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Re: Recent threads about Shimano difficulties

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  • pj
    ... According to Shimano: To maintain the performance of the unit, it is recommended that maintenance such as internal oil change be performed at the shop
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 8, 2013
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      > Is it really true that some special mystery oil is needed for the Alfine 11?

      According to Shimano:
      "To maintain the performance of the unit, it is recommended that maintenance such as internal oil change be performed at the shop from which you purchased it or at a professional shop after riding a total of 1,000km after start of use and every 2 years after that (every 5,000km if rding frequently). In addition, the SG-S700 Oil and TL-S703 maintenance kit must be used for maintenance. Failure to use the SG-S700 Oil may cause problems such as oil leakage, internal mechanism malfunction, etc."

      > What is going on with that?

      If Shimano didn't make any statement on lubrication, there would be somebody somewhere fill their IGH up with Tabasco Sauce. There is also some more realistic concern that the consumer could use a lubricant that would not be compatible with the hub's seals and non-metallic parts (BTW - there have been reports of Alfine 11 hubs weeping oil when used exclusively with SG-700 Oil) or too light a weight oil to protect against wear or too heavy a weight oil to allow correct function. Still, one has to question Shimano's demand that the consumer use only the expensive proprietary Shimano oil and whether this is driven by profit rather that tribology. In the vast world of lubrication, a bicycle IGH is a pretty benign environment. Surely a common commercial equivalent lubricant could be suggested, like Sturmey-Archer does for their customers.

      > Is the hub full of oil and the seals will only retain special oil?

      Well, it's not full of oil - just 25ml. It's the same splash oil lubrication used in IGHs for the last 120 years.

      > Is it actually operated hydraulically like a car's automatic?

      Ha! Nope.

      pj
    • bnexus8
      I have an Alfine 11, an Alfine 8 and a Nexus 8. All bought from new and working perfectly. I gave the Alfine 11 its first service at 600 miles without
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 9, 2013
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        I have an Alfine 11, an Alfine 8 and a Nexus 8. All bought from new and working perfectly. I gave the Alfine 11 its first service at 600 miles without difficulty but at some expense because of the cost of the correct lubricant. Shimano have found a way of maximising their profit on the oil by not releasing the specification and selling it at a high price. My feeling is that if you decide to buy an item the maintenance and running costs are something you take into account.

        There are a lot of threads, on various websites, about cheaper oils that will do in Shimano Alfine 11's. I've not seen one that provides anything but anecdotal evidence that these alternatives oils actually maintain the hub. I may give some credence to alternative oils if a Shimano agent was using them. My second Alfine 11 is broken because the wrong lubricant was used. If the correct lubricant (it has a Shimano part number) had been used and the same fault(s) had occurred it would have been a warranty repair. The oil used was obviously wrong and the warranty is void.

        I have used all the hubs that you list, except the Nexus 7 but have used the SA 5's, over the last 50 years. None worked satisfactorily for me as a touring cyclist. Their ranges aren't wide enough without the addition of a derailleur and its attendant double changes, overlapping and doubled gears, and exposed position. I do have such a set up on a bike: it is a SRAM 3 by 7 and it works quite well but when you come out of the middle range of the gearbox you are back to double changes to get to the next gear in sequence, either up or down. I am not sure that I would trust a SA hub with a 7 cog derailleur even if such a thing is possible. Since the Alfine 11 my SRAM equipped bike has been relegated to day rides that included a train journey (the bike folds)

        The only mystery about Shimano oils is in the minds of Alfine 11 owners who want to save money on maintenance. After the initial 600 mile oil change it needs repeating every 3000 miles at about £12.50 a go if you use all of the 50ml bottle of oil in an, empty, flush and replace. Between the initial change and the first that works out at less than a halfpenny a mile. I could save that on hobnobs and Welsh cakes and do my self a favour at the same time.
        The mystery to me is why anybody would want to jeopardise a very good hub by being so cheap.


        --- In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, "beandk50" <beandk@...> wrote:
        >
        > I follow this list and rarely post; my IGH collection only includes AW, FW, FM, and Nexus 7-speed. They work without problems.
        >
        > I am really amazed by the postings related to "special oil" for hubs and for "break-in" period.
        >
        > Is it really true that some special mystery oil is needed for the Alfine 11? What is going on with that? Is the hub full of oil and the seals will only retain special oil? Is it actually operated hydraulically like a car's automatic?
        >
        > And a break-in for the Nexus 8; what on earth needs to be broken in? It's not like it has extremely close-fitting parts that need to wear a bit to match properly is it? WHat's going on there?
        >
        > Enlighten me, I'm in the dark.
        >
        > David Bean
        > Arlington, MA USA
        >
      • pj
        ... Pretty straightforward, actually. pj
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 10, 2013
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          > I am not sure that I would trust a SA hub with a 7 cog
          > derailleur even if such a thing is possible.

          Pretty straightforward, actually.

          <http://www.sturmey-archer.com/products/hubs/cid/8/id/58>

          pj
        • pj
          ... Ah, so you ve heard back from the shop/importer since message 8426, where you said you didn t know what (if anything) was wrong with the hub beyond
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 11, 2013
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            bnexus8 wrote in part:
            > My second Alfine 11 is broken because the wrong lubricant was used.

            Ah, so you've heard back from the shop/importer since message 8426, where you said you didn't know what (if anything) was wrong with the hub beyond lubricant weeping, which in message 8425 you said also happened with one of your other Alfine 11 hubs even though it was lubricated using Shimano's proprietary oil.

            For the benefit of the user community, I wonder if you could share with us what the shop has now told you is broken in your latest Alfine 11, and their explanation of how the lubricant caused the failure?

            Thanks,
            pj
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