Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

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mnahon
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby mnahon » 4 Aug 2020, 12:14pm

Since my shifter seemed a little suspect, I ended up ordering all new parts: shifter, inner/outer cable, cassette joint. The system now works much better. I now have all the gears, in the right order, and smooth reliable shifts. It really is surprising how much of an effect the shift system has on the operation.

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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 16 Aug 2020, 1:32pm

Since my shifter seemed a little suspect
Me too! And with an issue that I least expected... I've just assembled an SG-S700 onto my bike, completed with an SL-S700 shifter which worked fine at first, and a new cable. All went well until the last furlong - I carefully measures the all-important "184mm measurement", between the cable stop face and the securing nut centre, popped it all together, noting with satisfaction that the yellow dot matches up with the yellow dash in 6th, as it's supposed to - and lo! the orange gear indicator in the 'bar lever has stopped working- it stays resolutely showing 11th!! Fancy That?! Any advice, SL-S700 Experts??
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 » 16 Aug 2020, 5:28pm

it is just a flakey little plastic pointer; much the same sort of thing exists in many shimano trigger shifters. It might be broken, it might be that the shifter has been incorrectly reassembled.

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

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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 20 Aug 2020, 5:27pm

Brucey wrote:it is just a flakey little plastic pointer... it might be that the shifter has been incorrectly reassembled.
It was... the black finger that's part of the indicator, that follows the track in the white cam is tiny! It's back following the track now :-)
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 » 20 Aug 2020, 6:09pm

good work; it can be a fiddly job

cheers
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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 22 Aug 2020, 1:31pm

it can be a fiddly job
So true! A very thin, pointy old-fashioned letter opener blade was my friend. :D
One more tiny wafer-thin question - there's a small plastic plug, with a posh name (wire end hooking cap) that's supposed to fit in behind the cable nipple - how important is it? Mine seemed a rather vague fit...
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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 » 22 Aug 2020, 9:39pm

it is basically just a dust cover. They quite often fall out (a loose fit is not uncommon) and no-one even notices.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

severs1966
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby severs1966 » 30 Aug 2020, 3:13pm

Brucey wrote:it is basically just a dust cover. They quite often fall out


I replaced one with the tiny plastic plug from the top of a ballpoint pen (similar to a Bic but not exactly the same). A friend used a very short button-headed screw that they had lying around, it looks like about M6.

buffet
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby buffet » 20 Sep 2020, 1:13pm

I'm considering to convert my Kona Unit singlespeed to Alfine 11. I've heard some opinions that the shifting mechanism of A11 is much more sensitive to the cable tension (compared with A8). Is that all true for the 2nd get A11 (the S7000-11 model which refreshed the original S700 in 2016). If it is, then does it basically mean that one will need to check on the two yellow marks line up at a certain gear (not sure which one it is for A11) and use the barrel adjuster to correct it when necessary?

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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 20 Sep 2020, 1:48pm

As far as I know, the system of aligning the yellow dash / dot (or two dots in earlier guises), in a reference gear has been in use across all Alfine models, regardless of whether they're 8 or 11 speed. The reference gear for both the SG700 & the SG7000 is sixth. Some users report they have to off-set the two marks, by a small amount, for best effect, however my experience is that the dash and the dot should be exactly aligned. The advice that the cable length and condition is critical is widely made across the internet. I have been careful to follow the advice and to follow the Shimano documentation as closely as I can and have had no issues. Hope that helps.
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 » 20 Sep 2020, 8:20pm

buffet wrote:I'm considering to convert my Kona Unit singlespeed to Alfine 11. I've heard some opinions that the shifting mechanism of A11 is much more sensitive to the cable tension (compared with A8). Is that all true for the 2nd get A11 (the S7000-11 model which refreshed the original S700 in 2016). If it is, then does it basically mean that one will need to check on the two yellow marks line up at a certain gear (not sure which one it is for A11) and use the barrel adjuster to correct it when necessary?


You need to keep the vee slot in the pulley on the cassette joint spotlessly clean. Any grit that gets in has the potential to upset the selector mechanism causing occasional slipping. A full chain guard wouldn't be a bad idea.
Cheers
J Bro

mnahon
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby mnahon » 29 Sep 2020, 2:29am

I installed a magnet in my drain plug, as suggested by CXRAndy in his post of 4 Apr 2020, and I have been collecting fine metallic particles on it. They're too fine to distinguish as particles but wipe off the magnet as a dark sludge which sparkles a bit. I'm hoping that if I clean off the magnet once a week, eventually, there will be less of this sludge.

I have a question regarding doing an oil change: is it possible to do an oil change, not through the drain plug, but by opening up the hub, dumping the oil, wiping down the gears, then putting 25 ml of oil in the hub shell (with the wheel tilted 45 deg), reinserting the gears and closing it up? I'm asking because doing it this way would give me a chance to survey the insides and to wipe out any particles that may persist inside because they may not come out the drain plug in a conventional oil change.

I previously had an Alfine 8, and I opened that one a few times for relubing, and I understand the Alfine 11 is very similar in this respect.

Thanks,

Meyer

alexnharvey
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby alexnharvey » 29 Sep 2020, 10:09am

I wonder if you might need slightly more than 25ml in that case, as you might remove more oil by disassembling and wiping down the gears than you could extract via the drain?

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simonineaston
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Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby simonineaston » 29 Sep 2020, 10:32am

is it possible to do an oil change, not through the drain plug, but by opening up the hub, dumping the oil, wiping down the gears, then putting 25 ml of oil in the hub shell (with the wheel tilted 45 deg), reinserting the gears and closing it up?
It's possible - I removed the inner cluster recently, in order to swap to semi-fluid grease.
see instructions here
However, the port is there is order to avoid having to do all that.
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 Sep 2020, 10:59am

mnahon wrote:I installed a magnet in my drain plug, as suggested by CXRAndy in his post of 4 Apr 2020, and I have been collecting fine metallic particles on it. They're too fine to distinguish as particles but wipe off the magnet as a dark sludge which sparkles a bit. I'm hoping that if I clean off the magnet once a week, eventually, there will be less of this sludge.

I have a question regarding doing an oil change: is it possible to do an oil change, not through the drain plug, but by opening up the hub, dumping the oil, wiping down the gears, then putting 25 ml of oil in the hub shell (with the wheel tilted 45 deg), reinserting the gears and closing it up? I'm asking because doing it this way would give me a chance to survey the insides and to wipe out any particles that may persist inside because they may not come out the drain plug in a conventional oil change.


Having suggested use of a magnetic drain plug (in this very thread) as long as seven or more years ago, and having used magnets to collect crud from oil in various things for much longer than that, I probably have something to contribute here.

The wear particles you should probably be most worried about are

a) fresh particles; they indicate ongoing wear (of steel parts) and possible imminent failure and/or
b) particles which are freely suspended in the oil; these are free to get between loaded working surfaces and create a 'third body' which accelerates all wear processes.

In a) this is largely a diagnostic function. Regular oil changes should give fairly consistent quantities/types of particle on the magnet. In some gearboxes wear rates are high whilst they are running in and then subside, in others the wear is ongoing for the life of the gearbox, in yet further cases the wear rate increases (almost geometrically) unless steps are taken to mitigate the third body presence.

If you use a strong magnet then once particles are stuck to that, they are out of the loop, and they are extremely unlikely to return to the oil and work as a third body, not unless you start to subject your IGH to un-bicycle-like speeds and vibration levels. IME any oil which is free to slosh about inside the unit ought to be largely free of suspended particles, because in use free oil will be sloshing over the magnet often enough for the magnet to 'see' (and trap) particles soon after they are formed.

This is not to say that there are no such particles remaining inside the hub; the chances are excellent that if there is any tendency towards sludge formation inside the hub, there will be particles lodged in the sludge.

There are two approaches to sludge;

1) live with it; if the sludge is stable and in a location which is harmless/favourable for particle entrapment (eg inside the hubshell) then you could leave it alone between oil changes. If the sludge should release relatively small numbers of particles into the oil, they should soon be trapped by the magnet.

2) try and clean it out. The usual way this is done is to use a 'flushing oil', which is high in detergents etc and will remove the sludge after a short period of use. The flushing oil is best removed before the correct oil is reinstated. This sounds like exactly twice as much work, mostly because it is.

In some circumstances you don't have much choice about using a flushing oil; the reason is that the oil is really meant to have sufficient detergents in it to keep sludge from forming between service intervals. This means that should sludge start to form, when you add fresh oil (with fresh detergents in it) the first thing it does is to release a snowstorm of crud into the oil by dissolving all the sludge, which can be very harmful. You can find out if this is happening by inspecting the magnet for particles and the oil for colour change after a short period of use. If the oil changes colour and the magnet picks up particles quickly, then the oil is working as a flushing oil whether you like it or not and another oil change is indicated, or in extremis, a flush and then another oil change.

If you want to get more scientific about it you can examine the trapped particles using conventional (transmitted light type) optical microscopy. The particles can be suspended in oil on a slide and confined to a thin layer (which you can focus on) using a cover slip. This method is (with the right microscope) capable of resolving particles which are so small they have passed through conventional oil filters. The particles you will find on a magnetic plug in an Alfine hub are likely to be far larger and will be seen (in silhouette allowing size and shape to be gauged) more easily at relatively low magnifications, so you don't need a very fancy microscope to do such an examination; a cheapie USB type one will probably suffice.

hth

cheers
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