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Old 12-08-06, 02:08 PM   #1
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Rohloff

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.

Pro's:
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

Con's:
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.....?
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Old 12-08-06, 02:10 PM   #2
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Do it!

Doooo it

duit!
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Old 12-08-06, 02:14 PM   #3
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do they make a heavy duty rohloff
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Old 12-08-06, 02:21 PM   #4
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No, they make a disc/non-disc version. It'd be okay for just about any bike that can take a 135mm rear hub, I'd think.

Heavy DH and Freeride would most likely be out of the question.

I would be building a hardtail with it though. Not a racer, more of a "bike that could possibly last 10 years" kinda thing.
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Old 12-08-06, 02:21 PM   #5
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the price isn't the issue at all for me, as I completely agree with your cost breakdown.

** internet rumor alert**

The main con is a supposed inefficiency in the highest 4 gears that rohloff says does not exist. I have read it from multiple places. I have never tried one though, and would be more than happy to try one out, although I know no one who has one.

If that weren't the case, I would buy one in a heartbeat for a geared ride. The simplicity of the one cog one ring setup is enough for me to accept the 1 pound penalty.
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Old 12-08-06, 02:45 PM   #6
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Why don't you save a few gazillion and get the Sturmey-Archer XRK8:

http://www.sturmey-archer.com/hubs_8spd_XRK8.php

. . . and then tell me whether it holds up or not
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Old 12-08-06, 03:00 PM   #7
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Someone with deep pockets need to try one and let us know what its like *eyes lowcel*
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Old 12-08-06, 03:05 PM   #8
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I diddled around on a bike with one. Really precise units and the shifing while standing still is pretty sweet. It does make for a rear-heavy bike, but I bet with practice that wouldn't be an issue on the trail .
I would do it, but I just don't like twist shifters at all.

I sort of wish that there was a heavy duty 8 sp or 9sp hub that I could run with 2 rings in the front, and normal shimano rapidfire shifters. Like a HD nexus.

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Old 12-08-06, 03:21 PM   #9
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"Why don't you save a few gazillion and get the Sturmey-Archer XRK8"

B/C it's only 8 speed.

"It does make for a rear-heavy bike"

Would balance out my freakin' fat head.
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Old 12-08-06, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Kurt
the price isn't the issue at all for me, as I completely agree with your cost breakdown.

** internet rumor alert**

The main con is a supposed inefficiency in the highest 4 gears that rohloff says does not exist. I have read it from multiple places. I have never tried one though, and would be more than happy to try one out, although I know no one who has one.

If that weren't the case, I would buy one in a heartbeat for a geared ride. The simplicity of the one cog one ring setup is enough for me to accept the 1 pound penalty.

From MTBR:

The internal resistance is real - reported to be up to about 3% in certain gears.

uphill efficiency in the first 5 gears is BELOW a normal drivetrain and you wind up with something in the range of 20/28- 30max.

I haven't noticed "comical" power losses in low gears, although i have noticed some loss.

power consumed by the hub in gears 1 thru' 5 while climbing

Rohloff says that their claims of 95-98% efficiency in all gears (similar, therefore, to a derailer system) are independently proven by a lab in Holland

The people who said that there is a small issue of power loss in the small gears also said things like "Rohloff says it takes 500-1000 miles to reach full efficiency (break in period) so we will see how it feels then".

I bet the power loss due to the gear reduction in the lower gears is neglegeable after it's broken in.
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Old 12-08-06, 03:38 PM   #11
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Well if you have the $ go for it!
I can see you sure have done your research.
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Old 12-08-06, 03:41 PM   #12
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I haven't really done that much research...I just threw it all together today while I waited for the work to trickle in.

I just need to hold on to my chains/cassettes/cables like they're diamonds and put all the "maintenance money" and birthday money and Christmas money and bank robbery money ( ) in to a big pot and watch it grow for a good long time.

Eventually I'll see a Rohloff hub sprout out.
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Old 12-08-06, 04:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelboed
B/C it's only 8 speed.
Well of course you got me there. I only mentioned it as an option b/c the rear der. is the so-much-more vulnerable item; and running an eight w/a less-problematic front could get you 16. But I see your point.

Besides the obvious price problem (I have this pesky aversion to a hub that cost more than my frame ), would be the unsprung weight that a Rohloff would add - - that is unless it's going on a hardtail.

Besides, I still am curious about the durability of an XRK8 . . . and am not sure if I want to be the one to blow one up to find out
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Old 12-08-06, 04:08 PM   #14
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I have even thought about building a rigid bike with it, but I can't put a $1150 drivetrain on a bike without a suspension fork...that's just not civilized.

Ya know...when you factor in a set of wheels...this isn't quite as expensive as you'd think.

If you go to say...universalcycles.com and use their wheel builder, it costs just under $1500 to build this with a DT 240 front hub and DT EX 5.1d rims / DT spokes.

If you think about the cost of your drive train + the cost of a set of DT 240 / EX 5.1d's or a set of Chris King's...it's not too bad.


I tend to forget that for around $1300 I can get the drivetrain with a rear wheel.
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Old 12-08-06, 04:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelboed
I have even thought about building a rigid bike with it, but I can't put a $1150 drivetrain on a bike without a suspension fork...that's just not civilized.
yeah, you certainly wouldn't want a bike like this.


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Old 12-08-06, 04:25 PM   #16
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Actually I do like that bike, it looks like a real weight weenie special...the only thing I'd change is the fork & saddle. Id pull the goofy canti studs out of the seatstays too. That just looks incomplete. I may want to get rid of the ti too. I love aluminum. A hollow rubber frame may be nice too, it would absorb the trail chatter.

Still, a very nice ride indeed. I've often wanted to test ride a YBB or STP to see what it's like.

It's odd how when some people like a certain thing a great deal...they automatically assume everyone else will like it too.

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Old 12-08-06, 05:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Kurt
yeah, you certainly wouldn't want a bike like this. [/IMG]
If you've never tried a Rohloff...who owns the bike in the picture? Some random shot on the net, or someone you know who you could possibly be sly and sneek a ride on it for a full Rohloff report?
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Old 12-08-06, 06:28 PM   #18
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Go for it.
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Old 12-09-06, 09:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelboed

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.

You would spend ~$2845 or so for 11 years of drivetrain
~$6000 or so for 19 years of drivetrain

It almost seems like a "No Brain'er". Now...how to save up.....?
One thing I would add to your justification.... Prices for replacement parts over 11 or more years will most certainly not remain static. I would add about $500 to your 11 year estimate. That doesn't include shipping costs if you buy online or additional costs/taxes if you buy from your LBS.

I say go for it!
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Old 12-09-06, 03:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazinall91
do they make a heavy duty rohloff
The Rohloff is tandem-rated already.
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Old 12-09-06, 03:50 PM   #21
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i was all excited about them awhile back as well. i could have bought one but chose not to. i want to wait for them to update it. looks like they're kicking around an old design. maybe not so much the hub, but the external stuff. grip shift, etc. i ended up not liking the added things for fitting on the bikes. speedbone, etc...

seems like the trickest setup is a frame made with rohloff hub dropouts and dual cable guides. if you are not carefull, i have seen the hub bend horiz dropouts on mtbr. do a search there and you will find all sorts of pics and info.

plus, they never wrote back in email. so whatever. i think an updated version would be sweet. it would be my luck to buy one now, then they do a complete over-haul in a couple years.
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Old 12-09-06, 05:44 PM   #22
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I'd be interested in hearing some reviews on this but I'm not likely to blaze that trail. It looks intereting and decent technology but in its infancy(?).
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Old 12-09-06, 06:28 PM   #23
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no...it's been around. that is why i have a sneaky suspicion that they will have a new model in a year, two, whatever...

just for that money i would rather wait for a new one. i might be waiting for something that will never come, but i am okay with that.
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Old 12-09-06, 08:49 PM   #24
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The Rohloff has been around for 10 years, IIRC. Also, stuff made for it is always compatible with older hubs, from what I've read.

If I had the cash, I'd personally be using one on a XC MTB, and one on a touring bike. Only worrying about oil changes and flipping/changing a sprocket every so often sounds great.
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Old 12-10-06, 02:14 AM   #25
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My friend told me today that he's going to do a rholoff for this HT 29er bianchi. His rationale was that it would be a part he would keep for a decade. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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