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Alfine 11 on Bike Friday - pedal drag?

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Alfine 11 on Bike Friday - pedal drag?

Old 07-07-16, 03:39 PM
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thehum
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Alfine 11 on Bike Friday - pedal drag?

Anyone out there riding a folding bike with a shimano alfine 11 internal gear hub? Do you also notice drag while pedaling?

I had a my LBS install a Shimano Alfine 11 a few months ago on my Bike Friday Pocket Crusoe (20" wheels), and it feels like there's just enough noticeable drag so that I'm struggling to keep up with friends on casual rides, and i feel like I'm exerting a little more energy than before when I had the stock Capreo 9s hub I was using for two years.

Had my shop look at it again and they said that compared to other Alfine 11s in the shop, mine seemed normal,and suggested that it might be my 20" wheels not having enough rotational inertia to overcome the normal drag of the IGH, and to try throwing on heavier tires to help counter that effect (this is my next step). However, I still can't shake that it feels like there's friction when I pedal, even if the rolling resistance seems okay. Does anyone else experiences this?
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Old 07-07-16, 05:04 PM
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Can't see any justification for suggesting that heavier wheels would help you keep up with other cyclists. Usually we try to get the lightest wheels possible as long as that doesn't cause too many other issues (durability, air drag, cost, etc.). Compared to well-maintained derailleur systems, IGHs generally tend to have slightly greater internal drag losses and also a bit of a weight penalty. What problem did you have with the 9s derailleur drive train?
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Old 07-07-16, 05:15 PM
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I have the Alfine 11 installed in a Dahon Jetstream, running marathon tyres. Not used it for a while but I have no recollection of drag. The conversion involved the fitting of a pulled chain tensioner which may induce some resistance, but certainly nothing noticeable. Have you checked the chain alignment ?
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Old 07-07-16, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by thehum View Post
I still can't shake that it feels like there's friction when I pedal, even if the rolling resistance seems okay. Does anyone else experiences this?
Take a close look at the bearrings connected to pedaling, pedals and BB. The BB can only be judged properly when pedal arms are remowed. I would hope te LBS has already done this when installing but just to be sure...

Also chainline like suggested. If that is off.

There are reports of IGH`s "loosening up" after riding for some time. Maybe this could happan to you too.

There is a Yahoo group for IGH bikes. Maybe there are info and suggestions there about your problem.
https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...tions/messages

https://www.google.no/webhp?sourceid...+Alfine+11+hub
You can find lots of info from other users, including changing the oil on the hub.

Last edited by badmother; 07-08-16 at 01:13 AM. Reason: Link
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Old 07-08-16, 03:20 AM
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I have an Alfine 11 and don't experience any obvious friction. It is slower though because of the weight penalty.
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Old 07-08-16, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by thehum View Post
Anyone out there riding a folding bike with a shimano alfine 11 internal gear hub? Do you also notice drag while pedaling?
I have an Alfine 11 on a big bike, and, besides the weight on the rear wheel, the IGH does add a bit of drag compared to the same type of bike with a derailleur, but nothing major. The bike is still pretty fast.

The Alfine has no direct drive, but speed 5 is pretty close:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimano_Alfine#Alfine_700

Besides posting in the IGH-centered Yahoo forum mentioned above, you might want to ask Bike Friday, since they are used to fitting IGHs on their bikes.

If it's new, Shimano stresses the importance of doing an oil change around 1,000 kms. Instead of Shimano's mink oil, I use some ATF and it's been working OK for the two years I've been riding this bike. Maybe the oil change will help too in solving the issue.

Last edited by Winfried; 07-08-16 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 07-08-16, 07:43 AM
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heavier tires is a joke.... I hope they know more about the hub and the install than that bit of information.
are the nuts too tight ? is there any slop when u loosen the outside nuts ?
Igh are heavier and they do have drag .... a derailleur system always wins in that regards.. but its usually not a whole lot either...


they do need some time to "loosen" up .... and an oil change is a good idea after 1000 km
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Old 07-08-16, 08:42 AM
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You may want to:

1. Check the chain line
2. Check the hub bearing
3. Check the cog for resistance
4. If you are using a belt drive there may be a dust cover issue

This type of problem is not fast/easy to diagnose. I would encourage you to do all you can on your own and then call Shimano tech for help. It may be a faulty hub.

Thanks,
Yan
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Old 07-08-16, 12:14 PM
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Additionally please look at another shop, if your current one is unable to diagnose the problem.

FYI their advice is ridiculous, if they were serious they are probably not a good store to associate with.

Thanks,
Yan
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Old 07-08-16, 12:25 PM
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Alfine 11 is oil bath , when was the last Oil change?



Its Momentum vs air resistance ..


Rohloff - disc Pocket Llama . and a S-A Brompton.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-08-16 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 07-08-16, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Can't see any justification for suggesting that heavier wheels would help you keep up with other cyclists. Usually we try to get the lightest wheels possible as long as that doesn't cause too many other issues (durability, air drag, cost, etc.). Compared to well-maintained derailleur systems, IGHs generally tend to have slightly greater internal drag losses and also a bit of a weight penalty. What problem did you have with the 9s derailleur drive train?
I was running 1x9 because I ride in a relatively flat city 90% of the time, but the capreo doesn't have a great range on the lows so any kind of touring meant installing the second front chainring, or really struggling up hills. I wanted an IGH to simplify shifting and keep it city-and weather-friendly, not to mention less stuff to get knocked around during transport.

The reasoning for heavier/larger wheels are this: think about a larger wheel with a larger radius...because of the larger radius of a larger wheel, you have more torque (rotational force) the further from the center of the hub, so heavier /larger wheels would increase the wheel's radius and add weight to increase the torque to "overcome" the hub's drag.

Originally Posted by Diode100 View Post
I have the Alfine 11 installed in a Dahon Jetstream, running marathon tyres. Not used it for a while but I have no recollection of drag. The conversion involved the fitting of a pulled chain tensioner which may induce some resistance, but certainly nothing noticeable. Have you checked the chain alignment ?
I haven't checked this myself, but the shop said it was okay. I trust their judgement there. I will give the chain alignment a second look

Originally Posted by badmother View Post
Take a close look at the bearrings connected to pedaling, pedals and BB. The BB can only be judged properly when pedal arms are remowed. I would hope te LBS has already done this when installing but just to be sure...

Also chainline like suggested. If that is off.

There are reports of IGH`s "loosening up" after riding for some time. Maybe this could happan to you too.

There is a Yahoo group for IGH bikes. Maybe there are info and suggestions there about your problem.
https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...tions/messages

https://www.google.no/webhp?sourceid...+Alfine+11+hub
You can find lots of info from other users, including changing the oil on the hub.
My mech did tell me that I should ride it for a while to see if it would loosen up after a few months. I still feel like there's friction though. I hope this is the case. And I"ll check out those groups, thanks.


Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Alfine 11 is oil bath , when was the last Oil change?


Its Momentum vs air resistance ..


Rohloff - disc Pocket Llama . and a S-A Brompton.
It's a new hub, so it has fresh oil as of April, and I've ridden maybe a few hundred miles on it at this point.
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Old 07-08-16, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Can't see any justification for suggesting that heavier wheels would help you keep up with other cyclists. Usually we try to get the lightest wheels possible as long as that doesn't cause too many other issues (durability, air drag, cost, etc.). Compared to well-maintained derailleur systems, IGHs generally tend to have slightly greater internal drag losses and also a bit of a weight penalty. What problem did you have with the 9s derailleur drive train?
I was running 1x9 because I ride in a relatively flat city 90% of the time, but the capreo doesn't have a great range on the lows so any kind of touring meant installing the second front chainring, or really struggling up hills. I wanted an IGH to simplify shifting and keep it city-and weather-friendly, not to mention less stuff to get knocked around during transport.

The reasoning for heavier/larger wheels are this: think about a larger wheel with a larger radius...because of the larger radius of a larger wheel, you have more torque (rotational force) the further from the center of the hub, so heavier /larger wheels would increase the wheel's radius and add weight to increase the torque to "overcome" the hub's drag.

Originally Posted by Diode100 View Post
I have the Alfine 11 installed in a Dahon Jetstream, running marathon tyres. Not used it for a while but I have no recollection of drag. The conversion involved the fitting of a pulled chain tensioner which may induce some resistance, but certainly nothing noticeable. Have you checked the chain alignment ?
I haven't checked this myself, but the shop said it was okay. I trust their judgement there. I will give the chain alignment a second look

Originally Posted by badmother View Post
Take a close look at the bearrings connected to pedaling, pedals and BB. The BB can only be judged properly when pedal arms are remowed. I would hope te LBS has already done this when installing but just to be sure...

Also chainline like suggested. If that is off.

There are reports of IGH`s "loosening up" after riding for some time. Maybe this could happan to you too.

There is a Yahoo group for IGH bikes. Maybe there are info and suggestions there about your problem.
https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...tions/messages

https://www.google.no/webhp?sourceid...+Alfine+11+hub
You can find lots of info from other users, including changing the oil on the hub.
My mech did tell me that I should ride it for a while to see if it would loosen up after a few months. I still feel like there's friction though. I hope this is the case. And I"ll check out those groups, thanks.


Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Alfine 11 is oil bath , when was the last Oil change?


Its Momentum vs air resistance ..


Rohloff - disc Pocket Llama . and a S-A Brompton.
It's a new hub, so it has fresh oil as of April, and I've ridden maybe a few hundred miles on it at this point.

Originally Posted by downtube View Post
You may want to:

1. Check the chain line
2. Check the hub bearing
3. Check the cog for resistance
4. If you are using a belt drive there may be a dust cover issue

This type of problem is not fast/easy to diagnose. I would encourage you to do all you can on your own and then call Shimano tech for help. It may be a faulty hub.

Thanks,
Yan
Thanks, I'll probably try and check these things out. It's chain-drive, not belt. Also, I do trust this LBS and mechanics there, I've been going there for a while, but I asked because I wanted to know about other people with similar setups.
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Old 07-08-16, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by thehum View Post

I had a my LBS install a Shimano Alfine 11 a few months ago on my Bike Friday Pocket Crusoe (20" wheels), and it feels like there's just enough noticeable drag so that I'm struggling to keep up with friends on casual rides, and i feel like I'm exerting a little more energy than before when I had the stock Capreo 9s hub I was using for two years.
You probably ARE exerting a little more energy.. that's the trade off.. the Capreo setup is very good kit for small wheel travel bikes where weight and efficiency are at a premium.. the 9-26 stock Capreo setup can be modified .. using a 9-32 as an example gives 356% vs the 408% of the 11IGH .. reduce the front single chainring to something like a 44 and you can get 26 to 91g/i easily .. that's plenty of gear range and can be modified further at hub or crank.. saving a few pounds at the rear wheel makes a big difference in bike feel ... that doesn't address any of the other advantages of IGH system which are well known, but if efficiency and range are the prime targets, it would be hard to beat a lightweight modified Capreo hub..
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Old 07-08-16, 08:46 PM
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prathmann
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Originally Posted by thehum View Post
The reasoning for heavier/larger wheels are this: think about a larger wheel with a larger radius...because of the larger radius of a larger wheel, you have more torque (rotational force) the further from the center of the hub, so heavier /larger wheels would increase the wheel's radius and add weight to increase the torque to "overcome" the hub's drag.
That may have been their reasoning, but it's completely wrong and makes me question their overall competency. Remember that you are the only source of power. So getting those heavier wheels turning will require more muscle force from your legs and have you struggling even more to keep up with your cycling friends. Every time you accelerate will require that much more effort to get the wheels back up to speed. Added weight is not your friend when cycling - that's why competitive cyclists get their wheels as light as possible.

I agree with the comment above that modifying the Capreo cassette by switching out some of the larger cogs would be a better way to go if you want some lower gears without sacrificing the efficiency and lighter weight of a derailleur drive train. But, while I'd expect some loss of efficiency with the Alfine 11, I'm surprised that it is as substantial as your comments indicate.
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Old 07-09-16, 08:24 AM
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it's new? there is some wearing in.. yet to do..

[2 R'offs walking the bike only 1 does the pedals slowly turn, the other one they stay, as the hub freewheels.]
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