Alfine 8 Speed Hub Service

GSAstuto

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I tried the Alfine Di2 here in Japan at the Shimano 'concept' preview. It was really nice - and exactly what should happen with ALL their components! They can share the same system across all lines with minimal changes.

Soon as I can get one - the first thing I'd do is send it to our Ti fab in China and then make everything axle-like in Ti, and perhaps the Planetary carrier as well. This alone would drop nearly 300gr from the hub weight.

Quite frankly, I think 11speed is plenty for most situations. Road, Trekking, etc. In fact, I actually prefer the 8 speed because it has a true 1:1 ratio (no loss) and generalyl speaking, when you're touring, you find a sweet spot gear anyway. So, why not make it THAT one!
 

m o b

Speeding Up
Jun 22, 2008
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European Markets

Eventually most of us will shift electronically by 2020 or ride single speed.

I think that the move from Shimano is very clever because in Europe the Trekking/City/ATB market is so much bigger than that for racing bikes: 67% against 6% for racing bikes, plus the growing segment of e-bikes with 5% according to the ADFC.

Plus Shimano is first with the electronic Alfine hub and once development cost have been cashed-in and mass production gets cheaper, they can offer Nexus Di2 in a second step. No competition in sight.

Of course, electronic shifting wil nevr reach the gothic punk mechanical beauty of a classic Dura Ace or Super Record rear derailleur:

http://cyclitis.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/super-dura-cyclyng/
 

GSAstuto

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I totally agree, Mob. And I think the Di2 initiative is one of the stellar offerings of Shimano as soon they put it into the commuter / hybrid market it will rule. As technology and materials become better and better, the whole cycling experience just becomes better and more accessible.

Though, I can hardly wait to pull my 'time capsule' out of storage next week and join a weekend ride in the desert! It is very much like seeing the old Roman wall in Bruxelles for the first time. Something, that yet, a Di2 has failed to impart a similar sense of 'continuity'.
 

joewein

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I totally agree, Mob. And I think the Di2 initiative is one of the stellar offerings of Shimano as soon they put it into the commuter / hybrid market it will rule. As technology and materials become better and better, the whole cycling experience just becomes better and more accessible.
And if they integrate a dynamo with the planetary gears in the hub, it can generate its own power - no need to ever worry about recharging the battery that powers the electronics.
 

AlanW

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And if they integrate a dynamo with the planetary gears in the hub, it can generate its own power - no need to ever worry about recharging the battery that powers the electronics.
Shimano had a go at this a few years ago. The front hub was the dynamo and provided the power to shift gears and ran a small analogue electronics box which could do automatic shifting. Maybe they will ressurect something similar.

http://www.parktool.com/blog/calvins-corner/shimano-coasting-system
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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Still having problems with this hub, the stripping feeling and the cranks turning a half rotation in a split second have just about sent me over the bars or onto the stem a few times, I tore the darn thing down again and put it all back together, won't shift right now :mad:

Fug it, I ordered a whole new hub, cheaper from Amazon in the US for the whole ball of wax than just the guts here in Japan, and faster too, I'll have it in a few days. Then I'll tear that one down and make sure I have the original one together in the right order :rolleyes::eek: I'll have one as a back up or for parts too.

Sure wish we could afford a Rohloff! :eek:uch:
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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My hub arrived today, speedy service!

I hope to play hooky from work tonight and get it all together!:D
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Bastards......


...
I once had a rear gear cable break right up in the brifter (in a fuzzy way that they couldn't just pull the end out), the shop thought they would have to send it back to shimano to get it fixed. They showed me a parts diagram of the brifter that would make this hub seem simple!

But in the end they got the little end piece out, and I lived happily ever after.
 

StuInTokyo

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I once had a rear gear cable break right up in the brifter (in a fuzzy way that they couldn't just pull the end out), the shop thought they would have to send it back to shimano to get it fixed. They showed me a parts diagram of the brifter that would make this hub seem simple!

But in the end they got the little end piece out, and I lived happily ever after.
The exploded diagram of the hub shown shows about 15% of the actual parts of the hub.
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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So..... how much does your rear hub weigh....?




Old and new, the new one comes covered in grease, I removed this and then dipped the new unit in the special Shimano hub oil bath for 90 second....


.... letting it drip away for about 3 minutes.

I then lubed the large bearing....


With the Shimano specific IGH grease, and I also put a bit of oil into the hub case before I installed the guts into said hub case.....





Put the outer ring on and sealed that with the special useless seal and a lot more grease.




Over to the brake disk side....


I put a LOT of grease in the cavity where the bearing on this side lives...

installed the cone and wiped the excess grease away.......



put the rest of the wheel back together and installed it on the Mixer, worked great!

I'll now be doing the oil bath 3 or 4 times a year to try and get more miles on this hub before failure.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Now the question is how much has all this cost you - please include man hours say at 980 JPY per hour or adjust to what you think is suitable. Do not forget to include time taken to source manual and other internet based research regarding this build.
 

StuInTokyo

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Now the question is how much has all this cost you - please include man hours say at 980 JPY per hour or adjust to what you think is suitable. Do not forget to include time taken to source manual and other internet based research regarding this build.
Trying to justify the price of a Rohlof hub for me :D

The new hub delivered to me was $276US or about 22,600 yen. I now have spares for this hub with the old unit :D

I have no idea how many hours total I've spent, last night I spent less than two hours swapping the guts of the hub. Over the last month or so, dunno, I have no idea, but I do know that compared to taking it to a Shimano shop, (if I could find one that would work on it!!) I've saved a LOT of money. These guys >> HERE << charge between $60 and $200 for a service of the hub, I can do most of that myself. I get your point but you see I am self employed that means a lot of hours that you never really get paid for.:eek:uch:
 

GSAstuto

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This stuff is actually fun for mechanics.

joewein;44247 said:
A turbine jet engine may have fewer parts ;)
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Trying to justify the price of a Rohlof hub for me :D
No, not at all I think they are overpriced for what they are. If you want kit that can take a beating and is cost effect then a Shimano XT or Deore system is the way to go - I think the initial fanfare that was made about this has basically flopped.

I can see how this would appeal to Mamachari riders but for anything more serious I think its a waste.

Just my opinion based on years of riding and trashing kit and fixing/maintaining it.
 

StuInTokyo

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No, not at all I think they are overpriced for what they are. If you want kit that can take a beating and is cost effect then a Shimano XT or Deore system is the way to go - I think the initial fanfare that was made about this has basically flopped.

I can see how this would appeal to Mamachari riders but for anything more serious I think its a waste.

Just my opinion based on years of riding and trashing kit and fixing/maintaining it.
I appreciate your insight and opinion, and I have to tell you, if this next unit fails like the last, I'll be looking to do something else and a bulletproof XT drive train might just be it, not that it would work well on my frameset, it has no derailer hanger.
 

GSAstuto

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There are surprisingly few complaints with this hub from the general cycling /mtb community. But then, I doubt many are using them in a similar highly loaded situation as Stu. I'd agree that generally speaking, the common derailer / freewheel arrangement will be tough as nails simply due to the fact that it's a direct drive chain system and minimal wearing except for the normal bearings and chain. The advantage of the IGH clearly lies , especially for commuter / trailers , in that shifting can be done on-the-fly without any pedaling interruption. This is mighty useful when you're going up the street and need to suddenly climb a short grade with 100kg of load behind you. Also - less exposed parts <should> result in less maintenance requirements.

I'm watching this closely, as I want to do an extended tour and my first choice is an IGH due to not wishing to deal with derailer hassles - especially from knock downs, rough baggage handlers or other potentially trip-ending concerns. In fact, I'm more inclined to tour fixed gear only , cause If I can't pedal it up the hill, then it has no right to be on my bike! But - towing a 100kg trailer? Different story.
 

Jayves

Speeding Up
Nov 20, 2009
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For touring, I personally prefer IGH. Never had any troubles (yet) and not worried about muds, rocks hitting the derailer (derailer is lower on a 20" wheel) and robust for any form of travels. I use one of the cheaper hub, Nexus 8 (yes, 8 speed was more than enough) and so far I happy. See picture on the link.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/pic/?o=1&pic_id=1115951&size=large