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Thread: Fyi

  1. #1
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    Fyi

    Guys,

    My Rohloff has always been a bit noisy, especially 5 through 7, sometimes on a nice quiet section of track it'd bug me. The other day I did an oil change and as an experiment I added 10mL of MolyBond, a Molybdenum Disulphide additive. I noticed results and it struck me this morning, after only covering 100 Km's since the addition, the hub is no practically silent. I chose Molybond because it is natural attracted to hot spots i.e. high points on the machined surfaces of anything that mates with something else.

    Downside is I had to purchase a 60 gram tube, enough for 6 changes or about 300,000 Km's, so do ya reckon I'll get through the whole tube this year.......

    Al

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    I'm nervous putting anything in there not approved by Rohloff, because they've made such a big deal about potential damage whatever super-secret materials they have stuffed inside the shell. But honestly, I just can't fathom most commonly available lubes truly presenting a problem. Be sure to keep us updated if your shell turns into a molten pile of goo; if we don't hear back, I'll assume you're working diligently on those 300K Kms.
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    Number Check

    Quote Originally Posted by alanm
    Guys,

    Downside is I had to purchase a 60 gram tube, enough for 6 changes or about 300,000 Km's, so do ya reckon I'll get through the whole tube this year.......

    Al
    Is the 60g tube enough for 6 changes or 60 changes? Recommended change interval is 5000 km - 6*5000=30000.

    IMO and obviously not knowing all the pieces to the puzzle, I feel the Rohloff oil could stand for some improvement. In addition to the gear noise as Al mentioned, cold weather performance (free wheeling).

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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleRobin
    Is the 60g tube enough for 6 changes or 60 changes? Recommended change interval is 5000 km - 6*5000=30000.

    IMO and obviously not knowing all the pieces to the puzzle, I feel the Rohloff oil could stand for some improvement. In addition to the gear noise as Al mentioned, cold weather performance (free wheeling).
    Uncle Robin, Correct you are Math was never my strongest subject, Triggnonmetory....was something I couldn't even spell........

    I shall keep you updated, next week I leave for a 500 KM ride, 90% of which will be on forest tracks with some good grades to climb....no mountains mind you, after all it IS Western Australia.... BUT I will be towing my trailer full of crap

    Al

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    So, I'm sitting in my tent.....I've covered about 300 km after a few false starts but that's life.....I've done about 150Km's on fire / single track trails, some of the climbs were hard work as I had, with my weight included, ~ 160 Kg, I was carrying a LOT of high quality video gear as I was shooting vid of a trail and it was bl%%dy well raining. I dumped that after 3 days and took to the tar. Have just done 180 Km on it. The Rohloff has got quieter and quieter and is practically silent now, pure bliss. I used to have a real noise on 5 / 6 but even that's gone. I've got ~ 100 k's of tar then 350 / 400 K's of dirt and sand tracks left on this ride. I don't expect any trouble with the hub and am very happy with the Molybond additive.

    Cheers,

    Al

  6. #6
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    Well, I'd certainly expect your hub to get quieter as the MolyBond slowly eats away at your gears. Pretty soon the whole thing will go silent and you'll find yourself freewheeling that Rohly. Bloody hell that Molybond!

    Seriously, I look forward to your continued reports. Anything that would quiet and smooth the Rohloff Speedhub would be much appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alanm
    I don't expect any trouble with the hub and am very happy with the Molybond additive.
    I looked for a Molybond additive distributer that would make it easy to get in the US, but didn't find anything. I did however come up with a different molybdenum disulfide additive that I believe will accomplish the same thing and be very unlikely to change the nature of the oil (no additional petroleum distillates). So, we shall see! These reports of smoother running Rohloff hubs have driven me mad with envy and if I don't get proactive in trying to smooth mine out I will go nuts.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

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    I would wager Rohloff has been aware of the noise concerns for sometime now, and has been quietly tweaking the hub ( no pun intended ) If that were true, I would like to know exactly what they have done. I've never heard another Rohloff except in videos, and even then some tend to sound like a contraption out of Mad Max, but as many of you know mine isn't like that at all. So I'm curious.

    When I saw a video of Bernie holding a screwdriver with one end on a hub and the other end to his ear while a guy was seriously peddling ( it was on a stand ) it seemed to me he was listening for the improvements he made to the hub. His smile seemed to indicate that. As for additives in new or old hubs. I would think Rohloff could and would add anything in their oil to make the hub quieter or last longer. I would be interested knowing if anyone has ever contacted Rohloff asking if it would be safe and or beneficial to add the above mentioned product. I personally would be hesitant adding anything unless I had their approval.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT
    I looked for a Molybond additive distributer that would make it easy to get in the US, but didn't find anything. I did however come up with a different molybdenum disulfide additive that I believe will accomplish the same thing and be very unlikely to change the nature of the oil (no additional petroleum distillates). So, we shall see! These reports of smoother running Rohloff hubs have driven me mad with envy and if I don't get proactive in trying to smooth mine out I will go nuts.
    PeT, sounds like the go, remember you don't need much and the change isn't instantaneous although I did notice a distinct initial improvement. Don't forget to remove an equal quantity of oil when adding the Moly.

    Suba, I suspect the gears in the hub are straight cut, as opposed to bevel cut , this would account for the noise. As for adding Moly to the oil, it's not something one should do to a brand new hub, or any other brand new gearbox / diff etc. The components need to be run in first. I have years of experience in the heavy mining industry and so have had access to Mech Engineers knowledge, in a purely mechanical setup like our hubs, a bit of Moly will cause no harm. The trick is to not over do the dose.

    bsdc, If I have to start pushing, I'll let you know.........

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by alanm
    ... I suspect the gears in the hub are straight cut, as opposed to bevel cut , this would account for the noise...
    The gears are indeed strait cut - that was documented a long time ago. Strait cut gears are noisier, but more efficient than helical cut.

    The issue with hub oil is the additives in many fluids used in automotive parts. The hub has composite parts (ie: plastics) which don't play well with seal swelling additives. Automotive gears are all metal.

    The stock "oil of rohloff" definitely looks like it has moly in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    The gears are indeed strait cut - that was documented a long time ago. Strait cut gears are noisier, but more efficient than helical cut.

    The issue with hub oil is the additives in many fluids used in automotive parts. The hub has composite parts (ie: plastics) which don't play well with seal swelling additives. Automotive gears are all metal.

    The stock "oil of rohloff" definitely looks like it has moly in it.
    Thanks for the info, I had wondered about the oil as it always had a black moly look when I changed it. It was that that made me think about adding Moly to it. The thing about Molybdenum Disulphide is that it's a natural and not a synthetic additive and as such doesn't, to the best of my knowledge, affect non metallic parts, I guess time will tell but so far, so good.

    Al

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    How much moly are you using when substituting for the oil ? Has anyone spoke to Rohloff regarding this practice or is this a first ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by space49
    How much moly are you using when substituting for the oil ? Has anyone spoke to Rohloff regarding this practice or is this a first ?

    Space49, I took out 10mL of oil and added 10mL of Molybond and no, I haven't spoken to Rohloff regarding this, it's a 'suck and see' project. My hub is quite a few years / KM's old and been noisy from day one. I was advised at the time of purchase that it would quieten down after a run in period....never did......

    Al

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    Thanks for the reply and I look forward to any progress reports.

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    Lets be honest.....

    ...if you are riding the same bike daily for a relatively long period of time, the changed noise level would be so gradual that I very much doubt any of us could actually hear it.
    Comparing one bicycle to another also wont work as every component change, frame difference, size etc alters the resonated sound and volume.
    Comparing an old speedhub to a new one is also not fair as Rohloff have made changes to the technic throughout the series.

    We really are unable to say exactly how much (if at all) the speedhub has changed its volume output.

    The simply fact is..some noises are normal, some will quieten. Freewheeling noises ar enot the same as drive noises and reverse pushing of the bike also creates alternative noises. Oil viscosity due to temperature influences changes sound pitch and component choice alters the resonance of said frequencies.

    If any one factor changes throughout the comparisum phase, then the noise level test is null-and-void. If the machine used to measure decibells is not calibrated, tests are unfair. etc etc.

    I am sure that your hub did quieten down, just probably not as much as you would have hoped for. Did you get back in touch with Rohloff with regards to fine tuning the hub prior to carrying out this Moly-stuff self test? They may have been prepared to check the hub for you.

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    no comment
    Last edited by suba; 04-27-2010 at 05:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by estutjaweh
    ...if you are riding the same bike daily for a relatively long period of time, the changed noise level would be so gradual that I very much doubt any of us could actually hear it.
    I probably shouldn't speak for alanm, but it seems to me he was describing a significant change over a short time period and thus likely easily detected. Beyond that, I (and I imagine many others) can notice the difference in sound and feel due to changes of a few pounds of tire pressure, or the feel and sound of a well-kept chain in need of lubrication. Admittedly, these things are usually seen, felt, or heard after some threshold has been reached, but the human senses are pretty darn sensitive. And even a placebo has its place in life...

    Despite my strong desire to move my Rohloff to a quieter state, I also realize that the noise and pedal feedback isn't really a reflection of how efficient the thing is. I can go between "8" and "7" -- from silent to noisy -- and not lose any perceived efficiency (i.e. - no change in wattage to maintain speed). It's more about the aesthetic of the experience. If all my Rholoff's gears were as silent and smooth feeling as 8 -- 11 are, my life would be care free...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

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    Guys, Who really gives a ****e.....my hub was noisy to & irritated me, particularly whilst cruising through the forest or bush, I added some Molybond, now it's silent, I thought I'd pass on the info, use it as you wish but don't dissect or make it too technical and if you don't wish to use it move on. If my hub falls to bits, which I doubt, I'll let you know.....and quite frankly, who really give a ****e what Mr Rohloff thinks, I've just emerged from the forrest after covering about 600 Km towing a fully loaded trailer and a bike that has fully loaded front panniers, 90% of this was on a combo of single track and loose pea gravel. I dissapear back into the forrest tomorrow to cover the next leg of about 500 Km. I'm really happy with the result.......end of argument.

    Al

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    Thanx for that info Alanm , I'll give it a shot at my next oil change.

    Have mine for 5 yers now , and thought it would go more silent after a couple of K's , but it doesn't (if it is quieter , it's not enough for me)
    I'm in the same boat and like my bike silent. When people ask me the disadvantages of that IGH , the only thing that pops my mind is Noise.
    (The only advantage of the Shimano IGH IMHO)

    Here it's speed # 5-7-12.

    I have the equipement to mesure SPL levels (I'm a sound engineer) , when I have a little time , I'll do a reading.....
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanm
    Guys, Who really gives a ****e.....my hub was noisy to & irritated me, particularly whilst cruising through the forest or bush, I added some Molybond, now it's silent, I thought I'd pass on the info, use it as you wish but don't dissect or make it too technical and if you don't wish to use it move on. If my hub falls to bits, which I doubt, I'll let you know.....and quite frankly, who really give a ****e what Mr Rohloff thinks, I've just emerged from the forrest after covering about 600 Km towing a fully loaded trailer and a bike that has fully loaded front panniers, 90% of this was on a combo of single track and loose pea gravel. I dissapear back into the forrest tomorrow to cover the next leg of about 500 Km. I'm really happy with the result.......end of argument.

    Al
    I'm with you Al. Keep testing, keep reporting and, more importantly, keep riding! Anything to smooth out the Rohloff hub is worth investigating.

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    I'll be following this thread also. Keep us updated.
    Plus I wish I had even 50K of forest in which to disappear. The sacrifices of living on an island...
    "whatever bike I'm riding, that's my favorite"

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    I can't hear the hub over the sound of my laboring breathing... OK, maybe the hub is louder in some gears. It takes the attention away from my lungs.

    Compared to new, it does get quieter over time, but it does not get silent. Maybe the next version?

    Thicker oil does make it quieter, but limits the cold weather performance. Back when we were thinning the oil with kerosene for cold temps, that definitely made the hub louder.

  24. #24
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    I'm not sure the hub gets that much quieter over time. I think we just get use to it. I made the mistake of going to my Alfine for a while. Wow that thing seems smooth and quiet. When I went back to my Rohloff, I really felt the grind.

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    I wonder if MoS2 isn't in rohloff oil already. My buddies and I bought and split a liter of cleaning and all-season oil. I got my share in a clear bottle. When it sits for a long time, black material settles out at the bottom. At first I thought it was contamination, dirt, whatever. But then it occured to me that it may be an additive. Percentage wise, it doesn't look like very much, but well mixed, it gives the all-season oil that dirty look. Could this stuff be MoS2?

    I've been looking at this MoS2 stuff on the web. There are a couple North American companies that make additives, particularly MolySlip. I've also seen relatively pure powder MoS2 available. It may be overkill for a Rohloff hub, it that it works well under extreme conditions of heat and pressure. That doesn't mean it wouldn't work well under Rohloff conditions though. If its already in the all-season oil, could adding a little more hurt?

    My hub still makes some noise. It's ~ 9yrs old. Compared to another one I just purchased, it is louder, even though the new one isn't broken in yet (and should be at its loudest). I'd be interested in something to quiet it a bit, but not sure I'm ready to add anything just yet.
    "whatever bike I'm riding, that's my favorite"

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanm
    ...remember you don't need much...
    Quote Originally Posted by alanm
    ...I took out 10mL of oil and added 10mL of Molybond...
    My understanding from the Molybond website is that this material is 20% by weight MoS2 suspended in mineral oil. Assuming a specific gravity of 1, that would be 2 grams of MoS2 in that 10 ml of Molybond. I have some dry powdered MoS2 and 2 grams comes up to the 5 ml line on my graduated cylinder. That seems like an awful lot of solid material to be putting in that 25 ml volume -- but I'll be the first to state I don't really know if it is a lot or not.

    I found a website that talked about MoS2 addition to different types of oils based upon intended application. This source as well as the Molybond data sheet suggests (by my calculation) anywhere from 5 to 25-fold less MoS2 be added (depending on whether you see this application be more related to an engine or industrial gear system) than what alanm seems to have added to his Rohloff. I'm inclined to believe that alanm has been successful with his experiment and he's ridden far enough to know wether he's done any harm to his hub. I think I'll start of with about a 10-fold less concoction and put some miles on the hub and see where that gets me. I can always up the concentration of MoS2 down the road...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

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    Any updates on the Moly additives?
    alanm- yur hub still okay and still quiet?
    PeT- how have things worked out for you?
    "whatever bike I'm riding, that's my favorite"

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    Quote Originally Posted by crepitus
    Any updates on the Moly additives?
    alanm- yur hub still okay and still quiet?
    PeT- how have things worked out for you?

    crepitus, I've just finished a 600 Km ride with 90% of it on fire, forrest and single track trail....still in one piece and quiet as ever. I'm very happy. For one section I was hauling about 150 Kg, that included my weight.....

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by crepitus
    PeT- how have things worked out for you?
    I decided to go all-in and added 2g of MoS2 to 25 ml of Rohloff Oil. For various reasons I've only about 80 Km on it since the change and I don't feel that at this point anything is any different -- neither good or bad. I'll keep plodding away with this mixture for awhile. At some point I might opt for cutting the Rohloff oil with mineral oil to fully replicate (as best I can) alanm's effort. I continue to be hopeful that I'll quite things down and smooth things out, but I need to be clear that I'm as pleased as ever with the hub and it's really my inability to leave-well-enough-alone that has me doing this...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT
    I decided to go all-in and added 2g of MoS2 to 25 ml of Rohloff Oil. For various reasons I've only about 80 Km on it since the change and I don't feel that at this point anything is any different -- neither good or bad. I'll keep plodding away with this mixture for awhile. At some point I might opt for cutting the Rohloff oil with mineral oil to fully replicate (as best I can) alanm's effort. I continue to be hopeful that I'll quite things down and smooth things out, but I need to be clear that I'm as pleased as ever with the hub and it's really my inability to leave-well-enough-alone that has me doing this...
    Hey PeT, I didn't change to mineral oil, but I possibly added more Moly than you, 10mL, I'm not sure what that is in weight. I still have the Rohloff oil in the hub.

    Al

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    Hey Alan , how is the hub doin after a while with this recipe ?


    I'm tryin to find some around here and I'm having trouble , any links on where I could get some (net) ?
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  32. #32
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    Wish I'd seen this earlier.

    I stopped using my Rohloff years ago because I can't stand the noise.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

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    I have a jar of Neco Coat which is a laboratory grade moly that's used to coat bullets. I pulled a little oil from my hub, then added a little moly....not much but enough.Then put the oil back in. I see no harm adding a little moly. Molybdenum disulfide's unique property is that when driven against a metal surface such as gears, it forms a tight mechanical bond to the metal. It has a natural affinity for metals very much like plating of one metal on another which reduces friction. The coating is so thin that it cannot be reliably measured by ordinary calipers or micrometers.

    I can't see any harm using a very small amount. The key is not too much. There's not much oil in the hub to start with.

  34. #34
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    I've always wanted to experiment with other Rohloff lube alternatives. ATF, automotive gear oil etc. Then I went in on a bulk cleaning and all season oil buy..... I'm set for 10 years of oil changes now; I figure in that timeframe SOMEBODY will have figured out a work-around. Needless to say, after purchasing the oil in bulk, my desire to find an alternative has waned.

    But, I'm one of those guys who actually likes all the ruckus I hear from the hub. I find I appreciate a loud hard drive too..... Guess I like to hear when intricate things are being accomplished.

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    Fokof,

    Sorry for the delay with the reply, I've only just got back from trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, some wicked downhill country there I have to say!!!!!!

    The Rohloff is going great, went for a 25 Km dirt road ride the day after I got back, towed my modded BOB Ibex with 20 Kg on it and 10 Kg on the bike, nearly killed me....but I thought then, it's really quiet. (the hub) I'm really happy with it. I haven't changed the oil at all since adding the Moly.

    Where are you located? Have a look at Suba's post, maybe you can get some of that. Molybdenum disulphide is all the same, doesn't matter what package it comes in. The best stuff is from Canada though I believe.

    Cheers,
    Al

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    Alanm, when doing the oil change with additive, how much more used oil did you drain out of the hub in comparison to the volume of the cleaning oil you put into the hub?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alanm

    Where are you located? Have a look at Suba's post, maybe you can get some of that. Molybdenum disulphide is all the same, doesn't matter what package it comes in. The best stuff is from Canada though I believe.
    I'm in Montreal.

    There is not much gun stores around.

    What's the brand name of the product you got ?
    Maybe I can try to find some on the internet.....


    Thanx in advance
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

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    Guys,

    Here's a few pics of the Moly I used. It's an Aussie product.

    Bikeisbetter, I used a very small amount, I recon only about 10mL, I didn't drain any out because I didn't have any replacement oil at the time ......I have to admit, I still haven't changed the oil........ but it sure has worked well.

    As an aside, I've just returned from Nepal and whilst there I met a German couple who have cycled from Germany through the middle east, into China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand flown into India and then up to Nepal, been gone for over a year, covered about 55000 Km's, use Rohlofs and haven't bothered changing the oil.....my sort of people....

    Stay safe!

    Al
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fyi-p1014868-rev-1.jpg  

    Fyi-p1014869-rev-1.jpg  

    Fyi-p1014870-rev-1.jpg  

    Fyi-p1014871-rev-1.jpg  


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    My explanation is that your hub became silent simply because of addition of ANY lubricant, be it the oil or this other holy moly stuff.

    Rohloffs tend to loose oil (seepage) over time which makes them noisier. I wouldn't be surprised if the company recommendation to change oil once a year was due to possible losses and making sure they are replenished rather than deterioration of the lubricant in the hub.

    This theory is based on observations. The hub became noisy. When doing the oil change, only a bit more total oil was drained from the hub after adding the cleaning oil. After the refill, it became very quiet.

    I'd doubt that there is any silver bullet additive which puts the silencer on the hub. Rohloff have been tinkering with it for many years, I bet they, being Germans, tried out pouring almost anything into their hubs to find out how it works. Should this holy moly do magic, it'd have been a part of the standard oil since forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof
    I'm in Montreal.

    There is not much gun stores around.

    What's the brand name of the product you got ?
    Maybe I can try to find some on the internet.....


    Thanx in advance
    fokof, This: http://www.molyslip.com/products/spe...p-moly-powder/ is a Canadian product and they have dealers in Montreal.
    Let me know where you got it if you find some and how much it costs, I've been considering experiment with it as a chain lube supplement.

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    Bikeisbetter,

    You may be right because the Moly will coat the gears and keep it quiet even if there is very little oil. That train of thought has got me intrigued! When I get a chance, I'll drain the hub to see how much oil comes out as I haven't added / changed the oil since adding the Moly, and even when I did add it, I didn't check how much was in the hub.

    Al

  42. #42
    Wheezee
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    I wrote to Rohloff recently asking a different question about the oil. It has molybdenum in it already.
    Where's...my...inhaler?

  43. #43
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    Good job getting a reply. It looks to me like there is very little moly in the oil. I had no problem with adding a little more to my hub. I don't know if the difference is quantifiable, but I do know this. If someone does seemingly insignificant tweaks to their bike, they can add up to something significant. I know that's been true for me. I see an advantage adding an additional small amount of moly to a Rohloff. Everything in moderation. Too much of anything usually isn't good.

  44. #44
    Wheezee
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    Apparently they make minor alterations to it all the time to "improve gear-unit efficiency, temperature range and resistance to moisture infiltration".

    The black oil has more molybdenum in it, while the clear has less.
    Where's...my...inhaler?

  45. #45
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    I might try some moly in mine. I've had it for 7 years and haven't ridden it for more than 6 because I couldn't stand the coffee grinder noises. Went SS instead - much quieter
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  46. #46
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    I would think the clear cleaning oil and the new "clear" regular oil that folks have said Rohloff is releasing have zero moly in them. There isn't a way to make the MDS transparent.

    I wouldn't think that adding moly to the black oil would provide any additional moly benefits, but you definitely are changing the fluid volume and viscosity which are probably driving the noticeable changes to the hub.

    I think the Rohloff will always attract tinkerers and geardos who will speculate on the goings on just because of its nature.

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