Author Topic: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub  (Read 328 times)

JohnR

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« on: November 25, 2021, 07:16:20 PM »
I've been thinking for a long time about the minimum weight solution for a spanner to operate the Rohloff gear shift in the event of a shifter / cable failure. I think I've found a good solution: A small 8mm 1/4" socket such as https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0001P0WUM can be operated by a 6mm Allen key which is standard on any cycling multi-tool. Two flats on the Allen key engage with two sides of the 1/4" socket such that it won't slip.

UKTony

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2021, 10:36:39 PM »
Thatís interesting. I might consider getting one of those.
Currently, for day rides I carry a small 8mm Teng combination spanner (weighing 27g) tied up with my tyre levers. I donít carry a whole multi tool just 3, 4 and 5mm AKs which cover majority of things that might go wrong.
For longer rides the Thorn tool that came with my Nomad ll for adjusting the EBB is mutipurpose - it also incorporates a 15mm open ended and an 8mm  ring spanner.
Iíve also got the option of  a 1/4Ē drive T bar and necessary sockets favoured by AB for his tool kit. The 8mm socket would also be used with a short (about 2Ē) 8mm hex bar for the square taper crank bolt.

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3753
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2021, 07:58:08 AM »
I've been thinking for a long time about the minimum weight solution for a spanner to operate the Rohloff gear shift in the event of a shifter / cable failure. I think I've found a good solution: A small 8mm 1/4" socket such as https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0001P0WUM can be operated by a 6mm Allen key which is standard on any cycling multi-tool. Two flats on the Allen key engage with two sides of the 1/4" socket such that it won't slip.


This x-Tools set includes a socket with a stub on top which fits a 1/4in drive. I bought it specifically to get that useful tool, which I keep with another, much lighter driver and bit unit on the bike. (The original set pictured above is kept near my desk for repairs on small items.) Unfortunately, the one I'm showing is on the Chain Reaction Cycles site from outside Belfast, no longer available; I bought my set lightly water damaged for a huge discount but the alloy socket I wanted was fine and the rest cleaned up well.

British tool-makers/packagers Drapers used to carry and may still do so, a flat, lightweight open-ended 8x10mm wrench which they packaged in bike kits. I have one that came in a blue rollup toolkit which I've long since outgrown but the 8x10 spanner is in my Rohloff toolkit. You could check if any of the more traditional full-service bike stores like SJS maybe carries the spanner by itself. It's a decent tool, considering its low weight, but my next suggestion is a tool for the ages:

If you have access to a grinder of some kind, another option is to buy an 8x10mm brake spanner from your nearest motor factor, who'll have a range at various prices. They're all likely to be adequate for your light use. This is a spanner with high sides and only a small open end to minimize slippage. I ground mine flat over its entire length to minimize weight because at the time I intended carrying it on the bike, and it works well, but you could leave the 8mm side high because you don't want to round off an important nut like the one in the Rohloff, and just flatten the 10mm (on my daily bike the only 10mm nut requires a thinnish spanner). This is the one I actually used on the very few occasions I wanted to shift gears at the source, so to speak, to determine where gear 14 or 1 is when I forgot to roll the gear control all the way to the end before taking off the EXT box. It has its own place in my old pilot's case, now repurposed to my bicycle tools.

PH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1506
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2021, 10:52:11 AM »
The description of the Thorn Multi-tool says:
Quote
Note for emergency use: the chain tool element will clamp onto the 8mm hex shaft of a Rohloff hub (external box type only) and the shaft can then be turned 2 or 3 places in the event of a cable or box failure.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/tools/thorn-cycles-20-function-multi-tool-cordura-case-with-t20-tool-ideal-for-rohloff/

I haven't tried it, but I assume that would also apply to other chain tools, maybe you don't need to carry anything else.
I carry a standard 8mm spanner, it covers enough other stuff on my bike, EBB, rack and guard fittings, to be worth the 25g penalty!

JohnR

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2021, 05:19:08 PM »
An alternative 8mm spanner is one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/sourcing-Metric-Shaped-Angled-Socket/dp/B07D58GYQZ.

Very few of the multi-tools include the T20 bit. The Thorn tool is one and the only other I have found is the Topeak X-Tool+ which is currently available at a very reasonable price at https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/185170857047.

What tools to carry very much depends on the likelihood of failure, the consequences of not having the right tool or spare part on the bike and whether one is happy to have the extra baggage as an insurance policy but I've actively thinking about how to minimise the weight and bulk as hindsight indicates that I was over-equipped for my supported LEJOG.

mickeg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2050
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2021, 06:57:06 PM »
... I've actively thinking about how to minimise the weight and bulk as hindsight indicates that I was over-equipped for my supported LEJOG.

Supported rides where I have vehicle support a phone call away, I carry the same stuff as I do for an exercise ride near home.  A multi-tool of allen wrenches & chain tool, spare tube and self adhesive patch kit, pump, adequate tire levers which depends on which tires I have, and if on my Rohloff bike which has S&S couplers I have a wrench that can tighten up a loose S&S coupler. 

I do not carry my Alien II or Crank Bros 17 when on a exercise ride, but I do carry one on a loaded bike tour.  It has an 8mm wrench that would shift a Rohloff.  But on a bike tour I also have my SJS/Thorn S&S and 8mm and 15mm wrench, that would shift a Rohloff.

That said, when I changed my Rohloff cables a couple years ago I cut one extra cable to the exact length I would need if I had to swap a cable.  I carry that cable on tours, along with the necessary wrenches to change it.  But I do not carry that spare cable on exercise rides.

Last time I did a supported trip where there was a van hauling our luggage, I had my folding bike that had a unique tire size and lots of unique spare parts.  I had all those unique spares in the van, so if the van had to come and rescue me, either I could change the part or at least carry that stuff with me for the rest of the day on the bike.  I only carried spare tubes and patch kit, plus levers and a pump.

For my last loaded bike tour where I had to be self sufficient for five weeks, photo has my tool kit.  It all went in to the black bag.  From left:
- SJS/Thorn S&S wrench, which also has a short 8mm stub from an allen wrench to use on my crank arm bolts.
- Crank puller (for square taper) that uses a 15mm wrench, such as the SJS S&S wrench.
- Below the crank puller, a Crank Bros M17 multitool.
- Below the Crank Bros tool, a swiss army knife.
- The U shaped aluminum thing is a home made eccentric adjuster.
- Below the eccentric adjuster is a small multi-tool that I keep handy in my pocket.
- A cable cutter, side cutter, mostly used to cut zip ties, as I use a lot of zip ties when I pack up my S&S coupled bike in a small case.
- Below the cable cutter is a T20 wrench.
- Two blue drinking straws, cut to 100mm in length, the sum is 200mm if I needed to cut a Rohloff shifter cable.
- A utility knife.
- A worn out toothbrush that if I had to clean any parts, cut shorter to fit better in the case.
- A ratcheting 8mm and 10mm wrench, my front rack uses a couple of 10mm bolts that this wrench fits.  This wrench would also shift a Rohloff if I wanted to.
- Below that ratcheting wrench, a folding pliers.
- The three orange handle wrenches are 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm allen wrenches.
- Top right, spoke wrench.
- Below the spoke wrench, the Rohloff sprocket removal tool.

The small multi-tool goes in my pocket, the rest is buried in the bottom of a rear pannier in that black bag. 

This does not include the spares, just tools.  But, there is a bag of zip ties under the S&S wrench.

I have to completely disassemble and re-assemble my bike to pack it in the S&S Backpack case, thus having some shop sized tools makes that job much faster and less frustrating.  I carry less if not using my Rohloff and S&S bike.

I would never carry this much stuff on a fully supported ride where a van is a phone call away.  But if I was doing a van supported ride in another country, I might have this in the van just in case.


Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3753
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 11:55:46 PM »
I've been in bike shops with fewer tools than that, George. And, just from the looks of it, theirs was a lesser quality tool than you take on tour.

buffet

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 36
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2021, 05:47:41 AM »
Here's my toolkit. Rohloff-specific: 15mm titanium spanner from China, 8mm socket key, Torx 20 bit. (that Rohloff oil bottle is filled with chain oil, not hub oil)

Ī520gr in total, including the neat Surly bag


PH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1506
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2021, 04:48:04 PM »
Here's my toolkit.
I note you're carrying a chain tool and a valve core tool.  You could save 0.009g and use the chain tool for the valve, though not the other way round.
 :o

At least this works with mine, I'm interested to know if that's just a happy coincidence or if both parts are standard enough to be the rule.

buffet

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 36
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2021, 08:42:13 AM »
PH, yes, I know about the trick and my chain breaker is an ideal fit for the valve core. I'm just used to carrying the separate simple plastic tool (that is supplied with tubeless DT Swiss valves)

PH

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1506
Re: Emergency spanner for Rohloff hub
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2021, 11:57:01 AM »
PH, yes, I know about the trick and my chain breaker is an ideal fit for the valve core.
Thanks, I'm wondering if it's every chain breaker that fits, I'm beginning to assume it is.