Author Topic: Rohloff Speedhub  (Read 4842 times)

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Offline Datsdad

Rohloff Speedhub
« on: February 16, 2017, 02:32:50 pm »
Currently I've a Surly LHT I use primarily for self-contained rides. My current triple ring gearing range extends approx. from 18 gear-inches to 109 gear-inches. I do need the 18 - 19 range for climbing loaded but I do run out of top end gearing on a regular basis.

I'm looking to go to a Rohloff Speedhub. My question is, has anyone had any experience running a double ring on the front with a Rohloff speedhub? This is the only way I can see reaching the gear inch range I desire.

I'm told by CycleMonkey, US Rohloff distributor, it can be done, but I wonder on pro vs. cons, maintenance and durability.

Thanks for the help.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 09:06:15 am »
I used a Rohloff for a few years. In my opinion, it is too complex (internally), too expensive, and over rated. If anything goes wrong, it is virtually non-repairable. Recommended oil changes kits add to the cost. Using a Rohloff on an existing bike requires some undesirable compromises. Initially, the rear cable mount was on my rear brake calipers. This proved to be unreliable because water got into it, causing the rear brakes to work poorly. Also, there was too long a lever-arm that caused the mounting to get weak. Not to mention, a Rohloff on an existing bike requires a custom wheel build.

Conventional gearing is inexpensive, reasonably reliable, and easily repaired. If something goes wrong, one can generally limp through to get to parts that are widely available.

Online Pat Lamb

Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 09:49:05 am »
Design-wise, if you add a second chain ring to the Rohloff, you're going to need a front derailer and shifter.  Then you'll have to add a chain tensioner to take up the slack at the rear (it looks like half a rear derailer).  Functionally, at that point, it seems like you might as well stick with an all-derailer system.  Work on learning to spin at high cadence instead.

Of course, if you're interested in pushing the envelope, Sheldon Brown style, go for it!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 09:51:56 am by Pat Lamb »

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2017, 02:18:41 pm »
You spin out of something like a 48x12, which with 172.5mm cranks and 700x35c wheel/tire set up would give you a top gear inch of 108.7? At a cadence of 100 that's about 32.5 mph.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2017, 02:23:19 pm »
Currently I've a Surly LHT. My current triple ring gearing range extends approx. from 18 gear-inches to 109 gear-inches. I do need the 18 - 19 range for climbing loaded but I do run out of top end gearing on a regular basis.

Why don't you tell us what your current gearing is?  Chainring teeth and cassette range and number of cogs.  Then in addition to giving opinions about the Rohloff hub, someone might be able to tell you what to change on your current gearing to get what you want. 

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 04:56:41 pm »
I forgot one disadvantage of using the Rohloff hub for touring. If you want low gears for climbing hills on a loaded bike, you are liable to void your warranty. See page 19 of the user manual. http://www.proactiv-gmbh.com/documents/UK_BA_Rohloff_general_use.pdf

Offline Marlowe

Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2017, 07:09:37 pm »
I have a Surly Disc LHT and installed the Rohloff Speedhub myself.   That was easy enough.   But, the LHT has a vert. dropout so you will have to add a chain tensioner, or a eccentric front bottom bracket to get the chain to tighten up.  Expensive add-on.    And with 2 front sprockets you have all the additional derailleur crap to put up with.   More cables, adjusting, etc.  A single sprocket up front and a chain tensioner is all that is needed.  The Rohloff 14 with the proper front sprocket will give you all the gear ratio you could possibly need.  I will take my second trek with my bike this June and am expecting the same great results from the Speedhub.  My experience with the Speedhub has been painless. 
Marlowe

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2017, 07:49:05 am »
I used a Rohloff for a few years. In my opinion, it is too complex (internally), too expensive, and over rated. If anything goes wrong, it is virtually non-repairable. Recommended oil changes kits add to the cost. Using a Rohloff on an existing bike requires some undesirable compromises. Initially, the rear cable mount was on my rear brake calipers. This proved to be unreliable because water got into it, causing the rear brakes to work poorly. Also, there was too long a lever-arm that caused the mounting to get weak. Not to mention, a Rohloff on an existing bike requires a custom wheel build.

I did the continental divide trail with my rohloff speedhub. While others were cleaning their chains and adjusting their derailleurs I could relax. It did the entire trip without any problems at all. I read about people who circled the world (30000 mi) and turned the hub in for a service check up at the factory in Kassel, Germany: The hub came back with the note that no service was necessary. I have never ever heard about damaged Rohloff hub. All parts a manufactured in Germany to the highest standards and not somewhere in Taiwan or China. I admit that the hub is complex and you will never be able to fix anything if it breaks .... but it will never happen - unless you abuse it. I would have no worries whatsoever biking 10000 mi across USA with that hub. What I dont like about the hub is, that it has a slightly higher resistance - it annoys me when road biking but not a problem if going off road where the avg speed is lower.

Offline canalligators

Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2017, 09:52:22 pm »
I like hub gears, love the old Sturmeys and use them a lot.  But I can't get past $1200 for a hub.

If you're outspun with your current gearing, you have three options:
1. Learn to spin faster (your knees with thank you)
2. Change your cassette to a higher high
3. Coast down hills.  How often are you in your highest gear?  Also, any power you add above about 25 mi/hr is mostly getting burned up as wind friction anyway.  You might as well coast.

Offline Mark Manley

Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 04:29:03 am »
I have a Rohloff hub fitted to a purpose build Roberts Roughstuff and find it an excellent piece of kit in all circumstances, the bike is used for everything from off road touring to carrying the shopping. It is expensive and does put more weight on the back of the bike which I don't notice on the road and has been totally reliable and has a perfectly adaquate range, I have a 36 tooth chainring which is lower than recommended but I only weigh 10 stone, that is 140 pounds to Americans so do not think I am overloading it.

Offline canalligators

Re: Rohloff Speedhub
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 08:28:44 am »
I usually keep my mouth shut on this, but I'm wondering what the OP decided.  And did he find the comments helpful?  (Never mind saying thanks.)