Shimano Alfine Reviews, Pictures, Maintenance, Installation and Drawings

The Shimano Alfine internal gear hub has it´s own hubstripping page. I decided to create for each hub a static page. The idea is to collect all relevant and interesting informations about the hub.

Please post on the different pages links which are hub relevant. I´ll add your links into the page. So here are the data I´ll collected over the last years about the Shimano Alfine. The greatest document is the service manual (in German) of the Shimano Nexus INTER-8 which is equivalent to the Alfine hub. There are a lot pictures which show all the hub details. Fantastic!

If your interested how the Alfine performs against other hubs read the Internal Gear Hub Review.

Have fun hubstripping!


  1. sthomper

    i have about 100 miles on this bike
    http://www.realcyclist.com/roadbike/Rocky-Mountain-Metropolis-Hybrid-Bike/RMB0029M.html

    the bicycle is equipped with a hub labeled shimano alfine.
    it has 8 speeds and a trigger shift operation.

    after some adjustment issues with the shifter (some type of tensioning and cassete joint dot alignment on the hub itself…very easy)
    i have found the hub to be a fun, easy to use bicycle drivetrain.

    operation is silent and smooth. under load, the shifts make a snap noise sometimes but engage and set quickly.

    the bike above has a 42t/18t chainring/rear sprocket configuration. i believe most of the gear jumps are around 15 percent….some at 20 percent.

    for the riding i do a smaller chainring or larger rear sprocket would provide a more useful gear range for me.
    having the 1st and 2nd gear a little lower for hills while still having the 6th 7th and 8th gear adequate for flat or decending city streets around 20mph or so.

    once adjusted properly its really nice to use.

  2. Josh

    I have about 150 miles on this bike: http://www.tout-terrain.de/2/products/commuter-bikes/boulevard/boulevard.html I have the bike set up with 40t/16t, 170mm cranks and 26″ Big Apple tires.

    I bought the bike from Peter White Cycles. I asked Peter to try to install an SRAM i-Motion 9, but it would not fit properly on the frame without grinding, so I went with the Alfine 8. It’s worked well.

    I’m a commuter biker, putting down about 75 miles/week, with less than 10% of that being trail riding, including one rocky rutted stretch.

    So far, I’m very pleased with the hub. The Alfine shifts smoothly in all the conditions I’ve thrown at it so far. Other than a thunk sound when shifted under load and the difference in the amount of work you’re doing, it’s hard to tell you’ve shifted. The gear range is just wide enough for most of the biking I do, although I do find myself spinning on some descents, and I might be missing a lower gear once the snow starts falling. Also, I do sometimes notice the uneven gear spacing. This is a very minor annoyance, though.

    I’ll try to post more as the hub ages, but, thus far, it’s been great.

  3. Foc

    I put an Alfine hub on a bike, buying it on the Internet because where I live (Rome, Italy) this kind of hub is very uncommon. As soon as I received the hub, I opened it, removed the (little) factory grease with gasoline (I did not use acetone not to spoil plastic parts) and dipped it in a ATF generally used in scooters, because the ATF costs 9 times (!) less than the Shimano oil and it seems that it can do it as well. Well, running this hub was a dream. I used the gain ratio online calculator by Sheldon Brown to match the gear range that I used with derailleurs, and I found that a 44/18 ratio fitted all of my itineraries. I went offroad, and everything was fine for me and my two passengers (I carry two children on the bike). The best of this hub is that at the red lights you can just forget the gear, and only care about what really matters there: braking.
    Alas, after about 500 kilometres of pure joy the hub started crackling. I have been lubing it again, on both sides and for a longer time, and I have no metallic waste when flushing it, but things did not get better. I have been running the bike without the chain and wrapping the spokes to detect the source of noise, and it actually is the hub. Furthermore, the more the load, the louder the crackling: when the wheel turns freely, the hub is silent; if I turn the wheel very, very fast, the hub starts crackling again. This crackling is different that the one of crunched bearing balls, because it is has a kind of rythm; cracklings come in group and go away in group as wheel turns, like a tidal wave. Backpedaling, freewheeling, rotation, all give the same noise. Gear shifting is perfect, the problem seems to be all about rotation (!) The roller clutches of the internal assembly and the large bearing race look OK, and I’ve been checking all the sources of problem described by Shimano in their 8-speed troubleshooting guide, but to no avail. My next move could be to go for white lithium liquid fluid instead of the ATF that I was using so far. I hope not to have to dismantle the hub because buying the tools (the mandatory ones as far as I know: TL-8S11, TL-AF20) could break my budget, especially if I fail in solving the problem.

    Did anybody here have a similar problem? Does anybody have any idea about a DIY solution? Hiow do you get your hub serviced in places where nobody services these hubs?

    • Steve Weeks, DDS

      I’ve been dipping a couple Nexus 8-speed hubs in ATF for a couple years, with a couple thousand miles on them. No problems with noises or shifting. I do put some Nexus-specific grease on the ball bearings at teh ends of the hub. ATF should be sufficient for lubrication, and the lack of metal fragments suggests that you are not damaging the hub. Are you *sure* the shift cable is properly adjusted?
      I have not seen the inside of the Alfine, so there may be some essential difference from the nexus. Good luck.
      Steve

      • Foc

        Thank you Steve.

        I think that actually ATF is/was not enough for the ball bearings – but I could say so when I get to inspect the internal ball bearing on the drive side, which as far as I know cannot be accessed without dismantling the hub. Now, when I work on the driving side removing the lock nut, then the stop washer, then the lock washer, then the driver plate, I still cannot see the balls. I was just injecting grease there blindly, but with no result. Maybe it’s too late: but I’ll need to see to be sure.

        Now I’m getting crazy in finding a white lithium fluid, so I’m reconsidering stripping the hub.

        I would need the TL-8S11 tool, but – guess what? Shimano has ONE importer for Italy, and it DOES NOT HANDLE IT (same for the other tool, TL-AF20). OK, Italy is filled with racing bikes, but this is embargo. They sell Nexus and Alfine hubs here, so why not sell the tools for servicing them?

        Concerning the shift cable, it is perfect in both ways (i.e., getting to gear 4 from upper gears, and getting to gear 4 from lower gears) and so is shifting.

        So far I think that if the weight of me and my children plus their seats, id est about 120 Kg (265 lbs) worn out the hub when used mostly on road, the hub is definitely not suited for offroad use.

        I’m also having troubles in detecting the exact side that the noise comes from, how do people fin dit it out? do they listen to the bike running on spinning rolls, with the help of a friend pedaling?

        I thought also about X-raying the hub, but this could take a long way to go. Now I’m making up my mind about unmounting the internals.

      • bobc

        I wonder if it is an adjustment issue… The instructions say line up the yellow marks in 4th gear. If I do that on my bike I get an occasional clunk in 5th (other gears OK). So I adjust it to 1/2 the thickness of the yellow mark on the tighter side & it’s perfect – has run like this more or less since new, must be a couple of thousand miles now. An alfine on one of our greenpower race cars also needs to be adjusted this way (slightly tighter than ‘book’). Only takes a minute to try it…….

      • Foc

        I’ve followed the suggestion by bobc, but it did not work on my hub.
        Thank you anyway bobc.
        Now I’m looking around for getting the tools.

    • Foc

      OK, here I am.

      I got 3 tools: TL-8S11, TL-AF20, TL-8S30, and some Nexus grease. It took me a long while to get the tools because only few online shops have all of them. I started buying at a place called 123cycle/Foxster, but they told me that they were rebuilding the site and refunding me – I’m still waiting for the refund and I lost a lot of time. So I bought everything at a place called cycle-aix, and everything was fine.

      OK, here come the infos. Alfine 8 is somehow different than Nexus 8. The Nexus Service Manual that one can find around does not tell all the truth about the Alfine. So, here come troubles. I had a lot of troubles since I opened the hub, and it still does not work.

      So far I can tell that *ONE SHOULD NOT DEGREASE THE HUB BEFORE PUTTING ATF*, as I did. ATF cannot replace the (lithium?) thick grease that the hub comes with (and that is very little, as on other Shimano hubs).

      I can also tell that *TO GREASE THE VERY INTERNAL BEARINGS ONE DOES NOT NEED TO HAMMER ANYTHING.* Grease can be just squeezed in when you are at figure n. 15 at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/nexus8/pages/16.htm.

      I’ll tell you more if I get out of this mess. The hub is fairly complex and many pieces could be put in several positions, so mounting is painful.

      By the way, in the past I forgot to mention that those who cannot find the correct “non-turn washers” for their dropouts, can just go to a plumber’s shop, get two half-inch caps, and if they can imagine where to put hands, by means of a filed non-round hole and sawing the wall except a tiny part, they can have great DIY-looking “non-turn washers” for their dropouts. They just work.

      Wish me good luck please, I’ll try to bring my Alfine back to life again soon!

      • Foc

        Hello to everybody.

        Now I can sum up my problem: there is a spring to put tension on the switching cable. This spring can barely be seen on the second image at step number 21 at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/nexus8/pages/18.htm.

        When I was working, that spring went away, and the pictures that I had taken do not allow me to understand how to put it back exactly where it was.

        In case any of you can tell me the solution (I can’t have another hub to look), here is what I’d like to know.

        The spring has got a square section. One end is short, the other is long.
        Is it right that the long end is on the “open” side, i.e. the drive side?
        Is it right that the short end and the long end are on the same side of the axle when at rest, i.e. at speed 1, i.e. when mounting?

        Knowing this would help me a lot.

        Thank you in advance!

      • Foc

        OK, I have my drive side back. I can change gears.

        Now I have the “easy” (?) part. When I combine together the trasmission part and the axle, I follow http://www.sheldonbrown.com/nexus8/pages/23.htm, and I notice that the inner tooth can be placed in many positions. The tool TL-8S30, that seems to do little when the carrier unit is complete, does not do anything about the inner tooth. The pictures of the Nexus service manual don’t say much, either.

        I’ve been trying to put the tooth at different positions. The first time the cog blocked when shifting to speed 8; the second time I attempted something similar, and the cog blocked at speed 7 and 8.

        I saw the picture at http://www.hubstripping.com/shimano-alfine/alfine-strip/slides/alfine14.html
        Is this one the correct alignment of the internal tooth for mounting? Should I find out any mark on the carrier unit?

        Thank you in advance. I expect that the number of those who solved this issue is a hundred times the number of those who solved the spring issue (so far, it worked when answering yes to both questions)…

      • Foc

        Ok, the problem was with gears: they did not move as they should.
        By the way, the internal tooth can be in any position. All my problems with combining together the trasmission part and the axle, were in loosing the alignment after using the alignment tool. Eventually I used some electrical tape to hold the upper and lower trasmission parts aligned. So I saw that the gears were not correctly set; I unmounted and remounted the axle several times, and at last I found one combination allowing the shifting cilinders to move as soon as the shifting cable is pulled, and going back and forth from 1 to 8 and from 8 to 1 with cylinders really moving.

        Then I tried the bike. The noise is gone :-)))
        I’ll watch after it for a while, but I can already tell what I learnt from this experience:

        1) Alfine is a jewel. It is well designed and very solid.
        2) Buying on the Internet can be a bargain but can have some drawbacks. Buying abroad I suppose that I was not covered by the Shimano assistance offered in the country were I live. If I had a problem more serious than lubrication, I would have been in troubles.
        3) Don’t degrease before putting ATF; just add it. Even if any residuals ever come in, you would save yourself a jigsaw puzzle.
        4) The most internal bearing can be greased without opening the “Internal Assembly Unit”. Just under the driver plate, you can squeeze grease in.
        5) If you split the “Internal Assembly Unit” into the axle unit and the carrier unit, i.e. to access the largest internal roller clutches, the alignment tool TL-8S30 is very handy: if don’t want to open the axle unit, the tools TL-8S11 and TL-AF20 are just useless.
        6) Whatever you do, have a good grease, e.g. the Shimano Nexus grease. What is it? I don’t know exactly, but after handling it for 24 hours, I can feel no difference at all with the so-called “white lithium grease”. My skin tells me that they are just alike.
        7) In case you go for opening the axle unit, you do really, really need the tools TL-8S11 and TL-AF20. I cannot imagine how to do that job without those tools.
        8) In case you go for opening the axle unit, be careful about the shifter return spring. I had it just jump away and it was a nightmare. Imagine to repair a fallen mechanical watch and you’ll get the picture.
        9) Let my quote a comment by Al at https://hubstripping.wordpress.com/alfine-shimano/:
        “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….”
        That is exactly what solved my case at last. I studied the transmission of shifting to the cylinders on the axle by driving the shifting with pliers; I studied the real-life behaviour by mounting just the axle on the bike. Thank you Al.
        10) At the end of the work, I had a song hammering my brain “I want to ride my bycicle…” :-)) And I would like to know, what dan of black-belt cycling do I deserve now? ;-)))

  4. Foc

    Alas, it did not work. This morning I had again the “cog blocked” problem. It’s all about the square-section spring: it goes off at times. Its geometry is very critical: and it is why one cannot change several gears at once: the whole sequence of gears relies on this spring. I think that studying its behaviour I distorted it somehow. Now I’m stuck.😦
    The HUB axle unit “Y-37N 98020” is not sold separately and this hub is becoming a big waste of money for me. Would any of you sell me a used spring? Do you have any idea? Thank you again.

    • Foc

      Just to be clear: when I say the “square-section spring”, it is not the big “return spring A”, but the shifter return spring, one of the small springs in the hub axle unit, exactly the one on the drive side. It has no official name because it comes only within the hub axle unit.

      • Foc

        Does anybody know whether this “shifter return spring” is the same in Alfine 8 and Nexus 8?

        Or maybe which Nexus 8 “hub axle unit” is compatible with the Alfine 8 “hub axle unit” (that is the same in model SG-500 and model SG-501) ?

        Thank you in advance.

  5. a11y

    Hi, I hope someone can help me with this problem with my Alfine hub. I’ve used it for 2.5 years for mountain-biking and given it some quite rough treatment. It’s not been serviced in this time. It only recently started feeling “draggy” when freewheeling (i.e. if you removed your feet from the pedals, the cranks would rotate very slowly forwards). It then started slipping when in gears 3 and 5 (I think).

    I’ve decided to remove the gear mechanism, degrease, soak in ATF, regrease, and rebuild it, but I’m stuck at one step in the dismantling phase. I cannot figure out how to remove the plastic ring in the person’s hand in this diagram: http://www.hubstripping.com/shimano-alfine/alfine-strip/slides/alfine8.html. Arrows on it indicate “anticlockwise to fasten, clockwise to loosen”, but I cannot make it move in the least!

    Any help with this would be much appreciated. I presume that once I’ve removed this part that the hub gear part will be removeable easily enough.

    Many thanks
    Ally

    • Foc

      That plastic ring is easy to unscrew even with bare hands, at least on a new hub. Personally I use a rug for a better hold. I noticed also that you can even lift it with a screwdriver if you don’t want to bother… but be careful not to spoil it. 🙂

      • a11y

        Thanks. I must be a wuss as I can’t get it to shift with my bare hands – I’m blaming the 2.5 years of use making it tighter😀.

        I’ve posted this on another forum (singletrack) and received replies saying there’s a proper tool for the removal of this part, but I’ve yet to locate exactly what tool it is.

        Any further advice or help, or simply comments that might make a difference, would be much appreciated!

        Ally

      • a11y

        Update: I think I’ve located the tool (TL-AF10) but just need to find somewhere selling one locally. Unlikely, so I’ll probably order one online and delay my maintenance until it arrives – no choice really!

      • Foc

        Then you can use a flat screwdriver and a hammer, find a large groove in the ring and start hitting the ring tangentially (i.e., on one side of the groove) so to start unscrewing it with the strength of the hammer. just do it gently enough not to break anything. If the screwdriver dives into the plastic but the ring does not unscrew, use a chisel, a pole or anything larger than the screwdriver. After that, you’ll just have a little mark on the side of the groove.

  6. On my 1985 sport 700 C bike I successively used a Sturmey Archer 5 speeds, with oil bath topped up with ATF, I always noticed usual oil leaks from axle, then in 1998 a Nexus 7 speeds with roller brake with few top up of original Shimano grease blindly filled from right cap side. I withdrawn the inside braking crown, using classique rim brakes and I suspect braking wear particules are not compatible with gears. Keeping always command setting perfect is essential. After 12 years and some unchecked but real several thousands kilometers I change just now to the Alfine 8 speeds hub. A inspection look inside the Nexus 7 shows apparent perfect condition, ready for further use on another frame. I guess Alfine 8 will be as successfull as the N 7, as long as you don’t try strange changes, dismantling or unexpert setting. A car engine or a “for life” lubricated gear box work for ever as long as you buy it new and don’t touch it !
    Mecanic hobby could be dangerous if you don’t have the skill.
    I must precise, a large part of my engineer career in oil industry was on the lubrication research, automotive, engines marine and even aviation. and applications. I trust the specialists when I buy a material.
    An old french cyclist….. Salut

    • Foc

      Hi Waller

      As a specialist in lubrication, what can you tell us about the Shimano fluid for maintenance? Is it a lithium fluid? Where is it used? where can it be found?

      I tried to mix up white lithium grease and ATF, and they don’t mix at all.

      Thank you in advance for any hint!

  7. a11y

    OK, I successfully dismantled my Alfine hub and removed the internals – not good news. The plastic ring holding the bearings in place on the non-drive side is completely destroyed: there were remains of it littering the inside of the hub. I’m not trying to identify a replacement part but my local bike shop hasn’t had any success finding it so far.

    The part I need is circled in green in this picture:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/a11y_m/5335536558/in/set-72157621797142191/

    It doesn’t appear to have a separate part number according the the Shimano techpages: http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/techdocs/content/cycle/EV/bikecomponents/SG/EV-SG-S500-2637C_v1_m56577569830689515.pdf.

    Can’t anyone help me locate this part?

    Thanks
    Ally

    • Foc

      My findings for a similar case are that either you find an Alfine hub broken elsewhere, but they are very hard to find and personally I could not get one yet, or you need to buy the big part as a replacement part, but in my case, as I wrote in another comment at https://hubstripping.wordpress.com/alfine-shimano/, the big part Y-37N98010 was extremely expensive compared to a brand new hub.

      • a11y

        Thanks Foc. I’ve read your comments in that link and it doesn’t make good reading: small inexpensive parts just don’t seem to be easy to find for Alfine hubs.

        I’m going to keep on looking, but if I have no success I think I’ll be binning the hub and converting the bike back to singlespeed on a full-time basis. If I do I’ll certainly be in touch with you as I guess you’re looking for a small spring or the like (I’m in Scotland, UK).

        Thanks
        Ally

      • Foc

        @A11y: there is a part of my story that was not worth publishing here. If you feel like hearing it, just email me privately, I posted my address on another comment so you can contact me by using it.

  8. waller

    Oh! Lubrication is a complex topic, however some few hints may explain the mistakes we shoud avoid and prevent fatal improvisations. Greases are mixtures of lubricating oils and metallic soaps (action: acid on a metal hydroxyde) Greases are blended in a really “cooking” and heating procedure. So oil is definitely the lubricating agent, sustained in a complexed soap fiber texture. The challenge is to obtain a stable product in adverse conditions, squeezing, heat..This is the main technical challenge: practical experience of the “cooker” is essential for sucess. We don’t know exactly why it works or not ! One should insist that mixing different greases or adding oil always result in unstable mixtures.Most high quality greases are lithium hydroxyde based. Recommended for roller bearings they may be used also for open or closed gears systems. In case of our bike hubs grease is a good compromise versus gears and roller bearing lubrication requirements and solve easily the sealing problems of axle joint. I don’t know the Shimano grease quality but I guess it is a soft lithium based grease level 0. Hardness is the basic point defined by tests from level 00, to 5. Like for gear oils, extreme pressure or anti oxydant additives can be added. Another problem one can encountered is the joint compatibilty. Some manufacturer told me your oil (or grease) is harmful to our sealing joints. On both sides no one knew why, and joint material could be changed without advice.
    So when things works let it go on…
    Now if the hub is realy well sealed plain oil is the best lubricant, more stable better lubrication with far less friction resistance.
    Automatic car gear boxes, with planetary gears as in our hubs, are filled with ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluids) fluid mineral oils, heat and oxydation resistant. They are also acting as hydraulic dynamic fluid in the torque converter included in the box, which rises the temperature. But leaks remains the main problem with these thin oils: it si difficult and expensive to design efficient sealing joints. I used ATF on my first Sturmey Archer hub and it always leaked. Well, Rohloff is a nice and EXPENSIVE piece of high standard German technology, no leaks, I suppose ! Is it worth for cheaper but reliable bike hubs ?
    For those who try to clean the hub with solvent, beware, no chemical solvent, neither gas oil which is a mixture of petrol molecules. I guess Jet fuel/kerosene/lamp oil (same product) could be the best and neutral cleaner.
    Sorry for being so long but some essential things should be cleared.
    We all would like to have a manufacturer point of view on this matter. Is anyone reading this forum ?
    Salutations à tous from France.

    • Foc

      Wow! that’s quite a lesson. Lubrication is quite an issue with IGHs… bad lubrication or a lack of lubrication can definitely kill an IGH!!!
      But what is eventually the oil that goes with white lithium grease?

      Just to sum up the story: Shimano’s “WB maintenance oil” Y00201000 is as expensive, as far as I know, as 55 euro (seen online) to 95 (seen at a LBS) euro for 1 litre. This is a problem for those who have only one hub to service, and possibly cannot have it serviced by a a third party, or just don’t want to put more money on the Alfine, than they already did. I guess that price is also the main reason why people use ATF instead of that oil.

      Shimano claims that the “WB maintenance oil” “has the same properties as internal hub grease but it is in liquid form so it is able to penetrate the inner workings of the hub.”

      Well, I’ve been playing a little with the official Nexus/Alfine grease, and a generic white lithium grease (manufactured by CFG). They seem to be just the same stuff. They mix perfectly. So I suppose that the “WB maintenance oil” “has the same properties as” white lithium grease.

      My question is: what oil, apart from the “WB maintenance oil”, has the same properties as white lithium grease, but “is in liquid form”?

      If it’s easier to find and more affordable than the “WB maintenance oil”, that would be interesting!

      • Hola, mister Foc you heat up too much on this topic.
        I speak also catalan and “foc” means “fire”
        Good questions but I can’t clearly answer as Shimano or any other manufacturer never disclose their products composition for obvious reason. The oil integrated in the grease is very probably the same as the one used alone in a oil bath lubricated hub and the same as the oil can content which explain mixability.
        The price of grease or oil Shimano cans are tremendously high and not justified for content but they are in line with spare parts pricing policy which includes stocks availability, dispatch and margins, remember the cost of your printer cartridges !
        I noticed Shimano recommends both Grease and oil cans, that seems strange, when, where and how ??
        I think we have just to follow maintainance guidelines unless you intend to start research in your personnal lab, but that could be a long, costly and risky adventure !!
        Modern machines could no more be maintained by simple minded users. The old Ford T could be repaired in the farm workshop, what about your Toyota Prius ?
        Well, for my Nexus ansd Alfine hubs I ordered a grease cartridge, top up for and back “on the road again”

      • Steve Weeks, DDS

        I haven’t been following this Alfine thread too closely, since I have only two Nexus 8-speed hubs. However, it seems that some of the lubrication issues may be similar. A couple years ago, I was looking high and low for that “maintenance oil” that can be seen in some Shimano technical documents. I never found it, and never got any help from Shimano. However, I have been dipping my hubs’ innards in Dexron Automatic Transmission Fluid for at least two years now. I still put the black “official” Nexus grease on the bearings, but not on the planetary gears. My hubs run well, and when I open them (at least once a year) I do not see any evidence of wear.
        For what it’s worth.
        Steve

  9. a11y

    Just a bit more info on my problem – I’ve still got my local bike shop trying to source the part.

    The hub:

    That surface is where the roller bearings are supposed to sit, covered with a white plastic retaining part identical to the bit on the far left of the photo:

    The remains of the white plastic bit (this is the only bit I need to replace):

  10. john soho

    Ally and Foc I just may be able to help – I had the misfortune to ruin a nexus sg 31 hub about a year ago, trying to ‘improvise’ access to the drive side bearing. I learned the hard way that it is best to squeeze in grease through the small access point described earlier.
    Anyway I have an intact carrier unit (I ruined the axle assembly) and it seems to have the same plastic carrier unit that you need Ally and just maybe the spring that you need Foc.
    Foc – I have a small plate with two small springs that seems to sit where your ‘spring’ sits – I have left these springs on the small plate – is that what you require?
    Please let me know via this post and I can arrange to send these things to you for the price of postage – both stored under oil for the past year
    Cheers John

    • a11y

      John, that would be absolutely superb! I’m more than happy to send something your way to cover postage and a bit, but can’t see any way to contact you other than on this forum. Whereabouts are you? I’m in Falkirk, Scotland, UK. Could you email me on a11y_mATymailDOTcom?

      AT = @
      DOT – .

      I’ve contacted Madison (who handle Shimano in the UK) who confirmed what my local shop informed me: that Shimano spares are only available if the part had an individual part number on the exploded diagrams. That means I’d need the entire hub carrier unless someone like yourself has an otherwise ruined hub and can supply the individual bit I need.

      Please contact me!
      Thanks,
      Ally

    • Foc

      Hey John, this is really good news!!! :-))

      Lately I discovered that I should have been reading that book about “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” before ever touching my hub, because if my most recent findings are correct, the crackling that I wanted to get rid of did likely NOT depend on the hub itself.
      What happened then? It seems that the chain was worn, so the links were getting loose as they do in worn chains. The day when the problem started, I was offroad for 65Km (40 miles) with my children on my bike, and although I cannot remember it, I must have run into some extra-smooth sand, that eventually got into the links of the worn chain. Afterwards, I did not check the chain on another bike, I just lubed it, but this lubrification could not clean up the inside of the links. Since the chain bends more around the sprocket wheel than around the chainring, the crackling happened rather at the place of the rear hub. Having some experience with broken bearing balls on derailleurs’ or coaster-brake hubs, I assumed that the hidden bearing balls were failing, and I was disappointed when I saw that they were just OK… but then I was unlucky with the shifter return spring.

      Right now, I miss the spring highlighted in orange in this picture:

      and I think that your proposal is very nice, so I’m interested in it. My email is “foc THE-SIGN-FOR-AT connettivo THE-SIGN-FOR-DOT net”.

      In case you may be interested in it, I also have a bunch of parts of a broken Nexus-7, that I don’t need, and I can lend to you the special tools TL-8S11 and TL-AF20 if we discover that snail-mail works and you want to start over with opening an Alfiine8/Nexus8 hub.

      BTW, I think that there still is around something called “Universal Postal Union” allowing to pre-pay stamps over different countries.

      Thanks again John!!

      • Ally

        FOC, did you manage to make contact with “john soho”? I’ve not had any reply to my above post and was hoping he’s show up again on this forum!

        I’m still no further in locating the spare part I need, so if you’re reading this john soho, please post up and/or contact me on the above email address.

        Many thanks
        Ally

  11. Foc

    Hey, no, I wasn’t contacted either. Now I think that John acted impulsively. Anyway, I thought a bit about that, and now I think that exchanging broken pieces is not simpler than exchanging working pieces: the “International Reply Coupons” of the “Universal Postal Union” are intended for letters weighting less than 20 grams, so normal mail would be required instead. Of course, there also is a hasard for scam: it is almost impossible to pre-pay a mailing and paying COD is very expensive. Could something like book-crossing exist for bike parts? Yes! We do something like that locally, in the community-driven workshops called “ciclofficine popolari” (http://www.ciclofficinepopolari.it). People bring used parts and take used parts… but most of the parts are simple, cheap parts that can be found on most bikes.

    Personally, I’m keeping my broken hub and waiting. Life is long… I always have the shifter return spring of the Nexus-7 in my pocket and it’s funny to imagine that some day it could attract the shifter return spring of the Nexus-8…

    BTW, I discovered a way to have a cheap “liquid white lithium grease”: the white lithium grease sold in spray cans is almost liquid, and is inexpensive.
    🙂

  12. 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?

  13. My thoughts after reading all these posts.
    1. The Nexus 7 is a very robust hub. It can also be completely dismantled (get to that drive side bearing cone) without special tools.
    2. The white Shimano grease is just plain old white lithium grease.
    3. The roller and coaster brake grease is just plain old molybdenum disulfide grease.
    4. The Shimano WB oil is a fully synthetic marine outboard gear oil. Not ATF.
    5. Never use solvents of any kind on the internals – unless you have stripped it down to it’s components and can guarantee grease where needed.
    6. ‘Wash’ the internals in oil. Work the hub manually, in a viscouse oil any metal will eventually move out in the oil suspension. A good 30 minutes of twisting should do it.
    7. Shimano’s WB solution is just that – a solution to a generic problem. That is that most bike shops charge too much to do a proper service with grease, and most home bike mechanices will probably destroy the hub trying to dismantle it. (See FOC above). An oil bath solves this problem.
    8. Here comes my reasearched solution: The best replacement for grease (no dismantling) and Shimano Oil (Too expensive and too viscous) is 00 grade liquid grease – as used in leaky Tractor diffs.
    9. I used a basic car wheel bearing grease on a Nexus 7 8 years ago and have/ had absolutely no problems. Unless the hub is completely sealed, how can any sort of oil be a solution.

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