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  1. #1
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    Alfine 11 - Do they all jump gears?

    I have a specialized source 11 that jumps gears in the 7th position. It has been looked at repeatedly by my LBS and by a Shimano tech. I use it only for casual riding/commuting, with only moderate hills.

    I have micro adjusted the cable extensively, but have come to the conclusion that isn't the problem.

    It usually jumps when I'm climbing out of the saddle, but not always.

    Do all these hubs have this problem? Does anyone have one that does not jump gears?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootmaster View Post
    Does anyone have one that does not jump gears?
    I've had no problems with my A11. It's used for bikepacking and some trail riding. Lots of steep loaded climbing.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  3. #3
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    That's good to know that at least it's capable of not jumping. Specialized is going to replace my hub, so I'm really hoping for the best. I've talked to several people who have them and they all report jumping. Interesting, the Shimano technician adjusted my hub , the yellow alignment dots were not even close to being aligned in 6th gear. Perhaps my hub is way off specification...

  4. #4
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    FWIW - this cargo bike service is using an Alfine 11 in at least one cargo bike.

    Red Riding Goods | Delivery services by cargo bike

    Red Riding Goods | Biking in a Big City
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  5. #5
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    Just thought I should share this, it may possibly help someone.
    Never had an issue until I got a new frame and swapped the Alfine onto it and at the same time shortened the cable.
    I have been using the bike mainly on towpaths and flattish stuff over the last few months whilst getting over an injury, experienced a few misfires but didn't think much of it and just thought the inner cable was catching on the newly cut end of the outer.
    That was until yesterday when visiting a trail centre with a bit more climbing, where the Alfine started to slip in most gears but mostly the second gear.
    Started to investigate the problem this morning fearing the worst, luckily found I had made a school boy error whilst setting it up after I had shortened the cable.
    I had used the pod indicator to set the sixth gear, which turned out was actually the fifth gear doh !!!

    Moral of the story is to actually count the gear steps rather than relying on the gear indicator.

  6. #6
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    That's a good thought, I'll have to check that. I seem to have found an adjustment point where the hub jumps significantly less, but it still jumps.

  7. #7
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    Sho'nuff! 6 isn't really 6. I guess that serves me right for actually reading the manual!!

  8. #8
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    Yep I had also tweaked the adjustment point until it was ok'ish whilst I wasn't applying high loads.

    So you found the same thing?
    If so is it jumping once corrected?

  9. #9
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    yes, mine still jumps, even under moderate loads. Of course it's a lot more of a problem when i'm off center jamming up a hill. I really haven't found any differences when I shift under load or not, but I'm usually careful not to shift under load. It only does it in certain gears, however.

  10. #10
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    I have an alfine 11 that has had all the internals replaced with new ones in 2012 due to some failed parts in the first set of internals. The replacement internals have been pretty solid. It does not skip gears. It does make a clunk sometimes, maybe 10-20 revolutions after shifting gears, but no gear skipping. I beleive Shimano says this is normal operation in the operators manual. I was running the versa 11 shifter, but recently switched back to the shimano rapid fire shifter. The shifting is even more crisp with the rapid fire and feels very solid. I also have an alfine 8. I feel that the 11 shifts better than the 8, but I do think it is more sensitive to cable tension than the 8 is, therefore could misshift easier if there are problems with the cable routing. I have been running the 11 for about a year now and am very pleased with it. We will have to see how the longer term durability is.

  11. #11
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    I just got a warranty replacement wheel and have only put a few mile on it. Still trying to dial in the adjustment. I'll need to put at least a 100 miles on it till I know for sure. The thing about this new hub is that it sounds like it has a bag of gravel in it when I pedal. My last one was almost silent. The Shimano tech put Phil Wood oil in the previous one, I was told. That stuff is pretty thick.

    My experience with this hub is also that very small amounts of cable tension adjustment are necessary to get adjustment set correctly. I suspect that the design tolerances on this hub are just not in line with the manufacturing tolerances and quality control, that's why there are so many problems with it. I can't see how manufacturers can spec. this on new bikes, they'll just have a zillion warranty issues. Shimano really needs to fix this.

  12. #12
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    After using the warranty replacement Alfine 11 for about a week, I have come to the conclusion that it's just a faulty design. The new hub jumps just like the original one. This copy has the annoying benefit of being extremely noisy.

    I would not advise anyone to buy this hub.

  13. #13
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    I use mine everyday for work (10 miles) and up to 2 hour hilly road rides at the weekend. Had it for over a year in a lightweight urban self build and although I have had some early problems with 2nd gear on hard climbs in the cold, it is pretty faultless now. Have changed the oil one time and once the yellow dots were aligned in 6th gear have not needed to adjust the cable again. Smoother than the 8 speed or Rohloff, but would not use it for xc or trekking as I have less faith in it than both the other internals. It does mildly leak some oil but not enough to drip, just smears the plastic chain guard. Had the Rohloff for over eight fault free years, I just change the oil each winter. Including original purchase price, it will have cost me about 2 a week to put it in perspective.

  14. #14
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    I'm sure some are trouble-free, but from my experiences and conversations with others (actuall face to face, not internet trolls) this seems to be a bit of a crap shoot with this hub. Too bad, because I like it otherwise!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootmaster View Post
    I'm sure some are trouble-free, but from my experiences and conversations with others (actuall face to face, not internet trolls) this seems to be a bit of a crap shoot with this hub. Too bad, because I like it otherwise!
    So I've diagnosed an issue with mine, I think. The hub is fine, the shifter is somewhat....not. Look, for a moment, at a cable-operated disk brake lever and how it's got an adjustment bolt and a stop screw. The stop screw keeps the brake from losing it's adjustment when you hit a bump, or pedal, or do things like, you know, ride your bike.

    Then look at the Alfine shifter. It has the adjustment screw and...no stop screw. Mine *constantly* self-adjusts to looser and looser. I'm actually buying a set of in-line cable adjusters and I'm going to reset the thing around the on-shifter adjuster being all the way screwed in and the adjusters (planning on using two so I get enough range) to adjust the dot.

    If this doesn't work, the hub's going on eBay and I'm getting a Rohloff, which is what I should have done from the start. It costs more, but given the hours of frustration I've spent it's been money badly saved.

  16. #16
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    Hmm, you could be right about that. I came to same conclusion. There is no cheap way around this. If you want this kind of thing, you need a Rohloff. I'm getting mine converted this spring.....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by a44v589 View Post
    So I've diagnosed an issue with mine, I think. Look, for a moment, at a cable-operated disk brake lever and how it's got an adjustment bolt and a stop screw. The stop screw keeps the brake from losing it's adjustment when you hit a bump, or pedal, or do things like, you know, ride your bike.

    Then look at the Alfine shifter. It has the adjustment screw and...no stop screw. Mine *constantly* self-adjusts to looser and looser.
    The adjuster on Alfine gear shifters is exactly like that on any other Shimano gear shifter - it has detents on the adjuster and a coil spring to provide pre-load against the detents. Unless yours is missing the spring I can't see how it can "self adjust".

    Most cable brake levers have no detent system, hence the need for a lock nut.

  18. #18
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    There may be issues with frame or other component flex involved too. My gears seem to jump when I go fairly hard on the pedals. The tolerances are so tight on this hub with cable tension, I can imagine a very small amount of cable movement might cause this too, but this is only supposition.

  19. #19
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    I know this has been pseudo covered, but have you tried, rather than replacing the hub, opening and flushing it? There was a link posted in another thread that explains the procedure. Oftentimes, the skipping is related to metal shavings in the hub, assuming the cable is adjusted correctly. It's good that you had the hub checked by the mechanic and Shimano, but did they actually tell you what they did? Warranty service is typically of the 'do it as quickly as possible' variety, and the above is most definitely not.

    Opening and flushing the hubshell is the only way to remove larger contaminants that might be left after an oil change. In an ideal world, the tolerances of the hub's sub assemblies would be good enough that wearing in wouldn't create large shavings for some people (myself included!). It's attainable, mind you, but it also costs about 2.5x an Alfine.

  20. #20
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    I suppose this is possible too, but the skipping occurred from day one and happened from day one with a brand new hub that was replaced by the manufacturer. I just can't believe it isn't something inherent in the design. I spoke to a bike shop that has services a lot of these and they stopped carrying them. There's a lot of real-world experience here pointing to a design flaw....

  21. #21
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    My experience with a number of the Shimano 8 speed models and lately the new 2015 SG-S700-8 is that they have reliable shifts and I have not experienced any slippage or failure with them. The 11 speed has had problems changing into and out of second gear when climbing steep hills. At one time I thought that I had canned the hub climbing as it lost the gear (2nd) and gave out some pretty horrible mechanical sounds. It has improved but will find out if has fully recovered when the weather in the UK improves. I use a 20t rear and 39t front (700c rims). Incidently, the latest 8 speed is using the same cable route as the 11, going over the top of the hub and it does make removing and refitting easier. I have not read that any of the internals are different and it is does not use oil (and neither does it leak, another problem with the 11 weaping oil on the drive side)

  22. #22
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    Yeah, I've never heard of issues with the 8 speeds. I think the tolerances in the 11's is just too tight and unless everything is just perfect, there are problems. In some cases, I'm sure it works fine, but my experience with this hub, it has significant problems.

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