Alfine Di2 11/8

CXRAndy

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Im mulling the idea of converting my SS Genesis Day One to an Alfine 11 speed.

Ultimately go to make it a touring bike, its got Topeak panniers/bags, dynamo lights, Shimano Di2 hydraulic brakes I fitted.

What I would like to know is those who run an Alfine Di2, what advantage over a mechanical Alfine is there? How long does the battery last with Alfine motor?

I have several Di2 equipped bikes but these are derailleur bikes.

I could potentially use this bike on mega distance tours, with several days without being able to charge from mains supply. I could use the dynamo to provide top up supply to Di2 battery

Im gearing down the bike with a 32 or 34 chainring to allow for heavy loads and climbing hills. The Alfine 11 has a greater gearing range than the 8, so I wont compromise the top speed too much, should be able to get 25mph top speed at 85rpm.
496515
 
Last edited:
Location
Loch side.
Im mulling the idea of converting my SS Genesis Day One to an Alfine 11 speed.

Ultimately go to make it a touring bike, its got Topeak panniers/bags, dynamo lights, Shimano Di2 hydraulic brakes I fitted.

What I would like to know is those who run an Alfine Di2, what advantage over a mechanical Alfine is there? How long does the battery last with Alfine motor?

I have several Di2 equipped bikes but these are derailleur bikes.

I could potentially use this bike on mega distance tours, with several days without being able to charge from mains supply. I could use the dynamo to provide top up supply to Di2 battery

Im gearing down the bike with a 32 or 34 chainring to allow for heavy loads and climbing hills. The Alfine 11 has a greater gearing range than the 8, so I wont compromise the top speed too much, should be able to get 25mph top speed at 85rpm.View attachment 496515
I've gone Alfine 11 Di2
I've had a frame built specifically for it so that I can fit it with a Gates Belt drive. However, the bike is unfinished due to several problems.
Problem 1 is you cannot source, for love or money a left brake lever for drop handles without a Di2 switch. Shimano lists it, but I can't find one.
Second problem is that I cannot, for love or money, source a Di2-compatible Gates drive sprocket front and back. It isn't standard Gates drive because Di2 requires a 2mm offset to get the chainline right and clear the drive motor on the hub. I've fitted standard chain and sprockets for now.

My goal is to have Alfine, Di2, drop bars, hydraulic brakes and Gates. This required a custom frame, exotic bits and pieces which exist only on paper and, plenty of cash - more than I wanted to spend when I started the project.

Further, the Di2 Control unit - the Shimano Di2 SC-MT800-C won't wake up when connected. I've sent one back already, thinking it was an out-of-box failure but the second one is also dead. There seems to be an incompatibility with either the battery or the junction box. I've managed to confirm that the shift lever work, the hub motor unit works and the battery works, in another Di2 setup I have. What I cannot test is the control unit and junction box because they're incompatible with the other unit. It is a sad story.

At this stage, I have a beautiful custom frame, great wheels etc. all just sitting on a half-built bike 'cause I can't find a left lever or get the MT800 to wake up.

To answer your questions. The Alfine Di2's advantages over manual? None other than the lack of cables. It is essential the same hub bar one small item. The Di2 Alfine hub is different from the mechanical one in that it doesn't have a return spring. The motor pushes and pulls, where on the mechanical one the cable pulls and the spring pushes back in the other direction. The two cannot be retro-fitted or interchanged.
The battery will last just as long as it lasts on a derailer. It is essentially the same motor, just in a different configuration. On both the derailer and Alfine, the motor works when shifting both up and down.

I can't see how you're going to get the dynamo to charge the Di2 battery. The dynamo produces AC at 6V. The battery wants 5V DC and, requires a special plug and, is chipped to not work with any charger other than Shimano's. Also, the dynamo's wattage will be too low for a charge. A standard Di2 battery gives you more than enough life for a long tour in anyway.
 
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CXRAndy

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
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I can't see how you're going to get the dynamo to charge the Di2 battery. The dynamo produces AC at 6V. The battery wants 5V DC and, requires a special plug and, is chipped to not work with any charger other than Shimano's. Also, the dynamo's wattage will be too low for a charge. A standard Di2 battery gives you more than enough life for a long tour in anyway.
I was thinking of a USB AC to DC convertor, with a battery pack. The USB convertor would charge the battery whilst the battery would top up the Di2. It requires getting the kit and trying to see if there is enough power to keep it all working. Correct battery and USB unit essential

Thanks for your comments and heads up about the MT800 unit not waking up. I was debating whether to get MT or bar end RS900 unit. I have the MT on my other bike and do like the display features along with Bluetooth connectivity
 
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CXRAndy

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
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Problem 1 is you cannot source, for love or money a left brake lever for drop handles without a Di2 switch
I bought the pair of Di2 hydraulic Shimano levers and brake calipers from one of the German websites, at a great price. I checked recently and the price for the kit is now nearly doubled!:ohmy:.

Check out the German sites, they carry alot more stock than most of the UK sites.

They must exist, because bike are being sold have Di2 Gates drive systems. I presume you have read this bulletin from Gates.

Your requirements are CDX centre track sprocket and chainring-. like you mention and Gates also, not every frame is compatible with belt drive

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.gatescarbondrive.com/~/media/files/gcd/techpdfs/gates-tech-bulletin-di2.pdf?la=en&ved=2ahUKEwjk77C2ubfmAhWyQEEAHREhCZQQFjABegQIBRAO&usg=AOvVaw2h1jA-I4lZ_uQvVnxf_UXg

Check out Holland bike shop, Ive used them for dynamo supplies, they list Gates gearing

https://hollandbikeshop.com/en-gb/bicycle-parts-city-bike/bicycle-crank/drive-belt-sprocket/

Can you not use bottom bracket or chainring spacers to align the drive?
 
Last edited:
Location
Loch side.
I bought the pair of Di2 hydraulic Shimano levers and brake calipers from one of the German websites, at a great price. I checked recently and the price for the kit is now nearly doubled!:ohmy:.

Check out the German sites, they carry alot more stock than most of the UK sites.

They must exist, because bike are being sold have Di2 Gates drive systems. I presume you have read this bulletin from Gates.

Your requirements are CDX centre track sprocket and chainring-. like you mention and Gates also, not every frame is compatible with belt drive

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.gatescarbondrive.com/~/media/files/gcd/techpdfs/gates-tech-bulletin-di2.pdf?la=en&ved=2ahUKEwjk77C2ubfmAhWyQEEAHREhCZQQFjABegQIBRAO&usg=AOvVaw2h1jA-I4lZ_uQvVnxf_UXg

Check out Holland bike shop, Ive used them for dynamo supplies, they list Gates gearing

https://hollandbikeshop.com/en-gb/bicycle-parts-city-bike/bicycle-crank/drive-belt-sprocket/

Can you not use bottom bracket or chainring spacers to align the drive?
I bought the pair of Di2 hydraulic Shimano levers and brake calipers from one of the German websites, at a great price. I checked recently and the price for the kit is now nearly doubled!:ohmy:.
Check out the German sites, they carry alot more stock than most of the UK sites.


Most of the stuff on that bike came from German bike shops. I got the Alfine hub for half the price quoted here, off a German site.

However, I could not get a left hand lever. I found one off e-bay from a Japanese supplier but it has been "in the post" for over 8 weeks now.



They must exist, because bike are being sold have Di2 Gates drive systems. I presume you have read this bulletin from Gates.

Your requirements are CDX centre track sprocket and chainring-. like you mention and Gates also, not every frame is compatible with belt drive

I had the frame made specifically for Gates and Di2



Yes, but not for Di2. I discovered the incompatiblity when I got a sprocket from that company. I sent it back and they refunded me
'cause they don't have a Di2 one.

https://hollandbikeshop.com/en-gb/bicycle-parts-city-bike/bicycle-crank/drive-belt-sprocket/

Can you not use bottom bracket or chainring spacers to align the drive?
[/QUOTE]
I will try that once I have all the other problems solved. I'll start off with a chain and then start shopping for the Gates stuff again. Ideally I want a 50-sprocket for Alfine and a 25 rear, which incidentally is the only Di2 Gates stuff made. There are all sorts of other cranks available with other sprocket options but they are all rubbish - either GXP or one of the other untouchable BB standards. I want Hollowtech of Square taper, nothing else.

This saga has been going on since August.
 
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