It’s been over a year since I have had My Soma Doublecross Disc Alfine Di2 up and running. I figure I might as well talk about some of the parts that went on it.
I have always been intrigued by internally geared hubs. The almost lack of maintenance besides oil change every 5000km after the first 1000km is pretty impressive. Just lube and clean the chain every once in a while, no derailleurs to adjust. With the MU-S705 Alfine Di2 motor, there isn’t even a need to adjust for cable or housing variability.
THE DISPLAY. The indicator functions as the junction box at the bars and also a charging port if you have and internal battery. The display is very easy to read in any light. And it powers off after a short amount of time to conserve power. What is really nice though, is it doesn’t affect shifting. When you it the shift button, the hub shifts and the display powers back up to show you the new gear you are in. If you are pedaling along in the same gear for a long period of time the display will then power back down. It works pretty well.
THE LEVERS. They look very similar to Ultegra Di2 levers. I am not 100% sure they are Ultegra with just a color change, but the look very similar. The left brake only lever even has block off plates and recesses were electronics could have been but were never installed. I only weighed the right side lever.
THE HUBS. As expected the Alfine 11spd is quite heavy, at 1664grams (3.67lbs). This is near the Same weight as A Rohloff Speed hub 14, but at less price. I also bought Alfine DH-S501 Dyno hub so I could have a light whenever I wanted, without having to charge batteries. The Dyno hub is a tank, just it alone is heavier than a powerful light system with a battery.
I started this product just a internal Di2 battery accessories were just becoming available. At the time the most readily available solution for shoving a battery into the bottom of a seat post was a product from Ritchey. Their Di2 Seatpost Mount is just two rubber molded pieces that wrap around the battery and keep it in the post. Not very elegant, but in the year and a half that I have been using it, I have never had the battery slip.
Alfine Di2 is a little different. Just like the cable version you can shift while standing still. Similarly like other internally geared hubs, sometimes it does not shift very fluidly while putting power done. You very mush have to relax power output for the hub to shift easily.
Similar to Ultegra and Dura-ace Di2. once it is set up, there is very little need for adjustment. I have never once had to change the settings on the hub. Installed it and charged the battery and it has shifted identically for the last 600 miles. Tap the button and it’ll shift as long as you not hammering. I did try the newer Multi-Shift mode for Di2 and didn’t like it. It could be becasue of the not shifting under power, or it could just be my personal preference, I couldn’t really narrow it down.
Rolling resistance is something that I have been thinking about a lot. The hub has noticeable drag when you spin the wheel by hand. I am not sure how much of that translate when you are p[edaling though. It just feels like a really think lubed freehub in a way. While spinning the wheel forward the crank set doesn’t move though, like it would with a heavily greased freehub. So maybe it’s just the nature of an Alfine IGH? I need to track done one to compare it with.
The only time I really payed attention to charge was Feb 2014 to June 2014. I only charge it in February and then it sat in the garage until June. I pulled it out of the garage and rode it until it died. I only rode the bike about 300 miles in the entire time. I am not sure on how the Alfine Di2 Motor affects battery life. Or if the little display uses power even while off. I’ll update in the future. I am sure that this was not a good indicator of battery life.
I plan on moving this group to another bike. So there will be a long term review in the future.