Author Topic: First Time Rohloff Owner  (Read 7730 times)

JohnR

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #45 on: August 03, 2021, 10:13:06 PM »
Getting the cable housing length right was stressful, since you only get one go when cutting, but the shifter feels good and I expect the mechanism will loosen as it breaks in. I'm enjoying the ability to shift at a stop, and to shift over several gear ratios in a single twist. And as the hub has been in storage for four years, and unknown on the shelf before I Bought it, I figure I'll change oil before going for a long first ride.
The shifter will loosen up but did you pack the external shift box with grease before putting the cover on? My Mercury has always been a smooth shifter and I wonder if Thorn's filling the ex-box with grease was a contributory factor.

It's not likely that the Rohloff hub will have lost significant oil during storage. I would add maybe 5 ccs of oil to be on the safe side then clock up some miles. The first few oil flushes has a silvery glint because of the fine metal particles generated when any residual rough edges on the gears get worn off by usage. Those particles also probably help polish the surfaces. An oil change at 1000 miles is likely to be beneficial but an oil change at 100 miles might not.

AndrewJ

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #46 on: August 03, 2021, 10:41:33 PM »
Getting the cable housing length right was stressful, since you only get one go when cutting, but the shifter feels good and I expect the mechanism will loosen as it breaks in. I'm enjoying the ability to shift at a stop, and to shift over several gear ratios in a single twist. And as the hub has been in storage for four years, and unknown on the shelf before I Bought it, I figure I'll change oil before going for a long first ride.
The shifter will loosen up but did you pack the external shift box with grease before putting the cover on? My Mercury has always been a smooth shifter and I wonder if Thorn's filling the ex-box with grease was a contributory factor.
Yes, after reading the suggestion here, I packed with white grease. It makes perfect sense, I'm surprised any would run the external gear mech dry, or even with just a light coat on the bushing.

Quote
It's not likely that the Rohloff hub will have lost significant oil during storage. I would add maybe 5 ccs of oil to be on the safe side then clock up some miles. The first few oil flushes has a silvery glint because of the fine metal particles generated when any residual rough edges on the gears get worn off by usage. Those particles also probably help polish the surfaces. An oil change at 1000 miles is likely to be beneficial but an oil change at 100 miles might not.
Okay, thanks. I know it has oil inside, checked that already. I'll add a bit more and get some miles on it.
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mickeg

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2021, 12:21:00 AM »
Hello the Forum! This is my first post, and thank you to @Danneaux for un-bodging the registration gearbox. Writing from Berkeley California...

I'm also a first-time Rohloff rider, just finishing up the build of a new frame. ....
And as the hub has been in storage for four years, and unknown on the shelf before I Bought it, I figure I'll change oil before going for a long first ride.

Rohloffs come from the factory without oil in them.  So, if that is a new hub, add 15ml of oil.

Assuming that the hub did not come from SJS, it would have a 16T cog on it.  And if your chainring also has an even number of teeth, read this:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chain-life.html

The point of that link is that every other link elongates.  I put a small notch in one cog tooth and one chainring tooth, whenever I put the chain back on I put a chainlink with outer plates on that notched cog.  With wear I can see on my cog that every other tooth is worn a bit more that the other teeth, as the teeth and chain wear together.

If your hub is four years old it might have a threaded sprocket, not a splined one.  If so, that will be another educational point later.

I do not pack my EX box full of grease, just coated everthing that moves, it is less messy when changing cables later. 

I recall reading somewhere that a few people have had the Torx screws that thread into the EX box to hold the plate on have corroded from dissimilar metal corrosion for a few people.  It would be a good idea to grease those screws too.

When you change oil, this will come in handy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVhmgqICNhU

I substitute red wine for the recommended cup of tea.

Nice looking frame.


PH

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #48 on: August 05, 2021, 09:58:56 AM »
Okay, thanks. I know it has oil inside, checked that already. I'll add a bit more and get some miles on it.
As long as it has some in it, it'll be fine, there's no need to add.
I'd do an early oil change, mainly to flush any fine debris out, certainly within the first 1,000 miles, maybe even half that. That's my opinion, I haven't seen it recommended by Rohloff, in other applications it's good practice for any cut gears.

AndrewJ

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2021, 12:33:42 AM »
This seems like the right thread to ask, instead of bumping an old one: while out riding today, learning to love the IGH, I noticed a few times when I could not turn the shifter knob. I was stopped, with a foot on a pedal, chain under tension. Knob just would not turn, in either direction. Yet when pedaling, coasting, or at a stop with feet off the pedals, I can shift just fine. Is this a known quirk? Perhaps it will disappear with time.

Also, some views of the setup. Chain tensioner:





Shifter with noodles, mounted to stem:



Napping:

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PH

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2021, 01:01:57 AM »
I'd expect it to be stiff with a lot of weight on the pedal, but fine with a bit. How much?  Probably one foot on the ground and the other resting on the pedal should be fine, not track standing. I'd also expect that position of shifter to be less natural and the noodles to have added some (Quantity unknown) friction to the system.  Yes they ease up with time, though the sifting on my folder with an awkward cable run is not as smooth as on my other bikes, so any friction in the cables makes a fair difference.

martinf

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2021, 06:19:20 AM »
Also, some views of the setup. Chain tensioner:

I have a Surly Singleator tensioner with a Nexus 8 Premium hub on an old MTB with vertical dropouts.

But set up pushing upwards rather than downwards, to maximise the chain wrap around the sprocket.

And adjusted with very little spring tension, just enough to stop the chain falling off. Here, the idea is to reduce friction, don't know if it has any effect ot not. But I believe hub gears work best with a slightly slack chain.

JohnR

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2021, 08:18:31 AM »
This seems like the right thread to ask, instead of bumping an old one: while out riding today, learning to love the IGH, I noticed a few times when I could not turn the shifter knob. I was stopped, with a foot on a pedal, chain under tension. Knob just would not turn, in either direction. Yet when pedaling, coasting, or at a stop with feet off the pedals, I can shift just fine. Is this a known quirk? Perhaps it will disappear with time.
I think the problem is having the chain under tension results in those gears in the hub currently engaged being under load and thus not free to easily disengage. I would expect the problem to reduce as the gear surfaces become more polished through usage. Rohloff hubs improve with age and usage.

Andre Jute

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2021, 10:03:58 AM »
That's one good-looking cross-frame bike! And in the very best colour too, British Racing Green, elegant by day and by night. Love your tan sidewalls!

About your chain tension: The one foot on the ground, other foot on the pedal, test already advised is the good one, which works on my bike with just over 10,000km on the clock.

However, I must agree with everyone else, your chain is too tight. Rohloff advises a very slack chain, and there is lots of reported experience from people running visibly much slacker chains than they would on their non-Rohloff bikes.

I don't know what adjustment is available on the Singleator, or whether turning it around as Martin suggests would add enough/any slack, but if that fails or is impossible because of the geometry of the bike, I would suggest you start at the Singleator's lowest tension and ride-and-adjust until the chain doesn't fall off.

Alternatively, if it is easier, just add a couple of links to the chain, ride-and-add-links until the Singleator permits the chain some visible slack.

A Rohloff-equipped bike which depends on an eccentric bottom bracket or Rolloff-designed axle hangers in slider slots should have a chain with visible slack, a drop of say 10mm vertically in the middle of each run of the chain.

Though the Rohloff change gets easier as it beds in, which happens over an extended period (a Rohloff is run in about the time a Shimano Nexus box lies itself down to die), eventually it becomes second nature to the rider to lift slightly when changing gears under load. At about 6–8000km I perceived a difference between changing gears at speed on a flat road which at that point didn't require liftoff, and changing gears on an ascending road, which still requires a slight lift.

I wrote here once that if I were to sell my Rohloff HGB, I would demand a premium over the new price for the service of running it in. If you have experience of the Shimano Nexus, in which the gear change isn't very precise but the control, properly set up, is not as loose as even a new Rohloff, forget it: the Rohloff will never be as smooth a changer as the Nexus is capable of (I know because I also have an electronically automatic Nexus box, the full Di2, not the cut-down assisted manual of the Dura-Ace groups, and my Smover changes as smoothly as Shimano promised, almost imperceptibly), but the Rohloff will get near enough, and the precision it starts with is about the same throughout it's life because it is just a better-made box.

Analogously, from the beautiful fitting of your noodles, I wonder if your gear change cables aren't a bit tight, as in road bike derailleur practice. Rohloff cables are supposed to be set so that there is a minimum of 1mm play around the mark for the gear the box is in. My box, still on its first cable set, has always had 3mm of play to each side -- and it was set up like that by an experienced and conscientious (German) mechanic with factory training.

In the beginning, when I marked the crucial gear indicators 1, 8, 11 and 14 with white Tippex, I wondered at these tolerances on the cables and the chain but it soon turned out that they're fit and forget, and I think of them, now that I'm changing gears without thinking about it, only when I run into a new Rohloff owner with the same concerns. The only gear that I can ever tell you I'm in is the 1:1 gear 11 which is what my respiration rate and heart exercises are predicated upon, which I select by going to gear 14 and clicking back three slight notches. Otherwise I'm just magically in the right gear for the lay of the land and the rise of the road.

A happy Rohloff owner is one whose rotary gear change control numbers are worn almost to invisibility -- or beyond.

mickeg

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #54 on: August 08, 2021, 10:28:36 AM »
This seems like the right thread to ask, instead of bumping an old one: while out riding today, learning to love the IGH, I noticed a few times when I could not turn the shifter knob. I was stopped, with a foot on a pedal, chain under tension. Knob just would not turn, in either direction. Yet when pedaling, coasting, or at a stop with feet off the pedals, I can shift just fine. Is this a known quirk? Perhaps it will disappear with time.
I think the problem is having the chain under tension results in those gears in the hub currently engaged being under load and thus not free to easily disengage. I would expect the problem to reduce as the gear surfaces become more polished through usage. Rohloff hubs improve with age and usage.

I fully agree, but since I never have my chain under tension while stopped when I try to shift in the eight years I have ridden a Rohloff, hard for me to say.

Sometimes the shift from gear 7 to 8 or 8 to 7 is less smooth when I am moving, but that is engaging or disengaging the third planetary gear system.  I usually start out from a stop in gear 8, sometimes 7, so when I am at a stop and shifting I am usually near that point where the shift is less smooth.

I am old enough that I learned how to bicycle first on a single speed with coaster brake, then on a Sturmey Archer 3 speed, and later with friction shifting on a derailleur system.  Thus, part of my learning how to bike included learning to shift without a lot of torque on the crank (or chain tension) while shifting.  Sometimes I stop pedaling for the fraction of a second to shift, sometimes I try to time my shift when one foot is at the top of the crank rotation where my pedaling is under the least amount of torque.

I think indexed derailleur shifting with ramps and pins on sprockets and chainrings has resulted in a new generation of bicyclists that never learned to reduce power output during a shift, especially if they have electric derailleur shifting.  For them, adjusting their shifting procedure can be a bit frustrating.


PH

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #55 on: August 08, 2021, 05:00:17 PM »
Andrew, just how tight is your chain?
I don't know how to tell from a photo. When a sprung tensioner is used. surely the tightness is determined by the spring?  There's no visible slack with my Rohloff tensioner, I could add an additional link and that would still be the case, I'd just get more chain slap on rough ground.  Neither do I understand the theory that the tensioner is somehow pulling the hub against a gear, if anything it'd be pulling it away from engagement, but I'm doubtful it's doing either.

geocycle

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2021, 07:06:12 PM »
I was also looking at the chain. If the cables move freely when the hub is disconnected it is likely it is the chain that is putting the hub under load. Earlier this year I put a new drive train on the bike and was surprised I couldn’t move between 7 and 8 with any weight at all on the pedals. I always unconsciously back off a bit but this change sometimes resulted in the sensation described. I slackened the chain and all was well.
 

AndrewJ

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2021, 07:37:35 PM »
Thanks, all who have commented. The chain, at rest, is not under any great tension, it has some slack on the top and the bottom. Riding again this morning, it's clear that the resistance to shifting when stopped but with a foot on the forward pedal was operator error - Rohloff wants the chain/hub to be under no or very light load when shifting. Okay! I think my shifts while pedaling are probably happening when pedals are at 6 and 12 o'clock, but I can easily adapt to briefly lightening the pedals when I shift.

Do my noodles add some friction? Yes, I could feel it when playing around getting the shifter and cable housing placements settled, before I committed to screwing the cables down in the external mech. But not very much friction, still a fairly light cable movement. I'm liking the shifter placement, though I recognize I've given up the option of shifting with both hands on the bars, and will endure some consequent shifting limitations.

On the Surly Singletor, yes, it works neatly in a pushing UP mode, and I changed out its spring this morning to work this way. There IS clearance for chain and tensioner cog, even if the picture makes it look too tight. And its tension is set light enough that it's not pressing up as far as the chain will allow. I like this look better, closer to a singlespeed aesthetic (one of my other bikes is a Rivendell singlespeed).



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AndrewJ

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2021, 01:46:27 AM »
Many thanks to all for tips and advice on the hub in my new bike. I've been out on some good test rides as the bits continue to be added (fenders, lights, etc.) and I'm feeling moderately proficient at shifting, including while climbing.



(kindly ignore the poor fenderline, I'm working on that!)
Steel & brass, with lugs. Berkeley California US

John Saxby

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Re: First Time Rohloff Owner
« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2021, 02:04:36 AM »
Nice fenders!  Are they Velo Orange items?