Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    2

    alfine efficiency and durability for touring

    I just finished my first tour, and I'm already planning my next one. I would like to go igh for my next tour, but don't really want to pay for a rohloff speedhub. I've got my eye on the alfine 8, because it's supposedly very durable and has roughly the same gearing range as my road bike (53/11 to 39/28).

    My two biggest questions are concerning efficiency and durability. Alfine is reported to be less efficient than derailleur and rohloff. But I've also read that given time for the gears to break in, the alfine becomes much smoother, as does rohloff. I'm wondering to what extent does the efficiency improve over time.

    Regarding durability, I've read that alfine 8 is robust enough to withstand anything. But it doesn't use the oil bath that the rohloff uses. So I'm wondering what sort of maintenance is required, and at what frequency.

    Thanks


    lastly, igh can be used on a track style dropout, right?

  2. #2
    ~ B A D A S S ~
    Reputation: car bone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    2,452
    From what I've read these ighs will never really feel like chains and cogs, they supposedly feel more or less spongy. The efficiency will be lower than a derailleur system. No matter what you read it will be lower, its just a lot more going on inside the hubs with lots of small cogs and axles and all that stuff. You lose efficiency with a derailleur system too by using small small cogs for example, 11t is bad (like 1% or so worse than 13t) and 10 even worse. Also the bigger the front ring the better.

    But the A8 will probably be good enough though. I had a nexus 7 or something on a bike a long long time ago and I didn't really like it.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  3. #3
    Frt Range, CO
    Reputation: pursuiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,510
    You asked all of this over on the bike forums touring subforum and I gave you my answer there. Carbone doesn't have an IGH but he's read about them on the internet, I guess that's why they call them "internet experts"

  4. #4
    ~ B A D A S S ~
    Reputation: car bone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    2,452
    R u saying it aint so?
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Wryknow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    68
    There may or may not be an efficiency difference between an IGH or derailleur set up. It would be very hard to calculate and would depend a great deal on your individual set up and what you're comparing it to I suppose. I do not feel any noticeable loss of efficiency on my Alfine 11 and it certainly doesn't feel "spongy" to me. I don't think it engages quite as fast as my White road hubs but I think it's very comparable to the Shimano XT in terms of engagement. I think IGHs are a great choice for touring. If you think the Alfine 8 has enough gear range for you then go for it.

  6. #6
    Music & Bikes
    Reputation: fokof's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    947
    http://www.ihpva.org/HParchive/PDF/hp52-2001.pdf




    I'll take my 2% less efficient IGH over any derailleur system in a heart beat.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  7. #7
    Stubby-legged
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    802
    To the O.P., how dirty is your chain?

  8. #8
    will rant for food
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,235
    The sponginess of an Alfine is because of the roller clutch engagement rather than a conventional freewheel. Doesn't have anything to do with the actual pedaling, more like when you start pedaling initially it becomes apparent and then disappears.

    The ramp: http://www.qbcbearings.com/BuyRFQ/RF...HFZM_works.gif

    OP: why doncha test ride an IGH equipped bike locally (even if the bike is not what you want) since pursuiter seems annoyed and is a very IGH knowledgeable person. EDIT - whoops, I confused you with Carbone dude, but the local IGH test advice still applies because feeling is believing (or not, if you end up hating it).

    You'll probably be turned off or on more about the gear changes vs the efficiency.
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    290
    The shifting on my A-8 seems like its shifting quicker and smoother as it is getting broken in. I'm sure that some of the improvement in shifting is due to my muscle memory and coordination also getting quicker and smoother, but now I barely have to back off the pedal pressure at all when up-shifting...just slightly and not even for the wink of an eye. Downshifting still requires a definite backing off, but better timing on my part is smoothing that out, too.
    Perhaps the most that I notice any such lag is when I'm approaching a climb in a higher gear, and know that I will have to downshift to a low enough gear to make it to the top while standing and pumping.
    I have mine geared low with 26/20. I sacrificed some high end speed to make things easier for my compromised heart. My 1st gear ratio is now 0.689, which is plenty low.
    I like climbing the steeper dunes here. Its fun to try to maintain my line and traction while attempting to keep my front wheel on the ground!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    290
    One thing about the A-8 is that if you hurry the shifting too much (not backing off on the pedal pressure) when downshifting, the hub may not finish shifting all the way immediately, even though you have moved the gear shifter. The hub will make some clicking noises for a moment as it finishes the shift on its own.
    Its better to back off enough to get the shifting finished immediately.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    290
    I originally chose an IGH because I wanted to ride on the beach. Many years ago, I rode a Phillips English 3-spd, with monkey hanger bars and 1 3/8" tires on the packed sand at low tide. It worked on the packed sand OK.
    I had a stock 2008 Gary Fisher Utopia, and I loved the gearing on that. This was not a good bike for riding the beach. Great on backroads and logging roads, though. Cleaning sand from a cluster and derailleur all the time is a beotch. I longed for a bike with an IGH, but couldn't afford one.
    Since then, I've retired and was able to afford springing for a fat bike, and I custom built my Pugsley with the Alfine 8-spd. Much easier to keep the driveline clean than with a derailleur. In fact, a friend of mine bought a Salsa Beargrease last year at this time, and has only ridden it on the beach a couple of times because he is bummed out at the time it takes to clean the sand off of everything. I had advised him to get a fatbike with an IGH, but (His house is only one lot back from coastal waterfront here, and he shares a trail to the beach) he didn't pay my excellent advice any heed. Now his Beargrease languishes in his spare bedroom, unridden.

    I'm pleased to say that I absolutely have no regrets so far with my choice of an Alfine 8-spd IGH!

    I'm 64 and have a heart condition (Arrhythmia and A-fib), so I am not so sure that I can handle anything other than shorter and easier tours. If I were younger, and with a healthy heart, and planning to enjoy many more years of touring, I'd probably spend the extra $$ and go with a Rohloff.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter View Post
    You asked all of this over on the bike forums touring subforum and I gave you my answer there. Carbone doesn't have an IGH but he's read about them on the internet, I guess that's why they call them "internet experts"
    I've become a bicycle super nerd. I'm not afraid to admit it. Just trying to get as many opinions as possible. I even made this account to ask this qu3stion

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    14
    Maybe you could also consider an 8-speed Alfine DI2. Positive shifting feel, no worries about shifting under load. Never owned one so dont know what they cost, but test rode some and have some colleagues riding with it, I enjoyed riding with it and so do my 2 friends that have one.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Andy R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    638
    Quote Originally Posted by apuking View Post
    Maybe you could also consider an 8-speed Alfine DI2. Positive shifting feel, no worries about shifting under load. Never owned one so dont know what they cost, but test rode some and have some colleagues riding with it, I enjoyed riding with it and so do my 2 friends that have one.
    Except that for touring the less technology the better, surely? While you'd be able to replace a shifter cable in the back of beyond it wouldn't be so easy to sort an electrical problem out.
    And I don't see what difference electronic shifting would make to the hub's abilities to shift (or not) under load. How well it shifts is a function of design, not how the shifting mechanism is actuated.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    14
    How often do problems happen with Di2? On my roadbike 6 years now with the same DI2 setup and only once had an issue with my batteries, which were warrantied 4 years ago. With that milage probably would have had to change cables and housings several times.
    I do find shifting under load a lot smoother, I cannot say why this is so but on my MTB on a heavy climb or sprint it will be slightly delayed and make a loud shifting noise, with Di2 it feels like smooth butter.
    Tried the Alfine on a bike show once both the mechanical and the Di2 8 speed on E-Bikes. The mechanical had problems with the higher tension especially on climbs and would sometimes not shift, this was no problem on the DI2 version.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Andy R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    638
    I've never ridden a Di2 equipped bike so it's good to hear first hand experience from someone who has. I still don't understand why the changes should feel smoother under load but if that's your experience then there must be something affecting it.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    290
    I am curious to read some reviews on the new version of this hub, the 8-spd SG-S7000.
    I suspect that some changes were made.

    I found this discussion shed some more light: http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=89984
    The forum member "Brucey" seems to be an IGH mech.

    The changes to the hub seem to be in the shifting. The sg-s7000 is "top normal" and the old sg-s501 is "bottom normal."
    Hubs are the same except for this, it appears.
    New version uses different cassette joint, axel, return spring, and maybe a different shifter.

    I have no complaints about how the the shifting works on my sg-s501. I have the trigger shifter, and the shifting is a piece of cake. My thumb easily pushes it into 8th gear, and I like the easy pull with my index finger for downshifting. I wouldn't have thought to change this. Works just fine for me.

    Dang. Link doesn't seem to be working. It still works from the google search page results for Alfine sg-s7000. Look for CTC forum.

    Yowsa, I just blew a whole hour browsing the CTC forums "bits and pieces" tech forum. Very educational! Thread I mentioned was on p 16.
    Last edited by PlutonicPlague; 6 Days Ago at 01:38 PM. Reason: found a discussion on the new version

  18. #18
    will rant for food
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,235
    Whoa, very interesting find PlutonicPlague! The uphill shifting is one my gripes with the Alfine. Eager to test one of those myself.

    EDIT - unless this is just shift cable direction change and does nothing to change the pedal engagement behavior? Which would not be compelling at all...
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bullit_cn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    1,657

    alfine efficiency and durability for touring

    I have an A8 too and works just as good as an RD type drivetrain except that the gearing ratio is kind of weird. The shifting is just like the normal RD, you need to lighten your pedal to get it shift smoothly. As long as the 2 yellow dots are align, it will shift efficiently.
    No idea though on its reliability on tours.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    290
    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    Whoa, very interesting find PlutonicPlague! The uphill shifting is one my gripes with the Alfine. Eager to test one of those myself.

    EDIT - unless this is just shift cable direction change and does nothing to change the pedal engagement behavior? Which would not be compelling at all...
    I found some other discussions of alfine hubs in that forum that were interesting.
    But I think the new sg-s7000, being "top normal," is supposed to be quicker upshifting. I've found that when I quickly execute a shift (sg-s501), with a shorter (almost none!) time interval of de-powering the pedals, that the pedals re-engage quicker, after less travel, than if I am lackadaisical about gittin' 'er done.
    "Top normal" sounds like it has the return spring power behind the upshift. That might help speed things up, upshifting. Powering ahead of the pack!

  21. #21
    A God Without A Name
    Reputation: Agwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,084
    Just got a chance to take a SG-S7000 for a ride today, compared it to my SG-S501 (Which all who've ridden it agree, is well tuned and very efficient for a '501)

    There is a noticable difference.

    the '7000 is more efficient. how much more I am not sure. But the drag of my '501 was enough for me to stop using it... the drag on the '7000 would not bother me.

    The shifting was more "live" nothing remarkable. but the dead feel of my old lever is replaced by the more active, traditional feel of the new one... I'd say if feels like... 2008 era Alivio, which frankly feels better than my '501 shifter.

    The pedal, while still having that famous IGH mush, had much, much less of it. I know it's the wrong term, but "bright" was a good way to describe the pedal stroke. I liked it.

    I can't really compare it to A11's or Rohloffs, because I haven't had a chance to get a long term ride on either of those. But it is a noticable step up in terms of drag, pedal feel and shifter. All complaints I had about the '501 that eventually relegated it to the parts bin.

    Suffice it to say, a SG-S7000 may be in my future, possibly even with belt drive. the only thing that makes me want to wait... is the hopes that a refresh might be soon to come on the 11... that and the '7000 is out of stock everywhere.

    EDIT:

    Also, just to make sure, I put it up in the stand and did some spin down tests. it took much longer to spin down in all gears, it coasted to a stop maybe 14 to 20 seconds sooner than my DT swiss 350. I pedaled it aggressively backwards in the stand (which gets some noteworthy spin on my hub) and the wheel barely moved. the selector click makes a whole different sound. the externals look almost exactly like the A11's, including the awesome cable release tab.

    I looked up some PDFs on this hub tonight, a large portion of the internal carriers appear to be identical, so most of these improvements have got to be with the selector/ new hubshell /interface thingy doo-dads.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    290
    ^ Very interesting review! Much thanks, Agwan!

  23. #23
    A God Without A Name
    Reputation: Agwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,084
    It has me itching for an IGH again!

Similar Threads

  1. Alfine 8 501 vs 500 durability survey
    By ultraspontane in forum Internal Gear Hubs
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-18-2015, 12:47 PM
  2. Alfine/Nexus for weight touring?
    By BThor in forum Internal Gear Hubs
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-18-2014, 12:12 PM
  3. Shimano Alfine 8 versus 11 ... durability question.
    By ModifiedArmy in forum Internal Gear Hubs
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-26-2013, 07:15 PM
  4. alfine 8 durability and service
    By dru in forum Internal Gear Hubs
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-05-2011, 09:31 AM
  5. Alfine 8 proof of durability
    By DFYFZX in forum Internal Gear Hubs
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 03-10-2011, 11:09 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •