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  1. #1
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    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.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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  2. #2
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    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...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
    Just Ride!
    Reputation: kustomz's Avatar
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    fellsbiker... What type of riding are you doing? And are these failures being covered under warranty?

  5. #5
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    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.


  6. #6
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    I have an Alfine 11 on my bike. Works great.

  7. #7
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    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.

  8. #8
    Frt Range, CO
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    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?

  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
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    That was my natural first guess too.

  11. #11
    Frt Range, CO
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    Bummer, maybe you're just too strong.

  12. #12
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    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?

  13. #13
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    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.)

  14. #14
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    I also had the shop do all of my installs. I've done very little other than keep my dots aligned.

  15. #15
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    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.

  16. #16
    Frt Range, CO
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    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.

  17. #17
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    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.

    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.
    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.

  18. #18
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    Maybe compressing the suspension is tugging on the cable?

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

  19. #19
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    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

  20. #20
    Frt Range, CO
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    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.

  21. #21
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    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.

  22. #22
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    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.

  23. #23
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    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

  24. #24
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    Yup, 6th gear is the magic gear. Its the only gear that's marked on the shifter besides first and last gears.

  25. #25
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    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.

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