Nexus 8 vs Alfine 11: Which One to Choose?

Bicycle hubs act as the internal gear shifters of bicycles. These devices sit at the middle or center of the rear wheel axle and work to adjust the speed.  

So, you came to know about the nexus 8 and alfine 11 models of hubs. And now you are confused about which to choose. Nothing to worry about, we got you covered! Read along to know more.

So, which one to pick between nexus 8 vs alfine 11?

Both of the internal gear hubs are from the same parent company, Shimano. But they are sold for two different types of cyclists. The Nexus 8 is mainly sold to cyclists with cargo cycles. Whereas the Alfine 11 is for casual use.

It’s not over yet! We’ve done a thorough comparison of the two, and you’ll want to see it.

Primary Differences Between The Nexus 8 And Alfine 11

As mentioned before both of the bicycle hubs belong to the same company. But they have very distinct differences. And they also cater to different sections of the cyclist market. 

So, let us take a quick look at the differences.

DifferenceNexus 8Alfine 11
Number of Gears8 Gears11 Gears
Oil Lubrication SystemClosed Grease LubricationOpen Oil Bath Lubrication
Gear SystemsStraight Cut Gear SystemHelical Gear System
Release SystemOne Way ReleaseTwo-way Release
Weight1685 g2268,g

Now that we have the primary differences out of the way. We can go into a broader description of these differences.

Differences Between The Nexus 8 and Alfine 11

As mentioned previously the Nexus 8 is catered to cargo cycles and mountain/ off-road cycles. Whereas the Alfine 11 is more so targeted to casual users. Users looking for a fast cycle and easy maneuverability around the city.

Source: matt.signorini.id.au

So, let us see how these two bicycle hubs perform differently.

Number of Gears

The Number of gears inside the Nexus 8 bicycle hub is 8. These are the number of varying speeds this hub can deliver. And it goes from a minimum torque level of 1 to a maximum level of 8.

Being a heavy-duty hub meant for heavy bicycles, this gear hub can handle more pressure. It can shift from a standing position on a hill. And allow the rider an easy paddle. 

This is because the Shimano cassettes used here do not use any derailleur. And this allows for heavy loads to be paddled easily. And if a derailleur is used, shimano cassettes are used with sram derailleur.

Now if we look at the Alfine 11, it has 11 gears. And like the nexus it has a minimum torque level of 1 but unlike it, the maximum level is 11. These torque levels indicate how much force needs to be applied for a single paddle.

Being a hub catering to racing and city-going cyclists, the Alfine 11 is built with speed in mind. And the 11th gear is a testament to this fact. The internal gear shafts act more quickly. 

Due to having more intertwined shifting gears. And because of this, the shifting is more organic, and more speed can be gained. This is perfect for racing cycles and daily commuting cycles as well. 

As the extra gears allow for more equal dispersion of the torque energy in between the different speed sections. 

Winner: Alfine 11

Oil Lubrication System

The lubrication system is in charge of shifting the gears inside the hub smoothly. These can come in different varieties and use different lubricants. 

The Nexus 8 uses closed grease lubrication. This means that each gear axel has exclusively closed lubrication rims. Which are lubricated using grease. This system of lubrication is also seen in gears without hubs.

Gears using derailers also use this type of lubrication. Because the front derailleur cables are a closed system and benefit from this type of use. As we have mentioned derailleur cables, we want to emphasize their importance in your bicycle.

Here are some derailleur cables we love:

On the other hand, the open oil bath lubrication system is exclusive to gear hubs. In this system, the entire gear hub is internally drenched in an oil bath. So, the gears are always perpetually lubricated.

So, the gear shifting on the Alfine 11 is easier and more swift. Compared to the Nexus 8, the open oil bath lubrication system is new. And it has also shown more promise in the case of shifting performance. 

Winner: Alfine 11

Gear Systems

In general, there are two types of gear systems used in bicycle hubs. These are the Straight Cut Gear System and the Helical Gear System. The main difference between the two is the way their teeth are positioned.

Source: ternbicycles.com

The Nexus 8 uses a straight-cut gear system. Here the teeth are positioned horizontally to each other. And because of this, it can pull for the force with each rotation. This can generate more power and axial load for the gears.

And because of this properly maintained Nexus 8 maintenance can go on and do more heavy-duty work. Now if we take a look at the Alfine 11 it uses a helical system.

The helical system is the type of gear where the internal teeth are set at an angle. This way the rotational transition of the gear teeth is smoother. And provides a soother experience while riding. 

It also enhances comfortability while paddling. As you will need less energy to paddle the cycle. This leads the rider to get less exhausted. Besides this, the angled or curved groove teeth also help with the speed of the bicycle as well.

Winner: Tie

Release System

The release system is the process that the gear shifter uses to shift gears. And the Nexus 8 uses a single release system. 

In this, the gears are shifted using the same spook point. This decreases the maintenance needs but requires more time while shifting.

But on the Alfine 11, it uses a two-way release. It is the better of the two in terms of shiftable time. But Alfine 11 maintenance is required more. But as the spook points are still less the maintenance requirement is still low. 

Winner: Alfine 11

Weight

The Nexus 8 weighs in at 1685 grams in total weight. Instead, the Alfine 11 is a whopping 2268 grams heavy. In terms of shifting gears, its weight has a negligible impact.

Winner: Nexus 8

Price

The Nexus 8 is priced at 132 USD. And the Alfine 11 is priced at around 481.62 USD. So, you can see that the Alfine 11 costs way more than the Nexus 8. 

Winner: Nexus 8

Final Verdict

Both the Nexus 8 and the Alfine 11 are outstanding products. Here is a table for you to get a short summary of the two products:

The Nexus 8 is a good choice for those who require heavy-duty cycling experience. 

In addition, individuals looking for a well-rounded experience can consider the Alfine 11. And I would suggest the more modern Alfine 11 due to its better diversity in performance.

FAQs

How can I keep my hub gear in top shape?

To keep your hub gear in top shape, only the hub oil and chain tension need to be changed. This is for approximately every 5000 kilometers.

What’s the best way to keep the gears in your wheel hub clean?

Clean the hub shell’s interior. Grease the clutch rollers and the bearings. Before putting everything back together, squirt 3cc or 4cc of the special Shimano oil between the gears.

How are internal bicycle hubs better?

You can change gears while standing still thanks to an internally geared hub. You don’t have to pedal to change gears like you would with a standard derailleur system.

Conclusion

The Nexus 8 and Alfine 11 are both great products. Those looking for a heavy-duty cycle should go for the Nexus 8. And those looking for a balanced experience should go for the Alfine 11. 

So we hope that you no longer have any questions regarding nexus 8 vs alfine 11. In another article, we’ll meet again. 

For now, farewell!

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