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alfine 8 torque limit

Old 05-14-15, 09:04 AM
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alfine 8 torque limit

to my knowledge, alfine 8 uses 1 notch to engage the gears in any given gearing selection (according to this video).
this makes me wonder if the hub is really suitable for high torque applications, like when climbing a mountain, sprinting on a training ride, or doing off road stuff.
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Old 05-14-15, 09:50 AM
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There are a bunch of guys over on MTBR who are using Alfine on their MTBs, apparently with success. However, it is telling that Shimano markets this towards the hybrid/commuting crowd. Additionally, the database of world tour cyclist indicates that the overwhelming equipment preference is for a derailler system.

My own limited experience with the Alfine so far suggests that it's best to treat it rather gingerly, but it's fine for coffee shop runs and slow applications. However, now that I've redone the cabling, I intend to take the bike out and lay down the power on it. If it shreds out the guts of the hub, I guess my question will be answered. Considering that "laying down the power" is rather relative in my case (a 138 lb rider), I will then pursue reimbursement of some form.

Another thing I've come to realize with the Alfine; it might be just plain reliable, but on the day it's not, you're eff-ed. Unlike external gears, there are no quick fixes or services. You get to send all the clockwork internals back to Shimano, or maybe the whole wheel.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:00 AM
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There is a specification of the minimum gear ratio , for the external cog: chain ring combination.

For R'off its 2.35:1.. ( like 38:16) Shimano has similar for you to research .. higher is better

so the 53:16 in a 20" wheel is better, over the road, its like the 38:16 in a 26" wheel..
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Old 05-14-15, 10:10 AM
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How much torque can you produce?
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Old 05-14-15, 10:15 AM
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I have been using an Alfine 8 on my mtb for a couple years now and it has performed flawlessly. Also, I have exceeded the 1.9:1 ratio recommended by Shimano by quite a bit - I think mine is set up as 1.45:1 (32/22). I weigh approx. 250 lbs and use 180mm cranks. I would bet that I am exceeding the torque input of about 95% of Alfine users and have had no problems that weren't related to gummed up cables or other external parts.

Edit:

Just using my weight and assuming standing on one pedal and not pulling up with the other foot, my hub sees at least 138 NM of torque. That's 101 foot pounds for the cavemen in the crowd.

Last edited by Wilfred Laurier; 05-14-15 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:18 AM
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The input gear ratio is key. I assume that the minimum is based on assumptions of rider strength and weight, so if you're stronger or heavier, consider higher input ratios to limit the input torque, or try to take it easy.

Of course, there's a catch-22 here because steeper hills would have you wanting a lower gear range, so you can be nice to the hub but not be able to climb, or you can use gears that make steep hills climbable, but may be hard on the hub.

I have no idea about Shimano's design assumptions and/or how much of a safety margin they allowed, but you may be finding out soon enough.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I have no idea about Shimano's design assumptions and/or how much of a safety margin they allowed, but you may be finding out soon enough.
Possibly much sooner than later, given his trouble figuring out how to reliably set it up.
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Old 05-14-15, 02:56 PM
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Shimano recommended ratio for Nexus & Alfine 8 is 2.1:1 AFAIK.
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Old 05-14-15, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
I have been using an Alfine 8 on my mtb for a couple years now and it has performed flawlessly. Also, I have exceeded the 1.9:1 ratio recommended by Shimano by quite a bit - I think mine is set up as 1.45:1 (32/22). I weigh approx. 250 lbs and use 180mm cranks. I would bet that I am exceeding the torque input of about 95% of Alfine users and have had no problems that weren't related to gummed up cables or other external parts.

Edit:

Just using my weight and assuming standing on one pedal and not pulling up with the other foot, my hub sees at least 138 NM of torque. That's 101 foot pounds for the cavemen in the crowd.
good to know. I imagine for mtb-ing, you do a lot of repeated 0-600W+ efforts, right? the hub lets you do that?
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Old 05-14-15, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
Additionally, the database of world tour cyclist indicates that the overwhelming equipment preference is for a derailler system.
Note that prolly has to do with gear range,more than load capacity. I tried commuting on both an 8spd Nexus and Alfine,and the range wasn't anywhere near what I wanted for daily use. An 8spd hub would totally suck on my cargo bike.
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Old 05-14-15, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Note that prolly has to do with gear range,more than load capacity. I tried commuting on both an 8spd Nexus and Alfine,and the range wasn't anywhere near what I wanted for daily use. An 8spd hub would totally suck on my cargo bike.
Very good point.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:47 PM
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If i run a 46/20 on the alfine 8, the low range gives me a equivalence of a 34/28 (low end for a compact ring with 11-28). at the highest range, I can spin at 90 rpm and be at 27 mph. at 120 rpm, it's 35, which is about as fast as I can expect to be able to sprint on that thing. If I'm in the flats, I'll put on a tensioner with a 16t in the back. but for touring applications, chances are I'm just going to tuck in for anything steeper than -3%. I don't think gear range will be a limitation for me.
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Old 05-16-15, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
good to know. I imagine for mtb-ing, you do a lot of repeated 0-600W+ efforts, right? the hub lets you do that?
That is exactly what I do. I have read a few comments about treating IGHs gently, including Alfines, but I don't understand it. When I visit my in-laws, I use their loaner bike with a Nexus 7 and have had the same experience. And I used to have a beater bike with an old Sturmy Archer AW and (except for the accidental neutral when the shift cable was misaligned) it was rock solid as well.
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Old 05-16-15, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
good to know. I imagine for mtb-ing, you do a lot of repeated 0-600W+ efforts, right? the hub lets you do that?
I run an Alfine 8 on my Moonlander with 26x23 gearing. I'm 220lbs and can exceed 600W in 1 min bursts and 300W for 5 mins. It'll last if you don't shift under load, using ATF for lube helps with shifting esp in the cold.
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Old 05-16-15, 08:39 AM
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Shimano recommended ratio for Nexus & Alfine 8 is 2.1:1 AFAIK.
If so, 46:20 seems to be within the 2.1:1 requirements. 42:20 is right on the line..
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Old 05-16-15, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
Shimano recommended ratio for Nexus & Alfine 8 is 2.1:1 AFAIK.
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
If so, 46:20 seems to be within the 2.1:1 requirements. 42:20 is right on the line..
I was quite certain the recommended ratio was 1.9:1, but now I am doubting my memory.
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Old 05-16-15, 08:59 AM
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Service or owners manual have it in print? the German Hub is quite specific.
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Old 05-16-15, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Service or owners manual have it in print? the German Hub is quite specific.
From Shimano Dealer's Manual DM-SG0003-01-ENG, page 8:

"For Installation to the Bicycle, and Maintenance:
•• The cassette joint should only be used with sprockets from 16T to 23T.
•• It is recommended that the chain ring of the front be set to the following gear ratio.
7, 8-gear: about 2.1
5-gear: about 2.0
Example) In the case of 26 inch wheels
Front 36T 38T 46T
Rear
7, 8-gear 16T 18T 22T
5-gear 18T 19T 23T"
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Old 05-16-15, 09:33 AM
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I always read the 'recommendations' as guidelines intended to result in reasonable drive ratios for most people. As I and others have said, you can go far outside these guidelines without problems. I am always careful to keep it adjusted as perfectly as possible (which is not difficult - minor cable adjustments once or twice per year) so maybe running it maladjusted would cause a different outcome.
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Old 05-18-15, 01:57 AM
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Is the extra drag compared to derailleur drive trains significant?
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Old 05-18-15, 09:38 AM
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No.
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Old 05-18-15, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
Is the extra drag compared to derailleur drive trains significant?
Depends on the hub. I've had two Alfines with very little drag,and 4 and 7spd Nexus that were draggy as heck.
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