Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

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DoctorRad
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby DoctorRad » 26 May 2020, 11:21am

Brucey wrote:I'd say that ... the A11 hub especially feels very squodgy in many of the lower gears


I feel this most in second gear, certainly, and if it gets too bothersome, I just change down into first. I generally just try to consider it as a little extra resistance training :)

DoctorRad
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby DoctorRad » 26 May 2020, 11:25am

Brucey wrote:However once I'd applied b) the hub worked perfectly. The difference between 'useless' and 'perfect' was a little over 1mm of cable adjustment


Hmmm... 1mm is quite a lot methinks.

I assume that you can only find out how much cable adjustment is appropriate for a given hubs / cassette joint combination by trial and error? Any tips for speeding up the process?

zeluzel
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Joined: 27 Jan 2020, 11:38am

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby zeluzel » 26 May 2020, 1:08pm

DoctorRad wrote:1mm is quite a lot methinks.


Only untill you compare it to derailleurs' standards...

Brucey
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 26 May 2020, 1:30pm

DoctorRad wrote:
Brucey wrote:However once I'd applied b) the hub worked perfectly. The difference between 'useless' and 'perfect' was a little over 1mm of cable adjustment


Hmmm... 1mm is quite a lot methinks.

I assume that you can only find out how much cable adjustment is appropriate for a given hubs / cassette joint combination by trial and error? Any tips for speeding up the process?


yes, you strip the hub, connect the shifter etc and observe the pawl lifts on the bare axle. However if you don't want to strip the hub then it is trial and error I'm afraid.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

vanGoose
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby vanGoose » 3 Jun 2020, 8:56pm

quote="zeluzel"]
The "second" hub i worked on is now operating for some years i.e. some 8000km and i am basically happy with it. Every once in a while she gets mad at me and slips a pawl. Lets say it does it about once in two weeks.

For me sounds absolutely unacceptable, especially for an equipment that claims to be totally maintenance free and "just-working".[/quote]

Please note: "slipping a pawl" means that it slips over one notch of its sun gear upon shifting. Once in two weeks is not often (i shift up and down all day...) and it does not need any maintenance when that happens. With derailleur shifting you get your chain jumping over teeth much more often. Pawl slipping happens inside the hub, not at the chain, so one would fear something "broke". Nothing breaks. But yes: What the SG-S700 does is not exactly "just working".

Actually, my personal rating of the SG-S700 is: POOR BY DESIGN. (sorry 'bout that...)

But i got two of these units for free, i took the time to look at the inside mechanisms, applied changes, and by now i am happy with it, compared to what i could expect from two units which were somewhat damaged inside before by their original owner and/or by insufficently educated mechanics.

Then, looking back all those >700 posts by more or less unhappy/disappointed owners, it looks like others faced pretty much trouble. We must see that this is not an experimental hub but its promise was to provide trouble-free operation - at least as compared to derailleurs. It did NOT keep this promise.

When i will, one of these days, get to feel joy in opening my hubs again, i will continue to apply changes. One of the weak points of the SG-S700 is that it is extremely sensitive on shifting cable setup. Just ONE click at the barrel adjuster can put you into trouble, and the yellow marks don't tell the truth. I found that the pawls do not extend as far as they could to safely catch their notches. Could be that the up/down shape in the shifting sleeve thing was applied to flat material and they did not consider the change in shape resulting from bending the sleeves to their final rounded form. I will invent some tool to grind in (or to hammer in) the sleeve's grooves further so that the pawls will then come up higher i.e. sit in their notches safer. As a consequence, more tolerance will then also be there against not "ideally" set shifting cable.

We must, however, consider one more thing in the A-11 story: While the first version (SG-S700) is far from perfect, Shimano's redesign (SG-S7000) seems to be much more reliable. So please be sure to not take my "rating" valid for the newer A-11 versions.

All in all my judgement is as follows:

- The A-11 is none of the cheap hubs. Looking at its price, i think the value for money is fairly low.
- On the other hand, i very much enjoy the roller clutches, the pretty well equalized eta across all gears, the comfortable shifting lever.
- Looking at the A-8, the A-11 is a big step forward.
- To get the "best" hub (R-14) one must pay a fortune and must accept unequal eta and noisy operation.

I operate all of these hubs (and even more, e.g. the Sachs S-7) . The A-8 was very robust but gear stepping was too uneven. It now runs on the "Guests" bicycle. The R-14 works 100% trouble-free on our Pino tandem, but i dislike its noise. The A-11 replaced the A-8 on my daily "donkey" and does a good job. Silent operation, evenly stepped gears (except 1->2) and, apart from the known deficiencies, she is one of the things which make my riding enjoyable. Every day. Period.
Best regards
vanGoose
everyday cyclist, sram-3, spectro-s7, a-8, a-11, r-14

mnahon
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby mnahon » 13 Jun 2020, 5:38pm

Hi, I'm new to this board. I recently acquired a used Alfine 11 and am just sorting it (I've been using an A8 for the past 6 year or so). A lot has been made in past posts about the importance of ensuring the shifter and cable are operating properly. As well, it's been said that it's crucial to use an OEM inner and outer cable. Where would I go about sourcing a proper Shimano cable for the Alfine 11? Is it possible to buy the inner cable only?

Thanks

severs1966
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Joined: 23 Aug 2014, 2:52pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby severs1966 » 4 Jul 2020, 10:36am

mnahon wrote:...it's crucial to use an OEM inner and outer cable. Where would I go about sourcing a proper Shimano cable for the Alfine 11? Thanks


I recently bought a complete Alfine 11 wheel and fitting kit from https://www.taylor-wheels.com/28inch-bike-rear-wheel-a319-alfine-11speed-disc-black-36-holes and it came with the correct OEM cable. This consisted of a gear outer marked "Shimano SLR" and a very standard-looking stainless steel gear inner, which I assume must also be "Shimano SLR" although there's nowhere to put a label. Both of these are very generous in length.

A quick check reveals that lots of places online sell Shimano SLR outer, so I guess that's all there is to it.

jb
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby jb » 4 Jul 2020, 8:09pm

It's not so much about the correct gear cable but more about keeping the mechanism clean. Especially the groove on the cassette pulley. Any grit lodged in this that causes the cable to sit up, will cause slipping. The big fault with this hub is the movement of the cassette pulley between gears is far too fine & the slightest thing will cause it to slip in some gears but not all.
Cheers
J Bro

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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 29 Jul 2020, 10:13am

Can I quickly check with you SG-S700 / S7000 experts? When you do an oil-change and flush before refilling, what liquid do you use for the flush? I'm about to replace the oil in my hub with semi-fluid grease, so I don't have a stock of oil intended specifically for this hub, although I do have SAE 30.
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

jb
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby jb » 29 Jul 2020, 11:02am

Any oil that's thin & watery and not synthetic will do (even paraffin but you would then need to fill with oil and empty several times to remove the paraffin). Flushing doesn't really achieve that much in my opinion unless its so old its full of water. The hole you're trying to get it out of is so small that even sucking it with a big syringe is still likely to leave muck on the shell surface.
Removing the guts and wiping out the inside of the hub is the best way. You don't need to clean the gears cluster then because any contaminants generally get thrown out onto the shell sides.
Cheers

J Bro

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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 29 Jul 2020, 12:08pm

OK, ta. I think as I have time on my side, and don't yet use the bike, I'll pop the thing open and give it all an eyeball & a wipe down. Cheers.
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Brucey
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 29 Jul 2020, 12:33pm

severs1966 wrote:
mnahon wrote:...it's crucial to use an OEM inner and outer cable. Where would I go about sourcing a proper Shimano cable for the Alfine 11? Thanks


I recently bought a complete Alfine 11 wheel and fitting kit from https://www.taylor-wheels.com/28inch-bike-rear-wheel-a319-alfine-11speed-disc-black-36-holes and it came with the correct OEM cable. This consisted of a gear outer marked "Shimano SLR" and a very standard-looking stainless steel gear inner, which I assume must also be "Shimano SLR" although there's nowhere to put a label. Both of these are very generous in length.

A quick check reveals that lots of places online sell Shimano SLR outer, so I guess that's all there is to it.


the housing and the cable itself are nothing special. Standard shimano SIS stuff is fine. (BTW SLR is brake housing and is not suitable.)

However what is different (and crucial) is that the correct Nexus/Alfine sized ferrule is used on the end of the housing which goes into the cassette joint. Once this is assembled (especially with an Alfine or a Nexus with the 'Scandinavian' cassette joint CJ-8S40) it is 'out of sight, out of mind' but if the wrong ferrules are used this can turn the hub to rubbish. The correct ferrule is a snug fit for the SIS housing on the ID and is thick-walled aluminium on the outside.

I would go as far as to say that 'nothing else will do' with Nexus 8 and early Alfine 8 which use cassette joint CJ-8S20; the ferrule only doesn't pull through/jump out of the cassette joint if it is metal and of the correct (oversize) diameter. In Alfine 11 and later alfine 8 (and all Nexus 8 fitted with CJ-8S40) a smaller ferrule won't pull through so easily but it won't seat consistently either. When I didn't have the right thing available I have made A-11 work with a nested pair of standard(ish) ferrules in place of the special one, but I thought it a 'substandard bodge' vs having the correct thing.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 29 Jul 2020, 1:49pm

However what is different (and crucial) is that the correct Nexus/Alfine sized ferrule is used on the end of the housing which goes into the cassette joint.
Jeepers! That suggests the cable pull really is as critical as some folks say. I'm off to get my loupe to see which cassette joint I have!
[It's a CJ-S700...]
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 30 Jul 2020, 1:19pm

re the new-to-me SG-S700: after removing the internals, as one cluster, I drained the clean green-ish oil and wiped clean all that I can. I have added 30ml of Castrol Spheerol L/EP0, via a syringe and re-assembled the hub. I will hopefully be throwing the rest of the bike back together over the next few days. Can't wait!!
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 30 Jul 2020, 2:21pm

I note with satisfaction that the grease is suitable for extreme pressures - not sure that's going to happen in the hub, with me perched on the pedals, but nevertheless, it's comforting to know. I can better relate to the notion of vintage though... :wink:
Spheerol L/EP0 is a lithium semi-fluid self-levelling grease for veteran and vintage cars and motorcycles, with grease packed axles and gearboxes. Containing extreme pressure additives as well as corrosion and oxidation inhibitors, L/EP0 provides good film strength under medium to high loads.
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)