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  1. #1
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    Economics of the Rohloff hub

    Now that I've tried the Alfine hubs (on someone else's bikes) I'm not keen on going back to derailer drivetrains, so I'm considering going the whole hog and upgrading my currently single speed Surly Ogre to a Rohloff.

    Obviously the price is deterrent, but the idea is that you save on the regular repairs and component replacement costs.

    So, has anyone done the hard data on this and assessed just how much a regular drivetrain costs to maintain over the years, and therefore how much the Rohloff saves?

  2. #2
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    ive got both hubs - the rohloff and the alfine 8

    and unless my alfine dies a horrible death over the winter i dont think the rohloffs going back on my bike.

    the alfine feels like multiple singlespeed ratios

    my rohloff feels like pedaling through trecle.

  3. #3
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    That's interesting. I don't think I've seen the two compared, but that's the first time I've seen the Rohloff mentioned as anything other than the best IGH available.

  4. #4
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    depends what you want

    reliability to go world wide touring and forget about it

    or the ability to not feel like your bogged down by your hub.

    Ive tried mine in everything from mtb racing to training to road touring and i just cannot get my head round it.

    i bought my partner an alfine equiped bike and had a shot on that and was instantly sold. of course the maintainance intervals are alot shorter and you have to keep on top of the cup and cone but i can live with that.

  5. #5
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    The lack of maintenance is the real seller. How much upkeep has the Alfine 8 needed so far, versus the Rohloff?

    I don't think I'm going to do any cross-continent touring, but I'd like to try some 2-3 day trail rides next year.

    What do you mean by "bogged down" by the hub? Is it deadweight?

  6. #6
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    no more a dead weight than the alfine but with the rohloff you know your riding an IHG - it may be psychological as per all their marketing bumph but if you have not ridden one i suggest you try and find one for an extended test ride before you drop 1000 euro on one.

    ive only done 800k on my Alfine so far so cannot comment on that but i believe its due a clean and service ever 1500miles - ill investigate the cup and cone bearings at the time as well.

  7. #7
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    Have had Rohloff's for almost 8 years.
    My 1st and old one was a pain!
    BUT My new one is great! Like Night and Day.
    NZPeterG

  8. #8
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    Thanks Peter.

    How much do you reckon you're saving on drivetrain costs per year by running it?

  9. #9
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    I have both Shimano on my commuter and Rohloff on my MTB

    I'm on my third Shimano hub on my commuter , I have that bike for 10 years.

    I have my Rohloff for 8 1/2 years , cost me maybe 100$ in a pair of shifting cables and oil. That's it. I never had to open the hub.
    Three to four times the price of an Alfine but infinitely more reliable.

    If you do serious MTB and lots of mud and snow , I STRONGLY suggest a Rohloff.
    The shifting of the Shimano rely on spring tension like all deraileur system do.
    You will need to open the Shimano twice a year if you do serious mud.

    On the Speedhub , the shifting is on the hub , no need to adjust the cables.
    Bad adjustments of the Shimano can kill it.

    It is true that there are 3 speeds on the Rohloff that you can "feel" the gearing compared to the Shimano , but if you forget these , you still have 11 others.


    As for the economics , I calculated that after 9 year , it has been paid for itself.
    What I had to do with standard drive train:
    Add a chain once or twice a year
    A cassette a year.
    Middle front plate every 3-4 year
    Derailleur , depending on how many rocks it meets.
    Shifters every 5-6-7 years
    Last edited by fokof; 10-30-2012 at 03:56 PM.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  10. #10
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    Thanks fokof.

    I'm not a hardcore offroader, but I do like to chunk it off paths sometimes.

    The bike is currently a commuter, but I'm likely to take it trekking in future, and I hear the Rohloff is great for that.

  11. #11
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    I dunno. I've seen Rolhoffs fail. I have a bud who popped the freehub pawls, and he ain't that strong a rider. Also, his Rolhoff bikes (he had two) both felt draggy at the pedals to me, even after he put a few thousand miles on them.

    I'm not sure it would actually save you any money over a derailleur setup. You can pop a lot of derailleurs for what a Rohhoff costs. And, I wouldn't trust it on an 'around the world' kind of adventure. The thing breaks, you're calling AAMCO to fix it. Good luck with that if you're in Costa Rica or some other far off place like that. A derailleur bike you can get fixed anywhere.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    And, I wouldn't trust it on an 'around the world' kind of adventure.
    Yet that's precisely what a lot of trekkers do, and specifically because the Rohloff is reliable far from civilisation, where a bent derailer may not be fixable.

    That's from what I've read, anyway. I'd be interested in seeing some opinions from tourers who consciously chose a standard drivetrain over a Rohloff.

  13. #13
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    Helmut, there are a few threads here that have some comments on touring with rohloffs and pros and cons. It would be worth wading through them. I can't comment on the Alfine but my Rohloff has been flawless. Many other components on my bike have had faults but not the Rohloff. Possibly on road with skinny tyres you may feel drag....I don;t know, and I would assume the same for all IGHs. I use mine with mtb and honestly can't say I can tell a difference between a derailuer and rohloff efficiency. I thnk on mtb there is so much more to worry about like trail conditions, tyre pressure/drag, gradients etc that it isn't noticable. Cost wise I am sure it will pay it self back over the years so long as you do the mileage on it. For me the cost was a deterrent but when I saw I could just afford it, it became more about the benefits of, yes, low maintenance but also the simplicity and style of riding. Using the rohloff is just more enjoyable to me.Reasons to choose a rohloff over other IGH's are simplicity, low gear range, reliability, and relatively light weight for the gear range. the beauty of it is that all the complxity is inside the hub so that very little can go wrong. If something does go wrong, make use of the warrantee. If you can find the Rohloff book on rohloff Stories, there are heaps of anecdotes there.

  14. #14
    A Man Of The Truth
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    I did some math a year or two ago just based on how many parts I replace per year. I usually replace my chain, casette and chainrings yearly, front derailer every other year and rear derailer maybe 1 times a year. It worked out that an Alfine 11 needed to last 3 years to break even, and a rholoff about 6 years. That seemed very reasonable and included installation. BUT with 5 Alfine 11s, the most I got out of one was about 2 months. That said, the Alfine is/was new, where the rholoff is old and has a bulletproof reputation. But even though you'll eventually brake even. And after 6 years, you'll be saving money. You still need $2000 to get one. And grip shifters are terrible. Some day I'll try to get into IGH again.

    Also I guess I should give some more detail. I ride a 6.5" all mountain bike, and before switching to my Alfine, I was running a 3x9 XT setup. And I ride a lot so things got plenty of wear and tear. After the IGH, I decided being a cheap bastard was my best plan of action, so now I ride a SRAM 1x9 short cage setup. I miss the range but like how much less it costs me. But this is way off topic. Figure 2-3 years for an alfine to pay for itself and 5-6 years for a rholoff. But I don't think you'll get 2-3 years out of an alfine (11 that is, no opinions or experience with the 8, but it is even cheaper)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    Also I guess I should give some more detail. I ride a 6.5" all mountain bike
    Do you mean you're 6' 5", or is that a bike specification?

  16. #16
    A Man Of The Truth
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    I mean my bike has 6.5" of travel front and rear.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    I mean my bike has 6.5" of travel front and rear.
    Cheers. Pick the noob.

  18. #18
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    Another thing. There seems to be two Rohloffs on the market, the usual silver one and a red one that's a third more expensive.

    I can't find an info on the differences. Is the red just a newer model?

  19. #19
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    I've been confused by exactly what is available as far as models and options too. From what I can tell, you can just get it in different colors, disc or no disc, and 32 or 36h. But I may be wrong, their website is not clear on this.

  20. #20
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    That's what I thought at first, but AFAICS the red is always about $1800.

  21. #21
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    you get one thats non disk mount

    you get one that has the cables going into the hub which means you have to disconnect them before taking the wheel out

    you get one with a quick release click box - this is the one i have.

    dont think the colour signifys anything but might be wrong

  22. #22
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    Thanks Peter.

    How much do you reckon you're saving on drivetrain costs per year by running it?
    Hi Well, Cost's of running a Rohloff Speedhub is very low! a Rohloff is good for over 200,000km's.
    The only on going cost's are Oil change kit every 5,000km's, the odd set of cable's from time to time.

    NZPeterG

  23. #23
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by fellsbiker View Post
    I've been confused by exactly what is available as far as models and options too. From what I can tell, you can just get it in different colors, disc or no disc, and 32 or 36h. But I may be wrong, their website is not clear on this.
    Hi thats right, plus Nutted or QR axle (the only thing you can NOT change after ordering a Rohloff) and gear change EX box or Cable's from inside.
    This is all you need

    NZPeterG

  24. #24
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    Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by HelmutHerr View Post
    Another thing. There seems to be two Rohloffs on the market, the usual silver one and a red one that's a third more expensive.

    I can't find an info on the differences. Is the red just a newer model?
    Hi,
    Black too.

    Why can you all not work this out?

    NZPeterG

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZPeterG View Post
    Hi,
    Black too.

    Why can you all not work this out?
    Anodised? Titanium gears? Tastes like bananas?

    Don't hold out on us man!

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