I'm tossing around the idea of losing my X.9 setup and just going Rohloff.
For those who aren't familiar with the Rohloff system, it is an internal 14speed geared rear hub that is supposed to be able to handle anything from XC to DH. It has the same range as an 11-32 or 12-34 setup.
1. Change gears standing still w/o pedaling.
2. Smoother and faster gear changes
3. Sealed unit (great for bad weather)
4. Much quieter than having a slappy chain and floppy rear derailleur
5. Cleaner looking
6. Almost ZERO servicing (change the oil 1x per year)
7. Always a perfect chain line
1. Price (~$1150 new / ~1/2 that used)
2. Weight (around 350g heavier than a complete XT setup)
3. Gears 2-7 are slightly noisy (breaks in after about 1000 miles)
Sheldon Brown stated that they really don't know the service life of the product because they haven't had any failure yet, but others estimate around 100,000km or over 62,000 miles. Can you imagine something so precise and durable? He said it's German engineering at its finest.
The really cool thing that I love about the idea is that it doesn't get broken in for 1000 miles. I'm replacing stinkin' drivetrain stuff by then with what I've got right now.
My real problem is the price, but once you figure in:
X.9 shifters $65'ish
X.9 Derailleur $65'ish (1-2 per year) $65-$130
XT Front Derailleur $25
PG970 Cassette $40 (I go through 2-3 per year) $80-$120
PG971 Chain$25 (I go through 5-7 per year) $125-$175
So for around $360-$515 I can get through a year of riding on a bike that has a fragile dangling mechanism hanging off the side just asking to be slammed.
If you figure 60-100miles per week...250-400 miles per month, or (52 wks) 3120-5200 miles per year. The Rohloff would last between 11-19 years. Let's say a set of shifters last 2 years, 2 cassette's per year, 5 chains per year, 1 rear derailleur per year, and say 1-2 front derailleurs in 11-19 years, and God blessed me with a set of chainrings that never needs to be replaced (yeah, right):
You would spend ~$2845 or so for 11 years of drivetrain
~$6000 or so for 19 years of drivetrain
Sure, you have to factor in the occasional chain for the Rohloff, but you don't have to replace it for a long time, because you can use a 7 or 8 speed chain or even single speed chain and you don't have to worry about shifting performance of the chain. You must also factor in the "Oh my gosh I need to upgrade this or that with the newest derailleur etc..."
I didn't even factor in chainrings...what's my problem?
It almost seems like a "No Brain'er". Now...how to save up.....?