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Thread: Rohloff Hub?

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    Rohloff Hub?

    Does anyone tour with one? Pros, cons.

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    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    I don't tour with one, but I'm about to late this summer. There is a webpage somewhere of some guys who crossed Greenland with them, and there's also some Dutch guy out there on a Koga touring the world with a Rohloff who has a webpage. I'll try to find those for you. I think Rohloffs are more popular in Europe than the US, but I could be wrong about that, as I often am about things. I'll be doing a detailed write-up of my impressions at the end of the summer, but from the research I've done these are the pros and cons:

    PROS:
    -They can take a beating in all sorts of climate conditions and seem to get smoother with use.
    -They give your bike a nice 'fixed gear' aesthetic and perfect chainline.
    -All the stuff that Andy Blance said, which is quite a list. Here is the litany: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/rohloff-impressions.html

    CONS:
    -All the stuff that Blance said.
    -They downplay it, but I'm frankly still a little wary of its only 32-spoke hole dealie for fully loaded touring, plus it sort of makes you want to go 32-spoke in the front too (not as big a deal as the back, but less than optimal for touring). In any case, make sure that you get your best LBS wheel builder to build it up (unless you are a good one yourself).
    -It's heavy, and can make the bike feel sluggish in the rear.
    -They probably won't market a really acceptable shifter mechanism for dropbars until the year 2752, when the cyborgs run everything.
    -If you don't have a bike specifically made with their dropouts (any version of them), you'll end up with a little chain-tensioner aftermarket compromise that looks like a derailleur fetus with a 1950s erector set piece slapped over it, thus rendering slightly moot a big reason why most people get the things in the first place. OTOH, getting the dropouts means you're pretty much committing.
    -Expensive. Made negligible (and even 'inexpensive'?) over time, if their reliability is as reported, thus turning this con into a pro.
    -You have to buy a lifetime's supply of their oil or hope they remain in business until you (or your bike) kick the bucket. Your warranty is toast if you use another oil in it.
    -good luck repairing one if it should break in the field, although they've reported no failures yet.
    -Reports of leakages, but I think they've solved this.


    It's a tough decision. Read as much as possible, and maybe try to talk to Sheldon Brown about it. It's worth the call, provided you know what to ask. He doesn't bandy words.
    Last edited by Alekhine; 04-19-05 at 07:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Thorn Cycles in Bridgewater, Somerset, England, already market a T-bar for the Rohloff twistgrip when used with drops. I have a Thorn Raven with Flats and as an old drops man I had problems with finding a comfortable riding position for touring. I ended up cutting down the flats to shoulder width which meant I had no room to fit aero-bars (vital I feel to get out of the wind) and still have room for the twistgrip. So I made my own barends copying the shape of brakehoods(my usual touring position) then made up a T-bar which took the twistgrip and fixed this below the end of the bar and protuding slightly outwards which gave me easy access. I now had room for aero-bars on the flats.This means I now have the advantages of flats (more powerful brakes etc.) but yet have a comfy touring position and can get down out of the wind. Seems to work for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onbike 1939
    Thorn Cycles in Bridgewater, Somerset, England, already market a T-bar for the Rohloff twistgrip when used with drops. I have a Thorn Raven with Flats and as an old drops man I had problems with finding a comfortable riding position for touring. I ended up cutting down the flats to shoulder width which meant I had no room to fit aero-bars (vital I feel to get out of the wind) and still have room for the twistgrip. So I made my own barends copying the shape of brakehoods(my usual touring position) then made up a T-bar which took the twistgrip and fixed this below the end of the bar and protuding slightly outwards which gave me easy access. I now had room for aero-bars on the flats.This means I now have the advantages of flats (more powerful brakes etc.) but yet have a comfy touring position and can get down out of the wind. Seems to work for me.
    Pictures, please. Sounds interesting.

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    Would the relative lack of dish required offset the 32 spoke deficiency? It seems to me that it would.

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    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsor
    Would the relative lack of dish required offset the 32 spoke deficiency? It seems to me that it would.
    Yep. I believe Rohloff maintains that their 32-spoke wheels not only offset that, but that they are even stronger than 36-40s with ordinary hubs, if properly built - which is the big thing with 'bombproof' wheels anyway. I reckon that with some really good DT Swiss spokes, Mavic A719 rims, and my local pro building it up, I should have no worries. I'm always a bit skeptical though.

    And ya, there have been some cool dropbar jury rigs out there, for sure, including a whole stem with a bar brazed out of the side that looks nice. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, there are multiple options available, and I figure they will come out with an "official" version (hopefully) soon anyway.
    Last edited by Alekhine; 04-20-05 at 05:11 PM.

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