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Rohloff Revised Oil Change Specification

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Rohloff Revised Oil Change Specification

Old 10-15-23, 02:35 PM
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Rohloff Revised Oil Change Specification

I learned of this on a different forum. I am only passing on info, I am not with Rohloff or any other bicycle related business.

Info is here:
https://www.rohloff.de/en/company/ne...sel-ab-10-2023

In the future, you will get less lube oil in the lube oil bottle because they feel that 12.5ml per oil change is sufficient. No change in cleaning oil volume.

So, next time you buy some oil, you might feel that you were ripped off if you were unaware of the change and saw less oil in the bottle. (I will refrain from commenting on the price per ml and whether or not that was a rip off.)

I posted this info here instead of at a mechanic sub-forum, as I suspect that most Rohloff owners have the hub on a touring bike and I assume most of them do the work themselves instead of hiring it out. I have not looked at the mechanic forum for years, maybe this was already posted there? If someone feels this info should be posted there, feel free to post it.

Just a side note, Thorn has been suggesting 15ml instead of 25ml of oil for years, that is what I have been using for the nine years since I bought my Rohloff hub. I mention this because a lot of us have not been using as much oil as the older Rohloff specification at no ill effect. This change makes the new Rohloff specification very similar to the old Thorn specification.

And if any of you have a Rohloff and are fearful of trying to perform an oil change, it is quite simple. I would be more fearful of not doing oil changes. The hardest part is not dropping the drain screw and losing it.

My Rohloff hub is on a rim brake bike. If you have a disc brake rotor on your hub, keeping any drips off the rotor would be quite important too.
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Old 10-15-23, 04:38 PM
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I have been doing what Thorn suggests for the last 5 oil changes. I no longer buy the oil kits either. I purchased the 500ml size of the regular oil and cleaning oil. I also purchased bulk oil plugs. I have kept the parts from the oil kits so I have everything necessary for oil changes. It is cheaper to do what I have done. When I was looking for a left handed Rohloff shifter everybody I checked stateside was out of stock. I ordered from across the pond and saw the oil and other things I needed\wanted.
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Old 10-15-23, 08:23 PM
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I got the 250 ml bottles at the start, still not all used in 9 years, 20,400 miles. Can't be a good thing if it gets older than that.
No way I'll nibble the fill. Damn near went dry a few years back when I left it 3 low mile years. It loosened up quite a bit then tho. LOL.
I let it drip all night before filling with about 23 ml., to allow for what sticks inside. I think the oil also gets in the shell bearings and maybe the seals.
QR hubs also lose a lot more oil, that I don't have.
Twice the fill tube disappeared on me. WTH. I've reused the plugs.
A week ago I rode it 101 miles, floated right along.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 10-17-23 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 10-16-23, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53
QR hubs also lose a lot more oil
I have a QR rohloff, no evidence of leaks (axle, ex-box, rotor) after 20,000 mi and I annually use 25 mL of oil. The oil comes out black, I am tempted to double flush next time. Does replacement of the gaskets after a leak develops fix the problem?
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Old 10-16-23, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by IPassGas
I have a QR rohloff, no evidence of leaks (axle, ex-box, rotor) after 20,000 mi and I annually use 25 mL of oil. The oil comes out black, I am tempted to double flush next time. Does replacement of the gaskets after a leak develops fix the problem?
From what I have heard, leaks are more common on quick release hubs than on nutted axle hubs. I think there is a seal deep inside the innards on mine that is leaking in the gear change mechanism, that is the only way I can think of that oil would get onto my skewer the way it does.

And from what I just said, I doubt that the external gaskets would solve leakage.

Mine looked unusually nasty on the tour where I took this photo.




On the tour where I took the above photo, I think mine leaked out faster because either (1) the airplane pressure fluctuations forced more oil out or (2) the wheel might have had the non-drive side faced down in one or both airplane holds. The wheel was in an S&S case, I assume that was laid flat in the hold. I changed the oil at home before the trip, so it had the full amount of oil in it when it went onto the plane.

The oily crud on my gear shift mechanism in that photo looked worse than it ever did on my British motorcycles, and the older Triumphs were known to leak a lot of oil.

Since then, if I am going to fly somewhere with my bike for a tour, I do the cleaning oil flush, and then fly with the hub drained. I add the oil when I get to my destination. It seems to leak less or slower that way.

I think the oil leakage is most noticeable if you have disc brake, as then the oil can get on the rotor. On my bike, the leakage is usually a minor annoyance, nothing more.
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Old 10-16-23, 01:21 PM
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Tourist in MSN: I have the QR Rohloff hub and after changing oil it leaks onto the QR. It has been doing this most of the time that I have owned it. I called Cycle Monkey and they told me the hub can't leak enough oil to damage it, so I just wipe it off when I notice oil. It only leaks for a short time after the oil change.
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Old 10-16-23, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick
Tourist in MSN: I have the QR Rohloff hub and after changing oil it leaks onto the QR. It has been doing this most of the time that I have owned it. I called Cycle Monkey and they told me the hub can't leak enough oil to damage it, so I just wipe it off when I notice oil. It only leaks for a short time after the oil change.
Yeah, but I would prefer it to not leak. I pull the skewer out and it is coated with oil.

I am aware that leakage won't harm it, Thorn has been saying that since before I built up my Rohloff bike (a Thorn Nomad Mk II). I think mine will leak for about 500 miles after an oil change. But I think it leaks fastest for the first 200 miles. When I first change the oil, it is almost silent in gear 7. But very soon after that I notice the whirring sound getting louder when in gear 7 as more oil leaks out.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 10-16-23, 05:14 PM
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Yeah, but I would prefer it to not leak. I pull the skewer out and it is coated with oil.

I am aware that leakage won't harm it, Thorn has been saying that since before I built up my Rohloff bike (a Thorn Nomad Mk II). I think mine will leak for about 500 miles after an oil change. But I think it leaks fastest for the first 200 miles. When I first change the oil, it is almost silent in gear 7. But very soon after that I notice the whirring sound getting louder when in gear 7 as more oil leaks out.
I agree with you on this . Rohloff so far has been the internal geared setup with the least drag. They have accomplished this by allowing some non perfect seals.
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Old 10-17-23, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Yeah, but I would prefer it to not leak.
We are fortunate to not have leakage as of yet, perhaps it will with more age and I will reduce the input oil, if not sooner. The hub is on our tandem which has both a rotor and rim brake on the rear wheel. I would not be happy if it were to leak onto the rotor. It is good to know that the less in/less out strategy works for you and others...but as you said...would prefer it not to leak. Hopefully Rohloff will develop an alternative involving seal replacement. As Rick mentioned, thicker seals would increase friction, though, perhaps a bit thicker would be ok. I suspect a little oil will be manageable and after many years with derailleurs, the rohloff has been carefree and, especially on a tandem, operationally simpler.
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Old 10-17-23, 08:15 AM
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I mentioned above that I think I have a leaky seal in the shifter mechanism. The seal that I suspect is bad on mine is number 45 on the exploded diagram.

Diagram at:
https://www.rohloff.de/fileadmin/roh...edhub_2011.pdf

That is so deep inside, that I would never dream off trying to replace it myself, even if I could buy the seal. And I have swapped engines in a couple of vehicles, did all my own maintenance on several vintage Triumph motorcycles, etc.
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Old 10-17-23, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
The seal that I suspect is bad on mine is number 45 on the exploded diagram.
Do you suspect your leak (#45) is different than most others, given the significant oil on the skewer? Shipping the hub is complicated, but do you think rohloff would do a warranty repair if you were to ask?
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Old 10-17-23, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by IPassGas
Do you suspect your leak (#45) is different than most others, given the significant oil on the skewer? Shipping the hub is complicated, but do you think rohloff would do a warranty repair if you were to ask?
I think my warranty expired four years ago. And it would not have been worth the hassle to ship the wheel to them when it was still under warranty.
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Old 10-17-23, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
ÖI think mine will leak for about 500 miles after an oil change. But I think it leaks fastest for the first 200 miles. When I first change the oil, it is almost silent in gear 7. But very soon after that I notice the whirring sound getting louder when in gear 7 as more oil leaks out.
.
This is my experience almost exactly for the last 7 years.
On a recent tour I was really mashing down on the pedals for part of the day and noticed quite a bit of oil weeping out. I almost never ride hard so Iíve never noticed it before. Iím wondering if the oil get overly thin if the gears heat up . I suspect it can get by the seal easier this way.
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Old 10-17-23, 02:47 PM
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We are fortunate to not have leakage as of yet, perhaps it will with more age and I will reduce the input oil, if not sooner. The hub is on our tandem which has both a rotor and rim brake on the rear wheel. I would not be happy if it were to leak onto the rotor. It is good to know that the less in/less out strategy works for you and others...but as you said...would prefer it not to leak. Hopefully Rohloff will develop an alternative involving seal replacement. As Rick mentioned, thicker seals would increase friction, though, perhaps a bit thicker would be ok. I suspect a little oil will be manageable and after many years with derailleurs, the rohloff has been carefree and, especially on a tandem, operationally simpler.

​​​​​​​It has never leaked onto my rotor.
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Old 10-17-23, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by boomhauer
...
... Iím wondering if the oil get overly thin if the gears heat up . I suspect it can get by the seal easier this way.
Their lube oil is quite thin, so I doubt that it would get much less viscous in normal higher temperatures. And I do not think there is enough drag in the hub to warm up the oil by much from the friction with a human pedaling.

I have not even noticed any additional drag when I have been out on the bike in subfreezing temperatures. That said, I do not think I have ever been on that bike when it was colder than 20 degrees (F). For really cold conditions, Rohloff has suggested a mix of cleaning oil and lube oil to reduce viscosity. But I do not ride when it is that cold.
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Old 10-17-23, 07:32 PM
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I have not even noticed any additional drag when I have been out on the bike in subfreezing temperatures. That said, I do not think I have ever been on that bike when it was colder than 20 degrees (F). For really cold conditions, Rohloff has suggested a mix of cleaning oil and lube oil to reduce viscosity. But I do not ride when it is that cold.

I have had the same experiences also. Everybody may know that Peter White Cycles and Cycle Monkey are oficial Rohloff dealers In case you need to send in your Rohloff for rebuild. I would call first. I watch some YouTube videos and was interested in the longevity of the gates belt. I saw a commuter bike owner with a belt who had one snap in -30 weather. Priority bicycles replaced it. This was from a few years ago, so I looked up gates and there site says it is good up to -60. Ryan Van Duzer snapped a belt with few miles on it. He has a video and it was determined that he was at fault. The Australian at cycling about has cycled in over 100 countries. He snapped a belt but had nearly 20,000 miles on it. I am happy with no chains or derailers.
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Old 10-18-23, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick
... I am happy with no chains or derailers.
Everybody has different priorities.

I chose to use a chain when I built up my Rohloff bike in 2014 for one simple reason. When riding the unladen bike near home, I want to have higher gearing than when I am touring. Thus, I change chainrings and add or subtract four chain links. If I had a belt, I would not have the ease in changing gear ranges that way.

I have several bikes, most of the miles I ride in a year are on derailleur bikes. But for some things I want to use the Rohloff bike instead.

I can certainly understand the reasoning that some people prefer belts instead and for them a belt makes sense.
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