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  1. #151
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    After a year on 11 small report:
    1. 2nd gear is slipping under load with really awfull sounds. No adjustment can change that. I ride trying to avoid 2nd gear...
    2. When temperature drops below -10 Celsius shifting becomes very slow and then on 11 and 10th gear start to fail. After warming up my bike hub again works properly (except for 2nd gear problem)
    3. I probably missed my first oil change by some several hundred kilometers.
    My gearing is 32 front and 22 rear.

  2. #152
    Just Ride!
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    So are the people that are experiencing problems with second gear feeling like they use that gear frequently? When I compare my 1x9 gearing to an Alfine 11 on gear-calculator website it seems like second would be in my bail out range that is rarely used.

  3. #153
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    The thing is, with only 11 total gears, widely space, you tend to use them all. When I had my 11, early in the season, I was doing all my climbing in 1st gear. As the season progressed and I got stronger, I would climb more in 2nd. But once 2nd gear popped once, it would get worse and worse, after not much more use, 2nd gear would be completely unusable. And other gears were affected too, like bits of 2nd gear were jamming up the other gears.

  4. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomz View Post
    So are the people that are experiencing problems with second gear feeling like they use that gear frequently? When I compare my 1x9 gearing to an Alfine 11 on it seems like second would be in my bail out range that is rarely used.
    I use 1-6 regularly. With a loaded bike in the mtns I'm climbing in a 1,2 & 3 a fair bit. That's with 32 x 23T and 29er wheels. So far no issues with gear 2.

    I don't use the top end as much.
    Last edited by vikb; 05-23-2014 at 08:59 AM.
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  5. #155
    Just Ride!
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    Well someday I will take advantage of the SwapOuts on my On-One Scandal and run an Alfine, but I will have to figure out the straight dope on second gear first.

  6. #156
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    Also, is it possible to use aftermarket cables with the Alfine hub and shifter or is there a proprietary feature? I know that when I started running the Jagwire Ripcord stuff with the slick teflon coatings on a regular derailleur it was like night and day difference compared to OEM quality.

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomz View Post
    Well someday I will take advantage of the SwapOuts on my On-One Scandal and run an Alfine, but I will have to figure out the straight dope on second gear first.
    You can always get an A8. Cheaper and they seem to be better suited to MTBing based on user reports. I don't find myself needing more gears than an A8 has.

    Quote Originally Posted by kustomz View Post
    Also, is it possible to use aftermarket cables with the Alfine hub and shifter or is there a proprietary feature? I know that when I started running the Jagwire Ripcord stuff with the slick teflon coatings on a regular derailleur it was like night and day difference compared to OEM quality.
    I've used whatever cables and housing fell to hand when I have been maintaining my A8/A11 bikes with no issues. I haven't tried anything special though.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomz View Post
    Also, is it possible to use aftermarket cables with the Alfine hub and shifter or is there a proprietary feature? I know that when I started running the Jagwire Ripcord stuff with the slick teflon coatings on a regular derailleur it was like night and day difference compared to OEM quality.
    I installed the Jagwire Ripcord initially on my Sawyer and have had no issues. I may even change out the cables on the Nexus & Alfine 8 on my other bikes.

  9. #159
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    Yes, i would like to use 2nd. I rarely use gear indicator, i just shift to what i think is appropriate gear based on my feeling. So when i start going uphill and downshift i very often get into second gear. And then hear all those awfull sounds.

    By the way i already changed cable to Jagwire Ripcord. No difference.

  10. #160
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    In my opinion the hub is put into the market to soon.
    Too many problems which weren't solved.
    My hub is one of the first hubs. I have many problems with the second gear, the other gears has been affected too.
    I use the hub in my kona unit, mostly for urban cycling. Ratio 32/22
    But even then many problems occure in gears jumping. Or skipping.
    Shifting itself is going well, I like the shifting when standing still. Thats great in urban traffic.
    There are many stories about not functioning well of these hubs.
    I my opninion there are some serious problems with this product. But what I don not understand, that there no improvents known made by shimano.
    I can't believe that shimano has not taken any action on this.

  11. #161
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    After reading a few of the latest comments, I went out for a ride that includes a pretty long steep climb. When I first got the Alfine 11 it would be problematic getting into second from first or third about 2/3rd of the way up the hill and once or twice missed picking up any any gear properly in 2nd complete with with some death rattle noise. However, now in its third oil change, it shifts fine from first to second but still has problems from third to second, in fact it was going directly into first gear (in second setting)on a couple of occasions. As soon as I am reaching the top of the hill the shifting becomes fine again. I am using a 20t x39t ratio and am backing off when changing so releasing pressure from the pedals. So what I can say is that 2nd gear poses problems for me on steep hills but it is getting better with time...but who knows if it will continue to do so. Apart from a consistent very fine release of oil from the drive side it has been excellent (apart from what I have described) with no problems of cable adjustment. It is about 1.6 years old now. I have a Rohloff for XC stuff and for those people that say that it is expensive, I have had mine for about 8 problem free years which has worked out about £2 per week; and less chains to replace.

  12. #162
    Ridin' many miles...
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    I purchases the Releigh Cadent i11 for commuting late last year and the Alfine 11 hub shifted beautifully, but is now becoming problematic. I've had it back to the shop to correct clunkiness and mis-shifting a couple time and it doesn't seem to have corrected the problem. I'll give it a couple more weeks and then see if I can return the bike. It's shifting so roughly, it's starting to feel like it's going to fail on me.
    Ride dangerously. Take chances.

  13. #163
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdZilla View Post
    ...I've had it back to the shop to correct clunkiness and mis-shifting a couple time and it doesn't seem to have corrected the problem....
    Did they service the hub with fresh factory oil? Before giving up, I'd make sure they did a proper service, sometimes the A11 comes a little dry from the factory.

  14. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdZilla View Post
    I purchases the Releigh Cadent i11 for commuting late last year and the Alfine 11 hub shifted beautifully, but is now becoming problematic. I've had it back to the shop to correct clunkiness and mis-shifting a couple time and it doesn't seem to have corrected the problem. I'll give it a couple more weeks and then see if I can return the bike. It's shifting so roughly, it's starting to feel like it's going to fail on me.
    I had the same issue after months of slick shifting, tracked it down to a couple of culprits.

    1. Minor cause - the cassette joint isn't well sealed and need regular cleaning especially if used off road.

    2. Major cause - this essentially killed all the problems I was starting get, which was adjusting the cone bearing.
    I only found the problem when I started feeling a bit of play in the bearings, but the problem started before they felt loose.
    After initially taking the play out it was better but not perfect, it takes a bit of practice to get the adjustment point correct which is tighter than you think and just off slightly binding.
    Why Shimano continue to use cone bearings I just don't know, it's like going back to the 70's again

  15. #165
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    Perhaps this is my problem on my 8. My local LBS can't quite get it to stay adjusted. Perhaps they are under adjusting and it is loosening. Thinking of sending it to Aaron in Seattle.

    I wish shimano would build a mt 8. But I think they are into selling $150 derailleurs that get trashed regularly. Or heck give me a 7 speed speedhub built for fat/29er range requirements. Seems like a easy win. I have never gotten the boat anchor with huge gear range. Give me and all mountain IGH and people would line up.

    Like the comment about 8 years of use. Maybe if I can't get the A8 fixed I will just buy some German tech.

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by xophere View Post
    Perhaps this is my problem on my 8. My local LBS can't quite get it to stay adjusted. Perhaps they are under adjusting and it is loosening. Thinking of sending it to Aaron in Seattle.

    I wish shimano would build a mt 8. But I think they are into selling $150 derailleurs that get trashed regularly. Or heck give me a 7 speed speedhub built for fat/29er range requirements. Seems like a easy win. I have never gotten the boat anchor with huge gear range. Give me and all mountain IGH and people would line up.
    Buy some cone wrenches and adjust it at home. You don't want to send away your IGH every time it needs a minor tweak.

    I've had A8's in two fat bikes and they have done very well. They work well in my fat bike IGH because they are cheap and can be geared low enough for sand/snow. The gear range isn't overly wide, but it's plenty to give you a soft conditions set of gears and a road/hardpack set.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  17. #167
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    Legit call. I do a lot of my own wrenching at the local bike co-op. I kinda just wanted it resolved since I paid them to do so. But perhaps this is good time after bad money at this point.

  18. #168
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    So they opened it up again. This time the bearing retainer was snapped. Their verdict was that it wasn't tough enough for off road use. So I think the reality is the cone came loose and this broke the retainer.

    I would presume the failure scenario for the hub is not the bearing retainer but parts inside the transmission. I would doubt the angle contact bearings properly adjusted are anywhere near their failure threshold?

    What do you guys think?

  19. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by xophere View Post
    So they opened it up again. This time the bearing retainer was snapped. Their verdict was that it wasn't tough enough for off road use. So I think the reality is the cone came loose and this broke the retainer.

    I would presume the failure scenario for the hub is not the bearing retainer but parts inside the transmission. I would doubt the angle contact bearings properly adjusted are anywhere near their failure threshold?

    What do you guys think?
    Agreed, especially since Shimano has been using their cup & cone bearings on their hubs since they started.

  20. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by xophere View Post
    Their verdict was that it wasn't tough enough for off road use.
    Given the number of A8's being used for MTBing and bikepacking that's not a reasonable assumption. People destroy "normal" hubs MTBing so anything can break, but it's not like A8's are exploding left and right on dirt.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  21. #171
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    I sold mine (after it was refurbished by Shimano). I decided not to even give it another chance after they warrantied it. Lost a lot on its resale. Replaced it with a single cog and it's so much better. The disappointment I felt every time it messed up (which was quite often) was just too stressful and would ruin a good ride. I ran a Nexus 7 for more than 7 years without a single hiccup, so I was well versed in its set-up. The hub was just disappointing. The cassette joint was so cheap and plastic, and fit loosely. It was pretty much the same as my old Nexus. I didn't like spending so much money on such ill-fitting components. I do not recommend the Æleven speed Alfine.
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  22. #172
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    Alfine 11 report

    I thought I would chip in with my experience of the Alfine 11. I bought mine used but it was virtually new, the first oil change hadn't been done yet.

    -Time in use: Just over 2 years
    -Terrain: Almost exclusively XC riding, lots of wet mud
    -Riding style: I tend to spin 90-100rpm in low gears, not a torque monster
    -Installed in: 2003 Specialized Stumpjumper (full suspension Horst link 100/100mm travel)
    -Configuration: Mostly 32x23 but lately 22x16
    -Total distance: ~2500km
    -Issues: Most of the issues with this hub have been caused by
    1. Oil contamination through normal wear i.e. old oil
    2. Cable adjustment and condition
    3. Cassette joint compatibility

    1. After about the first 300km of use I was getting problems staying in gear, particularly 2nd and 7th. It would slip out of gear with a horrible clang and I feared the worst but it turned out to oil contamination due to an overdue oil change. The first oil change removed virtually no oil, maybe 5ml (25ml is the refill spec). I put this down to normal leakage (it weeps very slightly in use).

    2. The hub is sensitive to cable tension. Some problems occurred due to cable stretch and cable routing that caused tension to fluctuate (due to suspension deflection). At first cable issues could be resolved by simply following the spec and aligning the yellow markers but lately I had issues with 2nd and 10th slipping which persisted after oil change and cable alignment. I resolved this by adjusting the cable tension manually (ignoring the markers) until the problem was gone.
    Another issue I have come across is kinks in the cable. This is tricky to diagnose because the kinks are rarely obvious (concealed within the outer cable, for instance) and manifest as mis-shifts and dropping out of gear. If you are getting these symptoms and have exhausted all other avenues sometimes it is best to change the cable as a precaution.

    3. Because I am using the hub in a bike with vertical dropouts, I couldn't orient the hub according to spec (with the cassette joint arm parallel with the chain stay). I have swapped the standard anti-rotation washers (Vertical type 8R/Blue and 8L/Green) left for right and the arm is pointing upwards at approx 1 o'clock position, with the cable routed along the seat stay. This puts stress on the cable and arm and what I have noticed is if I tighten the wheel nuts without putting pressure on the arm to rotate it as far forward as possible (to get the cable as straight as possible in relation to the seat stay) there is some binding occurring in the hub. I think this is contributing to the cable tension issues and I am fabricating a set of anti-rotation washers to fix this issue permanently.

    Oil
    The first thing I do when shifting issues occur (apart from visual checks for cable tension, etc) is an oil change. This hub seems very sensitive to oil contamination and oil level. I cannot understand why the Alfine oil is so expensive considering what little stress it is under in terms of shear and heat so I never used it. I tried 10W40 and also standard transmission oil and both of these performed as well (subjectively) as the standard oil. In order to account for leakage I add 40ml (more than spec 25ml) and I am changing it more frequently, every ~500km (spec is 1000km and then 5000km). The oil comes out very dark and I expected to find metal fragments, particularly after hearing all the clattering of missed gears but there is only ever a sparkle in the oil of very small particles. I read on the CTC forum that flushing the oil is not sufficient to remove all of the contamination, you must partially disassemble the hub to properly clean it

    Gearing
    The last thing is the gearing. I've gone well beyond the spec in this area. I hope this doesn't end up destroying the hub but since I tend to stay seated and I'm not into pushing a big gear I think it will be OK. I just cannot do without my 22x34 first gear that my derailleur gave me. This means my Alfine is running 22x16 which gives me my old first gear and I lose my top 3 gears and in the process created a very nice chain line (when viewed from the side). I now have monster ground clearance of about 30cm, I've yet to even hit the bashguard I made a few months ago.


    My general impression of the hub is favourable. I have read many objections to issues such as adding unsprung mass and mass at the rear of the bike but to be honest I couldn't really detect much difference although I'm not riding big downhills that much. The bike handles downhill very nicely and I'm way faster than my hardtail friends. It's a winner at the price point but next time I am springing for a Rohloff or perhaps a Pinion box because I miss my top end gears.

    Spotted some errors, did a couple of edits.
    Last edited by Carlos Fandango; 09-03-2014 at 03:03 AM.

  23. #173
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    Thanks. I am handing my off to my new to mt biking girl friend. She is significantly smaller then me and not going to be hammering it. I will let you know how it does. I did have it fully serviced at Aaron's Bikes i Seattle so hopefully it will hold up for a season or two before it needs to be redone.

  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Fandango View Post

    Oil
    I read on the CTC forum that flushing the oil is not sufficient to remove all of the contamination, you must partially disassemble the hub to properly clean it
    All contamination - no, but Rohloff IGHs do fine with a oil change every 5K kms so I don't think it's important to get it all out.

    Having said that in extreme cases I have heard Rohloff recommend doing 2 or 3 oil changes in a row to flush the internals of contamination.

    After using 2 A8s and 1 A11 I find the A8's are easy enough to open and clean/lube the internals directly I wouldn't pay extra for the A11's oil bath feature. It's actually more hassle to use and I think the A8 can be cleaned more thoroughly more easily.

    Anyways thanks for the thorough post. It good to get feedback from folks who have used these hubs a while.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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