Thorn Cycles Forum

Community => Rohloff Internal Hub Gears => Topic started by: freddered on February 11, 2006, 07:26:17 PM

Title: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: freddered on February 11, 2006, 07:26:17 PM
I will be taking delivery of a Thorn Raven Tour in about a week.  I therefore have 100 days to decide if this is the bike for me.  If you have a Rohloff-Equipped bike I'd appreciate your verdict to help me make the decision and any tips to help me test the hub.

1) Overall how does it compare to your Derailleur bikes?
2) What should I look out for (advantages AND disadvantages) ?
3) Would you go back to Derailleur ?
4) Anything else ?
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: mactraveller on February 15, 2006, 12:04:58 PM
Myself  and girlfriend toured 4000Km's round NZ last year on Rohloff's. 1 bike was a Raven Adventure Tour.  The hubs were fantastic.  Yes, a bit noisy in 5 and 7, but not a problem.  Had to tighten the chain (easily done) after a while but that's it.

From memory you can't put full force through the pedals on one of the changes (maybe 6 to 7 or 7 to 8) because of the safety features in the hub.  But as I can't remember it probably gives you an idea of how insignificant it is.

For touring, or everyday ease of use I wouldn't switch back.  

Hope you enjoy it.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Ratty on February 15, 2006, 02:01:59 PM
1) Better - lots of small, day to day advantages and the bigger ones mentioned in the 'living with a rohloff' article on this site. (goto the bike page and click on models, you can find it here.

2) Drops - although drop bar options are available I was advised to try the comfort bars.  I dearly miss the drops and may change to one of the drop versions but it will never be as nice as integrated brake/gear levers.

3) Never say never but if I did it would be hard and I know I would often curse the deraileur.

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: paulhipwood on February 16, 2006, 06:35:02 PM
I have three bikes, I have been riding for 1 year fairly seriously, too old to continue jogging due to boredom!!

A Moulton whch has 21 gears and has a 3 speed hub with a 7 speed derailleur (best and worst of both worlds). This was my first purchase and it looks unusual but is very capable for Sunday runs etc.
A Dahon 8 speed derailleur - which I take overseas when working away from home. Very good bike, I have even taken it on a Sunday run - BUT no one will ride alongside me. AND I can keep up on a 50 mile run.
A Raven Sports Tour - this is the newest and the best. I have started commuting and intend to do the 28 mile commute at least 3 times a week.

The Raven is brilliant to ride, gears are no problem, it allows you to change gear more often and apart from 7 to 8 to 7 you can change without thinking about it. ~Maintenance is minimal - so I resort to keeping it clean. I do 8 miles along the canal on my commute.

There is no way you can avoid not using derailleurs due to the cosat of the hubs - but I intend to ride the Moulton occasionally. The suspension on that bike is really comfortable and its one thing I miss.

I read all the reports in cycling magazines about how responsive such and such bike is - they seem to have ultra sensitive feedback mechanisms, I just get on my bikes and ride em. I trake pride in ownership because I have researched the various options in choosing my bikes and I am happy with the results.
I still am amazed how they have fitted all those gear trains in the Rohloff and its great to hear it whirring away due to my effort. Isuppose the  people who have chosen Dura Ace etc think that they have also made the correct choice. Lets face it, like car makers the products on the market today are generally very good due to the global competition.

If you can afford one - buy it and enjoy it.
paul
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: rogerzilla on February 19, 2006, 08:59:23 PM
No experience of the Rohloff, but I do often use a bike with a Shimano 8-speed hub gear.  It does change the dynamics of the bike, whether it weighs the same or not.  Hopping over potholes is difficult because the back wheel is very heavy.  It's a nice idea to be able to change gear without moving, but in practice I've not found it all that useful - maybe if you do a lot of city riding?  

The killer for me  - as well as the price - is that I hate straight handlebars on long rides, and having the shifter on an accessory bar for drops reminds me of those hopeless 1970s stem-mounted shifters.  It's just not in an ergonomic position; downtube shifters were better!

No-one in our local CTC has taken the plunge, although a lot of us ride Thorns.

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Eric on February 21, 2006, 12:12:49 PM
I have had a Thorn Raven Catalyst for almost a year now. The bottom line is that I would never go back to derailiuers - they are crude, easily damaged, always wearing out and need constant attention.
My maintenance has been one ten minute oil change and to replace one damaged cable gaiter.
My next bike will be a Rohloff. Perhaps they might make a closer ratio one for racing etc. - or the ultimate; shaft drive as well!
My only real worry is talk of the internal cable breaking - but I understand that if you replace it every 2 years (£5) you should be OK. Still, I'm taking a spare axle ring set (£46) with me on tour across Sardinia this summer, just in case![/
OK Robin - is my cheque in the post?
quote:
Originally posted by freddered

I will be taking delivery of a Thorn Raven Tour in about a week.  I therefore have 100 days to decide if thfont=Arial]is is the bike for me.  If you have a Rohloff-Equipped bike I'd appreciate your verdict to help me make the decision and any tips to help me test the hub.

1) Overall how does it compare to your Derailleur bikes?
2) What should I look out for (advantages AND disadvantages) ?
3) Would you go back to Derailleur ?
4) Anything else ?

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: stutho on February 21, 2006, 02:56:59 PM

(edit : See my 13-month update below)

I ride every day.  Until recently on a Derailleur.  My experiences of my raven (sport) are mixed.

POSITIVE:
FRAME    -   The Bike frame is fantastic everything I was hoping for.
MAINTANCE -   End of week cleaning / maintenance on the bike is much quicker no Derailleur and no cluster to clean
RELIABILITY -    The bike feels more reliable – but only time will tell.
GEAR RANGE -    Excellent gear range and gear spacing (much better than my derailleur) also much easier to change to a higher or lower gearing range (just one sprocket to change)

NEUTRAL:
WEIGHT –  Not really a factor but it does feel heavy.
DRAG –      In the bottom seven gear it does feel inefficient (esp. at high cadence) However overall I seam to get home quicker than I used to so maybe it only ‘feels inefficient’.

NEGATIVE:
NOISE –     I am trying to learn to ignore this (and hoping that it will get quieter).  Imagine the loudest freewheel noise you have ever heard.  In some gears that is exactly what you are going to hear – both under power and coasting.
SHIFTING  - I don’t find the shifting as precise as my derailleur – most people find the opposite don’t know why I have a problem?
SHIFTER –   Why o why don’t Rohloff make a version of their shifter for drop handlebars.

OVERALL:
If you ride regularly you are going to like it.  Although I have listed some negatives -

I WOULDN’T SWITCH BACK.

Stuart
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: PH on February 22, 2006, 04:04:34 AM
Now you've got it you'll soon be able to answer most of the questions for yourself.
Although stutho mentions the lack of maintenance and reliability, he doesn't mention how much money this will save you.  And it's not something you'll discover in the first 100 days.  Even after my first year it's hard to know for sure how much it'll save in the long run.  I'd be surprised if the savings were less than £10/1,000 miles. That'll do me[:)]
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: graham on February 22, 2006, 06:41:08 PM
quote:
SHIFTING - I don’t find the shifting as precise as my derailleur – most people find the opposite don’t know why I have a problem?


In my limited experience, (Something over 7500 miles on our Raven tandem and Tour), the feel of the gearchange can be affected by the adjustment on the cables at the rear brake bracket. Try tweaking them slightly. If they're too loose, the change might lack feel, but equally if they are a bit tight the result may be similar.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: davefife on February 25, 2006, 03:25:54 PM
My Sport Tour arrived yesterday and i was out on it straight away and for longer this morning.

Its nearly all been said now, especially from our fellow rider in Australia - welcome!  Its an absolutely fantastic bike to ride and the hub gear is phenonenal in terms of quality engineering and manufacture, its also a very effective and satisfying way to change gear with even steps.

My advice is simple: if your thinking about it, go for it.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Michael Falk on February 25, 2006, 05:32:45 PM
Well some of this has already been mentioned:

I'm not looking forward to having to change a cable only because it's different to the usual derrailleur cables. Having the "axle ring set" that SJS sells for an easy change if the hub gear cable breaks is reassuring. This cable looked rather tricky to change when I saw it done by someone with experience.

The BB screws when tightening the chain: I wish SJS would've supplied a little information sticker at the BB to inform how tight to tighten the screws. Some people on C+ forum (including me!) overtightened it. This dented the part of the BB that the screws tightened against which just makes accurate adjustment a little more difficult. I think you should finger tighten the screws & then 1 more complete revolution.

Also it seems that you need to tighten the chain only when it's on the verge of dropping off. Initially I followed the Rohloff guidebook that suggests (I think) about 1 cm of play for the chain; this meant I was tightening it about each month while I was touring.

I have a problem that when the grip gets wet or sweaty gear changing can be difficult. I still haven't sorted this out.

The actual hub appears to be super reliable. I think the noisy gears seem inefficient but this could just be my imagination. The nastiest change (7 to 8 & vice-versa) is rarely a problem. I think far less nasty gear changes than on a derrailleur bike.

With the undished rear wheel absolutely no breaking spoke problems so far.

In places where they don't know Rohloff the bike might be less of a theft problem since the lack of derrailleurs makes it look like a less desirable single speed.

Michael
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Arnaud on April 02, 2006, 04:16:56 AM
Nearly 1.400km on the clock with my Raven Sport Tour...
This morning I took it out for a very early ride:being Sunday it was very quiet, just the sheep, birds and myself. I noticed how quiet the Rohloff hub has become; except for gear 7 and some faint freewheeling noise in gear 13 and 5. I have become an expert in smooth gearchanges.Most of the time they are imperceptible, just like a perfect gear change in a manual car.I rely heavily on my Cateye Astrale 8 computer to keep the cadence around 90 so it is not unusual for me to go through seven or eight gears between the bottom and the top of a hill. The result of all this hassle free gear changing is that I'm going faster and getting fitter.
I retensioned the chain for the first time at 1.300km and, having read warnings on this forum, took care of not overly tightening the bottom bracket bolts. A very easy job indeed. I choose the 38 x 16 combination so I often find myself searching for gear 15 when going downhill. To avoid unnecessary twisting of the shifter I am painting the number 15 white with some Tippex correction fluid. Gears 1, 2 and 3 haven't been used yet,they are a kind of superannuation and will be handy when old age catches up with me !

Arnaud
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: paulhipwood on April 02, 2006, 01:40:38 PM
I put a blob of tipex on the number 7 and the number 11 (or is it 10 I am currently working abroad so cannot go and look).
So I know when I am approaching the most and least efficient gears. I thought this would rub off but its lasted 800 miles.

paul
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: stutho on April 03, 2006, 10:57:11 AM
Arnaud: "I am painting the number 15 white"  

I want one! [:)]

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: stutho on April 03, 2006, 11:08:05 AM
Arnaud:
Do you cycle regularly with a heavy load? I ask because your gear ratio seams extra low. Seams a shame not to use all 14 gears for the cost of a chain ring.  Just a thought.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Arnaud on April 04, 2006, 01:10:04 AM
Sorry...I meant 14 ! Sometimes I feel there are too many numbers involved in this cycling business.
I always ride with the absolute minimum: spare tube, repair kit, pump water bottle and mobile phone. The weight is not the issue (I don't even have mudguards on the bike). In this part of the world there are very few flat sections, it is either uphill or downhill and when I run out of gears (always on the downhill side)and glance at the speedo I know I shouldn't push my luck too far. Several times I have reached 60km/h downhill on (good) gravel roads and I don't want to be able to go faster. There are places in Perth (city streets) where I know gears 1, 2 and 3 will be useful.
I'm 56 and feel I should work on endurance rather than speed, so for me 38x16 works very well.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: stutho on February 08, 2007, 12:02:49 PM
13 month update: after 4000 miles and 2 winters my observations of Rohloff hub have changed slightly from my above post.

Maintenance - So good you won't believe it – Very easy to look after.
Reliability - Not a single problem with the hub
Gear Range - Excellent, I use 42*16 and I use all my gears every day (v hilly area)
Noise - There isn’t any! It used to be very noisy but now it is better than a derailed in most gears and equally good in others
Shifting - Very quick and easy, my initial problems were down to me using the wrong cable.
Shifter - although I would still like a shifter designed for drops it no longer bothers me at all.
Drag - There is now no noticeable increase in drag in any of the gears
Weight - The bike does still feel heavy,  heavy and reliable - I can live with that.

Overall - This year I am going to buy a second Rohloff equipped bike for the wife - probable a Raven tour. What more can I say!

Stuart
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: freddered on March 14, 2007, 03:52:56 PM
quote:
Originally posted by freddered

I will be taking delivery of a Thorn Raven Tour in about a week.  I therefore have 100 days to decide if this is the bike for me.  If you have a Rohloff-Equipped bike I'd appreciate your verdict to help me make the decision and any tips to help me test the hub.

1) Overall how does it compare to your Derailleur bikes?
2) What should I look out for (advantages AND disadvantages) ?
3) Would you go back to Derailleur ?
4) Anything else ?



1) I haven't ridden my Derailleur bike more than 20 miles in the last year.
2) Maintenance is about an hour per year (add oil to Hub, tension chain).  Disadvantages?  It's a bit heavy I suppose but so am I.  STI-type levers would be nice but grip-shift on accessory bar is better than levers on Down-tube or Bar-ends.
3) No.  It's a backward step for the type of riding I do.  This is fuss-free, ultra-reliable so far.
4) It's so smooth, silent and comfortable.  I forget this until I ride something else.

Here is finished article 1 year on.

http://www.sjscycles.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=796
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: daviddd55 on April 15, 2007, 09:40:31 PM
I've had my Thorn Raven Tour for just a couple of weeks, and only done about 30 miles, but already I feel very comfy on it. I chose 36x16 - very low, but I have weakness in the feet and calves that means I can easily strain these muscles, so a lower gear / faster cadence is for me. I have actually used the lowest gear too - up a 30 degree (or so!) slope moving at around 1.5 mph lol, and the bike felt very stable and secure. Just looking at the bike leaning in the hall gives me a warm glow! I'm looking forward to riding around Oz on it in from October, and especially putting it through it's paces offroad in the Outback, fully laden. Prior to this trip though I'm going to take the whole bike apart and put it together again, and make sure I can do all the maintenance. Don't wanna get caught out in the back of beyond without good reason.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andy B on June 05, 2007, 05:42:59 PM
My RST is just over a year old now, with around 5000 miles on it (mostly  commuting).

Can't fault the hub or bike set-up (drop bars + accessory bar) at all.

3 main issues:
1) Spoke breakage - I've had 2 rear spokes go, both at the nipple end. I'm around 13st., don't ride with a heavy load or bunny-hop curbs - but I certainly wouldn't trust the same wheels on a tandem!

2) Rim wear - Shimano brake inserts seem very abrasive (think this has been discussed in other threads). So my rims are very worn already. Have now switched to Aztecs which seem to be much gentler on teh rim but still stop equally well.

3) Punctures - I went for the Panaracer HiRoad tyres. The tread is still good, but a lot of tears and signs of cracking. Puncture frequency is about double what I had from Schwalbe Marathon tyres on the previous bike.

Certainly would never go back to a derailleur for everyday use!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: daviddd55 on June 06, 2007, 07:54:58 PM
Strange about the broken spokes - wheel builder had a hard day? You could try twanging the spokes to see if they all sound about the same - maybe see if any are differing greatly in tension, or get checked out by another wheel builder. I've only had one broken spoke in 50 years of riding as I recall, maybe unlucky? Did you hit a pothole or something Andy?
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Michael Falk on June 27, 2007, 05:44:17 AM
This topic is still here?

After 2 years with my eXpRohloff in Europe (6 months) & Argentina (18 months) I'm now back in Australia for a while. Riding my old bicycles now I find gear changing annoying compared to the no-thinking process of gear changes with the Rohloff (a little thinking required occasionally for the 7-8 gear shifts).

Far happier with Rohloff than traditional gears. My only concerns about Rohloff system now:

I still haven't done a cable change myself, so I'm a bit concerned about when I have to do that.

My hub leaks oil (I didn't buy the hub from SJSC) since it appears that it is an old hub & this problem has now been rectified.

I have my gears set up as low as you can go & this has only been a problem a few times when touring when I could have drafted behind a slow truck/tractor for many kilometres to save a slog through some dull scenery. I just couldn't keep up the high cadence in my relatively low top gear to keep drafting. My derailleur touring bikes had a wider range of gears.

Besides this, nothing else is different than  what I wrote earlier.

Michael
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: ahconway on September 18, 2007, 02:44:13 PM
After about 1500 miles, I absolutely adore my Adventure Tour! Love the frame, the complete package, and of course, the SpeedHub.

Since moving from London to Boston (USA) last October, I've put in many more miles than before thanks to a very nice 10-mile commute. Much of my ride is traffic-free along various shared-use paths. But in central Boston, I find myself doing a lot of hard accelerating off the line, lots of zooming here and there through traffic and waves of pedestrians. For this type of riding (often out of the saddle), I do sometimes wish I didn't have to lay off the pressure to shift gears. I get a skip every once in a while, or get stuck in 14 when I fail to engage because I didn't lay off enough.

The many benefits of the hub far outweigh this little inconvenience. Does make me think, however, that the SpeedHub is more appropriate for touring and mile-eating than fast runs around town (a la City Slicker or Mercury).

Andrew C
Arlington Massachusetts
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Eric on September 18, 2007, 04:44:14 PM
Michael
I was also worried about the internal gear cable breaking. After 2.5 years of hard use, I sat down with all the right tools and parts; took my time and followed the instructions - a pleasant hour on the workbench, keeping everything clean and double-checking every stage.
The old cable was still in perfect condition, by the way[:)]. Not a 'side of the road' job - needs too many tools and the instruction book!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: daviddd55 on September 18, 2007, 09:45:32 PM
yes, I've tried tyhe cable change and it's fairly easy - just a bit of a fiddle cutting in the right place and then connecting the cut end into the connector nipple.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: petebell on October 02, 2007, 07:21:05 PM
Go for it.  Don't mess about, just buy it. You know its the future! Do I sound like robin Thorn?
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Eric on October 15, 2007, 08:42:04 PM
Very sorry, but what have vibrators got to do with Rohloffs? Am I missing something[?][V]
quote:
Originally posted by Lameleh

Amazing Site, I loved It
http://www.behavioralconsultants.com/SportsForum/00003184.htm Vibrator
http://community.pmc.edu/vogelewi/_disc2/00006b74.htm?Vibrator Vibrator
I wish There Were More Sites Like THis One

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: att21 on October 16, 2007, 11:39:42 AM
quote:
Very sorry, but what have vibrators got to do with Rohloffs? Am I missing something

It's spam! just ignore any posts like that Eric! I'll try to clean up everyday but can't stop them really, they're everywhere on the Internet now.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: freddered on February 27, 2008, 10:15:27 PM
I just did 2nd Oil change and combined it with reversing the sprocket (it was pretty hooked) , reversing the chainring (not as bad, but what the heck?) and a new SRAM PC48 chain.

Result?

Bloody smooth as silk and quiet as a mouse.

The hub is noticeably quieter but the transmission is even better.

I'd forgotten just how eerily quiet these bikes can be (my chain and sprocket had got pretty noisy after 2 years in all sorts of muddy conditions).  I can definitely stand the cost of new sprocket and chainring every 4 years (12,000 miles or so) if it improves things like this.

The ability to reverse the sprocket and chainring is a real benefit.

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: heltonbiker on January 29, 2009, 06:32:36 PM
Got it for two and a half years now, about 12,000km of all kinds of rides, but mainly tours, errands and weekend rides, many of them loaded or carrying child (20kg).

Agree with almost all have been said, but disagree with much of what is said in favour of the whole gearing system on Rohloff site. The hub itself is sturdy, the wheel becomes far, far superior than e.g. shimano ones (even the taller flange disc brake ones), never have to do hub or freewheel maintenance, never have to do tricky and dirty multi-cog cleaning, only one chainring to easily clean, never have to fine tune rear cable tension, no derailer hanger breaking, no spring-dependent working, and so on.

There's some very discrete oil leakage, and the efficiency is definitive less than a good deraileur, not only because of the sealing but also because of the more intricate freewheeling and gears meshing inside. Not too much to make it not worthy, though.

The noise is an irrelevant issue, but you need to get used and it takes some time. It takes some time to shift without thinking about it, too, because it engages at the very moment you do the move, there's no delay, and it is a bit shocking in the beginning.

But the OTHER parts of the gearing system are not saint:

Once I was on first gear, and thought I wasnt, or needed to downshift quickly (crossing a creek). The extra twist mistakenly applied simply ripped off the cable from its bayonette insert. Result: 30 minutes trying to reinsert the cable into the bayonette, and just because some friend had a good quality 2mm allen. At home, I had to drill that damn 2mm bolt apart, because the steel bolt inside an aluminum thread became heavily stuck, and it's not good if you have a 2mm allen to loosen it...

The grip shifter got some road dirt in a 7 hour bike race under rain, offroad. The mud got into the lever, and it worn out considerably. Now I have to periodically open it and put floor wax to lubrify the metal/plastic interface, with good (not great) results.

The fact that you don't have to really look at which gear you are in, because they are sequential, means you do not really KNOW which gear you are in, specially at night, at accelerations, or in traffic or pack rides. That means that any gear change might be the 7 to 8 to 7, and you are never absolutely sure you can shift under load. For myself, the loaded shifting has rarely worked, and I prefer alleviate the torque on the pedals in the exact moment of shifting.

At last, the hand moves necessary to shift are far more wearing and tiring and less ergonomic than with rapid fires, because you have to move your entire arm to do the shift (each gear requires a relatively long twisting, and many times you shift two or three gears at once).
The rapid fires seem much more comfortable to do shifts. Besides, your left hand often gets numb because it isn't used for shifting, and that way gets much less "action" during ride times.


Bottom line: I like very much the rohloff, and also like the derailers (c'mon, there have been decades of practice on them...). The derailers are better for leisure and maybe racing, but the rohloff makes a great everyday bike, and a much more reliable one for touring.

The system deserves some improvements: better cable connection systems at the bayonettes, and better shifter itself. Think it would be possible make two hands shifting: left hand to get higher gears, right hand to get lower, or vice versa, one gear per click, similar to what is made on trigger shifters (rapid fires, sti, etc).

Think is that for the moment, and if you ask: yes, I would buy another one (another ones, perhaps), even at the price they are, for sure! But I think they're not for everyone...

Helton
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: freddered on January 29, 2009, 07:19:58 PM
My modified Bayonets.

I agree, the allen key is prone to damage.  This improves things a lot

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Various/bayonet.jpg?t=1233253076)

Also, I have marked my shifter at 4th gear, 8th gear and 11th gear with a dot of white paint (and a reference mark on stationary part). 
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: spoon boy on January 30, 2009, 12:37:45 AM
Firstly the thing that put me off was the cost over the standard gears

I worked on the ..how many gear replacements would I get for the price of a rohloff

Then the biggest bit that swayed me away

Much is made of the steel frame vs ali frame working on the assumption that a steel welder is easier to find than a ali welder in the remotest of regions any where in the world

With that argument I used it for rohloff...should it fail in the middle of mongolia say would I be able to get either a rohloff mechanic or parts in most villages..of course the answer is no, would I be able to get a standard gear system? most probably

even though the chances of the rohloff failing is minimal I saw it as an overspend that couldn't be justified along with a system that wasn't universally avaliable.

However...should rohloff give me a freebee to prove me wrong... I would be a fool not to errrr test it for them
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: geocycle on January 30, 2009, 10:29:51 AM
Hi spoon boy.  I fully understand your arguments about cost and repairability and therefore your decision to opt for the derailleur.  This makes refect sense.  But, personally, after having ridden my raven for about 7000 miles (or a third of the way around the world -though I have not made the kind of journey you are embarking on) without any issues or missed gear changes whatsoever, I would have gone for the rohloff.  In my experience the chances of a problem with the rohloff are minimal compared to my previous derailleur systems used on the same routes, although I agree that problems with the latter will hopefully be mostly minor issues with grit and gear shifting.  The worst I have had was snagging the derailleur on a rock, it breaking off and and taking out the back wheel -all repairable but not trivial.  I admit there is an element of trust in all this rohloff discussion.  You have to trust the legendary support offerred by rohloff and thorn to their long distance travellers, that the number of completely satisfied rohloff users dwarfs those who have had problems, and that dhl will reach ulam batour in a week or so!  Being positive, if you were to undertake a risk assessment on both systems you would probably reach the same conclusion -low. 

If I was to suggest one tweak to rohloff, it would be to develop a lockout mechanism such that if you are one of the tiny minority for whom it all goes wrong you can easily turn it into a fixed wheel or better still single speed. 
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: freddered on January 30, 2009, 12:14:15 PM
This is what swings it for me

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/thornwinter.jpg?t=1233313691)

That is about 8 weeks of Hampshire country lanes splattered over my Raven tour.

The chain is spray-lubed every few days in these conditions but, apart from that, I haven't done anything.  The gears are spinning in oil and as slick as ever.

10 minutes after this photo was taken I blasted it with a pressure-washer and spent 15 minutes with a brush and soapy water.  That's the sum total of my winter maintenance.

I have to change the oil next month (3rd change, 3 years) but apart from that and some new brake blocks it should be OK until I wash it down again in a few weeks/months.

The Thorn does Winter so my derailleur bikes don't have to.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: vik on January 30, 2009, 03:06:54 PM
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3206/2697148233_53b4f3aa64.jpg)

500kms of this nonsense and I did zero maintenance [yes there is a Rohloff under there!]...the bike shifted as well the first day as the last.  Not surprisingly I picked up a second Rohloff and a Thorn Sterling MTB frame & Thorn Nomad Tourer frame after this tour.

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3292/2698696107_3c3819710b_b.jpg)

People who use the argument that if a Rohloff breaks I can't get spare parts/service and I can for my derailleur bike seem to forget that many places you tour there are no bike shops or other bikes for that matter from which to get service or parts.  So having a drivetrain that is so much less vulnerable to the elements and accidents can give you a lot of piece of mind when, like in the photos above, you are a minimum of 500kms from the nearest source of bikey help.

The cost issue is however quite legitimate as it does cost a lot more out of the gate to own a Rohloff.  I don't think the long term cost of a Rohloff will be any more than a moderate level derailleur drivetrain [XT or 105], but you do have to pay most of that cost in one go.  It also takes a person with a long term perspective to see the value of a Rohloff - not everyone thinks that way.

safe riding,

Vik
www.thelazyrando.com

 
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: spoon boy on February 02, 2009, 12:16:31 AM
I see you right Vik about the long term view

My situation is that this is my first thorn so as such it's a trial period..if the bike/frame and lets be honest apart from the bits the frame is the only thorn bit

Is being tested and works okay then no reason to go else where.

If the frame and the customer services is as good as claimed then I can't see a reason not to upgrade to a rohloff..type, Ive seen shimano do a few of these.

Reminded me some part of the old sturmey archer

However I do have a confession to make..I saw one of them long ass tourers like your surly Vik at Evans cycles.. I can see the relevance now.

P.S. still not jealous at your bike collection...much
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: vik on February 03, 2009, 03:05:42 PM
I see you right Vik about the long term view

My situation is that this is my first thorn so as such it's a trial period..if the bike/frame and lets be honest apart from the bits the frame is the only thorn bit

Is being tested and works okay then no reason to go else where.

If the frame and the customer services is as good as claimed then I can't see a reason not to upgrade to a rohloff..type, Ive seen shimano do a few of these.

Reminded me some part of the old sturmey archer

However I do have a confession to make..I saw one of them long ass tourers like your surly Vik at Evans cycles.. I can see the relevance now.

P.S. still not jealous at your bike collection...much

Spoonboy...I think you made a fine choice in touring bikes... ;D  I certainly don't feel a Rohloff is the right choice for every person and every bike...I don't have them on all my bikes.  Both types of gearing systems have pros and cons which we should evaluate and base our decision on.  People who put down derailleur gearing out of hand are as silly as those who put down Rohloffs & other IGHs out of hand.

safe riding,

Vik
www.thelazyrando.com

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: onmybike on February 05, 2009, 05:27:58 AM
Newbies opinion follows:

I've had my Raven Nomad for 6 months now and it's done commuting/shopping/visiting duties every day. The operation of the Rohloff hub can't be faulted. When it was new it missed the occasional change (and by occasional I mean once or twice a week) - seemed like it didn't fully engage gears but has since stopped doing that. A tiny twist on the shifter was all it took to then engage, so it's not like I was left, legs flailing, in neutral.

First thought was 'wow, this is a REALLY slow bike'. Worried it was the gear box. Then I changed the tires. Now I know Marathon XRs are to tires what molasses is to, uh, sticky things. Have some Conti City Contacts on now and hasty forward motion has been restored.

The twist grip is truly awful. The triangular corners regularly bruise my thumb and the twist grip is so wide that the brake lever offset means reaching for the lever you can't avoid the corners unless you use the twist grip as the bar grip. And let's face it - there's a reason nobody manufactures triangular section hard plastic grips - they're uncomfortable. Three solutions here; 1. A longer brake lever for the twist grip side (do these exist?), 2. Move the shifter off the bars altogether (and lose the convenience of having them right there) and 3. Attack the shifter with a hacksaw and sandpaper and lop a centimeter of so off it's width. Has anyone tried the latter? I'd much rather void your warranty than mine.

Other, off topic, thoughts on the bike so far...
Scratch-o-matic paint job sucks. And I thought the little jar of paint that came with the bike was a nice caring touch. Until I realised it meant "take this - you'll need it".
Stock comfort bars too wide. Nothing wrong with them, they just didn't suit me ergonomically.
Thorn narrow straight bars work much better for me - especially for the commute on narrow cycleways.
Ergon grips don't suit my hands - pins and needles after 20 or so km without fail. They've had six months prove their worth - they'll go.
Butterfly bars show promise but judgment can wait 'til a tour at Easter.
Twist grip is simply too wide for all three of these bars - even on the butterfly bars it forces my hand onto the curve. It compromises all of them and really is the only downside I can find.
Otherwise the bike has needed the chain oiled and tension adjusted once (a two minute job, if you exclude the 30 minutes of psyching myself up for the scary task of adjusting the eccentric for the first time).

This bike is off on tour to India later in the year and replaces a 20 year old Miyata 1000 touring bike that finally gave up the ghost after 150,000+km - including 50 or 60,000 of loaded touring, so far I'm pleased with its solidity. But will save final judgment for another decade or two. The brakes and wheels are highlights. Love those Andras.

Syd
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: ians on February 05, 2009, 02:47:07 PM
Newbies opinion follows:


 1. A longer brake lever for the twist grip side (do these exist?)
Syd

Syd

I had the same problem - swapped to these; http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-Shimano-Shimano-BL-T660-Deore-LX-Brake-Levers-18150.htm

or any 3 finger lever would do.  The default on Thorn bikes seems to be 2 finger levers.

ians
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: erlingre on February 10, 2009, 08:36:07 PM
I consider to get either a Sherpa or a Raven tour and I have been thinking about pros and cons a bit.
One issue not mentioned so far in this thread is rim breakage. What if the sidewall of the rear wheel
rim cracks from breaking? I have experienced this twice. Getting a new complete wheel
will be harder than with dearailleur gears as you have to build a new one with the Rohloff hub.
With derailleur gears you can simply loosen the cassette, ditch the old wheel, fasten the cassette and
continue. This is naturally only an issue on a longer tour, but in my opinion it is something to
consider.

Not that this is a show-stopper for me. The Rohloff also has many advantages. Currently I
use a derailleur equipped bike for commuting and during the winter is it a constant pain with cleaning.

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: rualexander on February 11, 2009, 12:02:17 AM
erlingre,

We had just this situation you mention happen to my partner's Raven Tour rear rim a couple of years ago while on holiday in the Western Isles of Scotland. The only bike shop nearby was unable or unwilling to rebuild the rear wheel onto a new rim so we bought a new ready built front wheel and I had to dismantle the old front wheel, swap the rim over to the rear wheel and re-tension and true the wheel as best as I could, took about half a day but we were able to continue our holiday and the rim held up successfully.
The advantage was that having the same rim on the front meant that the existing rear spokes would be ok to re-use, and the benefit of the Rohloff hub meant that I didn't have to worry about dishing the wheel. I just taped the good rim to the blown rim and moved the spokes over one by one.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: freddered on February 11, 2009, 04:02:44 PM
erlingre,

We had just this situation you mention happen to my partner's Raven Tour rear rim a couple of years ago while on holiday in the Western Isles of Scotland. The only bike shop nearby was unable or unwilling to rebuild the rear wheel onto a new rim so we bought a new ready built front wheel and I had to dismantle the old front wheel, swap the rim over to the rear wheel and re-tension and true the wheel as best as I could, took about half a day but we were able to continue our holiday and the rim held up successfully.
The advantage was that having the same rim on the front meant that the existing rear spokes would be ok to re-use, and the benefit of the Rohloff hub meant that I didn't have to worry about dishing the wheel. I just taped the good rim to the blown rim and moved the spokes over one by one.

Having the same rims front and rear has saved me as well.  I would do this and carry some spare spokes for front and rear.  Different rims = different spoke lengths potentially.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jimmer on February 11, 2009, 07:30:03 PM
Dear Syd,

re the triangular profile of the shifter.

This was a topic that dominated the discussions on the old much lamented, Rolhoff users site, as Almeida will testify.

Several contributers had Dremmelled off the apices of the shifter making it round. They reconed it still worked. Replacement rubber covers are available so I doubt it'll invalidate your warranty.

I find the shape fits my fat Welsh spades quite snugly.

Yours, James
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: onmybike on February 12, 2009, 01:06:15 PM
Thanks James and ians (reply 38). Both useful replies and the solution may well involve both a remodeled grip and longer brake lever.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: mountaincarrot on February 12, 2009, 10:42:16 PM
I've had the Rohloff for about fourteen months now. I'm passed my first oil change. It's in a Thorn Enduro frame and is ridden 90% off road all year.

I bought it largely to reduce maintenance and trailside irritations on a daily off-road commute. So far it's living up to its promise and has been everything I wanted it to be.

I recently improved the rear end of the cable runs (pic here) to straighten them out from a large loop. This had an immediate and hugely beneficial effect on the friction in the gear shifter.

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3077/3237566370_8b86f7664c_b.jpg)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3460/3275326032_609810a9d3.jpg)

The dirt is pretty much 100% present where I ride, so I hope the oil seals are really up to the job. I NEVER clean the bike because I use it every day. The mud round here dries to a fine gritty coating which mostly would brush off if it ever got chance to dry.

So far in nearly 4000 miles, I have circulated 4 chains. They are all well past 1% elongated now (off the end of my park tools chain gauge), but the original Rohloff rear sprocket and Raceface front ring are going strong and I haven't even needed to turn them round yet. This is the sort of stuff I got the Rohloff for.

Performance wise, I'm really better off than with Derralieurs. I never notice any difference when riding with friends. Occasionally the slight whir (is it a drag or just a noise?) in gear 8 enters my conscience. Otherwise gear changes just happen without me even being conscious of them. Brilliant, no more clogged cables and mangled derralieurs. No more worn out jockey wheels. Instant gear changes are just so good.

I took it up Mont Ventoux in Provence last summer and was pleased with my 17.5" bottom gear, having needed it for nearly all of the 22KM to the summit!

I was a little concerned when my first oil change this December produced zero oil volume drained out. I read that this is quite common though. Perhaps I'll try the next oil change sooner than recommended.

I really like the triangular gear shifter and wouldn't change it, even if given the chance. It gives really good grip, even with wet hands, or in thick winter gloves. Gear changes are very natural and I am almost unaware of them. The rubber gear indicator letters have worn smooth now due to the edge of my glove, but that's unimportant. I can tell what gear I'm in and never need to look at it anyhow.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Blacksail on April 30, 2009, 12:08:32 AM
I have a Raven Sport which I bought in August 2008 and it has covered 6,000km so far.

One thing I love about the Rohloff and no one seems to mention is how quiet it is, I agree that in gear 7 there is a slight noise. I have now fitted completely slick tyres, to remove the faint buzz of treaded tyres, and zoom around without any creaks, whrrs or clicks, just wish all the derailleur bikes my friends ride were as quiet.

As for the triangular shifter I think its a really smart design as it allows you to change gear using just your forefinger and thumb if you want to. My only grumble is the completely useless numbering on the shifter which seems to use a braille based system, I have gone for 2 dots of white paint to indicate gear 11 and 1 dot to indicate 7, in truth 7 or 8 are the only ones you really need to mark as the shift between these two gears has to be taken more gently, the rest of the time I couldn't care less what number gear I'm in.

Certainly glad that I went for the Rohloff.



Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: freddered on April 30, 2009, 02:34:40 PM
I use the Tippex dots as well.

I think I'll drill some small holes in the rubber to recess the tippex a bit as it rubs off.

"Rohloffs are noisy".

I get this a lot.  Mostly from people whose derailleurs are rattling and crunching up hills.  I think people are oblivious to derailleur noise.  It's a bit like living near a railway, you stop hearing the trains after a while.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: brummie on April 30, 2009, 08:08:46 PM
The numbers have worn away on my 4 yr old Rohloff shifter, but i seem to have a knack of knowing when gear 7 is about to be selected - partly due to the orientation of the shifter.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Chadlington on May 01, 2009, 07:20:15 PM
I did a ride with a group the other day - one of my first for a LONG time. Thinking I might get comments about Rohloff noise, I was interested to observe the derailleur noise myself:

Crunching, clacking, rattling, come to mind. Also, ability to shift easily across multiple gears was "compromised".

It made me feel quite "quiet" by comparison!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: woodsman on November 14, 2009, 02:51:12 AM
Hmm....I was an advoacte but I am now starting to rethink my future with the Rohloff. Fitted to a mountain bike, it so far, has needed to go back to Germany every two years for rebuild, where it currently is. It does get used alot, but I am not feeling so confident in it's long term reliablility as I used to be.  :-\
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: rualexander on November 14, 2009, 02:16:08 PM
....has needed to go back to Germany every two years for rebuild, where it currently is.

What problems have you been having with it? Sounds pretty unusual to have to go back so often.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: woodsman on November 14, 2009, 05:11:03 PM
Last time (07) it had new 'driver bearings' fitted and an oil leak rectified. This time it's not engaging several of the gears (freespining) and Rohloff suspect bearing wear as a contributing factor again. I will know sometime this week the outcome. Also, when a few months old, I ripped the square locator block from the axle plate, I've had a replacement, and added some weld to it, to prevent it happening again - it hasn't. The original design was a combination of a light spot weld and two rivetts - quite flimsy IMO. The tandem specific one's are cnc'd to prevent this happening, which should be across the board, IMO again.

I really like the Rohloff, and the service so far has been exemplary, but at £60 carriage to get it over there.....

I would prefer it if Rohloff offered a complete overhaul service, replacing any consumable parts and bearings as a matter of course - rather than fix it when it breaks. This would suit me as I could send it off in the summer, when I have a suitable other bike to use, and not now when I need it.

I'm a bit dissapointed with it at the moment, I can't see myself going back to derailiers for winter use, maybe a singlespeed if I can get on with it.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Reuel on November 28, 2009, 01:38:48 AM
Well, after 7 months with my Rohloff equipped bike I seem to still prefer the older 1 X 7 derailleur bike for century rides. I think the extra pedaling resistance on the Rohloff becomes more noticeable as I regularly switch between it and my well maintained derailleur bike. My opinion is - a lot more R&D is required to make IGHs  feel similar to a well adjusted cup & cone hub! Nevertheless, the Rohloff is still an effective component to build a bike as sturdy as a Land Rover!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: woodsman on December 08, 2009, 09:08:33 PM
An update to my post above; it has been a while since I received the hub back from Rohloff, but due to the weather I haven't ridden the bike quite as much as I would like, to give it as thorough a test as I would like, before commenting.

The hub/wheel was returned in six days, there was no charge to me, except the £64 postage in sending it to Germany (ouch!). It all appears to be working fine, Rohloff say they have recalibrated the gear change points, replaced the driver bearings (again) and hub seals(again). Hopefully it'll be another two years at least before it goes back another time.

I've replaced the gear cables too, and went for Goodridge braided brake outer, and Shimano xtr(teflon coated) inner gear wires. I must say this combo has produced the smoothest shifting yet by far! One tip though, if you do decide to try this is, do not order the Goodridge inner gear wires too, as one is cut short, presumably for a front mech, and is not long enough for a Rohloff.

Overall, I am still happy with the Rohloff, although I most probably will abandon my wish list, of Rohloff-ing my full suspension bike as well after this.

Pete aka Woodsman

 :)
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: PeteCress on December 28, 2009, 01:28:08 AM
Here's a review I wrote a few years back:
========================================

Pros:

- Wide shifts:
Probably a substitute for proper technique, but I can clean inclines that I couldn't before. Hammer in to it in, say, gear 8, then jump down to 4, then to 1 as needed.

Also, on long climbs I like to alternate in and out of the saddle which, for me, is a 3 or 4 gear shift on each change. With the der I used to do it a lot less frequently that I really like and in the spirit of "Gee, I sure hope I don't miss this shift and take the saddle horn up my butt (again...)".

Now I just snap those wide shifts without even thinking about it. Any time, any place.- I'm always in the right gear, since shifting is essentially trivial; seems like shifts take less than a fiftieth of a second.


- No more rear cog problems:  no taco'd cogs, no more vines/small branches/grass wrapped around the cog/der.


- It *seems* pretty-much bombproof. Time will tell, but I was spending more time than I cared to adjusting my der and bending a cog wheel while riding was a PITA.


- Greatly-reduced frequency of missed shifts. "Reduced" and not "Zero" because there is a 'gotcha' between 7 and 8 dumps you into gear 14 if you forget and shift under load.

It pops back into the intended gear as soon as the load comes off, but it's nothing you want to make a habit of doing.


- Ability to shift down when stopped. I think I make more than my share of unplanned stops and I used to have to lift up the rear wheel and rotate the cranks to get down to a starting gear.

Also, my technique sucks and probably won't get any better and it's nice to be able approach an object and slow way, way down before negotiating it without worrying about getting stuck in too high a gear to get over it.


- I don't have to keep mental track of which chain ring I'm on. Sounds trivial, but I don't have any brain cells to spare.


- Maybe not so much of a strength, but it should be mentioned somewhere that 14 speeds are enough.

My original 44-32-22 der setup took me from 18.5 to 104.

With the Rohloff on a 44 I get 19.9 to 104.9 in nice even, uniform 13.8% increments. That's only one less gear and, since I never used 104 it's a wash for me.

With the 38 that I've since gone over to it's 17.2 - 90.6. 
I don't get spun out in 90.6 until about 25 mph - and there's no way I can hold that speed for very long anyhow.

I left the old 32 in the middle position just because it weighs next to nothing and, on a big bump sometimes the chain drops (you're supposed to have a front-der-like dingus up there to keep it from doing that ....but I never go around to getting one)  the 32 catches the chain.    Also allows shifting down to a usually-ludicrous 14.something if things get really bad....

Cons:

- It costs an arm and a leg.

If my wife ever finds out I spent close to a grand on a rear wheel, she'll start to doubt my sanity.

- This hub weighs a *lot*. It added 1.9 pounds to my already-heavy bike - same rim/tube/tire/spoke gauge.
Anybody who says it only adds a pound must be using a really, *really* heavy cog/hub/der/shifter setup. I was using SRAM 9.0 with twist shifters.

- The installation instructions could use a re-write. I'm no rocket scientist, and after studying them long enough I pulled it off - but it could have been a *lot* easier.

- It's heavy.  Are you ready for an 8-pound rear wheel?

- The torque arm mounting that came with it was decidedly un-German (downright kludgey, I'd say...). Hose clamps!

Also sometime during the first hundred miles the little clevis pin that held it all together disappeared. Wasn't a catestrophic failure because the normal riding pressure pushes everything together.... I probably installed the c-ring keeper wrong or something - but it seems like a weak point. Replaced it with a marine shackle set in LocTite.

I have since discovered that there is a more elegant torque arm setup that Rohloff calls the "SpeedBone".   Uses the disk brake mount and does not interfere with using a disk brake.

- Evenly-spaced shifts:  From me, this is strictly a theoretical "con", but if somebody were in good enough shape to be riding in/having to keep up with a pace line, they would want closer spacing in the upper gears.  It's no problem for me, bco my pathetic physical condition and riding style (or lack thereof), but it's pretty sure tb an issue with a more competative rider.


- It's heavy.


- It's noisy, especially in gears 1-7. Supposedly this mitigates with age, but it is still an issue with me at 1,000 miles.   

Late breaking news:  After 5,000+ miles the noise has mitigated, my hearing has deteriorated, or I've been drinking less coffee or something bc the noise is no longer an issue with me.


- It's definately less efficient in gears 1-8.

There's a web site somewhere (in German) that supposedly graphs a Rohloff against one of the Shimanos and claims no loss in most gears and 1-2% in the lower gears.

I would disagree with that web site's figures.


- Did I mention that it's heavy?

------------------------------------------------

Bottom Line:   

This is definately not for everybody and the torque arm thing bugged me until I got the more elegant replacement.

Having said that, I find that me and the Rohloff are a good match.

I've quickly gotten so used to getting any gear I want any time I want and never having to stop and pull brush/branches out of my rear der that I can't imagine going back.

It also appeals to the exhibitionist in me...

You, on the other hand, might hate the thing.

Oh yeah, I amost forgot:  it's heavy.



Title: I don't believe it's less efficient in gears 1-8
Post by: gearoidmuar on December 31, 2009, 06:40:25 PM
That was my initial impression because of the noise.
But I discovered two things.

1. When I couldn't hear it due to traffic or wind, the impression disappeared.
2. On a long very hard hilly tour with a cycling friend of 25 years who's my total equal cycling-wise, and who uses a derailleur-equipped bike, I was cycling a little better than him, no matter what the gradient. This was so on every hilly section. I attributed this to the fact that I was always in the best ratio, AND that the perceived loss of efficiency could not be real. There can be quite a difference between perception and reality and the results in my case clearly indicated that in reality there was no loss of efficiency.
Title: Re: I don't believe it's less efficient in gears 1-8
Post by: PeteCress on December 31, 2009, 07:57:19 PM
2. On a long very hard hilly tour with a cycling friend of 25 years who's my total equal cycling-wise, and who uses a derailleur-equipped bike, I was cycling a little better than him, no matter what the gradient. This was so on every hilly section. I attributed this to the fact that I was always in the best ratio, AND that the perceived loss of efficiency could not be real. There can be quite a difference between perception and reality and the results in my case clearly indicated that in reality there was no loss of efficiency.
I had a similar experience cycling a bridle trail with a guy in his thirties (I'll never see 65 again...).

His unsolicited comment:  "Geeze, that bike of yours can *really* climb."

Well, it' really can't climb that well bc it weighs a metric ton and sure as anything *I* can't climb that well.... It was, IMHO, just a matter of me being able to roll through 3-4 gear changes as needed.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: PeteCress on December 31, 2009, 07:59:05 PM
I have a problem that when the grip gets wet or sweaty gear changing can be difficult. I still haven't sorted this out.
You are not alone.

I find a shop rag - which I carry anyhow for when I need to change a tire - layed over the shifter knob helps a lot.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: mikerr on December 31, 2009, 10:21:26 PM
I don't own a Rohloff equipped bike but I am curious.
My only experience of hub gears was Sturmey Archer gears back in the 50s, 60s.

I have read about the Rohloff being noisy in certain gears.
However, I'm pretty deaf so I probably wouldn't notice too much.

My memories of riding hub gears are of having a detached feel through the pedals. Like you are not quite getting full grip and lacking efficiency.
To me derailleurs after the old hub gears were a revelation. Pedalling felt more direct, in touch with the rear wheel and road.

So my question, Rohloff hub owners, what is the feel like through the pedals?

Thanks,
Mike
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: PeteCress on January 01, 2010, 01:37:56 AM
I have read about the Rohloff being noisy in certain gears.
However, I'm pretty deaf so I probably wouldn't notice too much.
I'm borderline neurotic about noise and found the Rohloff a bit noisy in the beginning.

Now, I would say that noise is not an issue at all.   It has quieted down with wear (as it is reputed to do) and I think I have gotten used to whatever noise is left.

However, my memories of riding hub gears are of having a detached feel through the pedals. Like you are not quite getting full grip and lacking efficiency.
To me derailleurs after the old hub gears were a revelation. Pedalling felt more direct, in touch with the rear wheel and road.

So my question, Rohloff hub owners, what is the feel like through the pedals?

I'd say "Detached" is too strong a word, but there is something there.  When I ride my old StumpJumper, I can feel the diff.

But it didn't stop me from buying a second Rohloff for my FS bike.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: mikerr on January 01, 2010, 11:33:57 AM
Hi Pete, thanks for your answer.

Sorry, 'detached' was probably not the best choice of word but all I could think of, to describe my experience of riding Sturmey Archer hub gears.

I do appreciate the ride quality of hub gears would have improved over the years.

One day I must get round to trying out a Rohloff geared bike.

Mike
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: stutho on January 01, 2010, 11:43:50 AM
mikerr,

>Rohloff being noisy in certain gears.

Everyone gets worried about this  the hub does sound different to a derailer.   however once the hub is broken in (say 1000miles) the hub is on average quieter than derailer.    You are correct however that some gears are louder than others.  For most gear 7 is the worst.  BUT even gear 7 isn't probably as loud as your are expecting!

>what is the feel like through the pedals?

I am afraid this is  going to be even more subjective!  It is NOT the same feel to me and it takes a little getting use too! Many riders have complained of a feeling an extra resistance as if they are cycling through molasses (esp in gear 7), others say that they don't feel like they are travailing as fast.  HOWEVER  what is really odd is that those same riders, almost without exception, find that if they actual time there performance they see a noticeable improvement in speed!  (this is especially true for off road riders)

I don't ride much off road - my bike is set up for commuting and in the summers for touring.  I am approaching 20,000miles on the hub and I still notice difference in feel - It doesn't bother me but it is different  

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: julk on January 01, 2010, 01:38:03 PM
mikerr,
I also rode SA hub gears in the 50s and 60s moving on to derailleurs for a larger range of gears.
I now ride a Rohloff (in preference to derailleurs) and recommend you try one soon if you are into commuting, touring or pottering.
julian.

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: mikerr on January 01, 2010, 02:34:02 PM
Hi Stutho, thanks for your feedback.

The reported Rohloff noise wouldn't worry me too much. My derailleurs are not indexed and my gear changes are hardly the cleanest or noise free. Then once in gear there is the comfortable 'whirr' of the chain going round the jockey wheels. Assuming you are riding in a relatively noise free environment to be able to hear it.

I found reading your long term experiences of 'feel' at the pedals most interesting. Also, the observations and findings of other riders. Though I was surprised to hear of possible gains in speed by the off roaders.

Along with 'PeteCress' you have given me the answers I was looking for.

Thanks Guys,

Mike

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: mikerr on January 01, 2010, 03:24:07 PM
Hi Julian,

My original post/question on Rohloff 'feel through the pedals' was to mainly satisfy my curiosity.
Kind of something I've often wondered.

I have only just finished building my Sherpa and just read that Stutho has done 20,000 miles on his Rohloff bike.
So, got some serious catching up to do.

However, I will eventually try a Rohloff bike, it's just a matter of how long I can hold out.

Mike
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: geocycle on January 01, 2010, 03:47:04 PM
Happy new year!

Had my rohloff 3.5 years and my only regret is not having bought it earlier.  I don't notice the noise although it is still there in gear 7 and there is a very very slight feel through the pedals even after 10,000 miles.  I'm about to change the cables as the shifter has got noticeably stiffer in the last few weeks, could be just damp I suppose but maybe a bit of fraying.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Wanlock Dod on March 20, 2010, 02:50:11 PM
Hi there,

My responses to your questions would be:

1) Overall how does it compare to your Derailleur bikes?
There can be no going back

2) What should I look out for (advantages AND disadvantages) ?
advantages - less hassle, less maintenance, less mechanical incidents
disadvantages - fights could start out when a friend (or just somebody you see on the trail) with a gearing related mechanical breakdown asks for help, and the help you offer is the recommendation of getting a proper gearing system for thier bike

3) Would you go back to Derailleur ?
see 1

4) Anything else ?
I put a Rohloff on my MTB in 2000, in 2008 I got a new bike, but it's still running the same hub

It is quite clearly the way forward, although quite why so many folks haven't caulght on to this yet is beyond me.  I got a Raven tourer last year, and I'm expecting it to outlast me (no I'm not old).

Cheers,

Dod
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: gillybert on January 15, 2011, 10:59:22 PM
bought a sport tour april 2007 done 21000 on it runs as good as new running cost are a lot more than i expected but doing less servecing offsets that is 9000 miles out of a rohloff chain good or bad miles are mostly on the road
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on January 18, 2011, 01:37:54 PM
To mikerr, on the subject of noise on the Rohloff: I ride in a small town, on a few bits of smooth highway, and in dead quiet country lanes.

In town you can't hear the noise the Rohloff makes; the other noises drown it.

On smooth open highway (where I don't often ride because the cars travel at 110kph and the hard shoulder sometimes disappears) the small noise of the Schwalbe Big Apples on my bike drown out the gearbox noise.

In the quiet lanes you can hear and compare noises. The Rohloff under all conditions is quieter than the derailleur setups of the pedal pals. In all gears but 5-6-7 the general noise of tyres and the whoosh of air drowns out whatever noise a run-in Rohloff box makes, if any; even on the bench you have to listen to distinguish the mechanical noise in the other gears. The problem with the noise in the lower range, and especially in gear 7, is the quality of it rather than the volume of it. It is a sort of sighing sound that makes you think you're pedaling harder than you really are! I find that noise depressing, but others don't seem to attach any importance to it. I've become fitter (I spent yesterday with a cardiac specialist and on all kinds of machines to trace and view my heart, including a stress test) by switching out of 7 into 8 earlier and earlier... The noise does get less and less as the box runs in but my Rohloff has over 4000km on it and every 1000km when I make a subjective assessment it seems quieter still, so it may take a very long time and still not be as fully silent as, say, a Shimano Nexus 8 speed. But then, as the famous machinist Chalo Colina says, a Rohloff will be almost run-in roundabout the time you trash the first Nexus box and buy a second one.

Frankly, though I give you a full answer because you ask, I think this business about noise on the Rohloff is over-rated. First, a Rohloff isn't a commuting gearbox, or a comfort gearbox, or a luxury bike gearbox -- it is in fact intended to be an agricultural item indestructible in the hands of mudpluggers and guys who ride in sand on beaches. (Herr Rohloff designed it after sand wrecked his derailleur setup when he rode on the beach on his honeymoon...) Instead of going on about the little noise a Rohloff does make, we should wonder that something so agricultural makes so little noise! For the fact is that the Rohloff is objectively a silent gearbox in the same way that a Rolls of old was silent car (but you could get a big American Ford that cost less and was even more silent -- but would you want to be seen in it?). If the Rohloff cost two hundred quid instead of a thousand, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It is the elevated price that raises and distorts the expectation.

André Jute
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: freddered on January 18, 2011, 04:49:31 PM
To mikerr, on the subject of noise on the Rohloff: I ride in a small town, on a few bits of smooth highway, and in dead quiet country lanes.

In town you can't hear the noise the Rohloff makes; the other noises drown it.

On smooth open highway (where I don't often ride because the cars travel at 110kph and the hard shoulder sometimes disappears) the small noise of the Schwalbe Big Apples on my bike drown out the gearbox noise.

In the quiet lanes you can hear and compare noises. The Rohloff under all conditions is quieter than the derailleur setups of the pedal pals. In all gears but 5-6-7 the general noise of tyres and the whoosh of air drowns out whatever noise a run-in Rohloff box makes, if any; even on the bench you have to listen to distinguish the mechanical noise in the other gears. The problem with the noise in the lower range, and especially in gear 7, is the quality of it rather than the volume of it. It is a sort of sighing sound that makes you think you're pedaling harder than you really are! I find that noise depressing, but others don't seem to attach any importance to it. I've become fitter (I spent yesterday with a cardiac specialist and on all kinds of machines to trace and view my heart, including a stress test) by switching out of 7 into 8 earlier and earlier... The noise does get less and less as the box runs in but my Rohloff has over 4000km on it and every 1000km when I make a subjective assessment it seems quieter still, so it may take a very long time and still not be as fully silent as, say, a Shimano Nexus 8 speed. But then, as the famous machinist Chalo Colina says, a Rohloff will be almost run-in roundabout the time you trash the first Nexus box and buy a second one.

Frankly, though I give you a full answer because you ask, I think this business about noise on the Rohloff is over-rated. First, a Rohloff isn't a commuting gearbox, or a comfort gearbox, or a luxury bike gearbox -- it is in fact intended to be an agricultural item indestructible in the hands of mudpluggers and guys who ride in sand on beaches. (Herr Rohloff designed it after sand wrecked his derailleur setup when he rode on the beach on his honeymoon...) Instead of going on about the little noise a Rohloff does make, we should wonder that something so agricultural makes so little noise! For the fact is that the Rohloff is objectively a silent gearbox in the same way that a Rolls of old was silent car (but you could get a big American Ford that cost less and was even more silent -- but would you want to be seen in it?). If the Rohloff cost two hundred quid instead of a thousand, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It is the elevated price that raises and distorts the expectation.

André Jute


I agree except with the comparison with a Tractor.  When you compare derailleur and Rohloff then it is clear which one is agricultural.  Derailleur may be efficient but the mechanics of shifting gears is horrible and actually shouldn't even work.  It relies totally on the structural weakness/play of a chain to function.

By comparison the Rohloff is sheer precision.  14 gears, inside a "Coke Can", that will last >100,000km in all condiions.  It's extraordinary and I love owning one just for those reasons.

For several years it was my only bike.  I still think that for most people, if money is no object, then a Rohloff bike is the perfect bike.  Looking back I think a Sport Tour would have made a better choice for me than the Tour.  Maybe one day I will justify the bomb-proof build of the Tour.

It's generally this time of year when I appreciate it most though.  When the roads are covered in mud, salt and gravel.

I did a 600km ride in 40 hours on my RT.  I've done the same on a lighter derailleur bike and the result was identical.  I was totally knackered at the end both times.  That's why I don't think the gear-box is inefficient as people think.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: gillybert on January 22, 2011, 11:50:35 AM
been running a shimano allfine 8 speed hub for 4000 miles before i bought the rohloff becouse i thought it was a viable option and cheaper but after a mere 4000 miles it feels and sounds a bit second hand allso only having a 300 % gear range i found i was running out of gears up hill and down hills but round town very good the shimano is better at changing gear than the rohloff but as i said i can't see it lasting as well as the rohloff 
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Brian on March 27, 2011, 06:22:15 PM
I have to admit at the outset that I'm lucky enough to have 2 bikes - a Specialized Roubaix Expert which is great for when the roads are dry & I can getted decked out in Lycra & join my mates for a bit of speedy cycling. However I also have Thorn Raven Sports Tourer which is equipped with the Rohloff hub & which I use for commuting, Winter training & when it's wet or slippery. It's hard to compare the two gear sets because they are so very different, but I would say I've thoroughly enjoyed the Thorn & find the gears a joy in traffic (move up & down the gears at a standstill/approaching lights & junctions etc) & it's good to know in the filthy weather that a quick hosedown gets everything quickly cleaned up. I would also say that I can more or less hold my own when I'm out with my mates & they don't change bikes, so performance (at least on the Thorn Tourer) is not a major issue although we're hardly an elite group & all of us older guys. The lack of maintainance is a boon, as is the worry free operation & it's great to move through 3 or 4 gears at a time without worrying about crunching cogs. I just don't see the 'noise' issue. It's minority time you'll be in these lower gears & it's nothing more than a bit of 'whirring' which doesn't to me denote resistance or lack of performance & again in comparison to my mates, I'm not being left behind.
Which would I have if I had to choose? It would have to be the Thorn because that does it all commuting/touring/fun rides but I would miss the much quicker action of the deraileur & the sheer fun of a faster, lighter bike
Good Luck!
Brian


Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Brian on December 28, 2011, 01:31:43 PM
I've had a Rohloff hub on a Thorn Raven Sports for over two years now & it's been excellent in every way, particularly for commuting & winter riding. The so called 'noise' in the lower gears is a non event & this or any other downside is well offset by the ease of use, the ease of cleaning, the ability to change gear at a standstill (great in town traffic) & the fact the gears are so trouble free. The once a year & easy service is also such a bonus. I've not used the bike for touring yet, but would do so with great confidence.
I do also have a carbon framed road bike so haven't had to make a choice, but generally feel it's horses for courses & very much dependant on what sort of biking you're intending to do.
Good luck!
Brian
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Recumbentrohloff on December 28, 2011, 02:28:07 PM
I have a rather unusual bike- a Velotechnik Grasshopper fx (recumbent) fitted with a Rohloff and in my opinion it vastly improves the bike. It was a bit noisy to start with but after 3 years and about 10,000 miles it is just about run-in! I've ridden the bike in all sorts of non-recommended places but the Rohloff has never given a hint of any problem. My only maintenance has been about 4 oil changes and occasional regreasing of the external shifter box. (necessary on my bike because of the disk brake.) I'n now researching the possible purchase of a velomobile and one of my requirements is that it is possible to fit a Rohloff (not possible on the single sided wheel designs unfortunately) On any recumbent one of the greatest advantages of a Rohloff is the ability to change gears whilst stopped as it makes getting started so much easier!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: peteb on January 10, 2012, 09:37:40 PM
They are much better.

A Rohloff is reliable and long lasting. It is easier to change, even stationary. There is no rear mech to get caught in the wheel, or get bent. The wheel is stronger, as it is more dished.

Although it is heavier, the rotating mass is at the centre of the wheel, so you don;t notice it.

Expensive, but worth it. I'd rather rely on a Rohloff when touring in the back of beyond.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Pavel on February 07, 2012, 06:03:21 PM
This is a very interesting (and long running) thread.

If I were to read it as a person with no experience I think I'd be perfectly on the fence! :'(  I guess that there really is no substitute for personal experience just as it would also seem that one style of underwear does not fit all.  That last part is a true shame because it is only bike shopping that I enjoy for hours at a stretch.   ;D

I had (Until last week) a derailleur bike as well as my Moulton TSR14.  That is what the dealer called it after we put the rohloff on the bike that started life as a well designed TSR 27.  The wisdom of this surgery, time will tell, but I have scratched my Rohloff itch in fine style I think. I was not particularly a fan of the Rohloff at the beginning at all.  I've just ordered a Thorn Nomad, rather than a more reasonably affordable Sherpa, and I don't really need the luggage rating. I think that illustrates my feelings on the Rohloff - BEST underwear EVER!  8)

As I mentioned I did not care for the Rohloff very much before ordering it.  My journey to that decision rested on the fact that while I am a highly experienced, but out of shape cyclist (who took a twenty year break due to a wife who went cycling with me ONCE - up to the first part of the FIRST hill only) my girlfriend is scared of cycling.  Very scared and intimidated. She is eager to go but only on the terms that she is comfortable on.  That would be a walmart bike with NO gears and NO complicated brake levers.  Step through only and one stops (I think they could) by pedaling backwards.

Yikes!

So I plotted.

I bought the moulton because it seems to be a finely crafted bicycle just as is the Nomad, though for a completely different type of riding.  It IS a marvelous bike btw.  It is step through so I got a grudging ok on that point. I brow beat the poor lady with graphic possibilities until she relented on the brakes.  Actually it was in explaining that she only had to use one that did the trick.  Next came the explanation of how to change gears.  Now she was not going to bother coming with me. Would I still get sandwiches made, laundry laundered and shorts picked out?  I was worried.
I could see that changing gears with a derailleur was a step too far for her.  I'd sooner get her to skydive.  That is when I went to Mr Rohloff.  It is straight forward.  Turn a thingamadoodad which is right under your natural hand position. One way for hills going up - the other for going down.  End of complicated explanation!  It WORKED!!!!!!  Now there is a Rohloff advantage I'd not head of.  Bring us you timid, your weak - your freaked out.  Yeah.  Don't laugh.  This was serious ... without it I could not have called up SJS cycles and spoke those wonderful words - I'll take "that one"!  Do you see how much that hub has done for me? 8)

My own progression towards the light has consisted of little things.  The grass paths I used to like cycling on years ago took my deraileur off once and bent them on a regular basis.  My Moulton is not made for the same ventures but when my Nomad arrives - It is a small thing perhaps to have peace of mind - but significant just the same.  My top gears are utterly silent and the whir of the lower gears is kind of comforting as well.  I think of it like the exhaust grumble of a fine muscle-car.  ;D
I never would have guessed that it is nice not to have to change down two or three gears before you stop.  I was so used to doing that all these years but yet it is nice to have the freedom to just turn that dial anytime you want.  Yeah!  I don't know how long lived this setup will be.  It certainly is a kludge on the moulton.  It works well but I'd hate to have to fiddle around on a long tour with no eccentric bottom bracket.  You see the thorn bikes are at one extreme end of the bicycling spectrum.  Although there are drivetrain choices, every Thorn appears to have the same engineering mandate - to be as strong and maintenance happy as is possible.  Right?  Well if that is the case - does the Rohloff, despite some small issues, no complete the Thorn gestalt? I believe it does.

The Rohloff, to my way of thinking, completes the Thorn ethos, and like the last piece of a marvelous puzzle - Needs to be fitted in. After all, what is a Thorn if not the ultimate?

Now if the above is overly dramatic ... remember .... it was penned by one suffering through the "waiting for my Thorn" fever.  You've all been there ... haven't cha?

 :P :P
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on February 07, 2012, 07:19:37 PM
Oh, the unrealized wonders of a Rohloff!  :D Thanks, Pavel!

You soliloquized...
Quote
...the moulton.  It works well but I'd hate to have to fiddle around on a long tour with no eccentric bottom bracket...
One solution is available here: http://philwood.com/products/bbpages/philcentric.php.  It works well though you would likely need half-links to aid in taking up wear. It is not too unlike the mini-eccentric used on the Mercury, but executed differently.

As for riding with your girlfriend...there is another possibility that should make Robin happy: A Thorn tandem! My own tandem was purchased with the idea of making the companionship and adventure of cycling available and attractive to (hopefully female) riders who might not go otherwise. I have had mixed success in that regard, but the benefits are undeniable -- conversation is easy, a tandem is a great equalizer for riders of unequal power output and ability, there is no gear-shifting or braking necessary for the stoker, and you arrive at the top and bottom of hills together. Add in the magical social qualities of a Rohloff hub, and there ya go!

Best,

Dan.

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: JimK on February 08, 2012, 02:46:50 AM
I was out riding a couple days ago and contemplating the Rohloff. The more I ride with it, the more I enjoy it. I can shift smoothly with just the slightest let-up over maybe a quarter of a crank rotation. And I can shift even four or five steps in that short time. (More than that is more than my wrist can handle & so requires two shifts). I never have to think about shifting front vs rear or what. When I am fresh, that's a fun puzzle, but when deliriously tired I had been finding myself in all kinds of weird crossed over and dead-end ring-sprocket combinations. When starting on a steep slope I shift to 4 and then pump a few hard strokes to get a bit of momentum, then quick shift down to 1 to get the cadence back up and continue steady up the hill. So it's not just the fun of shifting at a dead stop, but also shifting several steps when going really slow.

No regrets here!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Reuel on April 28, 2012, 05:54:13 AM
The comments I posted on page 4 were after about 7 months of regular usage. My opinion back then was that, it's heavy with some drag and therefore good for utility rides but not for longer century rides.

After a further 2½ years of use I am now totally reliant on my Rohloff equipped Surly Cross Check. I also can't drive! It probably has become smoother in operation with use but also I've reassembled it with a Mavic Open Pro rim and Marathon Supreme tyre. With these “light weight” components the bike feels more agile, responsive etc. etc. The only problem I have now “living with a Rohloff hub” is that leaving the bike locked up in public places causes quite a bit of nervousness. Consequently I still keep a derailleur bike with entry level Shimano components for locking up on the footpath and going for a haircut or cinema... that sort of thing.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on April 28, 2012, 06:07:13 AM
Reuel,

Thanks very much for the followup! It is really helpful to those of us who have never ridden a Rohloff to see how they "age" and also how you addressed its shortcomings to make it right for you and your needs.

Wishing you the best, with continued good use of your Rohloff-equipped bike,

Dan.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Recumbentrohloff on April 28, 2012, 11:35:43 AM
My Rohloff (on a Grasshopper recumbent) is now about three years old and has done about 11,000 miles. It's just about "run-in" now and has more than justified the expense. Obviously on a recumbent (which starts out heavier than a DF road bike anyway) the % weight increase is less noticeable but the ability to change gears whilst stopped is a huge advantage. My previous experience with dérailleur equipped bikes was one of continual maintenance and adjustment but ,with Mr Rohloff's hub, all I do is an annual oil change! My next machine will be a Quest velomobile-- according to all the reviews a wonderful piece of applied technology- but unfortunately NOT a candidate for a Rohloff because of the single sided rear wheel mounting. It looks as if I'll have to get used to tinkering with dérailleurs again!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: energyman on April 29, 2012, 11:45:04 PM
Best thing since sliced bread.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: il padrone on April 30, 2012, 10:45:29 AM
Pitlocks are against forum rules?? How come my post disappeared? ???
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: wheezy on April 30, 2012, 04:55:03 PM
Pitlocks are against forum rules?? How come my post disappeared? ???

 :o He said it again!!! Mods! Over here!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on April 30, 2012, 06:31:18 PM
I do recall seeing it, but the Forum was down very briefly a couple times yesterday, so it may have been lost in the hiccup. My posts at that time didn't seem to appear till I refreshed my browser a couple times and one never did make it. I checked "Down for Everyone or Just Me" and thorncycles.co.uk was down for all at those times.

I don't think your post was pulled, Pete (it was a little off-topic for this heading, but Pitlock discussion isn't against the Forum rules).

All the best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: sg37409 on April 30, 2012, 10:17:44 PM
all i said was that piece of fish was good enough for Jehova.
</monty python>
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on April 30, 2012, 10:50:12 PM
It's the Morlocks who keep the Internet working. Occasionally they get hungry and gobble up a post or two.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: wheezy on May 01, 2012, 04:12:47 PM
all i said was that piece of fish was good enough for Jehova.
</monty python>

You're only making it worse for yourself.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: StuntPilot on September 29, 2013, 09:43:52 PM
Moving away from fish ... a recent 6200km tour has made me mostly forget about transmission/gears/derailleur/problems. The Rohloff just works. The only comments I have is that a few times (5 or 6) in gear 4 it would drop into a lower gear for a second or so before engaging the true 4th gear.

An ease off of pressure between 7 and 8 is also required but seemed to have become less necessary as the tour went on (or I got into the habit!).

The cables remained in a good state and the gear changing remained consistent both in feel and in performance and without problem.

On a long tour there are other things to enjoy. You don't need technical problems. In my experience the Rohloff hub removes any transmission problems. Fit and forget.

Now I have changed the oil again after the tour and it is even sweeter. Love it!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: ads677 on November 11, 2013, 10:57:33 AM
As a matter of interest, where does your gear selector point?  On my newly acquired Raven the pointer (or beak!) points in between the numbered gear selected, meaning I am not (yet) aware of which gear I have selected.

Or is this something that can easily be remedied by adjusting the twist-grip?

Ads
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: StuntPilot on November 11, 2013, 12:22:47 PM
Ads

I have attached an image from the Rohloff Manual showing how to adjust the position of the gear indicator. Click on the image to expand and you should be able to read it.

I found it is worth buying the Rohloff Service Manual to better understand the Rohloff system.

Any further questions and someone on the forum will be glad to advise.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: ads677 on November 11, 2013, 12:28:14 PM
Thanks StuntPilot, looks straightforward enough.

Ads
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: il padrone on November 11, 2013, 12:54:11 PM
You should not need to BUY the service manual. It's available for download on the Rohloff website (in English) for free, along with the owner's manual and the mounting (installation) manual. I had to download all as I bought the hub from Germany..... with German manuals  :-[
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: StuntPilot on November 11, 2013, 01:19:32 PM
True! I should have said 'get hold of'. They can be found here ...

http://www.rohloff.de/en/service/downloads/documentation/index.html
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on November 11, 2013, 03:45:48 PM
Quote
As a matter of interest, where does your gear selector point?  On my newly acquired Raven the pointer (or beak!) points in between the numbered gear selected, meaning I am not (yet) aware of which gear I have selected.
Hi Ads!

To read about my similar experience, see this post incorporating some of Andre's comments: http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=4573.msg22471#msg22471

I have made no effort to tighten my cables 'cos shifting still functions fine and has never missed a shift to date. I don't want to make the cable too tight for appearance' sake over function. Remember, the indexing is in the hub and the lever simply reflects where the shifting shaft is in its travel and is the result in part of cable tension.

Coming from a derailleur-based road bike background, I was initially a bit disturbed by the apparent lack of precision, but in practice it really doesn't matter on the Rohloff, which is shifted more by need.

Best,

Dan. (...whose Rohloff still works fine with cables a bit slack from new)
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on November 11, 2013, 06:49:13 PM
As a matter of interest, where does your gear selector point?  On my newly acquired Raven the pointer (or beak!) points in between the numbered gear selected, meaning I am not (yet) aware of which gear I have selected.

Or is this something that can easily be remedied by adjusting the twist-grip?

Ads

There is usually around one stop of play to either side of the gear you're actually in. Messing around at the handlebar end will get you nothing except perhaps a need to buy new cables and pay a professional to fit them. If you're obsessive, you could centre the play on the actual gear by adjusting the knurled nuts on the EXT box where the cables enter it. See the handbook. But most people with experience with the Rohloff, or good advice available, perhaps from a forum like this one, don't bother. The chain on a Rohloff transmission, and the cables to it, are supposed to be loosey goosey, as Sheldon Brown so memorably described the peculiar precision only on the outside of the Rohloff gearbox. After a while you'll wonder why you ever wondered: you'll just change gears up and down as you need them, by the seat of your pants, without noticing that you're changing gears.

I rode 18km today across various pieces of flat and inclined road and at no time could I tell you the number of the gear I was in, though I knew which gear I was in: the right gear, which, in combination with the road, would put my heart rate at 115bpm. Every time the heart rate changed more than marginally, the device would beep and I would change a gear, meanwhile carrying on a conversation with the pedal pals, who were struggling with derailleurs.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: sd on April 05, 2014, 07:50:01 AM
     God made Rohloff, disc brakes and Marathon Plus for people like me who have to cycle to the pub on unlit rural pubs, where badgers, deer, pheasants and trees like to jump out at you for know reason whatsoever.
    God made Rohloff, disc brakes and Marathon plus for lazy bastards like me who want to do bugger all maintance whatsoever but will settle for a little!
    God made Rohloff, disc brakes and Marathon Plus for people like me who can add up and therefore know that in the long run they will save money and therefore be able to spend it on important things like
 beeeeeer.
    PS the first paragraph should read cycling back from the pub!
    PPS The Badgers are just as much nuisance on the way to the pub.
    PPPS I forgot pheasants and ducks who appear to be desperate to take your head off causing you to find yourself off road on wet slippery grass.
    PPPPS and creepy owls who fly 20yards to one side of you at the same speed and then slowly turn there head and stare at you....wet slippery grass.
     Oh and the stars on cloudless nights.
    All of the latter could at least damage your derailleurs and my old number one bike had disc front and rim brake back I have replaced the rear wheel 5 times due to ware. Often when the rim collapsed. Marathon plus! I reckon last week was the first puncture in 2 years. Remember punctures are lost beer time!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: sd on April 05, 2014, 08:00:04 AM
As a matter of interest, where does your gear selector point?  On my newly acquired Raven the pointer (or beak!) points in between the numbered gear selected, meaning I am not (yet) aware of which gear I have selected.

Or is this something that can easily be remedied by adjusting the twist-grip?

Ads
Simple live with it and don't look at the gear changer, look at the road ahead or you will miss your turning for the pub.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: sd on April 05, 2014, 08:54:43 AM
You should not need to BUY the service manual. It's available for download on the Rohloff website (in English) for free, along with the owner's manual and the mounting (installation) manual. I had to download all as I bought the hub from Germany..... with German manuals  :-[

Not sure about that, cost of printing your own can be more and I find using a tablet a nuisance.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jags on April 05, 2014, 11:27:13 AM
SD that's a hell of a busy route you take to the pub but an interesting one for sure.
you must live in the sticks  as you paint a class picture or rural life.
good luck with your hunt for the perfect bike for your needs rohloff are good but so too is shimano  and every bit as silent and efficient. ;)

jags.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: sd on April 05, 2014, 12:19:02 PM
Quote
author=jags link=topic=675.msg59935#msg59935 date=1396693633]
SD that's a hell of a busy route you take to the pub but an interesting one for sure.
you must live in the sticks  as you paint a class picture or rural life.
good luck with your hunt for the perfect bike for your needs rohloff are good but so too is shimano  and every bit as silent and efficient. ;)

jags.
Not all the pub routes are that busy. And we do have one scheduled bus a week so sticks is fairly accurate. I have a Charge Mixer bicycle with Alfine 11 but don't like it. No, Rohloff is a must and disc brakes oh and S & S. No down side so that is also a must. I would buy second hand no problems but I don't think I will get a Thorn Rohloff tourer with disc front and rear brakes second hand?
 PS 57 and some big hills (not massive) and have septic arthritis so best not to stand up. So those extra gears a big benefit. Live on the Lincolnshire Wolds so rolling hills most of the time.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: in4 on April 05, 2014, 12:31:29 PM
there is a mercury on the sjs site at a reduced price. It has disc brakes. Might suit if you are cashed up and the size is right.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: sd on April 05, 2014, 12:49:12 PM
there is a mercury on the sjs site at a reduced price. It has disc brakes. Might suit if you are cashed up and the size is right.

  Thorn Mercury 580L Team White with Carbon Disc Road Fork - EX DISPLAY
Touch expensive!! It is a tourer? Is the Nomad a tourer? Would prefer 26". The lady I spoke said there was no choice I would have to have front suspension if want disc. Although I don't know why I am bothered as hit a pothole once and fley over handle bars almost head butting the back of a lorry. Expect front suspension would have helped.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: in4 on April 05, 2014, 01:37:42 PM
Mercury = very beautiful but you don't get that kind of beauty cheap, besides its not 26in.
If you refer to the Nomad brochure I believe there is a technical explanation as to why you would need  sus' forks to use a front disc provided. There was a s/h Nomad for sale here a while ago that had a rear disc but all the others have had rim brakes.

What size are you looking for? The forum community here are very helpful and would bring any that might be of interest to your attention.

PS I'd countenance against head-butting a lorry :)
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: sd on April 05, 2014, 03:55:12 PM
Mercury = very beautiful but you don't get that kind of beauty cheap, besides its not 26in.
If you refer to the Nomad brochure I believe there is a technical explanation as to why you would need  sus' forks to use a front disc provided. There was a s/h Nomad for sale here a while ago that had a rear disc but all the others have had rim brakes.

What size are you looking for? The forum community here are very helpful and would bring any that might be of interest to your attention.

PS I'd countenance against head-butting a lorry :)

Yeah I think I will go with  suspension. I was just going through  a puddle and there was very deep pothole which threw me over the handle bars. I always assumed that it wouldn't have been as bad with suspension. Not going to find a pothole to test my theory. I am 5' 9.5”. 31" inside leg.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: sd on April 07, 2014, 03:05:07 PM
I take it back S&S is £520?? Not for me. Just thought it would save me money going to US. Doubt it.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: pyjamas on August 26, 2014, 09:11:35 PM
Before I bought my Thorn RT in 2007, I read everything Andy Blance had to say about the Rohloff hub, both for and against.  What he did not mention is the drag in the hub.  Evidence for this is seen in the way the pedals turn when I walk the bike, although the handbook says they should not.  I have taken the bike back to Bridgewater to have this dealt with, to no effect.

I also tested the hub when I had the chain off, and it was very evident that there was more drag in some gears than in others.  I'd say first was the worst for drag, and 11th was best, as one would expect.  So this has proved a disappointment, especially since I've taken to riding out with a friend, who is always kidding me about haveing to pedal downhill if I want to keep up with his freewheeling!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on August 26, 2014, 09:58:42 PM
Seven years later you still have a bike that disappoints you? I admire your patience and tolerance, sir.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: triaesthete on August 27, 2014, 01:16:01 AM

 To plagiarise BMW:  that's a characteristic not a fault Sir. 
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on August 27, 2014, 09:10:47 AM
Or Bill Gates: "That's not an failure, that's a feature!"
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on August 27, 2014, 12:44:28 PM
Hi All!

In my opinion and experience, the one area where the Rohloff hub noticeably lags behind a freewheel or cassette-based derailleur drivetrain is in coasting performance.

This is understandable, given the extra freewheel sets in play and the multiple lip seals necessary to keep oil in and water out in severe conditions -- one of the Rohloff hubs' greatest virtues.

I just completed a double crossing (and considerably more) of both Eastern and Western Europe on AndyBG's Rohloff-equipped RavenTour with internal shifter. This has been a particularly smooth and quiet example and never even once missed a shift. However, down posted 9-10% grades with a full touring load, I struggled to make downhill speeds above 53kph even while in a full aero tuck. On similar grades with similar loads on my loaded derailleur touring bikes, I've easily managed to top 90kph.

Other people's experience may vary, but I've found similar results with the Rohloff and external shift box on my 2012 Nomad Mk2.

According to my bike computer's speedometer, drag is least when descending in direct drive Gear 11; no surprise there.

I've not found this to be a problem in practice, as with my fast-light pedaling cadence, I rarely coast and am nearly always under drive. Under drive, the Rohloff feels very, very close to my derailler-equipped bicycles in efficiency, absent the quarter-turn of the cogset needed to shift and the chain shock those bikes display with every shift. By the time the Rohloff makes it's indexed click at the hub, it is already in gear -- even if shifted while stationary.

For me, coasting descents at 53kph on a loaded touring bike are plenty fast enough on good roads, and more than needed on poor surfaces. If I truly felt the need to go faster, I could always upshift and pedal downhill. I think greater friction while coasting is a more than fair trade for the hub's other virtues, but I've found greater coasting drag is certainly evident and empirically reproducible in use. The friction is far more apparent at high speeds than at usual touring speeds, where I've found the differences to be minimal.

That said, I can't think of a better drivetrain for my tour, still to be concluded. There are no signs of wear on the Rohloff cog or Surly stainless chainring. I took great care to keep the exposed chain clean and well lubricated and there is no rust despite heavy rains. I used Purple Extreme lubricant, which in my experience lasts longer on straight chain lines than on derailleur drivetrains. The chain showed a lot of initial stretch and exhibited some snatch while stretched I initially mistook for a failing bottom bracket.  Simply taking up the excess with the eccentric put all right and everything meshes smoothly and silently.

Tip: On this particular combination of 36 X 17 gearing on this frame size/chain stay length, a doubling over of a couple links made me think they could be removed when in fact doing so would have made the chain just short of joining and without the necessary amount of needed slack. I simply rejoined the chain with a second quick-link, which will allow tool-free shortening in the future. It turned out to be such a good idea, I plan to do the same on my Nomad and would suggest a similar approach to others. When that day finally comes when you need to shorten the chain by a link pair and dial back the eccentric, the whole job can be done on the side of the road in all of five minutes.

Best,

Dan.  (...who thinks despite coasting friction, Rohloffs are anything but a drag)
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: triaesthete on August 30, 2014, 11:57:39 AM

 Dan, can there not be other factors at work here??  Surely, if the hub was acting as a drag brake and scrubbing off 37kph it would be generating considerable heat on any longish descent ??? Perhaps one of you out there with a head for physics calculations could tell us how many Watts the seals are theoretically absorbing  :P

I've caught a few deralieurised roadies on descents round here, however this may be due to the RST on Marathon Supremes having vastly superior levels of grip (notably in the wet), braking power and bump absorption/tracking stability compared to road bikes. It also helps that the Swiss top blue and CSS rim combination doesn't start to melt and fade after a few seconds hard use like conventional rubber brake blocks on aluminium.

Curious days
Ian
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Kuba on August 30, 2014, 01:48:22 PM
I've easily managed 75 km/h on downhills on my Raven Tour, in once case fairly lightly loaded. I've never ridden this fast on any other bike, and that's possibly due to the RT being super stable and reasurring on downhills. Also have done 63 km/h on a bendy road in Wales last weekend with no load at all, it could have easily been much faster but I didn't know the road and had to brake before each corner. So Dan, if you can do max 53 kp/h then there's something wrong there.

That said, the RT doesn't feal nearly as nippy as my old XTC used to on uphills and the noise does bother me. Also I'm not a great fan of the Rohloff shifter. Rohloff drivetrain certainly has its advantages but overall, with no expedition touring plans for the next couple of years, I'll be seeling on my RT/Cyclosportif combo shortly and goint back to XTC. It's the best do-it-all bike that I've ever ridden and - to me - it feels way nicer to ride than the RT. As for the drag, I'm not sure if it's there and if it is, certainly it doesn't matter overall. But the feel... not for me.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on August 30, 2014, 02:23:36 PM
Hi Ian! Hi Kuba!

Just wondering...d'you have an idea how much distance your Rohloffs have covered?

I'm thinking a worn-in hub could be a key determinant in the apparent friction.

A friend with a Rohloff in another brand of bike also experienced slower coasting till his hub was well used. Now, it is much closer to his derailleur bikes' coasting performance.

As with my derailleur bikes, with my low-pressure, high - cadence pedaling style, I really only coast down steep hills when carrying a load. Unladen,  downhills are usually under drive as well.

What all this means is my hubs rarely coast. I'm wondering if that means seal wear has been relatively reduced as well. Yes, unlike a cassette/freewheel, an IGH can rotate at a speed different than the drive pinion, but the differential is not as great as when coasting with the pedals still.

I'm not the least dissatisfied with the performance of my own Rohloff of Andy's; quite the opposite! 'Just noticed the only really perceptible difference between it/them and my derailleur bikes was noticeable slower coasting at high speeds. At touring speeds, the difference is virtually unnoticeable. Both Rohloff bikes seem to have similar spin-down times when turning the cranks with the rear wheels elevated, and the cranks on both rotate, but not strongly.

Andy's hub was slightly quieter and smoother than mine but both functioned identically.

Of course, there's many factors that differ between these bikes and my derailleur bikes.  Some key factors could include wheel diameter,  tire section width, and tire pressure, construction, and weight. How much is due to the hub? Ah, that's the question here. Unless everything was the same *except* for the hub, there's really no way to tell. For example, my Nomad runs 26x2.0 Duremes, while Andy's RD uses Marathon Deluxe. My rando bike uses 700x32 road slicks. That's got to make a difference right there.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: triaesthete on August 30, 2014, 09:33:43 PM

 Not ceteris paribus then Dan  :o

I find the RST is the go to bike 99% of the time now. I find myself riding along saying, in a Mr Cholmondley Warner type of voice " Ah! Smooth! As if it were a Rolls Royce."  because it's so plush.               https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4CXY6TVBMc

Such a beautiful blend of qualities and abilities and simplicity. I'd say the RST mk2 was Andy's masterpiece and a classic Thorn insofar as it was the one they wanted to make, and they made it how they wanted, before being forced to follow the market up the disc brake 700c route.   Timelessly good in the way of old BMW flat twins or Andre's Citroens.

Lucky to have one, happy days
Ian
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Neil Jones on August 30, 2014, 10:40:08 PM
I wholeheartedly agree on your opinion of the RST Ian, it's a superb bike. I also enjoyed the Harry Enfield clip too  :D.
Regards, Neil.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Slammin Sammy on August 30, 2014, 10:52:22 PM
Hilarious!  ;D :D ;D
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on August 30, 2014, 11:13:43 PM
I've caught a few deralieurised roadies on descents round here, however this may be due to the RST on Marathon Supremes having vastly superior levels of grip (notably in the wet), braking power and bump absorption/tracking stability compared to road bikes. It also helps that the Swiss top blue and CSS rim combination doesn't start to melt and fade after a few seconds hard use like conventional rubber brake blocks on aluminium.

It does seem that both elements, large and competent tyres, and an intrinsically stable bike geometry, are hugely underrated speed breeders, especially downhill. A modern road bike is of course intrinsically unstable; that short wheelbase could be purpose-designed to make it twitchy.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: JimK on August 30, 2014, 11:49:03 PM
how many Watts the seals are theoretically absorbing 

ooo I like a challenge!

So here is my approach. I use http://bikecalculator.com/ - plugging in 91 Kg total weight for bike and rider, clinchers, drops, 0 watts from the rider: a 13% downhill grade gives about 90 kph, a 5% downhill grade gives 53 kph.

Assuming ceteris paribus, it's like the Rohloff is soaking up 8% of grade. Every hour, 8% of 53 kilometers, i.e. 4.24 kilometers, of vertical energy is being dissipated. Equivalently, every second 1.18 meters of vertical energy is being dissipated. With a 91 kg weight and a planet tugging with 9.8 m/sec^2, that comes out to:

1050 watts.

burn, baby, burn!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: il padrone on August 31, 2014, 12:31:48 AM
There has got to be other factors at play here Dan. Yesterday I rode a couple of fast descents with friends. In the lead group two of us were on Rohloffs, two were on derailleurs. A good range of builds and aero forms were involved, but we all coasted to a max speed of about 65-68kmh. I don't have any problems cracking 60kmh on a good descent as long as I go into a tuck.

I have yet to hit 80 on the Thorn Nomad, but that's more a case of lack of opportunity rather than friction drag. I have hit 70 on a few occasions.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: JimK on August 31, 2014, 01:17:39 AM
40 mph is about my max speed, but I wear baggy clothes and sit up higher to catch more wind on a big descent.

We have bears, deer, fuel oil delivery trucks, soccer moms, and plenty of other strange things liable to dart out onto the roadway. I don't even like going 40. Yeah, someplace where the view is wide open, what a blast, I would sure let out the stops. Not around here!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: il padrone on August 31, 2014, 02:29:01 AM
Yes, I was talking about descending speeds on open, clear, country road tours.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: triaesthete on August 31, 2014, 02:56:36 AM
 Thanks for the proof Jim ( I sort of had you in mind  ;) )   I thought it would be a big number. Maybe there is some sort of regenerative braking energy transfer to the rider via the Brooks leather conductor that powers Dan's intellect  :o  he must get it from somewhere!
Say this in the Grayson voice:  "Air brake trousers will soon catch on and be all the rage Sir".


Andre have you noticed how the pros crash a lot these days. There are theories that many are zonked out on unbanned (ie race legal) pain killers, but there must be more to it than that. I wonder if race bike design will come back around to the old maxim "to finish first first you must finish!"

Neil, Sammy, glad you liked Harry. I'll tell Dan it was a jolly good condiment to rather than a divergence from the thread.

Neil do you think there are more like us out there?

Cheerio
Ian
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on August 31, 2014, 08:02:09 AM
Just got the bike out of the hotel storage and was playing with it in the beautiful Tree Grove park next door here in Calara?i.

I think it may be measuring error, at least in part. I bought and fitted a Sigma 8.12 computer in Germany,  and the magnetic pickup isn't solidly mounted to the spoke. Instead, it snaps over and is loosely fixed by a stainless oversleeve that allows it to still rotate on the spoke.

Even with the magnet mounted near the hub, it is a bit of a reach and at high wheel speeds, I think the sensor is missing counts, causing a spurious readout at higher speeds. It surely doesn't help to have the computer sensor mounted by a rubber o-ring. There is an option to use zip ties but mine came without and I haven't been able to source narrow ones along the way while on-tour.

<nods> Yes, far from all things being equal for a comparison, but the sensor pickup does seem to be off at higher speeds and the gap is not consistent and the mounts are shaky, so that increases the likelihood it is at least partly responsible for my impression. Certainly, the rear wheel spins freely enough when held up to see. Remember, I'm riding solo so I don't have another bike and rider to compare to on downhills and must depend on the readout.  If that's off, well, GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) on data collection.

All the best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Neil Jones on August 31, 2014, 08:46:26 AM
Hi Ian,
When I first joined the forum a few years ago there seemed to be quite a few RST owners posting on here, unfortunately since it was discontinued there seem to be far fewer. I don't know how well the Mercury is selling but there doesn't appear to be many owners posting about them. I totally agree with you that the RST is a superb and underrated bike, perhaps it is it's ability to be a "jack of all trades" that is it's downfall.

I have recently bought a used Raven Tour in great condition but just need to change a few components for my riding preferences, I will do this over the next couple of months once funds allow. I've bought it for touring and as a backup for the RST so I don't have to rush with my maintenance. I'm looking forward to comparing the two (the Tour has drops).

One thing is for certain, I love the Rohloff Hub and will never sell my RST, it's the best bike I've ever owned.

Regards, Neil.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Rockymountain on August 31, 2014, 02:12:40 PM
I've been thinking about replying to this thread for a while. I have a Nomad Mk2 and a new Raven as well as a Bob Jackson World Tour and a Surly LHT - the latter two having traditional derailleur gears. I have always found the Nomad and Raven to be slow and hard work when pedalling for my normal 35-40 mile rides through the country lanes north of London. I have a 37 mile ride and find that I am nearly 20 mins slower (on average) on my Raven compared with the Bob Jackson. Having said that, when I use the Thorn bikes for what I purchased them for, namely fully loaded touring, I don't find much reduction in speed from unloaded. However the derailleur bikes are considerably slower when fully loaded.

I love the Rohloff when I'm on tour - both bikes are streets ahead of the Surly, for example. But my pedalling style just doesn't suit the Rohloff on normal day rides. I know a number of people here talk about doing 200km audaxes on their Ravens - I just don't seem to have the energy in my legs to do more than 100km in one day on my Raven.

For me it's a case of horses for courses. I'll stick to the Bob Jackson for my daily rides and the Thorns for my loaded tours.

BW

Fraser
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Slammin Sammy on August 31, 2014, 02:56:29 PM
Re: Downhill speeds - I too am reluctant to exceed 50kph on any pushbike. The Nomad is wonderfully stable, and the brakes work fine, but I'm just mindful of my emergency braking distance going downhill at high speeds, and the instinct for self-preservation cuts in like a limiter.

It might also have something to do with age. I was young, 10 feet tall and bullet proof once, and have ridden motorcycles well in excess of 230mph on many occasions, thankfully without incident. But I've had some close calls over the years, and have ended my motorbike career after some spells of vertigo on the bike scared the day lights out of me. These days, I try to ride in total control at all times, but I still get around.  8)

I'd also have to agree the Nomad is a slow bike in comparison with my Trek 520, and my wife feels the same way about her Raven step-through. I have put it down to weight, tyre width, riding position, etc., but maybe it is the hub. Jim, where did you get the 8% drop in efficiency from? (Physics was never one of my strong subjects.) The bikes are still a joy to ride, especially when loaded up, as Fraser points out, but I'm looking for an extended stem for the Trek to make it more comfortable for my aging bod, and will use it as my fast tourer and workout bike.

Dan, I'm not sure you will have access to one, but a GPS is by far the most accurate measuring instrument over any speed and with reasonable distance. I find my Cateye sometimes drifts at high speeds, as well.

Finally, I would think Fraser that it's unusual for someone to own both a Nomad Mk2 and a new Raven. Care to comment on their respective ride qualities?
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Rockymountain on August 31, 2014, 03:26:38 PM
Nomad Mk2 vs Raven - I actually find them very similar riding although the Raven is lighter in weight. I'm using Schwalbe Marathon Extremes 2.0 (with Grizzly CCS rimmed wheels) on both and the feel is similar. I bought the Raven as a light do-everything bike for touring and day rides but I've found it a bit sluggish for the latter. The Nomad is slightly slower, as would be expected but I find the ride a tad more comfortable (that may be down to the bike's fit - it's a 580L whereas the Raven is a 565L). The major difference comes when fully loaded with the Nomad being much much more stable.

If I had to choose on bike, I'd go for the Nomad Mk2. The Raven hasn't quite delivered on my expectations - and that's probably because it is a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Having said all that, the Nomad is a cracking bike and, in reality, I have no lasting regrets about owning two Thorns.

Fraser
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: JimK on August 31, 2014, 05:02:24 PM
Jim, where did you get the 8% drop in efficiency from?

Up thread a page or two, Danneaux reported a max downhill speed of 90 kph on a deralleur bike vs 53 kph on a Rohloff bike. That was my raw input, then I used the on-line bike-calculator to try to turn that into some numbers.

Note, I wouldn't call it an 8% drop in efficiency. Using bikecalculator, it looked like a Rohloff would coast down a 13% slope about as fast as a derailleur bike would coast down a 5% slope. Tricky to get the right sense of these sorts of comparisons! Efficiency is generally about power in vs power out. Coasting at a steady speed down a big hill, there is no pedal power in, and all the work done by gravity is being dissipated by air resistance. So maybe the efficiency is undefined or maybe it is zero, but anyway it isn't really changing from one bike to the other!

I gotta say, I suspect Dan's hypothesis on a faulty speedometer, that sounds like a likely culprit. If I let myself coast down a 13% slope... well, I wear baggy clothes and sit upright, too! But I am pretty sure I would blow by 53 kph no problem. I can't imagine 90 kph, but anyway. Egads and with loaded panniers too?! But that changes the aerodynamics as well. That is one huge problem with my calculation. Bikecalculator does not have a setting for loaded panniers! I should have notched the weight up another 40 pounds or so, yeah, but still there is no knob for the air resistance of the panniers, which is no small thing.

That is one fun thing about bikes! The simple things you see are all complicated!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on August 31, 2014, 06:01:55 PM
There is definitely an error here somewhere. Mechanical drag is not a linear quantity with speed. It either causes a meltdown and locks up rotating parts, or it is overcome at some low speed and either plays no further part or falls below the threshold of perception and measurablitly. It is inconceivable that the drag of a paper seal, or any other seal, would not be overcome at some relatively low speed, say 15kph/10mph. And that, basically, is what Rohloff "drag" consists of, as anyone can see who wheels the bike and notes the pedals turning by "magic power".
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: triaesthete on August 31, 2014, 06:31:40 PM


Fraser, do your faster bikes have Marathon extremes fitted. I think these will make more difference than the hub ever will. I had a set on my Sterling and as you say it felt like it would be the labours of Hercules to ride it 100miles.I put a set of 2" Supremes on instead and hey presto 12 hour riding days in winter no problem.

This is odd because the Extremes are not that heavy and coast really well but under drive they are also the most draggy/sucky/dead tyres I've ever had. Go figure. Note also that they've stopped making them and even SJS were heavily discounting them  :o  Put some Supremes on your RT and be amazed. If you want fast/light but to retain some comfort go for 1.6" instead of 2".

There was another post here recently where the OP was bemoaning his faster deralieur mates and IIRC he had Marathon Pus fitted   ::)I bet his mates didn't!

Marathon Plus and Marathon Extreme; two godforsaken diving boots of tyres! Why anyone uses them when Supremes are frequently discounted I'll never know  ::) Supremes even go off road with a little care...

There seems to be a broader internet fallacy of thinking any Marathon tyre is equivalent to any other and it makes no difference. Schwalbe's marketing is a bit of a disaster in this respect. The engineers have made a fantastic range of horses for courses but this isn't effectively communicated to the end user.

I think many Rohloff bikes are mis shod and this stops anyone comparing apples with apples so to speak.

OOH I feel better now. Happy evenings
Ian

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Rockymountain on August 31, 2014, 06:35:29 PM
Yes, the Bob Jackson and the Surly both have Marathon Extremes - but it's a good point.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: triaesthete on August 31, 2014, 07:59:04 PM

You NEED to buy some Supreme's.  Night and day.

How slow are Extremes? (and don't confuse these with the olde Marathon EX). Well lets say I bought some Schwalbe el cheapo tungsten studded 1.75 winter tyres for the Sterling and they made it MUCH faster and easier to ride  ???

On the bright side though you will have had great resistance training by now and the improvement will be even more noticeable.

The Extremes are no more robust than the Supreme, carcass and sidewall is almost identical, but they have absurd amounts of tread and grip that maybe downhill racers or a trials motorcycle could use in extreme technical scenarios and nowhere else.

Not many things I dislike with a vengeance  :)   

I'm calm now.  Ah!  :P

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jags on August 31, 2014, 08:45:29 PM
the supreams are excellent for sure but i bet the grand bios is even better. ;)
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: David Simpson on August 31, 2014, 11:07:28 PM
Regarding the possible problem of the bike computer not registering a correct speed when going fast, I wonder if the sensor on the fork might not pick up the magnet passing the sensor if the magnet is passing too quickly.  For this reason, I have tried to mount my sensor and magnet as close to the hub as possible.  My reasoning is that the closer the magnet is to the centre of the wheel, the slower it will be passing the sensor.

Also (more on the topic of the Rohloff hub), I haven't noticed any drag from the Rohloff while coasting at speed.  But then, I don't have any other similar bike to do a comparison.  My other bike is a 2002 Cannondale hard-tail mountain bike with an aluminum frame and 2x1.75 commuting tires.  It is much lighter than my Nomad.  There is a big hill about a km from my house, and on my Cannondale, I once hit 69 km/h.  At that speed, I was actually scared, because the bike felt like it was floating.  I gently applied the brakes to slow down, and hoped that I didn't need to do an emergency stop.  I wouldn't want to go faster than that speed on that bike.  After I got my Nomad, I rode down that same hill (on 2x2.00 Duremes), trying to go fast.  It was night, so I couldn't read my speed until I got home.  On the way down, the bike felt completed balanced and stable, not "floating" at all.  I could easily have gone faster, if I had a steeper hill.  (I couldn't pedal to go faster, since my 38/16 gearing means my pedalling tops out at 55 km/h.)  When I got home, I checked my "maximum speed for trip": 69 km/h.  What a difference between the feel of the bikes.

- Dave
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: JimK on September 01, 2014, 02:13:24 AM
Regarding the possible problem of the bike computer not registering a correct speed when going fast

My basic Cateye Micro Wireless seems not to register speeds below 2 mph! I figure it's just a feature of the electronics. I am down in the 2 - 3 mph zone quite a lot, but not too often below 2 mph, so it doesn't really bother me. 
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Kuba on September 01, 2014, 08:00:40 AM
Hi Ian! Hi Kuba!

Just wondering...d'you have an idea how much distance your Rohloffs have covered?

I'm thinking a worn-in hub could be a key determinant in the apparent friction.

Hi Dan

My Raven Tour has so far covered about 7,000 km and the first 74 km/h was in the first year I owned it, with less than 2,000 km on the clock... That said I freewheel as often as I can get away with. Still, I would say I didn't notice much drag out of the box on mine, up or down the hill.

Cheers

Kuba
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on September 01, 2014, 08:32:06 AM
Thanks, Kuba and all!

I really think it was a speedo error. I was just down playing with it and it is plainly missing counts at high speed. The o-ring mounting of the sensor and wiggly magnet are not ideal. I've got everything mounted near the hub to give it the best chance,  but it's all pretty shaky. Things are mostly fine at normal touring speeds, though sometimes I find it just isn't registering a speed at all, despite the gap appearing the same.  At higher speeds, it just ain't catching all the passes. I really think a screw-on magnet and zip ties to solidly mount the lot would do wonders.

Best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: richie thornger on October 21, 2014, 09:50:04 AM
As I mentioned in another thread.
I just wouldn't be touring if it wasn't for Rohloff. Bad experiences with dérailleurs in the past and a less than willing mechanical mind put me off geared bikes for a long time.

ROHLOFF,ROHLOFF,ROHLOFF.

Can't recommend the combination of a Thorn and a Rohloff enough.

My two second hand Thorn Rohloff's have taken someone who hadn't ridden a bike in 20 years across Europe and through Iraq in the winter and down through Iran in the summer. Never a problem.
You also get a brilliant Thorn community backing you up :)
Not only that my first Thron raven which I sold has since taken someone from New Zealand back to the UK.

I take my Thorn, my Rohloff and My Thorn community for granted sometimes. Then I engage with other biking communities and ride other bikes and I'm so so happy about what choice I've made.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: daviddd55 on February 03, 2015, 04:36:01 AM
I really like my Rohloff, and have covered about 35,000km over the past 9 years, including a year and 20,000km riding around Australia, and I'm just finishing a 4000km tour of NZ. It's more reliable than dérailleur I reckon, but I have a couple of gripes. (1) I find it very difficult to change gear when the rubber shifter is even slightly worn and especially when my hands are sweaty...in hot countries pedalling uphill for example. (2) the rear cog is a pig to get off when it's worn out. Oh, and (3) oil is leaking out all over the place at the moment...but that might be because of the mileage covered and an overhaul may be needed. I'm expecting that will be done for no cost to me since these units are guaranteed for life as I understand it.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: bike_the_planet on February 23, 2015, 05:12:11 AM
I finally took the plunge and bought a Rohloff Sppedhub way back in 2007 and fitted it to
 a 2000 Thorn Nomad.

On my first outing up a steep hill, the lower gears crunched and slipped rather,
leaving me wondering what I had done wrong.

But then everything fell into place and I appreciated the advantages
of hub gears I had forgotten since my Sturmey Archer days: instant gear changes
to any gear even when stationary!

Over the next few months it performed quite well with the very occasional slipped
gear, but gears 5,6 and 7 felt like I was pedaling through molasses. 4 was much better,
3 slightly worse, 1 and 2 were good. I virtually gave up using gear 7 and would jump
from 8 to 5 or preferably 4  because of the drag

At the same time I fitted a Rohloff to my wife's bike and she fell in love with the simple
gear changes and, apart from a slight oil leak that was fixed, has enjoyed the simplicity.

In 2008 we spent 4 months touring Europe and towards the end back in the UK on a family
visit in the UK gears 1 - 7 started slipping violently to the point that they were
unusable. I received many helpful suggestions from this forum, but ultimately had to send the hub
back to Rohloff in Australia (current home for me). I'm relieved that the slipping didn't happen
on our tour otherwise it would have definitely have soured my trip!

Rohloff's only verdict was that they found a small amount of what they believe to be
Loctite in the hub somewhere. Curious given that all I had done was some oil changes -
I can't understand where that could have come from. Since then to be fair, the hub has n'ere
skipped a beat. However, after around 15,000 kms and one sprocket change, gears 5, 6 and 7
are still very noisy and draggy and I still don't use 7 if I can avoid it. Freewheeling in gears 8-14 is
very noisy too but I can live with that. People definitely hear me coming though!

Having ridden my wife's hub, I definitely have a noisier and draggier version - luck of
the draw I guess. I'm glad she got the good one though - her knees aren't the best.

We are both taking the bikes to France for two months later in 2015 and it's the final
test for my Rohloff. If the hub hasn't quietened and become smoother by the end of this trip,
it's back to good old derailleurs for me. Shame though, the instant, convenient gear changing, particularly
in traffic, is a real boon.

Glad to hear that others' experiences have been very positive.,

Tony
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Relayer on April 03, 2015, 12:39:37 PM
A couple of posts on another thread prompted me to think about Rohloff hubs and what it means to me. Rather than writing a long winded essay on the merits and demerits of the Rohloff, I have merely made bullet point lists of the pros and the cons based on my experiences when I owned one:-

Pros
1.   Reliability
2.   Low maintenance
3.   Chain life
4.   Reversible chain rings
5.   Gear changing while stationary
6.   Belt drive compatible
7.   Equal steps between gears

Cons
1.   Cost
2.   Ergo/STI 'Brifter' changing not available
3.   Weight
4.   Poor shifting under load
5.   Efficiency in gears 1-7 questionable
6.   Not all Rohloffs disc brake compatible
7.   External gear mech disc compatible hubs also need Rohloff specific disc rotors to run disc brakes
8.   Not good Value For Money for low mileage cyclists or when multiple bikes owned
9.   Frames with non Rohloff dropouts may require:-Torque arm, monkeybone, speedbone, EBB or the dreaded chain tensioner
10.   Needs sent to Germany for major repairs / conversions
11.   Increased weight at the back of the bike, changes handling
12.   Geometry changes with EBB adjustments
13.   Needs chain guide (Rohloff part 8290) in certain circumstances

Clearly there are more cons than pros here, but some items on each side are much more significant than others.  At the end of the day all that matters is whether the Rohloff is good for the use you have planned for it, and whether you get your money's worth out of it (assuming value for money matters to you).

I think the Rohloff is particularly suitable for city riding/commuting, expedition touring, cross country riding, and winter riding.

Would I get another Rohloff?  I don't have any plans right now, but I would never say never.

Jim
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jags on April 03, 2015, 02:08:04 PM
enough cons there jim to put me off.im sticking with shimano never a minutes bother with it. ;)
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Hubs on April 07, 2015, 04:27:20 PM
There's always challenges in pros and cons!

For instance, having as a con that a Rolloff doesn't use someone else's proprietary changer system; it can be a preference, but it's a real hard felt choice, right there.

Not all Rohloffs are disc compatible..true enough, but the same can be said for other designs of hub, IGM or not

Rohloff hub needs a disc that fits it.. again, true enough, but as they are available from a number of manufacturers, is it an issue?

Geometry changes..it does, but not as much as when I move around on the saddle.

Needs a chain guide in some circumstances..it may well, but theres a parallel discussion on chain lines and 1X11 grossest and, to be honest, the single chainring single sprocket arrangement seems to need less help than most.

Under load changing - it does need a technique to make it work ( to be honest, a technique involving removing the load briefly, which I now do on derailleur bikes as well) but given the number of missed, draggy, half cut changes on the derailleur bikes over the years, I would bet I've got a better % success rate on the rohloff.

And of course there's stuff which is absolutely right - rearward weight bias, component cost, specialist repair requirement, all of which may or may not be an issue.

We all have things which are more or less important to us, and its bound to change from individual to individual. However, most of the stuff here isn't material to me, or is minimal risk (like specialist repair cost) so I'm still in the happy camp! Your mileage may vary.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on April 08, 2015, 03:35:48 AM
enough cons there jim to put me off.im sticking with shimano never a minutes bother with it. ;)

I'd have a derailleur bike as well, but I won't stand the expense of all those wasteful replacements, and waste of cycling time of a derailleur system, while my Rohloff just soldiers on forever with almost zero attention. Those are the real con and pro.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: JimK on April 08, 2015, 04:15:41 AM
another pro: wide range of gears without coordinating multiple shifters. Playing with front and rear derailleurs to keep everything in range and ready... it is not so terribly difficult, but when I am getting well exhausted after a long ride, I start cross chaining more and more.

Plus, "gear changing while stationary" doesn't quite capture it. I can zip through maybe five shifts while the bike rolls maybe half a turn of a wheel. I can run through all 13 shifts very quickly. There are some roads around here that switch quickly from probably +5% to -5% with about a 200 yard period. It's practically impossible to manage with a derailleur. OK, a strong rider can just muscle through the mess, standing on the up hills etc., with plenty of range in torque and cadence. But for a weak rider with narrower limits, it is nice to be able to get the help of the gears even for such short distances. 
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jags on April 08, 2015, 01:53:52 PM
But lads u make it sound like changing gear is the B all and end all of everything cycling .its only just another component on the bike no more than that.if you have a good range of gears on the rear cassette 12 to32 bobs your uncle at an eight of the price ,yis are all been brainwashed by these rohloff hubs there good but there no that good.

anto
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: bobs on April 08, 2015, 04:49:53 PM
Oh yes they are ;)
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jags on April 08, 2015, 05:18:17 PM
can't agree bob sorry.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: bobs on April 08, 2015, 06:15:08 PM
Have you tried a Rohloff in order to compare them.

Bob
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: David Simpson on April 08, 2015, 07:02:31 PM
When someone says that something is the "best", my question is "best for what?". Each design is a compromise, and what is best for one person may be very different from what is best for another person. What is the best vehicle? A small fuel-efficient car? A racing car? A large cargo vehicle? It all depends on what you want to do with it. I think the "Rohloff vs derailleur" question is the same. It all depends on what you want to do with it, and what you value in a bike transmission.

Disclaimer: I have a Rohloff, and I think it is the best thing since sliced cheese.  :)

- Dave

p.s. Welcome back, jags!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Kuba on April 08, 2015, 07:46:58 PM
Hear, hear!

I've got both but will be selling the Rohloff bike shortly. Just back from a mini-tour on my new XTC with SLX drivetrain (pics & report coming soon), which worked a treat and I've no doubt is better than Rohloff for my needs. But I'm currently into shorter, lightweight tours, and really like the liveliness of light rear end and nippiness of STI shifting.

I think a lot of controversy arise from Thorn presenting the Rohloff as the best drivetrain, end of. Which it is not, it's just an excellent one, just like top-shelf Shimano groupsets.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jags on April 08, 2015, 09:12:27 PM
Cheers Dave i like the  last bit of that post  ;D ;D
yeah horses for courses as the man said each to there own,
rohloff will die in a few years time never to be heard of again, but the ould derailleur will run forever.

Kuba i think i'm fighting a loosing battle here. ::).
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on April 08, 2015, 11:03:08 PM
Hi All!

I have both Rohloff and ancient derailleur drivetrains among the bicycles I own. I like both, for several reasons. My 5- and 6-speed freewheels and chainrings are thick and robust and long-lived, and my half-step and granny gearing setups give me an easy shift sequence and adequate highs and lows for the places I use them most. My 7-sp half-step setup worked equally well. It had the option of friction or indexed shifting in the rear lever and it stayed in indexed mode most of the time. It was also convenient and long-lived. The same can be said for my tandem I captain, where indexed 6-speed at the rear is welcome on a long bike where it can sometimes be hard to hear what's going on in the Engine Room way back past the Rear Admiral.

Old derailleur drivetrains aren't like modern derailleur drivetrains. There's much to be said on the good side for new, but I not only don't mind friction shifting, I take some joy in the skills I've acquired to shift smoothly. Indexing is convenient, but not really necessary with fewer than 7 cogs. I can't shift under power, but on the other hand, I don't need to. The momentary pause in power application has by this time become so ingrained, I needed no adaptation when I got the Rohloff which requires the same momentary pause.

The old derailleur setups have proven so reliable, I almost can't remember the last time I missed a shift. Being thick and wide, they don't clog, they really don't need much cleaning thanks to my full coverage mudguards and generous front mudflaps, and I oil them once every several (long, 300-400km/day) rides. Parts last almost forever, partly because my half-step gearing is setup so my most-used gears have almost no chain deflection, wear is distributed evenly across the gear combinations, and there's a lot of wear surface. My chainrings are still looking good on a couple of my most used bikes at tens of thousands of kilometers. I do replace chains often, long before their wear limits are reached. Life with the Old Bikes is still Very Good indeed.

My complaint about more modern (i.e. 9-sp plus) derailleur drivetrains is -- as a high-mileage cyclist -- they don't last very long in my use even with the greater and more frequent care I've found they require. I can and do wear through a set of chainrings, a whole cassette, and chain in a half-summer's use (600-mile/960km weeks aren't unusual in High Season) and be well on my way through the replacement set by Fall. The narrower, profiled teeth and chain to match are thin and wear more quickly and this is costly. Because cogsets are riveted together in cassettes, separate cogs aren't available and if one wears unduly, the lot has to be tossed. The profiled teeth don't take kindly to reprofiling with a die-grinder. Also, I find I don't care so much for the crossover gearing that is necessitated by so many cogs at the rear.

I still love my old (derailleur) bikes and can't imagine selling them when they've so many remaining years of life left in them. I'll continue to reprofile the gear teeth with a high-speed die-grinder when they start to hook, and then retemper them. They should be good for awhile yet. When parts are no longer available, then I'll likely switch from freewheels to now equally obsolete 7-speed cassettes on freehubs, though it will mean spreading the rear stays.

Several years on, the appeal to me of the Rohloff is to be found not in how different it is from my old derailleur setups, but in how similar. My Nomad's 36x17 setup almost perfectly duplicates the half-step and granny gearing on my most-used, 31 year-old rando-touring bike. That bike has 13 usable gear combinations out of 15; the Rohloff offers 14. It just lops off two uselessly high top gears that are there to pad out the middle range of my freewheel, and adds two most welcome lower gears. Shifting is as easy, but no moreso except for being able to shift while stationary. Chainline is as straight as that for my most-used derailleur gears. So far, the Rohloff drivetrain seems the most likely successor to my old derailleur drivetrains and is working as well. I expect it will last a long time, and that is important to me, someone who keeps my bikes for many years.

Running with drop handlebars, I find the Rohloff shifter mounted on a Thorn Accessory T-bar to be no more or less convenient than my preferred downtube shifters or bar-end shifters on the derailleur bikes.

One area where I see a clear advantage is for my use cross-country and on single-track. Having no rear derailleur to hang down and catch sticks is a decided benefit, and there's no possibility of chainsuck, which is also welcome. Instead of repacking my hub and freewheel, both are taken care of by periodic oil changes. Cleanup is much quicker and easier because I don't have to floss between cogs. I am -- truly! -- a Happy Camper with my Rohloff expedition bike, but still delighted with my old derailleur bikes. There's certainly room for both in my stable.

Cheerfully,

Dan.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Relayer on April 17, 2015, 09:37:01 AM
There's always challenges in pros and cons!

For instance, having as a con that a Rolloff doesn't use someone else's proprietary changer system; it can be a preference, but it's a real hard felt choice, right there.

I used the term STI/Ergo as a generic name for shifting from the brake hoods, think 'Hoover' for vacuum cleaners. However, I have amended the term to 'Brifter', and if that name is someone else's proprietary trademark then too bad.

Not all Rohloffs are disc compatible..true enough, but the same can be said for other designs of hub, IGM or not

True, but a new rear Deore disc hub can be got for less than £20.

Andre
I am not yet 60 years old, but I will be dead and buried long before I have spent more than half the cost of a Rohloff on deraiileur parts.

JimK
I agree that multiple shifts are easy with a Rohloff, but one change of the front chainring can equate to many changes on a Rohloff, two changes on a triple even more so. When I was toiling up hills I used to tell myself to ignore the 1-7 noise from the Rohloff, but it was nonetheless disheartening while I scrambled to make more downward gear changes than I would with a derailleur.

Bobs
I have tried a Rohloff to compare them, the Rohloff is now gone. This was not entirely down to dissatisfaction with the Rohloff, but I would have had to get it modified to an EX Box and disc brake compatible shell to go with the style of bike I wanted to change to ... too much expense and hassle.

Dave / Kuba
Spot on.

Dan
I don't do anything like the mileage you do.  When I was young I was perfectly happy with 5-speed; but when I got my Galaxy I was even happier with 7 speed at the back, even although I had to bear listening to a luddite preaching that nobody needs more than 5.


Where I am now is that for the past few years the bike of my dreams has been a 700c Rohloff drop bar disc brake bike. However I could not bring myself to pay circa £3,500 on one, especially since it would only be one of 4 bikes and therefore not do a massive mileage. I have therefore opted for a similar style of bike with derailleurs for half the price. That, for my circumstances, is the bottom line. But, if I was to get an unexpected windfall ....

I am not trying to antagonise the good people here who love their Rohloffs, but I just had to get a few things off my chest.   ;D

Jim

P.S. Dan, please don't take my luddite comment as any kind of reference to you, I know and fully understand why you love and cherish your bikes. I think 7 speed cassettes are now the equivalent of that chap's 5 speed, anyway if I had the space to have kept my Galaxy I would have continued to ride it to this day and for many years to come.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Matt2matt2002 on April 17, 2015, 09:51:11 AM
Good thinking Jim.
Horses for courses?

I was lucky enough to have a wind-fall so went for the Rohloff and haven't looked back.
I only have the one bike. But another windfall may be on the horizon and a complete change of bike type will be tempting.

Matt
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on April 17, 2015, 11:46:32 AM
You make a good argument, Jim, for your use. I agree with Matt: horses for courses. We're all adults (unfortunately!) and the majority are pretty experienced cyclists. If we can't each decide for ourselves which bike is best for our conditions and use, it would be a pretty dull cycling world, everybody on a 1970s ten-speed with drop bars, just like the UCI wants. In fact, it is such a depressing prospect, I don't even want to think about it.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: alfie1952 on April 17, 2015, 01:39:19 PM
Hi Jim,

Glad you stuck around and are spouting words of wisdom. As another member said " Horses for courses "

Ps , has your new bike arrived ? I will email you photograph of the nomad build.

Regards Alfie
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jags on April 17, 2015, 03:52:43 PM
yes Alfie got my new bike but i havent been on it this past 3 weeks or more not feeling the best but hopefully  these new drugs im on will sort me out.
thanks for the photos it's a class bike for sure i hope you get some great tours on it.
Ireland can be nice if the sun is out ;)

i was drooling over a mercury the other day have to admit i certainly chance a rohloff on it  ::)

anto.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Matt2matt2002 on April 18, 2015, 12:04:51 AM
Alfie.
Can we all see the new bike please?
Matt
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Danneaux on April 18, 2015, 06:40:18 AM
Hi Jim!

No offense taken here. I understand your statement and didn't take it personally. I love all my bikes,  derailleur and Rohloff.

I'm pretty fond of most other bikes as well and am thinking of building up another Fixie with long-distance use in mind for my 108mi flat Valley training loops. I have a 1972 road bike that is at a crossroads: 10-sp restoration with the original Campagnolo Nuovo Record or go with a track cog...or braze on some canti bosses and make a gravel grinder or cyclocross bike. The frame is versatile enough to do any or all of these; I just need to choose which direction to go with it. I would like the purity of a single cog/gear and no freewheeling on one of my bikes. I just have to make sure I use it where it won't break my knees.

All the best,

Dan.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jags on April 18, 2015, 11:39:17 AM
Dan my son Noel rides a fixie all the time he reckons its great for training  but for the life of me all i can see is a piece of junk i'de sooner ride a rohloff. ::)
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: alfie1952 on April 19, 2015, 11:45:56 AM
Jags,

NO YOU WOULD NOT.... Fibber  :D

Alfie
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: jags on April 19, 2015, 12:18:33 PM
Shsssss say no more  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Mike Ayling on April 20, 2015, 02:18:27 AM


i was drooling over a mercury the other day have to admit i certainly chance a rohloff on it  ::)

anto.

I just bought a Mercury. I decided to get one after riding our Rohloff equipped Thorn tandem for a couple of years.
Rohloff definitely fits in with the way I ride.

Mike
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: John Saxby on April 20, 2015, 05:49:14 PM
I have much less experience with the Rohloff than a great many others on this forum, just a year-plus on my New Raven, maybe 3500 kms in all. I have more experience with derailleur bikes, but again, probably much less than many others. I bought the Raven + Rohloff because I wanted a capable and versatile touring bike which I could also use on day rides.  I no longer use a bike for commuting, as I did 15-20 years ago. Although I do loaded touring, I travel mainly on tarmac roads, on tours which are on the shorter side, from a few days to a few weeks.

Here's my take on the question, then:

A decade-plus back, I bought an Eclipse, a good quality ti-framed touring bike with carbon forks, well equipped with a T105 grupo. The Eclipse is the brand of a well-known bike shop in Ottawa/Gatineau.  If I'd known then what I know now, I think I'd have opted for a quality all-steel touring bike, but I didn't so I didn't. The Eclipse fits me well, but is better suited to credit-card touring and day rides than to loaded touring.  When I began to adapt it to carry heavier loads, I began to run into problems--not with the frame or forks, interestingly enough, as the bikes's handling has been good, even with loaded panniers. The problems have been with the drive train, particularly the chainset and cogset, and the rear derailleurs. Without getting into the mind-numbing details: (i) I still have the T105 brifters and front derailleur. The brifters in particular aren't perfect, because they interfere with mountain a handlebar bag, but they're OK, as are the Avid canti brakes. (ii) I'm now on my 4th cogset, two 105s, a Shim LX and now a 12 - 36 Shim Deore, and the fourth RD. (iii) I'm now on my third set of chainrings, a Deore 24-36-48.  

After a lot of experimenting and changing, I've found gear-inch ratios which are are reasonably OK, though I'd want a lower gear or two if I planned to continue using the Eclipse for loaded touring. The big hassles have been rear derailleurs (the LX and the Deore) forever getting out of adjustment. These problems were never catastrophic, and sometimes they happened in places like Vermont or the Rhine Valley, good places to have a bike problem. They were common enough, however, that eventually I lost any confidence of finding the low gear I wanted going up a steep hill.

I retrospect, I think these problems were a combination of my initial lack of knowledge about touring bikes, my changing requirements & tastes, the limits of the bike's versatility, maybe the specs/capabilities of the different drivetrains, and not-so-good advice from at least one LBS.

A couple of years ago, I reached the end of my patience, and started researching options for a dedicated but versatile steel touring bike. I also learned about the Rohloff. The best options seemed to be a Surly LHT and a Thorn Sherpa or Raven, with the latter built for the Rohloff. I swallowed hard at the cost of a Rohloff--you can buy a well-equipped LHT here for the price of a Rohloff!  When I thought about getting the right Shimano or SRAM combination on the Surly, however, my enthusiasm for that option disappeared, especially because, on the Eclipse, I was beginning to run into Shimano's road/MTB component incompatibility. (As I looked at the pricetag of a Rohloff, the ghosts of Scottish ancestors wagged their fingers and frowned severely while they intoned, "A penny saved is a penny earned." I told them to pxxx off, and showed them the bills for Eclipse drivetrains. I also countered with "Buy quality or repent at leisure," pointing to Hans, my old-but-still-sound BMW airhead. They retreated, grumbling all the while.)

My experience with the Rohloff, then, is part & parcel of a wholly different bike:  different frame & forks, different geometry and saddle-stem-bars positioning, different wheel size, tires & brakes & fenders, different hubs fore & aft. I kept the same pedals, cleats & shoes, and my beloved B17 saddle, ditto the VO rando bars (though the Raven has a wider set). The core issue for me had been the drivetrain, however, both the ratios and the confidence in getting the right gear when I needed it.  I never worry about getting the right gear with the Rohloff -- I missed one low-speed shift on a very slight upgrade on my second day of riding the bike -- and on a couple of savage uphills in Sweden last September, the Rohloff rolled all the way down to 1st gear with no problem at all.  I am going to try out a 36T chainring later this summer (currently, I run a 38 x 17), to see how a slightly lower overall gear-inch range improves my cadence, especially on hills.  I can do that by buying a Surly ring for $30 (in the US, that is) and a new KMC chain for $12 here -- I won't have to buy a new cogset and/or rear derailleur, and perhaps a new front derailleur as well.

My Indicator of Quality in all this is whether I think about a component, other than to say, "Dang! This thing works so well!" I almost never think about my chain now, happily spinning around encased in its 'glider; ditto my garden-variety Deore V-brakes with their Koolstop pads; ditto my spiffy brown Brooks saddle; ditto my SON 28 and ditto the Rohloff--except to remind myself that I'm now liberated from derailleurs. When I ride the Eclipse--which now works better, with wider tires, no loaded panniers and better-placed brifters 'cos there's no nice Arkel bag mounts on the bars--I still finding myself waiting for a missed shift going up a steep hill.  I have learned how to adjust my rear derailleur 2 or 3 times a season, and occasionally my front one, but this, it strikes me, is a skill I didn't really want to master.  Fussing with my F & R derailleurs in my workshop, I have felt like the poor souls who used to spend their Saturday mornings fiddling with the tappets on their Brit vertical twins, or sending out positive vibes to persuade their Lucas devices to work, while the rest of us were out and about.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on April 20, 2015, 10:54:09 PM
That's a very interesting report, John; we've all been there more or less: the Rohloff is the resort of the last exasperation with derailleurs.

It's amazing how in bicycles, basically simple mechanisms, the slightest disturbance at one point always reflects somewhere else. The hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, and the thigh bone is connected to the... etc. In that sense the Rohloff brings with it a lot of solutions at once.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: gearoidmuar on May 25, 2015, 04:07:30 PM
This is is the way of an update. I've had my Thorn Raven Tour for five and a half years. It's my main touring bike and I use it for some winter training as well. Has done 21000 miles. Hub was serviced free of charge at about 13000 miles by Rohloff for a minor changing issue. I've never had a broken spoke on it and the bike is phenomenal. I discovered Schwalbe Performance Big Apple tyres 7000 miles ago and they're still going strong with NO punctures at all. For roughish stuff you can ride them, even fully loaded at 30psi or less.

Anyway, the latest revelation. I've a Rohloff chain gauge and change the chain when it's worn according to steel cogs. I changed one again this morning after my tour. Rode it. No slippage or anything and this is the third chain on this sprocket and I've yet to reverse it. These sprockets are really tough and Sram Single Speed chains are really cheap.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Andre Jute on July 31, 2015, 11:23:19 PM
By way of an update in my bike's sabbatical year, a few observations:

1. With over 8000km/5000m on the clock, my Rohloff box now shifts smoother than best Kerry butter from cows virgin-milked under the full moon. It is still not as smooth as a Shimano Premium Nexus 8sp hub gearbox, but then none of my Shimano boxes survived to 8000km.

2. There is absolutely no sign that the Rohloff won't go on marching on forever. I fully expect it to see me out. ("Little old bespectacled nonanagerian intellectual only rode it to church on sunny Sundays.")

3. A properly setup Rohloff transmission chain is very economical. Again, comparing to the Shimano, in 8000km on the Shimano I would have fitted no fewer than five (5!) complete transmission chains of crankset, sprocket and chain, whereas is my Rohloff runs on its original sprocket, showing no signs of wear, and on its third chain (and it would be on its second still if I were not forced to change the electric motor which necessitated a new chain) which compares very favourably indeed with the Shimano Nexus setups. The Rohloff is also on its third crankset, but none was worn out: it came with a cheap crankset I specified to be fitted until I decided what I wanted, which was then changed for aesthetic reasons, which was then changed because the new midmotor requires a custom crankset and a dished chainring.

4. Less than twenty euro for an annual service with the full oil-change kit is also not only convenient but economical. I'm not sure the 250ml cans now available would make sense for me, though I might buy a pair just for storage convenience; they probably make sense for people who do a much higher annual mileage than mine.

5. The requirement to service the EXT external klickbox with a shot of grease every 500km is just Herr Rohloff covering his ass and can safely be ignored. A shot of Teflon or Phil or your fave anti-HO2 grease in there every time you change the oil, i.e. at 5000km/3000m intervals seems perfectly adequate. Do take care to wipe it out as thoroughly as you can if you change the grease; I was irritated when an experiment with the longevity of the Phil was aborted when the Phil was contaminated by minute traces of the previous grease, and from the looks of the new mixture I thought it likely the efficacy of the grease was decreased.

6. SPECIAL NOTE FOR CYCLISTS CONSIDERING AN ELECTRIC MIDMOTOR. This is a point everyone knows, though proofs are rarely offered: even beyond it's longevity in normal touring/utility service, the Rohloff gearbox is immensely STRONG. I have an application that demonstrates it. My Bafang QSWXK front-drive motor developed some issues; at first I thought I melted the drive gears but on disassembly of the control system I found some badly burned wires, so it could possibly be an electronic problem -- in any event I wanted a midmotor so I decided not to buy the expensive tools to rebuild the QSWXK. (I still recommend the Bafang QSWXK if you want a front motor. Mine was hard used on roads adverse to the point of hostility to an electric motor, and served and lasted beyond my expectation.) Instead I fitted a Bafang mid motor in the BBS series as more closely suited to my hills; I literally am surrounded by hills on all sides the moment I step out of my door; there are no cycling-safe flat roads accessible to me. My Bafang BBS-01 has a peak torque of probably (reliable hard information is difficult to come by when dealing with Chinese engineering firms and I no longer have access to a rolling road dynometer) 112Nm , which is more than many hatchbacks, certainly enough to rip apart any bicycle hub gearbox except the Rohloff. People in the States run BBS and other mid motors up to 750W continuous on Rohloff HGB but I expect they operate them on throttle only, not on any of the automatic "pedelec" programs built in to the controllers, which in the Chinese versions (as distinct from the Panasonic-Bosch type which offers torque management but only for pretty limp motors) can be a bit sudden; and a few speak well of the NuVinci when operated with much smaller motors (250-350W). But any appreciable power, fully applied, requires the Rohloff; note that even a modest motor, rated for say 250W continuous can spike at 650-750W for many seconds on end, certainly long enough to rip a weak HGB a permanent goodbye. I've found that you soon learn to adapt your riding style with the motor to the Rohloff and that then it is possible to use either the throttle or the very useful pedelec styles, which is like having another gearbox of however many speeds you want, up to 9. In short, the usable strength of the Rohloff box makes a bigger midmotor possible than you can fit with the only other gearbox that seems a candidate (the Nuvinci), and the Rohloff also makes fuller use of the motor and electronic facilities possible than lesser gearboxes do.

7. If you have an electric motor for any reason, and moreover sophisticated electronics to control it (which is like an extra multispeed gearbox), a Rohloff with its 14 speeds and huge range just isn't necessary for the smooth operation of the bike. A box as strong as the Rohloff but with only three widely spaced gears, or with a limp motor seven or so gears as closely spaced as in the Rohloff, will do fine. Until something goes wrong. All those electrics and electronics and the battery weigh quite a bit, and if you're hauling home their dead weight across the hills and with the bad heart (or whatever) that in the first instance necessitated the motor, you'll be glad of the Rohloff's fourteen evenly-spaced gears and huge range.

8. Yesterday I adjusted the chain length on my bike, which besides the Rohloff HGB has a Hebie Chainglider. After I parked my bike again in its heated space. I went inside and held up my hands to my wife. "What am I supposed to see?" she asked. "It's what you don't see after I work on my bike." She grinned. "No oil." The Rohloff is central to making the bicycle a clean mechanism that you can ride in the clothes you wear every day without fear of getting oil on you.

9.All in all, the very fact that I've kept my Rohloff-equipped bike for seven years, tells you I think it earns its way. I simply cannot conceive of ordering another bike without a Rohloff.

10. Metaphysically, I don't put much store in still-common stupidities like cycling being a working class sport (on bikes the obscene price of ours? give over!), or that cyclists have to suffer for their sport, or that the manhood of a cyclist depends on being able to adjust derailleurs or patch a tube under two minutes out on waterless road. Modern gear releases us from these silly shibboleths, with the Rohloff hub gearbox in the forefront. God bless Bernd Rohloff, and his merry men and women.

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Pavel on August 12, 2016, 06:26:06 PM
It's good to re-visit threads such as these.  So much good experience said so well.  I have never been at odds with deraileurs, but at the same time it seems to soothe something in my soul to have a slick machine, which works in a way so as to disappear from my consciousness as I ride. The evenly spaced and fairly tight gearing on a Rohloff is sublime as far as I'm concerned.  It does not really bother me to use a derailleur but I'm often aware too much while riding one.  The need to think about which front ring I'm on, to have to trim it and to have to look at a hill and be aware that I may be better off switching the front so that I will be better prepared to go low on the back in order to do the hill best, and then having to peddle ridiculously fast for a few stokes - is no real problem. I've done it all my life. But to NOT have to think one bit, once on the Rohloff, is actually worth the money spent right then and there. The rest of about fifteen other details is simply gravy, and there is lot of metaphoric gravy to be had in the Rohloff. :)

It is a bit like live being short. Why drink bad beer (miller light) when really one deserves some of what the Brit's, the Irish, the Germans and the Czechs brew, and brew with their heart and soul. To be cheap in ways that make such a difference feels like disregarding one's self and forgetting how good live COULD be. :)

For those who bring up "Rohloff is expensive" I'd like to suggest that they say it to their detriment.  Either say "Rohloff is expensive and I don't deserve nice things - never mind the very best." to see what you are doing to yourself in life more clearly - or - "Rohloff is expensive - but I'm damn worth it!'.  That's the way to roll, though this short trip.

Oh and get some good beer ... always. ;)
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: ledburner on February 07, 2018, 09:52:15 AM
After 19 years, i has been LOWer maintenance, chains get changed, every 5-10 years, (some years it gets used more than others).  Then s chain ring after 15 yrs. The annual maintenance is just an oil change. After 15 years It started leaking oil from the left, Ison & Rohloff replace an oil seal free of charge, would any one else stand by their product after 15 years?!
 it whoring away in low gear, I joke I am winding up the clockwork mechanism, for mechanical PLUS Propusion when the gradient eases. The 'Plus' word seem every where now.
The hub has moved with different bikes steel mountain bike tourer, then alloy front suspension frame MTB  to 29er.
I don't miss, whilst in low gear, having to rotate the crank half-turn a backwards before the free wheel engages to restart on a hill. Or having to lift the rear wheel to change down...  Especially with a tag along bike, (as-was).
Derailleurs are good for a fast road bike (and associated costs), but hub gears suit me better every where else.
especially on trail /off road.
That's my two pen'ith.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: StuntPilot on February 13, 2018, 12:42:27 PM
I came across this three part article about the Rohloff ... from the point of view of a 29er mountain biker. Its quite a comprehensive view and an interesting read ...

Part 1: http://twentynineinches.com/rohloff-speedhub-german-engineering-or-hype/
Part 2: http://twentynineinches.com/rohloff-speedhub-german-engineering-or-hype-part-ii/
Part 3: http://twentynineinches.com/rohloff-speedhub-german-engineering-or-hype-final-review/

Another interesting article comparing derailleur and hub gears ...

https://hubstripping.wordpress.com/geared-hubs-vs-derailleur/

Put the kettle on!
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: Reuel on April 20, 2018, 02:45:58 PM
The other side of living with a Rohloff:

After about 8 years of riding the mighty hub and no derailleurs, I got influenced by Jan Heine's blog enough to get a lightish frame from a local builder and set it up as a 2 x 9. As I was setting the bike up, I looped the chain through the derailleurs and pressed in the Shimano connecting pin. Then I gave the crank a spin, and there was metal scraping noise. I forgot to pass the chain under the two tabs of the rear derailleur (in between the jockey wheels and under the lower jockey)!

Within two weeks of getting the new frame, I dropped the chain and got paint chipped off the chainstay. Apparently I had forgotten that front shifts are not to be done under significant torque. Perhaps I've also forgotten how to set the limit screws.

I blame the Rohloff! :o
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: energyman on April 20, 2018, 03:43:35 PM
All my bikes are hub geared (Sturmey Archer, Alfine 8 & 11, Nexus 8 and Rohloff) and the Rohloff, in the words of Tina Turner, "It's simply the best" by a good mile.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: martinf on April 21, 2018, 09:18:33 AM
All my bikes are hub geared (Sturmey Archer, Alfine 8 & 11, Nexus 8 and Rohloff) and the Rohloff, in the words of Tina Turner, "It's simply the best" by a good mile.

All but one of the family bikes have hub gears, the exception is my 1977 derailleur lightweight, not ridden much recently, but I intend to keep it for the time being as it's resale value must be very low. I also have the 2-speed Brompton derailleur combined with a 5-speed hub gear on one of the Bromptons.

I use Sturmey-Archer hubs (mostly old S5/2 five-speeds) on bikes with narrow rear triangles (Bromptons and old frames spaced at 113 to 120 mm), and have Nexus 8 Premium or Rohloff on recent bikes with 130-135 mm rear spacing.

The Rohloff seems best for long distance rides in hilly terrain, but I prefer the Nexus 8 Premium or the Sturmey Archer S5/2 for local utility rides as I then don't worry about locking and leaving the bike somewhere.

Nexus 8 Premium hubs seem reasonably reliable, and are currently available at a good price from SJS.

Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: RobertL on April 21, 2018, 07:32:14 PM
Upgraded to a Rohloff a few weeks ago, but only cycled some short distances. Lovely spacing and the 11th gear at 60-61 gain inches is just fine. Added an AXA lock to protect the investment.

My Shimano Alfine 8 with over 10,000 miles on it is going to a 30 year old plus Diamond Back Ascent which will become the back-up/pub bike.
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: TerryField on April 29, 2018, 09:44:59 PM
I have had my mercury for about 3 weeks now and ridden over 150 miles. I love it! The frame is superb and handles really well. As for the rohloff, it takes a bit of getting used to compared to the derailleur, but once you sort out the timing it is just sublime. I no longer ride listening for the derailleur problems, worry about damage, or have to keep adjusting the gears on a regular basis.
Yes the sound is different, and is a bit noisy in places, but not enough for my riding companions to comment.
So often my companions get stuck at the bottom of a hill, or moving off from a sudden stop, in the wrong gear, but I just dial down and away we go.
I can’t imagine anything but a rohloff now.

Terry
Title: Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
Post by: John Saxby on April 30, 2018, 03:54:27 PM
Quote
I can’t imagine anything but a Rohloff now.

Good choice, Terry!  ;)