Thorn Cycles Forum

Community => Rohloff Internal Hub Gears => Topic started by: Steve Lord on July 24, 2006, 01:10:16 PM

Title: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: Steve Lord on July 24, 2006, 01:10:16 PM
I've seen a couple of stories on the web where the spokes on a Rohloff pulled through from the flange. Sorry I can't find them at the moment but if you search on Rohloff problems they come up. Does anyone know if Rohloff has addressed the problem or is it just due to abnormally heavy loads?
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: Robin Thorn on July 25, 2006, 08:08:22 AM
Hi Steve, nice book by the way, thanks!
WRT your post, not having seen any examples of "pulled spokes" (not quite sure what you mean by this), I can't comment but we
have SEEN several derailleur hubs (XTR among them) which have lost an entire chunk of flange.
Such failures are either due to crash damage or an undetectable small flaw in the alloy billet. Rohloff use aerospace alloys but even Boeings occasionally drop out of the sky. The only way to be really certain that you never have a component failure is to never buy a component and never fly, drive a car, descend stairs or boil a kettle.
There is no "problem" with Rohloff hubs.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: Steve Lord on July 25, 2006, 09:00:52 AM
OK I managed to find the case I was thinking of.  I'm sure the number of events such as this are undoubtedly extremely small (I read one other story last year) and that 'non-crash' stories don't make the news, but to those of us who own a Rohloff, it's of interest and maybe there's something to learn, though I accept you're surely right, this is just one of those things that can happen on a hard, heavily-loaded ride.

http://homepage.mac.com/isaetterry/pagestoplevel/pageequipment.htm

Scroll down to third photo under heading 'Rohloff hub/shifter'.

Thanks for looking at it,
Steve.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: Robin Thorn on July 26, 2006, 11:45:59 AM
Ah yes, i didn't realise that this was what you meant by pulling through. We have seen spokes break, and this is the ONLY time we've come accross a flange failure (it happened to be on one of our bikes!) we never saw it though as it was in NZ, they were not stopped from cycling by it, they could have drilled a new hole if they'd wanted. Rohloff organised a new shell with the NZ distributor, they were able to cycle to the distributor to have it repaired. I'm not aware that Rohloff have any time limit on shell warranty, in any event, if there were to be a failure of a shell on one of our expedition bikes, WE would warrant the shell for life if Rohloff wouldn't!!! This is ONE isolated failure, cause unknown, probably defective billet.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: wowbagger on March 01, 2008, 08:08:28 PM
My wife and I broke a hub flange whilst on the Great Glen Way last April. We completed the ride (Land's End - John O'Groats) and Thorn replaced the hub shell. We are heavyweights and it was an unsupported tour, ergo full panniers.

Today I was cleaning the tandem and found fractures to the hub flange on 7 out of the 8 non-drive trailing spokes. It being the weekend, I'll have to wait until Monday to see what happens. RT's comment about lifetime warranty is reassuring, but it does make me wonder why the hub shell isn't made out of stainless steel.

Pictures (http://peter.chesspod.com/rohloff)
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: freddered on March 02, 2008, 09:30:59 PM
That's truly worrying.  I eagerly anticipate an SJSC reply on this. (2 similar incidents on 2 different hubs for same person, is that 1000:1 odds multiplied by 1000:1 odds?, if so I'd buy a lottery ticket quick) 

Your latest incident of cracks appearing all around the hub seems to open up the possibility of a catastrophic wheel failure/collapse.  Not my idea of fun, especially on a Tandem.

I hasten to add that I checked my 2 year-old, 5000 mile hub and it looks fine.  Still, would be nice to hear a technical explanation.


Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: geocycle on March 03, 2008, 10:38:49 AM
It is indeed a worry.  The odds of that happening twice to the same person should be minute given the >93,000 undamaged hubs reportedly in use (about 1 in 4 million even if we assume 50 cases).  There have been a number of these incidents reported on various forums.  The majority (although not all) affect tandems and it looks IMO as though there might be issues that need resolving for this application -48 spokes perhaps? 

It is worth remembering that other hubs fail in similar ways and I've seen examples of campag and rolf hubs similarly broken posted on the web.  However, given the relatively small number of Rohloff hubs in circulation the incidence of this type of failure, it does seem greater, even allowing for the fact that Rohloff users are more likely to be enthusiasts pushing bikes to their limit and frequenting cycling forums.

What's the alternative -stainless steel, bigger flanges?
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: freddered on March 03, 2008, 12:42:46 PM
There's also the case that ANY Rohloff issue is reported widely, even spoke breakages (which don't make the 'front page' of cycling forums for any other type of hub).
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: geocycle on March 03, 2008, 01:08:52 PM
There's also the case that ANY Rohloff issue is reported widely, even spoke breakages (which don't make the 'front page' of cycling forums for any other type of hub).

I agree Fred!

Nevertheless, the odds indicate that it is very unlikely for this to happen at random to the same person twice.  Therefore, to my mind it is either something to do with the batch of hubs, the wheelbuild, or the particular usage made of the hub by wowbagger.  A heavily laden tandem is a relatively extreme application but one that is promoted in the literature as being within the rohloff's compass.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: vik on March 03, 2008, 04:07:08 PM
This guy's Rohloff hub flange cracked in Tibet. 

http://tinyurl.com/24knh5

These folks had their Rohloff hub flange crack in Bolivia:

http://www.hrpu.co.uk/karennben/notes.html

I think Robin's point about anything failing at some point is valid and it isn't like Rohloff hubs are blowing up left and right - however I do think anyone buying one for touring remote parts of the world has to consider the possibility they will have a problem and make peace with the fact the solution will be to wait for replacement parts.  With friction shifters and a dérailleur you can be back in business fairly quickly any place where they've got inexpensive mtn bikes to cannibalize parts from.   
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: PH on March 04, 2008, 12:53:00 PM

These folks had their Rohloff hub flange crack in Bolivia:


And Rohloff got them a replacement within three days.  In the absense of any indistuctable component I think that's the next best thing.
I'm a keen as anyone to hear the explanation and outcome of this case.  But the speed that bad news travels often gets in the way of reason, some people have come to conclusions and suggested solutions before the manufacturer has even seen the hub.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: freddered on March 13, 2008, 01:00:39 PM
If Robin Thorn reads this thread would you be kind enough to assure me that the lifetime 'Free of charge' replacement/fix gurantee of the Rohloof hub is still in place, including P&P ?

Mine is currently running perfectly and getting better by the oil-change (2 years & 6000 miles) but just in case.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: wheezy on April 30, 2008, 10:39:57 AM
Doesn't someone have an answer to this yet?
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: paulhipwood on September 17, 2008, 07:10:22 AM
Hi All

Well it has happened to me!!!!!

I put my bike on the work stand after my commute and found that the back wheel had a buckle. This was caused by the non drive side of the flange having cracked and one spoke was out of position.

So the bike is off the road and I am not too sure of the outcome.
It has made me realise that purchasing a Rohloff leaves you isolated when you have a problem.

Will let you know how the problem is resolved.

paul
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: geocycle on September 17, 2008, 09:30:33 AM
Tough luck Paul, I hope it's quickly resolved.  What sort of bike was it used on and what sort of riding do you do??? Has it done a lot of miles?
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: paulhipwood on September 19, 2008, 07:49:51 AM
Hi all

I have a Raven sports tour. I use it mainly for commuting, about 25 mile per day but not every day. Its 4 years old and has done about 10,000 miles.

regards
paul
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: geocycle on September 19, 2008, 09:33:46 AM
Mmm.. that's one of the few cases I've heard of one breaking that's not been heavily loaded eg on a tandem.  Let us know how it is resolved.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: daviddd55 on September 21, 2008, 10:16:35 AM
weird - I've just checked my flanges and they're Ok thankfully. In fact I have noted that even after 12000 miles, some of which was on very rough Outback gravel roads, the wheels are still running as true as when Thorn built them - a testament to the quality of their bikes. Is it possible that over-tightened spokes might cause this problem? Or unusual exposure of the hub to abrasive substances?

Whilst on about quality, the Thorn racks were unblemished by the hammering from bad roads and up to 30kg (rear) load, they're very strong.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: ALMEIDA on September 21, 2008, 10:52:32 AM
Quote
Is it possible that over-tightened spokes might cause this problem?

No. In most cases a too little spoke tension is a problem but causes not automatically a broken flange.
It is barely possible to over-tighten the spoke tension. Shortly before the nipples will brake.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: paulhipwood on October 11, 2008, 10:22:49 AM
Hi all

I have been told my hub was returned today (I am in the middle east for a few weeks). It broke on 17th September.

I spoke to Thorns and was told it was not under warranty. This was because I had bought the bike second hand (off thiss forum)  and the warranty was not transferable. They gave me a quote of aprox £100 to have the hub fixed.
I understand the stand taken but was a bit supprissed at the cost.

So I spoke to the Rohloff importers and they offered to return to Rohloff for me. They implied that it would be under warranty.

On 20th I sent it off (£18 post)

We got a message a few days ago that it would be returned, it then got lost and its turned up today.

In the meantime I have been using my old Moulton APB.

I have not been charged with the repair and think this is a good service, but I am not to sure about the reliability of these hubs and the ease of repairing them.
The Moulton is different and the gears are poor but I can fix and keep them servicable quite easily. My 12 mile commute was a few minutes quicker than my Sports Tour.
So basically I am disalusioned with the bike.

regards
paul

Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: PH on October 11, 2008, 11:45:43 AM
Better it didn't happen obviously, but I think a three weeks turn around for the price of postage, for a second user, is reasonable.  I've had a Campag bike off the road for longer than that waiting for a warranty repair, though of course in that case I could have got it back on the road next day if I'd been desperate enough to spend £90.  I think if I ever do an extended tour I'll probably use a derailleur bike, for everyday high mileage use, which is what I bought mine for, I haven't seen anything to put me off.
Title: Rohloff hubs and wheels
Post by: seligsohn on September 16, 2021, 06:17:06 PM
I am interested to read all the posts about Rohloff hubs and their associated wheel performance.  As experience tandemmers, we bought a new tandem from a local bike builder fitted with Rohloff hub in 2009.   The wheels were 700c.   After three long  trips, spokes started breaking which I replaced.   When six spokes broke (nipple end!) on one short trip, I knew something was wrong.   I looked at all the websites and found out we had to get a special Andra rim  with Sapim or Swiss DT spokes.    This we did and it was rebuilt (Sapim strong spokes and Andra rim) on the existing hub.   After that we had absolutely no trouble with the wheel and indeed carried on with our annual  >1200 km trips abroad with full camping gear and  also local trips.   Then about five years ago, I noticed that the spokes had loosened.  I re-tensioned the spokes to the recommended 1100 or so N (with inflated tyre)  and we carried on riding with no problems.   Last week after a short run, I noticed a spoke with a shallow kink mid-length.    I replaced this spoke and re-tensioned all the spokes to the same tension as before.   Next week we are going to tour in Scotland.   All I can say is that apart from those teething troubles at the beginning, the Rohloff hub has served and is serving us very well.    I have to say however that maintenance is important.  Spokes should be checked and after reading your forum, I am now checking the flanges before any big trip.  It is also worth investing in a wheel truing jig and a spoke tension guage.   I use this for my solo bikes as well.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: JohnR on September 16, 2021, 06:33:01 PM
Rohloff created flange support rings https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/search/?term=rohloff+flange+support+rings to reduce the risk of broken flanges and my 2020 Thorn Mercury came fitted with these but they can only be added before a wheel is built. That bike has suffered one broken nipple which, I think, resulted from crashing into a particularly nasty pothole. It put the wheel slightly out of true but wasn't ride-stopping. More here http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=14193.msg106793#msg106793 and in subsequent posts in that thread.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: brummie on September 16, 2021, 09:00:09 PM
(Touch wood ! ) - No problems here on my 15(?) year old hub built @ sjscycles. Probably on my 3rd rim and all original spokes. Soon to be rebuilt onto an Andra rim for the back of the tandem, so new spokes and ring support will be added.
Title: Re: Broken flanges on Rohloff hubs
Post by: PH on September 16, 2021, 09:59:12 PM
An old thread dug up from the past, I've broken two flanges since the last time I posted on this thread.
I'd rather neither had happened, but both were dealt with swiftly by SJS and as they're the only issues I've had in twenty years and at least 120,000 miles  I remain as happy with the hub/s as ever.
Title: Re: Rohloff hubs and wheels
Post by: mickeg on September 21, 2021, 09:49:13 PM
I am interested to read all the posts about Rohloff hubs and their associated wheel performance.  As experience tandemmers, we bought a new tandem from a local bike builder fitted with Rohloff hub in 2009.   ...
Next week we are going to tour in Scotland.   ...

Although Dave (formerly of SJS) did not recommend adding the flange rings when you are not otherwise rebuilding a wheel, since some of my travels involve a heavy load and takes me a long distance from where help may be available, I chose to do so on my Mk II Nomad.  To do so, I only had to unthread and re-tighten half the nipples, and no spokes came out of the hub so it was a quick job.

More here:
http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=11802.msg99847#msg99847

If I had a Rohloff on a tandem, I would consider adding the rings.