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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
NbrColorado
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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.
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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
LV2TNDM
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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 - Mtbr.com

(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. https://www.facebook.com/groups/379118612193751/

The other couple live in Florida and have recorded their tours on the crazyguyonabike website. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/dire...r&user=jks&v=7

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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thanks

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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Old 10-22-17, 01:23 AM   #8
lichtgrau
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project soulmate

Quote:
Originally Posted by lichtgrau View Post
...
When I start to make some more experiences Iím more than willing to share them here. Thanks for your patience reading all through this.
I finally "finished" (is it really ever finished?) our little "Rohloff-Project". It was planned for the Winter but whenever I'm going to build a new bike I'm never patient enough to wait until season ends. So we even did some test rides in German fall, recollected distant memories of our tandem tours when we were young and did some adjustments. Everything works fine so far and after the inevitably changing of lady stoker's seat post to cane creek's thudbuster - the whole thing is riding like a sedan. That's true for both of us: The down hill fork in front makes even cobblestones a smooth ride and on the rear the thudbuster does a great job for the lady (kind of glad we tried a fixed seat post in the beginning... it's good to have the comparison).

Rohloff was definitely a good decision, I'm glad the stoker encouraged me when I was reluctant. Although she's not the technical expert here she realized that I would never be happy without at least trying the Speedhub-approach. On the other hand... who wants to ruin a several thousand Euros project? The frame maker himself wrote me that they designed the frame for a derailleur system and not for Rohloff - so I had to rethink twice and carefully. Rohloff themselves helped me. In recent years they developed many versions of their product to adapt it even to quite exotic dropouts. Some adjustments had to be done, but the special measuring kit they send out to bike shops (and only to there) is a great help and gets you the right dimensions for some special adapters/bushings that are needed in most of those cases. Kind of happy that everything (Rohloff hub, disc brake, carrier, rear fender) could be installed without major issues.

Concerning transmission ratio I tried to put gear 11 (That's the fixed gear of a Rohloff) into the area we use mostly (relaxed pedalling in the plain). That worked fine too, but I can't really sense an efficiency difference with the other gears that make this fantastic triple planetary gear working.

So we hope for some mild fall days, not too much rain and a late Winter start (as we do every year:-)
...and when I figure out how to upload some pictures... I will do.

Last edited by lichtgrau; 10-22-17 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 10-22-17, 04:12 AM   #9
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...and when I figure out how to upload some pictures... I will do.
Unfortunately I'm not allowed to post URL-s (with pictures) due to the fact that I haven't enough posts...
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Old 10-29-17, 07:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkramer View Post
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.
We have the Porsche in a V2r, and love it. Now looking for the other tandem as you describe so well. Do you mind if I ask what the Equator weighs? We are spoiled by the weight, ride, and performance of the Paketa! Any issues in shifting under load, or like a standard system it's best to back off a little? Thanks, EB
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Old 10-29-17, 01:38 PM   #11
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They make the 36 hole hubshells for tandem users , now , after having people use the 32 hole on them and sending pictures back from the Andes Mountains, way off road, with flange cracks..

now there is an additional ring you can add in the rear wheel build-up to hold the hub flange together even with a spoke break out.

3 cross 36, can build a nice strong wheel ..



...
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Old 10-29-17, 07:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul J View Post
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. https://www.facebook.com/groups/379118612193751/

The other couple live in Florida and have recorded their tours on the crazyguyonabike website. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/dire...r&user=jks&v=7

You could probably connect with then and get their experience using for tandem touring.
Serious recent alpine touring on a Rohloff here too: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=19499&v=12b.
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Old 10-30-17, 12:17 AM   #13
lichtgrau
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...now there is an additional ring you can add in the rear wheel build-up to hold the hub flange together even with a spoke break out.

3 cross 36, can build a nice strong wheel ..



...
This ring seems to belong to the standard assembly package by now. Rohloff sent it together with the new hub to my 'wheel builder' and was also expecting that it will be used assembling the wheel. What was done... of course...

www.dropbox.com/s/l1bh002vbp56knh/IMG_1165.JPG?dl=0

(Link has to be copied since I'm not allowed to post URL-s.
Sorry for inconvenience...)

Last edited by lichtgrau; 10-30-17 at 12:34 AM.
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