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  1. #1
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    IGH and mtb racing

    I have already commited to an Alfine setup, however the bike is a few months off completion. I was hoping that those of you using IGH's might be able to offer your thoughts/experiences of racing with one?

    Alfine, rohloff... Do you feel that they offer you any advantage? (subjective I know, but humor me).

    Im hoping that during the winter races the clean chainline may help with muddy events. And all going well, I would like to step up to a rohloff for the multiday events we have coming up (long term plan). I understand that a normal chainset is capable but I am interested in all the benefits that come with IGH, does anyone out there already do such a thing?

    Cape Epic, TransRockies has that been done with any success? Im getting a bit ahead of myself now but still, that would get me excited.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'm not a regular at the races but I've raced and it was with my Rohloff.

    Advantage? Probably not. It's not much of a disadvantage either though. It didn't set me up on the podium but my times were completely respectable, relative to the field.

    While good gear is nice, good fitness wins races. Train hard and go rock it! Nobody will care you have an IGH unless you podium, then everyone will have questions for you.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    I've done an 18 hour solo race on my Alfine. It was advantageous in the terrible mud that was causing major issues w/ derailleur setups. It was also advantageous in that I didn't have to adjust anything to do w/ the drivetrain through the whole race. Other than that, it is heavier and has less gear range.
    baker

  4. #4
    PeT
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    Quote Originally Posted by golong
    Alfine, rohloff... Do you feel that they offer you any advantage? (subjective I know, but humor me).
    My first real race with my Rohloff happened a couple of years back at the Leadville 100, a race I had done several times previously on a bike equipped with deraillers. The bottom line is that under the fair weather conditions I encountered on that ride there was no advantage or disadvantage. Well, in a sense there was a "peace of mind" advantage in that I didn't care if rained or snowed -- I was set. My first time at Leadville I finished with access to about 3 gears when it began dumping on me for the last hour and the drivetrain fouled. A subsequent experience at another hundred mile race cemented in my mind the idea of an IGH for this sort of event. I'm planning to put in for Leadville next year and if I get chosen I hope it rains cat & dogs. I've got the Norwegian constitution to deal with the cold, and I've got the bike (e.g. - drivetrain) to deal with the mud...

    I've raced the same Rohloff-equipped bike in the local race series (shorter, hour long races) and it's neither an advantage or disadvantage. It's true I don't miss any shifts, but those were not limiters to performance in races I've done on bikes with deraillers.

    Pretty much the biggest advantage is that I don't have to mess with maintenance -- in terms of time spent with bike stuff more of it is spent riding and less of it is spent tuning. But I'll be praying for bad weather at my next endurance race -- then I'll have an advantage...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  5. #5
    dru
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    mud

    An Alfine would offer an advantage in mud, otherwise it might be a hindrance.

    If you don't back off on the power when shifting down it will not shift. Sometimes if you really screw up you'll come to a standstill. This problem is very much like trying to downshift the front rings under load.

    The IG hubs are heavy. Basically 1.5 to 2 lbs heavier than a high end conventional set up. That is also a disadvantage to consider.

    Range is another, only the Rolhoff can match a regular set up. The Alfine is like running a 38-12 cassette on the back, one ring up front.

    Having said all this, I have an Alfine and love it. I'm just as fast during the weekly time trials I do on the Alfine as I am on my XTR equipped bike. However I know the trail really well so there are no surprises coming up that would affect the downshifts on my IGH.

    I average just over 10 mph over an hour fifteen TT so I'd be fairly competitive in the sport class.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru
    If you don't back off on the power when shifting down it will not shift. Sometimes if you really screw up you'll come to a standstill. This problem is very much like trying to downshift the front rings under load.
    Interesting, I don't encounter this problem. I wonder if I've changed my shifting style to suit the hub...
    baker

  7. #7
    dru
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    I wonder if I've changed my shifting style to suit the hub..

    I think you have....

    I very rarely have the problem I described, maybe once every second or third ride.
    Most often it's just the 'click, click, click' and I back off the power and it shifts.
    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies, Im looking forward to giving it a shot.

    I think Im in the same boat as "PeT", the idea of racing and training with less maintance is a big plus.

    Also, I found that one guy has done Cape Epic on a Rohloff, and Rohloff has a team that has done well in a few ultra endurance mtb events too.

  9. #9
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    I've been thinking along the same lines.

    Racing using an IGH. Both short & long but I'd like to eventually do the TransAlp & GDR.

    I've got all the hubs (an Alfine, Nexus red band & Rohloff) but haven't gotten around to using any of them because I'm just getting back into biking after an ~3 yr layoff. Longest ever & I've been riding bikes since pretty much forever. But ... anyvey ... I'm getting back into biking via a used SS 29er I bought off eBay last month. My first real bike was a SS way back in the late 60's, early 70's that I actually rode off-road, off-road (no trail). Didn't work too well then but I'm trying to give SS'ing a shot which is why I haven't gotten around to using my IGHs. My initial impression, starting with 32/18 gearing, was that SS'ing sucked. My current impression, with 32/12, is that SS'ing still sucks :-). So ... hopefully this weekend I'll have my Rohloff in use. Racing won't happen until I've improved my fitness a bunch so it will be awhile before I'll be able to provide feedback on that score but after I've had a few rides on my used but new-to-me Rohloff I'll post pics & my initial riding impressions in a new thread.

    But ... FWIW ... I've rarely had any issues with derailleur shifting systems. Only two occasions that I can think of, off the top of my head. Once, racing in clay mud the front derailleur had difficulty returning to a smaller chainring. And once, self-inflicted, when I neglected to loctite the rear derailleur pulley fixing bolts.

    It's as PeT wrote though. For me, it's about "peace of mind" as well. Sure, an IGH can fail just as (more?) easily as a derailleur system but I'm hoping that the opposite is true. And that it proves to be a good long-term choice. Especially true, I think, where the Rohloff is concerned because, I believe, that it's basically, for all practical purposes, a lifetime hub. Heck if all my Shimano hubs have survived into hub retirement, I don't see why the Rohloff couldn't last me the rest of my life. But as much good luck as I've had with Shimano hubs, I don't believe the same can be said of the Alfine or Nexus red-band. At least on-trail. Who knows? If I'm lucky, I may find out different.

  10. #10
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    I've just got great deal on a SS frame with sliding dropouts



    I was thinking to put saved money on IGH. Rohloff seems to be the best choice (what model do I need for disc brakes)?
    I'm doing XC races and I was worried about shifting problems under load. I've read some reviews that you literally have to stop pedaling in order to shift. Is it correct or those rewievs were taken from new hub?

  11. #11
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    The Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 DB is the one for frames with disc brakes. If you go to Harris Cyclery's website you can find all sorts of useful info about the hub in particular & other IGH's.

    Hopefully the link above works. If not, just go to the website & click on parts, then IGH & finally Rohloff.

    I don't have enough time on my used but new-to-me Rohloff to comment on shifting issues so I'll leave that for someone else. I've only ridden it on-road ~100 miles so far. But, FWIW, I haven't had any shifting issues yet.

  12. #12
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    You have to ease the pressure but not stop pedaling.
    I have the Rohloff for 5 years now , and it's a second nature.
    You learn to shift when there is less pressure in the "pedaling movement" (when crank arms are vertical and you transfer pressure between both crank)

    You'll get it pretty fast.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof
    You have to ease the pressure but not stop pedaling.
    that sounds good =)
    I always do that when shifting der.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sometimes
    The Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 DB is the one for frames with disc brakes.
    but there are at least two models - for vertical dropouts and for specially designed dropouts, both bolt-on or for QR. I'm wondering if I need this one:
    SPEEDHUB 500/14 CC DB (8020) for frames with disc brakes and vertical dropouts
    http://www.starbike.com/php/product_...ng=en&pid=5218


    or this one
    SPEEDHUB 500/14 CC DB OEM (8025) for frames with specially designed dropouts
    http://www.starbike.com/php/product_...ng=en&pid=5221


    Thanks for reply

  14. #14
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    The one for specially designed dropouts is for custom frames designed with the Rohloff in mind. Just get the first one.

    FWIW, Rohloff makes a piece of hardware called the SPEEDBONE to eliminate the need to mount the torque arm. But there's an even more elegant solution called the Monkey Bone. Both came with the used Rohloff wheel I bought but I'm using the Monkey Bone & so far, at least, no issues. And it's so clean! Very, very nifty!

  15. #15
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    thanks!
    Are there any other WW tips for Rohloff?
    Do they use SS bolts? =)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by s1ned
    thanks!
    Are there any other WW tips for Rohloff?
    Not that I'm aware of.

    Quote Originally Posted by s1ned
    Do they use SS bolts? =)
    Does SS refer to stainless steel or single speed? Don't know if stainless & if single speed it depends on whether you get the bolt or QR version. If bolt, yes.

  17. #17
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    yes, I meant stainless steel bolts. I guess you can drop around 50 grams by using ti ones.

  18. #18
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    The only place I'll use ti is as a seatpost or handlebar.

    As far as hardware, it's either SS (Stainless Steel) or aluminum. For me, it's just not worth the weight savings so I'll just stick with SS.

  19. #19
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    I just found an info that QR doesn't work with horizontal dropouts - it slips.
    Do I need to buy only bolt-on version for my GF Superfly 09?

  20. #20
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    Have you tried an enclosed cam QR like Shimano's? The other QR versions just don't have the gripping power of the enclosed cam design.

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