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  1. #1
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    Alfine 11 hard clunk

    I have an about 1 month old A11 hub and it's been pretty good, however recently there has been a hard clunk at gear 6 and 7. It seems to shift properly (under moderate load), but say if I stand up to pedal hard up a hill, the hub may skip and bang, causing not only a hairy situation, but possibly also damage to the hub. The yellow lines are aligned at gear 6.

    ANy ideas what could cause this, and the solution?

  2. #2
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    Is the cable fully housed from the shifter to the hub armature?
    I had a similar experience on an Alfine 8 equipped bike that had some exposed cable - it would skip whenever I stood on the pedals or put down alot of torque. This caused frame flex, which in turn caused the exposed cable to move ever so slightly in relation to the housing, thereby causing the "clunk".
    I installed housing for the entire cable run and the problem is gone. Thanks to Aaron for the tip on that one.

    Just a thought.

  3. #3
    Another Retro Grouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Solo View Post
    ... It seems to shift properly (under moderate load), but say if I stand up to pedal hard up a hill, the hub may skip and bang...the solution?
    Don't shift with any load, IGHs aren't designed to be shifted under load.

  4. #4
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    I was under the impression that being able to shift under power as well as while not pedaling were some of the benefits of IGH.

    Were did you get that info from, could you point us to a link from one of the manufacturers?

    PG

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patagrande View Post
    I was under the impression that being able to shift under power as well as while not pedaling were some of the benefits of IGH. Were did you get that info from, could you point us to a link from one of the manufacturers?PG
    Shifting under power with my Alfine hub always results in bad shifts and/or lots of noise. It shifts much faster than a derailleur, but you can't shift under power.

    Tim

  6. #6
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    Thanks Tim,

    Maybe its the Rohloff that allows shifting under power, I will look into this, I want to get front dynamo rear IGH on my Fatbike build. The more I learn about it the less convinced to take the plunge I get.


    Here is Shimano's link
    Product
    The PDF link is broken.

    The description mentions Shifting Power Modulator, but I imagine that relates to the amount of force one need to apply to trigger a shift, and noting to do with shifting under power.

    PG

  7. #7
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    I don't have a link and you can't shift a Rohloff under load either. The Shimano is so slick it will shift under load but you'll kill it eventually.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patagrande View Post
    Thanks Tim,

    Maybe its the Rohloff that allows shifting under power, I will look into this, I want to get front dynamo rear IGH on my Fatbike build. The more I learn about it the less convinced to take the plunge I get.


    Here is Shimano's link
    Product
    The PDF link is broken.

    The description mentions Shifting Power Modulator, but I imagine that relates to the amount of force one need to apply to trigger a shift, and noting to do with shifting under power.

    PG
    I think that most are cortect that you aren't meant to shift uner load, but I have heard a few people say they do. I tried it today on my rohloff and it actually worked under some conditions, but I won't be forcing it to happen. Best off to work your riding so that you don't need to.

  9. #9
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    Alfine 8 is low normal shifting. Shifting up through the gears is done by cable pull from the shifter. In my experience I'm able to shift up while pedaling but have to let up during the shift (very small load acceptable). Shifting down through the gears is done by spring pull at the hub. Stop pedaling completely for downshifts. No load at all can be applied.

    The spring has enough tension to move whatever its moving inside the hub to change gears, but combine that with already engaged gears and you're going to get a lot of noise as it tries and fails to move. Your thumb on the trigger shifter has way more power than the spring - you have to overcome the spring tension just to move the cable. I suppose that's why shifting up can be done while pedaling. Its possible to force it to change even if gearing is engaged. Even still, I never load the pedals while shifting up.

    The best thing about IGH is that it changes the way you shift. I now shift while coasting over obstacles and such. I could never do that with a derailleur. Like finch2 said, if you adapt your riding style to the IGH, it will pay off in unexpected and pleasant ways. I'm way more confident in the way I shift now. There's no more praying the derailleur will move the chain 3 sprockets without blowing up when approaching a steep climb. I could never go back to derailleurs now.

  10. #10
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    Although Rohloffs don't like to be shifted under load, they can be, and to no detriment of the hub, just the rider. Quoted from the Rohloff manual:
    "ATTENTION
    Changing gear with the RohloffSPEEDHUB 500/14 with pressure on the pedals is not necessary when being used appropriately. However due to the robust construction of the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 changing gear under pressure is possible and is not harmful to the hub. It is however possible that when changing gears under high pressure the hub could accidentally fall into a neutral gear, this is due to the coupling elements not seating correctly into the next elements and therefore rebounding back. If this occurs the rider could lose balance and crash. Changing gears under high pressure is at the riders own risk."

    I definitely shift "smarter" on an IGH, but don't worry about grinding gears when I have to. I'm bummed to hear about the Alfine 11's. Wish they were doing better.... Seems like alot of them are not holding up to MTB applications. I might still get an Alfine 8. Alfine 11 needs some more R&D before I'd buy one.

    Shimano could have really kicked up the IGH bandwagon with the 11. Instead it seems like they're just scaring people away. Hope they get it sorted out.

  11. #11
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    I agree, Alfine could be better. Well, it's Shimano's choice.

    I mean that shifting under load is a derallier sickness.
    As it's so slow, sometimes peoples will be forced to shift under load. When I rided on my Campagnolo equipped racer for few weeks ago, I thouhgt that is was slow compared to Rohloff, who only need 0.25 second to shift one gear. When the cadences goes down, it'll shift slower, Rohloff don't need high cadence to shift faster, the shifting speed is always the same, and I love that.

  12. #12
    but Diggin the 1 x 14 too
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    alfine 11 TIP to TRY

    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Solo View Post
    I have an about 1 month old A11 hub and it's been pretty good, however recently there has been a hard clunk at gear 6 and 7. It seems to shift properly (under moderate load), but say if I stand up to pedal hard up a hill, the hub may skip and bang, causing not only a hairy situation, but possibly also damage to the hub. The yellow lines are aligned at gear 6.

    ANy ideas what could cause this, and the solution?
    I've been "wrestling" with my Alfine 11 for about 6 months now. They seem to be VERY set-up sensitive, and cable routing has somewhat to do with that too.
    I have been experimenting. What i have learned is to keep my Rear wheel Frame Bolts TIGHT, i check em every other ride or so as they tend to always LOOSEN on the 11.

    On My bike, i found that if i MIS-ALIGN the yellow marks by a small amount PAST the perfect point, just 1 mm, My bike shifts MUCH better and does not Slip or Clunk when i stand up on it. I do NOT shift under pressure on ANY bike, but i was having Gear slippage when the Yellow Marks were perfectly aligned since the day i installed it, this is the only thing that i can find that helped, it seems like a VERY small difference, but i have 3 IGH, and this Hub seems to be HYPER Sensitive, as evidenced by the Many owners who are having issues.

    This helped my bike, but may not help anyone else's, i was afraid to Stand up because the gears slipped so badly and that can be dangerous, and i climb a lot of big hills. Otherwise, my 11 does shift perfectly and is a great improvement over my Nexus 7, and Alfine 8 hubs.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Alfine 11 hard clunk-alfine.jpg  

    Last edited by 2gears=1speed; 11-15-2011 at 11:10 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2gears=1speed View Post
    On My bike, i found that if i MIS-ALIGN the yellow marks by a small amount PAST the perfect point, just 1 mm, My bike shifts MUCH better and does not Slip or Clunk when i stand up on it.
    There is something wrong with your setup. That should not be the case. Try these 2 things:

    1) disassemble the cassette joint, clean it and reassemble.

    2) starting in 11th gear, shift to 6 and align the dots. Then shift to 1 and then back to 6. If the dots are not aligned it means you have a cable issue. Replace the cable and install it fully sheathed.

    Same test goes for the 8 speed except in reverse - start at 1 and go to 4, align dots, shift to 8 and back to 4. A spring is pulling the cable. If there is something wrong with the cable, the spring may not have enough tension to pull it all the way to where its supposed to be. Your thumb can always overcome cable tension because you can apply as much force as you want. The force of the spring is limited to its own tension.

    Of course, its possible that shimano misaligned something on your hub, but I would still clean the joint and test the cable to be sure.

  14. #14
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    is it possible that if the cable length from the stop point is off then the hub will only be gearing correctly if the yellow marks are misaligned?

  15. #15
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    I always wonder if the cassette joint's dust seal is installed correctly. If the dish side is turned up the shifter will jam.

  16. #16
    but Diggin the 1 x 14 too
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corporal Punishment View Post
    There is something wrong with your setup. That should not be the case. Try these 2 things:

    1) disassemble the cassette joint, clean it and reassemble.

    2) starting in 11th gear, shift to 6 and align the dots. Then shift to 1 and then back to 6. If the dots are not aligned it means you have a cable issue. Replace the cable and install it fully sheathed.

    Same test goes for the 8 speed except in reverse - start at 1 and go to 4, align dots, shift to 8 and back to 4. A spring is pulling the cable. If there is something wrong with the cable, the spring may not have enough tension to pull it all the way to where its supposed to be. Your thumb can always overcome cable tension because you can apply as much force as you want. The force of the spring is limited to its own tension.

    Of course, its possible that shimano misaligned something on your hub, but I would still clean the joint and test the cable to be sure.
    Thanks for the notes... i had an Alfine 8 on this same frame with same cable routing and zero issues, but i will check and or replace the Cable and Housing on the 11, it is possible something is not right, the cassette joint is on correctly and clean, My hub skipped from Day 1.
    The cable does not realign to exactly the Marks when going up and back down again, so my skipping could be a cable issue as you stated, i am going to work on mine a bit to investigate. ...seems odd that there are SO many Alfine 11's with gear skipping and jumping issues. Thanks again.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2gears=1speed View Post
    Thanks for the notes... i had an Alfine 8 on this same frame with same cable routing and zero issues, but i will check and or replace the Cable and Housing on the 11, it is possible something is not right, the cassette joint is on correctly and clean, My hub skipped from Day 1.
    The cable does not realign to exactly the Marks when going up and back down again, so my skipping could be a cable issue as you stated, i am going to work on mine a bit to investigate. ...seems odd that there are SO many Alfine 11's with gear skipping and jumping issues. Thanks again.
    Cool. I'm glad I could help. Also, cable routing is important too. Try to avoid sharp bends. I run the cable on the down tube and under the BB. I left plenty of slack at the bend under the BB and so far haven't had any issues. Sharp bends will cause cable friction in the housing and could be the cause of the dots not lining up (the spring not being able to pull the cable all the way to the index mark in the shifter - leaving un-taken-up cable slack). The easier the cable can slide through the housing, the more suited it will be for shifting.

  18. #18
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    There's definately some benefit to be had with mis-aligned marks on my 11 Alfine. As I mentioned on another thread on here some weeks ago. Had problems with 10th & 2nd with the marks sync'd up. I pedalled around gently for a while moving the adjuster one click at a time until all was good. Ended up with a similar mis-alignment to the pic' above. There could easily be some tolerance stack-up on the production hubs that Shimano did not account for in their set-up procedure. Mine's been fine now for several months, but as it's the replacement after the first one failed I am waiting for the skips & crunches...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patagrande View Post
    I was under the impression that being able to shift under power as well as while not pedaling were some of the benefits of IGH.
    You can't shift a Rohloff or Alfine/Nexus IGH under power. That's definitely a benefit of a derailleur/chain setup.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    You can't shift a Rohloff or Alfine/Nexus IGH under power. That's definitely a benefit of a derailleur/chain setup.
    Too much torque will get you broken teeth or bent cogs, so you really can't say that's a benefit for a derailleur. I suppose you could say "more load", but certainly not "maximum load".

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corporal Punishment View Post
    Too much torque will get you broken teeth or bent cogs, so you really can't say that's a benefit for a derailleur. I suppose you could say "more load", but certainly not "maximum load".
    I've never had that happen in 25yrs+ of MTBing so I guess I just don't create enough torque to damage a cassette...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  22. #22
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    The shifting mechanism is one of the weak part on the Shimano's IGH.
    Has to be clean and well lubed.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

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