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I have recently bought a bike with an Alfine 8 hub and it was working well for the first week or so. Then there was a couple of gear drop outs whilst I was riding so I made sure to line up the yellow lines at the back.

Since then I've experienced a horrible noise coming from the lowest (easiest) gear whenever I put any reasonable weight on it. If I use it on a perfectly flat surface and peddle slowly then it's quiet but as soon as I try to pedal with any speed the hub starts making this grinding/crunching sound.

Moving the lines slightly OUT of alignment actually reduces the noise but causes problems with other gears.

Should I be sending this hub back to Shimano?

I've attached an image of my yellow lines lined up.

Yellow lines aligned

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  • The highest gear is the hardest gear, not the easiest gear. On a derailleur bike this would be the smallest cog in the rear, not the largest one. If you haven't had it that long, I'd take it to the shop that you got it from and ask them to check it out.
    – Batman
    Aug 26 '15 at 15:15
  • Thanks for clarifying. I'll edit the question. Unfortunately, I ordered it online from the shop and it's over 300 miles away. I'm waiting to hear back from them on what I should do.
    – forgetso
    Aug 26 '15 at 15:19
  • It is likely to be the manufacturing defect. I would advise you to contact the vendor and ask for a replacement/refund.
    – Nhân Lê
    Aug 26 '15 at 15:55
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I was all set to return the Alfine hub to the manufacturer and when I went to take it off I realised the wheel nuts were loose. Tightening the nuts solved the problem. It seems the hub not being fixed in place was causing it to be moved in the wrong direction and shifting to the lowest gear was pulling the mechanism too far inside the hub.

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Shimano Alfine hubs have a specific requirements for axle nut tightening. First, grease the axle nuts! Because the nuts are domed, they can accumulate grit inside them, and hold less securely over time.

Secondly, the nuts have a minimum torque range of 30 ft/lbs. This is important, since if they are too loose, the non-turn washers can move and dig into your frame and axle. This can eventually lead to enough wear that the axle can rotate slightly in the dropout under heavy load, causing rapid wear to the hub's internals, which can lead to....a hub that is noisy and worn out well before its time.

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