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  1. #1
    A God Without A Name
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    What is the acceptable level of Drag for Alfine 8?

    I've got a couple months and several hundred miles on my Alfine at this point. it definitely feels "broken in" and has smoothed out considerably. I chose to route the cable along the downtube, in the factory routing (which took a bit of fidgeting to get just right, and very OEM looking) Which means most of my cable is exposed. (against Shimano's recommendations.) because of this I've kept a close eye on the cable, with frequent cleanings, lubings and making sure to keep it adjusted precisely. (which honestly, after the first few weeks, I've pretty much not had to adjust it at all)

    with all that stated. this hub feels like it has a lot of drag. I expect there to be some, but I am not sure how much is normal. I've tried it at various tensions (none of the tight ones for very long or with much force) and I now run it a bit looser than fixed gear (tight enough that the chain doesn't sag. or hop. but it still has some flex)

    Drag is worse in gears 2. but the very worst in 3 and 4. (3 and 4 also have a very slight "grinding" sensation) 5 and up have very little drag. I am using a 16t sprocket to a 45t chainring. if I have the bike in the stand and pedal backwards, the wheel rolls back with it. if I spin the wheel by hand. it stops in about 1/3 the time of a standard wheel. It stops almost instantly if I backpedal while doing this.

    What are the norms for a wheel like this?

    I apologize if this thread is repetitive. I searched on the issue and got pages and pages of discussion that didn't relate to this.

  2. #2
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    ...if I spin the wheel by hand. it stops in about 1/3 the time of a standard wheel. It stops almost instantly if I backpedal while doing this....
    - It sounds tight, as if the bearing cone on the left side is not set correctly.

    - It's easy to loosen the left side locknut when tightening the axle nuts, then things get out of adjustment quickly.

    - Is the left side locknut loose?

    - I run my Alfine 8 hubs with automatic transmission fluid, they all coast on the stand as long as my Shimano freehub wheels.

    What is the acceptable level of Drag for Alfine 8?-alfine-bath-1.jpg

    alfine bath 2.jpg

  3. #3
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    Here's a possible issue to check for. I've seen the dust cap ring, (part # 14 on this document) http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830714875.pdf
    get jammed between the dust cap and the cog and cause a lot of drag. Not saying that's it, but look for the simple stuff first.

  4. #4
    A God Without A Name
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    I did the install by the books, and it was pretty painless. I remember making sure the dust caps were okay several times along the way, but I will check those as well as the cone tension tonight or tomorrow. time willing! thanks guys, I'll check back when I've checked those!

  5. #5
    A God Without A Name
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    Dust cap and cones were fine. though I greased the cone a bit more as the white shimano grease was sparse. even with the cone backed all the way out, there is a severe amount of drag when spun by hand. as much as there always has been.

  6. #6
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    Drag while in the stand is not important [within reason]. My IGHs will spin the cranks when I push the bike due to slight drag from seals over coming the resistance in my BB's bearings. I find my Alfine's spin pretty freely under power.....certainly I am never thinking about them or any drag while riding.

    If you are feeling the hub really slow you down while pedalling something is wrong.

    If you have checked the bearing tension I'd pull the hub apart and clean it in ATF like pursuiter notes above.
    Last edited by vikb; 04-10-2014 at 07:51 AM.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  7. #7
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    "3 and 4 also have a very slight "grinding" sensation""

    The only time I have experienced this was setting up the Alfine on a HT with what I thought was a reasonable amount of slack in the chain, a bit of trial and error showed it needed more play than I would expect for a single speed setup.

    The only other thing I can think of is tight bearing cones, I experienced drag but not grinding after over tightening slightly loose cones, which I tracked down as the root cause to a developing shifting issue.

    Good luck sorting it out

  8. #8
    A God Without A Name
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    went into the shop tonight and fine tuned the cone (helps to have the proper tools!) It's better. but not as good as I want it. I was uber careful with chain tension when reinstalled. made it just a hair looser than last time. and that seems to have also helped. but the internals themselves still seem to rotate very stiffly. next paycheck I'll have my shop do a full service on it. and go from there!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    next paycheck I'll have my shop do a full service on it. and go from there!
    A full service of the internals consists of:

    1. open hub
    2. slide out internals
    3. dunk into lube [ATF or the Shimano stuff]
    4. slide internals back in

    Inspecting my Shimano Alfine 8 IGH? | The Lazy Rando Blog...

    If you can spring for the ATF you can do the service anytime.

    Your shop won't be dis-assembling the internals or anything like that. If you are under warranty Shimano will just give you a new set of internals. They aren't going to spend time repairing the ones you have.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  10. #10
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    Re: What is the acceptable level of Drag for Alfine 8?

    As a shop rat, I have to agree with vikb. There are really no dealer serviceable parts in an Alfine other than the bearings. Planetaries, springs, etc are available (sometimes) but very rarely are they worth replacing. In most cases, it's easier for everyone involved to just replace the internals, as one broken part inevitably damages another, and so on.

    Shimano's own guidelines for service are identical to the above, aside from also re-greasing the bearings (obviously).

  11. #11
    A God Without A Name
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    Yeah, I read up on the how to for that. It looks quite easy. the only reason I'm not doing it myself is I live in a one bedroom apartment, and my girlfriend is rather sensitive to a lot of chemicals and just smells in general.

    the shop that is servicing it has clearly worked on them plenty, when I asked if they had alfine specific tools they said "yep" and when I asked what it would cost me to have them go through it they said "Meh, 20 bucks top. for everything"

    Worth the price for convenience.

    once I have my own space, I'll totally do it myself, though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    A full service of the internals consists of:

    1. open hub
    2. slide out internals
    3. dunk into lube [ATF or the Shimano stuff]
    4. slide internals back in

    Inspecting my Shimano Alfine 8 IGH? | The Lazy Rando Blog...

    If you can spring for the ATF you can do the service anytime.

    Your shop won't be dis-assembling the internals or anything like that. If you are under warranty Shimano will just give you a new set of internals. They aren't going to spend time repairing the ones you have.
    I wouldn't call that a full service. You have to at least remove the gear carrier from the axle to properly clean and grease the large bearing on the drive side, and the drive side cone should be removed to clean and grease that bearing as well.

  13. #13
    A God Without A Name
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    Do you trust them to do all that for 20 bucks?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    Do you trust them to do all that for 20 bucks?
    I don't trust any LBS that I don't know. LOL

    I take my bike to one specific mechanic to work on so I know who touched it and I trust him.

    Watch the video at the link I posted above to see what's involved.

    $20 seems low, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility if they are well versed in the process and can do it efficiently.

    I'd bring them a six pack on top of the $20.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  15. #15
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    Do you trust them to do all that for 20 bucks?
    I don't think you need to pull the internals apart esp if the hub hasn't been contaminated. If the hub is clean and you want to get running, just pour a cap full of ATF in the left side of the hub went you have the cone off. Then adjust the hub correctly and I expect your problems will be solved for a good 12 months or 2~3kmiles.

    I wouldn't pull apart the internals and wouldn't want an LBS to do it. The opportunity for screwing up is high. If the hub's seals haven't been crossed with junk, I'd just dip it and adjust properly. If the hub has been contaminated, I'd soak the internals in solvent until clean, dry and dip.

  16. #16
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    Had a local mechanic with more alfine experience than myself look at it, and he says that the drag it has now (Improved after I did the recommended cone adjustment) Is just normal IGH drag.

    It's not that parasitic, but I just can't bring myself to like the feel at the wheel. I'm just going to sell the whole system and throw something older fashioned on there.

    thank you all so much for your help!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    Had a local mechanic with more alfine experience than myself look at it, and he says that the drag it has now (Improved after I did the recommended cone adjustment) Is just normal IGH drag.

    It's not that parasitic, but I just can't bring myself to like the feel at the wheel. I'm just going to sell the whole system and throw something older fashioned on there.

    thank you all so much for your help!
    One of the plus points with the Alfine over the Rohloff is it generally feels less "draggy".

    However to put things in perspective, during a ride with my first Rohloff many years ago (had the Rohloff a few months at this point) I recollect having to pedal on a slight decline to keep up with a riding buddy who was free wheeling I can't put up with that I thought.

    Luckily a couple of weeks later we were riding the same trail and this time I was actually accelerating away from him, oh yes back to free wheeling heaven and the only difference was I had changed the tyres.

  18. #18
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    ...Is just normal IGH drag....!
    Ok, so you bought a new style bike and tried something different. At the first obstacle you're baling? If you can adjust your hub's bearing cones properly, why not pour in a capful of ATF and give it a chance. Even if you have to buy a quart of ATF, it's only $8 to be sure. We're not fools, these hubs work.

    Better yet, get your mechanic to try and see if he can't get it working better. My Shimano IGHs coast just like my XT756 freehub.

  19. #19
    A God Without A Name
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    I built my bike from the ground up and tried an IGH because I'd always wanted to try it. It's not so much an obstacle at this point, while I'd like less drag the drag is no longer as bothersome (still something I want improved, though)

    It's more that there are now other things I'd rather try, and I honestly don't love the spaces between gear ratios, As a commuter that likes his speed I'd rather have 10 smooth steps across a smaller range than have 8 uneven steps across this hubs range.

    I don't hate this hub. not at all. If no one buys it I'll be stuck with it for a while, and I'm not going to be miserable. If it takes long enough for someone else to buy it, it may still get the ATF treatment.

    If I had a bit more to work with money wise, I'd build up an 11. Just to see.

    that being said. I am a mechanic. the internals of this hub don't mystify me. I just don't feel like buying the specific tools this hub needs at the moment. nor do I feel like spending the time on it. Nor do I feel like ticking off the missus by soaking bike parts in the kitchen for an afternoon. It's a neat hub. I like the attention it gets me. now I feel like trying something else.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    If I had a bit more to work with money wise, I'd build up an 11. Just to see.
    That would be a waste of $$. If you didn't like the A8 you won't like the A11.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  21. #21
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    Yeah, but at the same time it's not truly dislike. I don't have much excess cash and I don't like it for this bike. So I'm selling it to fund something else. but if I had the cash to just buy my other wheel. I'd never dream of selling it. It's damn neat, and I can see using it on other projects some day.

    When I initially built my Straggler I had an idea in mind for a sort of... fancy and mean Dutch bike. I acheived that goal, but realized that the end result handled and was... heavy. and the gearing was not suited to the style of cycling I like to do on longer commutes.

    so now I'm trying to get the bike more to the point of being a bit roadier (it will never weigh or even handle all that road like. nor will it ever be light) and I just want to put an entire road bike drive train on there. after that it could be something else entirely.

    the whole system is up for sale for 350 in the classifieds. not sure if that's asking too much for it. but part of me likes the idea of keeping it around for another bike someday.

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