When I have been touring with 26 inch wheels (four months through Russia) and 28 inch (some weeks in Norway and Denmark) I have had almost as many spokes broken as I've had flats. The first 1000 km after the wheel is adjusted by a bicycle mechanic everything is fine. After that, the wheel gets kind of unadjusted/uneven, and my replacing of spokes has a limited effect. This typically happens more often when the bike is loaded, and I ride uphill, standing. And its only the rear wheel - I think the front wheel could be made out of cardboard. I would assume that smaller wheels are stiffer and as such is less prone to problems with broken spokes? Or is the smaller rims less strong and the stiffness is comparatively the same as a big wheel?
I'm going to pick up my Birdy Rohloff next Monday in Darmstadt (and try to break in the gear the rest of easter towards Luxembourg and around Belgium, with a return flight from Hahn, to my home in Oslo, Norway). My plan is to use it for any kind of travel (from weekends in cities to longer touring) as bringing a full size bicycle has been a hassle several times - I can't even be sure to arrive with the same train as my bicycle in Norway, and in Sweeden the busses and trains woudn't even allow it (back in 2002).
According to Rohloff:
http://www.rohloff.de/en/technical/s...ity/index.html their hub will make the wheel stiffer, and as such more robust, comparatively to a tandem wheel, which is just what I have wanted for my full size bicycle. If my assumption about small wheels are stronger, and the Rohloff hub makes it even stronger, will I have some kind of Super Stiff Wheel on my new orange beauty?
Note: I didn't want the hub for wheel robustness, I just love the idea of having everything in the hub (I used a Merida Nagano, with hub brakes through Russia.) due to maintainability (My 3x8 gears has an ugly tendancy to adjust itself to something that is incompatible with hills.) and hide stuff from the elements - and at the time I thought about having the gear in the hub (not far from Volgograd) I met a German who had a Rohloff, and he had bicycled 60000 km with it.
Anyway, do I need to buy a bunch of spokes, as usual?