Shimano Alfine 11-Speed.

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Chipps spent Friday afternoon in the Midlands for this breaking news…

Completely revamped SHIMANO ALFINE 11-speed internal geared hub. Sporty and fashionable cycling will be brought to a whole new dimension with SHIMANO’s new ALFINE 11-speed internal geared hub. This hub gear will offer three more gears at a lighter weight than the current 8-speed version (SG-S501)! The components are simple, yet beautiful and highly reliable.

This upgrade will further enhance the use of internal hub gear bicycles into the sports market.
Besides more gears and smaller steps in between the gears, the new ALFINE SG-S700 offers also a wider gear ratio of 409 % (compared to 306% for the 8-speed version). This hub gear will run super smooth thanks to the use of a completely new helical gear system. Helical gears feature an angled teeth profile that engage more gradually compared to spur (or straight-cut) profiles, resulting in a more smooth and quiet shift. This hub gear also features an improved durability by the use of an oil lubricant instead of grease.

Besides this new internal geared hub, Shimano will also offer a new ALFINE RAPIDFIRE PLUS shifter SL-S700 that operates in exactly the same direction as the top-level SHIMANO MTB groups. It has been designed using the latest shifter technologies:  Instant Release technology: super fast and direct gear changing. Multi Release technology: allows multiple shifts with one lever stroke. Two-Way Release: Allows the index finger lever to be operated in two directions resulting in the same shift action (push-pull and push-push). SG-S700 and SL-S700 will be available in silver only.
These new products can be combined with the current ALFINE components such as disc brake calipers and disc brake levers, cranksets, chain tensioner and hub dynamo.
These stylish components will offer many new possibilities in the development of sporty and fashionable bikes for quality and design-minded consumers.
Availability in the market:  September 2010

Chipps had a car-park test of the new Alfine and reckons “More gears, a wider range (409% vs 306% (vs 524% for Rohloff) and a shifter that works the other way round. The gear change is very smooth – though you do still need to ease off a tiny amount if you’re really stomping on the pedals) and the rest of the components work well too. They’ve changed the old greased, straight cut gear internals to a more synchomesh style gearbox, running in oil. I have high hopes for this new Alfine. Start looking for it on bikes from about September onwards…”

Comments (33)

    Was considering an Alfine conversion on one of my bikes. Glad I waited, now.

    This will be seriously tempting when its available. And in black!

    Sounds exciting, should be perfect for the hardtail.

    Still need to carry around a 15mm spanner tho’ 🙁

    If it’s an oil lubricant is it a flush through service like a Rohloff?

    Seriously impressive bit of kit. I can see me owning one next year 🙂

    Will be looking at one for the hardtail hack myself

    if the range is 409% from 306% and you now have 11 gears instead of eight

    409/11= 37.18 % between gears

    306/8=38.25 % between gears i suppose it is a smaller step between gears just

    but saying that i’ll be buying one as i love my 8 speed preston so an 11 speed one must be 30% better

    Hi Guys, the press release wasn’t fully updated for the priduct presentation – there will be a black option too.

    MTB shifters are encouraging as they are obviously going after that market. Helical gears are quieter and can transmit more torque than straight cut ones, but are less efficient (more friction). Not sure what their motivation for changing this would be: to feel smoother; or more robust for off-road use? Maybe changing to oil from grease will offset some of the disadvantage.

    Still I’d like to see a good quality 3-speed hub with disk mount and large range…

    I just want to know-is it tough and easy to service!

    Ade – your maths is up the chuff

    Think compound interest….

    11 gears means 10 “gaps” = 15.13% increase from one gear to the next
    8 gears means 7 gaps = 17.32% increase from one gear to the next

    That’s assuming the gaps are equal which they won’t be.

    That means the new system has gaps that are 12.6% smaller than the current one.

    Annoying as I’m still to complete building my current Alfine bike, but as it was free I won’t mind buying the new one when it is available in black (if ever).

    Why no STI lever??????

    Our Shimano contact could ‘neither confirm, nor deny’ that there was a drop bar STi lever in the works…

    A year or so back I read that 8 speed Alfines run smoother with the grease washed out and replaced with gear oil. I’m sure the article was on but I can’t find it this morning.

    Shimano product codes:

    Deore = M525, M530 etc etc
    XT = M760, M770 etc etc
    XTR = M960, M970 etc etc

    8 speed Alfine = SG500
    11 speed Alfine = SG700

    SG900 should be interesting when it arrives…………..

    So, without talking percentages, what kind of gear spread are we talking assuming a 32t chainring? Ideally in ‘a highest gear is like 32x** , lowest is like 22x**’ (assuming it goes that low).

    Interested in a hub gear for my cargo bike, so one of these could be great for that.

    well if you say you want a bottom gear equivalent to 22×32, that’s a ratio of 0.69

    So a 409% range gives a highest ratio of 2.82 which is equivalent of big ring (44) and between the 15 and 16t sprockets or 32×11

    So it’s basically the same spread as middle and granny ring together give you? Excellent.

    I assume that you need a SS-able frame (i.e. it’s not on aeccentric hub or anything special)

    Current Alfine can be run in a horizontal frame or vertical dropout frame with a chain tensioner. I would imagine this will continue for the 11 speed version.

    also glad i waited for an alfine, now just got to wait alittle longer……….

    anyone want to buy an 8spd alfine in september, will be cheap!!

    Yup, same spread as a 2×9 setup, so perfectly usable.
    Certainly looks interesting. I hope it’s cheaper than a Rohloff….

    You can get aftermarket drop bar and bar-end levers for 8-speed Alfine, so I guess if Shimano don’t make ’em, someone else will.

    Also really glad they’re going to make the trigger shifter work the right way around.

    “Start looking for it on bikes from about September onwards” is all very well, but when are we going to be able to buy it on its own or as part of a wheel?


    Why wont they make it compatible with everythig (or even anything) else?

    Would it be so hard to make (for example) 105 levers with an extra click? It’s probably too much to hope that the cable pull is the same as campag levers isn’t it?

    I can’t be the only person who’s not buying an alfine just because it’s instantly obsolete as it doesn’t work with anything else?

    Come on shimano, your missing out the entire touring, winter bike, and fakanger markets!

    Anyone know if the new Alfine is easier to unhook when removing the rear wheel? Is the cable quick release or do you still have to un-screw and re-tension the whole thing?

    The ratio of front to back of 1.91 seems to limit its use for MTB. Some say this is due to the amount of power you can put onto the frame using no turn washers. Rohloff use a torque bar or more robust dropout.

    I’ve had a alfine 8 on my bike since last december, and an 11 on for the last 2 or maybe 3 months now. Prior to that I had a very old Rohloff. I am writing some sought of reveiw since it seems strange that none have been posted, despite them being available in NZ since august. The 11 is better in most respects, for me. I’ve had problems due to the sealed end caps supplied on the gear cable which put too much drag on the cable giving it an ugly feeling at the lever, and slow shifting to harder gears, and a few horrid noises due to this slow shifting. Unsealed end caps seem to have solved this (its full length cable and has a worm thing at the hub end anyway), but these are not problems I had with the 8 at anytime. The gear spread is good, it adds up to about a 8-34t cluster, on whatever chainring size you drive it with, if you have the 18T drive sprocket onboard. Shimano I don’t think have torque limits on it, but in my experience I have blown the left clutch on a 8 by driving it with a 32-20 input, so I’d tend to stick to 32-18 as the hardest input, which doesn’t give you are proper granny gear, if you are going to use it as a rear wheel. (My bike is gearbox type contraption, so I have further reduction to rear wheel) The 2 click shifters of the 11 are quicker to change than the 1 click either way on the 8, and I prefer the old fashion thumb for easier gear trigger for harder gear shifting direction. The LH side of the hub is about 6mm wider than the alfine 8, so it has a spacer to hold a centrelock rotor on. I don’t think it changes under load as well as an 8, this could be cable related and it doesn’t change to harder gears as well, due to the actuation direction. I imagine a DH racer would prefer an 8 for that reason, and the wider gear spread shouldn’t be important to them. The gear spread is almost the same as a 11-34 cassette, except there is an extra bailout gear as granny, depending on ratio, it adds up to about a 46, so I normally think of it as a 12 speed hub, only gear 2 is missing. The alfine hubs are pretty quiet – near silent, though my 8 got a bit rusty inside, and became noisier, and the clutch half dissolved, but was still functional. Long term we’ll see how they go, Everything in Rohloff is bigger etc, but these do shift better, and are quieter / feel smoother, though probably indifferent effeceincy. Gear range is something which matters to some people, but more on paper than trail in my opinion. Alfine come with a trigger shifter, which many people, including me prefer, although a grip shifter does have advantages, in being able to change 10 gears in one movement. The trigger shifter’s indicator stuffs up your placement of brake levers, so on the 8 I removed it, but currently I have it on, on the 11. Sorry about such a ramble.. maybe some useful information there though..

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