Author Topic: Best Chain for Rohloff?  (Read 11208 times)

buffet

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2021, 08:56:42 AM »
That's a wide 1/8" chain, I don't think it's a good idea to use it with narrow Rohloww sprockets.

UKTony

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2021, 09:44:16 AM »
That's a wide 1/8" chain, I don't think it's a good idea to use it with narrow Rohloww sprockets.

The range of choices of wide sprockets and chainrings might also be limited compared with the narrow ‘Rohloff’ ones??

PH

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2021, 09:46:19 AM »
I've been using KMC e1 EPT chains on my singlespeed bike and now on the Rohloff. Chain is fine, except for it's durability - it elongates to 0.75 after around 1500-2000km only.
Best way to make your chain last longer on a Rohloff is to stop measuring it  ;) 
I have three of the non EPT versions of that chain in use,  3,000, 5,000 and 9,000 km, I have no intention of changing them anytime soon.  I understand the principle of changing the chain to prolong the life of other components, but on a SS/IGH it doesn't make economic sense for two reasons.  First, the shifting doesn't deteriorate  and second you're likely to spend more on chains than save on components. I haven't had a chain let me down yet, I've had a few "stretch" so far as to need a link removed and I've worn a few sprockets/chainrings out. I've yet to reach 15,000 miles on a chain, but sometimes I've changed close to that as a precaution.  This is the advice in one of the Thorn brochures, possibly "Living with a Rohloff",  wear all three out together and it'll be trouble free.
That Wippermann does look the business, if I hadn't stocked up on the E1's  (I bought 4 when they were on offer and that might be a lifetimes worth) I'd be tempted to give it a try.  Please do report back if you do. 
I don't have any 1/8th experience, but I know it's possible to run them on a Rohloff, with the right chain and sprocket.
There's also the theory I read on the Sheldon Brown website, that running an even number of teeth and keeping the chain in the correct phase, stops the chain from wearing the chainring/sprocket.  I haven't tried it.

martinf

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2021, 01:03:23 PM »
That's a wide 1/8" chain, I don't think it's a good idea to use it with narrow Rohloww sprockets.

The range of choices of wide sprockets and chainrings might also be limited compared with the narrow ‘Rohloff’ ones??

Not much choice in KMC wide chainrings, only 38T and 42T in BCD 104 4 bolt. But a good range of wide sprockets, 15T to 21T in 1T increments.

buffet

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2021, 01:44:33 PM »
There's also the theory I read on the Sheldon Brown website, that running an even number of teeth and keeping the chain in the correct phase, stops the chain from wearing the chainring/sprocket.  I haven't tried it.

It's not a theory, it's high school level physics. You have 3 parameters: chainring teeth no., sprocket teeth no., chain links no. Based on these parameters you can evaluate how effectively the same link of the chain will make contact with each sprocket/chainring tooth. Worst case: every crank rotaton the same chain link contacts the exact same chainring/sprocket tooth.
Best case is to use chainring and sprocket with prime-numbered teeth. Such as: 43/19, 37/17 and so on.
Here is a GOLDEN resource to wrap your head around this concept:
https://www.blocklayer.com/chain-sprocket.aspx

Enter small teeth (sprocket), large teeth (chainring), chain length in links and hit calculate. Scroll down a tad and it will show you the % of optimal wear rate on your chainring and sprocket teeth. There is also a visualization tool where you can put a mark on your chainring/sprocket teeth and see it in motion.

PH

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2021, 06:52:27 PM »
There's also the theory I read on the Sheldon Brown website, that running an even number of teeth and keeping the chain in the correct phase, stops the chain from wearing the chainring/sprocket.  I haven't tried it.

It's not a theory, it's high school level physics. You have 3 parameters: chainring teeth no., sprocket teeth no., chain links no. Based on these parameters you can evaluate how effectively the same link of the chain will make contact with each sprocket/chainring tooth. Worst case: every crank rotaton the same chain link contacts the exact same chainring/sprocket tooth.
Best case is to use chainring and sprocket with prime-numbered teeth. Such as: 43/19, 37/17 and so on.
Here is a GOLDEN resource to wrap your head around this concept:
https://www.blocklayer.com/chain-sprocket.aspx

Enter small teeth (sprocket), large teeth (chainring), chain length in links and hit calculate. Scroll down a tad and it will show you the % of optimal wear rate on your chainring and sprocket teeth. There is also a visualization tool where you can put a mark on your chainring/sprocket teeth and see it in motion.
Looks like you've mixed up two theories, but thanks for the basic physics lesson. Sheldon's theory only works with even numbers and the ratio is irrelevant.  One claims to even out wear, the other to eliminate it from alternate teeth.  The science is simple enough, which method would better improve your chain life is theoretical till you've put it into practice.

Tiberius

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2021, 07:46:23 AM »
It's not a theory, it's high school level physics. You have 3 parameters: chainring teeth no., sprocket teeth no., chain links no. Based on these parameters you can evaluate how effectively the same link of the chain will make contact with each sprocket/chainring tooth. Worst case: every crank rotaton the same chain link contacts the exact same chainring/sprocket tooth.
Best case is to use chainring and sprocket with prime-numbered teeth. Such as: 43/19, 37/17 and so on.
Here is a GOLDEN resource to wrap your head around this concept:
https://www.blocklayer.com/chain-sprocket.aspx

That's interesting stuff - I really do wish that I had taken more notice when I was at skool.

steve216c

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2021, 10:56:54 AM »
I've been using KMC e1 EPT chains on my singlespeed bike and now on the Rohloff. Chain is fine, except for it's durability - it elongates to 0.75 after around 1500-2000km only. So recently I came across this chain - Wipperman Connex 7E8:
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/chains/wippermann-7e8-332-inch-chain-136-links/

It looks like a real monster in the 3/32 world. Anyone have any experience with this chain on a Rohloff?

P.S. I don't use a chain tensioner nor a chainglider, so so width of the chain is not an issue for me.

From German bike forums I got converted to Wippermann Connex chains a while back when riding derailleur bikes. I was getting frustrated with Shimano chain wear and wanted something similar priced that lasted a tad longer. The 808 chain was highly rated- for rust protection, longevity and probably the easiest quick link of all of them which you can remove in seconds without tools but that is strong enough to stand the rigors of derailleur chain stress without breaking. I was able to get 5000-6000 km minimum on MTB and trekking bikes I have which was at least 10-15% more than the Shimano chains I'd previously used. I think I even pushed one chain to 8000km. But remember that derailleur chains wear differently to IGH or fixies due to different stresses from drive to hub angles constantly changing plus various stages of wear on the front and rear cogs.

When I purchased my Rohloff powered Winora Labrador 2nd hand, it needed a new chain and I was pleased to hear the German bike forums praised the 808 as a great chain on the Rohloff too usually available at a better price point than those chains exclusively for single speed or IGHubs (probably due to economies of scale and being one of their best selling chains). The forum also advised that although IGH don't need the strengthened chains designed to cope with derailleurs, nor the sculpting of the plates to allow for smoother chaining up/down on chainrings/cassette, we are not disadvantaged by using them on our IGH bikes either.

I'm riding with a Truvativ chainring and a 16 tooth sprocket on my Rohloff and on which I am approaching 7000km with an 808 chain. No chain skip and no problems to date. Everything rosie and no regrets using an 808 chain.

The first 5000km were without decent chain weather/elements protection, and I was using the incredible Connex quicklink regularly to remove and wax and reinstall the chain after I was getting frustrated with oil mess and accumulated grime on my trouser legs. Bike gurus generally agree that a dirty chain wears out way faster with the accumulated crud picked up than a clean chain. I'm convinced that hot waxing my chain may have prevented some wear an oiled chain would have picked up- But at 5000km I installed a Chainglider and when the last waxing wore off I decided to oil the chain again as the Chainglider keeps most of the dirt away from the chain- and unlike wax, if kept clean, the oil should hold longer if protected from the elements.

I'd definitely recommend the Connex branded chains.  But as the 7 series chain you mentioned doesn't seem to have the brilliant Connex quick link, I'd recommend the 8 series chain. There is an 8SE and 8SX chain which might prove longer life. But I don't have any experience of those models. But if the 808 is a great long life chain (which my personal experience confirms) then the 8SE and 8SX ought to be a tad longer lived if the website is to be believed. And they both come with the great Connex quick link too which is great if you want/need to remove the chain for any reason.

https://www.connexchain.com/en/8-speed-chains.html

Andre Jute has mentioned (more than once in this forum) that with a chain glider you should be able to get at least 5000km out of a chain using the factory lube only when a Chainglider is used. Keeping whatever chain you use clean without needing to maintain it (oiling/cleaning regularly) should allow for better chain life as well as giving you more time on the saddle rather than near the saddle spent oiling/waxing/greasing. And a combination of good quality chain and a Chainglider ought to be a marriage made in heaven.
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buffet

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2021, 12:49:06 PM »
Thank you for your detailed reply, Steve. I will definitely check the 808 chain, I've also heard many good reports on it that back up your findings.

My complaints with KMC e1 EPT stretch/elongation are based on my previous singlespeed experience, not on the Rohloff. I suspect that the torque I was giving it with singlespeed (each ride - numerous climbs on sandy terrain, mashing on the pedals while standing with my 95kg weight, trying to rotate those 29"x2.6" tractor wheels) was much higher than usual torque on derailleur or IGH system.

steve216c

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2021, 02:15:55 PM »
There are of course Rohloff's fabled A99 chain which can often be found unused boxed but 2nd hand on German Ebay (often around EUR100) . But for with the price of a brand new Connex 808 under EUR 15 online- I cannot convince myself the A99 is going to be 8x (or more) better...
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John Saxby

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2021, 03:12:27 PM »
Thanks for this, Steve.  I see that starbike sells both the 808 & 708, so that's helpful for future orders.

Never heard of the A99, I must confess.  At €100 a pop though, I can only imagine that it comes wrapped in cachet.  ;)

Cheers,  John

PH

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2021, 11:46:57 AM »
Never heard of the A99, I must confess.  At €100 a pop though, I can only imagine that it comes wrapped in cachet.  ;)

Cheers,  John
In case there's any confusion - The Rohloff A99 chain isn't intended for a Rohloff hub.  Although Rohloff Hub are two words that seem to belong together, Rohloff were well respected chain manufactures before the existence of their hub, often for others including at one time the higher end Campagnolo chains.  Given that, I've always thought it odd that they haven't produced a chain to match the hub, or maybe they have and I've missed it.  Do they still make any chains?

julk

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2021, 06:36:25 PM »
Rohloff did make a chain for use with the hub, sadly no longer made or available as far as i know.
I am still running one inside my ChainGlider.
Long may it live…
Julian.

Andre Jute

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2021, 12:28:04 AM »
Herr Rohloff was the maker of chains by appointment to the mud-racing brigade. On his honeymoon, so the story goes, his and his bride's derailleur bikes were wrecked by the sand and salt water at the beach, so he designed the Rohloff Speed 14 enclosed hub gear box, for the same market. It was by the accident of being chosen by the prestigious but very peculiar and particular German baukast Utopia-velo ("The Rolls-Royce of German bicycles" -- it's true; I have one) for their touring bikes, and then by the iconic Thorn tourers, and later by makers of upmarket Dutch stadssportief types, that Rohloff became the reference standard for touring gearboxes.

There are/were also some fine cyclists' tools called Caliber and Revolver but they basically became irrelevant if you bought a Rohloff chain...

How many miles has your Rohloff chain done, Julian?

I suspect that Herr Rohloff had thoroughly worked himself out of the chain market my making a chain that lasts forever.

We should be grateful for this history. If Bernd Rohloff started out to design a touring gearbox, it could have been much lighter and less resistant to the hard life that the "honeymoon" Rohloff shrugs off in long-distance touring. It is probably significant that every time we've heard of a "lightweight" or a "sports" Rohloff, the idea has just died quietly: I guess they discovered it wouldn't last as long as the tougher if heavier big Rohloff, the Speed 14, and would interfere with its enviable reputation for indestructibility.

Danneaux

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Re: Best Chain for Rohloff?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2021, 04:58:51 AM »
Some relevant links for those interested in Rohloff's chain production and the reasons why they no longer produce some of their older product line of chains:

https://www.bikeradar.com/news/rohloff-cease-production-of-eight-and-nine-speed-chains/
https://www.rohloff.de/en/company/rohloff-ag
https://www.rohloff.de/en/company/rohloff-ag/s-l-t-99

Basically, the original "Green Monster" chain-making machine needed an overhaul of its bespoke parts and Rohloff used this downtime as an opportunity to reassess the market and decided not top pursue the market for ever-narrower derailleur chains out of concerns about durability.

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2021, 05:07:15 AM by Danneaux »