Alfine 11 better with flat bar shifter than Microshift drop bar?

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Alfine 11 better with flat bar shifter than Microshift drop bar?

Postby mikeymo » 26 May 2018, 2:11pm

I've got one of these:

I'm considering putting flat handlebars on, for a variety of reasons.

This would give me far greater choice of hub gears. I know that people have commented on the Alfine 11 not being as robust as the Alfine 8 (which is currently on the bike), in particular being sensitive to cable pull. Does anybody have any comparisons, regarding that sensitivity, between the changers for flat bars (esp. the twist grip, which I like) and the Microshift drop bar changer.

Thanks, in advance.

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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Alfine 11 better with flat bar shifter than Microshift drop bar?

Postby Brucey » 26 May 2018, 3:59pm

A11 hub is about as strong internally as A8; there isn't a big difference anyway. The A11 hub is slightly less tolerant of variations in cable pull though. The sensitivity lies in the hub; the main differences in shifters are the ergonomics and durability of the shifter, and a little bit how the cable run is arranged.

Really it doesn't matter what shifter you have, if you don't keep on top of cable maintenance and adjustment, you will almost certainly have problems sooner or later. One of my chums runs an A11 versa shifter and it has been fine for six years or so; any problems with the shifting have (quite obviously) all been cable related.

The microshift shifter is very similar to the Versa shifter. They can fail, but then so can the shimano A11 flat bar shifter (is it a lot more complicated internally than the A8 shifter, all so that you can do two shifts at once, I think).

I have mounted A8 and A11 flat bar shifters at the stem nosebolt, (using a special bracket) on bikes with dropped bars. This gives a free choice of brake levers (and therefore brakes) and keeps the shifter away from accidental knocks etc yet it is still easy to use.

The same scheme works with lots of IGH shifters; for example you can mount a 22.2mm stub to the handlebar extension and put almost any IGH shifter meant for flat bars to it. SJS sell various brackets meant for this purpose.