and tension the belt and there is even an app for this (?).

    Went to a LBS today and tried some bikes with similar geometry, Medium will work just fine, hopefully I get information about price and delivery date tomorrow.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I'm sure a chain would survive 4 months of abuse just as well, it's not really a 'stretch challenge'.

    I've seen quite a few posts saying they had to change the belt after a year though......
  • 19821982 Posts: 26
    Maybe, not sure with daily salt water showers and it will certainly not perform well even if it dosen't break =0)
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    There have been reports of aluminium rear sprockets shearing at the tabs. The 3-tab fitting is designed for steel and aluminium really isn't strong enough to cope.
  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    The Rookie wrote:
    I'm sure a chain would survive 4 months of abuse just as well, it's not really a 'stretch challenge'.

    I've seen quite a few posts saying they had to change the belt after a year though......

    Which brings the question of cost and availability to front and centre - snap it and you're probably looking at £50 and a week's incapacity. The upside? Slightly lighter (maybe 100g), quieter, and no oiling. I take their continued rarity as a good indicator of real world practicality.
    Location: ciderspace
  • 19821982 Posts: 26
    MichaelW wrote:
    There have been reports of aluminium rear sprockets shearing at the tabs. The 3-tab fitting is designed for steel and aluminium really isn't strong enough to cope.

    Thanks for the info! Talked with one of the dealers yesterday, not the one I ordered it from so no reason to beautify, and he said that he sold 15 of them since 2011-2012 and no complaints about the belt drive yet.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    1982 wrote:
    Maybe, not sure with daily salt water showers and it will certainly not perform well even if it dosen't break =0)
    Decent chain lube and my commuter does 2 years and 2000 miles on a chain without issue, yes if you forget to lube it it will go rusty though (which is why I had to replace my last one, elongation was still nowhere near .75% on the PT guage).
  • 19821982 Posts: 26
    No distrust about that but the comparsion were with a belt and:

    "After four months of abuse.. " "I’ve done no maintenance since it was installed; no scrubbing, wiping, or hosing down, and it continues to perform flawlessly."

    ..from the review above.
  • As a previous owner of the Alfine i'd avoid. Heavy and expensive to service/replace when things go wrong. Also fiddling with the yellow dots is great fun on sub zero dark days. Also try changing a tyre with guards fitted (and yep punctures even on Marathon Plus)!

    Great romantic idea but whats wrong with the traditional tried and trusted rear mech throughout winter?
  • johnmcl7johnmcl7 Posts: 158
    I have a 2011 Trek Soho Deluxe which has the Gates Carbon Drive (the non-Centretrack version) and a Nexus 8 hub (the cheaper version) which I chose as a daily commuter, I bought the bike brand new just over a couple of years ago and still using it daily. In general it's been good, it's needed virtually no maintenance at all (bar a single tension adjustment) but remained quiet and smooth despite being in use every day and in all conditions including the snow and salt over the winter (they are very generous with the salt up here over winter).

    The problem I've had with it is durability, I'm sure at the time I bought the bike Gates were making big claims about the belt lasting as long as the bike but my first belt needed replaced at around the 3000-4000 mile mark. I noticed the Gates site seems to have dialled back their claims about longevity, I mailed them to find out if this was rare but they said if the belt is used frequently in mixed weather conditions it will degrade quicker yet their site boasts about being able to use the belt in all conditions. I'm not sure if the belt was entirely at fault, it started slipping and the rear sprocket was replaced but the belt was no better and still slipping. The tension has slipped a bit a couple of months before and the original sprocket was the aluminium one, I'm wondering if the tension has been adjusted sooner (it reached the point where the belt occasionally jumped a few teeth) and it had the stronger steel sprocket whether it would have needed replaced so soon.

    As I was disappointed by the belt needing replaced relatively soon I debated over whether to change it over to chain drive (and write off the new belt drive sprocket), fork out for the new belt or to replace the rear sprocket and front chain ring with centretrack versions and go for a centretrack belt instead. The latter option appealed to me as it seemed it would have prevented the belt from slipping off the sprocket when worn as there's a guide in middle of the sprocket and chain ring but Gates claimed the centretrack belts would last no longer than the standard ones which seemed strange.

    In the end I decided I'd just go for another belt, while I was disappointed it hadn't lasted as long as I expected it had still given me many trouble-free miles which is great for a day to day bike as the chain drive bkes I have need more work to keep them going and even then not as smooth. However Trek stepped and replaced the belt as a goodwill gesture so will see how long this belt lasts, when it goes I'll probably just go ahead and replace it again.

    John
  • I've always fancied this kind of bike too but space limitations won't allow for it. This one hasn't been mentioned: http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... brid-bikes
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Johnmcl7 wrote:
    The problem I've had with it is durability, I'm sure at the time I bought the bike Gates were making big claims about the belt lasting as long as the bike but my first belt needed replaced at around the 3000-4000 mile mark. I noticed the Gates site seems to have dialled back their claims about longevity, I mailed them to find out if this was rare but they said if the belt is used frequently in mixed weather conditions it will degrade quicker yet their site boasts about being able to use the belt in all conditions. I'm not sure if the belt was entirely at fault, it started slipping and the rear sprocket was replaced but the belt was no better and still slipping. The tension has slipped a bit a couple of months before and the original sprocket was the aluminium one, I'm wondering if the tension has been adjusted sooner (it reached the point where the belt occasionally jumped a few teeth) and it had the stronger steel sprocket whether it would have needed replaced so soon.
    Thanks, that kinda confirms my earlier comparison which was chain - a little but often, belt - lots when neaded which is more rarely (though not as rare as originally claimed!).
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