Guys, did anyone faced with such problem:
bought a wheel with brand-new alfine 11, but wheel turns heavily.
do i have to adjust cones or something like that?
did yours hubs rotated smooth?
Mine rotated pretty smooth
Mine doesn't turn as freely as a standard hub, but I chalk that up to the seals needed to keep the oil inside. My Rohloffs are the same way.
Originally Posted by Viking_sys
Having said that if I give my rear wheel a good push it will rotate 5-6 times before it stops.
I've adjusted my Alfine 8's bearings, but not had to mess with the A11 yet.
After 30 months of riding my Alfine 11 hub on my full suspension bike, I am still loving it.
There are occasional glitches in the shifting, but they are so minor I hardly notice.
I am still running 30/22 sprockets, or 1.364:1, and I haven't blown it up.
I am light at about 155 and I am a spinner. I rarely stand and pedal.
Please Shimano, make a durable MTB specific 14 speed hub with a wide ratio, and it will obsolete derailleurs forever. In my mind they already are.
I'd settle for a durable 11 speed hub.
I got one.
Originally Posted by fellsbiker
Aussie Bike Bashing
My A11 (both of them) are running great - one on the commuter bike that I have had for nearly four years, and the other on my mtb for two years. The mtb A11 is being run with 32/21 on a 29er with no issues at all. As far as I am concerned the hub is very durable.
Last edited by Gritter; 11-29-2013 at 11:25 AM.
Very insightful. How about some details as to why it apparently sucks.
Originally Posted by Gritter
I gave away my bike with an old Nexus-7 that provided me with awesome service for some 7 or 8 years, because I wanted to upgrade to the latest and greatest. I loved that hub. It had a roller brake, operated by a brake lever. Coming from such a good experience with Shimano's IGH, I jumped on the new Æleven speed Alfine as soon as I could. I built my whole new bike around it, to be an all-weather commuter/tractor/trailer-hauler. I read mixed notions about minimum gear ratios, but decided to try my luck real low, since it was going on a 29'er platform. I went with a 1.43 to 1 ratio with a 33 tooth chainwheel and a 23t cog (I've read reports that this worked well for some people on the internet, for instance vikb is below that in this quote taken from this thread: just-took-plunge-alfine-11).
Originally Posted by GTR-33
It all went together pretty easy, and similar to the Nexus-7, but I remember thinking how janky it all kind of was. That cassette joint lock ring doesn't really fit too tightly. It's not confidence inspiring. I know it doesn't need to be tight, but it seems like such a precise transmission could extend closer tolerances to its external parts as well. Once I sorted out the non-turn chain-tensioner situation, I was on the road.
Originally Posted by vikb
The first thing I noticed was squish. When I brought my pedal up for take-off position, I noticed it was really mushy. "Must be my new fancy spiral-cut gears," I thought, "the mushiness must be some kind of new technology awesomeness." Once I got going, I didn't notice any mushiness at all, it was only when fully stopped, so it was no big deal for me. Not a deal-breaker.
As I approached my first incline, the hub breezed up that hill like a white-winged dove flying away from a wedding. I was stoked. I pedaled faster. Everything was great, I had a fancy 11-speed internally geared hub. My chainline was still 2mm off, but I was happy to not have any dangly bits hanging from my rear drop-out. Life is good.
When the hill got steeper, I switched it down to 2nd gear to sit and spin my way up. I decided to try 1st, to see what that was like, and was astounded at the huge leap in my cadence. I must have went from spinning at 70 rpm to a frantic 100 rpm. There was a huge gap between 2nd and 1st. "That's okay," I thought, "first gear is my 'bail-out' gear, and my 1.43:1 ratio can do what I need in 2nd gear, for the most part."
Then it happened. It "jumped" out of gear. I heard a series of clicks and clacks and my crank's rotation stuttered. I immediately eased up and pulled over to check my red dot alignment. It was spot on. I decided to go easy on it, and try minuscule turns of the barrel-adjuster in either directions, to "dial" it in while riding. I mean, I pedaled extremely lightly, and found that it worked best when the red dots were perfectly aligned, so stayed with their recommended specification. I want to emphasize how easy I went on it.
It kept happening. In the first two gears, up hills, the hub would get agitated and express that by clacking out of gear. At this time, my mind was always focused on the hub. I couldn't enjoy the ride, because I was constantly worried my hub would explode, and then it did.
This is all within less than fifty miles. About 15 or so gentle short jaunts along a bike path nearby. I glanced down at my expensive hub and noticed the drive side was all covered in oil. My heart sank. "It's broken, and I have to fix it," I thought. I got all bummed out and cursed its existence, but then I realized it's under warranty.
I called Universalcycles, who built it into a wheel for me, and they were extremely nice and helpful. They told me I'd be back on the road in no time. I just have to wait for all kinds of shipping back and forth. I ship it to them, they ship it to Shimano, they evaluate it, repair/replace, Shimano ships it back to them, then they ship it back to me. That's nice.
Maybe I went too low with my gearing, and it's all my own fault. Maybe the one I got was just a fluke bad one. Perhaps the replacement won't feel mushy and won't slip at all. Some people really love theirs and have nothing but wonderful things to say about them. I want to have faith, because I had to invest in so many special parts for it, and I've got a lot into it. Now I've got to find a safe place to keep all these loose parts, along with the chain, tire and tube, so I don't lose them while my hub is in limbo. I hope I remember the order it all went together, that little dust cap goes over the snap-ring for the cog, then the cassette-joint, and then the janky lock-ring thing.
I removed all the "small parts" from it, including the 6-bolt rotor adapter, the cog and snap-ring, and ate $35 shipping cost.
I don't know how long this warranty process is going to take, but having my bike out of commission is a bummer, as well as the little bit of labor to strip it and paying out of my pocket to ship it. My bike is just hanging on the workstand, with an empty rear end. I don't know how to store it to free up my stand. My rear fender would get jacked up if I just rested it on the floor. I guess I'll have to take that off as well, and store it with the small parts. I'm exaggerating, because I don't need to free up the workstand. I have three, so I guess this could hang from one for while.
In hindsight, I wish I would have went a different route. If they fix it, I still won't feel confident riding the new/repaired one when I get it back. That nagging feeling that I could loose my transmission at any moment takes a lot of the joy out of riding, so I want to give up on it. I don't want to give it a second chance after reading so many other people having similar issues with theirs. But I'm torn, because after reading this, I'll be losing potential buyers looking for a freshly warrantied Alfine 11 kit, so it probably won't fetch much at auction.
"Downgrading" to the Alfine-8 would mean building another wheel, buying another shifter and a different cassette-joint that comes in their small-parts-kit. If I get rid of it and use that money to build a different wheel, my bike is going to be out of commission for a really long time.
I feel like I unknowingly volunteered to be a product tester for Shimano.
Thanks for the in depth response. No offense but you sound like you wouldn't be satisfied by this hub no matter how well it did or didn't work. Not only is the input ratio low but you seem to have spent most of the time you did ride it in first and second gear.
Originally Posted by Gritter
How often would you use the hardest gear in your short time of ownership? AFAIK with the A11 your starting point is gear 5 and you should gear it based on that gear. I hope it works out for you though. Also, as you wrench on your own do you have any training in bicycle repair? I'm not trying to dismiss your story, just trying to work out how reliable these things are.
It's hard to say because half of the people that ride IGHs on MTBs don't actually mountain bike, and I'm strong enough that I don't need to gear the thing super low. On the other hand, I too am weary of it immediately braking. I have a belt drive compatible frame and it would be cool to build an internal hub with a belt but at the same time I do really ride it on single track.
Just received the call that my hub is finished. I should be excited, but I'm not. I really should give it a chance, though - since resale value is shot anyway, I'll never recoup anywhere near what I've got into the darned thing. I'm hoping I had a bad one from the start. I'm hoping this "new" one will be a night and day difference. I hope there'll be no sponginess, and it will never slip, but I'm not holding my breath.
I just finished building a different bad-weather-commuter as the IGH-bike's replacement, and it's been great, but the reason I invested in the Alfine system to begin with was in hopes of the foul-weather duties. The entire Alfine build, from frame to saddle, has left a sour taste with me. I feel like parting it all out as a lesson learned, and to forget the whole experience.
On the other hand, kudos to Shimano for standing behind their product and the (relatively) short turn-around time. I guess they yanked the internals out and slapped a brand new assembly in there, with new seals, oil and gears, keeping my shell, since it's still laced to my rim.
They believe in it enough to fix me up right, and send me a new one, without accusing me of any wrong-doing, or "user-error" or anything shady like that. (that would have been a real bummer) I wish I knew if they think I abused it, or if it was just a defect from the factory. I'd love to know these things. They probably just have an assembly line replacing internals without much examination, I just don't know.
I'd love to know if this "new" one is only warrantied for the remainder of my original warranty, or if my 2 years starts over with this new one. If my 2 years warranty starts fresh with this replacement, then I'd be all for trying this again. If I only have what's left of my original warranty, I'm scared it'll leave me down and out without any recourse, as I'm coming from a history of failure and let downs, and it's going to take time to build up trust again.
That sounds like a joke, but it's real. Transportating around without faith you'll make it back, is stressful.
Anyway, I'll let you all know how it works out. I'm going to ride it out. I'm glad I didn't waste my oil-change-kit on that first hub though, so I still have that. I have too much time and money (and hope) invested in this set-up to just throw in the towel after all that waiting and shipping and Shimano standing behind their product and warranty. It would be really cool, if this new one is amazing and none of the earlier issues exist at all.
Dude, you're neurotic. lol
Recently I decided to test both myself and my A11. I have been riding with my GF who is a beginner MTB rider, and she is slow on the trail. In order to get more of a workout, I follow behind her and stand up a lot. We ride a nice 12 mile beginner loop called appropriately the Bunny Trail. It is mostly "flat" and winding with a few small gullies. One day I decided to take my seat off and ride the whole trail standing up. Most of the time I was in 9th or 10th gear, and I would crank out three or four slow revs, then coast behind the GF. I survived the whole 12 miles standing up, and so did the A11. It is still going strong with no issues at all.
I received my Æleven back from warranty service yesterday. That's how long it takes (during the holidays) for it to happen, in case anyone else has to do the mail-order warranty thing in the future. They just pulled the guts out of my shell, and replaced it with a new assembly. No documentation about what was wrong with my first one, so I have no idea if it was faulty, or if I broke it. They probably didn't even inspect mine before replacing its guts.
Just turning the axle, fresh out of the box, it feels "tighter" to me. Which makes me believe my first one was a lemon from the get-go, and that would be good news - voiding my previous negative experiences. We'll see how it works out.
'10 SURLY 1x1 (rigid SS)
'13 SURLY Ogre (rigid SS)
'13 SURLY Troll (rigid 2x10)
How efficient is the hub?
Would you need to put down more power compared to a derailleur?
I want one for my gravel grinder 29er, but im afraid i will hate it because of the power loss in the hub
I run a variety of drivetrains including derailleurs and IGHs.
Originally Posted by Skorp
My seat of the pants assessment of the efficiency between them is that derailleurs are better when things are clean and IGHs are better when things are dirty.
All the bikes I tour on run with IGHs and I never feel like they are inefficient and I am not a particularly strong rider.