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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just converted my Marlin 29er single speed to an Alfine 8 speed geared hub and I thought you might like to take a look at the detailed procedure I followed.

I still have to test & debug it, but the conversion was remarkably straight forward because the single speed combination horizontal / vertical drop outs are ideal for installing a geared hub without a spring loaded power robbing idler sprocket being necessary.

1. Shimano Alfine 8 speed gear hub conversion: Parts required.
a. Handspun 29er wheel with Alfine Hub. $265.00
b. Alfine rapid fire 8 speed shifter $40.00
c. Shimano center lock disk brake adapter (highway robbery) $40.00
d. Tektro Novella 160mm disk $20.00
e. Shimano Alfine small parts kit $12.00
f. Shimano Alfine all weather shift gate $15.00
g. Shimano Alfine 20 tooth sprocket $7.00
h. Schwalbe 2.35x29 Big Apple tire $36.00
i. Kenda 29 x 1.9-2.3 Presta tube $8.00
j. Shimano 700C (29”) wheel liner $2.00
k. Three 12 inch tie wraps $1.00
l. Shimano TL HG10 centerlock rotor installation tool $22.00 (Note Actual new Shimano Part # TL-LR10) You absolutely need this!

2. Alfine hub conversion details: (February 28, 2011)
a. Mount tire liner, Big Apple tire and Kenda tube on wheel & inflate
b. Mount Tektro disk to Shimano center lock disk adapter and install circlip.
c. Mount disk/adapter to Alfine hub with lock washer.
d. (NOTE) A special Shimano TL HG10 disk rotor installation tool is required to be able to tighten the disk brake adapter to the Alfine hub properly. NEED to Tighten when get tool!!!
d.1 (Got Shimano TL-LR10 tool) You absolutely must have this to tighten a disk rotor onto the (Alfine hub / centerlock rotor adapter) properly. (Went 6 clicks beyond what I could do with circlip pliers).
e. Install a 20 tooth sprocket and retaining ring on to other side of Alfine hub.
f. Install the shift gate/cable retaining mechanism onto wheel and lock in place .
g. Set bicycle upside down and put chain on sprocket and wheel into dropouts.
h. (NOTE) Since the sprocket is the same size as stock (20 teeth) the chain length does not need to be adjusted.
i. Install brown and green axle locks so that shift gate cable retainer is pointing downward (actually upward relative to bicycle) and approximately lined up with rear down tube.
j. Install and tighten right and left axle nuts. (Disk rotor should turn freely).
k. Remove shift cable lock nut and thread cable through large rubber bushing then plastic retaining bushing then bellows cable connector.
l. Install cable lock nut back on cable and insert into slot on shift mechanism.
m. Insert plastic bushing on cable into retainer on the end of the shift gate arm.
n. Put bicycle right side up on wheels.
o. Shift the rapid fire shifter into fourth gear and adjust the cable lock nut and shifter cable length adjustment screw until the two yellow lines that can be seen on the top of the shifter gate on the Alfine hub are lined up. (4th gear).
p. (NOTE) There are several yellow dots on the side of the Alfine hub and shifter gate that are used to align the shifter gate with the hub, but these are not the referenced 4th gear alignment lines. The two fourth gear alignment lines are only visible from directly above the rear of the bicycle looking down.
q. Thread the shift cable along the left drop tube and left side of top tube and secure with tie wraps double wrapped around existing cable retention lugs.
r. Remove the right handgrip and brake lever, install the Shimano Rapid Fire shifter and then reinstall the brake lever and grips.

I will add posts to let you know how all this worked out.

The bike has gained about 5 pounds from the Alfine hub and the Big Apple tires, but still feels light.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

· Registered
207 Posts
Nice set-up

I just recently installed one as well, and the whole process was straight forward and pretty easy. What rim is on your handspun 29er wheel and where did you get it for $265? Seems like a great deal. Why did you drop $40 on a center lock disk brake adapter ? I just bought a centerlock rotor for $25. I was anti-center lock for some reason, but now that I have one they make sense. Instead of tightening and torqueing 6 little bolts, one can hit it in one shot with the same cassette lock ring tool.

· Registered
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The "Handspun" Alfine hub wheel was purchased from

Shipped properly boxed and arrived in perfect shape.

Velocity Dyad rim supplied on Handspun wheel and arrived well trued and tensioned.

I thought about substituting an Alfine rotor, but the one that was avaialble wasn't really listed as suitable for the Tektro disk pad compound so I decided on the adapter.

As it turns out the adapter does not actually use 6 machine screws. You slip the rotor over the six projections on the adapter and put a circlip over them.

The biggest problem for me was the fact that since the Alfine Axle projects through the Disk rotor area the normal nut style "tool" that you use to attach (tighten) the adapter (or center lock rotor) to the wheel won't work because it won't go over the axle.

Instead you need to use a serrated ring wrench and a special matching externally serrated and internally splined washer (that is different from the one supplied with the adapter) in order to be able to tighten the rotor/adapter to the wheel.

I dont have the tool and cant find the special washer anywhere so I have done what I could with a pair of bent circlip installer pliers on the inside splines.

I can get the tool, but if you could let me know where to find the special serrated adapter washer I would really like to know.

So far the conversion is working perfectly but I havn't had a chance to push it yet.

Although the Big Apple tires and Alfine hub have added about 5 pounds to the weight of the bike, it is well worth the results. The versatility, roadability and flotation are greatly improved.

· Registered
207 Posts
A common problem

I ran into this situation as well and found the answer here; Alfine centerlock issue

There are a few options for getting around, or over, the protruding axel to get to the lock ring. I initially went to my local bike shop who had a half dozen or more lock ring tools. We eventually found one that had enough depth to reach the lock ring. I have since ordered the performance one mentioned in the above thread link.

· Registered
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got the disk rotor tool!

Got the shimano Disc rotor tool turns out it is a new part number TL-LR10, works perfectly.

You must have this tool to properly tighten either a centerlock rotor or the centerlock rotor adapter onto the Alfine hub.

It works perfectly with an open end wrench and clears both the Alfine axle and inner bushing.

Tightened it at least 6 clicks beyond what I was able to accomplish with the circlip pliers. It was definitely too loose before. This blasted socket costs too much, but you can't get along without it.

Took less than 10 minutes to remove the Alfine wheel, tighten the rotor and reinstall it and hook it back up to the shifter.

It is very practical to quickly swap back and forth with original lighter single speed wheel and tire. (So long as your happy with the same size sprocket on both.)

I really reccomend this set up the Marlin is a really great single speed and a really great candidate for this Alfine swap setup.:thumbsup:

· Registered
1 Posts
I just bought a 2011 Marlin SS and want to do a different conversion. Some people have said that i can buy a new hub and that i can fit a derailur hanger and essentially turn it into a regular marlin. Any info on the derailur hanger?
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