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  1. #1
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    My Final Verdict on the Rohloff

    Attempted the Tour Divide with a Rohloff. A few observations:

    1. There was a lot of mud the first few days. The Rohloff performed as advertised. At one point the bike was so caked with mud I had to drag it but, after dunking it in a creek and scrubbing the chain with a toothbrush it ran like nothing had ever happened. Try that with a derailleur.

    2. The weight was noticable. I swear it was harder going up the same passes as last year. I could feel the weight on the back.

    3. I think there is some drag. I trained in Louisiana where we don't have any mountain and in the higher gears I don't think it's an issue. But in the low gears going through two gear trains I had the distinct impression that I was losing some power.

    4. Shifting was great, especially on hill starts of which there were many. Some people don't like twist shifters but it works really well on the Rohloff.

    5. Makes for a very stiff wheel, especially with a 29er, as the hub flange is really wide. You basically have a 29er with 26er spokes.

    I like the Rohloff. I'm keeping it. But I don't think I'd do another mountain race on it. I like riding it and I think it's great for the long, casual rides but I was a little disppointed on the race.

  2. #2
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    Your verdict is just perfect.

  3. #3
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    I like the Rohloff. It's pretty cool and works great...but some of those climbs were 15 miles uphill. Of course, I had a lot of weight on the bike, too.

  4. #4
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    220 grams over conventional 3X9 shouldn't be a deal breaker...have two Rohloffs...no complaints. Never have any problems hanging with friends, or doing races...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    ...3. I think there is some drag. I trained in Louisiana where we don't have any mountain and in the higher gears I don't think it's an issue. But in the low gears going through two gear trains I had the distinct impression that I was losing some power....
    I bought one many years ago and had the same impression. Generally I prefer the feel of the Alfine 8.

    However my brother has got tens of thousands of miles on his and he reckons a Rohloff needs at least 10,000 miles before it's run in. He's used his for doing the Bicentennial Trail in Australia and towed a trailer (heavy with water).

    I have just relaced my Rohloff into another wheel and it's going on my general purpose bike, so I'll be able to renew my opinion once I have a substantial mileage on it.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  6. #6
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    The rohloff makes some grinding noises in some gear. If this induces real drag or you are just imagining it you will mever know - I have the same thing.

    The weight itself is not a big issue, but that much weight in your rear wheel can be a pita if you have to carry the bike or something - I sometimes carry my bike down the stairs to the basement.

    Rohloff wheels are strong but also need to be laced carefully with very even spoke tension. Relacing needs to be done with the same spoke pattern. The spokes will make some grooves in the flange and these could lead to a broken flange - happened to me once. For the full story, see my thread about that.

    I have pretty much come to the same verdict. If weight counts or when you are only in clean environments, a rohloff is not really worth the investment. But if the going gets tough, the rohloff gets going and pays off.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post

    3. I think there is some drag. I trained in Louisiana where we don't have any mountain and in the higher gears I don't think it's an issue. But in the low gears going through two gear trains I had the distinct impression that I was losing some power.
    I was surprised to see that article :
    What's The Difference In Speed Between Gearbox Systems? Rohloff, Pinion, Shimano - CyclingAbout

    Efficiencies:
    Singlespeed : 97%
    Rohloff : 94,5%
    Normal drivetrain : 94-95%

    Hummmmm ........... Food for thoughts !

    I too , always had the perception that the noisiest speeds were the least efficient ; psychology plays a bigger role than I thought !!
    ( I speak for myself )
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  8. #8
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    Ive read that article too and was also surprised to see that the pinion gearbox got an efficiency of only 90%. The designers of pinion are two previous gearbox engineers at porsche. I thought people like that would know better...

    Rohloff themselves states their hub to be a bit less efficient than a NEW AND CLEAN chain gearing drivetrain, but says the difference to disappear when the chain gear is worn and/or dirty.

  9. #9
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    Just sold my last Rohloff. If you don't do big mileage and ride in challenging weather conditions and are lucky/careful [no ripped off derailleurs] than ya no point getting a Rohloff. On the other hand if you rock 10,000kms without thinking about, need to be able to ride through shit weather without stopping to work on your bike and can't afford to worry about damaging a derailleur the Rohloff makes a lot of sense.

    I think it's a great product, but not everyone has a need for what it offers.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Just sold my last Rohloff. If you don't do big mileage and ride in challenging weather conditions and are lucky/careful [no ripped off derailleurs] than ya no point getting a Rohloff. On the other hand if you rock 10,000kms without thinking about, need to be able to ride through shit weather without stopping to work on your bike and can't afford to worry about damaging a derailleur the Rohloff makes a lot of sense.

    I think it's a great product, but not everyone has a need for what it offers.
    Did you have any other problems with it other than the weight and the cost?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flai View Post
    Did you have any other problems with it other than the weight and the cost?
    The only issue I had really was if you laid the Rohloff wheel on its side during storage or transport it would weep a little oil and could contaminate the rear disc rotor/pads. This never cause an issue while on rides, but it was something else to think about at home between trips.

    I'd buy another Rohloff if I had the appropriate application for one come up.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    The only issue I had really was if you laid the Rohloff wheel on its side during storage or transport it would weep a little oil and could contaminate the rear disc rotor/pads. This never cause an issue while on rides, but it was something else to think about at home between trips.

    I'd buy another Rohloff if I had the appropriate application for one come up.
    Oh man, I read about that oil leaking but didn't think of that it could contaminate the disc brakes. Definitely have to keep in mind if I end up with Rohloff.

    I was pretty set on 1x11 or 1x12 setup for my long-distance/international bikepacking bike but during the past week the Rohloff has kinda won me over But I'll have to think a bit more still, it's scary that I could end up far away from any civilization with a hub that I have no chance of fixing or "duck taping" to work :P

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flai View Post
    Oh man, I read about that oil leaking but didn't think of that it could contaminate the disc brakes. Definitely have to keep in mind if I end up with Rohloff.

    I was pretty set on 1x11 or 1x12 setup for my long-distance/international bikepacking bike but during the past week the Rohloff has kinda won me over But I'll have to think a bit more still, it's scary that I could end up far away from any civilization with a hub that I have no chance of fixing or "duck taping" to work :P
    A long tour away from civilisation is where I think a Rohloff starts to make sense. % chance of a real failure is very very low and the problems it avoids are far more likely to cause you issues. Not to mention you aren't fixing a derailleur drivetrain in the bush if you really mangle it.

    Like the OP noted when your bike is covered in thick mud yet it pedals and shifts like new you'll be glad you have a Rohloff.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Just sold my last Rohloff. If you don't do big mileage and ride in challenging weather conditions and are lucky/careful [no ripped off derailleurs] than ya no point getting a Rohloff. On the other hand if you rock 10,000kms without thinking about, need to be able to ride through shit weather without stopping to work on your bike and can't afford to worry about damaging a derailleur the Rohloff makes a lot of sense.

    I think it's a great product, but not everyone has a need for what it offers.
    I agree that it's not for everybody , it's an acquired taste.
    But it also makes perfect sense to have one on your normal/ day to day MTB , Fatbike , commuter , etc.... if you're not into programmed obsolescence and change your drivetrain every time they come out with new stuff. If you want a durable , "setup and forget" drivetrain , it's the one to get.

    I don't do world tours on bike and I'm very happy with my 3 Rohloff.
    The first one I bought 15 years ago is getting near 90 000Km and still going strong.
    Last edited by fokof; 6 Days Ago at 01:32 PM.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  15. #15
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    I agree with everything except your dig on mud +derailleurs

    mud has never given me an issue with my rear der or cogset, i just grind though it all and rinse if I get a chance. Now, grass and weeds is another story entirely. that kills the mission
    "Eating Spam, and Oreos, and drinking Thunderbird, baby" -Baby Huey/James Ramey

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