Author Topic: Is my Rohloff noisy?  (Read 3513 times)

ads677

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Is my Rohloff noisy?
« on: November 11, 2013, 10:49:20 AM »
Just took delivery of a brand new Raven, but only had the opportunity for a quick shakedown test ride so far.  The one thing that struck me was how noisy the Rohloff hub seems to be when free-wheeling. 

It reminds me of a very old bicycle I have, rather than a brand new and modern drivechain - it's difficult to report a sound in writing but the hub most certainly doesn't purr and makes more noise than a whirr!  Is this normal?

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NZPeterG

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 10:57:43 AM »
Hi all good freewheels are noisy... and Rohloff is a very good hub which will last you year of happy cycling.
You will find that freewheeling in diff gears make diff noise..

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FrogPrince

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 11:18:30 AM »
When I first rode my New Raven I thought the freewheel sounded like I had a playingcard stuck in the spokes like we did when we were kids. I've had the bike a couple of months and either I've got used to it or it has got less noisy or a combination of both. The strange thing is that I notice the clicking of other rohloff riders in our cycling group much more than my own ...........it really isn't a problem any more ........there were lots of other things to get used to and after nearly 1000 miles I just love this bike :-)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 05:01:26 PM by FrogPrince »
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ads677

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 11:24:04 AM »
Thanks Pete and FrogPrince.  Yes, a playing card stuck in the spokes is close to my experience, but glad it is 'normal' and I'm sure I'll get used to it too.

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il padrone

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 12:11:18 PM »
You've evidently never heard some of the fancier derailleur freehubs, like the DT Hugi

http://youtu.be/QwmjyVz6YZk


Rohloff is quiet by comparison  :o

StuntPilot

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 12:27:39 PM »
Being a new hub, the Rohloff will quieten down in time. It is just bedding in. That is what I found at least. The more miles and with each oil change it seems to become better and better and quieter! Nothing to worry about. Gear seven especially can be louder than the others.

I found that I got used to the noise and forgot about it on tour. When I was conscious of any sound from the hub I thought of it as a little engine helping me along!
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 12:29:11 PM by StuntPilot »

il padrone

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 12:55:48 PM »
Today riding home I took off from the lights in gear 7 and barely noticed it; thought I was in the normal gear 8. Done 18,500kms.

mickeg

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2013, 02:58:08 PM »
I occasionally ride with a group, most of which have high end road bikes.  Some of their freehubs are much more noisy than my Rohloff.  The Rohloff was new this past spring, now has roughly 1,500 kms on it.

The freewheeling noise in gear 7 is quite different than in gears 8 thru 14.  I use that to guide my downshifting as I coast to intersections where I will have to stop, I downshift to gear 7 based on sound without looking at the numbers on the shifter.

The noise in gears 1 thru 7 (mostly 7) was the most noticeable thing to me.  I had an old bike I retrieved out of a neighbors trash a few years ago that I fixed up to use on my indoor trainer.  But I put that old bike in storage and now use my Nomad on the trainer.  It is my understanding that gear 7 is the highest gear that uses all three planetary gear sets, thus on my trainer I use  gear 7 to accelerate the break in period. 

Danneaux

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2013, 03:57:37 PM »
Hi Ads!

I started a thread devoted to Rohloff freewheels noise here: http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=4410.0

I found my Rohloff initially very loud when freewheeling, but it soon settled down. As with others', the nature of the sound varies according to the gear range. My gears 1-7 are noisier under load and quieter when freewheeling. Gears 8-4 are silent under load and have a much louder, "brighter" freewheel click when coasting.

If you are observant, you'll hear "ghost" freewheeling in some gears that is produced by unused gearsets; it sounds like a tiny chorus to the main freewheel sound, and Rohloff assure it is normal.

My hub quieted quickly with use and any drive noise in gears 8-14 is silent, gears 3 and 5 produce the tiniest of noises and 7 purrs quietly with little vibration through the pedals. Freewheel click is about half the level it was when new. I've never had a problem shifting into or out of Gear 7 on my hub.

Best,

Dan.

ads677

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2013, 06:46:32 PM »
Thanks everyone, my mind is now completely put at ease!  And I had certainly noticed how quiet the drive is in the higher gears (I didn't have a particularly steep hill nearby for my first foray so have no idea what the lower gears' noise is like yet).

I anticipate my first 'proper' ride will be this weekend - really looking forward to it.

Thanks again, Ads
 

CWM

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2014, 10:59:39 PM »
Hi.  Possibly the first time I have posted on here, other than to buy or sell something.  I usually read the CTC forum, but as I have several Thorns perhaps I should read this instead.  I have a Club Tour, a Sherpa and an Audax (all second hand or assembled from second hand frames and bits from the CTC forum).  And yesterday the postman delivered me a second hand RST, in red.  Very nice and beautifully packed by a fellow forum member.  I made a few quick adjustments and cycled part way to the office and back today (30 miles in total).  On the way in I noticed quite a bit of noise and vibration in gear 7, and also some in gear 12, but as I was battling a stiff headwind then it was hard to get much of a sense of anything.

On the way home, with a tailwind,  I got a much better sense of what was what. And gear 7 is very loud and produces lots of vibration. I can still feel it tingling in my feet now. Gear 12 produces the same effect on a more moderate level,  but even then you would not choose to ride in it for too long.

The hub is second hand, obviously,  but I am told that it has not done many miles. Given that the vendor seems like a thoroughly decent chap, and the bike was in every way as described, better even, I am thinking that I have not been sold a pup, but I would like some reassurance about the hub and its noise if possible.  I noticed Dan says that he feels vibration in gear 7. 

Any comments appreciated. Thank you.

Donerol

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2014, 11:10:14 PM »
I also recently bought a s/h Raven Tour that had not done many miles. I did an oil change to be on the safe side, but it hasn't made any difference to the 'playing card effect' in gear 7, though I don't notice any vibration. Maybe my thick rubber-soled shoes help. Gear 12 is also noisier than I expected and I was almost getting a bit worried, but assume it will gradually run in.

The bike rides beautifully and I'm really enjoying it  :) .

JimK

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2014, 11:14:12 PM »
No question that the low gears are noisy, especially 7. But tingly feet? That seems a bit out of the norm... but then I wear thick soled boots!

I have never noticed any noise in 12. The upper half of the range I find uniformly quiet. So a noisy 12 seems out of the norm too.

I don't think you'll harm anything by riding it as is. Could be that something is a bit off inside. If the unsatisfactory strangeness persists, it could be worth service, which I expect you can get without too much difficulty, but it does mean shipping a wheel and missing it for a while.

But wow, what a bike shed! One wheel less for a couple weeks shouldn't be too much of a pinch!

Danneaux

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2014, 01:01:02 AM »
Hi CWM!

Welcome (formally) to the Thorn Cycling Forum!

Yes, when new, I did feel a noticeable vibration in my Nomad's Gear 7 and in 12. The lower gears (1-7) were all noiser under drive and quieter while coasting, while the upper gears were nearly silent under load and had a very "bright" freewheel click while coasting.

Now, things are quieter and smoother across the board, both under drive and while coasting. I noticed "quietening plateaus" at the 300 and 600 mile marks (480 and 966km). Shift operation has always required a deliberate action with the EX shift-box, but at no time has it been sticky or reluctant to shift and the hub-based indexing has worked flawlessly with no neutral shifts or other aberrant behaviors. I'm delighted with the actual operation from new to now. My knob is a little approximate in its gear indication as can be expected with correctly adjusted cables that are a bit on the slack side (many owners and Rohloff themselves confirm this). At most, it is off about a half-gear and it is no trouble to spin it lightly toward me to get the indicator to line up.

Perhaps your hub is not yet broken in. If you haven't yet flushed and changed the oil, that may help as well, as the first oil change seems to result in quieter operation for most users.

All congratulations on a wonderful collection of Thorns. May you ride them in good health and may many happy Adventures pass beneath their wheels. Your new Raven Tour sounds like a wonderful bike, and it would be a delight to see it and the others in the gallery. If you have any trouble posting photos, I've provided a little tutorial here that should help: http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=4313.0

Best,

Dan.

CWM

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Re: Is my Rohloff noisy?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2014, 09:30:28 PM »
Thank you all for those comments.  I had a lovely run in  the easter sunshine yesterday, about 30 miles, quite hilly so in to some of the noisier gears though never in any gear for very long.  Also read again parts of Andy Blance's Living with a Rohloff, and found some comfort in his  reference to noise specifically in gears 7 and 12, so will persevere as is and hope that it is simply a question of either me or the hub breaking in.

Dan - I have posted some poor quality photos of the bikes on the members gallery page.