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Old 09-01-06, 12:34 AM   #1
bokes
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Rohloff too noisy?

I've been considering getting a Rohloff on my touring bike because of all it's advantages: smooth and fast shifting even at a stop, large gear range, no derailleur to snag or hit stuff, and no dish for a stronger rear wheel. I can also deal with the cost, weight, and small loss of energy from friction.

Well today i test rode one for the first time, and i thought 2 of the 14 gears were really noisy (gears 5 and 7). Almost sounded like i was riding some beater bike with sand trapped in the bottom bracket.
Now i'm having second thoughts about the device. I really like riding on the open road only hearing the smooth sound of my bike flowing thru the wind. These gears would disturb that. I guess i could avoid or skip those 2 gears, but that would be annoying.
If you have a Rohloff or have tried one, what's your opinion on the noisy gears? Did you get used to it?
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Old 09-01-06, 02:38 AM   #2
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The noise disappears after about a thousand k
Mine is now silky smooth and no noise at all fter 12000 miles

I really love the ability to change gear stood still
No mechs to be torn off
The chain does not move etc etc

get one and enjoy

george
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Old 09-01-06, 12:04 PM   #3
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Its good to hear that yours is quiet, however the Rohloff i tried, accoriding to the owner, has 10k miles already. So i'm confused why it's still noisy, perhaps the owner has avoided those 2 gears and never broke them in.
I guess i should look for another broken-in Rohloff to try. Anyone else who's tried a Rohloff have any comments?
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Old 09-04-06, 04:42 PM   #4
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G'Day mate I am also hooked on the Rohloff since testing one last year. If you read the attached pages on the hubs on the St John Street Cycles/Thorn pages they explain the noise in a new hub. I do not see this as a problem as I know it will get quieter instead of my std drive train which gets noisier. I ordered my Rohloff on Friday and cant wait for it to turn up so I can put it on my new bike in the next week. Cheers Bikeguru
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Old 12-12-07, 12:08 PM   #5
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In the lower 7 gears, the planetary rotation in gear carrier 3 is causing a noise to be heard (this is typical of a highly efficient system with straight-cut teeth, like with the reverse gear in a car) and this will become quieter over time (these gears have to be used to run them in, skipping them will not help).
The overlapping of the freewheel can also be heard in gears 5, 7 and 12, 14. This will not go away. It is important to be able to differentiate between the two noises in order to judge which is which.

Lastly, remember that the frame is a resonator and this changes the noise that can be heard by the rider. A steel frame creates less noise as an alu frame and carbon is much louder! Every component that is bolted onto the bicycle also deflects the sound waves reducing or amplifying that which can be heard. There are probably no two bicycles which sound exactly the same.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:37 PM   #6
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do you know of any carbon bike with a rohloff?
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Old 12-12-07, 01:08 PM   #7
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yes....mine!
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Old 12-12-07, 01:11 PM   #8
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pics!
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Old 12-12-07, 01:14 PM   #9
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YouŽll get them soon, I have to wait for my new frame because the old one has been recalled by the manufacturer due to potetial death or something (there is still no real way of checking how thick the tubes are in a carbon frame). Anyway, the frame could split in two at any second so in about a month I should have my new one.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:48 PM   #10
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Update:
I ended up trying a different Rohloff, and it was much quieter than the first one. Since both were broken in already, I called the head Rohloff rep in the USA and asked him why that was so, and he said some Rohloffs get quiet after breaking in, others don't. It's just luck of the draw.
But since he happens to have a shop close to me in Berkeley, he said why not come over and try out one of my used ones? If you find one you like, you're welcome to buy it. So that's what I did, I test rode about 6 of them, I picked the quietest, and bought it. Then I rode it on a 3500 mile tour this summer and loved it!
www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/2391
So I recommend buying one used, after you test ride it to verify if it's quiet.
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Old 12-13-07, 10:34 AM   #11
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This is not 100% correct. Sometimes it is simply the fact that the rider gets used to the sound created and stops noticing it although it is still present, sometimes the rider starts concentrating only on noise and doesnŽt realize anymore from where it actually comes (in the same way that a creaking noise that appears to be coming from the BB might actually come from the rails of the seat - ask a mechanic!).
Once again I would like to stress that the noise created by the speedhub is different in every bicycle it is built into so if you test it in a steel frame but build the hub into an aluminium frame...the noise WILL be different and you could feel cheated.
The noises created by the overlapping freewheel are produced by flat toothed gears and WILL NOT fade......the typicall noises (gears 1-7) are created by gears with straight-cut teeth WILL fade with time!
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Old 12-13-07, 11:30 AM   #12
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i have a rohloff. i love it like a son. jibi is right--they smooth out. i kinda LIKE the noise in ear 7. like sheldon says it's the sound of good ol' teutonic engineering!
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