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  1. #1
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    Alfine 8 slipping in gear 5

    I've got a Pugsley that I set up with an Alfine 8 about 10 months ago. So I'm cruising on the beach yesterday, and the hub made a loud clunk, and I got about a half of a crank revolution of slippage. The pedals just whipped around for half a turn. I was able to recreate the slippage by shifting up or down and back to 5th again. Sometimes it will slip multiple times in quick succession.

    Yes, I've checked the shifter cable tension about a hundred times now. Yellow dots line up. No amount of adjustment seems to help. It's also not a chain issue. Chainline is dead on, and no slack either. The funny thing is, gears 1-4 are totally rock solid. Out of the saddle grinding up steep 1,000 foot climbs in 1st gear, no problemo. Cruising on the beach in 5th, problem. Seems to happen most after starting from a stop or after shifting into 5th.

    I'm running a 32x22 ratio, and I've always been very diligent about not shifting under load. I always stop pedaling for a second while I shift, even on climbs. I've also always kept an eye on the cable adjustment, too. I do ride this bike on hard trails, though. Lots of hard climbing and fast descending, but its always been up to the task.

    Any other Alfine 8 users encounter this issue? Is this type of riding just too much to ask out of an Alfine 8? I'm a little bummed out because I really like this setup and would hate to have to go back to derailleurs.

  2. #2
    Stubby-legged
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    I had a problem with 8th gear on a recent ride. I found the "lock" that held the cable holder had rotated backwards. This allowed the cable holder to move. Might not be your problem, but sure was mine. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Re: Alfine 8 slipping in gear 5

    Nope, my lockring is properly fixed in place.

    I bought this hub from a lbs. I'm going to bring it in as soon as I'm back from vacation. My lbs will probably go to bat for me, but does anyone have any experience with warranty claims for these hubs? Mine is only 9-10 months old.

  4. #4
    Stubby-legged
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    Hmmmm..you're headed in the right direction. My LBS will go to bat for their customers every time. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Stubby-legged
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    What the heck!?! My ride yesterday started with some strange initial shifting. Ended with 5th gear slipping! Did you jinx me? Voodoo doll stuck with pins? Looks like I'm heading to the LBS tomorrow when they open. I'm glad I didn't buy mine online....

  6. #6
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    Ya if it's under a year try and get it fixed/replaced under warranty.

    My A8's are older. They have seen a lot of action and are still going strong.

    No way to diagnose your hub online, but you may have just got a dud.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  7. #7
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    Although I ordered my parts (including wheelset built with Alfine hub) online from Universal, they have a brick 'n mortar store in Portland. (Approx 150 miles from here). I'd rather drive to Portland than Seattle any day. Much nicer drive from where I live, and I buy my kayaks and paddles in OR, too.
    My nearest "LBS' is only 25 miles away, but they didn't have what I wanted, and tried to steer me towards something they had in stock that I didn't want.
    I "showroom" online stores and do research on the internet, and then call or go see the LBS to see if they can fix me up. If they have what I'm looking for in stock, I'll drive in and buy it from them at their price.
    If they don't have it, unfortunately, it seems like they take 2 or 3 weeks (instead of 4-5 days) to get stuff in after I order it, and then I have to drive back there again to pick it up. My last order there was for a centerlock adapter for a 6-bolt brake disc and a Surly BB socket, which I need to complete my bike. Its already been ten days, and the stuff I ordered hasn't yet arrived at their store, yet. Maybe it will get there this week. I hope.

  8. #8
    Stubby-legged
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    Good luck (again). I spoke to my mech at the LBS. Said bring it in and he'll start the process. Love the hub...hate going back to de-rail-yours. even if it's temporary.

  9. #9
    Stubby-legged
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    LBS called today. Good news. It was a cable issue (again.) The mech pulled the hub apart and found no broken or bent parts.
    Seems that the cable clamp/bolt assembly slipped. Shimano rep said there needs to be 110mm from the cable end to the center of the bolt.

    Each time I have had a problem , it has been the cable. The hub has been bomb proof. So has been the a11 on our other fatbike.

    Thanks Mathieu's Cycle in Oakland, Maine and thanks tech help from shimano!

  10. #10
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    Glad it was a simple fix and you are back in action again.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  11. #11
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    Hmmmmm. OK, I might need that much extra cable hanging out past the end of my cable clamp if I need to grab it for any future adjustments, but 110 mm sounds rather long.
    Unless the Shimano rep meant to say that "there needs to be 110mm of cable from the END FITTING ON THE CABLE HOUSING to the center of the bolt." In which case, that is either a typo that 1spd1way commited when posting, or else the Shimano rep is incorrect.

    I know, because i tried using 110mm of cable from the END FITTING ON THE CABLE HOUSING to the center of the screw on the adjusting clamp, and there appeared to be about 10mm of slack remaining. So I just snugged it up, taking out all of the slack, but no more. Then I re-tightened the clamp, popped it out of its holder on the hub, and re-measured it. It measured 100mm exactly.

    Again: The correct length of cable from the END FITTING ON THE CABLE HOUSING to the center of the clamp bolt is exactly 100mm. This was easy enough to determine by simply taking all of the slack out of the cable when attaching it to the hub (shifter is still in gear #1 at this point).

    And when I shifted to gear #4 to see if the yellow marks lined up, they were almost dead spot on. It only took a couple of turns of the adjuster on the shifter to get them lined up exactly.
    I have the Shimano Alfine 8-spd shifter. Part # SL-S503(DX).

    Quote Originally Posted by 1spd1way View Post
    LBS called today. Good news. It was a cable issue (again.) The mech pulled the hub apart and found no broken or bent parts.
    Seems that the cable clamp/bolt assembly slipped. Shimano rep said there needs to be 110mm from the cable end to the center of the bolt.

    Each time I have had a problem , it has been the cable. The hub has been bomb proof. So has been the a11 on our other fatbike.

    Thanks Mathieu's Cycle in Oakland, Maine and thanks tech help from shimano!

  12. #12
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    Hope to go for my first test ride this afternoon, when the rain showers should be gone.

  13. #13
    Stubby-legged
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    My gorilla fingers and lack of coffee/beer sometimes affects my posting... You are correct sir. Ride on, ride free.

  14. #14
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    Alfine 8 slipping in gear 5-imgp1650.jpg Here's what my hub looked like in 4th gear before I did the fine adjusting with the adjusting barrel on the shifter. I measured exactly 100mm of cable from the cable housing end fitting to the center of the clamp bolt, with the hub in 1st gear. Then i shifted it into 4th, and was happy with the result.

    I got the marks lined up exactly using the shifter's adjusting barrel.
    Last edited by PlutonicPlague; 03-02-2014 at 02:11 PM.

  15. #15
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    I had this same problem recently - the gears 5 and above would pop or slip out of gear under load. There are maybe a few hundred miles on it, but the problem first occurred early on and I kept riding it thinking maybe it just needed to break in. My LBS pulled it apart, cleaned and re-lubricated the hub at the suggestion of Shimano but the problem still kept happening. Shimano is sending new internals under warranty. Not sure how it could be a cable problem if you have the yellow lines aligned properly in 4th gear - mine was dead on too, but I found the problem to be less frequent if I set up the yellow line to shift past the fixed point in 4th gear by a few millimeters.

  16. #16
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    mattgVT, It sounds to me that the clutch is slipping, or malfunctioning in some way. It engages for gears 5 thru 8, according to the poop sheet I have.
    Good on Shimano for sending replacement innards.

  17. #17
    Stubby-legged
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    Mine is shifting o.k. Still get "pops" and "loud clacks" every so often, mainly in 4-6 gears. Can't tell exactly where it's coming from, hub or crankset/chain.
    Still riding, that's what's important.

  18. #18
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    I have been riding a new Alfine for a couple of months and get some slippage only when starting out from a stop in gears higher than 4. I have maintained the yellow bar adjustment and am convinced that its not out of adjustment. It doesn't happen anymore because I am getting used to shifting down before starting out.

    It seemed to happen when I'd start at a street corner in a high gear and have to move fast due to crossing traffic.

    I came to the conclusion that too much torque in high gears causes the gears (or clutch) to slip. I have mashed on the higher gears on uphills and never had a similar slippage.

    Is the slippage in high gears ruining the hub?

  19. #19
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    I just installed mine last night and took it for a test ride.

    I had everything lined up perfectly- to the eye. I am sure it is set up correctly. In 8th gear, usually- it happened in 7th once also- I heard a little pop, then it would skip for half a rotation. I am going to keep trying to fine tune it, but I couldn't get it to stop last night.

    Please tell me this is a common problem that will go away with fine tuning!

  20. #20
    singlespeed smash brother
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    Yes popping ,clacking and slipping all seem to be quite normal with the Alfine 8 and it takes a fair bit of patience to tune it. Things I found that have helped. When using the barrel adjuster only turn it a little at a time. An eighth of a turn can make a huge difference. Be observant. I found when adjusting the slipping would migrate to the next gear or I'd cure the slipping but it wouldn't down shift. It really is a fine tuning trial and error process. Make sure your cable routing is as smooth and kink free as possible especially if on a dualie. And the thing that really helped was to remove the non drive side cone and drizzle about 7mm of automatic transition oil into it the hub. The improvement in shifting was like night and day. After that I did my first 3 hr ride without any shifting issues what so ever. I had it pretty well tuned before that but the oil just cured all the clunky slipped shifts.

  21. #21
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    I have two Alfine 8's and an 11. Any popping and/or slipping would NOT be normal in my mind.

    I had my 11-spd pop on me recently and now it rotates about a 1/2 turn before engaging. I consider this to be broken and I'm sending the internals in as soon as I get around to it. (FWIW, I think I let the oil freeze in my shed this winter)

    I never shift with the pedals rotating and both my 8-spds shift and run with NO noises. The older one I did an ATF oil bath on, but didn't notice much in "performance improvements", so I didn't bother on the newer hub. I just adjust the cone bearings and grease it up every year or two.

  22. #22
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    Welp, starting the return/warranty process with QBP/Shimano this week. I've adjusted and readjusted for the last two weeks to no avail. The skipping is constant no matter how little fine tuning I've tried. Had a friend look at it that has built several bikes with the Alfine 8 and he said after 2 minutes of looking at it and riding it that there is something defective with it. He said he measured, lined up the yellow lines and was off- haven't had a problem with them in years.

    So now the arduous task of contacting QBP (who built the wheel) and or Shimano and seeing about getting a new one. So that will make another 3-4 weeks of not riding the fat bike.

    Talk about frustrating. Anyone had to do this, and will I end up sending the whole wheel back, or just the internals?

  23. #23
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    Finally got my wheel back from QBP a few weeks ago and they had rebuilt it with a new hub. Installed it last night and presto! Worked perfectly. Definitely had a bad one the first time. I'm pretty excited to ride the hell out of it this Winter.

    Brap!

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