ALFINE SG-S500

General:

Reviews / Announcements:

  • Alfine Test im Velojournal gegen Sram i-Motion (Comparison: Alfine vs i-Motion 9 and finally i-Motion 9 wins with 5:4 points!)
  • Alfine Test im Velojournal gegen SRAM i-MOTION 9 (Comparison: Alfine vs i-MOTION 9 and finally i-MOTION 9 wins with 5:4 points!
    • When you need a silent, easy shifting hub take the Shimano Alfine. When you need a real gear more, harmonical gear steps and a easy mounting and dismounting hub go for the SRAM i-MOTION 9.)
      • Shifting: Both hubs can shift under load. Alfine shifts a little bit easier and smother under high load and uphill because of “SilentClutch”free wheel design with cylindric rollers instead of classic ratchets. (Alfine: 2 Points)
      • Gearshift Lever: With the STI shifter from Shimano only one gear per movmentcan be shifted. With the rotary handle (Grip Shift) design more gears can be shifted in one movement. Also the gear indication is bigger and better recognized (i-MOTION 9: 1 Point)
      • Gear Ratio:i-MOTION 9 has always one gear more. One higher or one lower gear than the Shimano hub. (i-MOTION 9: 1 Point)
      • Gear Steps:i-MOTION 9 has thesmaller gear step size between the gears. They are also nearly all the same size. When cycling with the Alfine you have sometimes the feeling that the actual gear is to “samll” and the next higher to “big”. (i-MOTION 9: 1 Point)
      • Braksystem: Both offer a disc brake and rim brake option (Alfine: 1 Point, i-MOTION 9: 1 Point)
      • Weight: Alfine 1590g, i-MOTION-9 1980g (Alfine: 1 Point)
      • Wheel Mounting / Dismounting: Sram uses the “Easy Click Connector” like Rohloff. Shimano takes some time! (i-MOTION 9: 1 Point)
  • Alfine Artikel von aktiv Radfahren. Nicht besonders kritisch! (Not very critical article!)
  • 7 Schaltsysteme im Test vom Radtouren Magazin (Review of 7 component groups)
  • Internal Gear Hub Comparison on Hubstripping.com
  • Shimano Announcment for Alfine group

Maintenance / Installation Documents:

Drawings / Spareparts:

Pictures:

Hubstripping:

  • Alfine hubstrip pictures (seperate slide folder)
  • Alfine movie 1(Planetary gear with the Alfine specific two clamp roller mechanism on the left (white ring with silver roller cylinders and the grey metalic ring with silver roller cylinders in the middle of the gear system). The other Nexus hubs use a classic ratchet mechanism to transfer the rotation of the internal gear system to the inner hub shell. The roller mechanism is silence. There is no clicking sound! Another advantage is that the rotation force is transfered by more roller contact lines to the hub shell compared to a ratchet mechanism. Result: Higher force transformation efficiency!)
  • Alfine movie 2(A view into the planetary gear system of the Alfine Hub. The planet gear carrier rotates and turns the three planet gears. The sun gear is fixed in the middle of the system. In movie 6 you see the same parts after degreasing the whole system and lubrication with a specific oil.)
  • Alfine movie 3(It´s obvious to see the high friction inside the gear system because of the grease. The whole system moves on the desk! In the last part you see how the silver roller cylinders of the clamp roller mechanism move out of the fixing ring.)
  • Alfine movie 4(The second roller mechanism in a cleaned status. See how the silver roller cylinders of the clamp roller mechanism move out of the fixing ring.)
  • Alfine movie 5(After degreasing and lubrication the whole systems runs much easier than before. Great sound!)
  • Alfine movie 6(After degreasing and lubrication the whole systems runs much easier than before. This effect is also described in this post)

If you’re looking to purchase a new Alfine 8 speed hub, you can do so here at Amazon.com.


  1. I’m interested in the Alfine 8sp, but I want to run it with a rim brake and spaced down to 120mm OLD. Is it possible to replace spacers to get it down to something close to 120? I know the Nexus8 can go to 123mm. Any thoughts?

    • oar8

      My first Nexus was a SG-7C20 bought as a complete new wheel. It laid around for a few years waiting on components to get it to work. Harris Cycle helped and I got the cassette joint and the bike is working, even without anti-rotation washers. It has 20T/41T/53T with an Alfine tensioner and wheels are 26 inch with fairly narrow street tires. Right now it is mainly used with the 53T since terrain around the office is pretty flat.

      The second SG-S500 Alfine came on a 2007 Rocky Mountain Metropolis hybrid bike. As compared to my 20lb Litespeed Obed modified for street use, it loses speed too quickly up a steep hill near my house. But the low end is low enough that I can still make it up the hill. This bike has 700C rims and tires are narrow street tires. Going downhill is great. The cogs are 16T/42T.

      The third one is a SG-8R20. It was a used hub bought on eBay. Unfortunately it has grinding noise. Now I am contemplating what to do with it.

  2. Hi Andrew,

    I just stripped a Alfine and can give you the following advice.

    http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/2007/11/14/shimano-alfine-hub-strips/

    http://www.hubstripping.com/shimano-alfine/shimano-alfine-explosion-hub-SG-S500.pdf

    Replace part 25 in the explosion drawing with another part 20 (You have to order this seperate! It´s a generall hub part! A good bicycle dealer has this on stock.).

    After this replacement you have reduced the OLD by 5,4mm. There are no other possibilities in my eyes.

    Gruß Marco

    • puzzled

      Marco,

      I think it should be possible to get O.L.D. down to 125.7 mm.
      See my comment from 30.05.2008.

      • Chris

        G’day,

        The Alfine I’m using has an OLD of 126.4mm. This is with 4mm wide locknuts.
        If you are prepared to use 3mm locknuts that OLD can be reduced further.
        The 3/8” locknut on the RHS will not fit the 7/16” thread on the LHS.
        I used after-market 4mm wide locknuts, the LHS locknut had to be screw-cut out to 7/16” x 26 tpi.
        The now-exposed remainder of the LHS 7/16” axle thread had to be turned down to 3/8” so it would fit in the dropout slot.

        If removing the RHS locknut, be careful as the pieces underneath appear to be spring loaded.

        Also, even though the frame stays only had to be sprung out 2.4mm, there was a noticeable out-of parallelism between the dropouts.
        I would recommend having them realigned regardless. I did this myself with a simple jig.

        Chris.

      • leonwoodbine

        Hi Chris,
        Do you have any photos of the new parts? Interesting work with the machining, could you post some photos?
        One question: the stock Alfine non-drive side cone is just exposed enough out of the hub shell to get a cone wrench on the flats. If it is moved inside the shell even a few mm, how did you get a wrench of any kind on it after the modifications? In other words, it needs to be held in place while the locknut is tightened to do the bearing adjustment. Did you make a special tool for this? Curious.

      • Chris

        Leon,

        I have some photos, but not sure how to make them available [I don’t have a website].
        Happy to email them through….

        No, the LHS cone doesn’t change its position in relation to the hub or axle, only the position of the outside face of the locknut is changed.
        The wheel bearings are adjusted normally with the wheel in the frame but without the rubber boot in place.
        Wheel then removed and boot refitted.

        Chris.

  3. Sam

    Am trying to find out what the cable pull per click is on the Alfine shifter – anyone know?

  4. leon woodbine

    Hello Marco,
    What oil do you recommend for the internal parts of the Alfine hub? I am using good grease for the bearings, would like to try an “oil bath”.
    Thanks

  5. Leon Woodbine,

    the oil I use has a higher viscosity than standard bicycle oil used for the chains.

    I´ll open my Duomatic hub in the next weeks. This hub was degreased and lubricated with the high viscosity oil in Spring last year. So we´ll have soon the possebility to see a one year result.

    Gruß,
    Marco

  6. Puzzled

    Hi There.
    I was wondering where the difference in O.L.D. between Inter-8 (132 mm) and Alfine (135) comes from. There is also a “dishing distance” of 3.1 mm indicated for the Alfine (in some drawing I cannot find any more), so to me it looks like Shimano widened the O.L.D. by adding a 3 mm washer at one axle end, and then offsetting the rim. Can anyone explain? Can an Alfine be reduced in width to make it fit in a steel 130 mm frame?

  7. Puzzled

    Regarding reducing O.L.D. of the Alfine:
    SG-S500 parts diagram shows locknuts 25 and 20 to have 10.7 mm and 5.4 mm respectively.
    SG-8R35 diagram has a locknut 17 with 3.4 mm.
    If one would replace S-G500 locknuts 25 and 20 with two locknuts 17 (3.4 mm), you could reduce the O.L.D. by (10.7 + 5.4)-(3.4 + 3.4) = 9.3 mm, which would reduce the Alfine O.L.D. to 125.7 mm. This would be the max. possible reduction but other combinations of the three available lock nuts would allow for more widths between 125.7 mm and 135 mm.
    When changing O.L.D. I think one should also change the dishing of the rim, otherwise the rim will not be in the center of the wheel.

  8. Kurt

    I know I’m late to this thread but I am intrigued about changing lubrication for more ‘sportive’ purpose. I have a Nexus SG-7R40 which I believe to be an early model, in fact I can’t find a blowup of it on the net. It shifts fine and seems to work fine but it also does seem like there would clearly be an advantage to using a high-viscosity oil in there along with grease. I think I saw that you had used some motorcycle oil, could you be a little more specific perhaps so that I could find something similar? Also if anyone has any info – manual/parts blowup/etc on the SG-7R40 it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Vance Marcollo

      Hi Kurt,

      Do you still want a blow up of the SG-7R40 hub?

      Regards

      Vance

    • brian

      if you were lucky enough to get pics of diagrams or assembly proceedures on the sg7r40 i could use a peek at them if you could send some to me that would be great . I think I might be missing some parts

  9. ixi

    Does any one know the weight of the individual Alfine component weight? The pulished Alfine SG-S500 hub weight is 1590g, but does it includes the sproket/guard & the cassette joint? What about the weight of the chain tensioner? I hope there is an internal hub enthusiast could answer this. I searched the web high and low and no such info available.

  10. Hello,

    I would like to know if someone has pictures (or a diagram) demostrating the inside of the hub’s shell (Motion-9 or Alfine) without the rest of the gear mech.
    I would like to know if i can strip a geared hub from i’s shell & then use a shell of my own, a gearbox carter for a mountain bike.
    The main idea is to combine a 9 speed & a 3 speed hub into a common shell that will function as a gearbox.

    So, if the hub;s original shells have pressed in some gearrings then it would be really hard to do so, exepti if these gearrings are removable.

    Thank you all.

    John

  11. Bob Carter

    John, the alfine shell does not have gear rings – final drive to it is via one of 2 “roller ratchets” – these use a roller and ramp in place of pawls & are why the alfine is silent compared to other hubs. These run in 2 hardened steel rings let into the aluminium casing.
    re: weights – the shifter is peanuts weight & chain tensioner – depends what you buy – or zero if you have non-vertical dropouts! I’d guess around 50g for a cheap one.

  12. Thank’s Bob.

    I see. I guess that it would be better to get this part and strip it myself in order to see things from first hand!
    You post-answer is really helpfull.

    Do you know if the same goes on for Rohloff too? (i mean that if you get appart the hub’s shell does the main shell include any press-in gears?
    Or they are all into the disk-side shell cup?
    And,
    I have an alternative that may be done with a custom hub shell (Tune do manufacture an alternative Rohloff hub shell, if only they would answer to my e-mails…..)

    John

  13. John B

    I have a question about changes that Shimano has made to the Alfine hub. The new part number listed is SG-S501 instead of SG-S500 and the parts list on the exploded view has changed slightly. I can’t tell by looking at the diagram what they did, and no one at Shimano America seems to know either. Any ideas?

    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/techdocs/content/cycle/EV/bikecomponents/SG/EV-SG-S500-2637B_v1_m56577569830637991.pdf

    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/techdocs/content/cycle/EV/bikecomponents/SG/EV-SG-S501-2788A_v1_m56577569830646705.pdf

    • leonwoodbine

      They added an additional roller clutch in place of a ratchet assembly. That makes the 501 completely ratchet free and improves the quietness and smoothness of the internal assembly. An excellent upgrade, and I’m sure Shimano will incorporate that in more and more 3 and 8sp hubs as the new models come out. I’m glad mine is a 501, its worth it!

  14. albert

    i just purchased the Silver Alfine Hub – mine came with NO chain guard, and the instructions are very vague about assembly. When i put it together with the 20t Cog and 2 dust seals, dust cap, snap ring and cassette Joint assembly, i can NOT get the Cassette LOCK to turn, it seems as if the Metal Dust caps are too thick. I Bought this From Harris Cyclery, i do not know if mine is a U.S. or Euro Model. My Question is about the LOCK, should it be VERY Difficult to TURN it to the LOCK position, i can not get mine ON. .THANKS!

  15. JdrDS17

    Purchased an Alfine a bit ago and have ~10 hrs and 75 mi of fairly agressive XC use on it – no problems so far.

    Re weight: For the full assembly consisting of hub, dust cap, inner chain guard, 20T sprocket w/outer guard, snap ring, driver cap, cassette joint, cassette joint fixing ring, 1 pr no turn washers, and 1 pr supplied shimano acorn axle nuts, the total weight is 1847 grams. Also, the shifter is not light at 223 grams for the shifter, cable, full length housing, and cable fixing bolt.

    Re cable pull: total pull is 38.9mm. Each shift looks to be an equal amount of pull since a measurement at gear 4 confirmed a linear interpolation.

  16. Pouletic

    Following Puzzled’s formula to reduce the OLD to 125.7 mm, i calculate the following numbers to plug into a spoke-length calculator:

    Dishing: 6.75
    Flange-to-Flange (center) 54.1
    PCD: 92.6

    Left Right
    offset offset
    20.3 33.8

    I share those numbers to help others looking at a custom build for their 120mm dropout bikes and also to look for verification from someone who has done this before…

    I want to build up a custom wheel. Does anyone know if triple-butted DT spokes like the Alpine III (13/16/14) will fit through the hub (ie big enough holes)? I can’t find any information on actual spoke hole diameter.

    Mavic A719 36H with a 36H Alfine and DT Alpine III ought to last through WWIII. :)

  17. Pouletic

    To answer my own question: it seems, from the information for previous Nexus hubs in the spocalc spreadsheet available on Sheldon’s page, that the 13 gauge triple butted Alpine III spokes would fit in any Shimano IGH — the problem is that they aren’t available in enough lengths (at least not in the US) for that to matter. For a Mavic A719, i need spokes about 280-282 mm long, depending on which calculator i use, and there’s nothing near that range in an Alpine III. The Competition 14/15 seems to be more available so i guess that’s the way to go. Pity.

    The good news is that these hubs are finally becoming available in the US.

  18. How can i by one Shimano alfine?

  19. bob carter

    Albert, difficulty fitting the lock could mean that something else isn’t on quite right. Is the sprocket the right thickness & seating properly (they seem to give you a lot of stuff with potential to go between sprocket & hub). Is the supplied circlip seating properly? (test by trying to pull the sprocket of by hand – have a good grapple with it. If you succeed, it wasn’t!) I usually give the circlip a series of light taps via a screwdriver to be sure it’s seating. You can fit a normal circlip in place of the supplied one, but I find this fouls on the changer. When you line up all the red dots on the changer to fit it – give it all a little wiggle to be sure it’s joggled down properly. The lock ring should now click into place with a nice positive feel to it, it’s stiffish but not ludicrously so.

  20. Nick

    @Bob Carter
    Bob, you commented on using the Nexus-8 over the Alfine for efficiency reasons for an electric vehicle, did this bear out or was this a break in / wear in related?

  21. bob carter

    Did I Nick? My belief is that the alfine is probably ultimately more efficient, but my experience is that you get a big benefit from a few hundred miles running in. So I expect that our old nexus will probably outperform the new alfine for a few races. It’s very difficult to draw firm conclusions from performance on a day because there are so many other variables. Manufacturers don’t seem to give efficiency data, probably for this reason. Rohloff actually claim 98%, but the only independent comparative study I’ve seen measured it down in the low 90’s – though shimano nexus & sram were in the high 80s (%) – all measured on new gears.
    One of the other race teams has built a very impressive dyno so I’ll relay their results when I get ‘em.

  22. Nick

    It just wasn’t clear about why you switched to the Nexus.

    Rohloffs seem great but I can replace a Shimano 5 times over for the price of a Rohloff.

    I have yet to find definitive data on the Shimano’s efficiency, although I have seen a bunch of the Rohloff data, so it seems like the Alfine is a great place to start. Thanks Bob, any more info you have would be great, because these gear hubs seem like an economical choice for maximizing efficiency of small electric vehicles. I’m in the process of developing a dyno test for some brushless motors that I can’t get characteristic data on from the manufacturer.

  23. Pouletic

    Marco, in an earlier post, you describe the only possible changes to reduce O.L.D. being a replacement of part 20 with part 25. I see from Shimano’s exploded diagram of the Nexus 8 and Alfine hubs that they don’t consider the lock nuts on the two types of hubs interchangeable, and you seem to feel the same as you didn’t describe using one of the very narrow Nexus locknuts to decrease the Alfine O.L.D. more. I really would like to reduce the O.L.D. more.

    Would you please comment on whether the Nexus locknuts are not listed as compatible with the Alfine due simply to their different length, or because they are not compatible diameters and thread pitch? Is the locknut threading on the Alfine axle compatible with any standard locknut parts so that I might find a narrower one elsewhere?

    Thank you for any help you can offer.

    • Alfine thread is the same as some BMX threads. Hope this helps someone in future.
      I’m running super light aluminum BMX axle nuts instead of the dead weight Shimanno acorn nuts.

  24. Nadocherokee

    Hello,
    Just purchased an Alfine and had Harris build up a custom wheel. I absolutely love everything about the setup except for the fact that I miss my Surly tuggnuts.

    Does anyone know if there are custom chain tensoners for horizontal dropouts that also double as non-turn washers? I know I would be in the market for a couple. Come on Surly, make it happen!

  25. mike

    Is it possible to run a coaster brake from the nexus hub or the drum brake from the nexus set with the alfine hub? Does anyone know?

    • Jack

      Hi mike!
      I do not think you can, as I cannot see any possibility to mount any other brake than CenterLock to this hub. Anyway I do not see any reason to buy Alfine (than red Nexus) if you want to use other brakes than disc.

  26. pierrino mascarino

    Will the Allfine Shimano work with an Optibike 800, an 800W motor. Will such a mechanism damage an Allfine hub?
    Pierrino

  27. Anonymous

    Our greenpower cars put an average 420W through the gear hub. We have a nexus 8 with ~2000miles on it and an alfine with ~300miles neither has given any trouble whatsoever. We can turn the power up to over 1000W on occasions (but not for long or the batteries go flat & we don’t finish…..)
    These are running on 16″ wheels (rolling diameter ~42cm)

  28. Bob Carter, any chance of getting any info on your conversion of Nexus hub to oil bath? The picture looks as though you have fitted some form of oil cap (circa S/A AW hub, or similar) or a spring/ball nipple. Any interference problems on hub interior when doing conversion? Thanks.

  29. bob carter

    Hi ‘Urb’
    my ‘oil cap’ was just a short M5 posi screw with an o ring under it. You just have to avoid the races inside the outer casing, drill & tap ( don’t tighten the screw up too much either….) Yes, a long screw would foul the innards of the hub, there’s not much clearance!
    The axle bearings are not sealed so if you tip the bike over all the oil will run out – just something to be continually aware of!!!

  30. mark

    hi done about 1000miles comuteing on my alfine bike very easy to use no probs so far running on 39×18 with no tensioner & home made shifter bracket on drops

  31. hi all done bout 1000 miles comuteing now on the alfine bike still harder work than normal gears but hard is good . running 39×18 with no tensioner & shifter mounted on bracket in front of drops looks neat n tidy use discs too heavy old girl but bomb proof

  32. cyclodog

    Alfine IGH can any 8 speed shifter be used with the hub?

  33. Mike

    Hi
    Same question as Cycledog,is there an alternative shifter that can be used on the Nexus 8,for some reason the brakes on my Specialized Globe Comp are useless and i want to fit Magura HS33.but have to loose the Shimano combined unit.
    Has anyone chopped the rapid fire or found an alternative ?
    Regards
    Mike

  34. bob carter

    re: alternative shifters, my bike is a drop handlebar road type & I’ve put a twist shifter on the handlebar bracket. And this is MUCH worse than the indexed derraillieur shifters that are built into brake levers. So I’m going to try to make an adapter using a ‘capstan’ with 2 diameters. The nexus cable movement is 3.5mm per gear step, about 50% more than an 8speed indexed system. I’ll link to a photo when I’ve done it (I’ve given up cycling for winter – yeah, I know, lightweight….)

  35. Mike

    Hi Bob
    I have just ordered the twist grip shifter(flat bars so hopefully should be OK) No one i could find with a web search had any in the UK,but got one on back order with SJS Cycles so could have it in a week or so can start fitting the Magura brakes.

  36. bob carter

    Don’t get me wrong – there’s no problem with the operation of the twist shifter, it’s just the wrong thing to have on a drop handlebar bike, & those shimano “push the brake lever sideways” ones are so right!!! So I think it’s worth a bit of effort. On a town bike they’re just the job!

  37. Mike

    Has anyone done the upgrade from standard Nexus 8 to RedStripe using the components illustrated?
    Are the individual part numbers of these components listed anywhere? is a conversion kit available from Shimano?
    Do the bits cost more than a new hub plus agro?

  38. austex

    Bob Carter et al,

    Problem Solvers already make a 2:1 capstan(*) which can be adapted to use a Shimano 8-sp bar-end shifter; optionally includes a cable adjuster, as well. I got one from Harris Cyclery.

    (*-their brake adapter for v-brake to “regular” lever, also available as an in-line version to use mechanical disc brakes w/drop-bar brake levers)

  39. austex

    Also, jtek engineering has just introduced a specific bar-end shifter for Alfine/Nexus-8. A bit pricey, but…

    http://www.jtekengineering.com/jtek_bar-end_shifter.htm

  40. cyclodog

    I have tried a SRAM twist on my 29er commuter with the Alfine IGH. Not the best as Mike suggested.

    Am going all Alfine shifter, cassette joint and drop out washers. Leaving the bike a single speed would have been less work.

  41. leon woodbine

    Hi, is anyone interested in a discussion on oils for Alfine hubs? I’ve been using two types with great success, does anyone else have results they would like to share?
    Thanks again for the site Marco!

  42. Mike

    Leon
    Fire away
    I have only recently aquired my bike and have done about 60 miles on it so far, judging from the condition of the bike in general i would think the mileage on the hub is negligable.
    Would like to do a change to oil lubrication and once i get it in bits i am pretty sure i could make some seals to keep the runny stuff in place.I have a light grade of oil(hydraulic oil) that i got from a local machine tool supplier(they use it in lathe headstocks) and was going to give that a try but any information you have would be greatfully received.

  43. Mike

    Leon
    Spill the beans
    What oils have you been using?
    Any tips regarding mods

  44. bob carter

    Automatic transmission fluid Mike – basically cheap low viscosity gear oil. I still have a can for a (manual!) car gearbox I had.

  45. leon woodbine

    To Bob – how does the ATF lube work below freezing on the
    Alfine? Does it get noticeably sluggish? I might try it – a small bottle is very cheap.
    My current lube for the deep freeze we seem to have right now is synthetic multigrade fork oil. The main advantages I’ve experienced is that it does not damage seals or plastic parts in any way (its designed for use in bicycle forks which have both) and stays in place very well. Oil, any oil will lubricate, but not all stay where you want them to without being thick (high viscosity to be correct). Heavy conventional oils get thick in the deep cold as we all know. (synthetics are much better for that) Sorry, getting off topic – its easy to do talking about bikes! Anyway, this fork oil works very well – its super easy to service the internals(same way as the Shimano method) and doesn’t get sluggish when its really cold. I’ll keep you posted if things change.

    I LOVE MY ALFINE!
    Pete

  46. bob carter

    No good asking me about cycle parts & freezing weather ;^)
    I would say oil for gearboxes is designed quite differently to hydraulic oil, in particular with regard to “extreme pressure” lubricants (e.g. molybdenum disulphide – hence gear oils “EP” designation). All I know is that ATF is a low viscosity gear oil & I had some; so it went in. ATF probably has other properties to do with the clutch bands in an auto box, I don’t know. The boxes I oiled were both nexus’s (nexi???) but I guess they’re substantially similar. I suspect we won’t be able to make any conclusions for many years regarding lifetime effects, but there is some evidence of reduced friction & a slightly different feel due, I guess, to lack of ‘cushioning’ from the high viscosity/thixotropic grease

  47. leon woodbine

    I agree Bob, about the “feel” of the hub with different lubricants. The Shimano factory grease when new had a smoothness that was awesome, like the “cushioning” you mentioned. After switching to the oils, the hub came alive and felt more responsive, with lighter shifter effort. One key difference with the Alfine versus the nexus hubs is the roller clutches. Alfine (to be exact, the B-type Alfine) doesn’t have any ratchets between the internal assembly and the hub shell, versus the others do. Making sure they work freely and engage quickly is important, because they are what move you forward when you push down on the pedal. But not to worry, because Alfine is very maintenance friendly and easy to live with. I expect mine to last for the 10+ years my old Nexus did.

  48. Mike

    Thanks for that Guys.
    I will be making the change to oil but as i commented earlier my hub appears to be as new so i am going to have to run it in before switching,also going to have to lower the gear ratios as i am still finding it hard going on my local run and there are only some easy-ish hills, so no chance doing my Ambleside run.
    Still can’t get over the difference in gear changing between derailure and Nexus(love it)
    No luck trying to source the Shimano Twist Shifter,SJS sent me an e-mail saying new stock will not be here till July.

  49. Online shops that stock Alfine hubs

    Hello all(again)
    Do you know any online bike shops that sell the Alfine hub in Europe?
    I guess that it would be a good idea to have an extra linkinto the hubstripping.com with online shops selling these parts (exept if there is and i missed it!)

    UncaJohn

  50. UncaJohn,

    I appreciate your suggestion to add the hub online shops. Please post your shop links here…

    http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/online-shop/

    You can reach the page via the main hubstripping page.

    Gruß,

    Marco

  51. Ron Miller

    Hi guys. I have recently acquired a bike with the Alfine hub. I had to import the bike and therefore set it up myself. I am having trouble with the gear shifting. Despite minor adjustments I still get incomplete gear changes ( occasionally) where the the gear does not select fully until about 100 metres of further pedalling. I have done about 500 miles and was hoping this would just be a running in problem. Any help would be appreciated. Perhaps oil instead of grease ?

  52. Anonymous

    Hi Ron
    Someone more knowledgable will probably give you better information,but for the Nexus select fourth gear and check alignment of the yellow reference marks on the cassette joint.
    adjust with cable shifter till alligned.try easing up a bit when changing gear.
    Hope that helps.
    Mike

  53. cheesy

    Hi all,

    I’ve just finished building a commuter bike with a used Alfine hub and new Alfine Rapid Fire shifter.
    Yesterday was the first ride and, even though the temp was only 5F, this has to be the nicest IG hub I’ve ever used. Shifted nicely and absolutely silent.
    I still need to accrue a few more miles on it but if it keeps performing like it does in this Great Lakes winter weather, it’ll be a keeper.
    I plan on switching to oil come spring and would like to do the same to my Sram S7. Any comments on lip seals?

  54. The English Language link to the Nexus8/Alfine service manual above links to the German language manual. I need the English language version.

    BTW for those interested in gear hubs and geared hub bikes check out the geared hubs Yahoo group linked to above. Click onj my name to visit.

  55. stefan zemp

    Hello together
    I have a question concernig the front dynamo hub of the alfine group (DH-S501 or DH-3D72): Is it possible to run the dynamo backwards?
    Shimano writes “the connection terminal must be on the right side, otherwise the wheel may not turn properly?”
    What would be the problem? I know that the SON dynamo hubs may “unscrew” – but can this also happen to the shimano hubs? The electrics should still work. Maybe someone with some hub-knowledge can help?

  56. Hello!

    Please, write (explain) me: what the different between Alfine FC-S500 TYP 3 and Alfine FC-S500 TYP 7 ?

    – Typ 3 = Schwarz/170,0 mm 39 Zähne; Kettenschutzring außen; Shimano-Nr. A-FCS500CA9C1L

    – Typ 7 = Schwarz/170,0 mm 39 Zähne; Kettenschutzring außen/innen; Shimano Artikel-Nr. A-FCS500CA9C2L

    Sorry for my English.

  57. lastchild

    @Pouletic,

    I feel your pain. My observation is such: I removed the large locknut on the NDS, only to find the the axle has two diameters of threads. In short, you can put a thin locknut in place of the thicker one, but you’re still screwed because the larger diameter threads will stick out past the thin locknut. I assume this disparity in thread diameters from DS to NDS will wreak havoc with any style dropout that I’m aware of. This was on a SG-S500. It looks like you’re stuck with 135mm spacing, unless you are a machinist (which I am, and I’m looking into machining a few items on this hub to get the width down. 126mm would be nice… YMMV.

    What is the deal with Shimano’s ‘Cloak of Secrecy’ surrounding their products? Does anyone besides the designer have a clue?

    • Evan

      lastchild & pouletic,

      I just finished my build of putting an SGS-501 into a BMC time trial frame (don’t ask why). I had to shave about 3.5mm off the locknut (machining not the serrated face). This is a basic task on a lathe which most car repair workshops etc should be able to do.

      I then installed the locknut and used a Dremel tool with a cone shaped griding bit to grind off the outer thread which was obstructing the dropout. I did this slowly but it was all finished in about 15mins and was not that tricky. P.S The OLD of the original SGS-501 was about 133.5 not 135mm.

      Hope this helps.

      • curry

        How does it do on the time trial frame? I’m wanting to do the same thing….Is the friction of the hub too much ? Do you recommend
        the setup ? I thinking about the Alfine instead of the Nexus.

      • Evan

        Hub works well – I like Alfine because it was available in black (also I think its a latter generation unit – not exactly sure here?). I had to add a cable stop (pop-riveted to chainstay) for cable re-direction. Also jtek shifter is great (I don’t get commission). I also have a bar end brake lever rigged to pull both calipers on the other side to the Jtek.

        With respect to the friction I did not test without hub gear so not exactly sure, I don’t feel it though. Also in my setup I lack alittle top-end gearing.

  58. leonwoodbine

    135mm spacing on Alfine is easy to change – I changed mine to 130mm for a while using a standard 3/8″ locknut on the non drive side and a thin washer. 130mm works great with a frame that is 126, because each chainstay/seatstay only has to move a fraction over 2mm, which is no problem at all. If your dropouts are aligned properly things should be fine. However, if you do machine some parts for your Alfine, show some photos! Internal gears hubs are fun…………….

  59. dom

    I’ve just bought a Cannondale Bad Boy 8 Ultra. When setting off from traffic lights in any 5th gear and above, I get a spongy feel on the pedals before the back cog turns with the pressure of pedaling – If that makes sense. Does anyone know if this is normal or not?

    • redchili

      dom, i think i know what you mean! this ‘spongy’ feel lasts for just i tiny moment and feels like the firs few degrees of the turn have a gear reduction that smoothly and quickly ramps up to the selected gear?
      this seems to be somewhat normal i think, although i can’t explain it, but i noticed this as well.
      this can be reproduced when standing or near standing by pumping instead of fully turning the pedals.

      • dom

        Thanks for the reply – That’s exactly it… I had someone else reply to my comment on a different site (I think) here’s what they said – might help.

        “double check your non-turn washers are seated firmly in the dropouts. And retorque your axle nuts too. The feeling you are getting should go away if everything is right.”

  60. Hi there,
    This is a great site – I didn’t realise there was a worldwide network of IGH afficianados with (like myself) more time than good sense with which to strip these creatures!
    I have, or had, various hubs including Rohloff (bike stolen last year), Sturmey Archer torpedo-7 (not reviewed at this site), SRAM Spectro-7 (now fitted to Birdy with Schlumpf drive), SA8 (now fitted to older Dahon folder with Schlumpf drive), SRAM dual-drive (fitted to bike with triple chain ring, that means 81 gears), Sachs orbit 2×6 (still waiting to be built into a bike)….

    A couple of comments. At least one correspondent mentioned slippage between gears, despite correct alignment etc. When I experienced this problem with a spectro-7, a bikeshop guy suggested stripping the hub and sharpening the pawls. It took three days to take the thing apart, sharpen the pawls with a hand-held grinder, then put it back together correctly….. but this action certainly solved the slippage.

    I like a gear range of 18/110’’(600+%) – a bigger range than that afforded by any hub. I coupled the Rohloff hub to a 38/48 chainring set, which provided two éxtra’gears at the high end. The SA8 has direct drive first gear, but the 25 or 27t cog is too small to provide an 18”lowgear with, say, a 24t chainring. My solution – don’t tell SA/Sunrace about this – was to take a 42t solid BMX chainring and drill/grind it down to be a three-spline cog for the SA8. Took a lot of time and swearing but I eventually produced an almost symmetric cog (just need to keep the chain tension fairly high to prevent chain jump). Coupled with a Schlumpf drive, this provides a range of 750+%.

    The SA sprinter-7 (280%) is a nice hub. After opening it up for a service/degreasing (and pawl grind), the hub goes effortlessly in gear 1, gear 4 (direct drive), and gear 7 feels very light. No w am waiting on delivery of a Sachs elan 12-speed, deleted from their range years ago but a true prize for an old fiddler..

    Regards, Aarn (aarnaarn@hotmail.com)
    Ps. Of course, derailleur gears are technically more efficient but…

  61. JohnnyJohnson

    I want to replace my 20T cog with a 16T cog. Is this possible?

  62. leonwoodbine

    Hi Dom,
    What hub does your BadBoy have? If it is Shimano nexus/alfine, double check your non-turn washers are seated firmly in the dropouts. And retorque your axle nuts too. The feeling you are getting should go away if everything is right.
    Cheers

  63. Bernie

    Dear Sir

    Came across your very interesting website.

    I have a Cannondale Bad Boy 8 Ultra 2009, with Alfine 8 speed hub. Although I like the bike and the hub I do think the bike is under geared. I have a 16T cog on the back and a 42T on the front. I find the gearing ratio in 5 and 6 not quite right when going up medium hills, also i find that I’m lacking speed in top gear as you feel you needs one or two more gears. I would like your advice in upgrading for more speed and a better midrange between the gears. I was thinking to upgrade the smaller cog to a 14T and a larger cog at the front to a 50 or maybe 52T. I keen to customized badboy ultra to a very fast road bike as I cycle many miles . I would much appreciate any suggestions and recommendation. Thank you

    Bernie

  64. Mike

    @ Bernie
    Hi M8
    You are obviously a very strong cyclist, but i am afraid you will have to make some compromises.If you look at the photo’s of the stripped hub in the maintenance section you will see what i mean,the internal gear ratios cannot be changed so you need to adjust the big ring & sprocket to get the range you can live with.My hub was fitted to a Specialized Globe Comp with 44/20 and even on my local run with little in the way of hills i was having a hard time(old and heavy) so i changed to a 38 ring and was still not confident it would be low enough geared for my lakes run.Was fortunate enough to get a red stripe hub off e-bay and gave that a run the other day,from the feel it appears to be slightly lower geared or the addition of the upgraded bearings is making it seem so. Regarding smaller sprockets i believe it is possible to modify shimano by filling away a portion of the locating splines so you should not have a problem there. No doubt Bob or someone will come back with better advise.
    If you have unlimited amounts of cash you could buy a Rohloff and that would solve the gearing but that will be a heavy wheel for a flier.
    Hope that is of some help.
    Regards
    Miker

  65. leonwoodbine

    Hi Bernie,
    Thought I would help you on your gearing concerns. I find using a gear chart helps clarify things immensely – it converts the ratios hidden inside our Alfine hubs into actual combinations that everybody knows from experience on the pavement. Your current ring/sprocket is 44/16T, which equals a top gear of 53/12T with your Alfine. This is a great gear for big downhills, you can really fly if your strong and the hill is steep. And only one cog away from the highest top gear normally used by the peloton on mountain stages and non-time trial stages of the Tour de France. (That being a 53/11T). Those professionals are immensely strong and powerful riders, but I have little use for a gear that high, with my Alfine equipped touring bike which I love. If your want an even higher top gear, a larger chainring is needed because sprockets smaller than 16T will conflict with the cassette joint – 16T is the smallest that work with your hub. A larger chainring, combined with the cog you are using now, would greatly sacrifice a low gear that is rideable up steep hills. For instance, a 52/16T with the Alfine would give a top gear equivalent of slightly higher than 56/11T, the largest/highest top gear normally used by the worlds elite cyclists for time trials. Quite a large gear, yes? My regards if you can spin that gear at 90 rpm! And the other end of the range, lowest gear is equivalent to 40/23T, 42/24T, and other combinations (39/23T is slightly lower). As Mike mentioned, compromises have to made, and the steps between the gears cannot be changed. No problem, because the effective range of the hub is easily and cheaply altered to suit the riders needs. The overall range is great, you have a very useful spread of gears, well suited for the intended use of this hub – which is most of us!
    Hope this helps.
    I love my Alfine!

  66. Bernie

    Hi Mike & leonwoodbine

    Thanks very much for the reply back and the helpful information. I have cycled up many hills in which some are very steep indeed and i also have to fight against the strong southcoast winds of England. My low gears 1 to 4 in my Alfine hub in my Badboy Ulltra certaintly gets tested regularly! But most of the time i make it to the top! I have no problem just sticking in the 4 and 5 gear but the midrange is missing ln the long “drawn-out” hills! Gear 5 and 6 is where the problem starts. I cycle over 110 mile a week to work and cycle for fun with friends during the weekends, so im quite fit but on know level as those guys “Tour de France”

    My currently set-up on my Badboy ultra is a 18T rear cog and front crank is a Truvative Fire Ring 42T, my – wheels are DT Champion 700 with continental sport contact 28-622 tires, whith Avid Juicy 3 brakeset front & rear. My Badboy is very light and responsive but just needs that midrange and topend. I was interested in your comments concerning the gear ratios. I did think of having a gear ratio of 16T / 52 or maybe 14T /52 or 51/50. I have seen on the net (Harris Cyclery) i can get a 14T cog for alfine hub. I think i might have to gamble with my current set-up concerning the gear ratios. Any more suggestion would be much appreciated.
    Many thanks again for your very interesting advise.

    Bernie

  67. leonwoodbine

    Hi again Bernie,
    Have you considered a double chainring setup with your Alfine? Shimano makes an Alfine chain tensioner specifically to do this, its not expensiive. Since you are using the lowest gear on your hub regularly (indicating its correctly sized for your riding conditions) and you need/want a higher top gear, it makes sense to add overall range to your drivetrain. Buy a second chainring, front derailleur and shifter, (Shimano makes a matching front Alfine shifter) and you can get all the range you want. Since you live in the UK you have many shops available to you that sell these parts, even some online. One downside is the steps between the gears (say 4, 5, 6) wont change, but that might be something you can get used to. After riding my Alfine for a good while, I just got used to the ratios and I dont feel hindered in any way – the gear choices are all fine (All fine, get it?). Here are some links in case you havent seen them:
    http://cycle.shimano-eu.com/publish/content/global_cycle/en/nl/index/products/city___comfort_bike/alfine.html

    The chain tensioner is at the top right of the photo.

    Here is a page selling the parts:
    http://www.petracycles.co.uk/advanced_search_result.php?search_in_description=1&inc_subcat=1&keywords=alfine&categories_id=&osCsid=g5o8s8snsvep6pvct4d9eomfi1&x=10&y=10

  68. redchili

    thanks a lot for this nice page with those loads of useful information!
    i have been riding my scott street g1 with an alfine SG-S500 hub (26″ wheels) since september 2008 and was quite impressed so far. i estimate i’ve ridden >1500km since then mainly in urban, road and cross enviroments, even in snowy conditions at temperatures around -10°C during the past winter.
    i haven’t been brutal to my bike but for sure materials need to be solid and durable for my profile of use.
    to get a nicer chainline and to keep my 1/8 singlespeed chain from eventually touching the dustcap of the alfine hub, i mounted the 18t nexus rear cog (has no plastic rim as the alfine cog does) in the opposite direction, meaning with an outward lean instead of a snug towards the hub.
    this was all sound an fun until recently when the temperatures got a little warmer again (~15-20°C), when i noticed an highly disturbing crack followed by a maybe 1/6 – 1/5 free turn when pedalling with lets say over 95% power (sitting).
    i first noticed this only in 5th gear but was able to reproduce this behaviour through pretty much all gears now.
    i’ve looked around the net and found some hints that people had similar problems with their nexus’s (or nexi how bob once put it) hubs which seemed to result from problems with the shifting line (wrong tension, dirt, folded etc). i checked all this and futher tried various adjustment settings also a little besides the perfect match of the yellow indicators without any improvement! setting the single-point chain-tensioner a little of the middle seemed to slightly improve the situation but the cracks did still occur.
    now i am afraid that maybe an internal ratchet my have broken and wonder what to do about it. i fear i’m loosing any guarantee if i open the hub. or maybe shimano would not accept this claim for guarantee at all; anybody has an idea?
    i finally tried to turn the rear cog into the position it is normally mounted in yesterday and could yet not produce any more of those horrible cracks.
    it need maybe further testing but it seems pretty good for now. the thing is, that i couldn’t really find an explanation to this but found after looking closely at my rear cog, that the gaps between the teeth are fairly leaning to the pull-direction of the chain, so maybe this was the reason?!? i’ll get a replacement cog soon and will try that in the previous mounting position and report about this issue by then.
    if there are any further ideas, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    @bernie: i wouldn’t suggest to get i too large ratio, switching from 42/16 to 50/16 is already quite a change. i would consider myself a medium to intermediate cyclist and currently have a 46/18 ratio, that i’ve become quite used to. sometimes i miss another top-gear and rarely use gears 1 and 2, but when i once tried a 16t rear cog, i found the steps between the gears somewhat too big, so i am trying to work on reaching higher pedalling frequencies and stick to my currently favourite setup.
    i once used a spreadsheet iv’e created to compare the options (equivalent to leons suggestion of a gearchart), you can find and use this speardsheet if you want: http://coma.cc/bike/.

    regards, red

    • Redchilli, I am having the same problem with that ‘crack’ and the gears sometimes jumping out and it has nothing do do with adjustment, cable run or dirt in it etc. either.
      I am pulling the hub apart to find out if there is a engagement part somewhere (no pawls!) thats rounded off and keeps slipping under load…BUT i have also mounted my sprocket with the offset away from the hub/outside leaning but I can hardly believe that could be the reason…
      Wondering how you got on with solving your problem…found out more?
      I am running the hub on a motorized MTB (bikemoto.wordpress.com) with a 1.5hp motor and that might be the problem because the hub has done 4000km on it and maybe reached the limit for an Alfine and its time for an Rohloff.

  69. bob carter

    Update on brake lever/gear changer with the Alfine:
    I got hold of a 2nd hand right shimano 8 spd. shifter/brake lever off ebay. I measured the indexed gear positions on the “sora” levers: this was 2.55mm per click. The same measurement on the alfine twistshifter was 5.45mm per click. I got hold of a “shiftmate” with a 1.6:1 ratio from chainreaction I think, took out the supplied pulley thing & made my own from aluminium alloy to give me a 2.1:1 ratio. This is actually a bigger ratio than the stock shiftmate is really capable of & I had to do a little bit of filing to get it in. Note also that the shiftmate pulley runs on a little sealed 4mm ball bearing, but the screw through the middle can not clamp it so the rotation is always ballrace inner on screw….
    whatever
    Anyway, it was all together today….. rode 30 miles…. did it work???? No not really… the deraillieur system seems to stop in different places depending on whether you go up or down the gears: this is amplified by the shiftmate & I basically found a lot of unpleasant clicky neutrals if I went down the box; it was only OK going up. This is not sufficient for a long term solution.
    So I’m afraid it will have to come off or I’ll ruin the hub.
    Next whacky scheme is to manufacture a new part for the innards of the sora lever so it indexes the right amount…. Watch this space ;^)

  70. Claudio

    has anyone had any luck with re-assembling an alfine 501 hub Without the TL-8S30 carrier unit tool?? Can anyone provide close-up pictures of this tool?

    I have successfully cleaned and re-greased my hub but am having trouble getting the carrier unit back onto the axle unit. I did not dis-assemble/ touch the axle/clutch or driver unit.

    I am following the online published service manual for the nexus 8 speed hub that is on this website and am at step 13 of the re-assembly.

    I’m starting to wish I had not taken it apart, I would rather a fast wearing hub, than one that is in pieces!

    thanks in advance

  71. Chris

    Hello,

    I’m about to reduce the width of an Alfine “A” hub by shortening the locknuts etc.
    Can someone please tell me if the left hand bearing cone screws up against a shoulder on the axle?

    Chris.

    • bob carter

      No you use the left screw to adjust the bearing cone & lock it with the locknut. Don’t tighten it up hard!
      BTW the bearing cone is on a larger diameter thread than the locknut, which is on the same thread as the outer axle nuts.

      • Chris

        Thanks Bob,

        Can I assume then that on the right hand side everything goes up against a shoulder somewhere and its position on the axle is set?

        I will have to remove both lock nuts and want to make sure the axial relationship between the axle and hub remains the same.

        I plan to reduce the width of the right one to 3mm and the left one to 4mm which should give me an o.l.d. of 126mm.
        The larger unused section of thread on the LHS would be turned down to 3/8″ in the lathe with the hub axle chucked at one end and the other end supported by the tailstock.

        Then the anti-rotation washer/s would have to be counterbored to accommodate the round section of axle that will now protrude through further.

        It’s not something I’m happy about doing, but the alternative of cold setting the stays on two very good frames appeals even less.

        bye,
        Chris.

      • bob carter

        I’ve certainly never moved anything on the RHS. If you do I’d check with all the changer (cassette) stuff on that it won’t foul on any of yr stays – there’s not a great deal of clearance round there!
        I’d say if you get the size over the locknuts down to within 5mm of the frame it will easily ‘spring’ that far & not be too hard to get the wheel in… sounds like you’re trying to find 8mm or so & that’s gonna leave the locknuts wafer thin!!!
        You’ll also find that the axle flat on one side doesn’t go far enough for the non-turn washers to tighten properly, but a careful introduction to mr angry grinder will sort that out… ;^)

  72. Chris

    Bob,

    Been delayed waiting for parts.
    Now have a spare set of non-rotation washers but couldn’t get spare locknuts.
    Not available here [Australia] as spare parts, not a good sign.
    I think as long as the lock nuts are of good quality material and thread, 3mm width shouldn’t be a problem.
    Ultimately the axial load from the axle nuts will apply far more locking force than the lock nuts ever will.
    I intend to bore out the non-rotation washer to accommodate the extra protrusion of the axle flats.

    I would like to get the width down as much as possible with this bike [Apollo III] as my No1 machine is narrow across the drop-outs and I have to look at a replacement for its Pentasport at some stage.

    Chris.

  73. J

    Does anybody know any source for cogs/sprocket smaller than 16T or how/where I can make one? Thanks in advance.

  74. leonwoodbine

    Hi J,
    Cogs smaller than 16T are available but will conflict with the cassette joint on the Alfine/nexus/etc. This is not an issue with bikes with 26″ or larger wheels because of the effective ratio of a 16T is very large – it is actually a 10T, thats not a misprint, (technically 9.937) which gives a very tall gear not needed unless the bike has small diameter wheels such as 20″ or less. To clarify, top gear (8th)with a 16T sprocket is equivalent to 10T, and the difference in pedaling effort/cadence between 10T and 11T is significant. Compare the same effective gear in using a derailleur / cog system, it is 53/11T – this is when using a 48T with the 16T. My compliments if you can spin that gear at 90rpm! So cogs smaller than 16T just aren’t necessary for the bikes and types of riding intended, 99.9% of the time, which is for people like you and me. Hope this helps, just remember that changing the sprocket changes the effective ratio much more than the change in tooth count.

    • J

      Hi leonwoodbine,

      Thanks for the prompt reply. I will be using this hub in a folding bike with a 20″ rim (406). I had a 56T chainring and the smallest cog on the cassette was 11T. I felt this was still low to me. I used Sheldon’s IGH calculator and the highest gear is 105 GI (56T x 16T). I am looking to achieve a high GI between 125 – 135. I could also get a 60T chainring, but the 8th gear will still be below 120 GI. There are some hills where I live, but I was able to climb those in my fixie with 82 GI without an issue, so an Alfine with a low gear of about 45 GI will be good for me in case I need to ride in other areas. I have considered the SA8, but I don’t want to take that route due to the reliability issues and only one store is carrying the new (w) version, which cost as much as an Alfine, and there are no reports on how good the new hubs are. Therefore, I have been looking to install a cog smaller than 16T in the Alfine. Is it possible to achieve this maybe with spacers or shaving a bit of plastic from the joint? I am not able to do any mods for now as the hub is on the way. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

      J

      • william wilson

        I am wondering how the alfine is working on your folder. Are you using a 16t sprocket and a chain tensioner? According to Shimano, if using a chain tensioner, only the CS-S500 sprockets with chain guard should be used. I can’t find one 18t in the states.

        It would be nice to know that I could get away using a 16t with no chain guard.

        I have a folding bike with 16″ wheels.

        William

  75. John

    Hello,

    I just had a wheel built with an Alfine 501 hub, I noticed the there is a black 7R lock washer on the right side (cog side), and a yellow 5R on the left… is this correct or does it not matter?
    Also, the adjustment window doesn’t come into view until I’m in fifth gear, not fourth, could this be a problem?

    Thank you.

    • Chris

      John,

      Doesn’t sound like your non rotation washers are correct.
      You need to measure the angle of the dropouts in degrees with a protractor and refer to the link/chart above under Maintenance/Installation.

      There are 2 stages to gear adjustment. The coarse adjustment is done by positioning the lug/nipple on the live end of the inner cable and the fine adjustment done with the thimble on the trigger selector.

      The home position for the changer on the hub is 1st gear.
      With the trigger selector set to 1st set the lug/nipple in a position along the cable so that once snicked into position on the hub changer there is the smallest amount of slack still in the cable. May take a couple of goes. Don’t overtighten.
      Move trigger to 4th and check alignment marks.
      Now adjust the thimble on the trigger selector to align the marks if necessary.

      Chris.

  76. Chris

    G’day,

    Has anybody attempted to liquify the Shimano factory grease by gently heating, with a view to dipping the hub centre for re-lubrication?
    If the internals are cleaned with an effective solvent bath, all lubricant will be stripped from every nook and it would be difficult to manually force grease back into these areas.

    Chris.

    • Towman

      I haven’t checked what the specification of Shimanos white grease is, but I doubt it’s very different to something like White Lithium grease, available in an aerosol can – that’s pretty liquid stuff that should get into all the nooks and crannies in the system given a good blast. It might be a better lubricant too as it never gets quite a solid as “normal” grease.

      Cheers
      Towman

  77. Yuri

    Hi everyone,

    I am thinking of installing the Alfine 8 speed hub on my Nirve Switchblade chopper. It currently has a 3-speed Nexus which I am quite happy with but the roller brake is awful. I would like to switch to Alfine to install the disc brake (the bike weights more than 25 kg) and have larger range of gears.

    Do yo know how to find out if Alfine would fit in this bike? What measurements do I need to take and what parts will need replacement? I would have a new 24′ wheel built for it.

    Thanks

  78. Alfine bearings crunching already!! I just finished a lugged frame/fork and built it up with an Alfine hub and belt-drive. I got the Alfine hub OEM from QBP – it just came in a plastic bag – no instructions, nothing. I have experience setting them up so I was able to assemble the bike just fine. The issue is that I have only put a couple hundred miles on the bike and the hub is making terrible bearing noises. I’m not sure if the tension of the belt (set up to correct Gates specs) is too much for it or if maybe OEM hubs are sent out dry? I am having a hard time finding all 6 tools required for the Alfine hub. Anyone have any suggestions? Ideas? Do I need all 6 tools to open the hub up and check it out?

    • leonwoodbine

      Hi, that sounds disappointing about the noises with your new ride. Have you opened the hub up yet? The shimano tool to remove the right side cover/seal is needed (TL-AF10). After its off, normal cone wrenches are all thats needed to remove/look at the internal assembly and left side cone/bearings. To remove/reinstall the drive side axle bearings, you need two tools to do it professionally: Shimano TL-8S11 and TL-AF20. They are for the drive side cone and work perfectly without damaging it or the surrounding parts. The other tools are nice to have but not mandatory. From your message you are hearing bearing noise, so make 100% sure the bearings are functionally perfect before proceeding – the Alfine hubs are quiet hubs, so there is likely something wrong if noises are occuring. After inspecting the inside of the hub and bearings, confirm the noise: put a normal cog/chain on the Alfine hub and ride it to see if the noise is still there. If all is quiet, that should tell you if it is a hub problem or belt/interface/belt sprocket problem. There are too many variables without seeing the bike. The good news is that you can do a lot of diagnosis even without the Alfine tools (ie. ride it with a normal cog/chain and see if the noises go away). Hope you sort it out, but keep us updated – photos would be great!
      Cheers

    • nick

      Hi Morgan,
      I don’t have any tips for re-lubing the hub I’m afraid but I thought you might be able to advise me on setting up my own Alfine/Carbon Drive bike. I have tried numerous spacer combinations on the bb but couldn’t seem to get a stable setup with both correct tension and zero rub. Gave the bikeshop a go but they gave it back loose and rubbing. I’ve followed the instructions on the Gates website but maybe I’ve missed something. Any ideas?

  79. John

    I’m not terribly convinced that a wheel I had built using an Alfine SG S501 hub was done correctly… The bike shop that did it had put on two right side (7R and 5R) non turn washers, and apparently the wrong cassette joint, both these issues have been corrected, but now I would like to know how much friction should there be? i.e. when you spin the cranks backwards, or the rear wheel.

    Thanks,
    John

    • Anonymous

      John, they are quite draggy when new, but loosen up considerably over a few hundred miles. Regarding bike shops; you’d be very lucky to find one with a clue about hub gears.
      BTW I’m pretty sure there’s nothing wrong with swapping sides with the non- turn washers; it just gives you more available drop-out angles. They come in matched pairs, the green & blue (on mine – vertical drop-outs) can be swapped over (L/R) to give a different cassette angle.

  80. irn_bru_ce

    i have an alfine 8 on my cannondale hooligan , fantastic bike for the urban environment , especially when the traffic builds up. the hooligan has 20″ BMX wheels and the current 42/16 setup means i never use the bottom 3 gears , so i have just purchased a truvativ omnium track crankset which comes with a 48t ring , but with the 144BCD will allow me to fit larger 1/8″ rings no problem. another thing with the hooligan , the disc brake acting on a 20″ wheel makes them stupidly powerful , but i upgraded the front to a 203mm rotor anyway

  81. oar8

    My first Nexus was a SG-7C20 bought as a complete new wheel. It laid around for a few years waiting on components to get it to work. Harris Cycle helped and I got the cassette joint and the bike is working, even without anti-rotation washers. It has 20T/41T/53T with an Alfine tensioner and wheels are 26 inch with fairly narrow street tires. Right now it is mainly used with the 53T since terrain around the office is pretty flat.

    The second SG-S500 Alfine came on a 2007 Rocky Mountain Metropolis hybrid bike. As compared to my 20lb Litespeed Obed modified for street use, it loses speed too quickly up a steep hill near my house. But the low end is low enough that I can still make it up the hill. This bike has 700C rims and tires are narrow street tires. Going downhill is great. The cogs are 16T/42T.

    The third one is a SG-8R20. It was a used hub bought on eBay. Unfortunately it has grinding noise. Now I am contemplating what to do with it.

  82. Other than the hub shell & the ability to use disc brakes is there any advantage/difference to the Alfine and the Nexus 8 Red Band IGHS?

    cheers,

    Vik
    http://www.thelazyrando.com

    • leonwoodbine

      Hi lazyrando,
      Sorry if this is late,but you do have an excellent question. The Nexus/ Alfine decision is a fair one, considering the higher price in most cases for the Alfine. I own the Alfine and prefer it for a variety of reasons, but most people would never care or even know about these differences. After all, they both share the same effective ratios and can use the same shifters, fit a wide variety of bikes, both shift well, and require very little maintenance. And the same fitting parts (non-turn washers/cassette joints) are interchangeable between the two, and capable of using the same cogs. If you are looking for specifics, the disc option is one, as is the availability of 32H drillings for the Alfine. Even colour could be a deciding factor, the nexus is only available in silver, the Alfine is also available in black.
      Personally, after becoming thoroughly familiar with my Alfine, I much prefer it over any Nexus. The smoothness of the bearing cups and cones is noticeably better, the lack of ratchets anywhere, the excellent roller clutches shimano makes for the Alfine, yes the 32H option to a little degree, the better weatherproofing and sealing,the precision of how the assemblies turn individually and in combination with each other, the smoothness / lack of drag either pedaling or coasting, the centerlock interface. I could go on, but to summarize- these differences dont matter to most people, they just want a bike that’s fun and easy to ride that dosn’t break down. Your best bet is to personalize the differences by riding the Nexus and Alfine (ideally back to back) which will make the decision so much easier. You might prefer one over the other after riding them both. But to be sure, there is no disadvantage to choosing the Alfine-it will do all the Nexus8 does and more.
      Gotta go, more on this later

  83. Towman

    I have an Alfine SC501 fitted to an old MTB frame. It’s been used for a bit of gentle off roading and some commuting but in total has done less than 500 miles. So far it seems a good piece of kit but I have noticed that there is a definate “click” as the cog engages – it’s not particularly lound and doesn’t sound like bearings falling apart , but it’s there! To me it sounds like a pawl engaging slowly/without enogh lube but I haven’t taken the unit apart yet. I did manage to get in as far as removeing the drive side dust cover (why is a special tool needed??! It comes off with bare hands!)) and everything so far seems to have a good layer of Shimano’s finest white grease so I’m assuming inide is the same.
    Anyone have any suggestions as to what the click might be?

    Regards

    Towman

  84. James

    I can only engage four of the 8 gears on my black alfine hub. The low ratio gears do not engage, the problem is inside the hub as far as I can tell, any suggestions?

  85. william wilson

    I just received my Alfine and in reading the instructions I learned that I need a CS-S500 sprocket with chain guard, because I have vertical drop outs and will need a chain tensioner. I need it in the 18t version.

    I can’t find this part in the US. Is it available anywhere in the US?

    • oar8

      I am using that tensioner with a Nexus 7 and a large sprocket.

    • Towman

      May be a bit late but I run the sprocket without the guard (I had to reverse it to get correct chainline) and a singleator type tensioner on an MTB – so far no unexpected derails. I believe Nexus sprockets fit the alfine so you might be able to find something in that.
      The plastic chainguard is rubbish anyway!

  86. jatatoo

    This must be covered somewhere, but I can’t find it….

    I bought recently a Nexus 8 Premium hub with Alfine SL-S500 8-speed right shifter. I plan on adding the roller brake option to the build, but am stuck on which right (hand) brake lever to use. My LBS says the BL-M420…while Shimano’s site has the BL-500 series brakes listed for the Alfine – all left?.

    I’m assuming I need a V-brake lever for the roller, and that it should go outboard the Alfine shifter, because of the OGD. Correct? Help on this and the correct brake lever to use is appreciated – thanks.
    Jim

    • Anonymous

      jatatoo,

      Any V-Brake lever will work with the roller brake. No need to use the shimano specific lever.

      • jatatoo

        Ok, thanks…I guess I’m more concerned about the positioning of the lever relative to the shifter…seems like the OGD would get in the way on the inboard lever position, and outboard may be too awkward – can’t find any pics…may be best to say heck with it and get a shifter with an integrated lever…thanks, Jim

    • leonwoodbine

      HI Jim/jatatoo,
      Do you have the Alfine shifter yet? It is functionally the same as all the Shimano Rapidfire shifters for the last 20 years or so, meaning, it is designed to work in conjunction with + independently of the brake lever. The gear display doesn’t conflict with the brake lever if the shifter is mounted properly, inside the brake lever. (and you’d have to search long and hard to find a v-brake lever that will NOT work with it). Having separate shift and brake levers allows you to adjust both for the application, (type of riding,etc.) and preference of the rider (reach,hand size, etc). Many riders prefer this adaptability, and separate adjustment of the brake and shift levers. On the other hand, using a “one-piece” brake+shifter design (Shimano mtn STI) as is seen frequently on Nexave or Nexus as you mentioned, doesn’t allow this – you are stuck with the shifter position relative to the brake lever as it comes out of the box. Most of the time, for most people, this works fine, but if you dont like how it feels, you are stuck with it because the shifter can’t be moved relative to the brake lever.
      Apart from all that, the Alfine right shifter is well made, works well with v-brake, cantilever, and hydraulic brake levers, and the gear display is designed to not conflict with any typical handlebar/shifter setups. And the Nexus 8 has been proven many times since its introduction to be a sound reliable choice. So be assured you have a good shifter/ hub combination that should give many years of great riding. Hope this helps.

      • jatatoo

        Hey Leon – thanks alot for the post – great info!

        Yes, I got the trigger shifter with a Premium 8 hub – both new. As far as I can tell, the BL-IM65 right v-brake lever is the one that shimano recommends for use with the SL-S500 shifter. Just wish it came in black to match :)

        Thanks again and happy holidays.
        Jim

  87. James Vowles

    Hi
    I’ve been commuting daily in London using a Trek Soho with an Alfine hub gear for nearly 2 years now. The performance has been practically faultless apart from one problem which i’m hoping someone can help with.
    When the weather gets down around -2C (thankfully rarely in London) then the hub seizes up. I am stuck in one gear and cannot move up or down. After a few miles it loosens up a bit and may change but it frequently drops out of gear leaving me with no power.
    This happened last year and now with the first week of really cold nights has happened again.
    Could anybody help?
    Thanks

    • redchili

      hey james,
      i’m pretty happy with my alfine as well besides one issue i already described. commuting with my alfine-powered bike the second winter here at currently -9°C without any hub-wise-issues. also no problems at -15°C after parking the bike outside for several hours.
      but i know what you are talking about from my rear disc-brake which simply becomes unusable at these temperatures. what i found out so far could also apply to your problem:
      the bowden-cable runs more or less horizontally from the bottom-bracket towards the axis of the rear wheel and bends upward a little on the last couple of centimetres which will happily absorb water and all sorts dirt into the tube covering the shifting-cable on whet weather conditions.
      although i never found masses of water/dirt in the tube, it seems enough to completely jam the whole mechanism when freezing up. this happens quite suddenly in my case and even with a lot of force the cable stays jammed until the whole thing warms up a little.
      i tried applying defroster and a few other tricks but the only solution for me was to make sure the rear end of the cable is not bending upward.
      maybe this helps, just an idea that came across my mind…

  88. Hello folks.

    There is lots of useful information above about reducing the O.L.D of an Alfine from 135 to 130mm.

    I have bought a Kona Paddy Wagon and had the rear triangle spread to 130mm, no problem. I have had an alfine wheel built up but it’s 135mm. My local LBS could not effect the change to 130mm because they encountered the problem with the thicker diameter shoulder and they don’t have a lathe or dremmel tool.

    I’m in London. Do any of you clever chaps live in London or do you know bike shop who could do this work?

    I am committed to the project to the tune of £700, so I can’t fail now.

    Many thanks

    Martin

    • Chris

      Martin,

      If you change the OLD after the wheel has been built, the dishing will be out.
      Can the stays be re-set the extra 5mm??

      Chris

    • Evan

      Martin,

      The turning down of the shaft with a Dremel is not that difficult if you do it yourself. Also you can buy similar Dremel type tools cheaply at the local hardware (or atleast you can in Sydney). Also you could source a thinner locknut instead of turning them down (i.e removing the lathe component). Good luck.

      Evan

  89. Today, 2 February, Shimano announced a new Alfine 11 speed geared hub, the SG-S700 per a German language web site. It uses oil bath lubrication like the Rohloff and has a 409% range with steps of 13% and 17%. Announced price is supposed to be about 300 Euros when actually available in October.

    It sounds very interesting and may be the first IGH to provide some true competition to the Rohloff hub for those who do not need the Rohloffs additional gear range. It is already being discussed on the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group linked to in my signature above.

  90. waterlaw

    I’m about ready to build an urban assault/commmuter bike with an Alfine and want to know about the possibility of mating it with an existing Shimano STI roadie 8 speed shift/brake control.
    I want to run drop bars, but the twist shift and rapid fire controls don’t really appeal in that setting. Anyone know the exact pull length for gear changes on the Alfine?

    • austex

      I use an Ultegra 8-sp bar-end shifter running through a Travel Agent (the pull-converter used for v-brakes with drop-bar levers; these are most often seen as 90-degree pull-direction types, but there is a straight-line version for use with cable disc brakes). The pull ratio there is 2:1 (or 1:2).

      Know that Dura Ace and Ultegra from 8-sp days have different pull ratios, hence the specificity of Ultegra in my application.

      Also, there is a non-Shimano shift/brake control now available specifically for Alfine/Nexus 8-sp.

      Tom

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, its made by Versa. Im not sure on the build quality though (having seen their micro shift derailleur on a felt hotwheels bike)

  91. Troy Cross

    I’d like to use an Alfine without rim brakes, but also without tensioner / eccentric hub, so also without the disc. That means hub brakes. Nexus could take one of these. Can Alfine? Or must I use tensioner / eccentric hub in frame design?

  92. Jim Graham

    Hi.
    I have stripped and cleaned my Alfine hub in my parts washer. I filled it with light transmission oil after assembly and it seemed to be much smoother, trouble is i cannot engage all the gears. I can get 1st,2nd,3rd and 4th then 8th gear but no 5,6 or 7. Can anyone tell me what i may have missed to cause this problem.
    regards,
    Jim.

    • Al

      Hi Jim…i have pulled a few planetary gear hubs apart but not yet my 8 speed alfine….but have you adjusted the cable…lined up the yellow dots in the hub window in 4.gear yet?
      If so and it still doesnt work then perhaps see/research way above on this page the blue highlighted
      ‘Alfine Hubstripping Picture’ and ‘Alfine Movie 1 to 6′ and see what could be out of place, not properly assempled etc.

      The way i do it is to spend the time to understand HOW THE HUB WORKS by looking at all the parts and playing with them…then ALL falls into place and it becomes easy….
      Put all parts cleaned and dry on the table on a piece of news paper and spend a evening (or two) with no rush slowly figuring out it all out….
      Have fun
      Al

    • gerrym

      Hi Jim,
      I did exactly the same thing on my nexus but I could only get 1-4 not 5-8. I was taking it into the bike (Shimano Service Plus) shop anyway so left it and asked them to look at it. They said “it’s not fixable and the mechanic said I’ve confirmed this Madisons”. I knew it was OK as I had taken it apart on about 4 occasions recently and it was always fine but they insisted it was kaput! Long story short when I got it home I took apart again and it was something called the “driver plate” look on the exploded parts diagram to find it. It can go in about 3 or 4 positions and if you get the wrong one you effectively limit how far the cable pull for gear changes can travel. If you get your wheel off and operate the gear change pulley you’ll see it only goes to about 8 o’clock and should go all the way to about 10 or 11. It very easy to change, take of the cassette unit, the lock nut and lock plate then the lock washer (which is slotted to fit only one way) then you can move your “driver plate”. It’s that simple! well it was on my hub.
      Good luck.
      Gerry

  93. David Scotland

    Having some issues with Alfine internals,There seems to be wear on engagement pawls, and slippage under load(only in gear 1 so far)
    If you take apart the internals of the hub(separate carrier from other bit, you have to remove a circlip or stopring to separate the 2 units.Because I have taken thisstopring off a couple of times the steel has lost its elasticity, but it still sits in its groove ok.However there seem to be a few mm of play between 2 units when assembled.I can’t recall if this Is this normal
    Any ideas

    • Al

      Hi David….
      I have had that wear happen before on 2 hubs(3 speeds)….its first gear that goes first….
      logically cause it has the biggest torque loads on it…
      BUT that was after many many thausends of km on a MTB….
      so either your hub has done heaps of miles OR there is another reason for the wear or/and slippage (wrong adjustment?) in first gear…
      The paws can’t be that expensive….if you can see some wear i would definetly replace them and order a circlip while you are at it.
      First maby try to figure the cause of the play between the 2 units out you mentioned and if it is normal or not…
      You seem to be keen to play with the hub yourself…good on you…now all you need to do is get rid of the mystery that sourrounds internal hubs….
      The way i do it is to spend the time to understand HOW THE HUB WORKS by looking at all the parts and playing with them…then ALL falls into place and it becomes easy….
      Put all parts cleaned and dry on the table on a piece of news paper and spend a evening (or two) with no rush slowly figuring it all out….
      I just had another idea… IF only that first gear is stuffed you could try and forget about first gear and use only 7 gears…(2. to 8.) and to make up for the lack of first gear just put a larger sprocket on the back….(BTW…you can use normal cassette sprockets..all you need to do is grind a few surplus grooves on the sprockets off…)

      Have fun, good luck,
      Al

    • David, if the pawls are worn you can sharpen them with a grinder mounted with a fine sand paper disk (best to mount grinder solid and use pawls in hand or pliers, with water handy to keep pawl cool)

  94. aiRJay

    Goodmorning everybody,

    Last week I started stripping the Alfine type 500 hub of my wife’s Stevens Roadflyer. The hub had done 6000 km without any service whatsoever. It started to run a little heavy so I decided to degrease the whole internal system and relubricate it with ATF D2 oil. Getting the hub into pieces wasn’t a problem but putting it back together is. As I degreased and relubricated all of the little gears and axles, the part which is called #4 on the explosion drawing just won’t turn. What could be wrong?
    Is there a special way to re-assemble this part, or does every little axle just fits in one particular place in the system?

    Please help me out.

    • Al

      Hi aiRJay,
      …… perhaps see/research way above on this page the blue highlighted
      ‘Alfine Hubstripping Picture’ and ‘Alfine Movie 1 to 6′ and see what could be out of place, not properly assempled etc.
      The way i do it is to spend the time to understand HOW THE HUB WORKS by looking at all the parts and playing with them…then ALL falls into place and it becomes easy….
      Put all parts cleaned and dry on the table on a piece of news paper and spend a evening (or two) with no rush slowly figuring it all out….
      You’ll be suprised..what first looked like a mystery will in no time become a few simple little pieces of steel with very simple functions.
      good luck, have fun,
      Al

  95. Jeff

    I am attempting to build an Alfine 8spd / Gates belt drive bike based on a Raleigh SS XXIX frame, I have already split the rear triangle at the drive side seat stay for the belt, I am having trouble getting the spacing I need to run the belt, although a chain/ Ultregra crank set up runs beautifully.
    My local bike shop says that the frame needs to be modified to get my neccessary spacing, this confuses me, by offsetting the rear triangle, won`t that mess up the tracking and geometry?
    Is there any spacing kits available to fit an Alfine hub for a Belt drive? or am I stuck having to ditch my frame for a custom built frame = $$ ?
    Thanks for your time and hope you can help me with this endeavor.
    Jeff

    • Anonymous

      What exactly is the problem? .. Are you using the newest Gates Carbon Drive System? Does the belt run off of the sprockets or interfere with the chainstay? I am running that system on a Verdion folding bike with a 4spd Shimano hub.. belt/sprocket alignment is critical for good performance.

      • Jeff

        I originally chose a Gates 55T front pulley and it will not clear the chain stay indent, I think this can be resolved easily enough by installing a smaller OD pulley, then my bike shop said the rear Gates 24T pulley needs spaced outwards for proper alignment, unless I can find a spacing kit that will resolve this issue, they suggest removing the chainstays and welding new ones…this puzzles me, as I would think offsetting the chainstays towards the drive side would not only mess the tracking and geometry of the bike but also require the movement of the seatstays as well…perhaps my issue lies with the bike shop I have chosen, although they seem knowledgable and have been around for some time, no one here seems to know anything about the Gates Belts…any ideas?

      • Bruce

        One problem with the Gates system right now is the lack of cogs and sprocket options for aftermarket conversions. With the Alfine, you have a 24t option in only one offset. There isn’t a way to re-space the sprocket away from the centerline of the hub. One way to get it closer to the right dropout would be to remove the right side cone nut and replace it with something much thinner, still allowing clearance for the shifting mechanism and redish the wheel. I had a look at the Raleigh online and see that it is really designed for a small chainring.. if you installed a smaller (like the 39t), you should be able to move the belt centerline closer to the bike centerline, which will probably align much better.. If your EBB floats, even better still. I wouldn’t re-weld the chainstays. If you go with the 39t option, hopefully after a re-calc, there is a belt that will fit.

      • Jeff

        Bruce, thanks for the input..the smaller sprocket is on order, and the EBB does indeed float, after I install the front pulley, I`ll see how much the rear needs to be spaced and see what I have to work with..perhaps I will have to move the front and rear to get the belt to run true..
        thanks again for the help.

      • Choco

        I currently have a Gates belt driven SS and am trying to convert it to Alfine, however I am having belt line issues, I need to space the rear belt sprocket out 3-4 mm as it is causing the belt to hang off the front belt ring. The bb/crank/axle cannot be modified or spaced because the 55t will hit the chainstay, so the rear needs to be pushed out. If anyone is aware of any spacers please let me know!?

  96. Foc

    Hello Alfine/Nexus users.

    I spoiled a small spring on my Alfine hub and now I am stuck. Description is in my comments at http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/shimano-alfine-reviews-pictures-maintenance-installation-and-drawings.

    If you have that piece, alone or within a Alfine or Nexus hub axle unit – i.e., “the driving part of the gear”, or “the internal assembly of the hub minus the carrier unit” if you prefer – and you cannot use it because of some other unsolvable problem, and so you are considering it as a kind of waste, and you are in a country within the european community, would you consider selling it to me? Please email me at “foc THE-SIGN-FOR-AT connettivo THE-SIGN-FOR-DOT net”. Where I live the IGH are so exotic that I have no chance at all to find that part, and rebuilding it from scratch has almost no chance of success, because I don’t know too many things about it and I’m not working (yet :-) ) at the Shimano Research Centre.
    Now I’m paying for my research, but I hope that the infos that I’ve been posting will benefit many of you, and eventually, that a way will come, to solve this issue.

    Thank you very much for any hint, e.g. where could I post my request (for that spring, I could speak Dutch, English and even German, besides a few Latin languages). Thank you everybody!

    • Pieter

      The only Shimano Alfine spare part I can source is a complete hub internal at http://www.petracycles.co.uk/index.php?cPath=258_311_312&sort=1a&filter_id=134 . This is probably not much use. I’m not familiar with the Alfine, but examine the spring seat and try to establish if any of the holder has been broken off or damaged. If you can then locate the spring correctly, you could fix it in place with a small carefully placed drop of two part epoxy resin (having cleaned everything first.) Hait for it to fully harden before assembling the hub.
      On lubrication: ATF is designed to perform in the high temperatures and pressures found inside a torque convertor. Such conditions are not found inside a bicycle hub. In my Nexus 8, I use white lithium grease for the gears, and chainsaw lubricant for the right hand assembly of the shifting and driver mechanism as I cannot dismantle this sufficiently without special tools. The hub has performed satisfactorily for nearly six years, and has had the treatment twice. My hub does not have a coaster brake, and this does get hot. Shimano’s special hub grease should be used in hubs with a coaster brake.

      • Foc

        Thank you Pieter for your advice and informations.

        The internal assembly is almost as expensive as the hub itself, so I’d rather buy a new hub and use the internal assembly myself, and keep the rest for the next break, hoping that ity will happen elsewhere ;-)

        The spring is not really “seated” into anything. It just connects a upper part and a lower part, and it must be wound in a given way to be in the resting position.
        Actually this spring looks like a key part of the whole system. It winds up and unwinds always keeping the same toroidal geometry. I does not look like being made of steel, but of of titanium or some titanium alloy. BTW, the corresponding spring on a Nexus 7 seems to be made of the very same material, although from a wire with a different section.

        I hope that chainsaw lubricant is also better than ATF when weather is very cold.
        At present I think that once the parts subject to heavy friction are lubricated with white lithium grease, many lubricants can do the rest, say the easy part.
        I suppose that the Shimano maintenance oil is just the fluid version of white lithium grease.

        To lubricate everything perfectly, no special tool is necessary: do you remove the U-shape stop ring Y-34R79000 (or Y-34R79010, or Y-34R79020)? (BTW, why does that stop ring come in three flavours for hubs with the same code?) I noticed that removing that stop ring is very easy and really is enough for greasing all the parts subject to heavy friction.

        For greasing the coaster brake, in another hub (a Velosteel) I have been very happy with a grease used in cars, that works up to 130°C (266°F) and is called “grease for homokinetic joints”, but one must look at how does the brake work and be very careful about what to lubricate and what not to lubricate :-))

        May I ask you, how many km/miles do 6 years mean for you? I’m very curious to know how much distance can one put on an Alfine. My experience with the Deore set is that I broke the freewheel before 6000 Km (3700 miles). I mention it because breaking that part is not only dangerous, but also very similar to the evil break on a IGH: one can’t just go home… in spite of all the praising on the derailleurs that “always let you go home”.

        Nice talk, thanks! :-)

      • Pieter

        Foc;
        I do not use a cycle computer, but I estimate that I have between 15,000 and 20,000 km over 6 years on the Nexus 8 hub. My riding is through City traffic and I change gears very frequently, which is my reason for no longer using derailleur gears. I also have an older bike with a Sachs Super 7 hub which has even more km, and is entirely lubricated with White Lithium grease, as all of this type of hub can be dismantled without special tools. The hubs utilise either Drum Roller brakes.

        When dismantling the hub, I do remove the U-shaped ring you mention to remove the planet carrier, which is then lubricated with lithium grease. It is the axle assembly containing the gear selectors, the clutch, driver unit and right hand cone that gets oil poured through it.
        I have cycled in cold ice and snow conditions, and cold temperatures have not effected the gear changing.
        The biggest effect on gear changes was wear and the breaking of the gear cable.
        Do you know the part number of the spring you are having all this trouble with?

      • Foc

        Hello Pieter!

        Congratulations for the extra-long mileage on your IGHs, I think that this is good news for all of us :-)

        I’m pleased to know that the non-lithium lubricant that you use works well at low temperatures, too. This seems to be an issue with some lubricants.

        I agree very much on your way of lubricating the hub ;-)
        One little remark, though: you say “It is the axle assembly containing the gear selectors, the clutch, driver unit and right hand cone that gets oil poured through it.”
        Well, after getting the special tools and opening that “axle assembly” , I discovered (and wrote some time ago on another comment at http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/shimano-alfine-reviews-pictures-maintenance-installation-and-drawings/),
        that “The most internal bearing can be greased without opening the “Internal Assembly Unit”. Just under the driver plate, you can squeeze grease in.”.
        Maybe that with this tiny change your lubrication would be even better, say, perfect!!! ;-)
        Let me stress the point that my experience with the special tools TL-8S11 and TL-AF20 is that they are simply not necessary for a perfect lubrication.

        The spring that I’m stuck with seems to be sold by the manufacturer only within the spare part Y-37N98010, that I could find sold only at a the roaring price of 279 euro!!! it sounds like the usual story of the internal part costing more than the complete hub.
        I noticed also that on the Internet, maybe-non-working IGHs are currently proposed as “unverified” and with “no-return” policy and their price is much higher than if they were just “broken” and sold as broken. I think that it is crazy to buy “unverified” hubs with “no-return” policy for the price of working second-hand hubs, so I did not go that way preferring to save money for the future…
        Nobody ever offered me a broken hub, but I’m still young :-) and I hope that I’ll find one some day, for a bargain price or maybe as a gift as it happened for a broken Nexus-7 that I received.
        In the meantime I go with a derailleur and well, it is really no magic!!! ;-)

  97. Ed from UK

    Hello – I have a bought a great folding bike (Birdy) with Nexus 8 hub. Unfortunately I can’t live with the coaster brake (it’s a standard SG8-C20) and want to change it for either Nexus red-band or Alfine. There seem to be some good deals in the UK on Alfine 8 disk hub SG-S500 but the questions are:
    – is there any issue with not fitting disk rotor (as I will have to use rim brakes)
    – How similar are the external dimension compared to standard Nexus – e.g. can I reuse spokes from the wheel – it’s quite new
    (I can’t find dimensioned drawing comparing the hubs)
    Thanks for great site and good information !
    Cheers Ed

  98. aaronsbicyclerepair

    An oil port in either hub is not necessary!
    Neither hub comes with enough oil for use in anything but sunny weather.
    Nexus/Alfine hubs can have oil added by removing the left cone and pouring some in.
    On the SRAM i-Motion 9 hub, simply remove one of the disc rotor screws and inject some oil.
    http://www.rideyourbike.com/images/internalgear/imotion9oil.jpg
    For wet winter riding, we recommend marine grease be added to the ball bearings. This is where we have seen the most failures, due to lack of lubrication. Factory lube is NOT enough!

    • Konstantin

      Those who consider changing the lubrication for an Alfine 8-speed might want to know that the planetary gears in the carrier unit run on tiny needle bearings – with rollers of around 1mm, and packed in some plastic cages.

      I have a 2 year old hub (SG-S500 “B” type) destroyed by water ingress (IIRC it had only 4th and 8th speed in the end) so I took it apart to see what’s wrong, can it be cleaned/fixed, and how it works in general, and discovered the above. In my case, some of the rollers were shortened by rust – and in the process of rusting the rollers also partially destroyed those plastic cages. I de-rusted them chemically (Fertan gas tank rust treatment) after which I saw some of the rollers shorter than the other. I am not sure they’d last any significant amount of time if I’d try to re-use them, in particular – the cages.

      Apropos rust – it were actually the bearing balls, the bearing races (also in the hub shell!) and the white plastic cage of the roller clutch(?) on the carrier unit that got damaged – IMHO – beyond repair. The rest could be cleaned. E.g. the gears’ teeth have no measurable wear whatsoever.

      I think I understand now why Shimano specifies the oil bath – greases (with NLGI >= 0) might have an issue with getting to those needle bearings, in particular if one tries just to add some grease without completely removing the old one – which got thicker over time.

      YET, the grease is important too – for sealing purposes. I am not sure how exactly the water got in, but it looks like it happened on the drive side. The left-hand side has a “classic” shimano seal Y-377 10000 (they used on e.g. Deore XT II :-) and the ball bearing there looked very clean – and free of any rust. On the right-hand side, the large cap with the seal (Y-35Z 98050) looked fine but underneath the grease turned “brown mustard”, so not sure the seal worked properly. The seal on the right-hand “cone with seal” (Y-34R 98080) did not impress me, and there is a gap between it and the hub axle unit (the cone is press-fit – using that TL-8S11 tool). So no pressurized water cleaning for the replacement hub ;-(

      • aaronsbicyclerepair

        The best grease we have found for IGH hubs is specifically: Sta-Lube http://www.crcindustries.com/marine/content/prod_detail.aspx?PN=SL3120&S=N
        We use it on the ball bearings and the planetarty/sun/ring gear teeth.
        The rest of the hub we use Phil Wood Tenacious Oil (available at any bike shop). Phil Wood takes high quality oil and adds rust inhibitors. It has worked and been recommended for Sturmey-Archer hubs for years.
        It mixes will with any grease and keeps the grease from drying out and getting hard. We have over 25 years success using this combination!
        Many comments here and elsewhere online talk about excess “friction”. Higher viscosity causes more drag but no additional friction. Even with heavy grease the drag is minimal! A small price to pay for preventing rust!

        We do this lube-upgrade to every IGH hub we sell.
        The rusty hubs that come in that were purchased elsewhere! The Alfine hub, in our opinion, needs a complete lube change before it is ridden in the wet as the right cone is not sealed well against water. We put blue grease there, of course. The Alfine 11 looks about as well sealed as the 8 speed’s right cone. The oil bath is an improvement, but really all IGH hubs should have an oil bath! The real improvement is the sealing, not from keeping water out, but keeping the oil from making a mess!

      • Chris

        The grease referred to by Aarons Bicycle Repair is an aluminium complex grease.
        I am running an aluminium complex grease in a Pentasport with good results [Mantek Elite Red].

        However, when I used it in an Alfine this grease reacted badly with the plastic RHS dust cover causing it to swell [2+mm] and release its grip on the seal it housed. Something to be mindful of.

        Chris.

      • aaronsbicyclerepair

        We have not had any problems with this grease causing seals to swell.
        Here is a pic of a hub we overhauled:
        http://www.rideyourbike.com/images/internalgear/nexusSG-8R36/properlube.jpg
        compare to the stock grease:
        http://www.hubstripping.com/shimano-alfine/alfine-strip/slides/alfine11.JPG
        It doesn’t take much water inside to damage the hub. Even condensation can cause rust.
        We switched to blue marine grease because of the corrosion problem we see in the Northwest like this hub:
        http://www.rideyourbike.com/images/internalgear/shimanonexus8rust.jpg
        Less than one year use! It was ridden thru the winter.

  99. Martin

    Yesterday I attempted to maintain the Alfine 8 hub.

    It is surprisingly easy to dismount.

    I found ‘rust trails’ inside. I Cleaned it off

    I removed the dirty old grease and replaced it. I properly lined up all parts.

    Still I find this hub rather noisy. After some exploration I found that some parts must be spinning round while not connected to the drivetrain… However during a ride on the bycicle I couldn’t detect any sounds of this sort. it was running smoother then ever before.

    Must be a karakteristic of this hub.

    Extra grease in the right parts reduces sounds and even probably makes it more watertight.

    The oil bath idea would i.m.o be bad for the roller and needle layers. What would oil do when it mixed with this grease?

    • We have not found this to be a problem. Oil Baths are exactly what needle bearings need. Grease is used on the gears to prevent wear and on the ball bearings to fill up the spaces and prevent water entry.

  100. Hi,

    A month ago i got a alfine 11v, and mounted it on a Kona Dew with the help of the chain tensioner. After some use the gears shifts ok from 1 to 6, but not so ok from 7 to 11. In fact there was times that it doesnt shift at all. It seems that the spring that pulls the cable is not strong enough, and shiffting to the 11th position leaves the cable loose, but the gear stay in 8th or 9th gear. What should be done to correct this? Maybe something was too tight and holding the gears lever (that one with yellow dots) ?

    • It sounds like a classic cable problem.

      Do you have full housing to the cassette joint?

      If so, then whomever installed it may not have lubricated the cable and inside the housing. Grease is not recommended. We use Dri-Slide (aka Bike-Aid). It is a Graphite and Moly-Disulfide dry lube that does not collect dirt and makes cables really move smooth.
      If you have full housing, maybe you need better housing ferrules or perhaps the cable is kinked inside the housing.

      I cannot stress enough the importance of proper and correct cabling! We correct it all the time, here at the shop.

      • Hi Aaron,

        Yes, i do have full housing to the cassette. I dont think it’s cable, but I will double check it again tomorrow. Today I did a little test: hang the bike, put the shifter in 11th position, and helped the cassete joint pulley (i guess this is the name of that piece) to reach the 11th gear position pushing with finger. Then, without using the shifter, I put the pulley in the 6th gear, and released it. And it didnt get back to the 11th gear, but something in the middle, liket 8th or 9th gear. Tomorrow I will also testing disconnect the cable, so the gear should rest in the 11th gear, right?

      • aaronsbicyclerepair

        :yra: It sounds like you have a kink in your cable or no lube. Or the shift spring over-ride spring has been weakened.
        Parts are not available, you need new guts!
        It looks something like the RIGHT spring in this picture:
        http://www.rideyourbike.com/images/internalgear/nexusSG-7R46/SG-7R45axleassembly.jpg

  101. Cornelius

    Hello – I’m not a gearhead at all, and new to this thread, so apologies if this is a rookie question:

    Is is possible to swap an Alfine 8-speed hub into a bike that I bought with a Nexus 8-speed hub installed (Raleigh Cadent i8 bike)?

    My understanding is that the measurement that matters here is the over locknut: for the Nexus it’s 184mm, for the Alfine 187mm, yes? Does this mean that the frame won’t allow the wider Alfine to fit…or are there spacers that can be removed, etc?

    Thanks.

    • redchili

      i don’t really see why you would want to do this since the benefits won’t outweigh the costs but i believe this should not be much of a problem.
      the nexus is not a bad hub, the alfine is more or less just a premium version with about the same technical specs.
      i would recommend to enjoy your nexus and invest your bucks into something that would make a bigger impact.

    • I agree with Redchili. There would be no benefit to doing such a swap. The gear ratios are the same between Nexus and Alfine 8. The main difference is external between the 2 hubs. The Alfine was made to appeal to the techie/enthusiast crowd. If you life in a really wet climate, the Alfine is sealed better, but still should have lubricant added for corrosion prevention.
      As for the numbers you list, you are confusing Over Locknut Dimension (OLD) with axle length. Most modern city/touring/mountain bikes these days measure 135mm

      • Cornelius

        OK. Thanks to you and Redchili for your thoughts.

        I had understood that the mechanism of the Alfine was higher quality and smoother shifting…but it sounds like it’s not worth it. As for the axle lengths, according to Shimano’s site, the Nexus is 132mm, the Alfine is 135mm. It was that difference I was looking at.

        Cheers.

      • You can add spacers to the left side of a Nexus hub to match your frame drop-out width. 135mm builds bit stronger wheel.

        Many of the internal parts of the Nexus and Alfine are exactly the same! Some are interchangeable. There are about 18 different versons of the Nexus hub. You can search Shimano’s Tech Documents
        http://techdocs.shimano.com/techdocs/index.jsp
        Just type in the number you see on the outside of your hub. Some Nexus hubs use roller hub engagement (silent clutch) and some use pawls (ratchets) and some use a combination.

        You can see examples of hubs we have overhauled here:
        http://www.rideyourbike.com/shimanoIGH.shtml

        We have repaired Nexus hubs with Alfine parts and vise-versa.

  102. Hi all,
    I know this has been brought up several times, but I’ve seen few success stories and I’m getting worried. I’m trying to find a way to fit an Alfine 8-speed 135mm hub into a Boston Montague single speed with 125 mm dropouts. I got a sweet deal on 2 of the bikes (water damaged boxes during Queensland floods) and the wheels (el-cheapo at On-One at the moment), so I thought the stars were lining up for me for a change. Alas, it looks like that ain’t the case. If there’s anyone out there in the interweb who has successfully dropped an Alfine down close to 125mm please let me know how I can copy your heroic efforts. Redishing wheels is no problem, but I don’t have access to a machine shop, tool workshop or magic wand. Can anyone give me hope?
    Thanks,
    Nik

    • OK, so maybe I was too quick to come crying for help. While I don’t have the wheels yet, the bright idea only just crossed my mind to check the frame O.L.D. without a wheel locked in there. Soooo, without tension it is still 125, but I can easily spread that to 130 without really trying (although it’s aluminum if I can do it with my hands then I figure it’s fair game). So that leaves 5 mm to lose. Piece of cake, right?

      • The left locknut can be replaced with a 5mm one, making the hub 130mm. Aluminum frames are more likely to crack than a steel frame down near the chainstay/BB/chainstay bridge, but that will take many miles and may never happen. Coldsetting aluminum can be done but is NOT recommended. Either way the frame will be stressed in that area. Also the drop-outs will not be parallel. Make sure to grease the axle nuts well and torque to 35 foot-pounds!

  103. Thanks Aaron. So it seems the tricky part is getting down to 125, eh? I just talked to Montague and they claimed their O.L.D. was 120, which seems unlikely since A) it isn’t, and B) they stick a 125 mm hub in there. That said, I’d probably feel more comfortable if I knew I could get the Alfine down below 130, even if it isn’t quite to 125. You know, someone could make tens of dollars selling a retrofit kit (or Shimano could just play nice for a change). Off the top of your head, are the locknuts of a standard diameter and thread, or have they made them special and not easily interchangeable? I saw someone up top replaced theirs with 4 mm nuts.

    • 130 is about as narrow as you will get an Alfine hub. Maybe 128mm with a very narrow locknut. I just measured the axle and had forgotten that it stepps up to 11 x 1.0mm under the locknut. So you will have to cut it down. A very easy task on a lathe (Doesn’t every bike shop have a lathe like us?)!

      Check out Shimano’s 7 speed hub the SG-SR46 It can easily be used 120mm without the roller brake and has a normal axle diameter (3/8″ x 26tpi)

      • Well, had I not already bought a pair of Alfine wheels I’d certainly do that. I was actually looking for the nexus when this all started, but I saw a good deal on the Alfines and had to jump. (Here in Oz, bike parts are mega-expensive and hard to come by, so when a deal comes along you take it.) I saw a guy on bikeforums.net managed to shave off 7.2 mm, by using a custom 3.5 mm washer and then shaving down 2 sides of the wide bit of the axle so it would fit. I guess I’ll reassess when the wheels arrive, and if I can’t offload them I guess I’ll be doing some dremel magic. Blah.

  104. Martin

    Report on gear 5 of my Alfine 8 hub.

    After a long time of listening feeling and trying to figure out wth I am feeling riding this hub in gear 5 I found a possible production error in the hub.

    First of all I learned how to maintain my chain and toothsprockets. I mounted a clean and properly lubricated chain and new toothsprockets. Now that part of the drivtrain is running as smooth as possible.

    Using the old sprocket the drivetrain wouldn’t run smooth like this. Riding the bike with this I could feel the chain release little tension almost every kick on the pedals.

    Running in 5th gear I can hear the hub. It sounds like a possible broken layer. But this sounds is only clearly present when running in 5th gear. 6 also produces some of this noise but not as clearly as in 5.

    My conclusion is that some of the toothwheels inside the hub are slightly oval!

    My question on this is; what else could it be? Is there a solution for this?

    PS

    I made over 5000 Kilometer with this. I already put new grease init for maintainance

  105. Ray

    After reading on John Allen’s site (http://john-s-allen.com/gears/hubratios.htm), I’m really wondering why they chose such a strange set of gears. Its clear that the ratios are spaced oddly. But what is more puzzling is the choice to use a total of 4 planetary gear sets to do it.

    One of them in a reducer, so that the other three are put to use two times. That seems sensible. But to take three sets of planetary gears and use each one to obtain only one ratio (plus direct drive) and then to choose such oddly spaced ratios just seems careless. However I know that the designers are not stupid, so what was the benefit? By only increasing ratios with most gear sets, could they use cheaper gears, stand up to higher torque, or simplify the shifting mechanism? Are these insane-looking ratios convenient for some manufacturing or gear sizing reason?

    • Martin

      That gear range makes no sense if you use this hub for sporty activities on flat terrain. F/E 50/20 tooth blades. The jump from one gear to the next is to much. I ended up using only gear 6 for sport.
      But on 32/20 blades the jumps are good enough. But then you will be spinning high RPM at lower speeds not even exceeding 30KM/h.

      My conclusion is that it CAN be used for sporty activities. But it really should be used on a comfort bicycle.

      This is why is upgraded my STevens Roadflyer into a touring bike with bags on it.

      Old people should be sporting with this hub. Younger people should mount it on their comfort bike.

  106. I recently bought a (new) bike (ridgeback flight 04) with an alfine8 hub in it. It shifted beatifully for a month or so but 4th gear has since degraded markedly and sometimes skips (worse under power), as well as being relatively noisy. 4rd gear is also noisy and has skipped, but less so. gears 5-8 remain lovely and solid and quiet. I think 1 and 2 are OK too. Shifting down 6->5 and 5->4 now requires me to pause momentarily – i.e. it’s a little reluctant.

    Does anyone know what might be wrong with such a new hub misbehaving like this. Should I stop using it imediataly (skipping has got to be bad for it)? Do I just need to lubricate it? I’m planning to take it out using the (excellent) info on this site and have a look for anything odd and re-lube it.

    I’m not sure if I should just be adding grease or dunking it in ATF or hypoid oil? It seems like oil-dunking will give a lower-friction smoother experience, but maybe I’ll have to service it more often in future as the oil tends to escape faster than grease? Is that basically it?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Wookey with a new bike it might be nothing more than a stretched cable, have you checked the alignment indicators with the 4th gear selected ?
      Regards
      Mike

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  108. Rob Morton

    I’ve got a Shimano Alfine SG-S501 hub, which I have done just over 2,000 miles on, it’s great, and I’m really happy with it. I serviced it myself over the winter, with the correct Shimano grease, and have been riding on it since January.

    On Friday, I had almost completed my four mile ride home from work when there was a ‘clunk’ noise from the back wheel, which repeated at random intervals until I stopped, which I did as soon as possible. I walked the bike the last bit of the way but the clunking noises continued as I rolled it along.

    I took the hub apart later and found that two of the 7/32 balls in the “Ball Retainer (7/32″ x 9)”, (on the Shimano PDF part no. 29, Shimano code Y36U98030) had split, literally broken clean in halves. Unfortunately the broken bearings had damaged the bearing surface on the “Left Hand Cone w/Dust Cap & Seal Ring”, part no 26 on the diagram, Shimano Code Y-35Z 98060. On examining the Left Hand Cone, I saw that there is also a small crack in the narrowest part of the cone.

    I have ordered the bearings, bearing retainer and the Left Hand Cone from a Shimano Service Centre, and they should be with me in a few days, so no problem there!

    What I need help with is, there is a bearing cup in the left-hand side of the main shell of the hub gear that parts 26 and 29 seat into. It’s a push-fit into the hub body but it doesn’t seem to be listed as a separate part. Unfortunately the broken bearings have pitted the bearing surface a bit, it’s not as bad as the damage to the cone, but I would really like to replace the part, but it’s not listed inthe Shimano manual as a separate part.

    Can you advise me if there is a way of purchasing this, or is there a compatible part I can get from somewhere else?

    Secondly, I would really appreciate it if you could advise me if I did anything wrong when reassembling the hub after the service I did back in December. I’m pretty competent with hubs, cones, bearings etc., and maybe should have replaced the balls with new. The hub felt fine when I’d reassembled it, but I wonder if I did something wrong which caused the balls to split like this.

    Any advice or help you might give me with this would be massively appreciated! I really like the hub and want to keep it running as nice as possible.

    Thanks again,

    Rob Morton, Derby, UK.

  109. aaronsbicyclerepair

    It sounds to me like the bearings adjustment tightened up because the left locknut and cone were not locked together tight enough.

  110. I’ve not read through all the above posts yet so please excuse me if the information I’m about to request has been covered.
    Has anybody had any issues using an Alfine 8 speed for mountainbiking on a hardtail? Bent axles, or damage from torque? I plan to belt the hell out of it(jumps, drops, etc, and load it up on climbs.
    Thanks in advance.

  111. aaronsbicyclerepair

    Shimano does not make any IGH for off road use.
    Only Rohloff is suitable. The seals on all other hubs are not up to the task of off road use. Also most hubs cannot handle the extra torque of standing on the pedals on super steep hills. Also, off road riding often entails “air”. I am sure some folks can have adequate results using, say a Shimano Alfine 8 on easy trails in San Diego on easy dusty trails. However, here in Seattle with muddy, “North Shore” style riding, the hub would not last long. Unless you overhauled it often. It is amazing how mud gets into everything.

    • Where does this knowledge come from Aaron?
      I’m looking for experience. There seems to be a lot of people saying no, but I’ve never read anything from anyone with experience.
      I’m in Australia, and only 70kg, but I will punish it. I’ll never hurt the seals as I’ll rarely if ever wash it, and no jet wash.

  112. From overhauling hundreds of hubs and seeing where and how people use them and riding them for years myself as well as the experience Val Kleitz passed on to us. We also read the manual! And Shimano does not recommend any of their hubs for off-road use.
    We are bicycle mechanics! Dusty dry conditions, like I suggested with my Sandy Eggo comment would apply to Down Under Outback.
    Cheers, Mate

    • Oh cool to hear(read) your talking from experience.
      I pretty much don’t care what Shimano say, but am definitely interested in what you have to say.
      So have you seen any axle failures?
      Have you seen any stripped teeth? Or what would fail in the 8 speed Alfine from torque? the clutch?
      Or are you just saying the seals will fail regularly, and grit will enter the system? Are the seals expensive? Riding an hour a day on dirt tracks, would you expect I’d need to service say every 6 months? I’d still be looking at getting over two years from the hub wouldn’t I?
      Pardon for the very ambiguous questions, but your response will still be very helpful.
      o you soak the internals in something before relubing? Should I relube with oil in the 8 speed? What oil do you use? ATF to thin?
      Thanks very much for your help.

      • It is interesting that you don’t care what Shimano has to say and you own their hub!
        Yes I have seen axle failures, but not like you think. Overtorquing from standing on the pedals and or too low of an input ratios can crack the axle where it engages the main sun gear. I have seen this several times. Only online have I seen pictures of the axle sun gear engagement pawls damaged. The only way those can realy get damaged is by improper cable routing that causes the adjustment to change (or by dirt entry into the cable). It is extremely important that the cable move easily. I have yet to see damaged gear teeth on a Shimano hub, only worn bearing races. Interestingly, SRAM hubs are just the opposite, the gear teeth chip but the bearing surfaces are amazingly durable! Only rust seems to kill SRAM hubs.
        A 6 month interval is a good rule of thumb. The drive side axle cone is not well sealed on most IGH.
        ATF is way too thin. That is like what is used in suspension forks.
        You need a thicker oil like 90wt gear oil.
        You should use a grease for the bearings and the gear teeth.
        You can use only oil, but it will leak out constantly and you will have to keep adding it. That is how Sturmey-Archer hubs were designed.
        Use a solvent to clean the internal parts then dry them before relubing. Seals are available, contact your LBS.

  113. Thanks so much for the info and advice Aaron. Saved me a hell of a lot of reading.
    So I build up the Nuvinci for the All MTN hardtail, chuck the Alfine on girlfriends bike, and use my Alutech with Pinion box and Zerode with Alfine gearbox for anything harder?
    So you are prety much saying stick with grease in the Alfine 8 from your experience, or try 60weight gear oil?

    • Alfine is not rated for off-road use. Only Rohloff is.
      Grease the bearings and pinions and oil the pawls. 90wt for normal weather, you will need to find your own lube for -40 degree weather. But many 90wt gear oils are rated for extreme temps. Read the label.

  114. Cool thanks. I’d get +40 not minus here.
    I’ll give the Nuvinci a go. Will now have to search info on what they can take. Torque is still an issue, but not catastrophic to the hub I think.

    • I have rebuilt some hubs for folks in Alaska and they supply their own lube! Seattle never gets below 10 degrees F hardly ever. 20 F is our normal winter low.
      NuVinci take a special lube that is supposed to be for the life of the hub. It is more full of oil than any other hub on the market. I know because I had one come open on me while using the disc brake going backwards down a very steep driveway. The left hub shell unscrewed and a LOT of oil poured out! I am working with NuVinci to become an Authorized Service Center. Then I would be able to do oil changes. But right now they won’t sell us the oil. No mechanical system is sealed “forever” like they claim. Everything can benefit from cleaning and relubing once in a while.
      NuVinci are great for high torque applications because the higher the torque the harder the internal balls grab! The older hubs can handle higher torque than the N360 because the balls are bigger and there are more of them.

  115. Misha

    Hi,
    After oil bathing and greasing my Alfine 8 there is some noise when freewheeling the hub without any load (not riding the bike), same as the ratcheting noise when backpedaling. I guess that could be because of the grease, but should i worry? Or did i assemble something in a wrong way (i did turn the system a bit to see the cogs spinning)?

    Thanks,
    M.

  116. Just did an oil bath on my 2011 Shimano Alfine Hub. Write-up here: http://www.14degrees.org/en/?p=4993.

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  120. JonathanS

    I have a 2011 model Dahon Cadenza with Alfine 8, originally with 20T rear sprocket and 39T front chainring. I have a new 22T rear sprocket. How many extra links will I need in the chain or do I have to change it completely for a new one (bike has done perhaps 300 km)? any resource available to calculate this online? thanks. Jonathan

    • Steve Weeks

      At that low mileage, I’d think you could splice on a short length of chain, provided you have it on hand. To calculate length, I would simply re-fit the chain and hold it tight with a couple of hooks and a stout rubber band. Measure the distance and figure out the number of links you need. Actually, for an additional 2 teeth (now that I think of it), it’s probably just 1 or 2 links at most. If you know the diameters of the 2 cogs you could figure out the circumferences and use the difference to answer your question.
      Steve

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  122. Andre Roy

    I just opened my Alfine 8 tonight since the speed were stuck in high gear. I found a broken metal piece that belong to the shifting cam. After this event I might just quit speed hub since they are not as tought I expected. When my fist inter8 blew 2 years ago it might have been due to bad luck but getting similar problem with this alfine is really bad. The hub was installed back and it’s working. I will see tomorow how much of the 8 speeds I still have. hahah.

  123. matt

    I recently tore down my alfine 8 and after reassembly i have only gears 1 and 4 , the cable and shifting mechanism are moving fine but inside it is only engaging the first and then the fifth gear.any one have advice for this or may know the cause?

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    Can you use a disk brake version hub on a rim brake bike?

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  3. 3 Ride it like you stole it! « Hubstripping.com

    [...] Hooligan 1 comes with a the black Shimano 8-Speed Alfine [...]

  4. 4 Darth Pugsley « The Lazy Randonneur

    [...] be using a Shimano Alfine IGH on the back as well.  For all weather shifting.  I’ve read encouraging accounts of Alfines [...]

  5. 5 Bow Cycle | Vik’s Picks » I love a fatty!

    [...] Shimano Alfine internal geared hub [8 speeds 340% gear range] [...]

  6. 6 JustRidingAlong » Alfine questions

    [...] Where can I find out more technical information about the Alfine hub? There is a huge amount of servicing information available here: http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/alfine-shimano/ [...]

  7. 7 Cold-setting frame (126->135) or re-space hub? - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

    [...] You've presumably seen this page, http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/alfine-shimano/ which shows you are not the only one! Try to reduce the spacers as far as you can, re-dish the [...]

  8. 8 How to put an oil port into an internally geared hub « dr2blog

    [...] 23, 2010 I had an SRAM i-Motion 9 internally geared hub. It died. I replaced it with a Shimano Alfine 8 internally geared hub. Both of these hubs are really well sealed, and come pre-packed with grease [...]

  9. 9 Internal hub gear for track rear spacing - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed

    [...] pretty much an alfine hub anyway. The comments on Hubstripping are quite useful for this stuff: http://hubstripping.wordpress.com/alfine-shimano/ The SA 8 isn't really suitable due to it's wierd gearing. IIRC the lowest gear is direct drive, [...]

  10. 10 Hub Gear maintenance - Page 2 - Pedelec Forums - Electric Bike Forum

    [...] [...]

  11. 11 Alfine 8 speed hub service | Muddymoles

    [...] http://www.hubstripping.com which is an oracle for anyone wanting to find out more about hub gears. The Alfine page is detailed and importantly gives a pictorial guide to stripping down an Alfine [...]




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