Brucey wrote:Even Rohloffs go wrong sometimes....
Trust is an important commodity for a touring bike, for sure.
Although in danger of making sweeping generalisations, it seems that there are two groups of Alfine 11 users emerging; those who don't have problems, and those who do have problems. The latter group often seems to continue to have problems even after repair/replacement of the gear. This is strongly suggestive that something about the fitment and use conditions with these users helps to cause such problems. Unless identified, one cannot be absolutely sure that there is really a fault with the gear or not; all that can be ascertained is that they don't work correctly/become damaged under some conditions.
In common with many other hub gears, it seems once slipping starts, it is liable to continue, simply because the slipping itself can create more problems inside the hub. However, it is difficult to see what other choice you might have other than to carry on riding if problems crop up mid-ride; are there any 'safe' gears in an Alfine 11 I wonder?
Whilst I can see how a bad adjustment or other problem might cause slipping, (and my policy is to strip and examine any IG that has slipped unexpectedly or made other foul noises) I'd be absolutely gutted myself if a gear like this was damaged after just a few slips, if only because they say that you can shift under some load; if damage arises quickly from bad shifts/slipping maybe that is a weakness that shimano should address.
I must say like hub gears which have a 1:1 drive ratio in them. With a gear like that, there is a good expectation that you will be able to get home without further damage in the event of problems. In addition, on my old (FW-based) SA five speed, both sun pinions can be disconnected from the axle, rendering the hub essentially no more than an overcomplicated freewheel, with gears that don't have to rotate should they be damaged or jammed. Many other hub gears (and all NIG versions....AFAIK) do not have this facility; whilst I've never had to use it (in many tens of thousands of miles) it is nice to know it is there should be need arise.
I'd add a third Brucey. In my days of service engineering on IT equipment there were quite a few instances of several bits of the same kit all going wrong or not even working to begin with. I pulled my hair out once having replaced a piece of kit with another brand new and unused piece all from the same manufacturer several times and all had the same problem. Eventually I replaced it with a known 'worker' and bingo. The problem was a batch fault. Possibly some worker on the production line wasnt using his iron hot enough and created the same dry joint on multiple pieces of the same item. That could happen with any mass produced item.
I hope I'm not in the category of not having installed it correctly as I take great pains to get things right and therein lies the possible source of another reason for things not ending up right to begin with. The 'manual' produced by Shimano is wholly inadequate. Sram do much much better on that score. Also the Japanese use english speaking Japanese to translate their manuals rather than Japanese speaking Englishmen which only adds to any confusion.