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Old 05-04-05, 08:20 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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derailleur system vs interally geared

I was cruising around mtbr.com in study hall today and came across the fantastic reviews for internally geared Rohloff speed hubs. it got me interested in the whole concept of internal gears, neat stuff. not cheap though! So im wondering what you people think about it, if Rohloff was ever to introduce a great internally geared hub that was actually affordable, would you buy it? Or stick with your derailleur and all. THis goes for any of the internally geared (Sachs, Nexus etc.)
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Old 05-04-05, 08:23 PM   #2
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are they servicable?

hop on AIM cow.
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Old 05-04-05, 08:26 PM   #3
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a) in a second. I hate deraileurs, I am in the process of trying to get one, but its a pipe dream
b) gboxx and nicolai use the roholff hub centred on the bike to balance any weight issues
c) I know several people who use the hub and love it. Super T also made the switch, turning down sponsors, in order to run it. I don't know of many complaints, beyond home maintenance sucks if it breaks and it isn't efficient enough for some people.

Beyond roholf, if other companies could match the dh durability of one, I would again buy it in a second. MY biggest complaint of both shimano and sram is all movement and improvements they have made have been lateral. You are still always stuck with dangly bits on the back. That annoys me.

Shimano is (or was) rumoured to be making a dh internally geared hub, one can only hope. Competition can only drive down the price.
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Old 05-04-05, 08:26 PM   #4
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are they servicable?

hop on AIM cow.
I would love to but the PSU on my comp has expired on this faitful day. Im on my mothers computer right now which does not have AIM and express isnmt workin g
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Old 05-04-05, 08:31 PM   #5
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I love the idea of these internal gears, it seems much more practical than little tiddly bits waiting for a rock to hit it. but it just doesnt seem economical....you can get the x.7 triggers+derailleur for 80 bucks. Rohloff costs around 1k....
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Old 05-04-05, 08:31 PM   #6
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I would love to have one, but they are expensive, and dont have trigger shifters.
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Old 05-04-05, 08:38 PM   #7
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Arg...yeah that too..I have grip shift.

As for price. In 'theory' peoplel compare it to xtr drive train. or x.0
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Old 05-04-05, 08:39 PM   #8
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What's not to like?

Only 2 Drawbacks...

1) increased weight. For commuter and utility bikes this is not a problem at all.
2) you have to buy an entire wheel with your gearing.

As for pricing the Shimano Nexus stuff is reasonable enough. The rolhoff seems to be aimed at a very narrow niche market.
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Old 05-04-05, 08:40 PM   #9
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Thats the problem right there. Most dhillers would go internally geared in a second, but companies can't justify making them that strong. People have tried and failed at running nexus.
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Old 05-04-05, 08:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H23
1) increased weight. For commuter and utility bikes this is not a problem at all.
The rohloff hub doesnt deserve commuter duty. This is an exotic, expensive, rare, intenal transmision hub that should be on a main rig!
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Old 05-04-05, 08:48 PM   #11
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1,000 dollars for a hub is ridiculous and in all honesty, doesn't make much sense. While maintenance and durability would be an issue, I also wonder; what if I want a different gear range? Pardon my ignorance in this matter but do Rohloffs come in 259 different variations to accomodate for peoples need/want to have different gearing?

Besides, Rohloff how durable are other internally geared hubs? I'm about to start building a single speed commuter (endurance training) and was interested to know if there are any internal gear hubs that can withstand abuse past simple road riding? I like the idea of a hub in a commuter application because some days you are just too tired to pedal. However, the days I am not too tired, I'll be beating the thing up pretty bad. Are there any hubs that can compete with Rohloff in terms of durability? Outside the DH school that is...
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Old 05-04-05, 08:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtbike
The rohloff hub doesnt deserve commuter duty. This is an exotic, expensive, rare, intenal transmision hub that should be on a main rig!

Perhaps. But many people spend most of their riding time on commuter bikes (the commuter is the "main rig"). Some folks like to have posh commuting machines, weight may not be an issue here, but durability and coolness certainly counts.
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Old 05-04-05, 08:56 PM   #13
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I haven't heard much good about others.

The roholffs come with potential gearing, I think they only have 7 (8..I forget its been about year since I played with one) gears to actually use once setup. And I think a lot of that gearing is included with the size ring and number of chainrings you use.

http://www.rohloff.de/index.php?p=PRODUKTE/SPEEDHUB

Thats the site for those interested.
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Old 05-04-05, 08:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtbike
The rohloff hub doesnt deserve commuter duty. This is an exotic, expensive, rare, intenal transmision hub that should be on a main rig!
When you are pedalling for long distances in unknown weather and just want pure durability with no fuss...the roholff would rock,.
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Old 05-04-05, 08:59 PM   #15
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What is the drivetrain loss of one versus the other?
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Old 05-05-05, 07:10 AM   #16
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I just bought a stumey archer for the commuter I'm building out a 1950's Malvern Star. I dont think the hub would go any type of MTB activity but I never broke any as a kid and I broke enough bikes. Cant compare it to a Rolhoff though.
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Old 05-05-05, 09:46 AM   #17
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The Rolhoff is definitely a piece of serious equiptment for a niche purpose- mud, ice, and other extreme conditions. They're ideal for highlands touring or extended backwoods adventures. There's a reason they're so popular with British builders. The Shimano et al versions dont hold a candle to their quality and durabiliy. They're chincy, cheap, and plastic in comparison; the guys on the phone at the Shimano service center dont even recommend standing up while pedalling on them. Get that? They are for your little sisters' five speed cruiser, not for bicycles that will be subject to real wear and tear or heavy drivetrain loads. Furthermore the Shimano hubs have this really weird spacing and a much smaller gear range. You're not saving much weight, if any, by going with the Rolhoff over a derailler system, but if the conditions demand it- say you want to ride across Alaska or something, where a crapped out cassette or a trashed derailler after a fall is not an option- then the Rohloff is the way to go. As far as changing gear ratios, the range of the hub's gears is huge and you could shift the whole range up and down by changing the hub's cog size. But seriously, how many people out there have ever actually swapped out cassette cogs to tune their range. With so many freakin gears, most people probably dont even use the ones they have. Maintenence is supposed to be a non-issue as well- supposedly you just drain the hub and throw fresh oil in once a year. They're machined like swiss watches and the whole system runs in an oil bath. Bottom line... I've looked at both and while I dont see a purpse for a Rohloff bike in my future, if I ever wanted an internally-geared hub, there would be no question about which one to use.
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Old 05-05-05, 10:05 AM   #18
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Rohloff speedhub has 14 gears, with 527% total range of gears, evenly stepped in ~13% increments. 527% is pretty wide - if your lowest is 1:1 and highest is 5:1, you've got less range than a Rohloff. Where you choose to put that range is up to you - choose a ring/cog ratio that suits your needs.

Read some of the other forums (touring, I think), and you'll see testimonials of 100k miles on Rohloff hubs, with only maintainence being oil changes.

Not having a dished wheel seems like a big advantage for DHers. I ride more XC and all mountain sorts of stuff, and I see huge benefits in lack of maintainence - there's just less stuff to get muddy. Also, evenly spaced gearing and shifting without having to move the chain both seems like they'd greatly improve the biking experience.

My next mtbike will have a Rohloff; I'll be waiting a while until I can afford it.
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Old 05-05-05, 10:36 AM   #19
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I have to say that if I had the money, my dream bike would include a Rohloff hub.
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Old 05-05-05, 10:40 AM   #20
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While on the subject of these things, is it possible to still use two or three front rings with them, to further increase the range?
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Old 05-05-05, 11:09 AM   #21
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For anyone who is interested, this is a recent thread on MTBR I started a week ago, in rebuttal to some inaccuracies in a recent BIKE magazine article.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=95409

The added weight is somewhat of a non-issue as you'll see in that post (depends on how much of a gram shaver you might be). Compared to a typical XT drivetrain, you're looking at 600g of extra heft (~1.5 pounds), with a two pound weight bias shifted to the rear axle.

The total range is equivalent to a compact 24 speed drivetrain with an 11-30 cassette. Within reason, YOU get to pick the highest or lowest gear based on the chainring and cog combo you choose. If you want the equivalent of a 34T bailout gear, you can do it at the expense of your top-end gearing. If you want a super-duper road-ready tall gear, you can do it at the expense of your granny gear.

Compared to a Nexus or SRAM Spectro, the Speedhub is a gem. I ride a Nexus on my pavement bike, and my wife has a SRAM on hers. Both have inconsistant gear jumps, both have crap shifting (the Spectro will click at the shifter but won't even drop into a lower gear if there is any load on the pedals), and neither is sealed against the elements.

Efficiency is on par with a clean derailleur system in the higher 7 gears, and about 1% lower in the lower 7.
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Old 05-05-05, 11:22 AM   #22
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You can set the Speedhub up with a front derailer and multiple rings, but you'll need a chain tensioner.

Better would be to use an internally geared BB, and get a whopping 1300% range.
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Old 05-05-05, 11:29 AM   #23
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Speedhub, what do you think of the range of bikes currently being made with the roholff 'hub' being used as a gearbox (also a new one which is called g-boxx) centred on the bike. It centres the weight. Right now only high end burly dh bikes seem to use it, but the idea seems universal.
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Old 05-05-05, 12:03 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelstrom
...what do you think of the range of bikes currently being made with the roholff 'hub' being used as a gearbox (also a new one which is called g-boxx) centred on the bike...
It seems like the right direction to head, but I haven't thrown a leg over one to really make a comparison.

Getting the weight centered on the chasis fixes two problem on paper. But the on-trail reality is neither the rear weight bias nor the increased unsprung mass are noticable. The nice thing is that the hub, in its current incarnation, is that it literally drops in to the majority of frames out there without modification.

So as the technology advances, I'll happily embrace it, but in its current form as a hub-based transmission there aren't enough detractors to keep me from loving it.
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Old 05-05-05, 12:47 PM   #25
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I would never detract. As I stated, if I had the money and ith a trigger shifter I would gladly switch all my bikes over. Deraileurs suck
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