Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
amediasatex
Posts: 626
Joined: 2 Nov 2015, 12:51pm
Location: Sunny Devon! just East of the Moor

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby amediasatex » 30 Nov 2017, 10:31am

Easy decision - I will upgrade to single fixed :D


good man! ;-)

I took my SS out on a reasonably pacy Audax at the weekend, haven't been out on it much lately and come Monday morning my legs took every opportunity to remind me :-(

meandros
Posts: 20
Joined: 1 Jan 2018, 7:34pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby meandros » 2 Jan 2018, 12:33am

After some trials and tribulations (beginning with the usual 2nd and 10th slipping gears going to reversed 10-11 gears and yellow lines not aligning on the return/ when detensioning cable / upshifting - dismantling the hub at least half a dozen times and going from 75W90 synthetic with MOS2 to ATF D3H and MOS2 lithium complex NGLI2 grease lubrication) I've come to the same conclusion as other members and A11 users here have in that the only gearing issues with this hub have a single common solution: proper cable length and a clean/unworn cassette joint. After replacing the CJ and making absolutely friggin sure the cable length is 184mm (as described by Shimano doc) with the ferrule turned fully in thus totally detensioning the cable, my A11 runs like a charm, no gear slippage. However, I do have a suspicion that following Tim's method of adding a return cable spring (described here https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=95908 ) might just perfect gear upshifts when the cable is detensioned. If only Shimano came up with a revised CJ that was better sealed and most importantly had a return spring in-built. That and adding a cable adjusting tool with every hub would solve all issue regarding shifting issues with the A11.

Never give up on your Allyleven!

God bless and Happy New Year to all!

valie
Posts: 2
Joined: 3 Jan 2018, 4:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby valie » 3 Jan 2018, 4:57pm

Hi guys,
Sorry for not reading the whole topic but my English is far from being useful in reading all technical terms.
I'm using on my city bike an Alfine 11 IGH which is not working too well. In this moment I can only use gears from 7th gear up, with most of the lower gears "slipping" (don't know if this is the right term - at every few pedal rotation I lose the wheel engagement).
The guys from bike shop have replaced the shifter cable few times already, measured the exactly 184mm, replaced the internal oil with the one that Shimano recommends but without luck. They also told me that it looks the shifter is not working as expected (the cable was tangled at one point) and for this I just bought a new shifter which I will replace as soon as i get it.
Any clues of what else should i check?
Please excuse my bad English and non-technical terms

Brucey
Posts: 31959
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 3 Jan 2018, 6:36pm

meandros wrote:...... MOS2 lithium complex NGLI2 grease lubrication.....


IME this sort of lubrication is going to cause problems inside a shimano IGH.

In general I'd also comment that every experiment may contain unintended variations as well as intended ones. There is no special reason the 'exact 184mm measurement' should work (and indeed it is not necessary IME with these hubs) so when folk report that this worked for them I shall consider it very likely that there was also an unintended and unseen variation that was responsible for the hub suddenly working.

valie wrote: ....I'm using on my city bike an Alfine 11 IGH which is not working too well. In this moment I can only use gears from 7th gear up, with most of the lower gears "slipping" (don't know if this is the right term - at every few pedal rotation I lose the wheel engagement). .....The guys from bike shop have replaced the shifter cable few times already, measured the exactly 184mm, replaced the internal oil with the one that Shimano recommends but without luck. They also told me that it looks the shifter is not working as expected (the cable was tangled at one point) and for this I just bought a new shifter which I will replace as soon as i get it. Any clues of what else should i check? .....


I would suggest that the sypmtoms you report are those most commonly encountered when the adjustment is not correct; the hub is more likely to slip in the lower gears because the sun-locking pawls are under higher load than in the higher gears. A good proportion of A11 hubs are built in such a way as when the CJ marks are correctly aligned in 6th gear, the sun-locking pawls are not fully lifted, which leads to slippage under high load.

Meandros posted this picture in another thread

Image

which shows the most commonly encountered adjustment that works properly if the standard settings don't; the cable is adjusted ~0.75mm tighter than is required to bring the marks into perfect alignment. You can verify that this is the correct setting by trial and error or by checking the pawl lift when the hub is disassembled. Most LBSs are not aware of this issue and nor are they happy to disassemble the hub, so my suggestion would be a little trial and error.

Also check that

a) the rubber boot on the cassette joint is not getting dragged into the pulley
b) that the fixed part of the cassette joint is not able to move CW easily and that it remains as far ACW as it will go when the bike is ridden
c) that upshifting to 6th does not result in a different cassette joint mark alignment than downshifting into 6th gear; if it does, it normally indicates that the cable is bad.

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

valie
Posts: 2
Joined: 3 Jan 2018, 4:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby valie » 3 Jan 2018, 8:43pm

Hi Brucey and thank you for your reply.
The two yellow lines are perfectly aligned even when I'm playing really fast between different speeds - at any time, when I'm back into 6th gear the lines are aligned.
I can't wait to get the new shifter with cable attached to it, install it and to see if the hub starts to work as it should.
I really "hate" this hub as before this bike I've used a Kalkhoff bike with Alfine 8 and belt transmission and I had no problem with it. With this one my feet are getting bigger and bigger as I'm using the 7th gear and I need to push hard the pedals to start moving :)

meandros
Posts: 20
Joined: 1 Jan 2018, 7:34pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby meandros » 3 Jan 2018, 10:58pm

Brucey wrote:
meandros wrote:...... MOS2 lithium complex NGLI2 grease lubrication.....


IME this sort of lubrication is going to cause problems inside a shimano IGH.


I am interested to understand the reasoning if you care to expand, Brucey. I understood molybdenum disulfide would ensure perfect lubrication even in the most extreme cases (in the absence of another lubricant like oil) and provides zero wear for all metal parts. I use it in moderation, on the roller bearings as it mixes in with the ATF and goes thru to the inner core thus ensuring perfect lubrication without too much oil in the hub that would otherwise just leak out anyway (the Shimano recommended 25ml is a joke as there is no way, imho, this hub is even designed to hold that much liquid without sipping out oil like a sieve - for this reason thick marine grease is necessary for additional sealing).

And speaking of drag, I have removed the smaller ring seal that goes right under the bigger dust seal the sprocket is attached to as it was creating such a drag on the sprocket and chain when coasting. It now feels perfect, no friction noticed, when coasting or back-pedaling.

Brucey
Posts: 31959
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 3 Jan 2018, 11:48pm

you need to be careful when specifying copious amounts of friction modifiers in devices that use wet clutches of various kinds, and rely upon finite levels of friction to work properly. Wet multiplate clutches may slip, ball bearings may scuff at high speeds, and more pertinently it isn't unknown for roller clutches to slip when the wrong friction modifiers are used in devices that contain roller clutches.

MoS2 greases contain between 0.5% and ~50% MoS2, and most of them are closer to 0.5% and this isn't that likely to be a big problem in an Alfine hub. But you just don't know without trying; there may be other EP additives and friction modifiers that may have an effect in combination that is difficult to predict.

More importantly any NLGI #2 grease is basically too thick (especially when it is cold or when it has dried out/reacted with something else that might be in the hub already) and this will foul the pawl engagement with the sun pinions. It is also highly unsatisfactory in terms of its mobility inside the hub; if water gets in, a greased hub will often suffer highly localised corrosion and wear that leads to premature failure. This is the inevitable fate of neglected nexus 7 and nexus 8 hubs. IME a more mobile lubricant is much to be preferred, and won't interfere with the pawl engagement in the same way.

One of the nasty little surprises waiting for you is that some lubes (ATF being one) often contain seal-swelling additives, or are made of oils that react with certain sorts of rubber, typically also causing swelling. Since you don't know what kind of rubber is used in shimano's seals, it is a roll of the dice as to whether any given lubricant will react with the seals or not. I have seen several Alfine hubs where the seals are badly swollen because the wrong lubricant has been used. This can make the large dust cover impossible to refit, and/or can cause the seal between the driver and the cover to become rather draggy. Removing the seal altogether is not a good idea; the lube will come out and the weather will get in. Best replace it, or run the hub until the swollen seal wears back a little.

Do bear in mind that drag in this seal also doesn't really affect the operation of the hub that much; the seal drags a little when using non-unity gear ratios, and when freewheeling. If you use a more mobile lubricant (rather than a claggy grease) the drag will be substantially reduced.

In a hub like this, which works very well when lubricated with oil, the only reason for using anything thicker than oil is if it leaks out too quickly otherwise. The thickest lubricant I'd expect you to have to use in an A11 hub is a ~ #00 SFG.

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

meandros
Posts: 20
Joined: 1 Jan 2018, 7:34pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby meandros » 4 Jan 2018, 12:20am

Thank you kindly for taking the time to elaborate, Brucey. I see exactly what you mean. Sticking pawls is what I had experienced with my other IGH, a Nexus 8R25 that was acting all crunchy like it was it's last stand or smth all because of huge amounts of Shimano white grease sticking all the way inside reaching the axle. Anyway, that hub is running perfect with a 1st model A8 shifter. I used Mobilgrease XHP222 for races, axle bearings and seals and dunked in Mobil 75W90 full synthetic mixed with a pinch of MOS2 additive. It's been thru thick and thin, from sand and salt air to rain and moist weather and its just singing. However, as you say, it's an experiment onto itself regarding seal swelling. Fingers crossed, all is fine. The only exception being that nasty A11 rubber ring seal behind the dust seal that was just way to draggy and had to go. I made up by using XHP222 grease for the dust seals which is thick, as you say, and will not be removed by water splashing.

Though, now that you 'said it', I too had a sneaky suspicion that MOS2 mixed with the full synthetic gear oil was somehow too slippery and it is the reason I switched to ATF Dexron III H for my A11 (as far as I could figure out, it is formulated not to attack seals/rubber or yellow metals and is hydrophobic to boot, unlike older Dexon II). The MOS2 grease is a LiquiMolly LM47 and, although designated as NGLI#2, it is way thinner than the same designation XHP222. I only used a bit for the bearings. I will keep updating if ever smth goes awry.

Was wondering what lubrication you use for your IGHs, Brucey.

Best regards,

Brucey
Posts: 31959
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 4 Jan 2018, 12:50am

I use my own recipe of SFG, with synthetic oils and a host of useful additives.

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

armadillo
Posts: 13
Joined: 26 Aug 2015, 9:16am

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby armadillo » 14 Jan 2018, 7:56pm

Hi All,

After thinking about trying an IGH for many years (but never quite getting around to it) I have finally been spurred into action by finding Alfine 11 hubs at less than half price.

There appears to be three versions of the 11 speed hub available at the moment: the SG-S705 (which is the Di2 version), the SG-S700 and the SG-S7001. Does anyone know the difference between the S700 and S7001 versions (it is the S700 version which is cheap at the moment)?

Many thanks.

Brucey
Posts: 31959
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 14 Jan 2018, 8:10pm

the SG-S7001-11 model is a revised version of the SG-S700 model, I think.

http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/ev/EV-SG-S7001-11-4207.pdf

suggests that most of the parts are common to both hubs.

NB there is also a SG-S7001-8 model; this is an 8 speed hub.

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

armadillo
Posts: 13
Joined: 26 Aug 2015, 9:16am

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby armadillo » 14 Jan 2018, 10:03pm

Ah... That may explain why the S700 version is discounted.

It would be interesting to know what changes Shimano have made, if most of the parts are interchangeable between the older and newer versions. (My meagre Google skills have found very little information on the Web, but there was a suggestion that the newer S7001 version is suitable for Ebikes.)

Brucey
Posts: 31959
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 15 Jan 2018, 12:11am

armadillo wrote: It would be interesting to know what changes Shimano have made, if most of the parts are interchangeable between the older and newer versions....


look in the pdf I linked to; this tells you which parts will interchange (most of them) and which won't.

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

armadillo
Posts: 13
Joined: 26 Aug 2015, 9:16am

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby armadillo » 15 Jan 2018, 9:43pm

Oh yes...

I admit I didn't see the parts list below the diagram; the joys of viewing the Internet on a tiny screen (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :oops: ).

Looks like there are a total of six parts which are not interchangeable, including the clutch, two carrier units, two sun gears and the hub axle unit. However, the whole internal assembly is interchangeable, meaning that older hubs can still be upgraded with complete new innards.

(Have now received my Alfine 11; just need to get it laced to a rim and the bike build can commence.)

Brucey
Posts: 31959
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 16 Jan 2018, 9:27am

That is pretty much how it looked to me, too. I have not had a chance to compare the two side by side but I suspect that the sun locking has been revised, perhaps so that it is stronger, or there is a bigger 'window' (of full pawl lift) so that the gear adjustment is not so sensitive to small changes.

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