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The best thing I ever did with my Alfine 11 was to get rid of it. I'm a qualified engineer in different disciplines and a former cycling journalist bike and component tester previously. Apart from the occasional slipping gears, odd crunches etc (if that is down to cable tension then the whole design is too sensitive/picky) the first thing I noticed when I went back to derailleurs was how much easier it was to peddle the darned bike. Yes, planetary gears are noticeably inefficient compared to derailleurs. I loved the idea of a 'simple' bike with no ugly rear derailleur, no front mech, one control on the handlebar etc. The truth is, 1) you cannot remove the back wheel easy, it's a right struggle if you get a puncture and you have to carry a large spanner, 2) unless you have horizontal dropouts you need a rear chain tensioner so the clean lines at the back are not actually achieved, 3) the system is inefficient to pedal (hard bloody work!), 4) it needs a major strip down and overhaul every couple of years, 4) it is difficult to set up to achieve good clean changes and stability in both directions, 5) it is not lighter than a derailleur setup, and 6) the range and jump size between gears is poor compared to derailleurs. No, I have not looked back on my (three?) years trying to get my Alfine 11 working to my liking, but I'm glad I tried it, it gave me a huge insight into planetary gears in general, and the state of the art as far as Shimano is concerned. I came to the conclusion that for someone tootling around on a town bike in a hilly area they are probably a decent option, but for anyone else - even vaguely sporty - for the reasons I outline above, best left alone. And I really wanted it to work for me. Sadly, it didn't.
 

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will rant for food
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I posted on this thread a while ago, but I should give an update on where I am at with the A11.

As I previously mentioned, I found that the A11s are ultra-sensitive to cable tension. Outside of major damage, I suspect this is the cause of 99% of problems with the hub. Shimano have provided a solution to this - Di2 shifting. I have converted both of my A11 hubs (road and mtb) over to Di2 versions and have never had a single problem since. This is after regular riding for 1 year on the mtb and 2 years on the road bike.

That confirms the problems for me. I am having a great time with the Di2 A11 hubs :)
Disclaimer, I've never owned an A11, just a handful of A8s. Your observations on the cable sensitivity are what I was guessing from the experience with A8s. I enjoy using the phrase "Everything is fine until suddenly it is not" when people accuse me of having paranoid thoughts. I had an A8 last years until one day the cable slipped, and bam, I was grinding a pinion inside and could no longer pedal.

I am developing a new (well, really old, like a hundred years) frame mounted gearbox, and I think I want the gear indexer to be electro-mechanically motivated because of the exact observations you have on the Di2 system. I'm on the fence about it, because as an end user I dislike the extra hassle of a battery, particularly as I live in a cold climate and batteries hate it here. But my engineer / software biases want to spec a shifting motor.
 

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Please tell more of this gear box which you speak of.
 

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The best thing I ever did with my Alfine 11 was to get rid of it...
When they were introduced I took one look at the exploded diagram and decided not to venture there... :)

And I like hubgears.

The problem is they are can be wrecked by misuse eg poor cable adjustment (not that it's hard to get right, about 20 seconds). Any hubgear with that many gear trains needs internal indexing so there's never any chance of the pinions not engaging fully. There's only one system that I know off that does that - the Rohloff hub, and it has an unparalleled record of reliability.

However for best efficiency I think that the maximum number of gears trains within an epicyclic hubgear should be 2, which limits you to 5 gears. There's no reason a box like that couldn't be made with wider ranges than currently, rather than small steps. A 3 speed actually covers the most used range for most riders and is much lighter, but there's nothing mtb specific (eg sealed, and able to withstand big jumps).

That said, I have found the Alfine 8 to be totally reliable for my exploration type riding.

I'm also looking forward to seeing the results of Drew's ingenuity - midframe is the sensible place to mount a gear system, not the rear wheel. It allows lighter, less compromised rear wheels, can be more effectively sealed, and also does not have to take the impact loads of a hub. Best of all, the bike is better balanced.
 

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Alfine 11 Conversion

Di2 is a great solution to the cable shifting problems for sure. Tell me, is there a conversion kit to transform a mechanical Alfine hub to Di2, or did you have to replace the entire hub? I was planning to upgrade to Di2 when I'd worn my hub out, but it's one month shy of three years old, and feels brand new still.
 

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We have had three years of year round satisfaction with the a11 we have.
No sounds. No slipping. No "oh, my god, this pedals sooo hard".
Year round, 80 degrees to -5 degrees.
Fatbike use, stripped down in the summer, loaded up in the winter.
 

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Music & Bikes
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How much does the whole A11-Di2 costs with everything ?

(Just paid 1200$ for a Speedhub-XL)
 

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will rant for food
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Please tell more of this gear box which you speak of.
It's all stuff, nonsense, and half baked ideas until I have video of a working prototype. I'm still working on the chassis that'll hold it.

I had a philosophy in writing software: the more feature rich, the more complex and expensive. I am focusing on brutal simplicity, and the catch is that it is difficult to package into a small space in the same way that Pinion has crammed a bunch of hardware into a teeny tiny size envelope. So the goal is going to be: if it's shaped a bit oddly, make the rest of the frame embrace said oddity for the sake of overall simplicity.

Like I said... stuff and nonsense until I'm riding on one.
 

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It's all stuff, nonsense, and half baked ideas until I have video of a working prototype. I'm still working on the chassis that'll hold it.

I had a philosophy in writing software: the more feature rich, the more complex and expensive. I am focusing on brutal simplicity, and the catch is that it is difficult to package into a small space in the same way that Pinion has crammed a bunch of hardware into a teeny tiny size envelope. So the goal is going to be: if it's shaped a bit oddly, make the rest of the frame embrace said oddity for the sake of overall simplicity.

Like I said... stuff and nonsense until I'm riding on one.
Maybe so but every great innovation started as an idea in someone's head. Good luck
 

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So...I sold a wheel yesterday equipped with Alfine Di2 on Ebay, Also shipped the wheel yesterday to the buyer. Today he comes and ask for a refund/return because he didn't know he also needs to buy the battery, junction box, wires....the rest for the system (he knew about the Di2 motor because I told him)....what would be your reaction?

(not going to say how I am reacting).
 

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So...I sold a wheel yesterday equipped with Alfine Di2 on Ebay, Also shipped the wheel yesterday to the buyer. Today he comes and ask for a refund/return because he didn't know he also needs to buy the battery, junction box, wires....the rest for the system (he knew about the Di2 motor because I told him)....what would be your reaction?

(not going to say how I am reacting).
I'd point out to him that the misunderstanding is his, and now it's his problem. Totally. You sold 'what you sold' in good faith. You shouldn't have to explain to a prospective buyer all the intricacies of what ownership may entail. He could have been planning to use it for a lab experiment for all you know?! How he uses it, and what he uses it with are totally his concern and his problem. Was the unit as described? No misleading statements? If you think not, then what I said, it's HIS problem. Too many people have grown up thinking they can blame others for their own stupidity, lack of understanding and actions. Would a shop take it back for the reasons he states? Of course not! Stick to your guns. Problem is, you're worried about negative feedback aren't you? I'm not sure, but if he does give NFB, you can, for a valid reason get it scrubbed. In your case that reason being he bought something that he had not researched and wanted to return it purely from that standpoint, and that from your side it was exactly as described (if that's the case). Seems clear to me.
 

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A Man Of The Truth
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If you are a "store" on ebay, probably take the return and just sell it to someone else.

If you are just a guy selling your old stuff, tell him that. And tell him your listing was very clear on exactly what you were selling (assuming it is) and tell him no returns. Assuming you list your return policy as no returns, and assuming it is as-described, you will win even if he tries to dispute it. You can't just blindly buy thigs and not know what you are buying
 

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If you are a "store" on ebay, probably take the return and just sell it to someone else.

If you are just a guy selling your old stuff, tell him that. And tell him your listing was very clear on exactly what you were selling (assuming it is) and tell him no returns. Assuming you list your return policy as no returns, and assuming it is as-described, you will win even if he tries to dispute it. You can't just blindly buy thigs and not know what you are buying
Just a guy selling my stuff:

Here is the description:

‘FORGET derailleurs and cassette! And don’t be fooled....Alfine hubs are NOT only for commuting...the Di2 makes the shifting experience so fast and accurate that this wheel can be used on MTB as well! The rim on this wheel is quite wide and would do great with a 26 x 2.8 or 3.0 semi fat tire.
Used for about 10 miles.
I’m selling the complete rear wheel including the tire (Schwalbe Marathon 26x1.75 e-bike ready) + tube inside and 180mm rotor.
This is the Di2 version so you will need to buy to Di2 kit in order to operate the hub’


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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So you specifically say they need to buy a Di2 kit? And I assume your pictures only included what you shipped the guy, and not the stuff he's whining about needing to buy?
If all that is true, then tell him "sorry" and go on with your life. ebay feedback is completely meaningless now so let him do whatever. But if he disputes it, he's an idiot.

Unless he complains that you advertised the hub as being "for mountain biking", when they actually explode on demand when you try to mountain bike with them. If that's his complaint, you're a bad person and should give him his money back :D
 

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So you specifically say they need to buy a Di2 kit? And I assume your pictures only included what you shipped the guy, and not the stuff he's whining about needing to buy?
If all that is true, then tell him "sorry" and go on with your life. ebay feedback is completely meaningless now so let him do whatever. But if he disputes it, he's an idiot.

Unless he complains that you advertised the hub as being "for mountain biking", when they actually explode on demand when you try to mountain bike with them. If that's his complaint, you're a bad person and should give him his money back :D
Yeah advertising is very clear on the Di2 kit...so no my reaction wasn’t good at all!

This discussion about using on MTB is a good one!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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I've been riding a folder (Tern Verge S11i) since 2013. Its Alfine 11 has about 6,000 miles on it. Its performance has been basically flawless. The best thing about it is the ease of maintenance: an oil change every 600 miles or so.
I haven't seen the inside of the hub so I can't comment on the apparent robustness of the parts, but they're holding up so far. My Nexus-8 hubs, one of which has almost 10,000 miles on it, are opened for lubrication once a year. There's no visible wear on the gears or other internal parts. I think I'd feel more comfortable with the Nexus in heavy-duty applications than the Alfine, but it's just a feeling.
 

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I know the discussion is about Alfine hubs (8 and 11 gear), but Alfine 8 (previous to 7001-8) is very close to a Nexus 8 gear, so for what its worth: I have a Nexus SG-8R25 from 2006 which is still in use in a set of 36 spoke Rigida Disc Bulls in a Fort MT2 frame, ridden in the city in all weather conditions from freezing, snow, sleet, rain to summer about 10 miles (per direction) commute with heavy stuff on the rear rack.

Every couple years maintenance has been the official oil dip and re-grease. The shift cables have been replaced a couple times (that made eveything precise again). Will it last another 12 years? Who knows. When it dies, I've got a set of Ryde Big Bulls (Rigida is now Ryde, Disc Bull got replaced by Big Bull frames -- times change some things, if only a little) waiting to be laced up with an as yet unspecified IGH -- I'd say some day it'll be whatever is the current Alfine 8 or 11 gear hub at the time.

From the long-term use Alfine 11 information I've read, the new 7001-11 (and 7051-11 Di2 model) have finally gotten the biggest issues worked out. I think the first model of the Alfine 11 gear hub was indeed deficient.

-IG
 

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Does someone know…

1. How the new Alfine 11 (SG-S7001-11) differs from the original (SG-S700)

2. If the hubs are identical, so that upgrading could be done by simply replacing the internal core instead of building a whole new wheel
?

Thank you.
 
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