Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

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jb
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Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 12:17pm
Location: Clitheroe

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby jb » 3 Jan 2016, 8:19pm

I don't know what all the fuss is about concerning ratio's and warranties because

a) They will have absolutely no idea what ratio was being used if you don't tell them. and
b) Even if it were in a ratio within their recommendations a sufficiently strong person could stomp on it and cause the same sort of damage.

So they have no means of verifying if its been set up outside of their parameters and thus they can only 'recommend' suitable ratios.
Cheers
J Bro

bobc
Posts: 495
Joined: 5 Apr 2012, 11:59am

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby bobc » 3 Jan 2016, 8:28pm

Javableak, it sounds as though your "crack" might be the same phenomenon that I described in a post above (it's the only thing that has worried me about my hub, I described it as "a pawl slipping" or something like that). It has always been an isolated single "click" with faultless operation before and after. I believe it has happened in 2 or 3 different gears, usually after pedalling hard (in that gear) for 10seconds or more. I think my bike is in its 5th or 6th year now & it didn't do it at all last year..... fingers crossed, it's something that gets better on its own :)

Brucey
Posts: 31978
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 3 Jan 2016, 8:41pm

jb wrote:I don't know what all the fuss is about concerning ratio's and warranties because

a) They will have absolutely no idea what ratio was being used if you don't tell them. and
b) Even if it were in a ratio within their recommendations a sufficiently strong person could stomp on it and cause the same sort of damage.

So they have no means of verifying if its been set up outside of their parameters and thus they can only 'recommend' suitable ratios.


I agree, but

a) it might deter manufacturers from building bikes with sensible gear ratios (if it flies in the face of shimano's recommendation) and

b) since warranty claims usually go via a dealer, it might be difficult for the dealer to be convinced about a hub fault without also being aware of the gear ratio used. If they think it is a hard and fast rule it may encourage them to reject your warranty claim and/or put them in a difficult position.

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

jb
Posts: 836
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 12:17pm
Location: Clitheroe

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby jb » 5 Jan 2016, 10:55pm

What they (the manufacturer) 'can' tell is whether the hub has been subject to a torque outside of its design limit. It tells them nothing about the chain ring -sprocket ratio used.

If a cyclist meets a hill he/she puts precisely the amount of torque into the input sprocket that is required to turn the wheels (or they stop). If they happen to have full camping kit and its a 1:4 hill the torque will go up to the required value which is presumably well within there worst case scenario;

precisely what 'chain ring sprocket ratio' the rider is using will be irrelevant (to the hub gear), the torque at the sprocket spline will be the same.

The internal ratio selected will of course affect the torque, but there is no recommendations for what gear to select on what hill. What concerns the manufacturer is the momentary shock load that a low ratio can generate and that is out of their control so they recommend a range that will encourage sensible choices for the average Joe.

What makes concerns about ratios silly is Its arguable that an elderly guy who never gets out the saddle in a ratio way lower than recommended will be kinder to the hub than a fit rider in the correct ratio stamping hard down on the pedals.

The upshot of all this is that:
1) even were you to take the whole bike back to the dealer complete with lower that recommended chain set ratio its not likely to be an issue that the dealer could argue against if pressed,unless its a really silly ratio.
2) The dealer either sold you the bike with the correct ratio and you changed it, so change it back before returning it for warranty issues. or
3) the dealer changed the chain ring ratio for you in which case he is hardly likely to not honour the warranty.
4) Most people would simply return the wheel, in which case the dealer wouldn't know what ratio was being used.
Cheers

J Bro

Brucey
Posts: 31978
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 5 Jan 2016, 11:23pm

I agree it oughtn't be a problem (BTW there is an argument that lower gears -for any given gradient hill- actually reduce the peak torque through the hub at low speeds...) and that there are various ways around it, but when all is said and done many dealers view warranty work as a problem that they would rather not have to deal with. Some of them don't need much of an excuse to try and weasel out of helping you. I'd happily use a low input ratio but I'd prefer to avoid an argument about it in the event of trouble.... :wink:

BTW later versions of the N8 and A8 hub allegedly have a torque-limiting clutch inside them. I don't know what this consists of exactly, as I've not had one apart. Does the Alfine 11 have one too I wonder? If it does, there should be no arguments about input ratios....?

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

jb
Posts: 836
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 12:17pm
Location: Clitheroe

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby jb » 6 Jan 2016, 12:32am

Brucey wrote:BTW later versions of the N8 and A8 hub allegedly have a torque-limiting clutch inside them. I don't know what this consists of exactly, as I've not had one apart. Does the Alfine 11 have one too I wonder? If it does, there should be no arguments about input ratios....?

cheers

If there was I would have experienced it by now I would have thought :)
Cheers

J Bro

JaccoW
Posts: 9
Joined: 26 Dec 2015, 2:18pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby JaccoW » 6 Jan 2016, 7:20pm

Image
(Gevanelle cyclocross brake/shifter)

This would be really interesting for drop bar users. Just sent them a message to see if they have any plans for an Alfine version.

JaccoW
Posts: 9
Joined: 26 Dec 2015, 2:18pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby JaccoW » 10 Jan 2016, 9:59pm

So apparently there won't be an Alfine 11 version any time soon but for those using an Alfine 8 or a Nexus 8...
No plan but might have an internal 8 speed available soon. Keep an eye on website in next month or two.

Goats

And then there is this:
The Goats
We might well have a set up for these hubs soon...(good commuterhub?)

Shimano Nexus Inter-8 hub gears review - BikeRadar USA

No Alfine on horizon.

Goats

niggle
Posts: 3214
Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 10:29pm
Location: Cornwall, near England

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby niggle » 5 May 2016, 10:08pm

Update re the Versa VRS11- this appears to have been discontinued according to SJS Cycles who are now supplying a Microshift brifter, SB-N110, for the Alfine 11:

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/11-speed-ver ... prod25221/

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/11-speed-mic ... prod39799/
http://www.microshift.com.tw/SB-N110_city.html

The Versa and Microshift look identical as you can see, and there is a reason for that. I had the following exchange with Microshift:

niggle wrote:Hi,

This combined shifter/brake lever for the Alfine 11 appears to be identical to the old Versa VRS11. Have you had to do any further development on the Versa design?

Best Regards,

Nigel


microSHIFT wrote:Dear Nigel,

It’s our pleasure to hear you’re interested in our products.

FYI, the main parts of Versa for Alfine 11 shifter was supplied by microSHIFT, Versa modified some parts
and to have the shifter compatible with Alfine 11 which we didn’t provide. Unfortunately Versa stopped
the supplying of this product in last year, but we decided to keep on this version after some talk with
customers. The main mechanism is the same, we just have a minor change in some details.

Regards
microSHIFT


niggle wrote:Hi,

Thank you very much for your reply, unfortunately it went to my spam folder so I have only just read it. For now I have purchased the Jtek bar end shifter for Alfine 11 http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/jtek-11-spee ... prod38738/ for the following reasons:

1) price is half that of SB-N110

2) I have read on internet forums of shifting problems using the Versa VRS11. This may be explained by this statement by Jtek:

"The Shimano Alfine SG-S700 has different gaps in the cable travel between each gear, this shifter replicates the movement of a Shimano rapidfire shifter precisely."

However if you could reassure me that the SB-N110 does replicate the different gaps in cable travel of the Alfine 11 I could be persuaded to pay the extra money and replace the Jtek with the SB-N110 as I do prefer combined brake and gear levers to bar end shifters.

Best Regards,

Nigel


microSHIFT wrote:Dear Nigel,

Versa decide the cable pull of the shifter by themselves, we have no idea of what they did.
For sure we have to have the cable pull of each gear exactly to match with the demand from
interal gear hub mechanism when we set the specification for SB-N110 shifters. SJS Cycles
checked of this before they started to order.

Regards
microSHIFT

Brucey
Posts: 31978
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 6 May 2016, 6:57am

that confirms what I always thought, i.e. that the Versa shifter was a microshift in disguise.

I have measured the cable pulls on a V-11 shifter and they were a pretty close match for a genuine shimano A-11 shifter.

The people I know who have used A-11 hubs with V-11 shifters have had little or no trouble with them; basically the bikes with this setup have just done the job as intended. If I'm at all critical I'd say that;

- the shift mechanism in the shifter can become a bit sticky if it is not lubricated from time to time. I can see how a sticky shifter might fail if it is repeatedly made to slip when sticky.

- like most 'washing line' style shifters the built-in barrel adjuster is a bit vulnerable to being knocked and damaged. I suspect that a simpler ferrule in the shifter, and an inline adjuster for the cable might be a more robust setup.

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

bobc
Posts: 495
Joined: 5 Apr 2012, 11:59am

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby bobc » 6 May 2016, 11:23am

I'm now well into my 5th year running alfine11 IGH with a versa shifter. I've done absolutely no maintenance on the shifter whatsoever, it has always just worked, every gear, all the time.
I'd make a couple of observations about the combination:
1) the "STI" type control isn't really the best for an IGH, it would often be nice to grab 5 or 6 gears at once rather than click laboriously through them one at a time
2) just once, early on, I pressed the little upshift button tentatively and with a "ZZZIP" noise it rattled through all the gears to top. This didn't feel like a good thing & I've avoided doing it since...
PS I generally avoid rainy days on the bike, but I have had the odd thorough wetting......

niggle
Posts: 3214
Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 10:29pm
Location: Cornwall, near England

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby niggle » 6 May 2016, 12:11pm

bobc wrote:I'm now well into my 5th year running alfine11 IGH with a versa shifter. I've done absolutely no maintenance on the shifter whatsoever, it has always just worked, every gear, all the time.
I'd make a couple of observations about the combination:
1) the "STI" type control isn't really the best for an IGH, it would often be nice to grab 5 or 6 gears at once rather than click laboriously through them one at a time
2) just once, early on, I pressed the little upshift button tentatively and with a "ZZZIP" noise it rattled through all the gears to top. This didn't feel like a good thing & I've avoided doing it since...
PS I generally avoid rainy days on the bike, but I have had the odd thorough wetting......

Hi Bob- how do you find operating the bigger lever, and do you think it might be hard for someone with small hands to use from on the hoods (+same question re brake levers actually)?

bobc
Posts: 495
Joined: 5 Apr 2012, 11:59am

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby bobc » 6 May 2016, 12:54pm

It all works nice niggle, but I do have gurt big hands; I don't remember any difference to ordinary brake levers & shimano's (sora?) STI which I had on my last derailleur. I can't really speculate on the small hands thing, if some-one's hands were small enough, they'd struggle with most things...

niggle
Posts: 3214
Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 10:29pm
Location: Cornwall, near England

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby niggle » 11 May 2016, 11:17pm

Well I sent the Jtek bar end shifter back to SJS for a refund and have just managed to 'win' a pair of used Versa VRS11 brifters on Ebay for not much more and of course I now don't need to buy separate aero brake levers :)

Brucey
Posts: 31978
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Shimano Alfine 11 - Longer term reliability

Postby Brucey » 18 May 2016, 8:40pm

regulars to this forum may recall that "ukdodger's" Alfine 11 hub has (between leaks and persistent slipping) been a source of some trouble to him (as mentioned in other threads), to the point that he recently announced that he would like to get rid of it. I purchased it from him, complete with shifter and cable, little knowing if it had a major fault or not.

I was keen to do so because

a) I hadn't used the Shimano rapidfire shifter much before, only the Versa
b) I quite fancied an A11 for an upcoming build, so I'd use it if it was fixable
c) following a bout of leakage, this particular gear had been run in my specially concocted semi-fluid hub lube
d) I quite like poking around in hub gears anyway... :wink:

This is what I found;

The condition of the internals appeared excellent; just as in Alfine 8 hubs that have been run in this lube, all the internal parts were well lubricated and in apparently good condition. The sun locking pawls were in good condition, despite the reported slipping (they can be damaged by such slipping). However, when the axle assembly was connected to the cable and shifter, not all the pawl lifts appeared to be perfectly timed.

Further investigation showed not only that the shifter was a bit sticky and erratic, but also that the cable was somewhat draggy.

The rapidfire shifter freed up somewhat once it was lubed. I also noted that if the barrel adjuster was screwed all the way in, it seemed like maybe the end of it was binding against a moving part inside the shifter. I accordingly made a mental note to avoid this situation in use. However, when I stripped the cable assembly down, I discovered that although most of the parts were the right sort (proper SP41 housing, with a polished stainless steel inner) the cable was bone dry (no lube on it) and that there were two ferrules (that didn't fit together) on top of one another at the cassette joint end of the cable. One of the ferrules was failing, allowing strands of housing reinforcement through, to then bind against the cable inner. The other ferrule was stuck inside the receptacle on the cassette joint, so would have been easy to overlook.

Once I'd found the bad cable I started to think that perhaps I'd found the culprit, (and the hub's shifting action looked much improved, judging from the pawl lifts on a bare axle) but it couldn't be proven 100% until I'd ridden the hub in anger.

Although I'd had the wheel built for a couple of weeks, it was only yesterday I finally got round to slinging the wheel into a bike and trying it out. The result was that.....

.... on test, the hub performed faultlessly; I couldn't make it slip, or mis-shift. If anything it ran quieter, as well as shifted faster and more accurately than my chum's A-11 hub (which has remained oil-lubricated to date). I've not ridden the hub any distance as yet, but I've made several hundred gear shifts and each one has been spot on. Pedalling hard in each gear did not provoke any slippage either.

So from this, I'd provisionally conclude that the bad cable (and perhaps a bit of sticky shifter trouble too) had turned what ought to have been a pretty decent hub into little more than a source of trouble for its previous owner. It also appears that my specially concocted SFG works OK in this hub, as it has done in many other types. In a hub that would otherwise perhaps leak oil, using the right (non-commercial) grade of SFG allows smooth running as well as no significant lubricant leakage.

I'll update this thread with any further info as I have it.

I can't help but wonder how many other Alfine 11 hubs have been caused to fail or have been decreed faulty simply because of bad cabling or an erratic shifter....?.... I think it is quite likely; bearing in mind that one poster in this thread has had five rebuilds, it seems likely that it is something to do with the shifter/cable, rather than the hub itself....?

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