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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My next frame/bike build will be a steel fat bike with a Shimano Alfine 8 IGH, and before I pull the trigger on purchsing dropouts, I wanted to discuss dropouts with you all to make sure I was not overlooking any options or advantages/disadvantages out there.

I do want adjustability in the dropout since I will NOT have an EBB or a chain tensioner. This bike will have disc brakes.

So, the dropouts that I see available are the sliding and swinging type like what Paragon sells, and the track style dropouts with the horizontal axle slot. With the track style I would have to make a disc tab that had some adjustment in the caliper location.

What are the preferred dropouts for IGH's? Are there any that I need to stay away from? Are there any other style dropouts that I have overlooked?

thanks,
Jeremy
 

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I like rockers - Black Cat especially. Alfine hubs work well with them (and sliders) as they need anti-turn washers on both ends of the axle which don't lend themselves to chain tugs usually associated with track / horizontal dropouts (although I've found Alfine and Nexus work fine without tugs but chain tensioning is a bit more faffy).

Also have a look at the dropouts on my E-stay 29er - they show a horizontal + disc tab option with easy wheel removal.

Making your own design is quite easy - if you have access to some kind of 2D CAD then just get inventive and then send the CAD file for profiling at a local sheet metal place - mine cost a whole $5 each dropout including raw material (decent grade steel). Water jet or laser is best quality - mine were CNC plasma cut and had a big draft angle that needed some filing to clean up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like rockers - Black Cat especially. Alfine hubs work well with them (and sliders) as they need anti-turn washers on both ends of the axle which don't lend themselves to chain tugs usually associated with track / horizontal dropouts (although I've found Alfine and Nexus work fine without tugs but chain tensioning is a bit more faffy).

Also have a look at the dropouts on my E-stay 29er - they show a horizontal + disc tab option with easy wheel removal.

Making your own design is quite easy - if you have access to some kind of 2D CAD then just get inventive and then send the CAD file for profiling at a local sheet metal place - mine cost a whole $5 each dropout including raw material (decent grade steel). Water jet or laser is best quality - mine were CNC plasma cut and had a big draft angle that needed some filing to clean up.
Thanks for the info.

I do have access to CAD, and would like to have my own dropouts made, but the 3 places I have contacted where I live (Detroit) all had conditions that made it prohibitive, like $500 minimum order, do not sell to public, etc. Another guy who has the equipment in his workshop at home asked $220/pair for the design I drew up (fixed, non-sliding or rocking). Given the amount of time it would take him to manually machine the dropouts, plus tooling and material, I did not think that was a bad price at all. I thought this would be the option I would choose if I was not really happy with what was out there form Paragon, etc, but am intrigued by your $5 piece. If anybody knows of a place like that near Detroit I would appreciate the contact info!

Jeremy
 

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Unfortunately they were made in England.... Also bear in mind there is no machining involved - they are purely plasma cut profiles in black steel that need some manual cleaning up.

It was a fabrication place that we use at work and were also having some more parts cut from the same sheet of steel at the same time (6mm EN50B which is the stuff truck chassis crossmembers are made from). However the price / kg was comparable with all of the other bits we were having cut (so not a back door special price). If approaching as a member of the public I'd just give them the file and ask to include it whenever they are next making something in the right material / thickness. They use automatic software to nest the parts on the sheet - dropouts would probably just use up some material that was otherwise scrap anyway. Steel profiling seems to be very cheap - we find it is now maybe only 25% more expensive to buy a ready cut profile from a specialist (compared to buying the raw material).

Minimum order values suck - unfortunately it is just a case of trying places until you find someone friendly / helpful.

Good luck with the project!

Mick
 

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I had a couple of sets of sliding dropouts made by a local waterjet place out of 4130 with stainless faces (using some extra paragon aluminum sliding parts I had) for 11 bucks a pair... including the material. I just provided the drawing (cad) and they cut the part for me... very little cleanup was involved and the turnaround was really quick - like 2 days. There are several online waterjet places that do the same thing - but the design has to be able to be cut out of flat material.
 
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