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Thread: Alfine 8 or 11

  1. #1
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    Alfine 8 or 11

    So I was chatting with Tim from my LBS 58 degrees north today about ordering an Alfine IGH for my pugs. I took it beach riding and found myself a little concerned with all the crap that got in and around the derailer and every other moving part. I know some folks here are running with Alfines and I just wanted to get your impressions...

    obviously cost is an issue or the title of this thread would be I just got a new solid gold Rohloff IGH encrusted with diamonds and one huge query I have is if I do decide on Alfines would the 8's be enough or should I just save up for the 11's?

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
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    There is some question if the 11 speed is limited to a 1.9 input. (Look in the hub gear forum for more detail)

    If it is the case then the only advantage of the 11 speed is that you will have more gears at the top end because your safe bottom ratio will be the same as the 8.

    Bearing in mind there appear to be a lot of 11 speed failures, I would play safe and go for an 8 speed until it is clearer how reliable the 11 speed is.

    (The problems could be as simple as idiots twiddling their gear adjusters instead of setting them to the marks and thus wrecking the box)
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  3. #3
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    id get an 11 - they are cheapest at on one

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    In about six months we should know more how the Alfine 11 holds up. I think many of us are running lower than the 1.9 ratio. I am running 1.0, 22 to 22, on a Niner RIP mountain bike. I don't have powerful legs and weight 160 pounds so I hope to get by with going down to 1.0. I can make steeper climbs and longer climbs without resting with the low ratio.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Velobike;8389393]There is some question if the 11 speed is limited to a 1.9 input. (Look in the hub gear forum for more detail)

    1.9 is NOT a limit. Some have inferred this from the "example" of gearing ratio given in the Alfine instructions. NO WHERE is a ratio limitation stated. I suggest one read the instructions for themselves; there're online.

    I've been running an ELEVEN on my Pugsley for the last 9 months with NO issues; 32:20. I'm riding beach, sand, xc and singletrack and haven't been on my other mtb since.

  6. #6
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    So worth the 700 bucks or so then...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboygrrl View Post
    ...1.9 is NOT a limit. Some have inferred this from the "example" of gearing ratio given in the Alfine instructions. NO WHERE is a ratio limitation stated. I suggest one read the instructions for themselves; there're online...
    I got jumped on for saying this before Alfine breakages

    However, I would suggest anyone reads the tech bulletin themselves and draw their own conclusions, especially in line with the number of breakages being reported. There's heaps more 8 speeds out there with nowhere near the number of problems.

    Bearing in mind this is an issue that has been well aired, has Shimano made any statement to clear this up?

    That said, I've always believed most hub gear problems come down to bad adjustments.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  8. #8
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    I've posted this info on other threads too but I'll just chime in again that our 8-speeds are going into their fourth winter on our Pugsleys. That would be 5-6 months/year at sub-zero temps and snow, minimal maintenance.

    I've only seen one Alfine 11 on a fatbike and it died within a few months under my friend, who is admittedly a hard rider and probably shouldn't have gotten an IGH at all. But before he destroyed the internals he also broke the external cassette joint, and just looking at his hub the external bits seemed really flimsy compared to our Alfine 8s.

    This is not systematic data but it is my own experience, so take it for what it's worth.

  9. #9
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    I suspect part of the problem with the 11spd is that it is being bought by people with no previous hub gear experience.

    Experienced hub gear owners already know about proper adjustment, not stomping through the gear changes, and keeping the axle nuts tight.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  10. #10
    @adelorenzo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    I suspect part of the problem with the 11spd is that it is being bought by people with no previous hub gear experience.

    Experienced hub gear owners already know about proper adjustment, not stomping through the gear changes, and keeping the axle nuts tight.
    Perhaps, but in the case of my friend he was an LBS mechanic who had serviced many of these hubs and ridden our Alfine bikes man times before. It's more that he was too strong for the hub I think, they aren't really designed for a 200+ lb guy doing pedal kicks, tabletops and big drops.

  11. #11
    @adelorenzo
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    Not to mention my wife has loaned her Pugsley out many times to people who have never ridden a hub gear. Heard some terrible gear changes (PING!) but her Alfine 8 has been unaffected.

  12. #12
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    I stripped 2nd gear today. I was in a steep technical climb. In first gear I would spin out. I had made this climb before in 2nd gear. However, this time in second gear it gave way. I was running 22/22 which I guess was too much torque for it. I weight 160 pounds and don't have strong legs. I was in the saddle. The cranks are 170 mm. I figured I had about half the force of a healthy 200 pounder standing on the pedals so I should have been okay with the 22/22 ratio. Wrong!!

    I sent my Rohloff off to get serviced. It was mailed back 9 days ago. I hope it gets here tomorrow so I can put that back on. Then get the Alfine 11 fixed.

  13. #13
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    I have alfine 11 spd, so far so good, I am that 200 lbs guy who usually rides single speeds. I run 32/22 and try to be gentle on the gearbox, have had a couple of rough shifts in sixth gear but nothing overly drastic i think. This is my first IGH. I will let you guys know if it breaks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by geweber View Post
    I stripped 2nd gear today...I sent my Rohloff off to get serviced. It was mailed back 9 days ago. I hope it gets here tomorrow so I can put that back on. Then get the Alfine 11 fixed.
    You stripped 2nd gear on your Alfine 11 AND your Rolhoff has issues? $2300 headache, ouch! I love my Alfine 8s, they keep working no matter how hard I abuse 'em.

    Do you shift while pedaling or let up while shifting?

  15. #15
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    The shifting is becoming natural and quicker than a derailer. Just let up on the force and it shifts smoothly. I didn't make the climb in 1st gear because it spun out. I shifted to 2nd from a dead stop and was climbing and had to give a little extra force to get over a rock and it gave out.
    I bought the Rohloff used and didn't check it out adequately. It was suppose to be in like new conditon. It was low on oil and when I put more in then it leaked some. They replaced a couple of bearing and some seals. It was only about $100 plus shipping. Maybe it is in like new condition now. I was only without it for two weeks. I got it back today. Hope to ride with it tomorrow.

  16. #16
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by geweber View Post
    ... I didn't make the climb in 1st gear because it spun out. I shifted to 2nd from a dead stop and was climbing and had to give a little extra force to get over a rock and it gave out....
    Interesting, maybe it wasn't fully engaged due to the dead stop shift? You're not the first person to kill an Alfine 11's second gear, prepare to be disappointed with Shimano's service.

  17. #17
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    Numbers

    I think it would be nice to look at some real data. How many 8s and 11s have sold, how many of each have been returned, what the mileage on returned and non returned hubs is, riding conditions, rider weight, and at least 10 more categorical variables and ten more quantitive ones. If anyone works at shimano would you please leak the data to us? Trying to decide which is better by relating heresay and reading posts online seems like foolery to me. luckily I dont have too worry about it because I can only afford the 8spd anyway. If it breaks I will switch my front wheel to back and ride fixed. (someday when I have an Alfine pugsley with bfls) If I find any real data I will post it, or I will devote all my time energy and resources to fabricating plausible data that will make it seem as if there are no significant differences. If I do the later I will create a new user account so It cant be linked to this post. Maybe I will do both just so there is conflicting data.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Desert Walker View Post
    I think it would be nice to look at some real data.....
    If anyone works at shimano would you please leak the data to us?...
    Some real world numbers with a large enough sample would be helpful.

    My own anecdotal experience is I know 3 owners of 11spd, 2 of whom have had breakage problems. I know several 8 speed owners and the only problems they have had were adjustment which is easily fixed.

    The owner of the 11spd without problems had an 8spd previously. This suggests that maybe part of the problem is caused by noobie owners trying to treat a hub gear like a derailleur.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  19. #19
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    I may have my second gear back. Shimano called my LBS back and said to measure the cable from the holder shoulder to the cable fixing nut(184 mm) and to make sure the yellow marks are aligned. Well, the alignment was off about a half of the width of the mark. After adjusting it didn't slip against the break. I will know more when I get it on a climb. This will be great if this is what was wrong.

  20. #20
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    I had that happen with an Alfine'd road bike that I babied a bit. If that tick is a hair off, stuff gets weird.

  21. #21
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    The Alfine 11 is still working pretty good. The alignment of the yellow marks is very critical. If I adjust the cable too much in one direction gear 2 skips, too much in the other direction and gear 10 skips. When the Rohloff came back from getting serviced I put it on my Maverick ML8. I like them both. The Alfine shifts smoother and feels like there is less resistance. I assume the new seals on the Rohloff are causing a little more drag. I would prefer the Rohloff on a deep ride into the trails where I don't want to break down and have a long hike out.

    I am getting familiar with the shifting. I like the quick shifting of several gears in an instance with the internal hubs.

  22. #22
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    I'm on year 4 of fat biking with an Alfine 8 IGH. Works great. I'm just cleaning my wheels and getting new tires on the Pugs. I have never opened up the Alfine and will just keep riding it until it dies. It has seen lots of harsh use on the beach with salt water and such....

    If I was starting again I'd get the Alfine 11 simply for more gears and the easy oil bath changes.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  23. #23
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    I'am choose between Alfine 8 and Alfine 11.
    My goal - 500 kilometers in the other country. So, if a hub breaks, then I find myself in a very difficult situation. Which of this hub is more reliable?

  24. #24
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    I'm about to buy a hub for a new wheel, and it will be another 8spd Alfine.

    There's still too much negativity about the 11 and its reliability issues to entice me to part with my money for an 11spd.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeniDoman View Post
    I'am choose between Alfine 8 and Alfine 11.
    My goal - 500 kilometers in the other country. So, if a hub breaks, then I find myself in a very difficult situation. Which of this hub is more reliable?
    Fit a 135mm offset fork and a single-speed hub on the front wheel. That way you have a backup should the rear fail.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by druidh View Post
    Fit a 135mm offset fork and a single-speed hub on the front wheel. That way you have a backup should the rear fail.
    Nice idea, thank you )) But i want suspession fork like a RockShox Reba or analog. Can we resolve this collision? Or all good?

  27. #27
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    These suspension forks cannot be used with fatbike tyres.

    Sent from my HTC One S using Tapatalk 2

  28. #28
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    this might be the wrong thread but im looking at getting a hub gear in the future and id like a Alfine 11 but will it work combined with something like a Truvativ HammerSchmidt AM Crankset?

  29. #29
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    If I recall right, the lowest input ratio should be 1.9, eg a 38 front and a 20 rear.

    If your low range on the Hammerschmidt is going below this ratio, you may have problems with the Alfine*.

    In other words you're not going to get an ultralow crawling gear.

    That's a job for a Rohloff.




    *I have not yet bought an 11 speed Alfine - too many problems still. Happy with both my 8 speeds.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  30. #30
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    I have an Alfine8 it's been bullet proof on the beach. The two available stock shifters suck, do yourself a favour and grab one of these instead Zerodebikes - , SRAlfine shifter

  31. #31
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    On the Alfine Gearing question, my 11-speed is currently running in 2x11 mode with an Alfine tensioner. I reckon I've something like 300-350 miles on it since I made this change and I've not had any problems with using the granny ring at the front.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by OFFcourse View Post
    I have an Alfine8 it's been bullet proof on the beach. The two available stock shifters suck, do yourself a favour and grab one of these instead Zerodebikes - , SRAlfine shifter
    You sir, are a god among men. I despise the Alfine shifter and its lack of position adjustability and I've been looking for something like this for a long time. I don't know how I've missed this.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_desh View Post
    this might be the wrong thread but im looking at getting a hub gear in the future and id like a Alfine 11 but will it work combined with something like a Truvativ HammerSchmidt AM Crankset?
    Having used a HS AM crank on my FS MTB for a couple years I would not recommend it to anyone. The concept is solid, but the drag in the high range is so high it is discouraging to use.

    If you add in to that the efficiency loss from an IGH I think it would be a pointless and expensive exercise.

    hammerschmidt | Search Results | The Lazy Rando Blog...

    I went into the HS test 100% sold on what a great idea it was. So I did everything I could to make peace with it. About the only use I can see for it is bike park/gravity use where you'll be in the high range while going downhill and the power loss doesn't matter that much.

    I've had good luck with a couple A8s and I'm a year in to using an A11 on my 29er MTB. So they are reasonable options for a fat bike. They both have the same low end gears so all you get with the A11 is an oil bath and a bit more on the top end.

    By the time you buy a HS and a A11 you are better putting that $$ towards a Rohloff.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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