• 05-04-2012
    car bone
    Whats the current verdict on the alfine 11
    So this was supposed to be the best thing that was ever invented, oil bath, weirdo cutting of the cogs inside and so on.

    I would like to know if its actually a better hub than the 8, if you buy a new one that was made yesterday, alfine 8 also made yesterday to keep things even.

    What can I expect from the 11 vs the 8?

    Durability
    Unfinickyness
    Function in rain, snow, whatever you have
    Ease of setup and maintainence
    Bang for buck

    It has been available now for over a year and I know they have changed some parts in it so there must be a somewhat clear picture of how it performs by now.
  • 05-04-2012
    vikb


    I've been flogging an Alfine 8 for years hard and it's worked great. The bike above has an Alfine 11 and it's been rolling along since the start of this year.

    - Setup is same as Alfine 8.
    - ease of use the same
    - trigger shifting same as Alfine 8
    - haven't had to service the Alfine 11 yet, but it looks dead easy

    So far I've used the Alfine 11 for bikepacking and technical MTBing. It's only been a few months so I can't speak to durability yet.

    No complaints so far...:thumbsup:
  • 05-21-2012
    fellsbiker
    I got my first Alfine 11 one year ago. My 5th Alfine 11 is on the way. Sadly, I do not have 5 bikes. They just keep failing. Sometimes after a few months of great use, sometimes after a few miles (#4 failed after about 6 miles). One was bad out of the box and the bike shop sent it back without me even riding the bike. In every other way, they are great and I love them! But the average life span seems to be about 2 or 3 months. That's a pretty short life for a wheel that ends up costing you close to $1000 all said and done.
  • 05-21-2012
    kustomz
    fellsbiker... What type of riding are you doing? And are these failures being covered under warranty?
  • 05-21-2012
    fellsbiker
    Off road. And yes they are. But since january, I've done exactly one full ride on my bike, with the 11 speed hub. I've done a bunch of riding with my bike temporarily converted to a singlespeed while the shop waits for replacement hubs.

  • 05-22-2012
    Wryknow
    I have an Alfine 11 on my bike. Works great.
  • 05-22-2012
    honkonbobo
    i have about 650km (400miles) on my Alfine 11 and its been great for spinning rail trail and easy singletrack. the first couple hundred km did have some random skipping but as others have reported that went away after it seemed to get broken in and a skip is very rare now.

    i have also found the cable tension to be really really finicky as reported. once you get it tweaked right dont touch it unless you have to. pedal easy on the downshifts for a revolution or 2 and upshift however you want and its smooth. 2nd and 6th gear can feel a little spongy.

    for this style of riding and any kind of long distance touring i would def buy another one but i dont know that i would say that for mashing hills or hammering at top speed.
  • 05-22-2012
    pursuiter
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    ... My 5th Alfine 11 is on the way...average life span seems to be about 2 or 3 months....

    Do you shift the Alfine 11 while loading the pedals with force/torque?
  • 05-22-2012
    fellsbiker
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pursuiter View Post
    Do you shift the Alfine 11 while loading the pedals with force/torque?

    Nope never. It shifts so fast, I do all of my shifting either in the air, or between pedal strokes. Its an instant switch so once you get your timing down, it's very easy to shift between strokes. I would never shift under full pedal load while climbing. Even in my derailer days. Shifting and pedaling never mixed. When the 11 is working, it shifts so fast, you feel like you have MORE power because you are applying power more of the time. Instead of a few pedal strokes to let the chain shift over, it now takes a fraction of a second. That is, when the hub is working.

    My 5th hub came in to the shop today so we'll see how it runs tomorrow when it's installed.
  • 05-22-2012
    fellsbiker
    That was my natural first guess too.
  • 05-22-2012
    pursuiter
    Bummer, maybe you're just too strong.
  • 05-22-2012
    fellsbiker
    Hmm I'm reading Shimano's official tech doc right now. And in addition to 1.9 being only a "recommended" ratio, and nothing about it being a limit, either an upper or a lower limit, the tech doc also specifically says you CAN shift gears while pedaling, but it might be a little noisier. That's interesting. This really makes me wonder why i go through these hubs like a fat kid goes through a candy bar. And you know 1.6 is awfully close to 1.9 anyway, it's not that big of a difference. Something else has got to be going on. Maybe it's my shifter that is defective, not the hubs?
  • 05-23-2012
    Wryknow
    I'm thinking that it has to be something other than the hub causing the failure. Shimano isn't known for making poor quality gear. Even if the defect rate on the alfine 11 is really high the odds of you getting 5 bad hubs in a row is miniscule. I'm guessing that it's something else causing the problem just by the mathematics of it but I'm no expert on the installation. (I had mine installed by one of the LBS.)
  • 05-23-2012
    fellsbiker
    I also had the shop do all of my installs. I've done very little other than keep my dots aligned.
  • 05-23-2012
    fellsbiker
    Then again, you would think that shimano would have the shop somehow test my shifter and cable, rather than just keep sending them hub after hub after hub.
  • 05-23-2012
    pursuiter
    Quite frankly, if you don't pedal while shifting, that does seem to be the likely cause.

    - I had a very slight "hang" on my Alfine 8 cassette joint. I determined that the no-turn washers I selected put the cassette joint cable stop against the chain stay. The cassette joint does move around slightly depending on whether the gearbox is over-drive (6-7-8) or under-drive (1-2-3-4), that movement combined with the proximity to chainstay caused the gearbox shift to "hang" just slightly and a mis-shift was the result.

    - Is there lube in the hub? More than one user has commented that there wasn't any lube to drain on the first flush.
  • 05-23-2012
    car bone
    I read about misaligning the red dots a little on purpose, some users report that it shifted better then, can't remeber if it was the 8 or the 11 though. I enterpret this as sometimes "the dots" is actually not aligned when they are aligned. Or the things that lines up in the hub.

    Quote:

    r a revolution or 2 and upshift however you want and its smooth. 2nd and 6th gear can feel a little spongy.
    Where does the sponge come from? It should be rock solid right, its all metal cogs inside there or? Its like having a spongy chain or something.
  • 05-23-2012
    evrac
    Maybe compressing the suspension is tugging on the cable?

    Maybe different non-turn washers to straighten out that big friction-causing loop of cable?
  • 05-23-2012
    fellsbiker
    Hub #5 is installed and working. I need to go pick it up today. Shimano told my shop that there are *NO* gear ratio limits or torque input limits. Running 36/22 or any other ratio is fine and will not void my warranty. And that's about all they said, hopefully #5 runs better than all the rest. Time for my biking season to START
  • 05-23-2012
    pursuiter
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    ... It should be rock solid right....

    There's roller clutches and some kind of torque limiter, I assume one or the other or both are the reason for the sponginess.
  • 05-23-2012
    fellsbiker
    Theres also a lot of gear for the torque to go through. Metal or no metal, if you line up enough gears in a row, you're going to get some flex. If you cram those gears into a can, you'll still get some flex. But its not a problem. I absolutely love my hub when it's working.
  • 05-23-2012
    Corporal Punishment
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by evrac View Post
    Maybe compressing the suspension is tugging on the cable?

    Maybe different non-turn washers to straighten out that big friction-causing loop of cable?

    That is solid advice and something to look at seriously. If you get a buddy to hold the bike for you, put it in 6th gear and run the rear end through its entire travel and see if the yellow dots move. If they do, buy a new cable/housing and run as much slack as possible at the bends.
  • 05-23-2012
    Wryknow
    Just to make sure - you have the hub in 6th gear when you're doing the dot alignment right? It may sound like a stupid question but I actually started trying to adjust it once in 5th gear but luckily read the manual before I caused any problems :)
  • 05-23-2012
    fellsbiker
    Yup, 6th gear is the magic gear. Its the only gear that's marked on the shifter besides first and last gears.
  • 05-24-2012
    naisan
    I had the A11 on my spot acme for about 500 miles of commuting. I have a pretty powerful sprint, and only tried 1 time to pedal really hard off of a light and the gears jumped. Since then, I have limited power during standing starts only, but otherwise ridden normally.

    If I shifted when applying power, the hub most times doesn't change gears until I let off the power - but that actually depends which gears you're shifting from and to.

    No issues. I never had to adjust the hub for shifting, after several flat tires, wheel removals etc. never had any issue with it.

    It always worked.

    There is some sponge in certain gears, but I believe that's just in feel as it's spongy until you load the hub, then normal feeling if more power is applied after that.

    Only knock I hear is that A11 uses bushings, and Rohloff uses bearings, and so feels less spongy.

    I just wish it was lighter: if it was lighter than a chain/derailleur setup I'd switch my MTB to one in a heartbeat.
  • 05-25-2012
    Evesie
    My second hub is still running fine after 600+ miles of off roading. I have found that aligning the yellow dots is not the best way to set the cable, yes it's close but it seems to me that the most sensitive two gears are 2nd & 10th. So I align the dots then gently pedal around shifting between 2nd & 10th while twiddling the adjuster counting the turns between getting a skipping 10th & skipping 2nd & then take the average. Bit of a faff, but it works. should you neeed to do this - well no - not on a 400 hub. I still like it though, yes there is sponginess in the lower gears, but sit & pedal smoothly & it all works for me. Running 32/18 on a 26er by the way.
  • 05-25-2012
    fellsbiker
    I did a long ride on my 5th hub tonight and it also worked well. I am noticing 2nd gear is pretty flexy. I'm not sure if it's more flexy than my other hubs, or if I'm just more tuned to the flex now. I'm thinking that 2nd is probably just too weak. My tentative plan is going to be to try to avoid 2nd gear on strong climbs. I'll stick to 3rd and 1st when possible and when I think of it.
  • 05-25-2012
    kustomz
    I have just started dream building my Alfine equipped adventure bike and really know very little about the system compared to the real world users posting in this thread. That being said, it seems that the soon coming Di2 Alfine system will eliminate cables all together, and with it, possibly some of the vague set up issues?

    Here is one of many links.
  • 05-25-2012
    Wryknow
    I believe the Di2 is Shimano's response to their failure analysis of reported issues with the Alfine 11. It would be a typical Japanese style TQM response. If your failure analysis indicates that customer problems are being caused by cable routing and hub alignment issues then this upgrade would make perfect sense. I doubt it will eliminate the cable initially (although a wireless version should be possible right?), but it will ensure that the shifts are completed correctly.
  • 05-25-2012
    kustomz
    It appears from all of the pictures and descriptions to be fly by wire. So no actual tension cables, just wires that could be run internally to carry the battery voltage and a trigger signal. Plus some of the information is pointing to an average 1,000 mile Li-on battery recharge point. This system will not be for everybody, but it will certainly suite my application if it ever comes to light.
  • 06-11-2012
    fellsbiker
    The weather has been crappy since my last post and I haven't gotten in many rides. Maybe 3 good ones on this my 5th hub.

    Condition: No 2nd gear.
    It self-destructed on my second ride. Now if I shift around it, the hub generally works fine. But if I accidentally shift into second gear, the hub goes crazy with grinding and clicking and no engagement.

    So I guess I just need to accept the fact that the Alfine 11 hub is only a 10 speed.
  • 06-12-2012
    car bone
    Those marks are definitely not lined up inside the hub then or? To me iot sounds like they are putting these blobs of paint where they see fit, more or less. could be wrong here but 5 hubs!! Not a ****ing chance.
  • 06-12-2012
    fellsbiker
    Finally got word today, after a year of asking for an explanation from shimano and getting none, that my gear ratio of 36/22 is too low and that's what is destroying the hub. Shimano has previously stated that there are NO input limits and that you can run any gears you want. So what this means is that this hub can NOT handle MTB use. Unless you mountain bike in florida where the trails are flat as can be.
  • 06-12-2012
    crazylemurboy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    The weather has been crappy since my last post and I haven't gotten in many rides. Maybe 3 good ones on this my 5th hub.

    Condition: No 2nd gear.
    It self-destructed on my second ride. Now if I shift around it, the hub generally works fine. But if I accidentally shift into second gear, the hub goes crazy with grinding and clicking and no engagement.

    So I guess I just need to accept the fact that the Alfine 11 hub is only a 10 speed.

    I think the lemon law applies here in some fashion .... 5 hubs??? I would never tolerate that.
  • 06-12-2012
    fellsbiker
    The only good alternative is to get a rholoff, and thats not in the budget. No amount of "tough-guyness" is going to get shimano to make me a hub that doesn't fail. I very strongly do NOT want to go back to derailers. Options are not in abundance.
  • 06-12-2012
    crazylemurboy
    Well, you could try going with the Alfine 8. That seems to be a more robust offering, and will save you some cheddar. I use a Nuvinci N360 and there are no gears to smash up, no issues after 8 months of use. It blows for uphill battles though, and forget about using it in a 700c/29" wheel; the lowest gear ratio specified by Fallbrook is too tall for these large wheels, at least in MTB applications. I would recommend 26" or less if possible. I agree with the sentiment about deraillers. I use my internal gear hub for commuting so I am less concerned about super lower gearing.
  • 06-12-2012
    fellsbiker
    I am contemplating the 8, it's range is just so limited. I figure the most "well rounded" ratio I could give it is 36/19, which would make my lowest gear right around 1:1, and my highest gear right around 3:1. Compare that to the old days where my granny gear was 0.65:1 and my top gear was 4:1. Then I started thinking maybe tow chainrings in the front and an alfine 8 in the back. I most likely wouldn't even use that front shifter while riding, it would just be a way to shift my entire range from some lower gears to some higher ones. So if I'm in the woods, I'd keep it in my smaller chainring, and if I'm on the streets, i'd keep it in my higher one. But I haven't done any of the math on that crazy option yet. My problem is that every one of my options is a shitty option.
  • 06-12-2012
    crazylemurboy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    I am contemplating the 8, it's range is just so limited. I figure the most "well rounded" ratio I could give it is 36/19, which would make my lowest gear right around 1:1, and my highest gear right around 3:1. Compare that to the old days where my granny gear was 0.65:1 and my top gear was 4:1. Then I started thinking maybe tow chainrings in the front and an alfine 8 in the back. I most likely wouldn't even use that front shifter while riding, it would just be a way to shift my entire range from some lower gears to some higher ones. So if I'm in the woods, I'd keep it in my smaller chainring, and if I'm on the streets, i'd keep it in my higher one. But I haven't done any of the math on that crazy option yet. My problem is that every one of my options is a shitty option.

    That is interesting because I am considering the same set up on my N360. I am frustrated with the smallish gear range and have to choose a gear that compromises on both ends. Now my hub is so so on hills, and so so on the flats. If I were to set up the bike with a double chainring I could have one gear for hills and one for flats... but this defeats the entire purpose of getting a hub gear. And I do love having that delicious single speed chainline.
  • 06-14-2012
    pursuiter
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    I am contemplating the 8, it's range is just so limited....But I haven't done any of the math on that crazy option yet. My problem is that every one of my options is a shitty option.

    You and Don in Austin are not well suited for IGHs. Despite so many success stories, for whatever reason, you two have something going on that doesn't allow you to use IGHs. I'd give up and go back to derailliuers.
  • 06-15-2012
    vikb
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    Unless you mountain bike in florida where the trails are flat as can be.



    I'm sorry you've had issues with your Alfine 11....:sad:

    Mine is going strong. I just came back from a bikepacking trip with lots of steep grinding climbs. I've also used the bike unloaded on BC's steep and techy MTB trails...:thumbsup:

    So far I've had no issues. Mine is geared at 32T ring x 23T cog. I find that's low enough for mountain biking and bikepacking.
  • 06-15-2012
    Wryknow
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vikb View Post


    Mine is going strong. I just came back from a bikepacking trip with lots of steep grinding climbs. I've also used the bike unloaded on BC's steep and techy MTB trails...:thumbsup:

    Nice! How many miles do you have on your hub? I'm really enjoying mine but I don't even have 200 miles on it yet (work + family + school = lucky to bike twice a week :) )
  • 06-15-2012
    vikb
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wryknow View Post
    Nice! How many miles do you have on your hub? I'm really enjoying mine but I don't even have 200 miles on it yet (work + family + school = lucky to bike twice a week :) )

    I don't have a bike computer so my guess is 500-700kms. Mostly dirt. I only ride this bike on pavement when needed to connect up dirt for bikepacking routes.
  • 06-17-2012
    Pinchphlat
    I will give the Alfine 11 a thumbs up for a mtb. It is sad to read of fellsbiker's problems, but maybe pursuiter is correct that the alfine 11 is not suited to your type of riding. I am running 32/21 on my mtb and find that it is plenty low for the type of riding I do, which does include steep difficult climbs. I also recently took the Alfine equipped mtb out on a 100km (63 mile) endurance race and it performed really well (the rider was a different story though!).

    I would also add that I have had the Alfine 11 set up on a commuting bike at 44/20 for a year and a half now, and it is going strong. The simple oil-change servicing means that maintenance is an easy chore :)
  • 06-17-2012
    fellsbiker
    I'm not saying that the Alfine 11 isn't great for mountain biking when it's not broken. It is amazing on the trails, the gear range is nice and wide, shifting is fast. It's great. The problem is that the hubs are not strong enough for mountain biking. If your hub hasn't broke yet, you're going to love it. Once you destroy 2nd gear, you're doing to be a sad sack like me.

    Like I said, one tough climb in 2nd gear and your hub will be gone. But if you really want your hub to last, my advice is never ever use 2nd gear. 1st gear seems to be rock solid. The problem comes mid-season when you're really getting strong, and using the "granny gear" to climb is no longer appealing. So you try to do more climbs in higher gears because you can. But your hub... it can not.

    I did my first single speed ride today with 36/18 ratio. It was depressing.
  • 06-17-2012
    vikb
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    I'm not saying that the Alfine 11 isn't great for mountain biking when it's not broken. It is amazing on the trails, the gear range is nice and wide, shifting is fast. It's great. The problem is that the hubs are not strong enough for mountain biking. If your hub hasn't broke yet, you're going to love it. Once you destroy 2nd gear, you're doing to be a sad sack like me.

    Like I said, one tough climb in 2nd gear and your hub will be gone. But if you really want your hub to last, my advice is never ever use 2nd gear. 1st gear seems to be rock solid. The problem comes mid-season when you're really getting strong, and using the "granny gear" to climb is no longer appealing. So you try to do more climbs in higher gears because you can. But your hub... it can not.

    I've been using the Alfine 11 for months now and using all the gears for our steep MTB trails. It's doing fine.

    Can't say it will never break, but I can say that one steep climb in second isn't the end of my hub.
  • 06-17-2012
    fellsbiker
    What physical gears are you using?
  • 06-17-2012
    vikb
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    What physical gears are you using?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    So far I've had no issues. Mine is geared at 32T ring x 23T cog. I find that's low enough for mountain biking and bikepacking.

    I ride the steep techy trails on the South Shore of Vancouver Island BC and use the same bike for bikepacking.
  • 06-17-2012
    fellsbiker
    32x23, that's an extremely low ratio. I wouldn't bet on your hub lasting much longer, but that's just me.
  • 06-17-2012
    vikb
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    32x23, that's an extremely low ratio. I wouldn't bet on your hub lasting much longer, but that's just me.

    I'll let you know if it dies. In the meantime I'm going to just keep on riding it and not spend a lot of mental energy on it. It seems like there are quite a few other folks using these hubs without problems so I am not going to write it off until something actually happens.
  • 06-17-2012
    fellsbiker
    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. That said, there are a lot of people who are not having problems, but there are a whole lot that are. My first hub lasted 2 months of heavy riding before it started to fail, so it does seem there is some variability as far as how long they last. I'll be happy when I finally get a rohloff and I'm done with all drivetrain headaches. But there's no telling when that will be $$$
  • 06-17-2012
    vikb
    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.
  • 06-17-2012
    fellsbiker
    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!
  • 06-17-2012
    vikb
    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.
  • 06-17-2012
    fellsbiker
    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.
  • 06-17-2012
    vikb
    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.
  • 06-17-2012
    fellsbiker
    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.
  • 06-18-2012
    pursuiter
    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.
  • 06-18-2012
    fellsbiker
    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.
  • 06-18-2012
    fellsbiker
    "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.
  • 06-18-2012
    pursuiter
    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.
  • 06-18-2012
    car bone
    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?

    :)
  • 06-18-2012
    Wryknow
    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.
  • 06-18-2012
    vikb
    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.
  • 06-19-2012
    emp?
    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 :p
  • 06-19-2012
    car bone
    I sucks to not be able to trust gear.
  • 06-19-2012
    vikb
    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.
  • 06-19-2012
    fokof
    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.
  • 06-19-2012
    vikb
    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.
  • 06-19-2012
    crazylemurboy
    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.
  • 06-19-2012
    vikb
    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....:thumbsup:
  • 06-19-2012
    crazylemurboy
    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.
  • 06-19-2012
    vikb
    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.
  • 06-20-2012
    fokof
    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.
  • 06-20-2012
    lesoudeur
    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.
  • 07-02-2012
    roll_off
    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
  • 07-03-2012
    lesoudeur
    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." :skep:
  • 07-04-2012
    roll_off
    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." :skep:

    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
  • 07-05-2012
    john_dalhart
    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
  • 07-05-2012
    honkonbobo
    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).
  • 07-06-2012
    finch2
    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.
  • 07-08-2012
    Corporal Punishment
    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.
  • 07-08-2012
    emp?
    well mine is off for warranty but im not holding my breath
    shimano australia arent they greatest when it comes to these things
  • 07-15-2012
    Zeitlupe
    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.
  • 07-15-2012
    fellsbiker
    Yeah in my 5 hubs, I also had a few oil leaks.
  • 07-16-2012
    BikermanSteve
    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.
  • 07-21-2012
    AvenaQuaker
    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.
  • 07-21-2012
    fellsbiker
    "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.
  • 07-22-2012
    BikermanSteve
    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.
  • 07-22-2012
    fellsbiker
    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.
  • 07-22-2012
    BikermanSteve
    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.
  • 07-22-2012
    fellsbiker
    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)
  • 07-22-2012
    AvenaQuaker
    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.
  • 07-22-2012
    fellsbiker
    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.
  • 07-22-2012
    vikb
    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.
  • 07-23-2012
    pursuiter
    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?
  • 07-23-2012
    fellsbiker
    ... here we go again. Please explain to me which mechanical abilities I lack, and how they caused my hubs to fail.
  • 07-23-2012
    Drew Diller
    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.
  • 07-23-2012
    fokof
    Fellsbiker : Pursuiter doesn't like people who talks about Shimano's IGH failure.
  • 07-23-2012
    pursuiter
    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.
  • 07-23-2012
    pursuiter
    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."