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Alfine internal 8 vs 11

Old 07-07-10, 05:06 AM
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Alfine internal 8 vs 11

I'm going on a tour in three weeks and am going to put the Shimano Alfine internal on it (don't want spend on a Rohloff). My dilemma is whether to put the 8 speed internal on it now, and have it for the tour, or wait until September for the new 11 speed.
Obvious difference is the price, the newer 11 speed is twice the price.

Some questions:
I understand the 11 is oil lubricated as opposed to the 8 which is grease; is this a big advantage?
The range of the 11 is wider as expected. Can anyone give me comparable figures for both? I can find % figures for the 11, and ratio figures for the 8, but not for both!

Any other general comments/advice gratefully received. I'm impatient for the gears for this tour but wouldn't want to make a mistake by rushing into buying the 8 now.
thanks
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Old 07-07-10, 05:45 AM
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1. oil is much much better than grease for lubricating an IGH, especially over the long haul.
2. if you really want to get an IGH, just get the best one available to you; the Alfine 11 is still looking a bit like vaporware at the moment, with no confirmed ship date, a lot of re-postings of a few tantalizing pictures, and Shimano being rather mum about it for the last nine months or so. Of course, if you have reliable company source for information and delivery, sure, take the 11 over the 8---it seems an improvement in every way.
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Old 07-07-10, 07:10 AM
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You can oil lubricate the 8-speed - Shimano has official instructions for doing so. Many feel like the over-all gear spread of the 8-speed is a little short for touring, but of course we don't know what you have in mind.

Originally Posted by pwdeegan View Post
the Alfine 11 is still looking a bit like vaporware at the moment...
I don't think Shimano has made a public announcement of this hub at all - if anyone can link to one, please do. Shimano did talk to a few cycle-journalists, setting off endless rounds of web sites quoting each other. One of the few "facts" Shimano did relate - the over all gear spread and the individual gear steps - didn't add up. AFAIK no one outside Shimano knows what the Alfine 11 hub's internal gear steps are, what the overall ratio is, where 1:1 is - or if there even is a 1:1, or how much compounding the geartrain does.

I'm as excited about the potential of an Alfine 11 as anybody, but Shimano's initial release of their 3-speed, 7-speed and 8-speed IGHs were all problematic. I'm happy to let you other cats be the early adopters.

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Old 07-07-10, 07:14 AM
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Who knows how strong the 11 speed will be? The 8 speed is bullet proof, I've been running one on my MTB for three seasons now, two overseas trips with lots of rain and mud, running a 32x23, it just keeps taking all the abuse I can give it. With all the delays in previous products, it may be a longer wait than September. BTW, you can convert the 8 speed to oil, here's a Shimano link, I use synthetic ATF instead of the whale oil Shimano sells for $100 a liter....

https://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...ance%20Oil.pdf
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Old 07-07-10, 08:55 AM
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Several British dealers are starting to list the 11 speed hub for pre order so they must have some information from Shimano regarding the release schedule for it. Do a google search for SG-S700.

Still no technical information about things such as internal ratios that I can find.

Remember that even if released in Europe we have NO information yet about availability in the USA. Shimano has a number of IGH units which are not imported here at all or except on complete bikes such as the SG-3R40 and SG-3C55.

As for actual Shimano evidence that the 11 speed IGH is coming look at the following write-up on the Shimano web site and note the spots for listing hub internal ratios 9. 10 and 11.

https://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...00.-type-.html
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Old 07-08-10, 06:07 AM
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Many thanks, very useful advice from all!
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Old 07-08-10, 06:25 AM
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If the 11-speed hub is reported to be twice the price of the 8-speed, how much cheaper will it be than the Rholoff? At least the Rohloff is available and a proven unit.
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Old 07-08-10, 07:54 AM
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Without checking exact prices, my recollection is that the Rohloff will still be approximately twice as expensive as the new Alfine.
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Old 07-08-10, 11:00 AM
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Just checked that Shimano oil explainer ... man, it does't take much oil!

You dip the innards in oil for a few minutes, then let them drain for 5 to 10 minutes. How much oil can be left? Not much.
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Old 07-12-10, 04:53 AM
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To avoid having to wait for the untested 11-speed internal, is there any reason why I shouldn't put a double sprocket at the front while using the 8-speed? Apologies if that's a silly question and isn't even possible! I want to ensure that I'll have a granny gear to manage hills when touring on a fully panniered bike.
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Old 07-12-10, 06:02 AM
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Shimano's Alfine CT-S500 chain tensioner specifically accomodates two chainwheels with up to a 16T difference.

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Old 07-12-10, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jpjof View Post
...any reason why I shouldn't put a double sprocket at the front while using the 8-speed?....
I think it's a good idea. The uneven steps don't allow a half step but maybe you can find a combo that allows the low gears you need and split the ugly 5-6 shift step (23%). If you can weld, maybe you can make a double rear cog and use a small rear deraileur, that way you don't need all the junk up front (esp since you need a chain tensioner anyway).
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Old 07-12-10, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jpjof View Post
I want to ensure that I'll have a granny gear to manage hills when touring on a fully panniered bike.
Definitely. Even with a 22 x 34 granny I was huffing on moderate inclines riding a 50+ pound touring rig. A friend of mine set up his bike with a triple chainring and front derailleur with a rear derailleur used as a chain tensioner and it worked great. I would use a second chainring if I were you.
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Old 09-07-10, 02:09 AM
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The granny gear...

Boy, does this thing have a large jump to its granny gear. I plotted out the ratios (Shimano makes them hard to find for the 11 speed--they're here) along with those of comparable hubs. Take a look:



That's a huge jump to its lowest gear. However, to be honest, I think that's exactly what I want. A really low "low" for those really steep hills or with heavy loads.
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Old 09-07-10, 10:33 AM
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Thanks for the graph. I have posted a link to it on the Geared Hub Bikes Yahoo group linked to in my signature block below.

First is definitely what I would call a bailout low gear though with the overall ratio range of the Alfine 11 I would still possibly want to do a dual chainring setup to give a lower granny gear if building a loaded tourer with it.
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Old 09-07-10, 10:43 AM
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Go on a tour In 3 weeks , you say ... a Rohloff hub [that red line on the chart] is my Suggestion,
It has been Proven for a decade on many tours around the world .



Gear the external ratios for the low, the minimum a 16 - 38 is on my Trekking bike.. it's a 17" low with a 26" wheel.

It is a double reduction gear below the 8 gear, a 7 speed used in a low range, a 2nd time, then.

90" top gear not enough ?, put a Schlumpf speed drive crank and that becomes 1.6x higher..
still no derailleur to cope with ..

FWIW downshifting a 3 speed Sturmey is a 33 percent drop, 4/3 to 1 to 3/4.

picked up a Schlumpf Mountain Drive a reduction gear of 2.5

so like the Rohloff the hub internal gear , 3 speed is used a second time in a low range ..

54X15 in a 16" wheel Brompton has the same low gear as the rohloff in a 26" wheel when in the double reduction gear mode..

Hmm ATF fluid for the Rohloff is a thought .. . the liter for that stuff is priced like Gold too

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Old 09-07-10, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
...a Rohloff hub [that red line on the chart] is my Suggestion, It has been Proven for a decade on many tours around the world .
from:
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared...s/message/4063
Rider Vin Cox has completed the Guiness recognised fastest bicycle ride around
the world (18,225 miles in 163 days) using a Shimano Alfine 8 hub. Looking at
the pictures, he seems to have shifted with a Jtek barcon.

<https://www.greatbikeride.com/index.php>

<https://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/2010/08/27/news/vins-done-it/>

<https://www.explorersweb.com/trek/news.php?id=19572>

Neither Shimano nor Jtek are listed as sponsors of his ride, so I assume he
chose that equipment on merit.
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Old 09-09-10, 04:07 AM
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Neither Shimano nor Jtek are listed as sponsors of his ride, so I assume he
chose that equipment on merit.
...or price!

That's what really impressed me about the Alfine-11, similar overall range to the Speedhub, and similar jumps for all but the granny, yet costs less than half. The oil bath that's just like the Speedhub's is a huge bonus maintenance-wise too. Only time will tell, but I think the new Alfine will be very competitive with the Speedhub on reliability.
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Old 09-09-10, 12:58 PM
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3 weeks for a yet to be shipped Hub, even into the country, means either getting what's available now or
waiting to leave until the part you want is available .

A cycling staycation.
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Old 09-10-10, 06:02 AM
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That's an interesting table, `Orum.

You can see that the Rohloff has very consistent gear steps.

The Alfine 8 speed (which I'm using now), not so much.

The Alfine 11 will be a big change -- all steps (except the first) look to be 13 to 14 percent.

Personally, I don't mind a big gap on the first gear -- sometimes, you need some real relief.

I hope the Alfine 11 comes with the option for Shimano brake-shifters. That's what I am using now with the 8-speed, but they are not Shimano (Versas).
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Old 09-10-10, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
If you can weld, maybe you can make a double rear cog


i don't have any tensioners or derailers though, I just shift it by hand, two chainrings to match in front. Chain's a little loose but workable.

...back to the OP's question, how about a used hub now, and the 11 when it comes out?
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Old 09-10-10, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
I hope the Alfine 11 comes with the option for Shimano brake-shifters. That's what I am using now with the 8-speed, but they are not Shimano (Versas).

Pretty unlikely, I think. Versas and JTek make their products because Shimano obviously has no interest at all in pursuing the IGH-Performance bike market (except for the brilliant hubs that are so suited for it).

How do you like the versas? I have heard mixed reviews.

I have heard nothing negative about the JTek bar-end shifter, tho.
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Old 09-17-10, 02:02 PM
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anyone knows how to relate gear ratio and gear inches?
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Old 09-17-10, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by catsavidis View Post
anyone knows how to relate gear ratio and gear inches?
It's so simple, even dead men know the answer:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-theory.html
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Old 09-17-10, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post

I have heard nothing negative about the JTek bar-end shifter, tho.
+1 from what I've heard
+100 from my experience (brief as it is)

I am very impressed with the quality and operation of the J-Tek. Materials and construction are first rate, and the shifting action is addictively smooth and solid. I liken the shifting sound and feel to that of a high quality camera shutter (hasselblad, mamiya, etc).
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