Winter lube for Alfine 8
I have a Pugsley that I built up with the Alfine 8 IGH....and really like it. I do bike in sub-zero temps and wonder if any of you have re-lubed one using a lighter oil and grease. I can't help but think that it would roll a lot easier if it was lubed with say a synthetic lube. I am sure that you should use the lube that Shimano recommends, and maybe I should just do a re-lube using that. However...when the temps drop well below zero, I can't help but think that a lighter weight lube that would not gel up in the colder temps would be in order.
At present I've got a mix of white grease and 90 weight gear oil in mine. It seems to work just fine in the winter although one of the downshifts is a little slow on occasion (winter or summer). I just put a new shifter, cable and housing on the beast, so maybe that was all it was.
Pursuiter (posts here too) has been using ATF in his. He says it works fine, but imho it is a bit too thin an oil for the hub.
I suspect his probably spins quite a bit easier than mine. I saw no change in performance after flushing and relubing other than a reduction in noise.
I run Mobil 1 ATF in mine and have for several years. I've used it in my car for years, why not in my IGH powered by my wimpy < 1hp legs :) It does shift very smoothly. I was riding on Global FatBike Day and several ATF/Alfine 8 user came up to me and told me how much better it shifted esp in the cold. Nice thing is, what ever you choose, if you don't like it you can change to a different lube with ease.
Old School, It's been my experience that if a new hub isn't rolling with ease (with stock lube) the hub needs to be adjusted ASAP.
Thick as a Brick....
My hub is running smooth, and shifts fine. However, I heard from one person that said that last winter he was feeling like the rides on sub zero days were really hard, and thought he was getting out of shape. It turns out that the grease in his front hub had thickened up with the extreme cold. The bike shop that worked on it told me he used a special grease for winter use, and after cleaning it out and re-lubing, it made a huge difference.
Therefore, I figure that using a lighter lube for the Alfine could only improve it... such as pursuiter has noted. I know when I rode motorcycles I always used a para-synthetic oil, in this case Conklin, which made the engine run much smoother. I appreciate the suggestions....many thanks.
All: Synthetic snowmobile bearing grease by Castrol works for my headset and all bearings, as does any synthetic fine gear oil with a 'Pour Point' below -40C/-40F for my Sachs hub. Check the manufacturer's web site before phoning around to see if anybody has it.
One day biking to work by the airport, where a Canadair Regional Jet was frozen, a CC-130 Hercules was sidelined by a cracked port-hole, -42C, I did notice that my headset was stiff- I just about fell on my ar#%^ trying to turn off the AK highway!--that was the only time I had not brought my bike mechanic the sno mo bearing grease, he used <regular> grease, so proper low temp lubes make a big difference!
Originally Posted by véloneige