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Is anyone using the Rohloff Internal Hub? What's the word?

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Is anyone using the Rohloff Internal Hub? What's the word?

Old 02-25-09, 01:35 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
A derailleur system is more like a grandfather clock that needs to be adjusted periodically and maintained really well in order to work properly.
Not in my experience. During the first few hundred miles I might tweak the barrel adjuster several times as things seat in, after that I hardly ever touch them. If I didn't prefer indexed shifting (STI in my case) I would pretty much never need to adjust them at all.

It is such an easy adjustment that it can be done while riding if there are barrel adjusters on the down tube.

As far as needing to be "maintained really well", if that means dripping on some chain lube and wiping off the chain every few days on tour and measuring the chain to check for wear every few thousand miles then yes. I really don't consider that much maintenance though and a chain needs to be looked after even with a Rohloff.
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Old 02-25-09, 01:37 PM
  #52  
Al Downie
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
The timex vs rolex argument is completely off base.
You're right of course, and it was a dumb analogy. All I really meant was to draw attention to the acknowledgement that derailleurs are 'adequate'. Surely the pursuit of something better than 'adequate' cannot be a bad thing?
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Old 02-25-09, 02:09 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Not in my experience. During the first few hundred miles I might tweak the barrel adjuster several times as things seat in, after that I hardly ever touch them. If I didn't prefer indexed shifting (STI in my case) I would pretty much never need to adjust them at all.

It is such an easy adjustment that it can be done while riding if there are barrel adjusters on the down tube.

As far as needing to be "maintained really well", if that means dripping on some chain lube and wiping off the chain every few days on tour and measuring the chain to check for wear every few thousand miles then yes. I really don't consider that much maintenance though and a chain needs to be looked after even with a Rohloff.
And you never have any ghost shifting or skipping after the first couple hundred miles? Never had a shifter break?

Maybe I just had incredibly bad luck? Ever pull about 300 pounds of trailer?
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Old 02-25-09, 04:05 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
Everyone recognizes that derailleur systems work well when their nearly constant adjustment is up to date.......ME THINKS I never wants to FU#@ with that stuff again!
"Constant adjustment" - that's simply absurd. I go 3-6 months between turning a barrel adjuster a single click - a most trivial matter.

As far as having to FU#@ with stuff, your Rohloff hub requires an oil change every 1 yr or 5000 km/3100 miles, whichever comes first. You have effectively escalated the maintenance requirements of your bicycle to that of a modern automobile.

It occurs to me just now that a Rohloff drivetrain actually requires MORE maintenance than a derailler drivetrain. I had previously thought the opposite was true - that without deraillers, cassette and a triple crank, the Rohloff had the edge in maintenance. It loses this advantage when you factor 2 to 3 oil changes a year into the comparison.

Having to change the oil on a cross-country tour would be problematic. It requires 2 types of oil from Rohloff, tubing and a special syringe. You'd have to carry this stuff or ship it ahead, as you're not going to find it in stores.

I believe I have identified the source of your dissatisfaction with derailler drivetrains - 300 pounds! Bikes and component parts were not designed for this purpose. I imagine you would have all sorts of unusual drivetrain (and other) problems in this case. Within the normal range of use, most people have hardly any significant problems with their (derailler) drivetrain, provided they clean and lube chain properly at frequent intervals. In your particular situation, perhaps the Rohloff hub is a good solution. Either that or start hauling by truck or van.
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Old 02-25-09, 05:00 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
"Constant adjustment" - that's simply absurd. I go 3-6 months between turning a barrel adjuster a single click - a most trivial matter.

As far as having to FU#@ with stuff, your Rohloff hub requires an oil change every 1 yr or 5000 km/3100 miles, whichever comes first. You have effectively escalated the maintenance requirements of your bicycle to that of a modern automobile.

It occurs to me just now that a Rohloff drivetrain actually requires MORE maintenance than a derailler drivetrain. I had previously thought the opposite was true - that without deraillers, cassette and a triple crank, the Rohloff had the edge in maintenance. It loses this advantage when you factor 2 to 3 oil changes a year into the comparison.

Having to change the oil on a cross-country tour would be problematic. It requires 2 types of oil from Rohloff, tubing and a special syringe. You'd have to carry this stuff or ship it ahead, as you're not going to find it in stores.

I believe I have identified the source of your dissatisfaction with derailler drivetrains - 300 pounds! Bikes and component parts were not designed for this purpose. I imagine you would have all sorts of unusual drivetrain (and other) problems in this case. Within the normal range of use, most people have hardly any significant problems with their (derailler) drivetrain, provided they clean and lube chain properly at frequent intervals. In your particular situation, perhaps the Rohloff hub is a good solution. Either that or start hauling by truck or van.
I said that several times. My gearing would seem to be *dialed in* and then I would hook up a trailer and its snap, crackle and pop all the way up a hill.

I dont do normal stuff with a bicycle. I do not own a car and in fact I hate them. The typical bike parts did not do anything for me but piss me off. : )

A rohloff oil change takes 5 minutes which is far, far less time than I've spending dinking around with derailleur systems. That is 5 minutes of work for 200 hours of riding time with no adjustments.....I'll take it. In fact you could probably go much further than that. Its not as if its going to lock up at 3100 miles if you dont change the oil.

But lets look at shifters. My current bike, a trek 7.3 fx, had typical mountain bike bits with a trigger shifter assembly. In the 7500 miles before the rohloff I broke about 5 shifter cables. The shifter cable was bent over and pulled around about a 200 degree angle in the shifter by design which wears the cable into two pieces. Before it broke the cable become just a bit longer, a bit longer and all the while my shifting became crappier and crappier.

Then some piece inside the shifter itself actually broke and the paddle used to up shift quit rebounding back.

That is at least 6 (actually more) problems with the shifter in 7500 miles. I cant be the ONLY guy out there with these problems. That should have had nothing to do with load....just poor and cheap design.

You can argue that at least that shifter did not cost $1000.00 but I've already said I am more than willing to pay for stuff that does not leave me stranded.
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Old 02-25-09, 05:02 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
Having to change the oil on a cross-country tour would be problematic. It requires 2 types of oil from Rohloff, tubing and a special syringe. You'd have to carry this stuff or ship it ahead, as you're not going to find it in stores.
Friend, now that is a bit of a stretch. If I were to go across country I would change the oil before I left and you would be fine. Even if you went 10,000 miles I'm sure it would be fine.

BTW - my local bike shop bought the oil in bulk and he is charging me like 4-5 dollars per oil change....I cant exactly remember.

Its trivial though.
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Old 02-25-09, 05:04 PM
  #57  
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I also find it hard to believe that you can go 3-6 months without having to adjust your drivetrain. How much do you ride?

Why is it that everyone I ride with has ghost shifting and all types of noises coming from their drive train almost all the time? Why is it that I had such problems? Even on my road bike with ultegra I would have some ghost shifting and other problems from time to time.

Could it be that you just tolerate the occasional mis shift or grinding and I wont?
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Old 02-25-09, 05:37 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
And you never have any ghost shifting or skipping after the first couple hundred miles?
No
Never had a shifter break?
No not yet. Down tube shifters last forever. The thumb shifters on my MTB seem to last forever. I expect I eventually may break one with STI, but figure it is worth the trouble as long as it is very infrequent.
Ever pull about 300 pounds of trailer?
Absolutely not. I certainly wouldn't carry that on tour. About 1/6th of that is my limit.
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Old 02-25-09, 05:43 PM
  #59  
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Ever pull 1000 pounds on a trailer? Nope. It does sound to me like your mechanic/shop sucks though. For what your using it for gosmsgo it sounds like your hub is the answer for you though. The most I've hauled is my burley nomad loaded with about 100 pounds in it. I didn't care about if I could pull it............................... stopping was my concern. How the heck do you have enough braking to slow down a 300 pound trailer? So 300 plus rider and bike............. yikes.

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Old 02-25-09, 05:54 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
Ever pull about 300 pounds of trailer?
Forgot to ask... You don't tour with 300 pounds of trailer do you?

I notice that you seem to only show up in the touring forum to post on threads about Brooks Saddles and now Rohloff hubs. Do you tour? Just curious.
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Old 02-25-09, 07:35 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Forgot to ask... You don't tour with 300 pounds of trailer do you?

I notice that you seem to only show up in the touring forum to post on threads about Brooks Saddles and now Rohloff hubs. Do you tour? Just curious.
To be fair steahpj1, I bet less than half of the posters here have actually toured more than an overnighter.
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Old 02-25-09, 07:48 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by stedalus View Post
This is not quite right. Power goes down by 3%, but this means speed only goes down by roughly 1%, so you're only "adding on" another 40 miles. But like you say, not a dealbreaker for most, but not negligible either.
Wow, 3% power loss is really hard to believe. So, when I put out about 200 watts, the hub would eat 6 of them? That's nuts. That's like having a bottle generator going all the time. I have a S/A 8-speed internal hub, and I can't tell the difference between that and a derailleur system- how could the rohloff be that much worse?
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Old 02-25-09, 08:35 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Squeazel View Post
Wow, 3% power loss is really hard to believe. So, when I put out about 200 watts, the hub would eat 6 of them? That's nuts. That's like having a bottle generator going all the time. I have a S/A 8-speed internal hub, and I can't tell the difference between that and a derailleur system- how could the rohloff be that much worse?
According to the linked article, SA 7 speed hubs have roughly the same efficiency as a Rohloff. I'm just speculating here, but I assume it's frictional losses from the complex set of gears in the hub.

3% sounds like a lot, like I said, it's about 1% speed difference (20 mph vs 20.2 mph). You might notice that in a velodrome, but outside the slightest breeze or incline could have the same effect. Like a previous poster said, small effects like this can add up, but I still doubt it's a big concern for people using IGHs.
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Old 02-25-09, 09:22 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by kyakdiver View Post
Ever pull 1000 pounds on a trailer? Nope. It does sound to me like your mechanic/shop sucks though. For what your using it for gosmsgo it sounds like your hub is the answer for you though. The most I've hauled is my burley nomad loaded with about 100 pounds in it. I didn't care about if I could pull it............................... stopping was my concern. How the heck do you have enough braking to slow down a 300 pound trailer? So 300 plus rider and bike............. yikes.
Braking is not a problem and I just have regular old mechanical disc brakes. Spoke breakage was a problem with the stock wheels though!

One lesson learned - if you get off your bike on a downhill then its getting away from you. It did not dawn on me until I tried it but you have to have that body weight on the bike to have enough friction to hold it.

Sometimes if you lay the bike down the trailer will drag the bike downhill as well. As long as you stay mounted you are in pretty good shape.

To answer another persons question........

No, I do not tour with that big of a load. If I pull that across town and back I am more than whooped. Nothing like having your HR maxed out while going 4.5 mph!

I tour with Ortlieb panniers although admittedly a week long trip is the most I've done and that was before the Rohloff came into my life.

I suspect that the Rohloff does have some drag but I do not think its noticeable. IMO I am a faster rider because of the Rohloff. I can always be in the perfect gear, shift at red lights etc....I just plain love it. My bike weighs 42 pounds and I pretty much sit straight up so I as you can see i'm not concerned.
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Old 02-25-09, 10:27 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Not in my experience. During the first few hundred miles I might tweak the barrel adjuster several times as things seat in, after that I hardly ever touch them. If I didn't prefer indexed shifting (STI in my case) I would pretty much never need to adjust them at all.
Here's what's happened.

I suspect the majority of those who purchased the Speed hub do not know how to fix or adjust a derailluer. That's oK because I can't either! These users "think" they know how but never really do because it's a hard skill that you rarely use. That's why I head to an LBS to fix and set the derailluer and then I don't have to do it for YEARS! Also, if your rear wheel is low on air, then you can be certain the derailluer won't work properly. The rear wheel has to inflated properly but it's almost impossible to do this on the road so these forum members think derailluers are horrible.

I never really knew people were having these problem Seriously. My derailluers are Altus and Sora and they work perfect. The LBS set it once and every blue moon, I make a slight twist on the barrel adjuster. In five years, my touring bike only broke the cable shifter once! The LBS fixed it, and I fully expect to see him again in another five years! LOL!

You would figure a person like myself would fair horrible with a derailluer since I don't even know how to set the "High" and "Low" screws. I can't fix or install one and my skills consist of turning the barrel adjuster. However, I'm not spending tons of money or major time at the LBS. Other than the front derailluer, the rear has been practically trouble free on all my bikes.

Over the summer, I acquired a very used Schwinn World Sport 10 Speed from 1980. I practically replaced half the components on the bike with the help of a LBS of course. As you can imagine, the first thing I had replaced was the derailluer with a used low end ALTUS! LOL! That inexpensive derailluer has done close to 1K in miles so far without any problems! At the time, I didn't think friction shifting was something I would like but it's been a revelation. I love friction shifting and it's just as good as STI. Once I got used to it, the whole process became second nature after a week. Folks, Once you learn how to shift with a friction derailluer, you spend no time adjusting it anymore. Your hand is the adjuster!

People on the forum who were having problems with STI choose an expensive alternative (Rohloff) but they really should have looked at friction shifters. Cheap friction shifters rarely go out of adjustment unless the cable breaks! I'm still wondering why we even went to STI in the first place. For those old enough to remember, it was all marketing from Shimano that made bike manufacturers drop friction shifting and it continues today. In my opinion, STI and the Rohloff only increased the price of the bicycle but didn't add more function.
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Old 02-26-09, 12:34 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Here's what's happened.
Also, if your rear wheel is low on air, then you can be certain the derailluer won't work properly. The rear wheel has to inflated properly but it's almost impossible to do this on the road so these forum members think derailluers are horrible.
You make reasonable points in the rest of your post, but this is just wrong. Tire pressure has nothing to do with derailleur operation.
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Old 02-26-09, 12:36 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Also, if your rear wheel is low on air, then you can be certain the derailluer won't work properly. The rear wheel has to inflated properly but it's almost impossible to do this on the road so these forum members think derailluers are horrible.
Huh? How would air in the tires make a difference?
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Old 02-26-09, 01:00 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
Huh? How would air in the tires make a difference?

God help me.... I sure hope he was joking?
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Old 02-26-09, 01:02 AM
  #69  
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not you sweet lou.... was referring to Dahon.Steve and the whole low tire and your gears don't work comment as well.

For some people it would seem like a geared hub might be a great idea
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Old 02-26-09, 01:12 AM
  #70  
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This is my first post to the Bikeforums. I hope this will be helpful to other readers who are considering a Rohloff Speedhub.

I've been a bike nut for 25 years and different ideas or products have always intrigue me. I build my own wheels and bikes, break lots of rules, etc. The apparent differences in setup and maintenance of a Rohloff hub never deterred me. Some people are rightfully happy with what they know or are satisfied to follow the beaten path. But being a tweaker/tuner, I knew I had to try one myself.

For three years before I bought mine, I scoured the web for user reports, tests, comparisons, etc. Fortunately I speak German. In my experience, the most consistent information was from German-speaking users. It's no surprise there are many Rohloff hubs in Germany. The odds of finding a bike with a Rohloff there to test ride or to buy are better than anywhere else.

I found some confidence that, despite the high price, Rohloff have built and sold +100,000 units. It's not uncommon for Rohloff users to eventually purchase another one for a different bike.

The Rohloff hub is technically fascinating to me, due largely to the mechanical complexities going on inside. For similar reasons I must confess that I dig mechanical self-winding watches even though a battery-powered quartz does the job at least as well for less money.

Assuming you want gears, the increased complexity compared to a derailleur-equipped bike is potentially a disadvantage. In practice it has not been a factor of any concern for me to date. From reading other user experiences, it's difficult to get a fair statistical analysis comparing problems with derailleur systems versus Rohloff hub. In any case we all know both systems are not perfect.

I have worked as a bike mechanic for several bike shops through the years and worked on lots of different gear. Not every mechanic is tolerant of new ideas, so I always kept that in mind as I asked around for other's opinions. To this day it's not uncommon for me to ask someone about Rohloff hubs and get a negative response, even though only four people of all the people I've ever asked actually had the opportunity to ride a bike with one! There are some valid concerns out there, but I'd say most are overblown. What these people are missing is the riding experience with the Rohloff.

I've been using my Rohloff for five years on my Surly Long Haul Trucker. This frame has no special provisions to fit a Rohloff, so here's how I put it together:
- Hubbub drop bar adapter on the right side drop, with the Rohloff shifter's grip forward. (Note: everyone else seems to mount the grip rearward but I recommend grip forward so you can bang out shifts from the drops with little hand movement.)
- QBP Problem Solvers stick-on cable housing guides for the two shift cables routed under the top tube.
- Torque arm attached to left chainstay with the parts included from Rohloff.
- Cable housing stop with the two threaded barrel adjusters mounted on the left rear cantilever brake boss.
- Chain tensioner

This bike is used year round for commuting here in Minnesota, including days with temperatures below 0 degrees F. I also use it for overnight trips, all kinds of trail exploring, and my annual one week-long bike trips. I take good care of this bike but it really gets used.

On the topic of gearing, efficiency and noise... Forgive me if I don't nail the exact details here, but I think in general this will prove accurate and insightful.
- For general riding and touring on paved and gravel roads, I spend 99% of my time using gears 8-14. Noteworthy here is that gears 9-14 are quiet and efficient. Although some readers may find it hard to accept, I'd say efficiency in these gears feels comparable to my Dura-Ace-equipped road bike.
- Gear 11 is direct drive or 1:1. Take advantage of this per Rohloff's advice, and be sure to choose your chainring and cog combination so that your most used gear is gear 11. (I'm using a 45x17, and have used 42x16. Both have accomplished this goal for me. Note: my bike has 700c wheels!)
- In the gears 1-7 you have more noise and less efficiency compared to 8-14. It isn't readily apparent after the Speedhub has lots of miles on it, but it's there. This is in part due to two planetary gear sets used to achieve these ratios instead of just one set.
- I tend to use all 14 gears without reservation and as conditions dictate, but honestly, I do shift away from gears 3 and 5 more quickly than other gears because they are still louder and sort of draggier-feeling than I'd like, even after having run-in the hub for 6000 miles. This is subtle but present. To keep this in perspective... it's a downside, but it doesn't outweigh the good things about the Rohloff Speedhub.

I'm not going to spend any time tackling the pros and cons of derailleur-equipped bikes here. Anyone reading this most likely already has a handle on that.

Here are some reasons to like using the Rohloff:
- Ability to shift several gears at a time when you are stopped or bogged down.
- Perfectly symmetrical rear wheel is very strong compared to dished wheels (even when the dished wheels have more spokes. (Important for anyone who is hard on wheels or needs super durability.)
- "Ideal" gear spacing for MTB, touring or anytime you need to cover a wide range of ratios.
- No gear ratio duplication.
- Sequential shifting is intuitive and easy to use. On a derailleur system, I often have to shift both front and rear derailleurs simultaneously to jump to the next closest ratio available.
- Ability to replace a spoke without removing cogs (although I've never broken a spoke with my Rohloff.)
- Straight chainline reduces friction and wear, and helps the chain run quietly.
- With an eccentric bottom bracket or slider dropouts, you can reduce drive train friction and nose through elimination of chain pulleys.

Some potential downsides of the Rohloff, in no particular order:
- Initial cost. (Weak Dollar versus Euro doesn't help.)
- Weight compared to equivalent derailleur setup.
- Spare parts availability (It's good from Rohloff USA, but that won't help in Timbuktu. Just like a derailleur bike, bring your own critical spare parts.)
- Gears 3 and 5 are still draggier than ideal after lengthy break-in period.
- Many mechanics and most people are unfamiliar with Rohloff hubs.
- Rohloff hubs attract LOTS of attention; plan to answer lots of questions.
- Shifter setup on drop bars works fine, but I'd prefer something more like Ergopower/STI.
- Some oil eventually weeps out. Usually due to temperature swings (inside to outside in winter), or loosened side cover bolts. I'd recommend checking bolt torque a couple times a year, and especially when the hub is new. The rubber seals last a very long time but if they were to leak, you'd need special tools to replace them or to send your hub to Rohloff.
- Replacing the inner cable on the version without the external shift box can be tricky. (Practice at home before you try it on the Dempster Highway. I changed mine once as preventative maintenance per Rohloff guidelines. Note: external shift box version is easier to replace the inner cable, but doesn't shift as nicely as the internal shift cable version.)
- If you have to use a chain tensioner, none are ideal.

Some thoughts about chain tension... I've used the Surly Singleator with a Dura Ace pulley, a Rohloff tensioner, and currently am using the Soulcraft Convert. Overall I prefer the Soulcraft but they all work. But anyone putting together a Rohloff-equipped bike should check out the new eccentric bottom brackets available to fit standard bottom bracket shells. Search the web for "Trickstuff Excentriker" and "ForwardComponents". These are good options for gear hub, single and fixed gear bikes. I haven't tried one but it's only a matter of time.

I love my Rohloff, but I also love a good derailleur system, too.
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Old 02-26-09, 01:42 AM
  #71  
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Thanks for that gearbob.... common sense.... It's mighty refreshing to hear. Good and not so good about both systems.
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Old 02-26-09, 02:20 AM
  #72  
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Thanks GearBob. Great stuff. Lots of facts from a veteran practitioner.
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Old 02-26-09, 06:17 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by DukeArcher View Post
To be fair steahpj1, I bet less than half of the posters here have actually toured more than an overnighter.
Fair enough. There is a very broad spectrum of what experiences folks here have had. The range is probably from zero to hundreds of thousands of miles and the environments toured in is similarly variable. I hesitated asking, but was curious. It does sometimes help to know where someone is coming from to calibrate their statements a bit. Biases are likely to be very different depending on the usage and when he mentioned hauling 300 pounds I couldn't help but think some of his particular viewpoint may not be all that applicable to most folks touring needs. I had serious doubts about the validity of some his statements about both the Rohlhoff and about more conventional setups when it came to a normal touring application.

I don't think a Rohloff makes a heck of a lot of sense for the type of touring I have done. My experience is all in the US where at worst I can probably find a bike shop within a couple hundred miles or have a part rushed out and delivered within 48 hours. That said. I realize that plenty of folks who are into more expedition style touring swear by the Rohloff. It is obviously up to the task and may make much more sense if crossing Mongolia or something.

To calibrate my statements a bit I will say that I have done only one extended tour (4244 miles) and a handful of shorter tours all in the US. So I have some, but not extensive experience, all of it in the US.
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Old 02-26-09, 08:38 AM
  #74  
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gearbob's post is pretty much the best one in this entire thread.

If you don't have a rohloff, your opinion of the rohloff is moot. Not seeing the 'point' is irrelevant, and frankly, tedious to read.

If you don't see the need for a rohloff, great, don't get one. I don't see the need for a car, but I wont sit here trying to convince anyone else that they can live without theirs, even though they certainly could save a lot of money, hassle and time without such a complicated mechanical device sitting around just waiting to break down and leave them stranded... (sound familiar?)

If you do have a rohloff, you probably love it. Detractors will say its because you spent a chunk on it. Maybe. However, it is worth keeping in mind that said detractors most likely have no valid opinion of the device, since they have likely never used one.

I have a rohloff bike, as well as a friction shifted traditional drivetrain bike. They are both great. I love my rohloff. I bought it for mountain biking when i live in AZ, it was great. Now its on my heavy duty touring bike, and its great. I could switch back to derailleurs by swapping the adjustable dropout plates, but I probably never will. If I ever ride through the himalaya or patagonia, as I hope to do, I will have no qualms taking the rohloff bike, in fact im sure it would be my first choice. My friction shifted vintage touring bike is great too, if a bit more fickle....

The one thing I dont like about the rohloff is the shifter. I would really love a barend shifter for my drop bar.

Also, at the end of the day, the rohloff really isnt that expensive (~900$), considering what it is. I see guys around here drop that amount on silly ZIPP wheelsets that dont even contain an entire drivetrain transmission, nor make them significantly faster....
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Old 02-26-09, 09:41 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by positron View Post
If you don't have a rohloff, your opinion of the rohloff is moot. Not seeing the 'point' is irrelevant, and frankly, tedious to read.
SNIP
Also, at the end of the day, the rohloff really isnt that expensive (~900$), considering what it is. I see guys around here drop that amount on silly ZIPP wheelsets that dont even contain an entire drivetrain transmission, nor make them significantly faster....

If you don't have a ZIPP wheelset, your opinion of them is moot.

I've used a Rohloff on a couple of occasions to include one fully loaded touring bike sitting at about the same weight that I load my bikes to. So I'd say that if I have an opinion of the Rohloff, it's valid.
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