Join Date: May 2014
Location: Vught, The Netherlands
Bikes: Van Nicholas - Rohloff hub, Gates carbon fiber belt; Brompton - 5 speed Sturmey-Archer
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wrote an e-mail to Rohloff and was very surprised to receive the following reply from them ...
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.