Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => Topic started by: vorsprung on March 02, 2012, 04:30:43 pm

Title: Alfine goes electric
Post by: vorsprung on March 02, 2012, 04:30:43 pm
http://road.cc/content/news/53529-shimano-launch-alfine-di2

Electronic shifting on hub gears?  i wouldn't touch it with a barge pole but they must think someone would buy it

I don't quite understand what they are doing here.  Hub gears == no maintenance.  Electronic shifting == change the batteries on a regular basis
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Kim on March 02, 2012, 04:34:02 pm
Should be popular with various niche someones, but I can't imagine it selling in any quantity.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on March 02, 2012, 04:35:40 pm
Electronic shifting = powered by the dynohub IMHO.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Kim on March 02, 2012, 04:38:50 pm
Electric shifting = powered by the dynohub IMHO.

Really ought to be, shouldn't it?  I mean, dynamo hubs and hub gears are a natural combination...
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: bobb on March 02, 2012, 04:42:21 pm
Electronic shifting == change the batteries on a regular basis

2 or 3 charges a year would be enough for most according to Sh*mano...
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: marcusjb on March 02, 2012, 04:45:34 pm
Hub gears == no maintenance.

Electronic shifting == no maintenance

No cable stretch, no need to lube cables etc., massively long battery life.

Perfect for a commuting bike.  I do like the idea that it should all be powered off the dynohub though - makes perfect sense.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on March 02, 2012, 04:51:15 pm
Shimano engineers let slip about wanting to use dynohubs to power electronic shifting nearly a decade ago. They must be getting round to actually doing it soon.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: vorsprung on March 02, 2012, 04:51:50 pm
The old alfine groupset has a generator hub at the front available as an option so....

Surely the 2 or 3 charges a year depends on how far you are going?  I guess mr average isn't doing 250km a week
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: bobb on March 02, 2012, 05:00:44 pm
The old alfine groupset has a generator hub at the front available as an option so....

Surely the 2 or 3 charges a year depends on how far you are going?  I guess mr average isn't doing 250km a week

Indeed. A pro racer doing 50,000 km a year would probably have to charge 5 times a year....
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Ham on March 02, 2012, 05:10:09 pm
The Alfine makes perfect sense, as it constantly goes out of adjustment. I don't know whether the miles you inevitably ride when it isn't perfectly adjusted and the cogs slip cause lasting damage or not, but eliminating that issue would be worth it for me. (that is, until I know the price....)
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Tom B on March 02, 2012, 05:16:30 pm
Quote
No cable stretch, no need to lube cables etc., massively long battery life.

Could shifting be done by electronic signals, so eliminating the need for cables?
Don't know about Alfine but some hub gears make rear wheel removal more complex than on derailleur-geared or s/s bikes.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: marcusjb on March 02, 2012, 05:18:10 pm
It's truly interesting to see them suddenly open up this market sector with electronic shifting; a complete opposite to where they've started with it (the top-end road-racing end with Dura-Ace and, more recently, Ultegra).

I wonder whether they'll be many mechanical shifting groupsets in 10 years time?
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: bobb on March 02, 2012, 05:39:18 pm
I wonder whether they'll be many mechanical shifting groupsets in 10 years time?

Probably. Got to give the luddites something to buy. I mean some people still use down tube shifters FFS!  :P
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: delthebike on March 02, 2012, 05:42:12 pm
Probably. Got to give the luddites something to buy. I mean some people still use down tube shifters FFS!  :P
Oh please! I've got indexed gears after all.  8)
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: marcusjb on March 02, 2012, 05:56:01 pm
I wonder whether they'll be many mechanical shifting groupsets in 10 years time?

Probably. Got to give the luddites something to buy. I mean some people still use down tube shifters FFS!  :P

I agree they'll be a few - probably for the touring/expedition types.

But I wonder if mechanical Dura-Ace, Ultegra etc. will still exist by then?

Unlike the race to sell us more gears, electronic shifting does have some very appealing, sensible advantages. 
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: smurphboy on March 02, 2012, 06:22:58 pm
Hub gears == no maintenance.

Electronic shifting == no maintenance

No cable stretch, no need to lube cables etc., massively long battery life.

Perfect for a commuting bike.  I do like the idea that it should all be powered off the dynohub though - makes perfect sense.

Don't forget the customisable nature of electronic shifting. You could hack it to have it change under certain conditions (load, location, cadence)... Shiny
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Kim on March 02, 2012, 06:25:48 pm
Have duplicate shifters in more than one place.  Have shifters that don't require significant force to operate.  Automagically sequence through a complicated gear system in the right order.  Not have your cables freeze in winter.  There's all sorts of advantages, I'm just sceptical that they're going to sell in large numbers.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: smurphboy on March 02, 2012, 06:28:09 pm
Have duplicate shifters in more than one place.  Have shifters that don't require significant force to operate.  Automagically sequence through a complicated gear system in the right order.  Not have your cables freeze in winter.  There's all sorts of advantages, I'm just sceptical that they're going to sell in large numbers.

Duplicate shifters is an idea I like. Rapid fires for standard shifting and little buttons on the bar ends too... Or even get rid of the shifter and have it operated off the brake lever with a little paddle.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: orienteer on March 02, 2012, 06:48:36 pm
Shimano offered an automatic hub gear about ten years, didn't catch on.

How about linking it with the latest brain wave research? Special helmet that detects when you're thinking about changing gear.....
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: smurphboy on March 02, 2012, 06:52:40 pm
Shimano offered an automatic hub gear about ten years, didn't catch on.

How about linking it with the latest brain wave research? Special helmet that detects when you're thinking about changing gear.....

Not sure how it would cope with me on a hill wishing for -1 as a gear or i gear
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Andrew Br on March 02, 2012, 07:13:07 pm
Joined up thinking but they didn't get the timing right ?

It looks like Shimano are to introduce an alternative to the Son Deluxe.
"The range of SHIMANO ALFINE components for sporty and fashionable cycling has been further expanded with a 1.5W sports hub dynamo with Center Lock disc brake rotor mount. DH-S700 features a super smooth rotation and a lightweight design (420g). It will be available in silver and in black.




I've seen that elsewhere.
It suggests to me that Shimano is either expecting another huge leap forward in LED lighting technology or they're releasing a low output/drag hub to keep an electronic shifter battery topped up.

I'd love electric/onic shifting for my Rohloff if only so that I didn't have to move my hand off the bars to change gear (I'm using a hubbub but it's still annoying).

Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: zigzag on March 03, 2012, 11:52:34 am
I'd love electric/onic shifting for my Rohloff if only so that I didn't have to move my hand off the bars to change gear (I'm using a hubbub but it's still annoying).

like this (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rohloff-Speedhub-Electronic-Gear-Shift-/330691809192?pt=AU_Sport_Cycling_Parts&hash=item4cfec48fa8)?
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: AndyK on March 03, 2012, 11:57:16 am
Wonder what the carbon footprint of all those batteries will be...
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Andrew Br on March 06, 2012, 12:00:07 pm
I'd love electric/onic shifting for my Rohloff if only so that I didn't have to move my hand off the bars to change gear (I'm using a hubbub but it's still annoying).

like this (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rohloff-Speedhub-Electronic-Gear-Shift-/330691809192?pt=AU_Sport_Cycling_Parts&hash=item4cfec48fa8)?

Yes, I've seen that. The manufacturer said that they were developing a dyno-charged version so I'm waiting for that.
I'll also wait for any reviews before taking the plunge.



Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: AndyK on March 06, 2012, 12:14:40 pm
Sounds like a scam to get cyclists onto the annual electronic upgrade bandwagon. 'This year's electronic shift from Shimano 0.003s faster than last year's…' etc.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Frere on March 06, 2012, 12:18:16 pm
Sounds like a scam to get cyclists onto the annual electronic upgrade bandwagon. 'This year's electronic shift from Shimano 0.003s faster than last year's…' etc.

along with software upgrades a la android mode? ;P

Frere
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: citoyen on March 06, 2012, 12:30:28 pm
Have duplicate shifters in more than one place.  Have shifters that don't require significant force to operate.  Automagically sequence through a complicated gear system in the right order.  Not have your cables freeze in winter.  There's all sorts of advantages, I'm just sceptical that they're going to sell in large numbers.

Automagic gear selection is the one that appeals to me most, but I hadn't considered some of the other possibilities... I do like the idea of duplicate shifters.

Bung in a few accelerometers and you could tune the automatic gear selection to the gradient, optimised to your preferred cadence.

I can see it taking a few years for electronic shifting to really get a foothold in the market, but I think enough people will see it as a genuine benefit once the price comes down a bit.

d.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Biggsy on March 06, 2012, 12:45:04 pm
I've been dreaming of automatic bicycle gears ever since I learnt to program a computer, thirty years ago.  I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that any system to shift as well as I do would need to read my mind, as well as cadence and torque.  Your choice of gear is based on what you will be doing in a few seconds as well as what you're doing right now.  Gradient is not the only thing that governs that.

I would enjoy the luxury of electronic shifters anyway, especially if I could use whatever type of switch I liked, then I could put it wherever I liked, or even have two or three sets of switches.  But probably the manufacturers won't make it a simple matter of opening and closing a circuit.  They'll have the shifter sending a fancy code or something.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: mcshroom on March 06, 2012, 01:17:29 pm
Could electric shifters be used as immobilisers as well?
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: clarion on March 06, 2012, 01:19:17 pm
I've been dreaming of automatic bicycle gears ever since I learnt to program a computer, thirty years ago.  I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that any system to shift as well as I do would need to read my mind, as well as cadence and torque.  You choice of gear is based on what you will be doing in a few seconds as well as what you're doing right now.  Gradient is not the only thing that governs that.

...

Anyone remember Browning Automatic?
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on March 06, 2012, 01:21:30 pm
Yep, and the Deal Drive.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Biggsy on March 06, 2012, 01:26:12 pm
Could electric shifters be used as immobilisers as well?

Yes if a sort of neutral gear could be selected.  It's possible with some designs, like certain old Sturmey Archer 3-speeds.  But it wouldn't be worth making the gears less efficient, if that's what it took to have an immobiliser.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Ham on January 08, 2013, 11:35:49 am
Temptation thy name is electricity.

Looks very reasonably priced :

11 Speed hub £275 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a72993/alfine-di2-internal-gear-hub-sg-s705-11-speed-centerlock-32-h-black.html?lg=en&cr=GBP&cn=gb
Motor £75 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a72922/alfine-di2-motor-unit-mu-s705-for-11-speed.html
Lever £117 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a73015/alfine-di2-dual-control-lever-st-s705-r-rear-black.html
Nuts £8 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a73011/alfine-di2-small-parts-set-sm-s705-for-vertical-dropouts-8r-8l.html
Display £62 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a72959/alfine-di2-information-display-sc-s705.html

Total - £537
Rim & spokes say £70

Complete lot for £600.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: clarion on January 08, 2013, 11:42:47 am
Very tempting.  But that lever!  It's one of those bulbous ones. :(  Surely the majority of Alfine users want flat bar compatibility?
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: tiermat on January 08, 2013, 11:45:37 am
Temptation thy name is electricity.

Looks very reasonably priced :

11 Speed hub £275 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a72993/alfine-di2-internal-gear-hub-sg-s705-11-speed-centerlock-32-h-black.html?lg=en&cr=GBP&cn=gb
Motor £75 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a72922/alfine-di2-motor-unit-mu-s705-for-11-speed.html
Lever £117 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a73015/alfine-di2-dual-control-lever-st-s705-r-rear-black.html
Nuts £8 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a73011/alfine-di2-small-parts-set-sm-s705-for-vertical-dropouts-8r-8l.html
Display £62 http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a72959/alfine-di2-information-display-sc-s705.html

Total - £537
Rim & spokes say £70

Complete lot for £600.

Oh how I hate thee!  Throw in a T-665 front wheel and you surely have a perfect touring setup, albeit a bit heavier than a derailleur setup.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: clarion on January 08, 2013, 11:47:40 am
OK.  Just found the alternative switch.  Oh my.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: tiermat on January 08, 2013, 11:58:04 am
Oh and add another £50 for the matching left hand lever, unless you are not wanting 2 brakes (or want the lopsided look on the bars :) )
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Ham on January 08, 2013, 02:06:11 pm
Dear Mr On-One,

How much for a pompetamine stripped of the rear wheel bars, shifters etc? (bearing in mind a built bike is £600)

Yours, Ham

Dear Mrs Ham,

You know how I've decided not to buy new skis? Well that should make it ok to buy a new bike, no? AND ....AND ....AND....I will sell one at the end, honest

Yours, Ham

Dear Everyone,

Are you interested in a secondhand 8 Speed Alfine drop bar bike, set up for city riding (46 - 115" gearing)

TIA, Ham.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: tiermat on January 08, 2013, 02:12:00 pm
You really really are a bad man, Mr Ham.  I have the perfect frame for fitting that kit to (and it's NOT the Inbred :) )

Grrrr

Grrrr

I may need to borrow your couch :)
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Ham on January 08, 2013, 02:24:10 pm
Moi?

And here I am thinking how much better it would be for April.......

Given the gear issues on the pompetamine I had to ride the Marin Rocinante today, and it reminded me that I have a handlebar comfort issue with it (pins and needles after 10 miles :( ) 

And the Rocinante?

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kE0EREpdgKg/UOwrYCSDjSI/AAAAAAAAmBs/yQoLNUSMhf0/s640/20130108_085714.jpg)

Watch out, windmills!
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Valiant on January 10, 2013, 08:16:21 am
Dassa nice looking bike
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: tiermat on January 10, 2013, 08:27:04 am
Indeed, it is a nice looking bike.  Have you got Ergon grips on it? If not they may help (we put some on Mrs T's town bike and they made the world of difference to her over longer differences)
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Ham on January 10, 2013, 10:23:30 am
I've got some sort of gel grips on it, not sure which. Think there might be something wrong with the height or reach, but I've been riding this (or its predecessor) for some 8 or more years and it feels right every time I get on.

Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: PH on January 10, 2013, 07:53:50 pm
What a great thing for folders, no more complicated cable runs and constant readjustment after the fold has messed up the alignment. 
I'll see where the price goes, but this would make my Airnimal far more usable.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Andrew Br on January 10, 2013, 08:40:00 pm
I really hope the Rohloff bods have seen the Alfine motor. It looks very elegant.

Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Ham on January 10, 2013, 09:53:44 pm
Thinking about it, I have Ergon on my Dahon s/s and don't have issues with that, I've bought a set (Merlin have some good deals at the mo, another 10% or more of discounted prices)
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Kim on January 10, 2013, 10:01:48 pm
I really hope the Rohloff bods have seen the Alfine motor. It looks very elegant.

Isn't there already an electric shifting wossname for Rohloffs?
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Andrew Br on January 10, 2013, 10:15:14 pm


Isn't there already an electric shifting wossname for Rohloffs?

Yes but it looks a bit "garden shed".
I'd prefer something made by Rohloff themselves.

Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Biggsy on January 11, 2013, 01:01:41 pm
"Goes electric" made me think of electric assist.  Shimano needs to get into this market, pronto.  It's gonna be big.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: uphillbothways on January 11, 2013, 04:32:27 pm
"Goes electric" made me think of electric assist.  Shimano needs to get into this market, pronto.  It's gonna be big.

It doesn't make business sense for Shimano IMHO. They just don't have the expertise and manufacturing resources to compete with Panasonic and Bosch. All the quality pedelec systems are mid-drive and don't replace any Shimano components, so I think they perceive it as a complement to their business rather than a threat. I'd expect to see a degree of integration develop between electronic gearing and pedelec systems, most likely through a standard interconnection.

Also, would someone please tell the European manufacturers that fitting a dynohub to a pedelec is a bit mental?
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Kim on January 11, 2013, 06:29:31 pm
Also, would someone please tell the European manufacturers that fitting a dynohub to a pedelec is a bit mental?

Legal requirement in Germany (and probably the Netherlands), AIUI.

You could probably argue that a regenerative hub motor was a dynamo for those purposes, if you could arrange the system so the lights would work without battery power.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: rogerzilla on January 11, 2013, 07:57:44 pm
Makes sense if you consider that the bike can be pedalled at night with a flat battery.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: speedmanager on January 11, 2013, 09:07:59 pm

Electronic shifting on hub gears?  i wouldn't touch it with a barge pole but they must think someone would buy it
Well, relying on a steel cable and a (return)spring is not always more precise and fail-save than an electronic actuator.

I don't quite understand what they are doing here.  Hub gears == no maintenance.
Although I'm riding gearhubs only in bad weather conditions, I must disagree. They require very little maintenance, compared to derailleur gears, that much is true.

I'm well too tight to give it a try yet, but it sounds very interesting.

And if I'm understanding the system right, a tinkerer like me may very well replace the cables and battery with some replacement stuff, eg. a canon camcorder battery. (?)

In this context, is there anybody to verify whether the MU-Unit would work on a normal 8- or 11-gear hub?
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Ham on January 11, 2013, 09:30:16 pm
The issue is primarily with drop shifters. The Versa made (not Shimano) shifters that work depend on a vulnerable micro adjuster on the body of the shifter. As a consequence, they regularly go out of adjustment (I've taken to adjusting mine every day) I suspect the inevitable riding out of adjustment causes an inordinate amount of wear - when I strip mine as I will have to, the extent will become known. An electronic shift allows the drop shifter to change gear accurately.
Title: Re: Alfine goes electric
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on March 30, 2013, 02:30:55 pm
https://twitter.com/johnsbikes/status/317658967914471424/photo/1

Tidy.