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  • 12 things that I've learned as an Alfine 11 owner…
  • bspoked
    Free Member

    1. They don’t like torque
    2. The Alfine tensioner is as much use as a chocolate fireguard (and doesn’t like torque)
    3. Develop a smooth pedalling style, don’t mash
    4. Vertical drop-outs are possible, see #1 and #3 above
    5. Get the right coloured washers for your desired cable line
    6. Shimano Hazelnuts are thankfully softer metal than Alfine axles (overtightening essential)
    7. Liquid Torque is your friend, see #5 and #6
    8. Looks like a single-speed thoroughbred, weighs like a shire horse
    9.They are reliable and low maintenance though
    10. An oil change after a 1000km is highly recommended. Less drag, less noise, more smooth speed
    11. KMC half link chains solve #2… for about a month until it has stretched like nicker elastic
    12. KMC BMX chain with a single half link solves all your problems.

    lorax
    Full Member

    Having just built up a bike with a second-hand Alfine 11, I’ll bear all this in mind 🙂

    bspoked
    Free Member

    I’m glad I tried one. Definite positives. Not sure I’d do it again.

    On the off chance that anyone has tried it… Does the Versa-11 dropbar shifter have the right indexing/cable pull to use with an X01/XX1 rear mech and cassette?

    drlex
    Free Member

    As to point 10, I’ll add two tips
    Rohloff oil kit is cheaper & better than Shimano, and
    eBay syringe kit is also cheaper than Shimano.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Does the new XTR 11speed work with Alfine? 😉

    nuke
    Full Member

    I’ll add another: don’t assume that because the yellow dots are accurately lined up that the Alfine is setup correctly

    bspoked
    Free Member

    I’ve heard that Nuke, but I must have been lucky, as mine are spot on. Half a mm of cable stretch will bugger it though, but once back in line, no problems.

    swanny853
    Full Member

    I must’ve done about 8k miles on mine (commuting) before realising I should have changed the oil some time before. I recommend doing it sooner. The eBay kit makes it easy.

    coolhandluke
    Free Member

    Glad I’ve got an 8 speed

    8/11ths of the gears but with 8/11ths of the hassles.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    Glad I’ve got an 8 speed

    8/11ths of the gears but with 8/11ths of the hassles.

    Is the 8 any better with torque?

    Gary_M
    Free Member

    I’ve been considering an alfine 11 speed disc braked road bike for some time as my ideal winter commuter. This has put me right off.

    Ideally with belt drive and of course sks longboard guards.

    yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    I used to have a hybrid bike with a SRAM iMotion 3 hub gear

    Same hassles

    convert
    Full Member

    I’ve currently got an Alfine 8spd that is now getting towards the end of it’s natural life. I contemplated putting an 11spd on it but once I checked out the gearing it put me right off. In comparison to my 8spd I’d want the extra 3 gears at the bottom of the range (or at least 2 of them at the bottom, and one above) but they have put the 1:1 ratio so low down that is tricky to manage. I’d have to source a very small chainring and the biggest nevaxe sprocket to have a chance (currently 32t surley stainless chainring and 20T sprocket with the 8spd Alfine). And even then I’d be miles outside the shimano recommended ratios.

    Rohloff put the 1:1 ratio gear in so much more sensible a place in the range for off road – I guess the Alfine 11 setup makes sense on the road.

    bristolbiker
    Free Member

    I’ll not go over it again, as it pretty much echos the comments above – it’s all here though if anyone wants to waste a few mins…

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/talk-to-me-about-hub-gears

    tonyd
    Full Member

    I’m glad I tried one. Definite positives. Not sure I’d do it again.

    This for me. I quite liked the idea of it but now I’ve experienced the reality I don’t think I’d bother again.

    weighs like a shire horse

    This is actually one of the positives for me! Since it’s on my commuter I keep telling myself it’s good for training, it certainly makes my other bikes feel nice and light.

    smiffy
    Full Member

    . The Alfine tensioner is as much use as a chocolate fireguard (and doesn’t like torque)

    I don’t get this statement?

    bspoked
    Free Member

    There are two parts that rotate that are clamped together with an Allen key to set the right tension. Push hard on the pedals going uphill and it slips. No matter how tight I turned it, it wouldn’t hold under power.

    bspoked
    Free Member

    I was also having a problem pulling the hub out of the dropouts altogether which seemed to lessen once I went to a correct length chain with no tensioner. Not sure if might have been altering the chainline slightly.

    hjghg5
    Free Member

    I’m glad I tried one. Definite positives. Not sure I’d do it again.

    This for me. I quite liked the idea of it but now I’ve experienced the reality I don’t think I’d bother again.[/quote]

    +1. I do like it in some ways but I wouldn’t get another.

    mick_r
    Full Member

    Alfine 8 and Sturmey 3 experimenter here. Still waiting to hear anything good about the 11 spd…..

    Don’t like the mushy feeling of the Alfine (roller clutches not pawls in there) or the weight. Silence (roller clutches) also means you can spook walkers (my Hope ss hub is useful for subtle warning of approach). Weight also an issue. And that 1:1 ratio isn’t direct drive – it spins lots of cogs to achieve it.

    The Sturmey improves on some things – proper direct drive in 1:1. Feels much less mushy. Lighter. But absolutely no sealing. Their 135mm axle is a bodge with loads of spacers and liable to bend due to resultant inboard bearing position. The nuts / anti turn washers are so poor they make Alfine stuff look like CNC bling. And the ratio spread isn’t really enough – OK for short sharp stuff like Kentmere in the Lakes but broke me on long steep climbs in Alps 🙂

    Almost feels like the perfect affordable hub gear combo could be made but nobody wants to.

    thepodge
    Free Member

    I love my alfine 8 off road or I thought I did but been considering normal gearing lately, problem is its silly expensive going back.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    Almost feels like the perfect affordable hub gear combo could be made but nobody wants to.

    SRAM Automatix looked promising (2 speed; shifts automatically up based on hub rotational speed) but apparently the sealing is also crap, and you can’t change the shift point without bodging. I sometimes wonder how much ‘D’ SRAM’s R&D dept actually do (see also Hammerschmidt).

    fr0sty125
    Free Member

    With all the reference to not liking high torque it sounds like I would destroy one of these hubs rather quickly…..

    theonlywayisup
    Free Member

    I did look at a hug gear as being the holy grail of winterproofing my commuter bike, but having only had the hub for a few months I’ve still to experience the all of the “joys” described above.

    I’m running a 5 speed Sturmey with disk mount. It was great fun building the wheel myself. Putting it on the bike was less fun. I echo the comments on the anti-turn washers above, and indexing the gears is a fiddle – perhaps it’s my failing eyesight, but lining up a blob of paint on the chain thing that goes into the axle through a plastic roller was a PITA.

    Cable stretch (hopefully only initially) makes the indexing go out quite easily. It only needs to be a fraction out before I get gear slippage.

    I need to ease off a lot when changing gears, and like the Alfines, my Sturmey hub doesn’t like a lot of force through the pedals (when indexing is a fraction out) – last night I nearly went OTB going up a steep hill when the gears slipped.

    Finally, I have strained my thumb, which I can only attribute to the overly stiff shifter that came with the hub. 🙄

    The jury is out, but I recognise some of the problems

    yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    You know what else is a pain in the ass with hub gears?
    No quick release.
    That means carrying a 15mm spanner with you. No 15mm on a multitool would allow me to get enough torque to stop it slipping so I ended up carrying the 15mm out of my tool kit.

    Life’s too short to be swearing at gear hubs. Just use derrailiuers – they work fine, are very reliable and are easy and cheap to sort if something goes wrong.

    bspoked
    Free Member

    I forgot about the 15mm spanner in a water bottle!

    bentudder
    Full Member

    I’ve gone through a few Sturmey Archer three speeds on my Brompton. I’ve broken pawls three times, which is a bit rough. Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible to get new pawls. Brompton and my LBS, Cycleworks, have been brilliant about fixing the problems, but I went for the two speed after going through a third pawl at about 4,500 miles.

    If you can get replacement pawls, replace all of them at once, is my advice.

    Still liking the eight speed Nexus hack on my Specialized Tricross – but I’ve put far less miles on that.

    Andy-R
    Full Member

    Sounds like I’m almost alone in liking the Alfine 8 then? There are a couple of things that I don’t like about it, primarily the weight but also the slow take-up of the roller clutches.
    Incidentally, I also used to believe that the 1:1 gear (5th) used the gear train but apparently it doesn’t – there was a link from John Dalhart to a Shimano document about this on the mtbr forums but the link doesn’t work now – this is all I can find. clicky .
    The roller clutch is, of course, still used in 5th and that must be where the slow engagement comes from, as on my hub 5th is the worst gear in this respect.
    I’ve been using one for over three years on a Singular Hummingbird, usually geared at 32:22 but on occasion as low as 28:23 and it’s been faultless in that time. I’ve stripped it down a couple of times and re-lubed it -I use Rocol Aerospec 100 semi-liquid grease,(as used by Flybe as Bombardier Q400 prop grease) – it seems ideal for the job.
    It gets used in pretty crappy conditions too.

    The Zerode index plate in a Sram X9 shifter is much nicer than the Alfine shifter IMO if you can live without gear indication.

    If I was starting all over again with that bike I’d probably go 1X10 with clutch mech, NW chainring and One Up 42T sprocket (like on my Alpitude). I’d save some weight, that’s for sure and have faster engagement and a wider gear range.

    tonyd
    Full Member

    I’m not sure the argument about hub gears being low maintenance is that accurate. An oil change every 600 miles might be easy enough to do, but so is keeping your chain clean and de-greasing the drive train. You can probably get away with similar intervals – 600 miles is about 6 weeks commuting if I’m not being lazy, I’d rarely carry out any maintenance on a ‘standard’ commuter any more frequent than that.

    OK, you get less wear but, pfft, you can pick up a new or nearly new drivetrain cheap enough.

    bristolbiker
    Free Member

    An oil change every 600 miles might be easy enough to do…

    For Alfine-11, that’s the first service interval – thereafter it’s every 3500km IIRC (so a smidge over 2000 miles). As my hub is on my wet weather/winter commuter, that’s pretty much annual mileage for the bike, which I can live with.

    yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    My iMotion 3 mentioned an oil bath for maintenance.
    How do you do that with it laced in to a wheel?

    avdave2
    Full Member

    I’m not sure the argument about hub gears being low maintenance is that accurate. An oil change every 600 miles

    I change the oil in my Rohloff once a year. The service interval is 5000km. I ride to work off road all year round and I reckon chain maintenance to be around 2 minutes a week in the worst winter conditions. I get 3-4 years from a chain. I’m sat down with a hot cup of tea or a cold beer while your degreasing. Sorry but your tea’s gone cold and your beer’s now warm. 🙂

    Not as relevant for an on road commuter I know, where a cheap drivetrain will still last ages with very little maintenance.

    simons_nicolai-uk
    Free Member

    Since the Alfine 11 seems to piss it’s oil over the back wheel/disc Katie’s given up adding oil to it. Has run fine for a year/some 1000’s of miles like that so we’ll see what happens.

    One word for hubs – Rohloff – truly work and starting to seem very reasonably priced compared to new 1x set ups.

    For the spanner requirement on Alfine, can you still buy cool tools?

    simons_nicolai-uk
    Free Member

    Since the Alfine 11 seems to piss it’s oil over the back wheel/disc Katie’s given up adding oil to it. Has run fine for a year/some 1000’s of miles like that so we’ll see what happens.

    One word for hubs – Rohloff – truly work and starting to seem very reasonably priced compared to new 1x set ups.

    For the spanner requirement on Alfine, can you still buy cool tools?

    tonyd
    Full Member

    Not as relevant for an on road commuter I know

    Ah yes, through the winter my commute is strictly on road.

    For Alfine-11, that’s the first service interval – thereafter it’s every 3500km IIRC (so a smidge over 2000 miles). As my hub is on my wet weather/winter commuter, that’s pretty much annual mileage for the bike, which I can live with.

    My mistake, I thought it was every 600 miles for some reason. I feel less bad about ignoring service intervals now 🙂

    TurnerGuy
    Free Member

    I have two of those cool tools – used to use it one on my Nexus 8 on my commuter Birdy, ’til it got nicked.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    I suppose this is a multi tool that meets the 15mm requirement:

    epicyclo
    Full Member

    yourguitarhero – Member
    You know what else is a pain in the ass with hub gears?
    No quick release.
    That means carrying a 15mm spanner with you.

    No it doesn’t, and you can still get your wheels off fast.*

    You can get Sturmey-Archer wingnuts on eBay. An Alfine can use ordinary wingnuts.

    I reckon I can have my wheel out in much the same time as a QR getting past a derailleur.

    As far as reliability is concerned, almost all hubgear problems start with poor cables, either adjustment or stiction from rust, tight turns or kinks in the cable. Don’t ride the hub without sorting out the cables or you will damage it. In that case it’s not unreliability, but poor maintenance.

    Ideally all hubgears should have internal indexing like the Rohloff.

    (Sorry don’t have a pic of my S-A wingnut setup, so used this one)

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)

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