More on the Alfine 11

The other day, we briefly reported on the Shimano Alfine 11 internal gear hub. Now there’s a full review on this exciting hub at Of particular note is the fact that the 11 is a new design from the ground up, and it will, in fact, live in an oil bath like the Rohloff. The days of stripping and greasing are over. With this new hub you’ll simply draw out the old oil with a special syringe, and pump in the new oil with the same tool. Shimano says the service interval with the Alfine 11 will be three times as long as with the Alfine 8. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these puppies; unfortunately it’s likely to be no sooner than 2011.

19 Responses to “More on the Alfine 11”

  • john in nh says:

    an 11 speed is very exciting and the greasing is quite novel and should prove to be a success I would imagine. I am excited to start riding on the NEXUS 8-speed as my first internal hub, but man an 11 speed would be wonderful!

  • Erkki says:

    Ok. Then the system is totally different than in the Nexus7 and 8 oiling were you have disassemble hub and put the “inner-stuff” into jar of oil.

  • John Lascurettes says:

    Hmm. If I wait another year, I’ll bet the perfect commuter with a belt drive, dynohub and an Alfine 11 will be in production and waiting for me at a local bike shop.

  • Antoine says:

    That perfect commuter will be a Civia but it won’t come cheap!

  • John says:

    Cheaper than car, my friend, cheaper than a car. And for commuting every day 3 years straight, rain, shine or snow, I’m allowed to splurge. :)

  • Mark says:

    I’m probably buying an Alfine-8 based bike this year, but the 307% range has been one of my big concerns – so it’s nice to know that this is a possible future upgrade path. I’m assuming the 11 will compatible with the same belt drives used with the 8, currently.

    I guess drop bar fans will have to wait for Versa to update their brifter for 11 speeds though…

  • Roland Smith says:

    Looks like Shimano is borrowing a page out of Rohloff’s book. Imitation is still the sincerest form of flattery. Good to see more choice in hubs, though.

    I was amazed to learn that you have to disassemble an alfine 8 hub to lubricate it? That’s crazy. Even my old Sturmey-Archer three-speed of 30 years ago was oil lubricated.

  • Wei says:

    This looks very nice. Do any of you IGH buffs know if the Alfine 8 on a belt drive bike is a specific model for a belt drive or just a stock standard one? What I am really wanting to know is if I can “swap in” the Alfine 11, into a belt drive Alfine 8 bike using the existing Gates sprocket after a full wheel rebuild.

  • Alan says:


    The Alfine 8 for belt is just a standard Alfine 8 with the special belt-specific cog installed. I’m assuming (only assuming) that a similar cog will eventually be available for the Alfine 11.


  • Wei says:


    Thanks for the info Alan. Hopefully the Alfine 11 is a similar case to the 8.

  • Fergie348 says:

    I got an email from the Versa guys saying that they definitely wanted to make an 11 speed brifter for the Alfine 11, but had to wait like the rest of us to get a hub to work with.

    As fore expense, the Civia Bryant belt drive Alfine 8 retails for about $1600. I’m guessing the Alfine 11 takes that a few hundred higher, so even with currency fluction going our way, maybe the 2011 Civia Bryant belt drive Alfine 11 is $1800? Just a guess. It’s still cheaper than a car..

    Does anyone know of a wood frame that could be pressed into service as a commuter/tourer with disk brakes, fender/rack mounts and horizontal dropouts?

    Thx, John

  • Alan says:


    “Does anyone know of a wood frame that could be pressed into service as a commuter/tourer with disk brakes, fender/rack mounts and horizontal dropouts?”

    No horizontal dropouts, but this may be as close as you can get:


  • Fergie348 says:

    Thanks Alan – I’d seen that one but it’s a bit of a hack with the chain tensioner. I don’t see it working with a belt drive setup.

    The Bryant Alfine Belt is as close as I’ve seen to my ideal, but to get all the way there I’d like to have a non-ferrous frame. Bamboo or hardwood would be ideal. I’d have to have either horizontal drops OR an elliptical BB shell to allow belt tensioning. Because the elliptical BB shell changes the fit dimensions of the bike I’d greatly prefer the horizontal dropouts. There would also have to be a separable seat stay to install the belt. So many complications, but I’ve got time..

  • Aaron Pailthorp says:

    Has anyone seen further details of the upcoming Alfine 11? Specifically, gear ratios? I’ve heard that the steps will all be either 13% or 17%, but can’t get that to come out to the total expected total of 409%.

  • Alan says:


    If the Alfine 11 is like their other hubs, the steps between gears won’t be even throughout the entire range.


  • Aaron Pailthorp says:

    p.s. It is interesting that when you go to the Shimano spec page for the 8 speed Alfine IGH:

    They have a table that displays from “Gear Ratio 1″ to “Gear Ratio 11″, where only the first eight are filled in, and 9-11 are blank. Sure would like to know what that completed table will look like…

  • Gee says:

    Has any brand announced a commuter with these babies for 2011? Preferably with a belt drive :D

  • Fergie348 says:

    Sounds like manufacturers are only now getting 11 speed test hubs from Shimano. Given the 2011 model year calendar (Interbike is only a month or so away..) I would seriously doubt that the Alfine 11 will be on any of the initial 2011 bikes. A mid year offering from smaller builders might be possible, but I imagine for most companies the Alfine 11 will have to wait until the 2012 model year to get released.

    I don’t know why Shimano would change the cog fitment for the Alfine 11 vs the 8 speed version so the existing Gates belt setup should be transferrable from an 8 speed hub, but we’ll have to wait & see when the hub (and associated technical documentation) gets released next month. Can’t wait..

  • Gee says:

    OK, thanks. I’m looking forward to replacing my 2003 Specialized Sirrus with something like the Globe Live 3. But that would mostly be to get a lower maintenance bike and it seems like the Alfine 11 is way better than the 8 in that department. Guess I’ll just have to wait :(

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