This shifter only works with the Alfine-11 hub. Still, this review is only about the shifter itself, not the hub.
When I first got my Alfine-11 installed, the shifting was very stiff. At first I thought this had to do with the hub, then I realized that the hub shifts very easy and smoothly, all of the "stiffness" was in the shifter. But after a little while, the shifter broke in, and it shifts nice and smooth now.
I love this shifter! Other internal hubs use gripshift-sytle shifters, or reverse-shift shifters. But they modeled the Alfine-11's shifters after an XT shifter. If you are making the jump from a Shimano geared drivetrain do the Alfine-11, you'll feel right at home. You can also double-shift up and down. And you can activate the upshift lever in both directions, just like the XT. This shifter looks a little big and bulky at first, but it really is a perfect fit on a mountain bike!
The only negative on this shifter, is that is is very easy to accidentally shift by bumping the lever. You're not actually moving a derailer, which is moving the chain. Very little metal actually moves when you shift, so it takes little effort and happens almost instantly. It has never spontaneously shifted on me, but a little bump from your knuckle while your trying to climb a steep hill is all it takes. You just have to be aware of this.
IGH is the future! And the Alfine-11 has what in my opinion, is by far the best shifter. It is the optimal shifter, it has every feature you want in an MTB shifter.
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