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  1. #1
    rohloff rich
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    What would you improve on the Rohloff Speedhub?

    I'm pretty darn happy with my Speedhub but I've been thinking about some improvements ever since I installed it last spring. This is what I would change/modify:

    1. Plastic cable ferrules are no good. Mine have gotten shredded and I'm replacing my cables this week so I'll put metal ones on there. Should have snapped to this when I installed them originally.

    2. Cable clamps at the bayonet connectors: Having to cut the cable to an exact length with only 1mm of adjustment is just not a good idea. It's just too easy to blow this operation. Then if you ever want to pull the cable to re-route things or clean the bike, you're stuck with putting in new cables since the pinch screws fray the ends of the cable. Also, the ends of the pinch screws is not a lot of clamping area. I've never heard of anyone's failing, but the cable clamp could be better: they should be "bypass" cable clamps like you have on derailleurs and V-brakes. This is one piece that I'd like to fab a replacement for. If I ever do I will post a pic.

    3. Barrel adjusters: mine never seemed to stay put so I added a locknut to each one and now they sort of stay put. The locknuts interfere with each other since the two barrel adjusters are so close together. Again if you take a look at V-brakes, they've already solved this problem. Why not include a useable set of locknuts with the barrel adjusters?

    4. Shifter numbers: This bothered me at first, but after a while I was able to identify the gear I was in by the sound it made. The numbers are hard to read, but a little nail polish would probably do the trick.

    5. Oil/cleaning oil: This is just a gripe, but for ~$800 you would think they would include an extra bottle of oil and a bottle of the cleaning oil. That would give you two years where you would never have to contact Rohloff USA or Harris Cyclery.

    5.5. The sticker: Yet another lame gripe but you would think that an $800 part made with all these high tech materials would have a classy laser-etched logo instead of a twenty-five cent sticker. I've stripped most of the logos from my bike already, so I guess I could just get rid of this one too.

    Anyone else have any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Rapid Fire Shifter

    I would like to see a rapid fire type shifter. I have only 5 rides on my Rohloff, but I am not too keen on the grip shift. However, i do see the complexities with building a rapid fire type shift for a drivetrain which indexes inside the gear box.

  3. #3
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    The only things of any significance that bug me are that my cranks turn when pushing my bike ("hike-a-bike" turns into "whack-a-shin") and oil seepage. Both are easily managable but I'd rather not have to think about them at all.

    Although not a complaint about the hub itself, I agree that changing oil is a little outrageous. A dinky 20ml oil change costs more than the 4 quarts of oil + filter + labor to do the same thing with my truck. It would be nice to have the first change covered up front and the option of buying something like a 5 year supply at a reasonable cost. Still, it's hard to complain given what was spent on the hub itself.
    Last edited by Mr.Bob; 08-17-2004 at 02:57 PM.

  4. #4
    On MTBR hiatus :(
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    Good, I'm glad you skipped all the weight/price/gears 7&8/noise because it's all obvious and at the same time not a big deal to me.

    1. Completely eliminate the barrel adjusters at the external shift box. Instead, include a pair of sleek, slender, in-line barrel adjuster that can be used on the housing loop where it comes off the grip shifter unit.

    2. Add a second drain hole. The hub internally doesn't ventilate and causes oil to drain slowly. A second oil plug opposite the first one would facilitate faster oil flow and speed up the oil change process.

    If I think of more I'll post them.

  5. #5
    willtsmith_nwi
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    Hike-a-Bike ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bob
    The only things of any significance that bug me are that my cranks turn when pushing my bike ("hike-a-bike" turns into "whack-a-shin") and oil seepage. Both are easily managable but I'd rather not have to think about them at all.
    Usually implies that you CARRY it instead of pushing it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Usually implies that you CARRY it instead of pushing it.
    Thanks, that's a very important distinction. I'll make sure to change the message to "push-a-bike".

  7. #7
    rohloff rich
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    Good, I'm glad you skipped all the weight/price/gears 7&8/noise
    I think any reasonable person who has made an informed decision to purchase a Speedhub has come to accept all these things. They are what they are and there's no changing 'em. I'm more interested in seeing how real improvements can be made, especially by the home tinkerer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    1. Completely eliminate the barrel adjusters at the external shift box. Instead, include a pair of sleek, slender, in-line barrel adjuster that can be used on the housing loop where it comes off the grip shifter unit.
    Don't some road bikes feature in-line barrel adjusters on the cables? That could work, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedüb Nate
    2. Add a second drain hole. The hub internally doesn't ventilate and causes oil to drain slowly. A second oil plug opposite the first one would facilitate faster oil flow and speed up the oil change process.
    Excellent idea. This is something the adventurous home mechanic could do (if you don't mind voiding your warranty). You could just pull out the internals, drill a hole in the shell, tap it and insert another drain plug (it's just a set screw). Nate, you've got three of them, right? Give it a try and let us know how it goes. Is the hub shell a consistent thickness all the way around or is it thicker where the oil drain hole is?

    Quote Originally Posted by nmcculloch
    I would like to see a rapid fire type shifter. I have only 5 rides on my Rohloff, but I am not too keen on the grip shift. However, i do see the complexities with building a rapid fire type shift for a drivetrain which indexes inside the gear box.
    It seems to me that a rapidfire shifter would be possible. Regular gripshifters are self-indexed yet Rohloff created a gripshifter that works with a drivetrain that indexes inside the gearbox. Creating a rapidfire-type shifter would be some pretty precise machining, but I bet someone could do it. However, I can't imagine the Rohloff aftermarket accessories business would be very extensive or profitable.

  8. #8
    On MTBR hiatus :(
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    Quote Originally Posted by rs3o
    It seems to me that a rapidfire shifter would be possible. Regular gripshifters are self-indexed yet Rohloff created a gripshifter that works with a drivetrain that indexes inside the gearbox. Creating a rapidfire-type shifter would be some pretty precise machining, but I bet someone could do it. However, I can't imagine the Rohloff aftermarket accessories business would be very extensive or profitable.
    I'd miss the ability to grab a handful and be on the other side of my gear range in nothing flat. But then again, have options available is always nice.

    So I envision that, like Rapidfire, you'd have a primary lever for your choice of upshifts or downshifts, and it would just be a question of lever length versus cable pull/force required that determines how many gears MAX one could advance in the push of a thumb. Five? Six? Eight?

    But would the second lever be a single shift trigger, alá Rapidfire? Or would it, too, function as a second lever and have the ability for multiple shifts (akin to Shimano's original push-ush shifters)?

  9. #9
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    I don't have a problem with the barrel adjusters, but I wished they had better annodizing or plating. Many of the bare aluminium parts, and steel screws corrode and sieze very quickly in our winters.

    A second drain would be nice, but be the plug is not a normal setscrew, it is tapered so it tightens and seals as you screw it in. However, I've discovered that if you unscrew the hose attachment a bit, air can bubble up through the threads. I have a spare hose attachment, so I'm planning on putting a breather port in it.

    Oil - $$, because there is only one supplier. Fortunately you don't need much.

    Polished and/or helical cut gears on the reducer stage would make the lower 7 gears much smoother.

    Shifter - I've been thinking about modifying a rapid-fire shiter to work, all you need is for one lever to turn the spool one way, and the other lever to turn it the other way. Problem is that the index finger has a short throw, and I'm not keen on thumb/thumb levers like the old shimano's.

    A better thumb screw on the shiter box.

    My cable ferrules were metal.

    Cheers,

    Tom

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    A second drain would be nice, but be the plug is not a normal setscrew, it is tapered so it tightens and seals as you screw it in. However, I've discovered that if you unscrew the hose attachment a bit, air can bubble up through the threads. I have a spare hose attachment, so I'm planning on putting a breather port in it.
    Isn't there a vent hole somewhere along the axle? You should be able to rig something up to plug up the axle holes and allow you to add air in through the vent. That sould blow the oil right out of there. I might try ripping apart an old tube for the valve and see what I can come up with next time around. It is painful watching that thing drain.

  11. #11
    On MTBR hiatus :(
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    Oil - $$, because there is only one supplier. Fortunately you don't need much.
    I bought 1 liter cans of all weather and rinse oil, which works out to be pretty economical in the long run compared to the 35ml bottles. However, I just looked the stuff up online, and Sheldon is selling it for $55 per can!!! I know I didn't pay that much when I bought it from Rohloff direct, but for the life of me I can't remember what they charged me.

  12. #12
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    A drop-bar shifter. Requires the making of a slighty wider barrel, to fit the wider OD of road bars. An even better solution would be a time machine, so I could go back to the time when the powers-that-were decided that road bikes and mountian bikes needed different, mutually-incompatible handlebar diameters, and whack them all with a stick. One of the dumbest decisions ever made.

    --Shannon

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