Amazing Alfine? Or not?

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  • Amazing Alfine? Or not?
  • beefy
    Member

    Just wondering what people think of alfines etc nowadays? I run a carbon 456 with one and a genesis day one alfine.

    I ride the 456 like it was intended, jumps, drops, xc with added gnar (etc) ride all year and I am no light weight, I regularly hop it over stuff and muck up the landing. Just done my second ever service on this hub, which was second hand btw, (do one once a year) and there is still clean white grease in this thing. It works flawlessly and the cost of service is minimal, maybe some grease and some automatic transmission fluid for an oil bath. I have changed the cog (£3) and bought a new fitting kit (£15) over the years, but nothing compared to my old 9 speed set up (regular chains, chain rings, mechs, cassettes).

    All this begs the question, what do people think of hub gears nowadays?

    Besides the weight and lack of gears, what is the general consensus? To me they are brilliant, solve far more problems than they create, are a step forward (rather than thinking that progress involves adding a 1 to 9) and are very sustainable.

    I will never use a bike with external gears again.

    I know when I first got one there was a lot of negative talk, even now I never see another rider with them, but I don’t get it!

    Please allow me to see the light?

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    beefy – Member
    Just wondering what people think of alfines etc nowadays? I run a carbon 456 with one and a genesis day one alfine…

    All this begs the question, what do people think of hub gears nowadays?…

    I will never use a bike with external gears again….

    Please allow me to see the light?

    You’ve seen the light. 🙂

    fibre
    Member

    Still getting on fine with my 11, also on a C456. Doesn’t stop me keeping up with my riding mates (fitness does), it’s about a 2lb heavier than my previous setup (26.7lbs with Alfine) but feels balanced with the front end weight, it’s also been trouble free and cut the post ride cleaning\maintenance right down (especially through the winter), and also doesn’t degrade in performance over the same time period as my previous setup would.

    Bad
    Weight
    Some resistance on steep climbs
    Ugly, like the C456 😛

    Good
    A lot Less maintaining and cleaning – and chain lasts a lot longer
    Quiet
    Changing gears without pedaling is handy – sudden change in speed for example on technical trail sections

    It still needs improving on but that’s just a case of time. I’m curious by the idea of a lightweight 3 speed hubgear, with a gear for higher speed, one for technical (direct drive) and bailout for steep climbs.

    thepodge
    Member

    I love mine, probably only swap it for a gearbox

    Mackem
    Member

    I have a pathological hatred for front mechs, so ran an alfine for 2 years. It was great, decent range of gears, zero/low maintenance.

    Recently I changed over to a clutch meched 1×10. I now have a similar range, no dropped chains and I still dont need a front mech. The bike feels a lot livelier, the problem with the hub gear is that the rear wheel does feel like a big anchor.

    In an ideal world i’d run Alfine in the winter and 1×10 the rest of the time.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    They’ve got to be the future. Durrelliers pushing and pulling chains about just seems so out of place in todays modern high tech world. I just wish they’d release an Alfine that mounts in the bottom bracket area so the additional weight is in the middle of the bike. Obviously you’d need a frame with an enlarged BB shell.

    I’m Looking to get one on my Currently SS commuter, but now I’ve gone 1×10 on my MTB I think I’ll be sticking with that on the MTB. Good to know they are robust enough for MTB duty though.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I just wish they’d release an Alfine that mounts in the bottom bracket area so the additional weight is in the middle of the bike. Obviously you’d need a frame with an enlarged BB shell.



    Feels way more balanced than any hub geared bike I have seen

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    the problem with the hub gear is that the rear wheel does feel like a big anchor.

    +1, I tried a friend’s, didn’t like it for this reason.

    A lightweight 3 speed could be appealing as @fibre says. I mostly run SS nowadays, 3 would be plenty. It would need to be light! I can’t see a big market for it tho as most people buying their first bike think they need 30 gears, and the few SSers about are mostly happy with it.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    ^^ 2 chains, more wear & tear ballache, that’s specifically for FS sport applications I guess tho.

    How does the rear wheel come out?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Full details on the zeroed site. Nicolai do one too. You need to account for chain growth in full sus. Mounting the gearbox there means standard cranks etc.

    spooky_b329
    Member

    I bought a second hand one, every few months my hardtail gets swapped from singlespeed to alfine or back.

    Maybe I should leave it singlespeed and try the alfine on my full suss? Dump the mechs once and for all… Just not sure how the higher top gear will induce bob on the steeper climbs. Older Yeti 575 with a pushed RP23 if anyones tried it..?

    thepodge
    Member

    I’ve got mine on a fs, not a problem.

    Zerode keep teasing us with trail bike prototypes. I’d love one if they do. Oh and the two chains are only a couple of links longer than a normal chain so very little extra hassle

    Premier Icon Andy R
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    fibre – Member
    I’m curious by the idea of a lightweight 3 speed hubgear, with a gear for higher speed, one for technical (direct drive) and bailout for steep climbs.

    Me too, that’d be just about perfect. I know that people have tried the 3 speed Nexus but it has that horrible bell crank stuck on one end of the axle and a twist shifter.
    A nice, lightish, weatherproof, disc 3 speed hub with tidy, unobtrusive cable routing and a nice shifter ( a three speed thumb shifter would be fine) please Shimano.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    I used the 3-speed Nexus on this bike

    for years [just upgraded to an Alfine 8]. You need to be aware the range is extremely limited, quite a lot less than the 8 speed, or the 11 or a Rohloff for that matter. Having said that, it took me many many miles, and was ridden from London to Cornwall with me for some reason carrying the groups water on may backpack? Shifts are good.

    The reason it’s not on here anymore is the sealing is pants, and by the end it was a mess of rust, water and bits of metal!

    Also – Disc specific versions are rare as hen’s teeth [AFAIK].

    Alfine 8 is great improvement.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Andy R – Member
    …A nice, lightish, weatherproof, disc 3 speed hub with tidy, unobtrusive cable routing and a nice shifter ( a three speed thumb shifter would be fine) please Shimano.

    Forget Shimano disposable products.

    How about a Sturmey-Archer RX-RD3?
    • 3 Speed internal gear hub with 70mm drum brake
    • Rotary gear selector with no protrusions outside the frame

    The drum brake adds about 100 gms over the other rotary selection 3 speed hub and I can vouch for the effectiveness of a properly set up drum. (It will pay for itself by not wearing out disk pads 🙂 )

    DrP
    Member

    To the OP – do you have a link to instructions for servicing the alfine 8 at all?

    Cheers

    DrP

    daleftw
    Member

    Mine has been shite (Alfine 11)

    Spewed its internal oil all over the garage, sent it off to Genesis on a warranty, got it back with all new internals and within 3 hours it had done the same. They’re sending out another wheel which will hopefully be here today. If it happens again, the full bike is going back.

    And the lack of shifting options is gash.

    avdave2
    Member

    I have a Rohloff on my rigid bike which is an all year round off road commuter. The only realistic alternative to a hub gear for such a bike is a single speed. Unless of course you love cleaning bikes or are happy to keep changing your drive chain. I got 4 years from the last chain and rear cog and that’s riding off road all year round no matter what the weather. The only maintenance has been an annual oil change and the occasional wipe of the chain before applying more gearbox oil.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    My Alfine 8 still functions well enough but sounds like a bag of spanners, even afer a service. Contemplating a switch to a new one, or an 11 spd. The cost and the potenial reliability issues some report with the 11 put me off.

    For a winter off road bike or commuter/cargo bike they are superb imo.

    Mine has been shite (Alfine 11)

    Katie’s has done that as well. Think she’s on the third one now and we’re just cleaning it up and not adding any more oil. Rohloff’s are meant to run fine like that.

    daleftw
    Member

    Katie’s has done that as well. Think she’s on the third one now and we’re just cleaning it up and not adding any more oil. Rohloff’s are meant to run fine like that.

    It shouldn’t be doing that though. It’s an expensive bit of kit that is supposedly bombproof.

    Mine’s only ever used on roads and the first one has less than 400 miles on it according to Garmin Connect.

    I don’t know if it’s just cheap seals or a shite design; either way, it’s not good enough.

    avdave2
    Member

    Rohloff say that as long as you follow the oil change guidelines then you will always have sufficient oil adhering to the moving parts even if you have a leak. I’ve had a couple on mine which always seem to occur after a cold commute and then putting the bike in our warehouse with the very large space heater blasting away. It’s never caused any performance issues though and the hub is still running well after 7 years.

    It shouldn’t be doing that though. It’s an expensive bit of kit that is supposedly bombproof.

    I don’t know if it’s just cheap seals or a shite design; either way, it’s not good enough.

    Not sure where the ‘bombproof’ description comes from. The ancillary/shifting parts don’t look especially robust. It’s not a Rohloff.

    No, definitely shouldn’t do it but Madison don’t seem able to sort it out and it works (other than pissing oil which presumably will stop when the excess has drained).

    walleater
    Member

    I recently took my Alfine 8 back off my Chromag. I loved the way it functioned. It just felt so much more advanced for some reason. However, my bike was already overweight for what it is, and as mentioned above there is too much drag in the system when climbing steep hills. I put derailleurs back on my bike, and it feels like a brand new bike.

    I recently changed over to an Alfine 8 on the hardtail~ I was previously running a hope singlespeed hub with a doctored 6spd cassette, due to the added wheel strength you get from a dishless build: when I discovered the Alfine builds almost dishless, I decided to give it a whirl.

    To start with, the additional weight out back takes getting used to, and I also noticed the wheel has less compliance due to the shorter spokes, however, all told, I’m sold; it’s nice being able to change gear without pedalling and the ability to fakie without the chain derailling is a godsend. Bit early for me to comment on reliability and maintenance, but no doubt it’ll prove its worth.

    Ultimately, as has already been mentioned, hopefully the future is in a bb mounted gearbox, with standard mounting available to the whole industry.

    Premier Icon philtricklebank
    Subscriber

    I have eight speed alfine’s on a 26 and 29er. I love’em but I know many that wouldn’t. Don’t know whether it’s just too different or not enough range, possibly. I suspect the main reason is weight distribution, all being at the rear. What I’d love is a pinion gearbox. Central weight distribution, but looks like a bespoke build currently so ££££. I’d like to watch and wait to see how reliable they turn out to be, then take a punt on one if they seem to do the trick.

    I’d steer clear of the 11 speed. I found the range great but it was very fussy. I know of some who get along fine, but there is talk of many broken and returned hubs over on the CTC forum.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Love my Rohloff.
    Had an Alfine-8 for a while too, it had advantages over the Rohly – crisp gear changes when indexed correctly, and price, but it lacked on reliability and gear-range.

    Pining after a Pinion now (see what I did there?)

    Premier Icon deejayen
    Subscriber

    I had a ride on a bike with an Alfine 11. 2nd gear was broken and unusable, and I found the gap between 1st and 3rd pretty big. From what I’ve read the gap between 1st and 2nd is the big one. I also felt that 1st wasn’t low enough for really steep off-road climbs (I don’t know what the gearing was, or if it could be lowered without damaging the hub). I liked other aspects of it, though. I was able to try another similar bike at the same time which had ‘normal’ gears, and it did feel more lively.

    I’m considering buying a used Rohloff from someone – I’ve not used one, and I’ve always been put off by the idea of its inefficiency, noise, and weight. However, maybe it’s something every cyclist needs to try, and plenty seem to love them.

    chunkypaul
    Member

    I’m curious by the idea of a lightweight 3 speed hubgear, with a gear for higher speed, one for technical (direct drive) and bailout for steep climbs.

    +2

    inefficiency,

    Loses are negligible.

    noise

    Not something I’ve ever noticed – they get quieter with age and off road theres other noise anyway.

    weight

    No worse than an Alfine but can’t help otherwise.

    Premier Icon deejayen
    Subscriber

    Yes, I’m less bothered about the weight. I’m not looking for a silent bike either – it’s more that a Rohloff can sound like things are grinding away within the hub (based on overtaking a couple of Rohloffs on long road climbs), and I could easily convince myself that it was slowing me down. I’m still very likely to buy it, though.

    beefy
    Member

    Wow, looks like I am not alone! Dr p, servicing is as easy as removing large plastic seal from drive side, undoing and removing disc side cone nuts and sliding the whole thing out of its shell, clean, dunk in auto transmission fluid overnight, grease and refit, will post instructions of I find them.

    I love the idea of a light 3 speed too, one thing that did catch my eye a while back was the mountain drive two speed crank, bit pricey though http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/mountain_drive.html

    Premier Icon paul4stones
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    It’s ok until it goes wrong somewhere away from civilisation, or even in civilisation. A derailleur set up is more bodgeable or repairable as there are many more of them and spares about.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    paul4stones – Member
    It’s ok until it goes wrong somewhere away from civilisation, or even in civilisation. A derailleur set up is more bodgeable or repairable as there are many more of them and spares about.

    That’s precisely when I’d use a Rohloff.

    My brother was been riding the Bicentennial Trail in Oz with some mates, and that can mean 100s of miles from anywhere. He used a Rohloff which was totally trouble free despite the weight of his trailer. His mates had to carry spare derailleurs, cassettes and chains because they broke too easily when subjected to continual grinding through bulldust. For the next venture, they will all be on Rohloffs.

    fibre
    Member

    I know the first batch of 11’s were bad, mine was a later batch and I’ve had no problems. The cable tension has to be spot on when setting up and you have to learn to ease off at the right moment while shifting (milliseconds), but once I got used to it I was actually pulling away a lot quicker and harder than my 1×9 XT setup (and my riding mates). I found the gear ratios were fine once I got used to it, same as going 1×9 or 10. I might be sticking on my 1×10 to see the difference during whatever summer we get.

    The idea of the 3 speed I suggested would be like a singlespeed plus 2, designed from the ground up for hard use but lightweight, simple gears for speed> tech(direct drive)> climbing. I think a lot of people like me have tried singlespeed and liked it but felt like they needed another gear or two. I missed the speed on the flat and it is hard on your knees and legs on longer\steeper climbs. I have friends who only ride SS and are still quicker, but they are whippets.

    They’re great until they break or let you down 30 miles from home. Watch the bike shop laugh at you when you ask for a spare nut thing that hangs off the gear cable (that came off down the road).

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    rumbledethumps – Member
    They’re great until they break or let you down 30 miles from home. Watch the bike shop laugh at you when you ask for a spare nut thing that hangs off the gear cable (that came off down the road).

    It’d be a pretty incompetent bike shop that couldn’t rig up something that would do the job (unless it was the same incompetent that fitted it).

    Never heard of one falling off.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Love my Alfine, started on my Karate Monkey when it went from singlespeed to gears, now destined for life on a cyclocross Genesis De Fer, when I find a few hours to build it.

    8 speed version, never missed a beat. Works well with Verso shifters for drop bars too.

    Premier Icon Andy R
    Subscriber

    I might try the Sturmey Archer CS-RK3, if I can find where to get one from.
    3 speed 75%,100% and 133%, disc brake and will take a cassette (so could be used with a single sprocket and spacers).

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