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Old 06-15-14, 02:26 PM   #1
Dave Horne
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thumb shifters for Rohloff

I bought a new bike a few months ago with the Rohloff 14 speed hub. It uses the shifter supplied by Rohloff, a twist shifter. See photo below.



While that does the job I really would have preferred thumb shifters, one of the left side of the handle bar (to go to a lower gear) and one on the right side of the handle bar (to go to a higher gear).

I was unaware of this but these thumb shifters exist though not supplied via Rohloff. This item is a tad pricey and I might wind up ordering it.

The company that makes this is cinq5.

http://shop.cinq5.de/epages/es984127...R%20Flatbar%22



Just passin' this on ...

Click on photos to enlarge.

Last edited by Dave Horne; 06-15-14 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 06-15-14, 04:15 PM   #2
John Lesar
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Maybe I am too used to the Rohloff twist shifter, but this seems like a step backwards to me.
I wouldn't mind test riding a bike with one though to see what they are like
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Old 06-16-14, 05:23 AM   #3
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I have two Rohloffs and I have no issues with the twist shifters. One of them is on a recumbent with under seat steering, so the twist shifter is really the only viable choice there anyway.
There was some chatter some time ago about somebody developing an electric shift system, but I have not seen anything on that lately.
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Old 06-16-14, 07:29 AM   #4
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Like wise , 2 grip shifters on Trekking bars reliably fine .. there's an Australian company that makes a servo-motor for rotating the gear changer in the hub

and up-down buttons for the handlebar ... there is a link thru Rohloffs company site. http://www.rohloff.de/en/technology/...rts/index.html

http://www.edsanautomation.com.au/EdsanProducts.htm


that 1 cable per paddle scheme seems more complicated ..

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Old 06-17-14, 03:10 PM   #5
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I wrote an e-mail to Rohloff and was very surprised to receive the following reply from them ...

Hello Dave,

thank-you for your email.

Both ourselves and the company Nicolai have built prototype trigger style shifters years ago but we have both dropped the projects for various reasons. I understand that many customers have been patiently waiting for a trigger style shifter for years but I must admit, although I haven't had a chance to use the Cinq5 shifter in the real world yet (only in the office of a demo bike), I do not believe that the shifters from Cinq5 will satisfy those customers.

A trigger shifter has to work with a sort of ratchet mechanism. This involves the use of springs and pawls, these small components are more prone to damage and need to be greased/oiled fairly regularly. This obviously increases the amount of maintenance of the (to date) very low maintenance transmission system.

The SPEEDHUB has dominant and passive gear change combinations within it. Depending upon which gear is being shifted into and from which gear you have come, the force needed to move the shifter varies. The resulting feel of a trigger shifter for the SPEEDHUB would not be that which most customers are looking for which I feel will disappoint many people.

The additional moving components used in a trigger shifter are more expensive to produce and a shifter for two cables would have double the amount of these components as a standard trigger shifter. This would also result in a heavier shifter than at present. These are not exactly positive aspects for an alternative shifting mechanism.

The majority of trigger style shifters currently on the market allow the shifting of only 3 gears at once. With the SPEEDHUB 500/14, we have constructed a bicycle transmission that can shift through all 14 gears at incredible speed. This is very practical for stationary shifting or for sudden inclines, acceleration etc. The slower shifting of a trigger therefore renders this advantage of the SPEEDHUB irrelevant.

The biggest problem with a trigger style shifter is simply that the a ratchet system has automatically an indexing. The indexing of the gears within the SPEEDHUB though is within the gear unit itself, not in the shifter as with other systems. In utilizing a 'trigger' shifter, we would have to synchronize the indexing of the shifter with that of the hub. The largest benefit of the SPEEDHUB (that it is adjustment free) is now also lost.

Basically, a trigger style shifter leaves the SPEEDHUB heavier, more expensive, slower, it would have a higher level of required maintenance. Although we would like to offer an alternative in the future but we currently cannot promise anything new and we are not actively researching in this direction at present.

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Old 06-17-14, 03:26 PM   #6
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Something with a balance spring (Shimano had a Bar end shifter somewhat like that , it balanced the return spring in a Front Derailleur )

... adjusted to be no more than overcoming any slight cable friction, to my mind means . you would pull either lever,
and the opposite one moves as well in the opposite direction with out your hand on it.

but because the whole gear sequencing is done in the hub the 2 cable Pull-Pull grip shifter works fine ..
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Old 06-19-14, 02:12 PM   #7
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You'd think that those guys at Rohloff have at least some technical grasp beyond their own designs. Well, not according to their reply (see above).
I myself happen to run the Shift:Rs on one of my bikes. They positively do not have any indexing at all - which is obvious once you try them (didn't he mention he did?). The only adjustment you have to do is adjust the cable slack - basically the same as with the original setup.
But the part I liked most was where he talked about the variation in action force. As if that would only be the case with 3rd party shifter components? Hello? It is naturally the same thing with their original (or any other) twist shifter. No, wait, I'm not absolutely acurate here. It is more easy to overcome high shifting forces with the trigger-style Shift:Rs.
And with 58g for each lever adding up to (...calculating...) 116g for both they are even lighter as the twist shifter (at least the old twister-design I was using - and that thing was worn to the bone).

So I do not really get the point they are trying to make there (might they just be a little jealous that they weren't able to come up with a trigger design themselves? ;-) And if the Shift:R really is that bad, why did they themselves show one off on one of their test bikes at the Willingen bike festival (Germany)?

No long term experience here yet for obvious reasons, but in terms of "shiftability"? Waaaay superior over the Twister for me, thank you cinq5!
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Old 06-20-14, 09:57 AM   #8
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314ter, thanks for your reply! I wasn't satisfied with Rohloff's response and what you wrote makes perfect sense.
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Old 06-20-14, 11:21 AM   #9
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It's true you can roll from 1<->14 in one swift rotation . have you found you can do that with that 2 paddle devise , yourself?
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Old 06-20-14, 11:58 AM   #10
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No, you can upshift/downshift two steps with one stroke. Three would be nice. But be honest: When - in real life action - do you really need to downshift more than tree steps instantly? And on top of that more than about four steps is nearly impossible with one twist without adjusting your hand from your standard riding position first - which also takes time and you cannot keep your grip on the handlebar or your finger on the brake.
So it's pros and cons for both options. I don't say the Shift:R is perfect or superior over the Twister for everybody on all levels. In fact if you are satisfied with the twister? Even better for you because it does not cost you extra $. But it is very nice to at last have an alternative that really works.
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Old 06-20-14, 01:58 PM   #11
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Sure , I roll up to a stop in a higher gear , then drop back several while I wait for the light.

or I down shift a lot on my way home, up hill, then as I go out the door, I Upshift a bunch of gears as soon as i get moving back down the hill.




So any one actually going to buy that thing?
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Old 06-20-14, 02:41 PM   #12
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I'm planning on buying it but not in the immediate future. I've spent much too much money this year on a bike.
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