Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

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DoctorRad
Posts: 96
Joined: 10 Nov 2010, 5:48pm

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
Posts: 96
Joined: 10 Nov 2010, 5:48pm

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
Posts: 10
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
Posts: 39447
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

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
Posts: 14
Joined: 15 Mar 2018, 8:47pm

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
Posts: 1
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 5:30pm

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
Posts: 10
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
Posts: 939
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 12:17pm
Location: Clitheroe

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