Conversion to Di2 Alfine/Nexus Internally Geared Hub

Canard

New Member
Hi all,

I've got a bike (Trek Lift+) with STePS and I'd like to convert the conventional rear derailleur/cassette setup to an Alfine or Nexus Di2.

I'm thinking I'll have to;

  • Buy the Alfine or Nexus Di2 Hub
  • Get someone to lace it to the wheel
  • Buy the extra thumb button switch for the gear selection
  • Get the Shimano software and cable to reconfigure the STePS controller
  • Obviously reconfigure the chain

Is this possible? Has anyone attempted such a feat? :) When I go into the setup screen on my bike I can see all the options (start gear, etc.) for the possibility of automatic shifting but it beeps twice (disabled/locked out) when I try to fiddle with them. But it tells me it's possible...

Thanks!

-Iain
 
Last edited:

DAVID L

New Member
Hi all,

I've got a bike (Trek Lift+) with STePS and I'd like to convert the conventional rear derailleur/cassette setup to an Alfine or Nexus Di2.

I'm thinking I'll have to;

  • Buy the Alfine or Nexus Di2 Hub
  • Get someone to lace it to the wheel
  • Buy the extra thumb button switch for the gear selection
  • Get the Shimano software and cable to reconfigure the STePS controller
  • Obviously reconfigure the chain

Is this possible? Has anyone attempted such a feat? :) When I go into the setup screen on my bike I can see all the options (start gear, etc.) for the possibility of automatic shifting but it beeps twice (disabled/locked out) when I try to fiddle with them. But it tells me it's possible...

Thanks!

-Iain
 

DAVID L

New Member
I've got the steps with Alfine rear hub, and I'm not entirely happy with it. It works ok for pottering around on level ground, but on more challenging terrain it has shortcomings. On sudden steep rises it sometimes refuses to change down or even shifts up, leaving you struggling. It also favours a slower cadence than an experienced rider might like, so I often have to put it on manual. If you're a competent derailleur user (I'm sure you are), you may be better off controlling when YOU want to shift and what cadence you want to maintain.
 

emco5

Active Member
...When I go into the setup screen on my bike I can see all the options (start gear, etc.) for the possibility of automatic shifting but it beeps twice (disabled/locked out) when I try to fiddle with them. ...

First, I agree with 'DAVID L' about a manual-shifting derailleur. IMO, you'll have better rides if you think for yourself. As well, total up the costs of doing that modification because it will be spendy.

From my experiences with the Lift's Steps system, Shimano wants to be the intermediary with program changes. A dealer should be able to activate the Di2 options in the panel, but they would need to handshake their eTube software with Shimano support to get a passcode. That's how it worked with my chainring and tire size changes.
 

Canard

New Member
Thanks for the replies!

My reasons for wanting to change are:
  • An internally gear hub is not exposed to weather, so stays clean (cassette gets dirty)
  • I've never liked having a big derailleur hanging down at the back - fragile/exposed mech
  • I like the technology (I'm a mechanical designer by trade)
  • I've never owned a bike with indexed gears and a derailleur/cassette at the back that work properly. There's always a couple of gears that it won't jump into, or it'll sit there "hunting" trying to climb or fall into the next gear.
I have experienced the phenomenon you speak of when test riding a CUBE bike with Bosch mid-drive and a Shimano internally geared rear hub (not Di2). Since the mid-drive did't know when I was shifting, it never let up and the hub refused to shift until I completely stopped pedalling. I'm sure there's a technique to it that could eventually be learned, but the appeal of the Di2 system with Shimano is it's all integrated and I thought the way it worked was it automatically cut power to the drive when shifting, making it all seamless. Is that not the case?

-Iain
 

DAVID L

New Member
The Alfine is not immune to hunting noisily occasionally, and while with a derailleur a tweak to the lever will sort it, with the Alfine you have to wait for it to sort itself out. The idea of the automatic system cutting power to facilitate changes seems to work most of the time, but as I said, a sudden increase in gradient foxes it. A rider seeing the "wall" will shift down in anticipation, while the computer has no way of knowing what's coming until it perceives a reduction in speed and an increase in pedal force. At this point it will decide to shift down and momentarily reduce assistance, but the rider is now giving it his all to avoid grinding to a halt, so the Alfine refuses to shift. My experience so far suggests that the Di2 system is great for urban riding, but best treated as a manual electronic shifter on the open road.
 

rocky289

Member
I note this thread is a couple of years old, but it is about the subject I was going to post on.
I'm looking at a new bike and it has a Shimano Nexus Alfine 8 speed rear hub.
Wondering if there may be any more feedback on it.