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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-11-17, 02:53 PM   #1
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Rohloff hub for a tandem

hi all,

our trusted Santana Arriva 2007 is getting a bit worn after some 25000 miles, looks like it may soon be time for a new bike.
we now tour extensively, self contained, 4 panniers and a back bag across the rear for the tent and sleeping bags, we travel light, about 55 lbs including the weight of the bags. This seasons tours included both a ride across Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Calif. and a trip thru Minn from the cities up along Lake Superior.
After years of replacing chains, playing w derailleurs etc. , I am intrigued by both the Gates belt drive and the Rohlolff hub and wish to hear from folks that may be riding with both or one. Pros, Cons, real world experience.

I know of their use on single touring bikes but as we know, Tandems are a different animal. We have not test ridden any bikes yet with either the belt drive or Rohloff hub. On paper I have looked at the Co Motion Equator and the Rodriguez Double roller and the Co motion Equator.

Thanks in advance for your help
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Old 09-11-17, 09:59 PM   #2
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I Strongly recommend you pop on over to the MTBR Mtn. tandems site for some in-depth discussion of rear hubs, specifically the Rohloff:
Tandem Mountain Bikes -

(If this is counter to BikeForums etiquette, then I apologize in advance. But since it's been discussed at some length, I figure it's worth mentioning.)

I've destroyed six rear hubs (3 Hugi/DT, 2 Phil Wood and one LX [surprise]) on my mountain tandem, so I've had a few questions over the years about finding something that can handle the high torque loads of offroad tandeming. Looks like Chris King and Rohloff are the clear winners.

Good luck with your new project. Your upcoming adventures sound fantastic!
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Old 09-12-17, 01:02 AM   #3
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Rodriguez and Erickson in Seattle specialize in tandems and Rohloff hubs. Custom Bicycles and Tandems | Rodriguez and Erickson it would be worth it to talk to them about their recommendations. (NB: my wife has two Rohloff-equipped Rodriguez bikes. They are excellent.)
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Old 09-12-17, 06:05 AM   #4
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Two couples I've followed on major tours are riding Rolhoff equipped Co-Motion tandems. One has recorded their tours on the Tandem Bicycle Facebook page. His name is Dan Reagin who lives in suburban Denver.

The other couple live in Florida and have recorded their tours on the crazyguyonabike website.

You could probably connect with then and get their experience using for tandem touring.
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Old 09-13-17, 09:46 AM   #5
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Hi NbrColorado, Hi all,

I’m a complete rookie here and a non-native-English-speaker as well, so if you are patient with me… highly appreciated ;-)

However, I’m not that new with bike stuff in general and here are my 2cents concerning Rohloff: Normally I’m a big fan of derailleur gears, never had any major problem with that Shimano-stuff. Neither on cross-bikes nor on race bikes. If you do a minimum of service, adjustment and cleaning, to my experience everything works smoothly and nicely for quite a long time.

So no reason for me to think about the Rohloff-Hub: It’s considerably more expensive (you hardly ever get a good bargain – even here, in Germany) and it’s heavier too. Nice piece of engineering, but no must have on a single bike. Nevertheless, I have some friends who ride that gear hub for many years and all of them are very satisfied and happy with their “coca cola can” (as they call it here ;-).

Starting to think about building up a new tandem, the thought of Rohloff was immediately back in my mind (I assume, this thought was always there – just buried in some darker bike corner of my soul). In a tandem setup, the Rohloff just has some “tandem specific” advantages that are not that obvious with a single bike:

- Rigidity – There are only a handful of hubs that get an official tandem approval by the supplier – Rohloff is one of them.

- Drivetrain – On a tandem you need (if you follow the standard) a special set of cranks: Usually there is not much of a choice and (consequently) a high price. With the Rohloff hub you can easily return to standard cranks (much cheaper at same quality) and do probably some adjustments to get a perfect chainline quite easily (the chainline with derailleur gears is always more of a compromise and because of the bigger forces on a tandem a hurtful one too).

- Shifting when not pedaling. Easy thing with Rohloff, never performed successfully with derailleur gears. When riding in the suburbs this is really helpful if you have to stop on a traffic light after approaching on a high gear (Ever tried lifting the tandem rear wheel with your partner sitting in the saddle?).

Those where the thoughts that finally “justified” the Rohloff gear hub for my tandem project. To find the right version and doing a proper measurement of the dropouts was another story…
Just now I’m waiting for my wheels getting finished. Spooking and centering - this is the only thing that I still like to be done by a good bike mechanic. Okay… frame welding as well ;-)

When I start to make some more experiences I’m more than willing to share them here. Thanks for your patience reading all through this.

Last edited by lichtgrau; 09-13-17 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 09-13-17, 10:39 AM   #6
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We have family in Koln and had the pleasure of spending a month riding in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium a few years ago, which is where I first saw the Rohloff hub

Thanks for the input, cant wait to hear and see what your bike will be like.
As for your English, trust me, its far superior to my Deutche

As the weather turns here in Colorado, my thoughts are turning more to Snowboarding gear then biking so I
have plenty of time to explore all my options
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Old 09-18-17, 11:21 PM   #7
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We have a Co-motion Equator co-pilot. It's a great bike that compliments our racy Paketa with Di2. Like having a Porsche and Range Rover in the garage. Although it is theoretically and practically less efficient than derailleur, the Rohloff leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to touring or utilitarian riding. We did a week tour of Seattle and the San Juan Islands (supported) with it last month. It got us up Mt Constitution with no problem. The Paketa might have gotten us to the top 20 minutes sooner, but the Rohloff just seems to encourage a more smooth and steady track up the hills. Maybe it's the clockwork sound and feel that makes you settle in? I don't know. A derailleur drivetrain makes you feel you might be able to go just a little faster, so often times you try despite better judgement. Something about how the internal hub responds to a load makes me think some mechanical equilibrium gets reinforced through the system. Anyway, those are my impressions after 950 miles since we got it last November.

BTW, I second looking into Rodriguez. We got the factory tour there while in Seattle. If we hadn't found our Equator second hand, we would have definitely considered them, as we were specifically looking to get a Rohloff tandem.
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