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Can someone explain this to me?

Old 04-09-11, 05:11 PM
  #1  
daven1986
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Can someone explain this to me?

I've started watching "The man who cycled around the world" and the rider (Mark Beaumont) chose a rohloff hub which used non-standard length spokes which were cut to be the right size which therefore caused a weakened wheel - 2 broken spokes in 9 days.

But why would you choose an IGH instead of a dérailleur? The way I look at it is, if a dérailleur breaks you can make it a singlespeed or get parts pretty much anywhere, but an IGH is very specialised. Also there isn't that much to go wrong on a dérailleur really (he still had a tensioner on his IGH).

I'd choose a dérailleur with high spoke count wheel, just wondering why this wouldn't be a good choice over an IGH.

Thanks

Daven
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Old 04-09-11, 05:24 PM
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And you would be making a good choice. It's no more complicated than you said.
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Old 04-09-11, 08:29 PM
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In all the discussions about Rohloff, one thing I didn't expect was the complete impossibility of getting any spokes. I ordered the best rims, Aeroheat, ordered the hub, and when asked whether I wanted straight gage spokes I delayed. Later when I went looking for spokes on my own butted ones. I was never able to find them. Used a QBP dealer who also has speced all kinds of weird stuff for me, and some custom spoke shops, local shops. End of the day I had to have them custom made, and can only hope that are made in a way that is condusive to long running. I also didn't get the rohloff aligned rims, just regular rims, and that should be OK, but it is one other reason I might get spoke trouble. I have some extra spokes now so I will be able to take some on the road, but certainly any illusions I had about the sourcing of parts being merely horrible has been disabused for now. It's like any system some good aspects some not so good aspects.
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Old 04-09-11, 08:42 PM
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You also lose a little speed with the increased friction on an IGH. Maybe about a 1 mph loss.
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Old 04-10-11, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
You also lose a little speed with the increased friction on an IGH. Maybe about a 1 mph loss.
I doubt it is even that much. A broken in IGH most likely has less drag than a slightly dirty derailleur system, and they get dirty quick. Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot of research out there to prove it one way or the other. I probably create more drag by riding in a loose shirt than the difference between an IGH and a derailleur system.

To me the only clear advantage to a derailleur set up is the range of gears and the number of gears available. I prefer an IGH for most uses due to it's low maintenance and ease of use.

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Old 04-10-11, 05:40 AM
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Got a Rohloff. Not one spoke ever broken in three years consistent riding on rough terrain with heavy load, same chain whole time (20,000km +), had no problem finding spokes even in rural Patagonia, and have only changed oil once and probably didn't even need to but it was free.
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Old 04-10-11, 09:49 AM
  #7  
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I met this guy yesterday in Monroeville, PA. He is from Munich, Germany and has been cycling around the world using and IGH Rohloff as well. This page of his blog shows some nice pics of his bike unloaded. https://radlbazi.de/?paged=14

IGH are nice and can be great in bad conditions. In a crash you also won't damage a derailleur. Based on the number of people choosing them for around the world travel, they must work.
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Old 04-10-11, 01:18 PM
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Hmm, I see why initially IGH would be a good choice, but if it goes wrong you are stuffed. I dunno, I just don't think there is much that can go wrong with a dérailleur!
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Old 04-10-11, 02:17 PM
  #9  
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which used non-standard length spokes
no they are just different .. there is no 'standard length' spoke.
because rims are all different as is the hub they are using ,
and there are lacing patterns a builder may opt for..
My Koga Miyata WTR, with Mavic EX 721 rims ,Rohloff hub
in a 2 cross pattern uses a 236 mm spoke,
If i had sun Rhyno light XL rims.. 244 Would be used.

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Old 04-10-11, 02:36 PM
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If you break a shift cable , the most likely problem , an 8mm spanner will shift the hub .

the thing is only some what wet inside . only 25 ML of oil goes in ,
and it will run with just a remnant coating for quite a while.

But no need to take the word of a few individuals, on this list,
Call up SJS and see what their return due to failure rate is ,
they sell a lot of Rohloff Hubs and build steel frames to optimize their use.

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Tel: 01278-441500

Id say the reverse,
Initially a 9+ speed derailleur kit seems good,
but you have the cassette , side ways flexed chain and the chainrings 3 to replace ,

and all the pages and pages of people trying to get their clicks in the front
to match and synchronize with the derailleurs front and rear , bent derailleur hangers , Etc,

All that is Bypassed , and simplified 1 sprocket on the hub and one on the pedals ,and thats it.
so In the long run derailleurs are more trouble..

I did a number of long tours on my touring bike , self built wheels , bypassed Indexing
with friction shifting and made a cherry pick of components from the appropriate era,
all of which Industry has intentionally obsoleted..
so there is something New at each fall's trade show.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-10-11 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 04-10-11, 03:02 PM
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If I wasn't so cheap, I would have at least one bike with a Rohloff. I like the idea of only 14 speeds that has a 526% increase from gear 1-14, the ability to shift when not pedaling, gear ratios increase up the range (no duplicate gears). No cross chaining.
I would certainly give it a try, if I wasn't so cheap.
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Old 04-10-11, 03:06 PM
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I really like it when the weather is really nasty ,and I have the hood
of my rain gear up, like this winter , even last night,
and facing head down into a howling gale, watching the fog line beneath me,
I don't have to figure out which cog/chainring combination is next
higher or lower..

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Old 04-11-11, 02:03 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
I've started watching "The man who cycled around the world" and the rider (Mark Beaumont) chose a rohloff hub which used non-standard length spokes which were cut to be the right size which therefore caused a weakened wheel - 2 broken spokes in 9 days.

But why would you choose an IGH instead of a dérailleur? The way I look at it is, if a dérailleur breaks you can make it a singlespeed or get parts pretty much anywhere, but an IGH is very specialised. Also there isn't that much to go wrong on a dérailleur really (he still had a tensioner on his IGH).

I'd choose a dérailleur with high spoke count wheel, just wondering why this wouldn't be a good choice over an IGH.

Thanks

Daven
According to the Rohloff folks they have near-zero failures even with world-travelling distance. Derailers have plenty to go wrong...I find that the wheels lose lubrication & efficiency usually sooner than the chain. They are vulnerable to travel damage (ie bent hangar or bent cage). I'm not sure how one can get derailer parts "anywhere" since Shimano is well-known for not making spare parts available or economical let alone in isolated areas. RE the spokes it's true that a derailer-equipped bike allows one to use any sort of wheel one desires. OTOH Phil Woods now has Rohloff hub shells with up to 48-spoke drilling.

I agree that IGH + chain and/or chain tensioner is bit silly, Rohloff + belt is the way to go for no-fuss maintenance & reliability.
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Old 04-11-11, 11:54 AM
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Rohloff is the best solution I have found, so far. No matter mow much snow, mud or muck there is, it just keeps on going, shifting just as easily as when it's clean and fresh. I have around 50.000 km on my Rohloff hub, commuting here in Iceland as well as touring and there hasn't been a single fault. I started out with Mavic 721 ceramic rims but changed those to Rigida Andra CSS when the Mavics developed cracks around the eyelets. Not a single broken spoke, in spite of carrying heavy shopping every week and heavy touring loads over bad roads for weeks at a time. Off course, changing the spokes on the Rohloff, if they break, is a lot easier than on a deraileur equipped bike. You don't have to remove the cassette, you just slide the spoke through the hole on the hub without having to mess around with a chain whip or hypercracker or whatnot.
I for one will be sticking with the Rohloff for commuting and touring for the foreseeable future.

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Old 04-11-11, 12:23 PM
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"To me the only clear advantage to a derailleur set up is the range of gears and the number of gears available. I prefer an IGH for most uses due to it's low maintenance and ease of use."

I think the other flat out disadvantage is the weight. It is one fat pig of a hub. I'm not saying it is a deal breaker, but it sure is a noticeable non-positive trait.

"no they are just different .. there is no 'standard length' spoke."

The are spokes you can buy and others you can't. I went into a ton of local Canadian shops and could only find a few straight spokes in black. not enough to do a wheel. Going to all kinds of online US shops that sell the hubs, I was never able to find butted spokes, I had to have them made. I normally run straight spokes myself but in this case the front wheel was already built and that was what was wanted. They had to be custom made. Which isn't all that expensive but it took months before I got them. In the US your timeline mileage would vary, but I doubt it would be that different in a lot of rural places. I don't expect the spokes to ever break though so it is largely irrelevant how long it takes to get. I did wonder though that with the rim design, and any hope of getting parts if I wouldn not have been better to have ordered a finished wheel from SJS.

I really don't care about the semantics. As far as I can see these spokes are not going to be found in the field. I never tried to get them for 700C, but that might be easier given that they would be longer. One of my local shops sells a bit of everything, and there didn't seem to be an overlap with BMX sizes etc... If the place you visit has blanks, then can make anything you want. The thread will most likely be cut though, which is not a good thing. My point about this is not that one shouldn't get a Rohloff, one probably shouldn't count on picking up the spokes locally, plan ahead. As far as breaking them, the hub is already the best bet against that.
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Old 04-11-11, 02:07 PM
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If the benefits of an IGH don't outweigh the down sides, it's certainly easy enough to go with derailer. For people who like IGHs, they really don't seem to be particularly prone to failure. Sure, you may be able to single-speed it on your broken derailer set-up, but it's also likely that you can single-speed it on your boken hub gear. In both cases, it just depends on how it breaks.

But spoke failure does not strike me as a serious concern. It certainly isn't something unique to hub gears. I've had spoke failure with both hub gears and with derailer set-ups, and it generally seems to come down to cheaper spokes, poorly tensioned spokes, or poor wheel build decisions in general. I have a Nuvinci hub that I built up three times in order to get the optimal, non-spoke breaking number of crosses. It required shorter spokes then used in most wheels of its size, and as a result, I had to go with straight gauge, but, in spite of being a heavy rider who carries too much junk at times, once I had the spoke pattern right, there has never been another broken spoke. In general, hub gear wheels are little more robust because the hub will be better centered, so spokes will be more evenly tensioned across both sides of the wheel. If I were on a long tour, I'd probably want spare spokes for whatever size wheel I had, but I wouldn't anticipate more spoke failure in an IGH. If anything, I'd expect less.

There are many components whose failure you can anticipate, prepare for, and/or work around. And there are some components that are "show stoppers." No one carries a spare wheel (do they?), so any of a number of things that render a wheel non-functional could fall into the "show stopper" category. A catastrophic hub gear failure is just one of them, but you can prepare for any wheel failure by having a plan in place to get a replacement wheel.

Basically if you don't care for IGHs, there's no reason to use one, but if you do like them, there's no reason not to. Like with any component, it's good to consider what you can do in the event of failure, but, like with any component, it's also good to weigh the choices against the likelihood of failure. With thousands of problem-free miles on my Nuvinci hub, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it failing. I haven't done long-term touring on it, but I'm planning some over-nighters and longer trips, and I'm certainly not thinking of switching to a derailer. The only time I think of replacing my rear wheel is when I consider getting a newer model of the Nuvinci hub. If I were planning a long term bike trip, the only thing I might consider doing is having a spare wheel on deck to be mailed out to me, just in case, but that's a precaution I might consider no matter what my gearing situation is.
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Old 04-11-11, 06:08 PM
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Spoke failure...the ONLY wheel I have had rendered totally unrideable was on a derailleur bike where the derailleur broke and went into the wheel at speed, by the time I stopped...suddenly I was looking at 5 broken spokes and a wheel so damaged that it could not be ridden on. I have never had that happen with an IGH bike. I have one 3 speed hub that has something well past 30,000 miles on it. According to my sketchy records that bike has had 3 chains as the total drive train maintenance costs. The rear cog was switched out at some point for a higher tooth count to lower the gearing. I have never had a derailleur bike with that low a maintenance cost.

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Old 04-11-11, 07:42 PM
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Spokes get broken for reasons other than fatigue. I have generally had good luck with spokes, even when getting stuff jammed in there at speed.
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Old 04-11-11, 08:01 PM
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I have a Rohloff on my Big Dummy cargo bike which I've done rough dirt road tours and carried big loads [100-200lbs + 170lbs rider]. I've never had an issue. The symmetrical Rohloff wheel is incredibly strong.

I can tell you one reason I'd use a Rohloff on touring bike - after hundreds of Kms of wet muddy roads my bike shifted as well as it did when freshly cleaned. No mis-shifts no hassles just pedal and go. The tour report that motivated me to go on that tour recounted how the author had to stop every couple hours as his derailleur would shift to fewer and fewer gears so he could get ditch water to clean his drivetrain and keep riding.

With annual oil changes I'll be riding the same Rohloff until I die. I can't say that about any other bike component I own.
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Old 04-11-11, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
If I wasn't so cheap, I would have at least one bike with a Rohloff. I like the idea of only 14 speeds that has a 526% increase from gear 1-14, the ability to shift when not pedaling, gear ratios increase up the range (no duplicate gears). No cross chaining.
I would certainly give it a try, if I wasn't so cheap.
Same here... if cost was not an issue, I'd have one or two.
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Old 04-11-11, 11:29 PM
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sucked in, #1 was a Koga Miyata WTR, Trekking bike.

just got #2 in a bike friday built with with disc brakes ..
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Old 04-12-11, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
But why would you choose an IGH instead of a dérailleur?
There are several reasons:

1. It makes for good TV.
2. It brings something different to the bicycle touring world.
3. It makes for interesting posts on bicycle forums.

Had you not posted your question I would not have known the program existed, so thanks! Care to share on what channel it can be viewed?
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Old 04-12-11, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I met this guy yesterday in Monroeville, PA. He is from Munich, Germany and has been cycling around the world using and IGH Rohloff as well. This page of his blog shows some nice pics of his bike unloaded. https://radlbazi.de/?paged=14

IGH are nice and can be great in bad conditions. In a crash you also won't damage a derailleur. Based on the number of people choosing them for around the world travel, they must work.
I use IGH (shimano and nuvinci) around town but would not want to be in SW Buttheadistan when the black box broke. I use traditional gears on my touring bike.

Marc
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Old 04-12-11, 12:23 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by MrPolak View Post
There are several reasons:

1. It makes for good TV.
2. It brings something different to the bicycle touring world.
3. It makes for interesting posts on bicycle forums.

Had you not posted your question I would not have known the program existed, so thanks! Care to share on what channel it can be viewed?
It was on BBC1 (I'm in the UK) and he also did another programme "The man who cycled the Americas" which is equally as good. You can find it on the internet though....

Thanks for the answers - guess he just had bad luck.
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Old 04-12-11, 12:40 PM
  #25  
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I had a Thorn Raven with Rohloff.....bomb proof...that is why I chose it...
Never broke a spoke or missed a gear change.....change the oil and use it....simple....



The 2 guys bending over had just broken their chains....yes both at the same time..

george

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