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I have just spoken to "Marko" at Rohloff HQ who is responsible for the manual/handbook incl the download.
After considerable discussion he agreed the information on the pages I attached at the beginning of this thread ( downloaded yesterday from their site )contained numerous mistakes in the image labelling  and instructions  regarding leading and trailing spokes, and how easy it would be to make a mistake as a result. I pressed him on whether if mistakes in lacing are made as a result of this fact and the flange integrity was undermined ( as mentioned in Mr Blance's article) whether Rohloff would warranty this and he said Yes.  . He promised that in 10 mins a correctly labelled updated version of the manual would finally be available for download but I haven't seen it yet and will check later.
So ..if it is corrected today it will have taken them 15 plus years to do it . I  also do hope that if it is finally more comprehensible it will help future owners to avoid a migraine . 
Now all  that's  left is to sort out the issue re Mr Blance stating that the "Pulling" spokes should have  the heads on the outside of the flange.
Seems like Sheldon Brown is indicating that the most likely spoke to be termed a "pulling "spoke would be the trailing spoke  : Here's a quote from his wheel building guide :

"The "trailing" spokes pull harder under drive torque to make the rim turn, and the "leading" spokes contribute by pulling less hard under driving torque. Each group of spokes contributes equally in its own way to turning the rim to keep up with the hub.
Trailing Spokes
Some writers have referred to the trailing spokes as "driving" or "pulling" spokes, and have referred to the leading spokes as "tension" or "static" spokes. These terms may be confusing, because all of the spokes contribute to driving, they are all under tension and they all pull. Depending on how you look at it, either all of them or none of them are "static". (Thanks to John Forester for suggesting "leading" and "trailing".)
Tandem Talk / Re: Thorn Tandem bb size & crank rings?
« Last post by macspud on Today at 02:03:09 PM »
Dan, in fact the Andra 40 weighs almost 100 grams less, per wheel, than the Andra 30.  Strange eh, considering the 40 has Ryde's highest load rating?

Looking at the pages you linked to The 26" version of the Andra 40 is 825g and the 26" Andra 30 is 696g.

Edit: Oh, Scratch that, I see Dan has first-hand knowledge and Ryde's figures are erroneous. I should know better than to start answering a post before finishing reading the thread. lol. 

Hello again and thanks to all for your contributions and advice ... I agree ideally I should get SJSC to build the wheel but I wanted an unusual Rim which they do not stock and offer nothing similar ( 27.5 " 32 hole 35 mm internal diameter ) .I do not know if they build wheels with rims not provided by themselves and with regards to the extended flange warranty that seems only to be offered on wheels built by themselves and as part of a complete bike purchase.  I shall enquire and report back . I am just intensely frustrated that so much emphasis is made re the hub being laced correctly but there seems to be  nothing in print that is clear and unambiguous .What is available is full of mistakes it appears.  I am  also aware of the lacing differences for what Rohloff call French and European spoke patterns (which appear to be related to left and right stagger drillings ) which adds another dimension to have to be aware of .
I feel it is not satisfactory to have to rely on SJSC's to have a wheel built and know it has been done correctly or at least to cover yourself in relation to warranty issues . For such an expensive item  the correct information should be available to any wheel builder in a clear and definitive format thereby eliminating undue anxiety regarding whether it has been done correctly. I  had arranged for the wheel to be built this week but have had to cancel that now until I can get  some definitive answers. 
I 'd like to ask MartinF if he is certain when he says that the "pulling "spokes are the leading spokes? In my mind when you pedal it is the trailing spokes that pull the rear rim around as you pedal but I  could well be mistaken. Once this is ascertained I will be able to confirm whether Andy Blance has made a mistake or not in his article. No doubt there will be different opinions to further complicate the issue as it seems nothing is agreed upon in the eclectic world of wheel builders.

" Many wheel builders donít listen to Rohloffís wheel building directives and their failure to comply can lead to hub flange failure.
It made me chuckle the first time I read that - the only wheelbuilders I know who deviate from the Rohloff instructions are SJS!  My 700c wheel on a Mercury is currently built, by SJS after a flange failure, 1X with all the spoke heads on the outside of the flange.  I have no idea why they've done that, it's not a one-off, some of the bikes in the current catalogue are the same, but not all of them.  I think it also means the reinforcing rings that Rohloff now recommend can't be fitted.  I've never seen any other wheel, Rohloff or otherwise, built up like that.
Do I care?  Not a jot, SJS have demonstrated again and again that they stand behind what they do.  I'm entirely with Andre, I'd let them build the wheel and take the risk.

I do have another Rohloff, which I've built myself into a 24" folder wheel.  I bought this secondhand and this is it's third wheel size when Rohloff's advise is to not change size and pattern.  I'm aware of the risk and took it into account when negotiating the price.  I've built this 1X and followed the previous spoke orientation, this aligned the spokes as closely as possible with the existing wear marks.  Time wil tell...
Although the Rohloff warranty has been reduced, which I do find disappointing on a premium product, a broken flange isn't the end of the world if they'll still supply a replacement at a reasonable cost.
I generally try and build my own wheels (since about 1980), but made an exception for the two Rohloff wheels I own, which I had built by SJS cycles (= Thorn).

The two wheels are not built the same as each other, and are not the same as the wheels in the manual extracts and photos posted by George.

The 2011 wheel on my Raven Tour has the pulling (leading) spokes on both sides with the heads to the outside of the hub flanges and the bends on the inside.

The 2016 wheel on my Raven Sport Tour has the pulling (leading) spokes on the right hand (drive) side with the heads to the outside of the hub flanges and the bends on the inside, but the  pulling (leading) spokes on the left hand (non-drive) side with the heads to the inside of the hub flanges and the bends on the outside.

Both Rohloff wheels are used with rim brakes, so I can't see any reason for this difference. When I received them I checked the wheels for out-of-round/side-to-side errors and spoke tightness, they were the only wheels that have passed through my hands recently that I deemed good enough not to need tweaking.

ALL the other wheels supplied on new or used bikes that I have acquired over the past 20 to 30 years have needed at least the spoke tension increased. They have sometimes also needed the correction of out-of-round or side-to-side wobbles.

So I reckon the orientation of the trailing/leading spokes makes no difference on a well-built, normal size (26", 650B, 700C) Rohloff wheel. Except maybe for the flange failure issue, which seems to be a specific potential weakness of the Rohloff hub, addressed in the past few years by the addition of flange reinforcing rings.

And I would go with the advice of Andrť as to getting the hub built into a wheel by SJS/Thorn, because I believe they will guarantee their wheel build in the (unlikely) event of a flange failure.

For Rohloff and other hubs with large flanges I believe rims with specific drillings (angle-drilled) are best.

Rohloff are also particular about the spokes that should be used, with specific recommandations for the length of the bend near the spoke head, the finish of the head itself and the spoke diameter at the hub end.

- - - - - - - - - -

If I had built my Rohloff wheels myself I would probably have put the pulling (leading) spokes on both sides with the heads to the inside of the hub flange as George has done, this is how I believe (normal sized) rear wheels with rim brakes should be built.

- - - - - - - - - -

And if I ever get another Rohloff hub, now that I know about the spoke/rim issues, I would be confident building the wheel myself after asking for clarification from Rohloff on the recommended orientation of the leading/pulling spokes. I would not trust any local wheel builder with the job. I do know one very good builder, but he has little experience with hub gears.

Willy, take what I say for what it is worth. I've never built a wheel from scratch but I did manage to retune a badly built set of wheels on a Gazelle (a Gazelle! -- apparently it can happen to anyone), and I found a mathematical error in Jobst Brandt's key book on the subject, The Bicycle Wheel, which Jobst, a very prickly character, confessed to under much pressure, so I have some modest understanding of how the wheel works. But, much more usefully to you, I routinely hold manufacturers and vendors to the absolute letter of their promises, and if they don't deliver, I don't bother to go to court, I just smear them a couple of million in adverse  publicity and dump the Trading Standards and the Revenue  and the Customs and Excise on their heads.

1. I haven't read the two spreads of the manual you thoughtfully provided. I don't care whether you're right or the manual-Rohloff-Thorn are right; I'm not qualified to adjudicate between you. Instead I read the two pages of Andy Blance's text you provided, and I referred to what I know of Rohloff's generous warranty practice, which Mr Blance lays out. Why? Because all you need to know to exit this morass of uncertainty that you're in is this: If you do the right thing, according to people who have been doing this successfully for a lifetime, they will take the financial responsibility for making a mistake (or being utterly in the wrong, as you claim) off your shoulders.

2. It follows that the smart thing to do is to send the hub back to Thorn (with the rim if they approve of it, otherwise sell it and buy a rim from Thorn) and let them build the wheel and take the responsibility. It will be well worth the extra cost in your brother's peace of mind as he rides his bike, perhaps far from home. In the long run it will be worth many times the extra cost.

3. I will tell you in general that, like you, I've been riding a Rohloff for many years, and that mine is absolutely guaranteed to have been built into its wheel to the very last detail of Herr Rohloff's specification in the manual by people who are on first-name terms with him, and it is still as good as new. That's the other factor of importance I see for your decision, that your own wheel hasn't broken, but not weighing as heavily as Thorn and Rohloff taking the financial responsibility off you and placing squarely on their own broad shoulders.

4. Local wheel builders of "high reputation" often have that reputation regardless of their actual ability because the local cyclists have no one to compare them to, so they have to trust the accessible wheel builder. I once investigated having a wheel built and was told the best man was X; actually, he was the only man. I went up to the city to see him. He was about forty. He was self-taught, he said, because the last master wheel builder was dead by the time he started his bike shop; mostly, instead of building wheels, he preferred his customers to order computer-built wheels. Under no circumstance, he also said, would he build a wheel for a guy with a column in a national newspaper for fear that "a finicky bastard like you" (that's what he said) would ruin his business. There was, he told me after I nonetheless bought a bunch of expensive tools in his shop and ordered more for him to drop off to me when he went to visit his mum down the road from me, one acceptable builder in the country, in Dublin (160 miles away), "but you have to take the wheel he builds with the spokes he selects, not the wheel some German wants". That's a capsule example of what Andy Blance means by "wheel builders, who for reasons of pride, ignorance or meanness donít follow these directives." The bane of sophisticated machinery is an elderly local "craftsman" who knows better. Cocky kids are worse.

5. If you decide to go ahead with the local builder, at least ask to see his tools. They should include a spoke tension meter from Park or DT Swiss or some other reputable supplier and a truing stand.

6. If you decide to do the job yourself, you may just get away with Chinese copies of the Park and DT Swiss tools, but they will still escalate the cost of the wheel well above what it will cost to have SJS build it for you -- and take the financial responsibility. For a wheel truing stand, you can make do with an upside down bicycle, a few pegs off the washing line, and some small pieces of cardboard or thin plastic. Here are some images from SJS to help you identify the major tools:

OR this one:

AND this one (OR an upside down bike)

One of my attachments would not post, too big.  I had to make a graphic from a screen shot and crop it, then attach later, thus the attached files are not in correct order.


I am not going to say what is right or what is wrong, I will just say what I did when I built my wheel in 2013.  That wheel has been trouble free on my Nomad since then.

I bought the Nomad frame in 2013, bought my Ryde Andra 30 CSS rims from SJS in the same order.  I bought my hub from another supplier in Germany.  I live in USA, bought Wheelsmith spokes and Sapim nipples from a supplier in USA.  My hub is for rim brakes, not disc.  I also built up a 36 spoke wheel, so my spoke lengths are slightly different than a typical SJS 32 spoke wheel.

I have a lot of difficulty keeping the terminology of leading and trailing spokes straight, so I look at half of the spokes as being pulling spokes, meaning when you pedal and that puts torque on the hub, that hub then pulls on half the spokes with more tension, which forces the wheel to go around.  So, I refer to those spokes as the pulling spokes.  I do not really have a name for the other half of the spokes, for purposes of this e-mail I will call them non-pulling spokes.

The manual you cited is newer than the manual I used.  Since I sourced my hub from Germany, I received instructions in German, which I cannot read.  So, I downloaded the english language manuals from Rohloff at that time.  And I still have my copies of those downloaded manuals which are older than yours.

I attached some files, the file labeled R1 has pages 55 and 56, I am referencing only page 55:

It makes it clear that my 26 inch wheel takes a 2 cross pattern, it is bigger than 24 inch.

In photo 3, you clearly are on the non-drive side of the wheel (or left side of the bike) because the hub cap screws in the photo are only on the non-drive side.  Thus, when the hub rotates counter clockwise, the wheel will push the bike forward.  From that photo the spoke labeled "leading" will pull harder on rim to accelerate the bike, thus, that means that what Rohloff calls  the leading spokes are what I call pulling spokes.

And you can see in that photo that the head of the spoke is inside, not outside of the flange on a pulling or leading spoke.

The pulling spokes on both sides of the wheel (both drive side and non-drive side) should have their spoke heads matching, meaning on both sides of the wheel the leading or pulling spokes should have their heads on the inside sides of their flanges.

The purpose of photos 3 and 4 are to tell you how to lace the non-drive side spokes relative to the cap screws.  I believe that SJS may have done this differently than the photos on page 55 on some bikes.

File R2 shows pages 35 and 36.  Of the three hubs that do not have disc brakes, you can see that all three of those hub photos have the spokes oriented to the cap screws and all three of those hubs have the pulling spokes with the spoke heads inside the same as in the photo on page 55.  The fourth wheel with disc brake, the disc obscures the detail on the spokes, cap screws and flange holes.  Also all three of those rim brake wheels have the leading or pulling spoke heads on the inside on both drive and non-drive side.

Third file shows my rear wheel, photo was taken in 2014.  (SJS recommends against using kickstands, thus disregard the kickstand on my bike.)  I laced my wheel to match the photos in the Rohloff manual.

So, I am not saying what is right or what is wrong, I am just saying I matched the photos that Rohloff had in their manuals at the time I built the wheel.

I am not going to spend an time comparing old and new Rohloff manuals or how they compare to SJS documents, my bike works fine so I am done researching it.

I do not know if you have built wheels before, but the Rohloff wheel is an expensive wheel to get it wrong.  I would recommend against learning on that wheel.  But if this is your first wheel and if you are going to lace it up, I think Sheldon has an excellent tutorial on wheelbuilding at:

Even though I have been building wheels off and on since the 1970s and I built my own wheel, I had a friend check the spoke tension since I do not have a tension meter.
Hello all
Please bear with me and forgive me If my understanding is wrong as I've never built a wheel but I've recently  been getting somewhat frustrated with trying to get a Speedhub built up correctly , in order to ensure warranty requirements are met.
I personally have owned a speedhub since 2005 without issue and recommended one to my brother who requested it as a retirement present.
His colleagues clubbed together and sourced the hub from SJSC a few months ago and I was recently asked to get it laced locally so got in contact with a wheelbuilder  who has a very good reputation but little experience with speedhubs themselves . I purchased the rim ( stans Baron 27.5 ) then came across the info in the handbook re different 2x lacing with french /european spoke hole patterns etc . I had seen on another website that the  current official manual ,available to download , had incorrectly labelled "leading" and "trailing" spokes and repeated this  mistake in the instructions also . I have a manual from 2005 and it's  the same there so has probably caused a number of incorrect lacings as a result over the years if you didn't pay careful attention and notice the mistake. My hub itself was in fact  laced incorrectly all those years ago as a result of this.
I also read through Mr Blance's comprehensive guide to" living with a Rohloff hub 2019" and he himself has seems , made a mistake regarding this issue and  inadvertently reinforced incorrect information. In the article on p34/35 he states amongst other things " Many wheel builders donít listen to Rohloffís wheel building directives and their failure to comply can lead to hub flange failure. Rohloff are apparently targeting these irresponsible wheel builders by specifically limiting their warranty on broken hub flanges to 24 months." well ..considering the info in the handbook is a real mess is that fair ?
Also ..apparently Rohloff have identified 6 reasons for the hub flange failures and one of them is :
" The wheels have been incorrectly built with the pulling spokes exiting the hub from the outside of the flanges. This means that the spokes press against the hub flange exacerbating any of the other issues: He states that :
The solution is to have the pulling spokes exit the hub from the inside of the flange, exactly as it says in the
My understanding is that the "pulling"spokes are the trailing spokes and according to Rohloff should actually have the spoke head on the inside of the flange and thereby exit on the outside . If this is correct it seems Mr Blance  himself has been caught out by the wording mistakes in the manual too! Again , if I'm correct. what hope do  we have in getting things right if he can't with years of experience?
I went through a few images in the current official manual as well as looking at some  images of Thorn speedhub bike builds and the vast majority had the leading spokes with the  head on the outer side of the flange as I would have expected . I did however also find a few Thorn built speedhub wheel  with the spoke heads the other way round  in relation to  what we are now told is imperative. On top of this the spokes crossed the non drive side bolt holes too .
What I'm trying to say is that it has been made clear that Rohloff insist on  specific lacing  to avoid issues such as flange breakages but the literature produced by themselves and elsewhere  doesn't make it difficult to get  thoroughly confused. Mr Blance may have made a mistake ( or may not have ? ) but Rohloff have and have no excuse not to clear this all up. They were informed a good while back and the mistakes remain . Mr Blance also goes on to say "Rohloff say that they will no longer support those whose wheels have not been built in accordance with their directives - even if they are victims of bad wheel building practice and/or wheel builders, who for reasons of pride,ignorance or meanness donít follow these directives." :  Again this fair with the all the mistakes  that people may well refer to before a build?
 Finally I'm sorry if this post contains any incorrect information and /or is difficult to digest because of my presentation. I am currently  very unwell  and struggled to get my points across but I hope you get the gist . Maybe I've got it all wrong so please feel free to correct anything I may have misunderstood. I've attached a few pages relating to the literature involved if you'd like to have a look yourself and offer an opinion.

Tandem Talk / Re: Thorn Tandem bb size & crank rings?
« Last post by Pavel on January 25, 2020, 05:17:36 PM »
I plan to put on my Nomad's Rohloff with it's stout Andra 30 rims, and probably the Schwalbe 1.6" supremes, for a start.  The Andra 30 rims are the heaviest, but rated for a lower max weight, while the Andra 40 rims are lighter, which would make them less robust to my way of thinking, but the only Ryde rims rated for 180 KG. But it's my belief that Thorn specs tandems with the Andra 30s, right, so that is a bit confusing.  Do you think taking the trouble and expense to rebuilt the wheels for the tandem to Andra 40s is worth the bother, and is there any real advantage in that higher rating? When they rate a wheel for 120 kg, I take it that is not for the set, but rather per wheel?

I'd advise using the Andra 30 rimmed wheels from your Nomad, but with 2.0" Duremes or Supremes (I expect SJS would recommend the former for a tandem). You will need higher pressures on a tandem and the wider tyres should make a difference to comfort, especially for the stoker on the back.

The rating is for the wheel, on a tandem the weight is fairly evenly distributed, so you could have a total weight of about 240 kg and still comply. Tyres have ratings as well, usually a wider tyre will have a higher rating.

I have Andra 30 rims on my Raven Tour, they are OK with 2.0" tyres. But if using wider tyres than 2.0" I think the Andra 40 rims would be better. My personal belief is that it is better to have a 32 hole wheel with a reasonably strong rim specifically drilled for Rohloff rather than a 36 hole wheel with an even stronger rim but without the directional drilling.

In all cases, the wheels should be properly built - I systematically check any wheel that I haven't built myself and in most cases I have had to tighten the spokes (one notable exception - the three wheels I had built by SJS were very good and did not need any adjustment).

At a later date I will buy a new Rohloff and lace it up with 650B rims, disks (not that I like them, but what other choice is there if one wants larger wheels?) and a rim lighter than the Andra.  I knew it was overkill back in 2011 when I placed the order, but what a marvelous overkill it was, and fuel many an enjoyable days of daydreaming of future epic rides, especially while I was flat on my back in the hospital.  For the Nomad, It's time for lighter wheels and lighter ambitions - Slightly, ever so slightly.

Apart from a possible future tyre availability issue, or maybe if you want to try tubeless, I can't see much point in going from 26" to 650B.

I have both 26" and 650B, because the fairly recent reintroduction of 650B as "27.5" allowed me to save my old utility bike which dates from the 1950's or 1960's. 650B is only about 4.5% bigger than 26" and I don't really notice the difference (2.0" Supremes in 650B on the old bike, 2.0" Supremes in 26" on my new utility bike).

I did notice the difference between the old 650B x 42 tyres (about 1.6" true width) and the 650B 2.0" Supremes, the latter are more comfortable and perform much better on sandy tracks.

If you do need slightly bigger wheels (probably only useful off-road) my own take is that it would be better to increase the size of the tyre, say to 2.5", and benefit from greater width (works better on loose surfaces like sand) and lower pressure as well as a larger wheel. I can't really increase tyre width by much on my current bikes and don't do enough off-road riding to justify a new frame, so I will stick with 26" x 2.0" as long as I can get decent tyres in that size.

Going from 26" to 29" would make much more difference (about 29%) and I expect 29" would be significantly better off-road, assuming the same tyre width.

I like your thinking on the 2" vs the 1.6" tyres, but I've got the 1.6" Supremes already along with a set of Mondials, so for the beginning it's a choice between the two.  I did not realize that there was a tandem and non-tandem version of the supremes, so that  is another thing to ponder. When I initially bought the Nomad I took the advice from Andy, writer in the brochure and purchased the bike with the Mondial tyres on, and a spare set of Supremes, that I only used about one hundred miles when I first got the RST. I switched to Kojaks on the RST after a few days, so the Supremes have been patiently waiting in the closet since new.  They do last forever, right?  ;)

But with the info I've received here, I will be staying with the Andra 30.

After I get this tandem built up, I will need another Rohloff and Sun 28 wheel built up, in order to get my Nomad back on the road.  After years of being a fan of 26" wheels, I find my preferences now lie with larger diameter hoops.  I'd actually prefer a 700cc bike now, were I starting all over, though I'm not sure about a 700cc Nomad.  It seems the tandem and the Nomad shine best with 26" wheels.  As has been mentioned the 650 is pretty close but the tyre choices now favor 650, especially in tubeless.  I also no longer frown upon disks as I once did, so coupled with the fact that I've not yet had a 650B bike, and the Nomad can take the size if new forks are purchase, AND I'm always trying to slow the steering down, I'm incline towards a small change.  I'll see how it compares.

But in any case, once I find a tubeless 26" tyre in around the 2" size, it may be a good idea to stock up.

Just to ask again, is the bottom bracket on the tandem 73mm?

Thanks, all.
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