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Thread: Fyi

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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
    Rohloff
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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 shite.....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 shite 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 shite.....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 shite 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"

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