Shimano Alfine 11 speed quietly announced.

Saw this info this morning via Hubstripping. The German cycling website Aktiv Radfahren posted info on an upcoming Alfine 11 speed hub, SG-S700, due in September of 2010 for 300 Euros. Reported 409% ratio, gear steps of 17% and 13%. Article translation is here.

IN STOCK NOW! (12/20/10)

This one goes to 11.

I’ll keep an eye out for more official information from Shimano as it comes.

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39 Responses to Shimano Alfine 11 speed quietly announced.

  1. antbikemike says:

    Holy Shit!…This means I will be able to get one in about 2012 😉

  2. I wonder how much it will weigh. The 8-speed already weighs about 3 1/2 pounds! Weight of a bicycle matters more when carrying it than when riding it.

  3. I look forward to this hub. With a gear range of 409%, which gives you about 21 to 86 gear inches, this would make a good hub for a touring bicycle. My folding Raleigh Twenty might end up my ideal bicycle.

  4. Karl says:

    The numbers don’t add up! The original article says the 11-speed hub has a range of 409% with two 17% jumps and eight 13% jumps. Doing the math, 11 gears and those jumps is only 363.9%.

    I played around with the numbers in a spreadsheet, and I had to increase the jumps quite a bit to get to 409%. I ended up with two 20% jumps and eight 14% jumps resulting in 410.7%.

    Either the jumps are wider than Shimano claims, or the overall range is less than Shimano claims. I’m personally hoping for the first scenario, since I would prefer a bit more range than having tighter spacing.

    Is there any more up-to-date news on the gear ratios the hub provides? The actual ratios can be calculated with just three bits of data:
    1) the number of ratios
    2) the percentage of the jumps between ratios
    3) which gear is direct drive, or the ratio of any one gear

    So far we have claims for #1 and #2 (that don’t add up), but Shimano has not revealed #3. I’m speculating direct drive will be a middle-ish gear like 5, but who knows…

    • Alexey says:


      Their math does add up… or rather: it multiplies correctly. A 13% gear gap means that you multiply the smaller gear ratio by 1.13. Doing the math, (1.13)^7 * (1.17)^2 = 4.11, which is a gear range of 411%.


  5. Dwainedibbly says:

    (disclaimer: I have an iMotion-9 on my commuter. My wife as a Nexus-8 red band hub on her primary bicycle. I’m very much excited by the prospect of the Alfine-11.)

    I just did the same numerical analysis as Karl (before I saw his post) and I agree that Shimano are fudging the numbers. I wonder if this is intentional, or if it’s just a matter of the marketing office getting ahead of the engineering office. I suspect the later and have visions of Dilbertine exchanges withing Shimano.

    Doing the same analysis for the iMotion-9, with it’s advertised 14% top & bottom jumps and 17% middle jumps, OpenOffice & I calculate a 334.4% range (vs 340% advertised), a difference that is easily accounted for my allowing that SRAM are rounding down their percentage gear changes by a very few 10ths here & there. If one uses 14.3% and 17.3% for the SRAM hub, the result is 340.3%, so I think my arithmetical methods are correct.

    Karl: I’ll put my wager on #7 being the direct gear. The Alfine/Nexus 8 and the iMotion-9 both have a “slightly above middle” gear as their 1:1.

    I’d like a bit more hard data as well. I suppose we shall see more as September approaches. I have seen a published weight of 1600g, which is 360g better than the portly iMotion-9 and 850g better than the new NuVinci 360. This is looking like a good hub so far.

  6. Karl,

    It’s a mathematical issue:

    First Gear Jump is 17% then you ad 13%. But to get it Mathematically correct, you also have to add 13% of the initial 17%. It works on the same principle of compound interest.

    However, when I put the number through the gauntlet (knowing how to program mathematical forumlae into Excel is a handy skill), I got a total range of 411%

    So yes, the range is as advertised.

    I’m eagerly awaiting these hubs. I intend to purchase at least two of them. I have a Fuji Touring Bicycle framset which will benefit from it – and it’s a helleva lot cheaper than paying for a Rohloff hub.

    However, Shimano’s Nexus Inter-8 hub with coaster brake is going to find a home on my Raleigh Twenty as the perfect all-around-town bicycle.

  7. Dwainedibbly says:

    I feel compelled to reply. Martin, Are you sure about that? I’m doing exactly as you suggest, and it still doesn’t add up. Look at the table below and please explain where I’m wrong:

    Gear range so far step to next higher gear
    1 1.000 0.1700
    2 1.170 0.1300
    3 1.322 0.1300
    4 1.494 0.1300
    5 1.688 0.1300
    6 1.908 0.1300
    7 2.156 0.1300
    8 2.436 0.1300
    9 2.753 0.1300
    10 3.110 0.1700
    11 3.639

    I miss Sheldon.

  8. Craig says:

    Martin’s mistake, and likely whoever stated the intervals originally, is calculating 9 13% jumps rather than 8. There are 10 total jumps for 11 speeds. Subtracting 2 17% leaves 8 13% ones.

    (1.13) ^ 8 = 2.66
    (1.17) ^ 2 = 1.37
    (1.13) ^ 8 * (1.17) ^ 2 = 3.64
    (1.13) ^ 9 * (1.17) ^ 2 = 4.11

    Perhaps an engineer said that there were two large (17%) jumps and someone else misestimated the smaller ones. That would place the small jumps at 14.5% instead.

  9. Hubby says:

    According to this post at Vélotaf (a French site), the gear range is 409% (more precisely, 408.54%), but the gear steps aren’t eight of 13% and two of 17%. The reported gear ratios at Vélotaf are

    1st 0.527
    2nd 0.681
    3rd 0.770
    4th 0.878
    5th 0.995
    6th 1.134
    7th 1.292
    8th 1.462
    9th 1.667
    10th 1.888
    11th 2.153

    which would make one step of 29.22% (1st to 2nd) and nine near-even steps varying between 13.07% (2nd to 3rd) and 14.04% (10th to 11th). Karl’s guess was correct — 5th gear would act as direct drive.

    Among the other details in the article there are that the hub has an OLD of 135 mm, and that the oil in the hub should be changed every 3000 km (1860 mi) or two years, whichever comes first.

    • The hub seems to have a rather unusually high end, with 10th and 11th gears being 189% and 215% of the direct drive. For practical use in MTB riding, one would have to use an rather small chainring and a rather large sprocket. You’ll need something like 40/24 in order to have a useful spread of MTB gears of 22.6 to 92.3 gear inches. This isn’t so bad for people riding small-wheeled bicycles. You’ll get away with 46/20 and have a useful spread of gears of 23.9 to 97.5 gear inches.

      • Samuel Gamester says:

        Whats not to like? bigger sprockets are more mechanically efficient and last longer. Smaller chainrings give better ground and frame clearance. If you follow the link at the bottom of this page you can see Shimano’s recommended chainring/sprocket combinations on the left of the instructions sheet.

        • Robert Fry says:

          Shimano’s recommended chainring/sprocket ratio leaves something to be desired. They list a recommendation of 1.9, or about a 39/20. That is fine in a small wheeled bicycle, but if the hub is to be used in anything with 700C wheels, say, a touring bike or a 29″er, this will give a rather high gear range of 28-30″ up to 115-120″. Touring riders will probably want a chainring/sprocket ratio closer to 1.7 for the best range, and for 29″ers this should even be as low as 1.5.

  10. Todd says:

    At the North American handmade bike show Shimano had a table set up with their current hubs displayed. When I asked about the Alfine-11, they had zero info, and said that the news release in Europe was a leak more than an announcement. I wrote a paper letter to Shimano North America asking for info, esp. date of availability. No answer.

  11. Jay Neil says:

    I’m new to the IGH scene; but looking to change a classic Trek Cirrus steel 531 with 130mm spacing for an IGH set up. The wheel size is 27″ and cantilever brakes. Does the new 11 speed Shimano Alfine come in 36 hole as well as 32 hole versions (rebuild my current wheel)? Can it be narrowed like the 8 speed version from 135 to 130 mm OLD? Or am I limited to the SRAM iMotion 9 which is available in 36h?

    If this is not the best place to post these questions, please direct me. Thanks.

    • Kevin says:

      We haven’t received any more details yet on the new Alfine hubs, I’ll be sure to make a post as soon as I hear more about them. Chances are probably good that 36 hole hubs will be available, but I can’t weigh in either way about spacing.

    • Carsten Thies says:

      No, 135 mm spacing is required.
      With some tinkering (grinding off the locknuts to a smaller thickness) you may take it down to say 132 mm judging from the cut-out model at the Eurobike, but that’s it: The left bearing is very far left under the CenterLock stubbin’.
      If someone needs even lower OLD on a standard bicycle, any Shimano Nexus hub (preferably Inter-8 Premium red stripe) for RollerBrake without the Roller brake is the best bet: 122 mm without the spacers, using thin locknuts a few millimetres less.
      The Sturmey-Archer X-RF8 (W) is narrower still, but only suited for small-wheeled bicycles, direct gear being first (!) gear.

  12. HeReward says:

    I just spent $1,800 on a new 2010 Scott Aspect 10 Mountain Bike and wanted a hub, but the guy at shop convinced me they were too heavy and too expensive. he said $4-5,000 and I believed him. I hate being a sucker! I think I’m going to trade up later in the year. Anyone know what a good belt drive would be to use with this?

    • Richard Wood says:


      Normally a belt drive requires a special frame as one stay or the dropout needs to be split so that the belt can be threaded through. Drive beltws are one piece and only available in a limited number of lengths.

      This has been pretty well discussed on the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group linked to in my signature above.

  13. Mads Jensen says:

    Finally some info on 11-speed on Shimano web:

    I surely hope the mounting of the cassette is less fidgety than that of the 7-speed.

  14. At the moment I’m waiting to hear some user feedback. The price at the moment is not unreasonable. It looks to give me a nice spread of gears. I have a Raleigh Twenty frame, which I would like to re-build into a folding/collapsible touring bicycle. I could use one more lower gear, but in reality, if I’m in the low 20’s, then I am probably considering using the universal 24″ gear (get off and walk – 2-feet get it?)

    Chainring: 44
    Sprocket: 20
    Wheel Size: 20″ x 1.75″

    Gears: 22.8″ – 29.5″ – 33.3″ – 38.0″ – 43.1″ – 49.1″ – 56.0″ – 63.3″ – 72.2″ – 81.8″ – 93.2″

  15. jht says:

    Still not in stock anyplace that I’ve seen. states they carry it. Has anyone seen field reports about SG-S700 Alfine 11-speed from Interbike Las Vegas?

  16. Gary Nichols says:

    I was at Interbike Wednesday, Sept. 22, and talked to the Shimano folks about the 11-speed hub. I was told that delivery to US shops has been pushed back until the first part of December because of European demand. The good news, however, is that the hub will be available in both silver and black. The sprocket interface is the same as on the 8-speed. For belt drive fans, reportedly Spot/Gates Carbon Belt Drive has had an 11=speed for some time for development purposes. This was from the Shimano folks. Neither Spot nor Gates had booths, but were only at the outdoor demo which I didn’t get to, so confirmation from them.

  17. waller says:

    Since 1999 I have a Nexus 7 speed on a light sport bike with 700C 23 wheels, 42 front/21 sprocket gears which gives 2.65 to 6.50 meters developpement (sorry I am french and metric minded). Nota, I withdraw the internal brake crown, using normal on rim more efficient brakes.
    Presently a Paris french cycle shop prepare a new similar wheel with Alfine 11 speed.
    I will use a 32/21 gear which gives 1.7 to 8.6 meters. First gear is very low but as first to second gap is a bit high I intend to start practical extreme rides with second gear 2.2 meters.With previous 42/21 gear , it should have been 9 meters, which means 48 kmh (sorry not miles) at 90 rev/mn, too fast for a 70 years old however fit veteran RGDS

  18. waller says:

    Sorry, I correct new “developpements” with Alfine 11 speed is 1.7 to 6.9 meters !
    Before the Nexus 7 speed I had a Sturmer Archer 5 speed, akward shifting, two cables and setting difficult. I think hub gears are not recommended for mountain bikes and heavy brutal service. Moreover repair and on site urgent interventions are far easier with classic dérailleur. I have both system on several bikes.

  19. Excellent piece of engineering, as always from Shimano. The price is high now but that will pass, the performance wont. Shimano Alfine 11 is something I would give myself for Christmas.

  20. Alank says:

    Does anyone know if/when a manufacturer will offer a complete bike with this hub? I’ve looked, but so far have not seen anything at all. Thanx.

  21. Squib says:

    holy crap you guys are nerds!

  22. Kuisma says:

    Focus Planet 11 is one i’ve found:

  23. Grant says:

    I’ve got one now and fitted with a gates carbon belt

    It’s great

    • Gerard says:

      I have an 11 speed Alfine in hand and the Gates Carbon Drive rear sprocket but I do not see how they mate or connect? I suspect I am mising an adapter of sorts, do you have a art number or reference to where you bought the connecting part? I bough the rear cog and belt from Gates but it did not arrive with any fixings?

  24. Grant says:

    There are a few variants, you need a special one for the alfine. The sprockets slips onto the hub. It should come with a C ring that holds it in place. Having said that I have stripped the sprocket where it mates with the hub, and am waiting for a reply and replacement from distributor.

  25. Jürgen says:

    Hello! Does anyone have experience how important the oil change with the Shimano Alfine 11 is? And if there is an alternative to outrageously expensive genuine Shimano oil? For example, oil for automatic gearboxes oil (ATF)?

    Thank für

    • Steve Weeks says:

      I’ve changed the oil on my hub once. The commentary and images are posted here:
      I also wonder if ATF would work. From a mechanical point of view I have no doubts, but would it affect the seals? ATF is less viscous than the green “official” oil, so might leak out more easily. Hypoid gear oil is another possibility.
      Anyone out there have any advice?

      • Glen Aldridge says:

        I have used ATF fluid in my Nexus 7 speed for about 2 years riding time and other than needing to add an additional seal to the non- sprocket side I haven’t had any problems. Without the secondary seal most of the ATF fluid will drain out which may be fine as long as the internals are coated. I have now switched to an Alfine 11 and just done my initial oil change at the 5 or 600 mile mark. I am using ATF in this hub also but too soon to report any wear or shifting issues. So far seems quieter running but that;s the only difference I notice.

  26. Jim Taylor says:

    Hi Guys,
    I am searching for a way to use an internal geared hub for a wheelchair wheel where the hand rim could then be attached to the sprocket. The only snag I see is that I would need a regular (everyday use) gear where the wheel could move in both directions.

    Any idea where I could look?

    • Elton says:

      Jim, You might be able to use a Sturmey Archer 3-spd S3X hub. It is fixed, meaning that there is no coasting function, so it can be propelled forward or backward.
      You can see it here

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