This is an expensive and heavy hub but I'm looking to build a new wheel and strip the rear derailleur off my old Trek MTB. It already has a fixed Ritchey carbon fork and front disc and is a nice commuter, I just hate the grindy noise of a gritty derailleur so I want it gone to create a low maintenance wet weather bike. In the summer it's this, unmodified. Both bikes get a complete strip, clean and lube when they need it but I want to cut down on the time spend doing that - the IGH-carrying Trek will go out on wet days and the road bike in the sun.
I've googled plenty on this. There just aren't many pages up though, and none I can find that gives the whole fitting process. Shimano's PDF installation instructions are pretty dense and don't point out the important bits that a real person would need to know. I've read enough about performance to know it isn't perfect (and I would probably prefer a Rohloff) but it's going to solve my muddy, gritty bike path problem.
Buying it from an Australian store is pretty much out of the question given that it will easily cost hundreds more - importers gotta eat I guess but not at my expense and not at such a ridiculous markup. Sheldon Brown's pages, among others, have me keen to buy all the parts and build the wheel myself. Ordering all the parts is the time gate and failing to order something that later has to be sourced will lead to a frustrating wait of more weeks and paying an extra large shipping cost while another order is placed.
What I need to know is exactly what is required to fit the Alfine system to an existing bike. The hub is sold as one unit, the shifter another. The chain ring is sold separately too. Then there are one or two different small parts kits available which seem to be harder to get.
What will I need to buy (part numbers if you know them)?
What parts will be troublesome to fit?
For those of you that have experience installing these: Have you used one of these hubs and did you go through the process of sourcing, fitting and adjusting this hub yourself? What did you improvise/overcome/improve during your fitting? When done did you feel you had done it perfectly? Compare the complexity of this task (Alfine system and adjustment) to a conventional derailleur...
edit: if what you are looking for is a grease-free solution for your belt-drive bike, these are not questions you should be asking. Alfie 11 hubs leak oil and make your belt just as greasy as a chain. I'm hearing from many people "mine too". One store tells me the extra tension on the sprocket when using a belt with this hub makes leaks all but inevitable. Shimano have had mine twice for extended periods for service and can't fix it. I am massively disappointed in this product, wish I had bought the 8-speed that uses grease rather than oil bath internally.
2018 edit: Spot Acme still running nicely, but now with drop bars, TRP Hylex brakes, new wheels. I've given up worrying about the Alfine 11 leaking oil on the belt, it's inevitable.