Author Topic: First Time Rohloff Owner  (Read 7734 times)

Rouleur834

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First Time Rohloff Owner
« on: May 12, 2021, 07:55:26 PM »
Hello all.

Hopefully I'm posting this in the correct area. Apologies to the Mod if not.

I'm taking delivery of my first Rohloff fitted bike on Saturday and I'm wondering what words of wisdom could be imparted by experienced users. I've done a lot of reading and picked-up some useful bits but any and all advice would be gratefully received. It seems to advisable to remove tension from the cranks when changing from 7 to 8 and the other way. Apparently the hub can seize if you don't? Read some interesting things about chain life. They seem to last a very long time compared to my SRAM or Shimano chains fitted to my 1x. I was having the bike serviced every six months, chain and indexing needed. Apparently not the case with Rohloff. Based on advice from various road gurus, I carried a chain breaker tool and quick link in my tool kit in case of a chain breaking whilst miles from home. Would anyone do this with a Rohloff for short one day rides?

Thank you in anticipation.

Best

Ray


JohnR

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 09:03:01 PM »
Welcome to the Rohloff owners' club. :) I very briefly ease the pedalling pressure when changing between any gears (or often two or three). The Rohloff manual mentions doing the gear changes when the cranks are vertical as that's when there's minimal turning force on the cranks - I may well be subconsciously doing that. I've sometimes found that a very hurried shift into or out of 11th gear and result in a mis-shift to a wrong gear.

The likelihood of the chain breaking is minimal although this may depend on the chain manufacturer. You'll find that KMC single speed or 8 speed chains are popular here (and, I think, are stronger than 9 speed or higher chains) and Thorn recommend using a suprisingly slack chain (see page 12 of http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/ThornBikeOwnerManual2Web.pdf ). Rohloff are also very particular about the chainline and the bike should have been set up accordingly. Not only does this reduce the risk of damage to the hub but also reduces lateral bending of the chain.

WorldTourer

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 09:06:59 PM »
Let us know what frame this will be exactly. That has a strong bearing on the advice that people will impart.

As for tension, the key thing to understand about shifting on a Rohloff is that you donít move your legs. It is the opposite of a derailleur system; on those you have to pedal to switch gears. On a Rohloff, on the other hand, you shift without any pushing on the pedals whatsoever. (This is a key advantage Ė it allows you to shift down while waiting at traffic lights, or avoid wiping out on a suddenly challenging uphill.) As long as you donít push with your feet for that split-second where you are shifting gears, you donít have to worry about the hub seizing, it is a pretty sturdy piece of equipment.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 09:09:21 PM by WorldTourer »

Rouleur834

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2021, 09:33:52 PM »
Let us know what frame this will be exactly. That has a strong bearing on the advice that people will impart.

As for tension, the key thing to understand about shifting on a Rohloff is that you donít move your legs. It is the opposite of a derailleur system; on those you have to pedal to switch gears. On a Rohloff, on the other hand, you shift without any pushing on the pedals whatsoever. (This is a key advantage Ė it allows you to shift down while waiting at traffic lights, or avoid wiping out on a suddenly challenging uphill.) As long as you donít push with your feet for that split-second where you are shifting gears, you donít have to worry about the hub seizing, it is a pretty sturdy piece of equipment.

Hello and thank you. It will be a Mercury Mk3.

Rouleur834

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2021, 09:35:19 PM »
Welcome to the Rohloff owners' club. :) I very briefly ease the pedalling pressure when changing between any gears (or often two or three). The Rohloff manual mentions doing the gear changes when the cranks are vertical as that's when there's minimal turning force on the cranks - I may well be subconsciously doing that. I've sometimes found that a very hurried shift into or out of 11th gear and result in a mis-shift to a wrong gear.

The likelihood of the chain breaking is minimal although this may depend on the chain manufacturer. You'll find that KMC single speed or 8 speed chains are popular here (and, I think, are stronger than 9 speed or higher chains) and Thorn recommend using a suprisingly slack chain (see page 12 of http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/ThornBikeOwnerManual2Web.pdf ). Rohloff are also very particular about the chainline and the bike should have been set up accordingly. Not only does this reduce the risk of damage to the hub but also reduces lateral bending of the chain.

Thank you - much appreciated. Some bedtime reading!

Andre Jute

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2021, 09:39:03 PM »
Welcome to the club.

Be prepared for an extended running-in period.

As Chalo Colina, a sometime Boeing toolmaker and the designer of the 48 spoke Rohloff wheel, said, "A Rohloff is run in just about the time a Shimano Nexus hub lies itself down to die."

JohnR

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2021, 10:27:02 PM »
Hello and thank you. It will be a Mercury Mk3.
Nice bike (I've got one ;D). You might be interested in this http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13973.0 to further improve the chain longevity and protect yourself from chain muck.

PH

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2021, 12:05:26 AM »
You can spend loads of time thinking about it then spend some more thinking about why you bothered. 
It's as close to fit and forget as a gearing system can be.  You don't have to adjust the chain anything like as often as you'll think you do, you don't have to pamper it much at all, though with a three grand bike it's hard not too.  It is a little different to ride, habits take a while to break, it does no harm to ride it like any other bike, but that won't get the best from it.  For a while you will still change down for a junction and get in the right gear at the bottom of a hill, then over the crest change up just a couple at a time rather than a handful. Then of course you jump back on a derailleur bike and keep stopping at traffic lights in top gear... I didn't realise how different being able to change anytime would be.
And the Mercury is a great bike, Sports Tourer sums it up for me, but others use them in different ways.
Couple of Rohloff specifics - Buy at least the 250ml size if the two oils, anything smaller doesn't make economic sense, I'd also add two syringes, a clean and dirty. Once it's bought, the cost of an oil change is minimal, I do one after the first 1,000 miles or so, then into the regular routine.  But really, it's a guide not a religion, a couple of months early because you have some free time or are going on a big tour, a month late because you're busy... it isn't going to matter.  I also like to keep a couple of spares in stock, couple of cables, couple of drain plugs, new chain, that way you have it when you need it.
Re toolkit - I don't bother on short rides, but when away from home carry a chain tool and a short bit of spare chain, just remember, unlike a derailleur, if you damage and remove a couple of links it won't fit!
Take the wheel in and out a couple of times so it's familiar when you have to do it roadside and that's all I can think of, just go enjoy.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 12:08:25 AM by PH »

Rouleur834

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2021, 02:56:47 PM »
You can spend loads of time thinking about it then spend some more thinking about why you bothered. 
It's as close to fit and forget as a gearing system can be.  You don't have to adjust the chain anything like as often as you'll think you do, you don't have to pamper it much at all, though with a three grand bike it's hard not too.  It is a little different to ride, habits take a while to break, it does no harm to ride it like any other bike, but that won't get the best from it.  For a while you will still change down for a junction and get in the right gear at the bottom of a hill, then over the crest change up just a couple at a time rather than a handful. Then of course you jump back on a derailleur bike and keep stopping at traffic lights in top gear... I didn't realise how different being able to change anytime would be.
And the Mercury is a great bike, Sports Tourer sums it up for me, but others use them in different ways.
Couple of Rohloff specifics - Buy at least the 250ml size if the two oils, anything smaller doesn't make economic sense, I'd also add two syringes, a clean and dirty. Once it's bought, the cost of an oil change is minimal, I do one after the first 1,000 miles or so, then into the regular routine.  But really, it's a guide not a religion, a couple of months early because you have some free time or are going on a big tour, a month late because you're busy... it isn't going to matter.  I also like to keep a couple of spares in stock, couple of cables, couple of drain plugs, new chain, that way you have it when you need it.
Re toolkit - I don't bother on short rides, but when away from home carry a chain tool and a short bit of spare chain, just remember, unlike a derailleur, if you damage and remove a couple of links it won't fit!
Take the wheel in and out a couple of times so it's familiar when you have to do it roadside and that's all I can think of, just go enjoy.

PH - thank you. Top tip about the gear change! Sports Tourer will suit my requirements very nicely. I'm probably too long I the tooth to start roaming the world on a bike. Started cycling a few years ago to control diabetes but found a new lifestyle. I'll do as you suggest with regard to the rear wheel and then just ride. No procrastination, just do it  :)

steve216c

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2021, 04:36:06 PM »
I have to agree with the tips all given this far. The Rohloff hub may be a complicated piece of machinery but it is not terribly difficult to self service. If anything it is easier to keep in check than a standard derailleur set up. The unfamiliarity was daunting when I did my first oil change after buying a 2nd hand bike in Autumn 2019, but Rohloff have put some excellent self help videos on YouTube as have several independent pike fanatics. Iím already a veteran of 3 oils changes in total (one was for a friend) and have my next oil change due in a month. It is easy once youíve done the first.

Certainly removing the wheel is slightly different to a non geared hub, but IMHO easy enough too. But PHĎs tip is a good one. You know it will be raining and dark and messy when you have the first roadside need to remove that wheel. But practice a couple of times at home on a dry and sunny day, and it will be second nature. Rohloff almost certainly have a video on that too. And once you know how, it is also easy to repeat.

Having a small stock of Rohloff specific  spares is no bad idea unless your local bike shop is a dealer. For many we are too niche for them to carry spares in stock. I changed my gear cable outers to take Standard Shimano gear cables. So I have one cable fitting all my non Rohloff bikes too. But a decent amount of gear change oil will last you several years at a fraction of the cost of the single portion sets. Worth considering or purchasing together with other Rohloff riders to share.

Finally, running in. I purchased my bike with an estimated 10,000km use already on the hub. In the 9000+ I have added to it, it has either got quieter and smoother or my hearing has got worse. I think the former is the case though. Smoother and quieter and definitely less maintenance than its Deore powered stablemate

Best addition I added has been a Hebie Chainglider. I only regret not buying it earlier in my ownership. By encapsulating from the elements the oil stays clean and on the chain, so little need for regular chain cleaning and reapplying oil. And less crud in the drivechain means slower wear through friction.
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

geocycle

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2021, 05:52:27 PM »
Great bike, great gear system, whatís not to like! As others have said the rohloff is close to fit and forget. When I got mine I was still in a tinkering mindset, constantly checking chain tension and cables. Iíve learned that more is less, donít worry about chain tension as long as itís not too tight and cables last a long time. An annual oil change and replace parts when they are worn out. Otherwise just ride.
 

Matt2matt2002

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2021, 07:38:44 PM »
Welcome welcome.

I've not much to add to the above tips & comments apart from noting that this forum is a wealth of information all given freely and with good humour.

By joining this group you have automatically gained 100+ friends.

Best
Matt
Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

GamblerGORD649

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2021, 11:55:30 PM »
Nice choice, have a great ride. I hope you got the simple EX box shifter. You will never use derailleurs again. Myself, my other bikes are both SA , 3 spd and 5w. I always fill with 25 ml, makes no sense to not to. I let mine drain out overnight. There is 37/ 38 ml every time, so over half the oil is still in there. I'm glad I got a bolt/ nut one that doesn't leak like the QR.

Mine has 17,300 troublefree miles now. Finally loosened up last year. LOL. I still haven't touched the shift cables. The spares will be old before I use them. I have a DIY mount for the shifter on the TT, where it belongs, IMO. I hate cables flopping around grinding the paint and getting stressed. I can shift with either hand.
I agree, always kind of take your weight off the pedals to shift, especially when stopped.
I carried spares and all the tools needed on my 2 tours. I clumsily broke a spoke with my lock on tour. Took me 3 hours to fix, with the spare spokes I carry too, with a perfect setup under a bridge.

My 1/8" chains were only getting 3,000 miles, even with my DIY CF full cover. So I finally tried leaving the factory grease alone, 2,000 miles with little wear. I carry a chain tool, but it only gets used when first mounting one. I never go 2 miles without my pockets full of tools. 6 Allen keys including the 4/5/6 tri-arm, 1/2", 7/8/9/10/10/15 mm wrenches. Also a whole bunch more sockets, BB tools, 3/8" ratchet, 1/4" drive screwdriver, etc. I also took a cable cutter, spoke wrench, oil change kit, grease, nuts, bolts, shoelaces to tie up stuff, dodads.  I also have a threaded HS that needs 2 wrenches, with the other ends modified. Nobody has more metal on their bike, LOL. Not saying you have to, but I did use darn near all of them. I did let the oil change slide both times tho, 4,200 miles in SE Asia. Plus my 2 panier/bin load is ALL the stuff I put in my suitcase on trips. 6 lbs of locks, 3 coats, earmuffs, gloves, the list goes on and on ...

My front hub is a SA XL-FDD dyno DRUM brake. This IS fit and forget, ZERO fiddling or worries about stopping. After 26,000 miles it's now on it's 3rd roadster bike. Now it's finally getting to the end of the pads life. I built a new wheel the same for the tour bike. So I'll also upgrade with new lights.
I always get in 14th gear on big dips and power up until I run out of momentum. Then downshift 3 or 4 at a time likely.
 Have fun. >>>
« Last Edit: August 22, 2021, 09:32:52 PM by GamblerGORD649 »

buffet

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2021, 05:12:50 AM »
GamblerGORD649, could you share a picture of your shifter DIY mount?

I hate having the shifter on the bars due to the messy cable floppiness, trying to figure out an ideal alternative.

GamblerGORD649

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2021, 06:51:42 AM »
https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1215648-mudguards-look-good-4.html#post21764056 >>> Post 80.
You have to squint to see the 3 arrangements.
I have no clue how to attach pics here.
I also discussed this in one of my few posts here last Dec. 31.
http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=14029.msg104350#msg104350

I also have 4 YT videos under ID GamblerGordo. The latest one shows my tour bike setup at the end, with the SA-XL-RD5w. Don't load with a mobile, LOL. I just played it and it wouldn't jump to the end, WTH. The other video end shows the bike as new with the bare frame.
Hey wait buffet, that was you I replied to back then. LOL. I still don't have better pics.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 07:25:53 AM by GamblerGORD649 »