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  1. #1
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    Any Alfine 11 reviews?

    Since the other Alfine 11 thread has turned into a Rohloff vs Alfine debate, I thought I may start a new thread!

    Does anybody know of any recent Alfine 11 reviews on teh intrarwebs? A quick google didn't turn up anything new, and I've seen those old carpark tests on pre-production units.

    Cheers,
    Alex.

  2. #2
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    Second

    Also keen on more information/reviews. Anyone know who else will be using this hub on their stock bikes?

  3. #3
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    Me three dammit - where are the early adopters? And who has them in stock?

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  5. #5
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    ..on my Fat Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by wantriot
    Also keen on more information/reviews. Anyone know who else will be using this hub on their stock bikes?
    I have an Alfine 11 on my Fat Bike.

    The recommended input ratio is 1.9. I am running 1.7 because I wanted lower gears, and I might go down to 1.6 if it seems to be handling it OK.

    My observations so far are that the engagement is a little spongy, especially in the lower gears. I think that is due to the roller clutch engagement.

    It is also a little finicky - you have to get the cable tension just right for the shifting to be spot-on in all gears.

    Other than that, it is heavy but shifts great, even when not pedalling. But you all already knew that though.

    Jason C

  6. #6
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    JakeWake so how is the 1.7? Do you feel like you're putting too much torque into the hub? I plan on running 1.6 (32x20) out of the box. That gives me the highest low gear I can ride with on technical hilly trails. I'm a pretty light rider so I'm hoping the hub holds up ok. How much do you weigh?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker
    JakeWake so how is the 1.7? Do you feel like you're putting too much torque into the hub? I plan on running 1.6 (32x20) out of the box. That gives me the highest low gear I can ride with on technical hilly trails. I'm a pretty light rider so I'm hoping the hub holds up ok. How much do you weigh?
    It seems fine so far. I'm not really a masher - I tend to spin, so I don't know if other riders will have the same results.

    I am actually going down to 1.6 here shortly.

    The only drawback that I see so far is that the engagement feels a little mushy in the lower gears. This is due to the roller clutch engagement, rather than pawls.

    JC

  8. #8
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    This is just one experience, so take it for what it's worth, but....

    My friend (wrenches at LBS) just blew up his 11-speed Alfine running 32x20. It lasted less than two months on a Pugsley.

    Could chalk it up to him being a big, strong guy on a low gear, BUT.... I am bigger, running longer cranks and lower gearing (32x22) on my Alfine 8 for three winters now and it is 100%. My wife has the same setup and no issues either.

    Some aspects of the 11-speed seem to be not as good. The cassette joint, for example.

    Anyways, his 11-speed is going back to the supplier but he's trying to get them to replace it with an older 8-speed if they have any left.

  9. #9
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    Alfine 11

    I received my Alfine 11 from Harris Cyclery at the end of 2010 but i finished to assemble it only one week ago. I`m running on 36x18 and it is too heavy. I was thinking to buy an 32t chainring but after reading the posts i´ll try an 34t and try to loose weight before going uphill.

    Excuse me for my poor english.

    Bruno B. Barcelos
    Greetings from Brazil.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo
    My friend (wrenches at LBS) just blew up his 11-speed Alfine running 32x20. It lasted less than two months on a Pugsley.
    Do you know specifically which part broke? What is the rider weight?

    I broke a pawl on my Alfine 8 but I chalked that up to an incident where the cable popped out of the stop and my best guess the subsequent slipping damaged the pawl. I have been riding it (without 2nd and 6th gear) trying to make it die but it keeps going. I'm 200 lbs 32x20.

  11. #11
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    I'm now on the Alfine 11. It's fantastic. The shifter is the most substantial improvement, for me, and the extra range over the 8 is very nice too. My ratio is 1.45:1.

    The shifer can now be operated thumb/thumb, and both up and down shift can be done two at a time. It has a lighter feel than the 8 and a very smooth action. I whacked off the gear indicator, just like I did on the 8. The cassette joint now has the weather seal by default, and the longer arm allows for seatstay routing that is very clean. The hub is definitely smoother than my 8 when new. The gear steps are good, 1st feels a bit like a "bailout" gear with a larger step. Still has the same silent roller clutch with pretty good engagement.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeWake
    It seems fine so far. I'm not really a masher - I tend to spin, so I don't know if other riders will have the same results.

    I am actually going down to 1.6 here shortly.

    The only drawback that I see so far is that the engagement feels a little mushy in the lower gears. This is due to the roller clutch engagement, rather than pawls.

    JC

    You guys are confusing me.

    1.7:1 is lower than 1.6:1 How are you "going down" to 1.6?

    The lowest gear you can run on a Rohloff is around 2.5:1, making the reported Alfine11 gearing seem pretty tall. Am I missing something here?

  13. #13
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    It's just a ratio, it could be geared up or geared down. In our case, it's geared up, so that means that 1.6 is "down" from 1.7. In other words, for every rotation of the cranks the hub cog turns 1.7 times.

  14. #14
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    Then input ratios (2.5:1, 1.6:1 etc) are only the chain's ratio, before it goes into the hub. The rholoff has completely different gearing inside, and so you can't compare input ratios from different hubs. If you want to compare final drive ratios, you can multiple the input ratio by the gear ratio of each gear in the hub.

    Anyway, 1.45:1 is extremely low. If the hub can handle that, 1.6:1 should not be a problem.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by presslab
    I'm now on the Alfine 11. It's fantastic. The shifter is the most substantial improvement, for me, and the extra range over the 8 is very nice too. My ratio is 1.45:1.

    The shifer can now be operated thumb/thumb, and both up and down shift can be done two at a time. It has a lighter feel than the 8 and a very smooth action. I whacked off the gear indicator, just like I did on the 8. The cassette joint now has the weather seal by default, and the longer arm allows for seatstay routing that is very clean. The hub is definitely smoother than my 8 when new. The gear steps are good, 1st feels a bit like a "bailout" gear with a larger step. Still has the same silent roller clutch with pretty good engagement.
    What actual gear sizes are you using for your chain?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker
    What actual gear sizes are you using for your chain?
    32:22

    I would have used 32:20 but my chain was too long and the wheel would not fit in the horizontal dropouts. If I were to shorten the chain by one link my tire would rub the chainstays.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by presslab
    32:22

    I would have used 32:20 but my chain was too long and the wheel would not fit in the horizontal dropouts. If I were to shorten the chain by one link my tire would rub the chainstays.
    That gear range is a bit too low for my liking. But like I said, that's great that the hub can handle that. 32/20 should be no problem at all for me. I also have a relatively light bike and I'm not too heavy myself. I'm getting more and more excited about this hub.

  18. #18
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    My bike is 31.4 lbs and I am around 220 lbs with gear. So far, no slipping or any complaint from the hub. I hammered out a good climb the other day standing the whole way, no problems.

    In top gear my speed on the tarmac was just fine, a notable improvement over the 8 speed.

  19. #19
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    Good good. I do lots of technical climbing and will be spending much of my time in the "granny gear"

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the review Presslab, sounds great! Looking forward to getting one this summer.

  21. #21
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    It has been a long process to gather all the parts for my bike, and adapt them to my frame. I stripped the frame of all the old and worn out parts, and replaced nearly everything. The two most difficult steps were designing and fabricating a new brake mount for the rear, and a custom chain tensioner. I am running 30/22 sprockets, or 1.364:1. I needed the low gear to match my previous 22/32 granny gear, so I could get up some of the hills around here.

    While testing at home, I noticed the shifting was a little weird, particularly from 7-8th, where the ratio seemed to be inconsistent. Of course gears can only have one ratio, so it must have been the clutch engagement. I am not very familiar with the internal workings of these hubs.

    Yesterday my first ride with the Alfine 11 hub was on the Fullerton Loop, which is about 11 miles long and has a wide variety of terrain and conditions. My gear calculations worked out well, so that I had the low gears I needed, and 11th gear was just enough for the fast sections. Even though I have about the same granny gear ratio, steep climbs were a little bit harder with the A11. I think it is because of the taller tires increasing the gear ratio.

    During my ride, there were many moments when I would shift and get a "false neutral", meaning there would be little resistance at the pedals until the gear or clutch would engage. Sometimes this effect was very brief, sometimes it was a few revolutions. Other times the hub shifted very quickly and almost imperceptibly. I am unsure of it's ability to shift under load at this time. I don't know if these hubs have a break in period, but I hope the shifting will improve over time. Maybe I just have to learn the proper shifting technique.

    I weighed my bike today and I think it gained about 8-10 oz. I didn't notice the extra weight of the hub while riding. My overall impression is very favorable, and I really like the A11, inspite of the quirky shifting . One of the biggest differences I noticed was the silent running, with no chain slap, and much less noise overall.
    Last edited by Storm Rider; 02-28-2011 at 12:26 PM.

  22. #22
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    So for those that have built it up, I have a question. I got my 20T cog today (don't have the hub yet). Are these three subtle nubs all that connects your legs to the wheel? It seems like those little nubs would sheer right off under load. Is that what yours looked like too??


  23. #23
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    Does anyone know where I can buy the oil for sg-s700 (alfine 11 spd) ?
    How much for 1L
    Also ... Is there a substitute such as a light machine oil ?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker
    So for those that have built it up, I have a question. I got my 20T cog today (don't have the hub yet). Are these three subtle nubs all that connects your legs to the wheel? It seems like those little nubs would sheer right off under load. Is that what yours looked like too??

    Yep, same as the 8-speed Alfine setup. Crazy, isn’t it, to ponder that all your power is being transmitted through those three tiny-assed nubs??? I haven’t sheared them off yet, 2,900 miles, and about 50% of the miles are 4,000+ foot ascension excursions over rough terrain.
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  25. #25
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    Yesterday I rode my A11 for the second time. The shifting was much better, as I learn how to shift this hub. I still had a little trouble down shifting while climbing. It seems this hub really likes to be unloaded when shifting. I also got a small blister or bruise on my index finger from pulling the upshift lever. I expect it will toughen up and not be a problem.

    Once upon a time, there were only rigid bikes with cantilever brakes. Suspension forks came along, slowly evolved, and now are nearly universal. Rear suspension followed, and is superior for most situations. Disk brakes arrived, and the MTB world stopped on a dime. All of these new technologies worked way better than the previous status quo, but all were heavier as well. At this time, I am willing to speculate that the IGH will one day dominate the MTB sport like the three previous new standards have. It is so early, and we only just met, but I think I may be falling in love with Alfine Shimano. <3

  26. #26
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    Shifting under power only works in certain gears and certain directions. It has to do with the roller clutches. You'll learn it.

    I use thumb/thumb shifting and not my index finger. Love it.

  27. #27
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    I read that the shifter is basically just like an XT shifter, is that true?

  28. #28
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    Shifter is a big improvement on the Afline 8 shifters, and it also works perfectly with an Alfine 8 hub.

    Storm Rider, if your hub holds out at 30:22 ratio then I'll definitely be purchasing an Alfine 11!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker
    S Are these three subtle nubs all that connects your legs to the wheel? It seems like those little nubs would sheer right off under load.
    The three spline cog/hub interface has been an industry standard for some 60 years and has been used on hundreds of millions of hubs from Sturmey-Archer, Fichtel&Sachs (SRAM), Shimano and other manufacturers.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by s-keeper
    Storm Rider, if your hub holds out at 30:22 ratio then I'll definitely be purchasing an Alfine 11!
    So far, so good. I'm loving it. Yesterday I was able to beat my usual best time of 1:08 on the Fullerton Loop by one minute. On a steep climb I missed my downshift into first gear, and had to bail off and push. It wouldn't let me shift under load, but it was more a case of bad timing and operator error.

    When I rebuilt my bike, I went from 2.1 to 2.2 tires. The 2.2 is significantly larger in width and diameter, so it made my gearing taller. This has hurt me on the steep climbs in first gear. I am considering going back to 2.1 in the rear, or maybe a 23T cog, but at the same time, I don't want to lose more top end. My gearing is just about perfect for what I do.

    I can get into 10th and 11th on gradually sloping downhills, but the only time I get totally spun out is on a long steep hill, but I am ok with that. My coasting speed is close to my pedaling speed on this particular downhill, and I can still clear the same jump with just enough speed thanks to gravity.

  31. #31
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    I have been riding my sg-s700 now for about 100 miles.
    I am using a tripple ring set-up with rear derailleur.

    The derailleur is stretched out as far as possible, to allow for plenty of tension.

    Shifting is perfect. All gears hit "dead center" under pressure, up or down with no delay.

    The problem I have is when I back pedal. The top portion of the chain gets so much slack that it actually rubs against my frame.

    What could be causing this.

  32. #32
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    Can you post some pictures?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Rider
    ...On a steep climb I missed my downshift into first gear, and had to bail off and push. It wouldn't let me shift under load, but it was more a case of bad timing and operator error...
    Most internal gear hubs require you to momentarily ease off on the pressure to downshift, otherwise they break. Just like you shouldn't shift down on a manual car without using the clutch.

    Don't know if this is a requirement of the Alfine 11, but it is with the 8, and I doubt it would be different.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  34. #34
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    In the little bit of riding that I have been able to get in on my new hub I have found it more tolerant of shifting while pedaling than the 8 speed hub. I have found that I can shift up or down with a momentary "lightening" of my pedal stroke, where I would really have to stop pedaling for the 8 speed to get into gear. Either way is really not an issue for me, everything has pros and cons and if I have to get used to easing up on the pedals to shift, so be it.

    Actually, I can see being able to shift while not pedaling on a hill very advantageous. It sure beats having to try to shift at the last moment while going up a steep hill and trying to get your pedals all the way around to get the chain on a lower cog, while everything is grinding and popping, but I agree that all the times I would do that is user error.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZackR
    I have found that I can shift up or down with a momentary "lightening" of my pedal stroke.
    This is a good description of my technique as well. On steep climbs, It is difficult to lighten up on the pedal stroke when you need it the most, so you have to plan your shift early, and execute it while you still have some rpm to work with.

  36. #36
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    3 month review

    Hello everyone, had my alfine-11 for three months now and here is some of my first impressions. Note that this is my first IGH and I am no genius. For it's intended use, no doubt it is spot on from Shimano. Of course I have it on my Santacruz Nomad using it with a double up front which puts it way out of it's range. Here goes, very sensitive to adjustment. Yellow on yellow marks, you will experiment but will return to being right on the marks for the full gear range. Saying that, cable routing is critical especially on a full suspension bike. Switching the blue and green washers will either give you chain stay or seat stay routing. Using Sheldons chart, the inches don't seem to match up with the inches from my standard drive train. It could be me being in winter shape. Given equal inches, I cannot seem too pull the same gears on my usual climbs. I think there is a break in period for a hub like this, because shifting and all else seem to be getting better with time. Like everyone says keep to your old shift habits of letting up, some gears you can get away being sloppy. Set up I treated like a 10 speed losing the 1st gear because of the jump. Wish they put it on the other end. Running a 32x23 seems to be close to the edge, before you get that mystery dead spot. I still have a double with a 24t so I can fill the big gap on my middle for longer climbs. But I did have a 23t and 22t and for some reason got the mystery slip, just too low. Running a 10 speed chain and spaced my middle ring in .06mm for cleaner chain line. If I clean my bike more you could go .12 using two shims. Bottom line: yes it is fun and different and under the right conditions the shifting seems seamless. Plus your Pals will never know what gear your in when they are following or even hear the shifts half the time. Something new to play with..oh yeah....just my two cents

  37. #37
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    I'd like to ask the same question... as I've never heard of 'a mystery slip' before, what do you mean? Are there other symptoms of gearing too low apart from trashing the hub?

  38. #38
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    I just ordered my Alfine 11, should arrive next week. This will be mounted in Marin Mount Vision mountain bike, and i'm still curious what sprocket i should use on the rear with 32 on the front. Obviously i want lowest gears possible.

    Driftn, could you say more on your experience with 23t sprocket? Why you think this is close to the edge? I think I would rather like to push my bike uphills than trash such an expensive gear :-)

    What others are recommending? Is 22 safe?

  39. #39
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    Okay you guys, sort of messed up. I have a 22t rear right now, went through so many lately got retarded...sorry. So 32t front 22t rear works great, again big jump between 1st and 2nd. Like skipping a gear. So if you forget the compound low, 32x22 alfine is very close to 32x11-30 cassette. Now lets talk about the mystery slip. Its like bad biopacing or it is not engaging. I even had a rotor-ring sitting around and tried that to off set the feel. If you slow down your cadence it get a little better, how odd does that sound. Do I feel like I will blow the hub? Well here is the deal, I running a Vanilla 36 with a 50m stem and it is harder to really hammer like on a cross/country setup. Because you sorta stay smoother on the steeps to keep the front end from walking all over. I know I will get flack for this, but I find myself not crushing the granny end like I would on something more layed out. Note I am running a 24t on my inner which give me about .75inch lower then my 32t but fills the big gap. No mystery/slip there, but try a 23t inner and it is back. Hope this helps......

  40. #40
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    Damn, my universal translator is offline

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekrutacja
    I just ordered my Alfine 11, should arrive next week. This will be mounted in Marin Mount Vision mountain bike, and i'm still curious what sprocket i should use on the rear with 32 on the front. Obviously i want lowest gears possible...

    What others are recommending? Is 22 safe?
    Shimano have a recommendation that you do not go below a ratio of 1.9 with the 11 speed. (It's on the Alfine 11 General Safety Information sheet SI-37R0A-002-00)

    For a 29er this gives a low of 29"

    I am not aware of a recommended minimum for the 8 speed, so if you want lower gearing the 8 speed is the way to go as far as I can see.

    (I've just posted this on another thread, but it's relevant here).

    From the info sheet:
    It is recommended that the gear ratio of the front chain ring be set to approx.1.9
    Example: F34 - R18T, F39T - R20T, F45T - R23T
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  42. #42
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    Velobike, i know this recommendation, but 1.9 is too high for me. There are others running lower gearing, so i just wanted to ask what you are running and how it works.

  43. #43
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    I have just taken my Alfine 11 out for its first run on my commuting bike and it works great!

    Having come from a derailleur set up, I found that the shifting was very dffierent, but in a positive way. Shifts into higher gears are so smooth that they are pretty much unnoticeable, although your legs certainly feel the change in gearing. Shifts into lower gears are different though - there is a definite 'feel' of the gears moving about and so the gear change is very noticeable.

    You have to ease up on the gears when changing, especially when shifting into gears from 1-5. The hub doesn't seem to mind if you apply a load when shifting, although it will refuse to give into your efforts if you forget to ease up during the shift. Instead you will be stuck in your current gear while applying a load until you ease up and let the hub shift.

    I also think that my commuting bike lost a little weight in the conversion to an Alfine

    The only problem with this hub is the setting of the cable tension. As other forum members have commented, the indexing is hyper sensitive to variations in cable tension. I found that some intial cable stretch during my set-up meant that the 184mm bolt measurement was unsuitable for indexing. I had to move the cable adjusting bolt back to 181mm (thus increasing the cable tention in relation to the outer length) so that I could use the shifter's adjustment barrel to bring the yellow lines together. However once I had made this adjustment, the indexing worked flawlessly on the few bike rides since the set up.

    I have heard of some reports of problems occurring with the Alfine 11 (e.g. presslab's pawl destruction), but this has me wondering if the problems are related to mis-aligned indexing rather than the quality of the hub? I wouldn't be too difficult to have the yellow lines move out of alignment while new cables are bedding themselves in without you realising this was the case over a few punishing rides. I am running a 44/20 primary drive combination on my communter, however the hub feels more than adequate for low primary drive ratios, and I wouldn't hesitate to put one on my mtb (when I get the money for it!).

  44. #44
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    3rd ride of the season, my derailer hanger exploded during a high speed stretch, and when my derailer went into my wheel, it literally tore the derailer in two before the wheel locked up.
    I emailed an LBS and told him to order my A11. No more dicking around.

  45. #45
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    Using my current derailleur system, my lowest gear is 26T granny ring and a 34T cassette cog. Does the Alfine have a gear that low? I could actually use a gear that's a little lower than that.

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    depends on what input ratio you give it homie, but, that is pretty low. I'm running a 1.45 input on mine.

    Here are the ratios: http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...L.-type-..html

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbeck
    Using my current derailleur system, my lowest gear is 26T granny ring and a 34T cassette cog. Does the Alfine have a gear that low?
    The lowest internal ratio in the Alfine-11 is 0.527 and the largest cog it will accept is 23T.
    23 / 0.527 = 43.6, which makes it the equivalent of a 44T virtual cog.

    With your 26T granny and 54-559 rear tire the Alfine's lowest gear is 15.6 gear-inches vs your current low of 20.0 gear-inches -- 28% lower than you now ride.
    Stan Huntting
    Boulder County, CO at 8,500' elevation
    ICE Trice Q20/Alfine-11
    Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
    Alan
    Trek 620

  48. #48
    Aussie Bike Bashing
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    Bigbeck, the ratio that you have between your font chainring and the sproket on an Alfine 11 will determine how low you can make the gearing on your bike using this hub. A ratio of 32/22 (chainring/sprocket) will give you a lowest gear ratio of 0.76, which is equivalent to the 26/34 ratio of your derallieur set-up.

    Fellsbiker - I am really sorry to hear about your derailleur snap! I hope you came out of that situation with few injuries.

  49. #49
    Glove Softener
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    Shimano have a recommendation that you do not go below a ratio of 1.9 with the 11 speed. (It's on the Alfine 11 General Safety Information sheet SI-37R0A-002-00)

    For a 29er this gives a low of 29"

    I am not aware of a recommended minimum for the 8 speed, so if you want lower gearing the 8 speed is the way to go as far as I can see.

    (I've just posted this on another thread, but it's relevant here).

    From the info sheet:
    It is recommended that the gear ratio of the front chain ring be set to approx.1.9
    Example: F34 - R18T, F39T - R20T, F45T - R23T
    "...be set to approx 1.9..." is not the same as "do not go lower than 1.9." That interpretation should also include that Shimano recommends not going above 1.9

    I suspect the 1.9 is more of a functionality range than a durability limit.
    Don't do what Donnie Don't does.

  50. #50
    A Man Of The Truth
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    That's what I'm hoping.

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