Author Topic: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?  (Read 122553 times)

mikerr

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #60 on: January 01, 2010, 11:33:57 AM »
Hi Pete, thanks for your answer.

Sorry, 'detached' was probably not the best choice of word but all I could think of, to describe my experience of riding Sturmey Archer hub gears.

I do appreciate the ride quality of hub gears would have improved over the years.

One day I must get round to trying out a Rohloff geared bike.

Mike

stutho

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #61 on: January 01, 2010, 11:43:50 AM »
mikerr,

>Rohloff being noisy in certain gears.

Everyone gets worried about this  the hub does sound different to a derailer.   however once the hub is broken in (say 1000miles) the hub is on average quieter than derailer.    You are correct however that some gears are louder than others.  For most gear 7 is the worst.  BUT even gear 7 isn't probably as loud as your are expecting!

>what is the feel like through the pedals?

I am afraid this is  going to be even more subjective!  It is NOT the same feel to me and it takes a little getting use too! Many riders have complained of a feeling an extra resistance as if they are cycling through molasses (esp in gear 7), others say that they don't feel like they are travailing as fast.  HOWEVER  what is really odd is that those same riders, almost without exception, find that if they actual time there performance they see a noticeable improvement in speed!  (this is especially true for off road riders)

I don't ride much off road - my bike is set up for commuting and in the summers for touring.  I am approaching 20,000miles on the hub and I still notice difference in feel - It doesn't bother me but it is different  


julk

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #62 on: January 01, 2010, 01:38:03 PM »
mikerr,
I also rode SA hub gears in the 50s and 60s moving on to derailleurs for a larger range of gears.
I now ride a Rohloff (in preference to derailleurs) and recommend you try one soon if you are into commuting, touring or pottering.
julian.


mikerr

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #63 on: January 01, 2010, 02:34:02 PM »
Hi Stutho, thanks for your feedback.

The reported Rohloff noise wouldn't worry me too much. My derailleurs are not indexed and my gear changes are hardly the cleanest or noise free. Then once in gear there is the comfortable 'whirr' of the chain going round the jockey wheels. Assuming you are riding in a relatively noise free environment to be able to hear it.

I found reading your long term experiences of 'feel' at the pedals most interesting. Also, the observations and findings of other riders. Though I was surprised to hear of possible gains in speed by the off roaders.

Along with 'PeteCress' you have given me the answers I was looking for.

Thanks Guys,

Mike

« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 03:29:00 PM by mikerr »

mikerr

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #64 on: January 01, 2010, 03:24:07 PM »
Hi Julian,

My original post/question on Rohloff 'feel through the pedals' was to mainly satisfy my curiosity.
Kind of something I've often wondered.

I have only just finished building my Sherpa and just read that Stutho has done 20,000 miles on his Rohloff bike.
So, got some serious catching up to do.

However, I will eventually try a Rohloff bike, it's just a matter of how long I can hold out.

Mike

geocycle

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #65 on: January 01, 2010, 03:47:04 PM »
Happy new year!

Had my rohloff 3.5 years and my only regret is not having bought it earlier.  I don't notice the noise although it is still there in gear 7 and there is a very very slight feel through the pedals even after 10,000 miles.  I'm about to change the cables as the shifter has got noticeably stiffer in the last few weeks, could be just damp I suppose but maybe a bit of fraying.
 

Wanlock Dod

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #66 on: March 20, 2010, 02:50:11 PM »
Hi there,

My responses to your questions would be:

1) Overall how does it compare to your Derailleur bikes?
There can be no going back

2) What should I look out for (advantages AND disadvantages) ?
advantages - less hassle, less maintenance, less mechanical incidents
disadvantages - fights could start out when a friend (or just somebody you see on the trail) with a gearing related mechanical breakdown asks for help, and the help you offer is the recommendation of getting a proper gearing system for thier bike

3) Would you go back to Derailleur ?
see 1

4) Anything else ?
I put a Rohloff on my MTB in 2000, in 2008 I got a new bike, but it's still running the same hub

It is quite clearly the way forward, although quite why so many folks haven't caulght on to this yet is beyond me.  I got a Raven tourer last year, and I'm expecting it to outlast me (no I'm not old).

Cheers,

Dod

gillybert

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2011, 10:59:22 PM »
bought a sport tour april 2007 done 21000 on it runs as good as new running cost are a lot more than i expected but doing less servecing offsets that is 9000 miles out of a rohloff chain good or bad miles are mostly on the road

Andre Jute

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #68 on: January 18, 2011, 01:37:54 PM »
To mikerr, on the subject of noise on the Rohloff: I ride in a small town, on a few bits of smooth highway, and in dead quiet country lanes.

In town you can't hear the noise the Rohloff makes; the other noises drown it.

On smooth open highway (where I don't often ride because the cars travel at 110kph and the hard shoulder sometimes disappears) the small noise of the Schwalbe Big Apples on my bike drown out the gearbox noise.

In the quiet lanes you can hear and compare noises. The Rohloff under all conditions is quieter than the derailleur setups of the pedal pals. In all gears but 5-6-7 the general noise of tyres and the whoosh of air drowns out whatever noise a run-in Rohloff box makes, if any; even on the bench you have to listen to distinguish the mechanical noise in the other gears. The problem with the noise in the lower range, and especially in gear 7, is the quality of it rather than the volume of it. It is a sort of sighing sound that makes you think you're pedaling harder than you really are! I find that noise depressing, but others don't seem to attach any importance to it. I've become fitter (I spent yesterday with a cardiac specialist and on all kinds of machines to trace and view my heart, including a stress test) by switching out of 7 into 8 earlier and earlier... The noise does get less and less as the box runs in but my Rohloff has over 4000km on it and every 1000km when I make a subjective assessment it seems quieter still, so it may take a very long time and still not be as fully silent as, say, a Shimano Nexus 8 speed. But then, as the famous machinist Chalo Colina says, a Rohloff will be almost run-in roundabout the time you trash the first Nexus box and buy a second one.

Frankly, though I give you a full answer because you ask, I think this business about noise on the Rohloff is over-rated. First, a Rohloff isn't a commuting gearbox, or a comfort gearbox, or a luxury bike gearbox -- it is in fact intended to be an agricultural item indestructible in the hands of mudpluggers and guys who ride in sand on beaches. (Herr Rohloff designed it after sand wrecked his derailleur setup when he rode on the beach on his honeymoon...) Instead of going on about the little noise a Rohloff does make, we should wonder that something so agricultural makes so little noise! For the fact is that the Rohloff is objectively a silent gearbox in the same way that a Rolls of old was silent car (but you could get a big American Ford that cost less and was even more silent -- but would you want to be seen in it?). If the Rohloff cost two hundred quid instead of a thousand, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It is the elevated price that raises and distorts the expectation.

André Jute

freddered

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #69 on: January 18, 2011, 04:49:31 PM »
To mikerr, on the subject of noise on the Rohloff: I ride in a small town, on a few bits of smooth highway, and in dead quiet country lanes.

In town you can't hear the noise the Rohloff makes; the other noises drown it.

On smooth open highway (where I don't often ride because the cars travel at 110kph and the hard shoulder sometimes disappears) the small noise of the Schwalbe Big Apples on my bike drown out the gearbox noise.

In the quiet lanes you can hear and compare noises. The Rohloff under all conditions is quieter than the derailleur setups of the pedal pals. In all gears but 5-6-7 the general noise of tyres and the whoosh of air drowns out whatever noise a run-in Rohloff box makes, if any; even on the bench you have to listen to distinguish the mechanical noise in the other gears. The problem with the noise in the lower range, and especially in gear 7, is the quality of it rather than the volume of it. It is a sort of sighing sound that makes you think you're pedaling harder than you really are! I find that noise depressing, but others don't seem to attach any importance to it. I've become fitter (I spent yesterday with a cardiac specialist and on all kinds of machines to trace and view my heart, including a stress test) by switching out of 7 into 8 earlier and earlier... The noise does get less and less as the box runs in but my Rohloff has over 4000km on it and every 1000km when I make a subjective assessment it seems quieter still, so it may take a very long time and still not be as fully silent as, say, a Shimano Nexus 8 speed. But then, as the famous machinist Chalo Colina says, a Rohloff will be almost run-in roundabout the time you trash the first Nexus box and buy a second one.

Frankly, though I give you a full answer because you ask, I think this business about noise on the Rohloff is over-rated. First, a Rohloff isn't a commuting gearbox, or a comfort gearbox, or a luxury bike gearbox -- it is in fact intended to be an agricultural item indestructible in the hands of mudpluggers and guys who ride in sand on beaches. (Herr Rohloff designed it after sand wrecked his derailleur setup when he rode on the beach on his honeymoon...) Instead of going on about the little noise a Rohloff does make, we should wonder that something so agricultural makes so little noise! For the fact is that the Rohloff is objectively a silent gearbox in the same way that a Rolls of old was silent car (but you could get a big American Ford that cost less and was even more silent -- but would you want to be seen in it?). If the Rohloff cost two hundred quid instead of a thousand, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It is the elevated price that raises and distorts the expectation.

André Jute


I agree except with the comparison with a Tractor.  When you compare derailleur and Rohloff then it is clear which one is agricultural.  Derailleur may be efficient but the mechanics of shifting gears is horrible and actually shouldn't even work.  It relies totally on the structural weakness/play of a chain to function.

By comparison the Rohloff is sheer precision.  14 gears, inside a "Coke Can", that will last >100,000km in all condiions.  It's extraordinary and I love owning one just for those reasons.

For several years it was my only bike.  I still think that for most people, if money is no object, then a Rohloff bike is the perfect bike.  Looking back I think a Sport Tour would have made a better choice for me than the Tour.  Maybe one day I will justify the bomb-proof build of the Tour.

It's generally this time of year when I appreciate it most though.  When the roads are covered in mud, salt and gravel.

I did a 600km ride in 40 hours on my RT.  I've done the same on a lighter derailleur bike and the result was identical.  I was totally knackered at the end both times.  That's why I don't think the gear-box is inefficient as people think.
 

gillybert

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2011, 11:50:35 AM »
been running a shimano allfine 8 speed hub for 4000 miles before i bought the rohloff becouse i thought it was a viable option and cheaper but after a mere 4000 miles it feels and sounds a bit second hand allso only having a 300 % gear range i found i was running out of gears up hill and down hills but round town very good the shimano is better at changing gear than the rohloff but as i said i can't see it lasting as well as the rohloff 

Brian

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #71 on: March 27, 2011, 06:22:15 PM »
I have to admit at the outset that I'm lucky enough to have 2 bikes - a Specialized Roubaix Expert which is great for when the roads are dry & I can getted decked out in Lycra & join my mates for a bit of speedy cycling. However I also have Thorn Raven Sports Tourer which is equipped with the Rohloff hub & which I use for commuting, Winter training & when it's wet or slippery. It's hard to compare the two gear sets because they are so very different, but I would say I've thoroughly enjoyed the Thorn & find the gears a joy in traffic (move up & down the gears at a standstill/approaching lights & junctions etc) & it's good to know in the filthy weather that a quick hosedown gets everything quickly cleaned up. I would also say that I can more or less hold my own when I'm out with my mates & they don't change bikes, so performance (at least on the Thorn Tourer) is not a major issue although we're hardly an elite group & all of us older guys. The lack of maintainance is a boon, as is the worry free operation & it's great to move through 3 or 4 gears at a time without worrying about crunching cogs. I just don't see the 'noise' issue. It's minority time you'll be in these lower gears & it's nothing more than a bit of 'whirring' which doesn't to me denote resistance or lack of performance & again in comparison to my mates, I'm not being left behind.
Which would I have if I had to choose? It would have to be the Thorn because that does it all commuting/touring/fun rides but I would miss the much quicker action of the deraileur & the sheer fun of a faster, lighter bike
Good Luck!
Brian



Brian

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #72 on: December 28, 2011, 01:31:43 PM »
I've had a Rohloff hub on a Thorn Raven Sports for over two years now & it's been excellent in every way, particularly for commuting & winter riding. The so called 'noise' in the lower gears is a non event & this or any other downside is well offset by the ease of use, the ease of cleaning, the ability to change gear at a standstill (great in town traffic) & the fact the gears are so trouble free. The once a year & easy service is also such a bonus. I've not used the bike for touring yet, but would do so with great confidence.
I do also have a carbon framed road bike so haven't had to make a choice, but generally feel it's horses for courses & very much dependant on what sort of biking you're intending to do.
Good luck!
Brian

Recumbentrohloff

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #73 on: December 28, 2011, 02:28:07 PM »
I have a rather unusual bike- a Velotechnik Grasshopper fx (recumbent) fitted with a Rohloff and in my opinion it vastly improves the bike. It was a bit noisy to start with but after 3 years and about 10,000 miles it is just about run-in! I've ridden the bike in all sorts of non-recommended places but the Rohloff has never given a hint of any problem. My only maintenance has been about 4 oil changes and occasional regreasing of the external shifter box. (necessary on my bike because of the disk brake.) I'n now researching the possible purchase of a velomobile and one of my requirements is that it is possible to fit a Rohloff (not possible on the single sided wheel designs unfortunately) On any recumbent one of the greatest advantages of a Rohloff is the ability to change gears whilst stopped as it makes getting started so much easier!

peteb

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Re: Rohloff - What's YOUR Opinion ?
« Reply #74 on: January 10, 2012, 09:37:40 PM »
They are much better.

A Rohloff is reliable and long lasting. It is easier to change, even stationary. There is no rear mech to get caught in the wheel, or get bent. The wheel is stronger, as it is more dished.

Although it is heavier, the rotating mass is at the centre of the wheel, so you don;t notice it.

Expensive, but worth it. I'd rather rely on a Rohloff when touring in the back of beyond.