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Genesis Day One Alfine 8 Speed Woes!

ianramsdenianramsden Posts: 4
edited May 2013 in Commuting general
I've had the Genesis Day One Alfine Since July and it's spent a good month of that back at the bike shop being repaired!

A little background me thinks

first month worked fine, then it started not shifting properly and the Versa shifter actually slipping 3 or 4 gears at a time. At this point the Shifter was replaced (took 2 weeks for Madisons to replace the shifter)

A couple of weeks in with a new shifter and it started shifting poorly! Back to the workshop and another shifter replaced (this time from a bike on the shop floor)

Shifting poorly again! back to the workshop and a new cable/housing and rear hub/shifting unit replaced.

Worked for about a day and it's shifting 95% of the time fine, then for no reason it won't shift smoothly from 3->1 and sometimes it won't even shift at all. This happens most notably on a hill which is bloody annoying!

I've spoke with the mechanic at my shop and he's at a loss as to why it's happening. The shop has offered a refund or to send the bike back to Madison to take a look at.

I love the bike when it works, it's ideal for the 30 mile a day commute I do.

Is it just plain bad luck going through 3 shifters or do you think the bike build itself is to blame?

Posts

  • I'm going to stick my neck out here and say the problem is with the hub gears and not the shifters...
    Riding the Etape du Tour for Beating Bowel Cancer - click to donate http://bit.ly/P9eBbM
  • rjpreyrjprey Posts: 18
    Any problems with the rest of the bike? I have a day one disc being delivered tomorrow so it'd be nice to have a heads up!

    The plan was to eventually fit a hub gear so will be really curious as to what the problem is
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    With that many shifter tried it has to be the hub gears unless you are really unlikely. Alfine hubs are know for going wrong from time to time. Ask the shop if thewy will just change the rear wheel or may be madsion will. Persist the problem can be fixed. It can't be that complicated.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • I've had the hub replaced once already. So i've gone through 1 hub and 2 shifters .......
  • godders1godders1 Posts: 750
    I've found that the cabling on my Alfine 8 bike (also with versa shifters) is very fussy, especially after riding in wet weather and if I don't look after it I start to get the issues you've been experiencing.

    I'd check the cable routing is good (i.e. no sharp bends) and lube the entire cable. I assume you know how to adjust the hub for good shifting (aligning the yellow marks)?
  • I've already greased some of the cable, guess I have to cram more in!
  • godders1godders1 Posts: 750
    I use lube as opposed to grease, I imagine grease attracts a lot of censored and it must be quite difficult to give the cable a thorough coating?

    I'd recommend one of these:

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/pro ... r-ec034053

    Makes it a hassle free, 5 minute job.
  • I have a Carrera Subway 8 with the Nexus 8 hub. It is extremely reliable now that I have replaced the drive side seal with the later improved type and lubed the outer bearings with marine type water resistant grease. I lost one hub previuosly due to water getting in, but this one has lasted through three winters including a bit of off road use in wet conditions. The Alfine version is supposed to be better if anything and most problems you hear about are with the new 11 speed.

    The simple Nexus Revoshift shifter on the straight bar Carrera works very well, better than similar grip shifters for derailleur gears. I have heard some negative reports about the Versa shifters, one option for drop bars that might be more reliable is the Jtek bar end shifter: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/J-Tek-Alloy-B ... vi-content But first be very sure that you have eliminated all cable related problems, plus check the 'cassette' at the hub is not sticking due to muck, etc. This is best kept clean with just a light film of oil in my experience.

    The only trouble I have had is with the cable freezing in sub zero weather, which caused the loss of various gears to the point of it becoming a single speed on a winter commute one morning, which was amusing with a long hill ahead of me and stuck in about 6th gear. I replaced the cable and lubed with synthetic motor oil, which seems to last longer and be less prone to gumming up than mineral stuff. I agree that grease is not that great, too much drag even before it picks up dirt.

    For cable oiling I use a motorcycle type hydraulic oiler, which is great because it forces the oil through under pressure, so you can keep pumping until it has flushed out any muck and water and the oil runs out clear: http://www.mandp.co.uk/productinfo/5238 ... Mr-Fastner
  • inreposeinrepose Posts: 4
    I noticed another user mention that rain has an impact on the shifter. I have completed 3600miles on my Genesis Day1 with the 8speed sealed hub and drop bars. It is a crappy gear setup.

    The 8 speed alfine shifter is sensitive and around once a week it needs adjustment because the little drop bar shifters go out of synch or perhaps I tap the cable too much. If I am really lucky I get a full Month with trouble free shifting.

    I want to rescue this bike now though and I am looking at getting the straight bar Alfine shifter and getting rid of the drop bars and funny shifter setup. I hope this will make the alfine more reliable and give me a couple more years of commute in the bike.

    On a related subject my Genesis came with cheap brakes when I bought it that never gave me more than a week of good usage and a couple of near death bottom of hill brake failures... Genesis upgraded them to Avid BB5 disc brakes for free but these would only give me good use for about 200 miles before also failing, pinging or just loosing all brake power and needing adjustment.

    For those interested I solved all my brake woes on the Genesis by importing the Avid BB7 MTB brakes from China via an ebay purchase I thought I would regret. I fitted them myself and was shocked to find I had working brakes on my Genesis after 18Months of pain and fiddling about - I thought something was wrong with me because I just could not get the BB5's to behave. The BB7's have proper adjustments on both sides of the brake and were a dream to get working. At least I can now brake properly.

    Back on subject of the Afline. They really don't like cold and rain and I would get about 1 mile along my commute before the cold/wet had thrown out the sensitive gear change on the sealed hub. I had thought about storing the bike outside to maintain a constant temperature like a fine sensitive violin. I have heard this in not as bad with the flat bar Alfine shifter so I am looking forward to more trouble free cycling with a flat bar.
  • bobloboblo Posts: 360
    Just a thought.... The cable adjuster on the Versa shifter adjusts very easily. I find when moving around the bars it is very easy to knock it and move it out of adjustment. I've added a telltale to mine and threadlocked the threaded part within the adjuster.

    Before, I wasn't aware I was knocking it out if adjustment and just thought it was losing cable tension randomly. Now it is 100% reliable and if I do manage to knock it out, I can see by how much from the telltale (read small paint marks).
  • nigglenoonigglenoo Posts: 177
    inrepose wrote:
    I noticed another user mention that rain has an impact on the shifter. I have completed 3600miles on my Genesis Day1 with the 8speed sealed hub and drop bars. It is a crappy gear setup.

    The 8 speed alfine shifter is sensitive and around once a week it needs adjustment because the little drop bar shifters go out of synch or perhaps I tap the cable too much. If I am really lucky I get a full Month with trouble free shifting.

    I want to rescue this bike now though and I am looking at getting the straight bar Alfine shifter and getting rid of the drop bars and funny shifter setup. I hope this will make the alfine more reliable and give me a couple more years of commute in the bike.

    On a related subject my Genesis came with cheap brakes when I bought it that never gave me more than a week of good usage and a couple of near death bottom of hill brake failures... Genesis upgraded them to Avid BB5 disc brakes for free but these would only give me good use for about 200 miles before also failing, pinging or just loosing all brake power and needing adjustment.

    For those interested I solved all my brake woes on the Genesis by importing the Avid BB7 MTB brakes from China via an ebay purchase I thought I would regret. I fitted them myself and was shocked to find I had working brakes on my Genesis after 18Months of pain and fiddling about - I thought something was wrong with me because I just could not get the BB5's to behave. The BB7's have proper adjustments on both sides of the brake and were a dream to get working. At least I can now brake properly.

    Back on subject of the Afline. They really don't like cold and rain and I would get about 1 mile along my commute before the cold/wet had thrown out the sensitive gear change on the sealed hub. I had thought about storing the bike outside to maintain a constant temperature like a fine sensitive violin. I have heard this in not as bad with the flat bar Alfine shifter so I am looking forward to more trouble free cycling with a flat bar.
    I have not had to adjust my Nexus 8 gear cable (with Nexus Revoshifter) for about a year and I have done plenty of commuting and trail riding with that bike in all weathers. It still shifts perfectly after about 6000 miles, better if anything compared to the first 3000 miles or so. I think these Versa shifters are suspect, and have seen similar reports about the Alfine 11 version. If I was you I would try the J-Tek bar end shifter on your Genesis first.
  • redhandedredhanded Posts: 139
    Shimano have brought out electronic Di2 drop bar shifters for Alfine hubs but I think they need a Di2 version of the Alfine 8 or 11 hub as well so not a very cost effective upgrade option!

    On the subject of Alfine 11s, I have 2 bikes with Alfine 11 hub gears, and I had drive side oil leaks on both of them. The hubs needed to go back to the distributors (Madison) to get fixed, and one hub is currently back getting fixed for the second time.
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