Alfine 8 internal hub gear shifting problem

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by glasgowcyclist, 12 Dec 2017.

  1. glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    My ride to work this morning took a bit longer than usual because my Alfine hub appears to be stuck in 4th gear, so I was spinning out at 16/17mph.

    I'm not sure if this is due to the overnight temperature of -5C freezing up my gubbins or a mechanical defect somewhere in the setup. I can actuate the shifter so that the gear indicator moves through gears 5, 6 ,7, 8 and back to 4th but there's no corresponding change of gear within the hub. I can't move the shifter below 4th gear, the thumb shifter remains solid.

    I can move the pulley down at the hub with my thumb so I think the problem must be somewhere outwith the hub itself. I've only had time for a quick look while I put it in the office bike shed and will take another look at lunchtime. Has this happened to anyone else or does anyone have any suggestions as to the reason for this?

    I've just remembered: over the last few commutes I've noticed what felt like a bit of slack in the cable when shifting down gears. The initial thumb stroke gave no resistance and no change of gear until the second thumb stroke when it all felt normal again. Has something maybe come adrift inside the shifter?
     
  2. OP
    OP
    glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    Leave until April then...
     
    mjr likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    I'm afraid I've long since not had the need for one of those.
     
  4. Bodhbh

    Bodhbh Veteran

    Alfine trigger shifter's are more or less half price at Chain Reaction atm. Also, don't they index the same as regular 8-speed Shimano shifters anyhow?...which are 11 or 12 quid. I'd be inclined just to replace it and maybe pull apart the old one once the new one is up and running.
     
  5. Cycleops

    Cycleops Guru

    Location:
    Accra, Ghana
    I should try giving the shifter a liberal dowsing of WD40 whilst trying coax it gently into life before buying anything.
     
  6. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?p=1184776#p1184776 has a description of the Alfine 8's clutches and it sounds a bit like both may be stuck, but the cable can move through the sliding clutch positions and not the roller clutch, which if I understand it, makes sense - it can move the slider control out but the spring on it is frozen so no gear change, but the roller clutch can't roll at all so won't move.

    I'd probably try to defrost it. Whatever I'd do, I wouldn't force the shifter lest something plastic and cold snaps. Did you leave it parked in 4th when it froze?
     
  7. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Ah but that contradicts my guess. Can you move the pulley through the full range at the hub?
     
  8. OP
    OP
    glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    Yes. That was on Friday, not used until this morning.

    Yes, as far as the cable position will let me. I'll disconnect it from the pulley later and check if it has full throw.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    Okay, I've been out t'bike shed and had another look.

    When I disconnect the gear cable from the pulley, the pulley moves through its full arc of travel smoothly. Tons of resistance on the spring.

    When I pulled on the unattached gear cable and operated the shifter, the cable was very reluctant to extend (shift to higher gear) but quick to retract (select lower gear). It felt a bit gummed up when trying to shift up the gears. I worked it in either direction this way and it gradually became more responsive. When I reattached it, the gears shifted through their full range.

    The cables are routed inside the frame so I'll initially look at replacing just the inner.
     
  10. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    [QUOTE 5076327, member: 45"]I'd just blob some oil down them as a first step.[/QUOTE]
    This, plus maybe trying to blast the innards of the shifter with something liquid and not easily frozen.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    [QUOTE 5076327, member: 45"]I'd just blob some oil down them as a first step.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, I could do that. The one-way resistance in the cable's travel initially made me think maybe a few strands had snapped and were snagging on the inner. I'll check the inside of the shifter mechanism first.
     
  12. MichaelW2

    MichaelW2 Über Member

    My Alfine used to feel gummed up after subzero nights and would take 20 mins of pedalling to free up. After an oil bath it ran more freely.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    Got it sorted now, it was a faulty shifter. Not so LBS is a Shimano Centre and they fitted a new one, only problem being they ordered and fitted the wrong one. Mine's the 700 and they fitted a 500, which has the gear readout in reverse order because it's designed for pulling the hub in the opposite direction.

    It still works perfectly well and I couldn't be arsed making another 40+ mile round trip and not have the bike for another week so I just took it. When I took the old one apart it was obvious that the gear indicator is swappable across both so I'll do that one weekend when I'm bored.
     
    mjr likes this.
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