Author Topic: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?  (Read 83510 times)

Blacksail

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2009, 12:08:32 AM »
I have a Raven Sport which I bought in August 2008 and it has covered 6,000km so far.

One thing I love about the Rohloff and no one seems to mention is how quiet it is, I agree that in gear 7 there is a slight noise. I have now fitted completely slick tyres, to remove the faint buzz of treaded tyres, and zoom around without any creaks, whrrs or clicks, just wish all the derailleur bikes my friends ride were as quiet.

As for the triangular shifter I think its a really smart design as it allows you to change gear using just your forefinger and thumb if you want to. My only grumble is the completely useless numbering on the shifter which seems to use a braille based system, I have gone for 2 dots of white paint to indicate gear 11 and 1 dot to indicate 7, in truth 7 or 8 are the only ones you really need to mark as the shift between these two gears has to be taken more gently, the rest of the time I couldn't care less what number gear I'm in.

Certainly glad that I went for the Rohloff.




freddered

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2009, 02:34:40 PM »
I use the Tippex dots as well.

I think I'll drill some small holes in the rubber to recess the tippex a bit as it rubs off.

"Rohloffs are noisy".

I get this a lot.  Mostly from people whose derailleurs are rattling and crunching up hills.  I think people are oblivious to derailleur noise.  It's a bit like living near a railway, you stop hearing the trains after a while.
 

brummie

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2009, 08:08:46 PM »
The numbers have worn away on my 4 yr old Rohloff shifter, but i seem to have a knack of knowing when gear 7 is about to be selected - partly due to the orientation of the shifter.
 

Chadlington

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2009, 07:20:15 PM »
I did a ride with a group the other day - one of my first for a LONG time. Thinking I might get comments about Rohloff noise, I was interested to observe the derailleur noise myself:

Crunching, clacking, rattling, come to mind. Also, ability to shift easily across multiple gears was "compromised".

It made me feel quite "quiet" by comparison!

woodsman

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2009, 02:51:12 AM »
Hmm....I was an advoacte but I am now starting to rethink my future with the Rohloff. Fitted to a mountain bike, it so far, has needed to go back to Germany every two years for rebuild, where it currently is. It does get used alot, but I am not feeling so confident in it's long term reliablility as I used to be.  :-\

rualexander

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2009, 02:16:08 PM »
....has needed to go back to Germany every two years for rebuild, where it currently is.

What problems have you been having with it? Sounds pretty unusual to have to go back so often.

woodsman

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #51 on: November 14, 2009, 05:11:03 PM »
Last time (07) it had new 'driver bearings' fitted and an oil leak rectified. This time it's not engaging several of the gears (freespining) and Rohloff suspect bearing wear as a contributing factor again. I will know sometime this week the outcome. Also, when a few months old, I ripped the square locator block from the axle plate, I've had a replacement, and added some weld to it, to prevent it happening again - it hasn't. The original design was a combination of a light spot weld and two rivetts - quite flimsy IMO. The tandem specific one's are cnc'd to prevent this happening, which should be across the board, IMO again.

I really like the Rohloff, and the service so far has been exemplary, but at 60 carriage to get it over there.....

I would prefer it if Rohloff offered a complete overhaul service, replacing any consumable parts and bearings as a matter of course - rather than fix it when it breaks. This would suit me as I could send it off in the summer, when I have a suitable other bike to use, and not now when I need it.

I'm a bit dissapointed with it at the moment, I can't see myself going back to derailiers for winter use, maybe a singlespeed if I can get on with it.

Reuel

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2009, 01:38:48 AM »
Well, after 7 months with my Rohloff equipped bike I seem to still prefer the older 1 X 7 derailleur bike for century rides. I think the extra pedaling resistance on the Rohloff becomes more noticeable as I regularly switch between it and my well maintained derailleur bike. My opinion is - a lot more R&D is required to make IGHs  feel similar to a well adjusted cup & cone hub! Nevertheless, the Rohloff is still an effective component to build a bike as sturdy as a Land Rover!

woodsman

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #53 on: December 08, 2009, 09:08:33 PM »
An update to my post above; it has been a while since I received the hub back from Rohloff, but due to the weather I haven't ridden the bike quite as much as I would like, to give it as thorough a test as I would like, before commenting.

The hub/wheel was returned in six days, there was no charge to me, except the 64 postage in sending it to Germany (ouch!). It all appears to be working fine, Rohloff say they have recalibrated the gear change points, replaced the driver bearings (again) and hub seals(again). Hopefully it'll be another two years at least before it goes back another time.

I've replaced the gear cables too, and went for Goodridge braided brake outer, and Shimano xtr(teflon coated) inner gear wires. I must say this combo has produced the smoothest shifting yet by far! One tip though, if you do decide to try this is, do not order the Goodridge inner gear wires too, as one is cut short, presumably for a front mech, and is not long enough for a Rohloff.

Overall, I am still happy with the Rohloff, although I most probably will abandon my wish list, of Rohloff-ing my full suspension bike as well after this.

Pete aka Woodsman

 :)

PeteCress

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #54 on: December 28, 2009, 01:28:08 AM »
Here's a review I wrote a few years back:
========================================

Pros:

- Wide shifts:
Probably a substitute for proper technique, but I can clean inclines that I couldn't before. Hammer in to it in, say, gear 8, then jump down to 4, then to 1 as needed.

Also, on long climbs I like to alternate in and out of the saddle which, for me, is a 3 or 4 gear shift on each change. With the der I used to do it a lot less frequently that I really like and in the spirit of "Gee, I sure hope I don't miss this shift and take the saddle horn up my butt (again...)".

Now I just snap those wide shifts without even thinking about it. Any time, any place.- I'm always in the right gear, since shifting is essentially trivial; seems like shifts take less than a fiftieth of a second.


- No more rear cog problems:  no taco'd cogs, no more vines/small branches/grass wrapped around the cog/der.


- It *seems* pretty-much bombproof. Time will tell, but I was spending more time than I cared to adjusting my der and bending a cog wheel while riding was a PITA.


- Greatly-reduced frequency of missed shifts. "Reduced" and not "Zero" because there is a 'gotcha' between 7 and 8 dumps you into gear 14 if you forget and shift under load.

It pops back into the intended gear as soon as the load comes off, but it's nothing you want to make a habit of doing.


- Ability to shift down when stopped. I think I make more than my share of unplanned stops and I used to have to lift up the rear wheel and rotate the cranks to get down to a starting gear.

Also, my technique sucks and probably won't get any better and it's nice to be able approach an object and slow way, way down before negotiating it without worrying about getting stuck in too high a gear to get over it.


- I don't have to keep mental track of which chain ring I'm on. Sounds trivial, but I don't have any brain cells to spare.


- Maybe not so much of a strength, but it should be mentioned somewhere that 14 speeds are enough.

My original 44-32-22 der setup took me from 18.5 to 104.

With the Rohloff on a 44 I get 19.9 to 104.9 in nice even, uniform 13.8% increments. That's only one less gear and, since I never used 104 it's a wash for me.

With the 38 that I've since gone over to it's 17.2 - 90.6. 
I don't get spun out in 90.6 until about 25 mph - and there's no way I can hold that speed for very long anyhow.

I left the old 32 in the middle position just because it weighs next to nothing and, on a big bump sometimes the chain drops (you're supposed to have a front-der-like dingus up there to keep it from doing that ....but I never go around to getting one)  the 32 catches the chain.    Also allows shifting down to a usually-ludicrous 14.something if things get really bad....

Cons:

- It costs an arm and a leg.

If my wife ever finds out I spent close to a grand on a rear wheel, she'll start to doubt my sanity.

- This hub weighs a *lot*. It added 1.9 pounds to my already-heavy bike - same rim/tube/tire/spoke gauge.
Anybody who says it only adds a pound must be using a really, *really* heavy cog/hub/der/shifter setup. I was using SRAM 9.0 with twist shifters.

- The installation instructions could use a re-write. I'm no rocket scientist, and after studying them long enough I pulled it off - but it could have been a *lot* easier.

- It's heavy.  Are you ready for an 8-pound rear wheel?

- The torque arm mounting that came with it was decidedly un-German (downright kludgey, I'd say...). Hose clamps!

Also sometime during the first hundred miles the little clevis pin that held it all together disappeared. Wasn't a catestrophic failure because the normal riding pressure pushes everything together.... I probably installed the c-ring keeper wrong or something - but it seems like a weak point. Replaced it with a marine shackle set in LocTite.

I have since discovered that there is a more elegant torque arm setup that Rohloff calls the "SpeedBone".   Uses the disk brake mount and does not interfere with using a disk brake.

- Evenly-spaced shifts:  From me, this is strictly a theoretical "con", but if somebody were in good enough shape to be riding in/having to keep up with a pace line, they would want closer spacing in the upper gears.  It's no problem for me, bco my pathetic physical condition and riding style (or lack thereof), but it's pretty sure tb an issue with a more competative rider.


- It's heavy.


- It's noisy, especially in gears 1-7. Supposedly this mitigates with age, but it is still an issue with me at 1,000 miles.   

Late breaking news:  After 5,000+ miles the noise has mitigated, my hearing has deteriorated, or I've been drinking less coffee or something bc the noise is no longer an issue with me.


- It's definately less efficient in gears 1-8.

There's a web site somewhere (in German) that supposedly graphs a Rohloff against one of the Shimanos and claims no loss in most gears and 1-2% in the lower gears.

I would disagree with that web site's figures.


- Did I mention that it's heavy?

------------------------------------------------

Bottom Line:   

This is definately not for everybody and the torque arm thing bugged me until I got the more elegant replacement.

Having said that, I find that me and the Rohloff are a good match.

I've quickly gotten so used to getting any gear I want any time I want and never having to stop and pull brush/branches out of my rear der that I can't imagine going back.

It also appeals to the exhibitionist in me...

You, on the other hand, might hate the thing.

Oh yeah, I amost forgot:  it's heavy.



« Last Edit: December 28, 2009, 01:36:17 AM by PeteCress »

gearoidmuar

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I don't believe it's less efficient in gears 1-8
« Reply #55 on: December 31, 2009, 06:40:25 PM »
That was my initial impression because of the noise.
But I discovered two things.

1. When I couldn't hear it due to traffic or wind, the impression disappeared.
2. On a long very hard hilly tour with a cycling friend of 25 years who's my total equal cycling-wise, and who uses a derailleur-equipped bike, I was cycling a little better than him, no matter what the gradient. This was so on every hilly section. I attributed this to the fact that I was always in the best ratio, AND that the perceived loss of efficiency could not be real. There can be quite a difference between perception and reality and the results in my case clearly indicated that in reality there was no loss of efficiency.

PeteCress

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Re: I don't believe it's less efficient in gears 1-8
« Reply #56 on: December 31, 2009, 07:57:19 PM »
2. On a long very hard hilly tour with a cycling friend of 25 years who's my total equal cycling-wise, and who uses a derailleur-equipped bike, I was cycling a little better than him, no matter what the gradient. This was so on every hilly section. I attributed this to the fact that I was always in the best ratio, AND that the perceived loss of efficiency could not be real. There can be quite a difference between perception and reality and the results in my case clearly indicated that in reality there was no loss of efficiency.
I had a similar experience cycling a bridle trail with a guy in his thirties (I'll never see 65 again...).

His unsolicited comment:  "Geeze, that bike of yours can *really* climb."

Well, it' really can't climb that well bc it weighs a metric ton and sure as anything *I* can't climb that well.... It was, IMHO, just a matter of me being able to roll through 3-4 gear changes as needed.

PeteCress

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #57 on: December 31, 2009, 07:59:05 PM »
I have a problem that when the grip gets wet or sweaty gear changing can be difficult. I still haven't sorted this out.
You are not alone.

I find a shop rag - which I carry anyhow for when I need to change a tire - layed over the shifter knob helps a lot.

mikerr

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #58 on: December 31, 2009, 10:21:26 PM »
I don't own a Rohloff equipped bike but I am curious.
My only experience of hub gears was Sturmey Archer gears back in the 50s, 60s.

I have read about the Rohloff being noisy in certain gears.
However, I'm pretty deaf so I probably wouldn't notice too much.

My memories of riding hub gears are of having a detached feel through the pedals. Like you are not quite getting full grip and lacking efficiency.
To me derailleurs after the old hub gears were a revelation. Pedalling felt more direct, in touch with the rear wheel and road.

So my question, Rohloff hub owners, what is the feel like through the pedals?

Thanks,
Mike
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 11:36:19 AM by mikerr »

PeteCress

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #59 on: January 01, 2010, 01:37:56 AM »
I have read about the Rohloff being noisy in certain gears.
However, I'm pretty deaf so I probably wouldn't notice too much.
I'm borderline neurotic about noise and found the Rohloff a bit noisy in the beginning.

Now, I would say that noise is not an issue at all.   It has quieted down with wear (as it is reputed to do) and I think I have gotten used to whatever noise is left.

However, my memories of riding hub gears are of having a detached feel through the pedals. Like you are not quite getting full grip and lacking efficiency.
To me derailleurs after the old hub gears were a revelation. Pedalling felt more direct, in touch with the rear wheel and road.

So my question, Rohloff hub owners, what is the feel like through the pedals?

I'd say "Detached" is too strong a word, but there is something there.  When I ride my old StumpJumper, I can feel the diff.

But it didn't stop me from buying a second Rohloff for my FS bike.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 02:53:19 AM by PeteCress »