Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Eneloop Alfine 8-speed

What started as a seemingly simple rear hub swap turns out to be one of the most challenging project in the history of our shop.

For cyclists who ride for fitness, electric-assisted bicycles may seem to miss the point. But in the terms of pedaling for transportation these bicycles might lure more people to get around on two wheels. The Eneloop e-bike was designed by Sanyo as a part of their Eneloop line of rechargeable batteries.

The initial brief may sounds simple. The owner want to upgrade the stock Shimano Nexus 3-speed internal-geared rear hub for a 8-speed Alfine. The problem arised once we find out that the Nexus hub is the roller brake equipped version. If we replace the hub, then how did the bicycle supposed to stop?
Since we have good experience of brazing brake pivots to seatstays, we proposed a solution of switching the rear braking system to V-brakes.

Spending the last few years tinkering with bicycles, dismantling the components off the frame reminded us on my motorcycle riding years: so many cables to pay attention to, let alone the weight. This is by far the heaviest bicycle ever to be clamped on our repair stand...
We want to retain this bicycle as "factory" as possible. Apart from the blacked-out rear wheel (we switched the rear rim with a 32 hole H+Son TB-14 to match the Alfine hub), people might not noticed that the frame was mildly modified. The stock cable routing is still used.

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