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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of building a new mountain bike for my daughter as she just because too tall for her 24" wheels one. As she's still pretty light (5" tall <100LBS) and will be riding at a rather moderate pace for a while, I've been thinking about going 1x9 on the drivetrain.

Considering her strength (or lack thereof), the terrain around here (which is "hilly" to say the least), she won't be able to pull a traditional 1x9 (with a 32 teeth front ring) so I've started to look at the internally geared hub instead.

I like the new Shimano Alfine hub, and with her weight / power / riding style I am not too concerned about reliability.

Most of the threads in the MTBR forums are 1+ year old, so I am opening a new thread to get any relevant updates. Here are a few questions I have:

- Are the Alfine hubs / parts available in the US yet? If not, any recommendation where to get them?
- What's the pricing, for the hub and various parts?
- Do they work with any Shimano trigger shifter or do they require the Afine specific shifter?

Thanks.

 

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Alfine hubs are available in NA. Harris Cyclery is always a good place to check - if you can't get them there, then you won't find them anywhere else.
Shimano Alfine: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/shimano-nexus.html
Shifters are Alfine/Nexus specific, but both trigger and twist are available. I recently broke the twist - cheap plastic internals didn't like too much pressure past the end stop. I've found that most kids have a hard time with shifters - what seams easy for us to twist or press is hard for them. Not sure which I'd recommend, but I'd probably lean towards the twister version - it has a lighter touch.

The Alfine is nicer than the Nexus red-band - it has a quicker engagement, roller clutch, and is quieter (no "clicky" gears that you get with classic geared hubs). As for durability, I don't have enough time on it yet, but I expect it to be as good as the red-banded Nexus, which has held up pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I found that for younger kids, having to deal / understand how a non-linear gear system works (which the 3x9 is...) is too much and they usually just leave the front gear on the same ring the whole ride. Since I'd rather have my daughter focus on her riding skills and enjoying the ride rather thanget frustrated because or wrong gearing. So a 1x9 with the right gear spread is probably easier / better for her.
 
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