Author Topic: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?  (Read 55521 times)

freddered

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Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« on: February 11, 2006, 07:26:17 PM »
I will be taking delivery of a Thorn Raven Tour in about a week.  I therefore have 100 days to decide if this is the bike for me.  If you have a Rohloff-Equipped bike I'd appreciate your verdict to help me make the decision and any tips to help me test the hub.

1) Overall how does it compare to your Derailleur bikes?
2) What should I look out for (advantages AND disadvantages) ?
3) Would you go back to Derailleur ?
4) Anything else ?
 

mactraveller

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2006, 12:04:58 PM »
Myself  and girlfriend toured 4000Km's round NZ last year on Rohloff's. 1 bike was a Raven Adventure Tour.  The hubs were fantastic.  Yes, a bit noisy in 5 and 7, but not a problem.  Had to tighten the chain (easily done) after a while but that's it.

From memory you can't put full force through the pedals on one of the changes (maybe 6 to 7 or 7 to 8) because of the safety features in the hub.  But as I can't remember it probably gives you an idea of how insignificant it is.

For touring, or everyday ease of use I wouldn't switch back.  

Hope you enjoy it.
 

Ratty

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2006, 02:01:59 PM »
1) Better - lots of small, day to day advantages and the bigger ones mentioned in the 'living with a rohloff' article on this site. (goto the bike page and click on models, you can find it here.

2) Drops - although drop bar options are available I was advised to try the comfort bars.  I dearly miss the drops and may change to one of the drop versions but it will never be as nice as integrated brake/gear levers.

3) Never say never but if I did it would be hard and I know I would often curse the deraileur.

 

paulhipwood

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 06:35:02 PM »
I have three bikes, I have been riding for 1 year fairly seriously, too old to continue jogging due to boredom!!

A Moulton whch has 21 gears and has a 3 speed hub with a 7 speed derailleur (best and worst of both worlds). This was my first purchase and it looks unusual but is very capable for Sunday runs etc.
A Dahon 8 speed derailleur - which I take overseas when working away from home. Very good bike, I have even taken it on a Sunday run - BUT no one will ride alongside me. AND I can keep up on a 50 mile run.
A Raven Sports Tour - this is the newest and the best. I have started commuting and intend to do the 28 mile commute at least 3 times a week.

The Raven is brilliant to ride, gears are no problem, it allows you to change gear more often and apart from 7 to 8 to 7 you can change without thinking about it. ~Maintenance is minimal - so I resort to keeping it clean. I do 8 miles along the canal on my commute.

There is no way you can avoid not using derailleurs due to the cosat of the hubs - but I intend to ride the Moulton occasionally. The suspension on that bike is really comfortable and its one thing I miss.

I read all the reports in cycling magazines about how responsive such and such bike is - they seem to have ultra sensitive feedback mechanisms, I just get on my bikes and ride em. I trake pride in ownership because I have researched the various options in choosing my bikes and I am happy with the results.
I still am amazed how they have fitted all those gear trains in the Rohloff and its great to hear it whirring away due to my effort. Isuppose the  people who have chosen Dura Ace etc think that they have also made the correct choice. Lets face it, like car makers the products on the market today are generally very good due to the global competition.

If you can afford one - buy it and enjoy it.
paul
 

rogerzilla

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2006, 08:59:23 PM »
No experience of the Rohloff, but I do often use a bike with a Shimano 8-speed hub gear.  It does change the dynamics of the bike, whether it weighs the same or not.  Hopping over potholes is difficult because the back wheel is very heavy.  It's a nice idea to be able to change gear without moving, but in practice I've not found it all that useful - maybe if you do a lot of city riding?  

The killer for me  - as well as the price - is that I hate straight handlebars on long rides, and having the shifter on an accessory bar for drops reminds me of those hopeless 1970s stem-mounted shifters.  It's just not in an ergonomic position; downtube shifters were better!

No-one in our local CTC has taken the plunge, although a lot of us ride Thorns.

 

Eric

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2006, 12:12:49 PM »
I have had a Thorn Raven Catalyst for almost a year now. The bottom line is that I would never go back to derailiuers - they are crude, easily damaged, always wearing out and need constant attention.
My maintenance has been one ten minute oil change and to replace one damaged cable gaiter.
My next bike will be a Rohloff. Perhaps they might make a closer ratio one for racing etc. - or the ultimate; shaft drive as well!
My only real worry is talk of the internal cable breaking - but I understand that if you replace it every 2 years (£5) you should be OK. Still, I'm taking a spare axle ring set (£46) with me on tour across Sardinia this summer, just in case![/
OK Robin - is my cheque in the post?
quote:
Originally posted by freddered

I will be taking delivery of a Thorn Raven Tour in about a week.  I therefore have 100 days to decide if thfont=Arial]is is the bike for me.  If you have a Rohloff-Equipped bike I'd appreciate your verdict to help me make the decision and any tips to help me test the hub.

1) Overall how does it compare to your Derailleur bikes?
2) What should I look out for (advantages AND disadvantages) ?
3) Would you go back to Derailleur ?
4) Anything else ?

 

stutho

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2006, 02:56:59 PM »

(edit : See my 13-month update below)

I ride every day.  Until recently on a Derailleur.  My experiences of my raven (sport) are mixed.

POSITIVE:
FRAME    -   The Bike frame is fantastic everything I was hoping for.
MAINTANCE -   End of week cleaning / maintenance on the bike is much quicker no Derailleur and no cluster to clean
RELIABILITY -    The bike feels more reliable – but only time will tell.
GEAR RANGE -    Excellent gear range and gear spacing (much better than my derailleur) also much easier to change to a higher or lower gearing range (just one sprocket to change)

NEUTRAL:
WEIGHT –  Not really a factor but it does feel heavy.
DRAG –      In the bottom seven gear it does feel inefficient (esp. at high cadence) However overall I seam to get home quicker than I used to so maybe it only ‘feels inefficient’.

NEGATIVE:
NOISE –     I am trying to learn to ignore this (and hoping that it will get quieter).  Imagine the loudest freewheel noise you have ever heard.  In some gears that is exactly what you are going to hear – both under power and coasting.
SHIFTING  - I don’t find the shifting as precise as my derailleur – most people find the opposite don’t know why I have a problem?
SHIFTER –   Why o why don’t Rohloff make a version of their shifter for drop handlebars.

OVERALL:
If you ride regularly you are going to like it.  Although I have listed some negatives -

I WOULDN’T SWITCH BACK.

Stuart
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 12:04:12 PM by stutho »

PH

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2006, 04:04:34 AM »
Now you've got it you'll soon be able to answer most of the questions for yourself.
Although stutho mentions the lack of maintenance and reliability, he doesn't mention how much money this will save you.  And it's not something you'll discover in the first 100 days.  Even after my first year it's hard to know for sure how much it'll save in the long run.  I'd be surprised if the savings were less than £10/1,000 miles. That'll do me[:)]

graham

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2006, 06:41:08 PM »
quote:
SHIFTING - I don’t find the shifting as precise as my derailleur – most people find the opposite don’t know why I have a problem?


In my limited experience, (Something over 7500 miles on our Raven tandem and Tour), the feel of the gearchange can be affected by the adjustment on the cables at the rear brake bracket. Try tweaking them slightly. If they're too loose, the change might lack feel, but equally if they are a bit tight the result may be similar.
 

davefife

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2006, 03:25:54 PM »
My Sport Tour arrived yesterday and i was out on it straight away and for longer this morning.

Its nearly all been said now, especially from our fellow rider in Australia - welcome!  Its an absolutely fantastic bike to ride and the hub gear is phenonenal in terms of quality engineering and manufacture, its also a very effective and satisfying way to change gear with even steps.

My advice is simple: if your thinking about it, go for it.
 

Michael Falk

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2006, 05:32:45 PM »
Well some of this has already been mentioned:

I'm not looking forward to having to change a cable only because it's different to the usual derrailleur cables. Having the "axle ring set" that SJS sells for an easy change if the hub gear cable breaks is reassuring. This cable looked rather tricky to change when I saw it done by someone with experience.

The BB screws when tightening the chain: I wish SJS would've supplied a little information sticker at the BB to inform how tight to tighten the screws. Some people on C+ forum (including me!) overtightened it. This dented the part of the BB that the screws tightened against which just makes accurate adjustment a little more difficult. I think you should finger tighten the screws & then 1 more complete revolution.

Also it seems that you need to tighten the chain only when it's on the verge of dropping off. Initially I followed the Rohloff guidebook that suggests (I think) about 1 cm of play for the chain; this meant I was tightening it about each month while I was touring.

I have a problem that when the grip gets wet or sweaty gear changing can be difficult. I still haven't sorted this out.

The actual hub appears to be super reliable. I think the noisy gears seem inefficient but this could just be my imagination. The nastiest change (7 to 8 & vice-versa) is rarely a problem. I think far less nasty gear changes than on a derrailleur bike.

With the undished rear wheel absolutely no breaking spoke problems so far.

In places where they don't know Rohloff the bike might be less of a theft problem since the lack of derrailleurs makes it look like a less desirable single speed.

Michael
 

Arnaud

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2006, 04:16:56 AM »
Nearly 1.400km on the clock with my Raven Sport Tour...
This morning I took it out for a very early ride:being Sunday it was very quiet, just the sheep, birds and myself. I noticed how quiet the Rohloff hub has become; except for gear 7 and some faint freewheeling noise in gear 13 and 5. I have become an expert in smooth gearchanges.Most of the time they are imperceptible, just like a perfect gear change in a manual car.I rely heavily on my Cateye Astrale 8 computer to keep the cadence around 90 so it is not unusual for me to go through seven or eight gears between the bottom and the top of a hill. The result of all this hassle free gear changing is that I'm going faster and getting fitter.
I retensioned the chain for the first time at 1.300km and, having read warnings on this forum, took care of not overly tightening the bottom bracket bolts. A very easy job indeed. I choose the 38 x 16 combination so I often find myself searching for gear 15 when going downhill. To avoid unnecessary twisting of the shifter I am painting the number 15 white with some Tippex correction fluid. Gears 1, 2 and 3 haven't been used yet,they are a kind of superannuation and will be handy when old age catches up with me !

Arnaud
 

paulhipwood

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2006, 01:40:38 PM »
I put a blob of tipex on the number 7 and the number 11 (or is it 10 I am currently working abroad so cannot go and look).
So I know when I am approaching the most and least efficient gears. I thought this would rub off but its lasted 800 miles.

paul
 

stutho

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2006, 10:57:11 AM »
Arnaud: "I am painting the number 15 white"  

I want one! [:)]


stutho

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2006, 11:08:05 AM »
Arnaud:
Do you cycle regularly with a heavy load? I ask because your gear ratio seams extra low. Seams a shame not to use all 14 gears for the cost of a chain ring.  Just a thought.