Author Topic: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?  (Read 55478 times)

freddered

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2009, 07:19:58 PM »
My modified Bayonets.

I agree, the allen key is prone to damage.  This improves things a lot



Also, I have marked my shifter at 4th gear, 8th gear and 11th gear with a dot of white paint (and a reference mark on stationary part). 
 

spoon boy

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2009, 12:37:45 AM »
Firstly the thing that put me off was the cost over the standard gears

I worked on the ..how many gear replacements would I get for the price of a rohloff

Then the biggest bit that swayed me away

Much is made of the steel frame vs ali frame working on the assumption that a steel welder is easier to find than a ali welder in the remotest of regions any where in the world

With that argument I used it for rohloff...should it fail in the middle of mongolia say would I be able to get either a rohloff mechanic or parts in most villages..of course the answer is no, would I be able to get a standard gear system? most probably

even though the chances of the rohloff failing is minimal I saw it as an overspend that couldn't be justified along with a system that wasn't universally avaliable.

However...should rohloff give me a freebee to prove me wrong... I would be a fool not to errrr test it for them

geocycle

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2009, 10:29:51 AM »
Hi spoon boy.  I fully understand your arguments about cost and repairability and therefore your decision to opt for the derailleur.  This makes refect sense.  But, personally, after having ridden my raven for about 7000 miles (or a third of the way around the world -though I have not made the kind of journey you are embarking on) without any issues or missed gear changes whatsoever, I would have gone for the rohloff.  In my experience the chances of a problem with the rohloff are minimal compared to my previous derailleur systems used on the same routes, although I agree that problems with the latter will hopefully be mostly minor issues with grit and gear shifting.  The worst I have had was snagging the derailleur on a rock, it breaking off and and taking out the back wheel -all repairable but not trivial.  I admit there is an element of trust in all this rohloff discussion.  You have to trust the legendary support offerred by rohloff and thorn to their long distance travellers, that the number of completely satisfied rohloff users dwarfs those who have had problems, and that dhl will reach ulam batour in a week or so!  Being positive, if you were to undertake a risk assessment on both systems you would probably reach the same conclusion -low. 

If I was to suggest one tweak to rohloff, it would be to develop a lockout mechanism such that if you are one of the tiny minority for whom it all goes wrong you can easily turn it into a fixed wheel or better still single speed. 
 

freddered

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2009, 12:14:15 PM »
This is what swings it for me



That is about 8 weeks of Hampshire country lanes splattered over my Raven tour.

The chain is spray-lubed every few days in these conditions but, apart from that, I haven't done anything.  The gears are spinning in oil and as slick as ever.

10 minutes after this photo was taken I blasted it with a pressure-washer and spent 15 minutes with a brush and soapy water.  That's the sum total of my winter maintenance.

I have to change the oil next month (3rd change, 3 years) but apart from that and some new brake blocks it should be OK until I wash it down again in a few weeks/months.

The Thorn does Winter so my derailleur bikes don't have to.
 

vik

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2009, 03:06:54 PM »


500kms of this nonsense and I did zero maintenance [yes there is a Rohloff under there!]...the bike shifted as well the first day as the last.  Not surprisingly I picked up a second Rohloff and a Thorn Sterling MTB frame & Thorn Nomad Tourer frame after this tour.



People who use the argument that if a Rohloff breaks I can't get spare parts/service and I can for my derailleur bike seem to forget that many places you tour there are no bike shops or other bikes for that matter from which to get service or parts.  So having a drivetrain that is so much less vulnerable to the elements and accidents can give you a lot of piece of mind when, like in the photos above, you are a minimum of 500kms from the nearest source of bikey help.

The cost issue is however quite legitimate as it does cost a lot more out of the gate to own a Rohloff.  I don't think the long term cost of a Rohloff will be any more than a moderate level derailleur drivetrain [XT or 105], but you do have to pay most of that cost in one go.  It also takes a person with a long term perspective to see the value of a Rohloff - not everyone thinks that way.

safe riding,

Vik
www.thelazyrando.com

 
Safe riding,

Vik
www.thelazyrando.com

spoon boy

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2009, 12:16:31 AM »
I see you right Vik about the long term view

My situation is that this is my first thorn so as such it's a trial period..if the bike/frame and lets be honest apart from the bits the frame is the only thorn bit

Is being tested and works okay then no reason to go else where.

If the frame and the customer services is as good as claimed then I can't see a reason not to upgrade to a rohloff..type, Ive seen shimano do a few of these.

Reminded me some part of the old sturmey archer

However I do have a confession to make..I saw one of them long ass tourers like your surly Vik at Evans cycles.. I can see the relevance now.

P.S. still not jealous at your bike collection...much

vik

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2009, 03:05:42 PM »
I see you right Vik about the long term view

My situation is that this is my first thorn so as such it's a trial period..if the bike/frame and lets be honest apart from the bits the frame is the only thorn bit

Is being tested and works okay then no reason to go else where.

If the frame and the customer services is as good as claimed then I can't see a reason not to upgrade to a rohloff..type, Ive seen shimano do a few of these.

Reminded me some part of the old sturmey archer

However I do have a confession to make..I saw one of them long ass tourers like your surly Vik at Evans cycles.. I can see the relevance now.

P.S. still not jealous at your bike collection...much

Spoonboy...I think you made a fine choice in touring bikes... ;D  I certainly don't feel a Rohloff is the right choice for every person and every bike...I don't have them on all my bikes.  Both types of gearing systems have pros and cons which we should evaluate and base our decision on.  People who put down derailleur gearing out of hand are as silly as those who put down Rohloffs & other IGHs out of hand.

safe riding,

Vik
www.thelazyrando.com

« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 03:14:26 PM by vik »
Safe riding,

Vik
www.thelazyrando.com

onmybike

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2009, 05:27:58 AM »
Newbies opinion follows:

I've had my Raven Nomad for 6 months now and it's done commuting/shopping/visiting duties every day. The operation of the Rohloff hub can't be faulted. When it was new it missed the occasional change (and by occasional I mean once or twice a week) - seemed like it didn't fully engage gears but has since stopped doing that. A tiny twist on the shifter was all it took to then engage, so it's not like I was left, legs flailing, in neutral.

First thought was 'wow, this is a REALLY slow bike'. Worried it was the gear box. Then I changed the tires. Now I know Marathon XRs are to tires what molasses is to, uh, sticky things. Have some Conti City Contacts on now and hasty forward motion has been restored.

The twist grip is truly awful. The triangular corners regularly bruise my thumb and the twist grip is so wide that the brake lever offset means reaching for the lever you can't avoid the corners unless you use the twist grip as the bar grip. And let's face it - there's a reason nobody manufactures triangular section hard plastic grips - they're uncomfortable. Three solutions here; 1. A longer brake lever for the twist grip side (do these exist?), 2. Move the shifter off the bars altogether (and lose the convenience of having them right there) and 3. Attack the shifter with a hacksaw and sandpaper and lop a centimeter of so off it's width. Has anyone tried the latter? I'd much rather void your warranty than mine.

Other, off topic, thoughts on the bike so far...
Scratch-o-matic paint job sucks. And I thought the little jar of paint that came with the bike was a nice caring touch. Until I realised it meant "take this - you'll need it".
Stock comfort bars too wide. Nothing wrong with them, they just didn't suit me ergonomically.
Thorn narrow straight bars work much better for me - especially for the commute on narrow cycleways.
Ergon grips don't suit my hands - pins and needles after 20 or so km without fail. They've had six months prove their worth - they'll go.
Butterfly bars show promise but judgment can wait 'til a tour at Easter.
Twist grip is simply too wide for all three of these bars - even on the butterfly bars it forces my hand onto the curve. It compromises all of them and really is the only downside I can find.
Otherwise the bike has needed the chain oiled and tension adjusted once (a two minute job, if you exclude the 30 minutes of psyching myself up for the scary task of adjusting the eccentric for the first time).

This bike is off on tour to India later in the year and replaces a 20 year old Miyata 1000 touring bike that finally gave up the ghost after 150,000+km - including 50 or 60,000 of loaded touring, so far I'm pleased with its solidity. But will save final judgment for another decade or two. The brakes and wheels are highlights. Love those Andras.

Syd

ians

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2009, 02:47:07 PM »
Newbies opinion follows:


 1. A longer brake lever for the twist grip side (do these exist?)
Syd

Syd

I had the same problem - swapped to these; http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-Shimano-Shimano-BL-T660-Deore-LX-Brake-Levers-18150.htm

or any 3 finger lever would do.  The default on Thorn bikes seems to be 2 finger levers.

ians

erlingre

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2009, 08:36:07 PM »
I consider to get either a Sherpa or a Raven tour and I have been thinking about pros and cons a bit.
One issue not mentioned so far in this thread is rim breakage. What if the sidewall of the rear wheel
rim cracks from breaking? I have experienced this twice. Getting a new complete wheel
will be harder than with dearailleur gears as you have to build a new one with the Rohloff hub.
With derailleur gears you can simply loosen the cassette, ditch the old wheel, fasten the cassette and
continue. This is naturally only an issue on a longer tour, but in my opinion it is something to
consider.

Not that this is a show-stopper for me. The Rohloff also has many advantages. Currently I
use a derailleur equipped bike for commuting and during the winter is it a constant pain with cleaning.


rualexander

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2009, 12:02:17 AM »
erlingre,

We had just this situation you mention happen to my partner's Raven Tour rear rim a couple of years ago while on holiday in the Western Isles of Scotland. The only bike shop nearby was unable or unwilling to rebuild the rear wheel onto a new rim so we bought a new ready built front wheel and I had to dismantle the old front wheel, swap the rim over to the rear wheel and re-tension and true the wheel as best as I could, took about half a day but we were able to continue our holiday and the rim held up successfully.
The advantage was that having the same rim on the front meant that the existing rear spokes would be ok to re-use, and the benefit of the Rohloff hub meant that I didn't have to worry about dishing the wheel. I just taped the good rim to the blown rim and moved the spokes over one by one.

freddered

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2009, 04:02:44 PM »
erlingre,

We had just this situation you mention happen to my partner's Raven Tour rear rim a couple of years ago while on holiday in the Western Isles of Scotland. The only bike shop nearby was unable or unwilling to rebuild the rear wheel onto a new rim so we bought a new ready built front wheel and I had to dismantle the old front wheel, swap the rim over to the rear wheel and re-tension and true the wheel as best as I could, took about half a day but we were able to continue our holiday and the rim held up successfully.
The advantage was that having the same rim on the front meant that the existing rear spokes would be ok to re-use, and the benefit of the Rohloff hub meant that I didn't have to worry about dishing the wheel. I just taped the good rim to the blown rim and moved the spokes over one by one.

Having the same rims front and rear has saved me as well.  I would do this and carry some spare spokes for front and rear.  Different rims = different spoke lengths potentially.
 

jimmer

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2009, 07:30:03 PM »
Dear Syd,

re the triangular profile of the shifter.

This was a topic that dominated the discussions on the old much lamented, Rolhoff users site, as Almeida will testify.

Several contributers had Dremmelled off the apices of the shifter making it round. They reconed it still worked. Replacement rubber covers are available so I doubt it'll invalidate your warranty.

I find the shape fits my fat Welsh spades quite snugly.

Yours, James
 

onmybike

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2009, 01:06:15 PM »
Thanks James and ians (reply 38). Both useful replies and the solution may well involve both a remodeled grip and longer brake lever.

mountaincarrot

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #44 on: February 12, 2009, 10:42:16 PM »
I've had the Rohloff for about fourteen months now. I'm passed my first oil change. It's in a Thorn Enduro frame and is ridden 90% off road all year.

I bought it largely to reduce maintenance and trailside irritations on a daily off-road commute. So far it's living up to its promise and has been everything I wanted it to be.

I recently improved the rear end of the cable runs (pic here) to straighten them out from a large loop. This had an immediate and hugely beneficial effect on the friction in the gear shifter.




The dirt is pretty much 100% present where I ride, so I hope the oil seals are really up to the job. I NEVER clean the bike because I use it every day. The mud round here dries to a fine gritty coating which mostly would brush off if it ever got chance to dry.

So far in nearly 4000 miles, I have circulated 4 chains. They are all well past 1% elongated now (off the end of my park tools chain gauge), but the original Rohloff rear sprocket and Raceface front ring are going strong and I haven't even needed to turn them round yet. This is the sort of stuff I got the Rohloff for.

Performance wise, I'm really better off than with Derralieurs. I never notice any difference when riding with friends. Occasionally the slight whir (is it a drag or just a noise?) in gear 8 enters my conscience. Otherwise gear changes just happen without me even being conscious of them. Brilliant, no more clogged cables and mangled derralieurs. No more worn out jockey wheels. Instant gear changes are just so good.

I took it up Mont Ventoux in Provence last summer and was pleased with my 17.5" bottom gear, having needed it for nearly all of the 22KM to the summit!

I was a little concerned when my first oil change this December produced zero oil volume drained out. I read that this is quite common though. Perhaps I'll try the next oil change sooner than recommended.

I really like the triangular gear shifter and wouldn't change it, even if given the chance. It gives really good grip, even with wet hands, or in thick winter gloves. Gear changes are very natural and I am almost unaware of them. The rubber gear indicator letters have worn smooth now due to the edge of my glove, but that's unimportant. I can tell what gear I'm in and never need to look at it anyhow.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 10:53:07 PM by mountaincarrot »