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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    Well if you don't want to spend a lot of mental energy on it, then this probably isn't the ideal thread for you.
    I'm taking the time to participate in this thread because if only folks that have problems speak up it sounds like every Alfine 11 is doomed to fail. OTOH - that's not what I'm reading on the various forums and blogs.

    And that's not my experience.
    Safe riding,

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  2. #52
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    My experience with 5 Alfine 11's is that every Alfine IS doomed to fail. No one wishes this wasn't the case more than me. But even Shimano said the gear ratio is too low and that's what is killing the drives. My gear ratios is/was 32/20 (1.6) and then 36/22 (1.64). All I can say to people who haven't had a failure yet is good luck!

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    My experience with 5 Alfine 11's is that every Alfine IS doomed to fail. No one wishes this wasn't the case more than me. But even Shimano said the gear ratio is too low and that's what is killing the drives. My gear ratios is/was 32/20 (1.6) and then 36/22 (1.64). All I can say to people who haven't had a failure yet is good luck!
    I'm sorry you have had some problems, but even 5 failures on one bike for one rider are statistically insignificant.

    It's totally possible the problems are related to you or your bike or you have extremely bad luck.

    Either way my hub continues to work just fine.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  4. #54
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    Well based on all of the other failure reports, I don't think it's bad luck. I've also contacted other bike shops that have told me about 20% of their 11's have failed.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    Well based on all of the other failure reports, I don't think it's bad luck. I've also contacted other bike shops that have told me about 20% of their 11's have failed.
    Let's assume 20% is accurate....then 80% of the hubs are trucking along just fine. So if you got 5 bad hubs in a row that would be really bad luck.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  6. #56
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    Well thats a bit of an over-simplification. But even with a 20% failure rate, that still gives me only a 0.032% chance of getting 5 duds in a row.

  7. #57
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    Does it ever occur to Fellsbiker that his LBS is clueless? He's also over at bikeforum.com where all the Shimano haters are out in full force. He and some cat named "Don in Austin" have ground through 5 hubs each and they've convinced the bikeforum mob that Shimano is un-fit to sell IGHs. Then they go for an Alfine 8 and a derailliuer, too funny.

    And the fact that sooo many people are not having issues, does that make them question their LBS? Nope, instead they claim their experience is the only real representation of an Alfine 11, it's just a matter of time before everyone's fails.

    You close your mind, you get the result you're hoping for.

  8. #58
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    You seem to gloss right over the fact that shimano said my 32/20 gear ratio is too low, and that it will tear through every replacement they send me. And that they told me the exact opposite of that for the first 4 failure, and after the 5th, that's what they say. There are a LOT of failure reports all over the internet, outside of my few threads. Oh boy now I get to go replay to your thread on the other forum too.

  9. #59
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    "Shimano haters"
    By "shimano haters", you mean people that have had Alfine 11 failures, and are annoyed at shimano about how they were up-selling this hub's abilities early on, only to backpedal that after they started failing regularly.

    You make it sound like we all had an ax to grind against shimano, and bought this $750+ hub so we could use it to talk **** about shimano on the internet.

  10. #60
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    Your complaints about up selling are silly. Shimano never said the Alfine 8 or Alfine 11 are MTB hubs. OTOH, plenty of users are getting more than two rides on an Alfine 11 and have used them for months on MTBs with no failures (with a primary gear you claim is not allowed).

    You've never tried a single suggestion recommended by experienced users here. You and Don have all the answers, I get it. As I've said in the past, "IGHs are not for the naive or uninitiated." You are living proof.

  11. #61
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    But 20% is a very high fail rate imo. I wonder what other product would have sucha fail rate and not put the maker out of business. For a complex part like this (and expensive) Its totally unacceptable with a 20% fail rate. 2 yes, 20 no.

    I have a proposition to shimano, instead of just accepting the fact that 20% break down, why even make those 20%, why don't they just make the remaining 80% that is working and and save money?

    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  12. #62
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    I doubt the failure rate is anywhere near 20% if it is installed properly. Shimano would be losing money hand-over-fist on warranty replacement costs if that was the case.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wryknow View Post
    I doubt the failure rate is anywhere near 20% if it is installed properly. Shimano would be losing money hand-over-fist on warranty replacement costs if that was the case.
    I doubt anyone outside of Shimano's warranty department actually knows what the failure rate of these hubs is.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  14. #64
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    i had a scare with mine on the weekend, all going well then it started skipping and jumping gears
    pulled over to have a look all seemed ok, checked the dots were still aligned and all was well but kept jumping
    pulled it apart today and couldnt see anything wrong but when i put it back together it all works well haha... but now i dont trust it
    Josh

  15. #65
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    I sucks to not be able to trust gear.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I sucks to not be able to trust gear.
    That's why it pays not to be paranoid. I don't stress about my Alfine 11. I use it for bikepacking so if it breaks I might be a 30km walk back to help. I could spend my time stressing about that or I could just get on with the ride.

    I do the later. Lots of people are riding them without problems including me.

    I could rip a derailleur off a bike way out in the boondocks or taco a wheel on any bike. Lots of potential for walking back to civilization even if your bike doesn't have an IGH.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  17. #67
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    The problem is using a product for the wrong application.
    If you check at the shimanonweb page , alfine product is for commuter, city , pavement application. I wouldn't hold anything against Shimano if i put an Alfine hub on a MTB and it fails later , it's not made / designed for that application.
    Do you see Dura Ace stuff on the mud ?
    It's not designed to be used there so no big surprise.


    If you want to use an IGH on an MTB application , buy a real IGH that is designed for MTB application , or be aware that your Pavement IGH might fail on MTB application.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    The problem is using a product for the wrong application.
    If you check at the shimanonweb page , alfine product is for commuter, city , pavement application. I wouldn't hold anything against Shimano if i put an Alfine hub on a MTB and it fails later , it's not made / designed for that application.
    I agree with you to a point. These hubs were not designed for MTBing. If any of my Alfine's die in a MTB I won't blame Shimano.

    The thing is Alfine 8's seem to be holding up great in MTBs. I have one that's 4yrs old and has been abused in every way possible in my Pugsley.

    So far my Alfine 11 is holding up great as well for MTBing and bikepacking. I'm not ready to suggest that it's some sort of certainty it's going to fail despite being used for a purpose other than city use.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    That's why it pays not to be paranoid. I don't stress about my Alfine 11. I use it for bikepacking so if it breaks I might be a 30km walk back to help. I could spend my time stressing about that or I could just get on with the ride.

    I do the later. Lots of people are riding them without problems including me.

    I could rip a derailleur off a bike way out in the boondocks or taco a wheel on any bike. Lots of potential for walking back to civilization even if your bike doesn't have an IGH.
    A wheel can be overbuilt to guard against failure. The risk to derailler bikes are well known. Not to mention a century of research and development into a part that has changed very little. A mysterious hub with all internal parts, that might fail at a moments notice? This would put me off as well. I think the concern is well founded here. He's not the only user reporting issues with gears failing on the Alfine 11.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazylemurboy View Post
    A wheel can be overbuilt to guard against failure. The risk to derailler bikes are well known. Not to mention a century of research and development into a part that has changed very little. A mysterious hub with all internal parts, that might fail at a moments notice? This would put me off as well. I think the concern is well founded here. He's not the only user reporting issues with gears failing on the Alfine 11.
    The reality is that you can taco wheel, rip off a derailleur, have pawls that won't engage, etc... It happens. An IGH can break as well.

    Folks have broken Rohloffs and Alfine 8s. Even though the general consensus is that they are a good choice for a MTB.

    I use all of these parts. You can be aware that something can fail without obsessing about it.

    If using an Alfine 11 really freaks you out than I'd suggest you don't buy one.

    Part of the reason I am running an Alfine 11 is to see what actually happens when it's used hard in a MTB. So far so good....
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  21. #71
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    I think the most important thing that everyone is trying to communicate here is the rate of failure that is the cause of concern. The other systems you mention did not have many reports of failure. It's like comparing a Yugo to a BMW. Sure they are both cars and will fail eventually, but one is certainly less well engineered in comparison and will fail sooner.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazylemurboy View Post
    I think the most important thing that everyone is trying to communicate here is the rate of failure that is the cause of concern. The other systems you mention did not have many reports of failure. It's like comparing a Yugo to a BMW. Sure they are both cars and will fail eventually, but one is certainly less well engineered in comparison and will fail sooner.
    So far I haven't seen anyone establish a rate of failure. How many of the Alfine 11's sold so far have failed? We also don't have an understanding of what caused the failures that have been reported. Manufacturing problems? Setup problems? User issues?

    How do we account for the hubs that are doing fine? Is it because they are defect free from the factory? Is it because they are being used by someone else?

    I'm all for trying to understand what's going on and seeing if we have a real problem or not. And if there is a problem what is it specifically?

    What I have an issue with is fear based reactionary hype like telling people the first steep climb in 2nd gear your Alfine 11 will blow up. Mine didn't. Okay....then you better worry it will blow up soon.

    That's not particularly useful.

    I'm not sure how many Alfine 8's have failed. I've read about more than a few. It seems to me like there was a time when people were dissing the Alfine 8 for MTBing and that has passed - I presume because more and more people had successes and the reality of the situation became apparent.

    Just my personnel opinion, but I feel like there is freak out going on about the Alfine 11 that may well pass in time as well. I have a Rohloff sitting in my garage that I was going to use for my bikepacking rig, but decided to use an Alfine 11 because I wanted to see what will happen.

    It only takes a few people complaining loudly to create what looks like a huge problem online. Especially when other folks reporting positive experiences get dismissed as failures that just haven't happened yet.

    Ultimately if you don't want to use an Alfine 11 for fear of failure don't. Get a Rohloff or an Alfine 8 or stick with derailleurs.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazylemurboy View Post
    I think the most important thing that everyone is trying to communicate here is the rate of failure that is the cause of concern.
    That rate of failure is caused by using a product in an application that it's not designed for.

    I'm *****ing Shimano IGH because I'm on my 3rd hub in the last 5-6 years on my commuter , I wouldn't ***** on Shimano IGH using it on MTB.

    If I was using a Mavic Ksyrium road wheel in a trail , I would not come in forum and moan about how fast it failed.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  24. #74
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    I have replaced an Alfine 8 with an 11 and am very pleased with it. No problems at all in all gears. Measured aproximately 180mm from cable ferule to the inner cable fixing bolt unit and fine tuned on shifter to align the yellow dots in 6th. No shifting problems at all unless you try to shift without taking the pressure off the pedals (as per Shimano instructions). I prefer it to the 8 as it is smoother and seems to have less drag (but had no problems with the 8 really). I also have had a Rohloff for around 7 years without any problems that has been used for x country and again it has a couple of well known quirks such as 7th gear and again it is best to back of the pedal pressure slightly when changing gears. The 8 and 11 alfine have been used for urban stuff on cycleways and our deteriorating minor roads in the UK (full of ruts and potholes from last two winters). I use the Alfine 45t chainset with a 20t rear sprocket...do not know what ratio that gives but no problems heaving through the lower gears on hills provided pedal pressure is backed off on changing gear.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesoudeur View Post
    ... unless you try to shift without taking the pressure off the pedals (as per Shimano instructions).
    where did you read that? I could not find it
    tks

  26. #76
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    Shimano technical document on th erapidfire shifter SI-6TV0A-001-00.... "Reduce the force being applied to the pedals when shifting the lever. If you try to force operation of the shifting lever while the pedals are being turned strongly, your feet may come off the pedals and the bicycle may topple over, which could result in serious injury."

  27. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesoudeur View Post
    ... shifting lever while the pedals are being turned strongly, your feet may come off the pedals and the bicycle may topple over, which could result in serious injury."
    that sounds a bit funny (and in reality it seems to work better). shimano seem to protect themselves against issues with gear changing?
    and on the other hand in ads is said
    "shimano offers superior gear changing even on hills"
    confused
    ro

  28. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I'm not sure how many Alfine 8's have failed. I've read about more than a few. It seems to me like there was a time when people were dissing the Alfine 8 for MTBing and that has passed - I presume because more and more people had successes and the reality of the situation became apparent.
    Since the original SG-8R20 eight-speed hub, Shimano has released six follow-on versions, each with additional improvements: SG-8R25, SG-8R27, SG-8R35, SG-8R36, SG-S500 and SG-S501.

    jd

  29. #79
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    if someone already covered this then i apologize cause i missed it but...

    is there a real statement in print from shimano that states that the alfine 11 is officially NOT for mtb use? there is alot of talk stating its not and i am wondering if its just something people have inferred (much like what ratios are ok and not ok) or if it is documented fact. i am not saying it is or is not designed for mtb use and am not trying to stir up debate... i am just asking cause i dont know.

    by the way i am about to hit the first 1000km oil change with mine running 32x23 with no issues whatsoever and with every passing mile the shifting gets better. i guess either i have been easier on mine than most or i am lucky and got a good one (or both).

  30. #80
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    I would have to guess that you would assume it was not for mtb use unless mentioned otherwise. The only hub officially rated for mtb as far as I know is the rohloff...it's the extreme scenario that would require special rating, not hte other way around. Doesn't mean of course you can't get away with it.

  31. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by roll_off View Post
    that sounds a bit funny (and in reality it seems to work better). shimano seem to protect themselves against issues with gear changing?
    and on the other hand in ads is said
    "shimano offers superior gear changing even on hills"
    confused
    ro
    That bit is absolutely true and one of the reasons I dumped derailleurs.

  32. #82
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    well mine is off for warranty but im not holding my breath
    shimano australia arent they greatest when it comes to these things
    Josh

  33. #83
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    Done with that.

    I rode my Alfine 11 maybe 30 miles before it developed a major oil leak. Waited two months for the new seal. It started leaking again within a few days after what maybe 5 miles? My local shop totally backed me up. I am now happily back on a derailleur.

    In fairness, though, I have not had even a tiny issue with the Alfine 8 on my Kona Dr. Fine other than the perception of a bit of drivetrain drag.

  34. #84
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    Yeah in my 5 hubs, I also had a few oil leaks.

  35. #85
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    I recently fitted a Shimano Alfine 11 speed hub system to my hybrid for road use (no MTB stuff at all) with 26" wheels. I have placed this post as a thread on other forums, but as I cannot start a thread on here until I have 5 posts, I'm posting here. I was wondering what experiences other people have had with the system. I use a 32t chainring, 20T sprocket, and the chain line is perfect. I use the Shimano 'single wheel' chain tensioner.

    Firstly, after an initial announcement, it was about two years before Alfine 11 became available in the UK - were they working on solving niggling, lingering 'issues' with the system...

    Anyway, the system generally works 'ok', but it is not without its foibles and idiosyncracies. I'm talking about mishifts, delayed shifts, non-shifts, drop backs and crunches. These don't happen 'all the time', but in a twenty mile ride I would expect to get at LEAST four or five issues like these.

    I am currently considering changing the cable supplied (the normal cheapo Shimano one) to a an XTR grade coated slippery one and associated outer. Has anyone done that and found improved results? My current cable is well lubricated, I know what I'm doing in this respect having owned, raced and built bikes for over 45 years.

    Also, re the expandable rubber gator that sits at the end of the outer cable by the hub, it has a circular metal clip at the end, and this clip has been compressed to an eliptical shape so that it applies a degree of grip on to the inner cable. What's that all about? I'm thinking it could be adversely affecting shifts a little by putting a bit of delay in the system - or maybe that's what it's trying to do - dunno. So why is this clip 'crushed' on to the inner cable?! Is it a Shimano retro mod?

    By the way, my two 'yellow lines' are lined up perfectly, so no issues there.

    One more point, as everyone seems to be saying, the mishifts seem to happen more so when pedalling under higher load conditions - though I stress, nothing major like standing on the pedals. Whilst I can understand, and to SOME extent accept that this is the case, let's face it, you cannot always change gear when pedalling pressure is low, especially when climbing a steep hill and you have to make your way down through the gears, there's nothing you can do about it, and crunched or missed changes are not acceptable. I've tried different ways of operating the lever; quickly, slower etc - no better.

    All in all I love not having to bother about a front mech, the ability to 'just change gear' without having to really think about it, but those mishifts are not acceptable in my opinion. The odd one would be ok, but to have four or five during every short ride is not really up to scratch in my opinion.

  36. #86
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    Does anyone know what is the lowest input ratio allowed on this hub ? I've read many times about the 1.9 "recomended" but nothing about a lower limit.

  37. #87
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    "1.9 recommended" is the only thing that's written down. Shimano finally told my bike shop that my 1.6 input ratio was "way too low" and that it would destroy "any alfine 11 you put it on". So I would assume that 1.9 isn't the "recommended ratio, it is in fact the lower limit.

  38. #88
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    It's all very well Shimano stating their case (though apparently not too sure of it), but a 1.9 ration is nowhere near low enough on a bike to get up even 'steepish' hills. For gawd's sake Shimano, design useable kit.

  39. #89
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    For those interested in the math, an exact 1.9 input ratio gives you a low gear of almost exactly 1:1, and a high gear of about 4.1:1. And I fully agree, this limit makes this hub suitable for little more than road biking. The one genre of biking that want's nothing to do with an IGH.

  40. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    For those interested in the math, an exact 1.9 input ratio gives you a low gear of almost exactly 1:1, and a high gear of about 4.1:1. And I fully agree, this limit makes this hub suitable for little more than road biking. The one genre of biking that want's nothing to do with an IGH.
    I have to disagree. Mine is on a road bike, a hybrid. It (1.9 ratio) is not suitable for road biking by any imagination. Maybe tootling along disused railway bike tracks, in towns, shopping, Holland, etc etc. But general road riding as in touring where there are hills and mountains - no way. The lowest gear would be just too high to get over anything but the mildest of hills. And from where do you get the notion that road riding wants nothing to do with IGH?! They are used by thousands upon thousands of road touring cyclists. I think you're getting 'roadies' - as in racers - mixed up with the many other kinds of cyclists who ride a bike on the road.

  41. #91
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    Dude i'm on your side, you don't have to bust my balls.
    I was referring to people who ride bikes like this:
    Specialized Bicycle Components
    And I'm not the least bit confused about it.
    That said, I ride my 6.5" travel all mountain bike on the street once a week. And after my 5th hub failure, I built up my bike as a 2:1 singlespeed. And surprisingly, when I have no other choice, I was able to make it up even the steepest of paved hills. That said, if your $1000 hub is no better than a single speed, you should go with a single speed. Also, even with a 1.9 ratio, I'm sure going up very steep hills on the 11 in 2nd gear would quickly kill that gear. I'd love to have the chance to prove that theory, but my Alfine 11 has been returned, and mostly refunded, and I'm now running a 1x9 sram drivetrain. (that i hate, but one thing I've never done on a derailer based drivetrain, is annihilate a gear while pedaling up a modest hill)

  42. #92
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    I use a 1:9 transmision as well with a 34-11 cluster. To have the same lowest gear (which I use) I'd need to go as low as 1.3.. heck I'd be willing to loose the 34 and keep the 30-11 lowest, then I'd need 1.46 input ratio.. still much lower then 1.9.
    I'm out of shape and weight around 145 soaking wet but still wouldn't gamble it judging by what I'm reading here.

  43. #93
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    1.6 in the 11 gives you a really nice range that you adapt to pretty quick. It helps speed up adapting, that shifting is so quick and engagement of the pedal stroke is so quick (no ratchet). This saves so much energy, that it makes up for what you lose elsewhere.

    If only the hubs didn't fail like clockwork.

  44. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    1.6 in the 11 gives you a really nice range that you adapt to pretty quick. It helps speed up adapting, that shifting is so quick and engagement of the pedal stroke is so quick (no ratchet). This saves so much energy, that it makes up for what you lose elsewhere.

    If only the hubs didn't fail like clockwork.
    I'm running a 32T x 23T on my Alfine 11. No issues. MTBing or bikepacking.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  45. #95
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    ...If only the hubs didn't fail like clockwork.
    You are bitter, but your problem is you. You don't listen to others and demand the right to do the same stupid actions over and over while expecting a different result. 5 dead hubs speaks to Shimano's forbearance and your lack of mechanical abilities, nothing else. Now you've made it personal, you're on a mission to attack Alfines anywhere you can.

    You've made your point several times, isn't it time to go away quietly?

  46. #96
    A Man Of The Truth
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    ... here we go again. Please explain to me which mechanical abilities I lack, and how they caused my hubs to fail.

  47. #97
    will rant for food
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    I have one specific question, as I've encountered someone on this forum elsewhere that was affected by the following.

    As far as lining up the yellow line, was your shifter in the right place? Example, an Alfine 8 has to have the shifter in 4th gear while lining up the two lines.

    This guy I mentioned, I'll try to find the post, he was just configuring the lines with the shifter all the way slack, and his hub was basically unusable. I mentioned he should follow the manual, he did, and he is now riding it happily.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  48. #98
    Music & Bikes
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    Fellsbiker : Pursuiter doesn't like people who talks about Shimano's IGH failure.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  49. #99
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    ... here we go again. Please explain to me which mechanical abilities I lack, and how they caused my hubs to fail.
    Yes, here you are again, whining and complaining, yet so many others get their hubs to work under conditions you promise will destroy them. I don't know why you're so clueless, for what ever reason you refuse to try the suggestions given to you.

    So give it a rest, it's time to move on.

  50. #100
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    Fellsbiker : Pursuiter doesn't like people who talks about Shimano's IGH failure.
    And you claim the only reason why I haven't had troubles is that I don't ride, as if you know when and how long I ride. So many of us use these hubs under conditions you promise will destroy them. As if you're the only person that rides in cold, wet/icing conditions. You're another that refuses to take any input, the only answer you allow is "Shimano sucks, buy a Rolhoff."

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