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Rohloff Hub on My LHT

Old 05-02-22, 01:41 PM
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Rohloff Hub on My LHT

I have always wanted to try a Rolhoff and scored one this weekend. It is set up on a tandem with a Gates Belt drive.
I would like to try belt drive as well but cannot use the Gates system without putting a cutout on my chainstay.
Second choice would be a Veer Split Belt setup. Do any of you have experience with the Veer split belt?
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Old 05-02-22, 04:45 PM
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you will likely need a sliding dropout for the Rohloff hub if you want a belt drive. Since you don't have one on the LHT you are probably stuck with a chain and a tension wheel to keep the chain taunt.
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Old 05-02-22, 07:10 PM
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If you are looking for something for touring I wouldn't use some random belt. Gates has been doing this a long time so I would find a gates compatible frame which are easy to find these days. Soma Wolverine comes to mind immediately as I have a customer who has one with a belt drive and uses it for touring and loves it. You could also send in your frame to Bilenky or someone else to get a belt split installed and maybe new drop outs.
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Old 05-02-22, 07:15 PM
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Agree with Boomhauer on chain.

Are you aware of the need for a torque arm or something like that? You said a LHT, not a disc trucker, so I assume this is not a disc brake frame.

There are lots of ways to mount a Rohloff shifter on a bike with drop bars, or use an after market one. I like the Hub Bub adapter that allows me to put my Rohloff shifter on the end of my drop bars. Note that I used a couple V brake noodles (sprayed black) to route the cables forward. Disregard the snow in the background, took the photo in January.



I assume you will have lots of Rohloff questions later.
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Old 05-02-22, 10:04 PM
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my bike is a disc trucker
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Old 05-02-22, 10:07 PM
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As i research more it loks like going with a chain and chain tensioner might be much simpler than trying to make a belt drive system work. is that the concensus?
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Old 05-03-22, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by garryg
As i research more it loks like going with a chain and chain tensioner might be much simpler than trying to make a belt drive system work. is that the concensus?
Troll (26 inch) and Ogre (29 inch) frames with horizontal dropouts are set up to easily take rohlofs, (with chain) but unless I'm mistaken, with belt applications there are frame stiffness design factors that come into play.
Surly should be able to give you reliable information, have you contacted them?
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Old 05-03-22, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
Troll (26 inch) and Ogre (29 inch) frames with horizontal dropouts are set up to easily take rohlofs, (with chain) but unless I'm mistaken, with belt applications there are frame stiffness design factors that come into play.
Surly should be able to give you reliable information, have you contacted them?
No Surly frames have been approved by Gates.
https://ww2.gatescarbondrive.com/Man...ers-And-Models

But I do not know how important that is, Thorn has not got any approved frames but they have started selling Nomad Mk III bikes with belt drive and I have not heard of any problems yet.
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Old 05-03-22, 06:34 AM
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Thanks T, I just wanted this fellow to be aware of the specific details involved with belt setups.
As with a lot of things, I imagine the devil is in the details.

Garry, wish we could be of more help, but I'm pretty certain that I've never seen any belt surlys, there must be a reason, and not just cost.
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Old 05-03-22, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by garryg
As i research more it loks like going with a chain and chain tensioner might be much simpler than trying to make a belt drive system work. is that the concensus?
Yup, you are not using a belt.

When I built up my Rohloff touring bike, I decided before I even ordered the frame that I would want two sets of gears, a lower range of gears for heavy touring and higher range of gears for mostly unladen riding around near home. When I go on a tour or come home from a tour I swap chainrings and add or subtract a few chain links. But, I do not mind spending time working on a bike. Most people want to have one range of gears for all things where I prefer two. You should decide what gearing you want early on and will that be for all riding or not.

It is my understanding this is a used Rohloff.
1 - When was the last time the oil was changed?
2 - When you build this up, chainline is something you should try to get close to right. Mine has about 5mm of chainline error, this was intentional on my part as I did not want my Q factor too big. https://www.rohloff.de/en/service/ha...embly/crankset
3 - I think most people do not mark their sprockets or chainrings (even number of teeth only) with which teeth should have the chain links with outer plates but I do. The teeth with inner plates get more wear as the chain elongates. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chain-life.html
4 - Is the rear sprocket worn out? You can flip them over, then put wear on the other side of the teeth, does it look like that was done yet? An older hub will have a threaded sprocket, newer is splined and held on with a spring circlip. The older needed a special Rohloff tool that I assume you do not have to remove it.

Some people complain that their threaded sprockets are hard to remove, but I find that it is easy to remove if you have large tools. The newer spring circlip version is easy to pry off the spring, no big tools needed.


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Old 05-03-22, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
Thanks T, I just wanted this fellow to be aware of the specific details involved with belt setups.
As with a lot of things, I imagine the devil is in the details.

Garry, wish we could be of more help, but I'm pretty certain that I've never seen any belt surlys, there must be a reason, and not just cost.
The sum total of Rohloff bikes I have seen are:
- Mine.
- A new Co-Motion tandem at a local dealer. The owner was waiting for them to fix a few things they did wrong building it.
- I was camping at Bryce Canyon, two Europeans were in the campsite next to mine, one had a Rohloff and the other derailleurs.
- My bike tour in Iceland, I saw eight people touring on Rohoffs. I was the only one from USA.

One of my neighbors is a bike mechanic, he has told me that my Rohloff is the only one he has actually seen. I have seen plenty of photos of them, but very few in person.
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Old 05-03-22, 07:12 AM
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me too.
knew a guy who put one on his Troll, and then the odd times seeing one on the road.

but the belt is a very specific thing, with I believe, very specific frame requirements of rear triangle stiffness.
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Old 05-03-22, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
...
but the belt is a very specific thing, with I believe, very specific frame requirements of rear triangle stiffness.
According to Gates, yes.

I considered belt before I bought but decided to go with chain, in part that with a chain it is easy to change gear ratios by changing chainrings and adding/subtracting a few links. Belt, you want to make sure you get exactly what you need for gearing on the first try. I was comparing Co-Motion Pangea against Thorn Nomad Mk II, the Thorn was cheaper and chain only. If I went with belt, it would have been the Co-Motion.

Belts also require much more precise chainline (beltline?).

One guy I met in Iceland told me that after switching his bike to belt he thought it was a bit slower.

It was six years ago when I was in Iceland, at that time there were two different belts in common use, people were making comments about which was better and how they differed, but I have forgotten what they were saying. But by now, I am sure that almost everybody is using the newer one.

The people that have them and love them, really love them a lot. And they get high mileage on them. But when you need to replace parts, the price puts a big dent in the wallet.

On a different forum, some guy that bought a custom bike with belt, after 8000 km, he has decided that he HAS to change the gearing to lower gears for hills. Nothing is worn out yet, so he is trying to figure out how to get the gearing he wants and minimizing how many parts to buy, chainring only, sprocket only, make changes that do not require a different belt which means do all of that within the adjustability limit of his eccentric bottom bracket. In comparison, it is so easy to add or subtract a few chain links, the chain type sprockets are cheaper, the chainrings are cheaper.

I think most of the people that buy belt drive are more willing to pay more to reduce maintenance. I really do not mind regularly oiling my chain and doing an occasional adjustment. But those that abhor that type of thing, for them the belt is the right answer.

I met one couple in Iceland, one had chain and one had belt, other than that the bikes were identical except for size. I thought that was an odd mix, as I suspect he did all the maintenance. They specifically told me that nobody in Iceland sold belts, so they carried a spare.
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Old 05-03-22, 01:06 PM
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I attached a photo of my rear sprocket before I flipped it over to start wearing out the other side of the teeth. This is a 16T sprocket, older threaded style.

That Sheldon Brown article that I linked to above commented that only the chain links that have outer plates are elongated, the inner plate links stay the same length as they wear. And it commented that some people mark one tooth so they can always put the chain on the way it was before. I cut a small notch in a tooth on chainring and sprocket, so I can always put my outer links on the notched tooth.

The left tooth in the photo is a tooth that had inner plates. If this sprocket was still on the bike, the camera would have been on the right side of the sprocket looking towards the sprocket. I mentioned above that I run a small chainline error, my bottom bracket spindle is 10mm shorter than it should be, I did that so that the Q factor on my Rohloff bike and deraileur bikes is the same. Because of that chainline error, teh chain links with inner plates rub more on one side of the tooth than on the other, that is why that one tooth shows so much side wear.

In this photo, the chain was pulling towards the right, thus the chain was rubbing on the left side of each of the two teeth shown. That is why each of the teeth is more hooked on the left side of the teeth, that left side is where the metal was worn away. I run my chains on my Rohloff bike well beyond the conventional 0.75 percent wear, that is why there is so much more wear on the left tooth than the right tooth.

If on the other hand your sprocket has an odd number of teeth, each tooth will wear the same way, as each revolution with an outer plate on that tooth is followed by a revolution with an inner plate on that tooth.



The teeth were hooked enough that when I put a newer chain on the bike, the teeth caught on the chain links, as that chain was not elongated as much as the older chain I removed. So, it was time to flip the sprocket over so that I could use a less-elongated chain.

***

They no longer sell threaded sprockets, so if your sprocket is threaded, to replace a sprocket you will also need to buy a new sprocket carrier that threads on to the bike.
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Old 05-03-22, 01:26 PM
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One more thing, if you are going to have a new wheel built with that Rohloff, make sure that the wheel builder reads the instructions to wheel builders from Rohloff. The extra large flanges mean that the spokes intersect the rim at angles that are farther from perpendicular than normal. Thus where most wheels are built up three cross, with a Rohloff hub you should use two cross for 26 inch or 700c wheels.

Also, newer hubs include reinforcing rings in case a flange cracks at a spoke. The ring won't stop it from cracking but if it cracks, you can keep riding on it instead of becoming stranded. If you rebuild the wheel and if it lacks those rings, they should be added. But, they do not specifically recommend that the rings be added to wheels that are otherwise not going to be rebuilt.
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Old 05-03-22, 04:43 PM
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Thank you for all the great info .i was thinking of using the wheelset off the tandem on my lht. They are both 26 inch..
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Old 05-03-22, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by garryg
Thank you for all the great info .i was thinking of using the wheelset off the tandem on my lht. They are both 26 inch..
If it fits, use it as is.
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Old 05-03-22, 11:19 PM
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I saw at least 3 guys with a Rohloff14 in Vietnam. The first was a 26er LHT in Saigon, before he had loaded it up I think. So it had a tensioner. I use a vise to hold the hub tool while I yank the cog loose.
I luckily found him stopped and got pics. He is a tall guy, I have his pic too but better not show I guess.
As for a chain, mine did poorly that trip. So I made a CF case and later stopped washing the new chain grease. It's now way over 3,000 miles now with no stretch I can detect. I was using it with my SA XL-RD5w as well.
I also made my cog different. I got a machine shop to carve out some 16T SA cogs and welded them to original 13T screw on cogs. Works great but I didn't get the first one welded properly and it broke loose after 3 rides around Saigon.
At first I was using the Rohloff cogs but hated them. Teeth a mm shorter and they wore very fast with my 1/8" chain, the other reason I hated the 3/32" R14 cogs.




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Old 05-04-22, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
... it had a tensioner.
I luckily found him stopped and got pics. ...
...

That photo shows a rim brake bike, thus the rack does not have disc mounts. I suspect that the OP would rather use the disc mount on the frame for hub torque limit instead of the long torque arm used on the bike in the photo.

That however raises the point, we have not seen a photo of the OP's hub, do not know if it is a disc hub or rim brake hub, what it uses for torque limiter, shifting cables, etc.

If the OP has a rim brake hub and a disc brake frame, he has an expensive modification to make.

Mine is rim brake, I built it up nine years ago when rim brake was still common on new builds.

***

That is a cute little U lock in the photo, not locked to anything, only used to lock the wheel to the hub. Side note: When touring I use bolt on skewers instead of quick release, they use a 5mm allen wrench. I am assuming most thieves are opportunists and do not carry around a multi-tool. I do not use one of the locking skewers like a Pitliock, I am sure I would lose the key. To make sure I do not strand myself, I keep a spare 5mm allen wrench pack with my spare tubes.

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Old 05-04-22, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
So I made a CF case and later stopped washing the new chain grease.
Do I understand correctly, a custom carbon fiber chain case?? I have a rohloff on a tandem and would like to know how you created a case. Could you share a pic and how it was constructed. If it was custom, I could perhaps adapt for a tandem.
Regarding the above comments regarding rohloff and 2 cross, very important to have 2 cross. Ideally, ryde andra rims and polyax nipples (or the dt swiss equivalent). Nearly all US wheelbuilders are clueless on how to build wheels for rohloff.
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Old 05-04-22, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by IPassGas
Do I understand correctly, a custom carbon fiber chain case?? I have a rohloff on a tandem and would like to know how you created a case. Could you share a pic and how it was constructed. If it was custom, I could perhaps adapt for a tandem.
...
On the Thorn forum a lot of people spoke highly of the Hebie Chainglider. Not carbon, but it encloses the chain. When Rohloff switched to splined sprockets, there were problems and I do not know if the problems were resolved or not. The Chainglider might not work with splined systems, that would be the first question to ask.

I never used one, only passing on the tiny bit that I know.


​​​​​​​
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Old 05-04-22, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
On the Thorn forum a lot of people spoke highly of the Hebie Chainglider.
Yes, thanks. The Hebie Chainglider will not work for our tandem. I have always liked the idea of enclosing the chain and considered modifying one to fit. We are often on dusty trails. But, it seems like much work for something that might turn into a kludge. Maybe GamblerGORD53has new ideas with CF.
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Old 05-04-22, 10:29 AM
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OP needs to post pics of what he has so we can get the right info. Like thru axels are a no go. I use nutted plates and the long arm brace that gets slagged for no reason. I do agree that those 2 hose clamps for the brace QR is really dumb. I made a strap like on SA bikes and use a 6 mm bolt, not difficult to unscrew at all.

No doubt there's easier ways to make one, like tig welding some thin steel or just having a one piece partial shell. I'll be doing this for the Simcoe roadster I bought last year. It came with an alu one, but I think I can make one way better.

This case took me all summer to do in at least 12 steps needing 2 days for epoxy setting each step. I doubt anybody else has the patience to do all this. LOL. I made the inside first.
I goofed both pieces the first try. One too bulky then the cover I thought I needed to chop a cutout to get in on, wrong. I still didn't get it perfect, The top should of had more arch and the bottom less. The chain bangs when too loose. It is an echo chamber as well. LOL.
First step is cutting a 1" piece of styrofoam to form. Then 3 layers of CF, the middle where to crank goes needs to be pushed in. Then whittle down the edges, sand out wrinkles and try to get a smooth finish layer. Then epoxy glued the thin metal strips and hours filing them down perfect. You have to make sure to angle it a bit for the cover to go on. Finding a place for the mounting bolts is another bother. Very complicated. The end cap was done last, maybe could be used without. It's attached to my DIY chain tugger. All this adds to flat fixing time.
The hole by the crank is so big because the arm had a big stump. So I later got a slimmer Sugino crank.
CF is $40 for 1 meter x 48 or 54" wide.
No doubt my heavyweight is the most complicated ever made. LOL. Most of it took 3 changes before getting it finalized, disc mount and all.
=====
Also look at how I mounted the shifter pointing up on the TT. FAR better than anywhere else. I can turn it with either hand. NO cable flop, zero chance for damage.








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Old 05-04-22, 12:09 PM
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Put an order in with Cyclemonkey for all the bits i need. Will let you know how this turns out. My bike is a disc trucker with QR.Going with a chain setup. Thanks again for all your info especially Tourist in MSN
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Old 05-04-22, 12:13 PM
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Darn I was going to offer some parts I want to sell. 180 mm disc and an original thread on 16T cog, you may or not want.
So what year is your Surly?

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