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  1. #1
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    How to make your Alfine run like a dream!

    Unhappy with your Alfine? I was, too, for about 600 kms (~400 miles?)! My primary problem was chain skipping on the rear cog (which I initially thought was the clutch slipping!). It also started developing a yucky grindy noise.

    But today, I've finally nailed it! I'm now 100% happy with it. Here are a few tips in case you're struggling, too.

    - Get a 1/8" chain!!!! Seriously, go and do it now!!! This will probably stop any skipping problems you may have been having!! And, you don't need 1/8" wide sprockets/chainrings to run a 1/8" chain. Everything's just got a bit more of a margin for error. And they are tougher and cheaper and stretch less!

    - Go with chainstay cable routing over seatstay. Sure it might look a bit uglier, but you won't have to worry about the cassette joint clearing the chain.

    - Rebuild your Alfine (do it yourself, it's surprisingly easy), replacing the grease with auto transmission fluid. I'll write a detailed post on how to do this later tonight. You'll instantly notice that it's much more free when you backpedal - much less friction inside there! It'll sound (and even feel) completely different after you do this.

    - If you're running a tensioner, make sure it's a PUSH UP type, not a PULL DOWN type!!!! This is super important. The Alfine needs all the chain wrap you can give it. Also, don't over-tension it - the hub makes a funny noise!

    Also, 3-cross spoke lacing is really pushing it with a flange this big. The wheel takes a while to break in, requiring frequent retensioning for the first few hundred kms. I wish I'd gone with 2-cross but it's fine now.

    That's it for now, but keep a lookout for my post on how to break down/rebuild your Alfine, I should be able to post it tonight.

    Cheers,
    Alex.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for taking the time to post your tips.

    But I think I'm going to try a synthetic differential fluid first. I also might try a heavier weight synthetic engine oil. Perhaps a 10w40 or a 15w40. I think the auto transmission fluid is a bit too 'thin'.

  3. #3
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    There's also the official shimano oil for IGHs:

    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...ance%20Oil.pdf

    But it's exxy - AU$100 for 10 litres (you only need <1 litre).

  4. #4
    Another Retro Grouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by fraal
    ...My primary problem was chain skipping on the rear cog

    - Get a 1/8" chain!!!! Seriously, go and do it now!!! This will probably stop any skipping problems you may have been having!! And, you don't need 1/8" wide sprockets/chainrings to run a 1/8" chain. Everything's just got a bit more of a margin for error. And they are tougher and cheaper and stretch less!

    - If you're running a tensioner, make sure it's a PUSH UP type, not a PULL DOWN type!!!! This is super important. The Alfine needs all the chain wrap you can give it. Also, don't over-tension it - the hub makes a funny noise!
    Is your chainline messed up? I can't understand why an Alfine would be any different than other single speed set-ups. I haven't have any issues with more miles than you. Also, the idea that an 1/8" chain streches doesn't have any foundation in fact or experience. Search the SS forum to get an earful.

    Also, 3-cross spoke lacing is really pushing it with a flange this big. The wheel takes a while to break in, requiring frequent retensioning for the first few hundred kms. I wish I'd gone with 2-cross but it's fine now.
    What size wheel? I've build up 3 Alfine and one Nexus three cross on Mavic 319 and all of them ran fine from day one without any touchup. Still running....

  5. #5
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    My chainline is out but only by a few mm.

    It's a 26" wheel. The bend angle at the nipples is pretty extreme. Maybe you are better at breaking in your wheel than I am.

  6. #6
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    Mine are 700C/36H/3X, they are at the limit, I bet 26"/36H/3X is too much. I don't understand your issue with skipping, I've been running 1/8" and 3/32 for years and the only time I've had skipping is with old sprockets/new chain or badly manufactured cog.

  7. #7
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    I must say I don't really understand it either - the chain and sprocket were both new. The alfine 20T sprocket did skip a lot less than the nexus 22T initially, but they're both fine now with the 1/8" chain.

  8. #8
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    good info, thanks.

  9. #9
    Missouri Chubber
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    will be getting one of these on my next bike before the coming summer. Excellent concise post. thanks

  10. #10
    Another Retro Grouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by fraal
    I must say I don't really understand it either - the chain and sprocket were both new. The alfine 20T sprocket did skip a lot less than the nexus 22T initially, but they're both fine now with the 1/8" chain.
    You the only person that's ever reported the need to run a sloppy chain on a perfect chainline. I'd hate to think other readers think there's a problem with Alfine hubs just because you're having a strange problem. The Alfine hub uses standard sprokets, it's just a single speed chain system....

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