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  1. #1
    singlespeed smash brother
    Reputation: shwinboy's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    My Alfine 8 experiment is over.


    I've owned a rohloff equipped HT for a while and last year I started an experiment with an Alfine 8 equipped Haro sonix dual suspension bike. Yesterday I called it game over with the Alfine 8. I had a persistent ghost shifting problem in 6th gear that I couldn't tune out. It wasn't pervasive but maybe 3 times per hr of ride time it'd slip, clack or shift to fifth instead. It was really at the point that it was as if not more annoying than a deraileur drive train during a ride and required far more constant tuning also which pretty much canceled out any benefits in running it.

    The final nail in the coffin was when I swapped it out for my rolhoff. Firstly it hammered home the importance of comparing the two drive systems on the same bike. Because I'd been grabbing my dualie over the HT I thought it was because I preferred the more silent trigger shifting Alfine. No it was because I like the extra suspension. Within five minutes of riding the dualie with the rolhoff I realised how conservative in my efforts I was when riding the Alfine. Because the threat of a gear slippage or ghost shift was always there I wouldn't commit to full power efforts . In contrast the rolhoff is solid. If you are in a gear it's there 100%. Also engagement is not soft like the Alfine. All this inspires far more confidence in the ride and the rolhoff's noise in the bottom 7 was fine where I was getting annoyed with it on my HT. I also have a renewed appreciation for the speed of the rolhoff's shifting and the closer even spaced ratios. On top of that it was the firs time in a year since I have ridden the Haro and not stopped to adjust the shifter cable. So I'm done with the Alfine 8 for good. My HT is now a light weight single speed again and my heavy dualie is still a heavy dualie but with a more confidence inspiring drive train.

  2. #2
    Aussie Bike Bashing
    Reputation: Pinchphlat's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Sorry to hear about your problems with the A8 Shwinboy. Had you considered whether the Di2 version of the hub (SG-S505) would have solved the problem? The mechanical shift Alfine hubs are notoriously sensitive to cable tension, which may explain the ghosting problem you experienced.

  3. #3
    A God Without A Name
    Reputation: Agwan's Avatar
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    yeah, these hubs are stupid sensitive. full length housing and regular cleanings of the "cassette joint" have helped me tremendously.

    funny enough, while I'm taking it off my road bike, I'm pretty sure I'm going to throw it on a Karate Monkey at some point in the future. for a dedicated winter bike.

  4. #4
    singlespeed smash brother
    Reputation: shwinboy's Avatar
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    I was happy to try out the Alfine but in the end there wasn't enough of an up side of me to keep using it when I have a rohloff. Now I have 2 bikes with distinct personalities which makes them more fun for different reasons. So I'm happy. The Alfine on my wife's commuter is great and the reason I decided to give it a go but I think mtbing is a bit rougher on it than it can tolerate ,dirt and shifting wize. As for the di2 version. I have a philosophical aversion to battery powerd shifting on a bike. It probably would work but I'm not curious enough to find out. I'd go a standard 1x 11 drive train before I went that route.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mark_BC's Avatar
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    I find the cable attachment mechanism to the hub to be the most fiddly thing I've ever experienced. Firstly the little grip nut thing always comes loose, then removing and resetting it in the field is not easy. In cold weather basically impossible. A8 is not a reliable hub for backcountry adventures, I'd stick with the rohloff.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vikb's Avatar
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    I've had 2 Alfine 8's in fatbikes for 5yrs with zero issues.

    One bike has had a lot of rear flats down in Baja so that rear wheel got taken on and off repeatedly the cable nut has never come loose once properly tightened. It is more of a pain to remove an A8 wheel than a Rohloff wheel, but at less than 25% the cost the compromises are worth it.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/vikapp...7610461277546/

    I've never had shifting issues on either bike. They just worked.

    I'd rather roll on a Rohloff if $$$ are no object, but I've got no issues with using Alfine hubs for backcountry travel if the budget can't stretch over $1K for a hub.

    After 5yrs of zero service I opened the most well used A8 and it looked like new in there. I didn't bother doing anything and just buttoned it up.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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