My bike is equipped with a Shimano Alfine 8 (SG-S7001-8) hub. It runs smoothly without significant noises and shifts up and down easily, except down from 5 to 4.

When I try to downshift from 5 to 4, it has difficulty engaging the 4th gear, simply remaining in 5th. When the problem started, it only happened occasionally, but it got worse over the last couple of months. By now, the 4th gear engages about once every 10 attempts. It makes no difference if I stop pedaling or keep applying a light load.

Of course I checked the adjustment. Initially the yellow marks were slightly off, but they are nicely aligned now and the problem persists. I also tried setting the cable tension a little bit higher and lower than indicated by the yellow marks, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Update: I tried Criggie's suggestion to try different adjustments, a bit further before or after the yellow mark. It didn't help unfortunately.

  • What's the mileage on this hub? When did you last change the oil/lube ?
    – Criggie
    Commented May 22, 2022 at 12:57
  • 1
    @Criggie I'm not quite sure about the mileage. It's 3 years old, mainly used for commuting, but I've been working from home a lot... I guess it must be between 3000 and 4000 KM. It has never been opened and re-greased. Commented May 22, 2022 at 15:12
  • The service interval for alfine11 is 5,000 km or 12 months. Presumably alfine8 is about the same - it may simply have old oil in it. (comment because I don't know for sure)
    – Criggie
    Commented May 22, 2022 at 19:07
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    The Alfine 8 doesn't have oil (unlike the 11) but grease. I've read somewhere that the service interval would be 5000 km or 24 months. But in any case, I would be surprised if the overall lubrication is the problem, since it still runs smoothly in all gears. Commented May 22, 2022 at 19:30
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    @marcvangend All the Shimano IGH hubs are oil-lubricated at least for the gear mechanism. What's different about Alfine 11 is it's oil-only, whereas all the others have grease lubrication for the bearings. The maintenance for your hub involves pulling the core, wiping everything clean, dunking the core in an oil bath, and regreasing the bearings. Commented May 28, 2022 at 2:41

3 Answers 3


I had the same issue after a few years. The teeth inside the shifter were worn out and i had to buy a new one. Grease doesn’t really help since it’s only one spot.


Try fiddling the tension and don't go exactly off the yellow mark - instead go by ear and function.

I found my alfine 11 liked to be slightly ahead of the yellow mark by about the width of the line. At that point it shifted fine.

If I ran it on the correct setting, it would occasionally hang in high gears and not change down, which is the opposite of when you have too much pedal pressure (where it won't change up)

  • 1
    Thanks. As said in the original post I tried that a little bit, but I can go further off the mark and see if it helps. If my understanding of the hub is correct (downshifting pulls on the cable), my cable tension should be on the high side. Commented May 22, 2022 at 15:18
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    Agree. I adjusted the cable during very light cycling at straight horizontal road in such a way that it switches in the middle between positions. After this, occasional disruptions at 6 gear disappeared.
    – Vladimir
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 15:33

No, no, don't worry. This problem is either because of high friction inside the gear shifter (either from dirt or the cable run).

Just spray it with WD40 in the little holes, and check that the cable doesn't have any kinks in it.

That fixed it for me. Remember that WD40 is highly corrosive on plastic parts, so try to find some milder solution, if possible.

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