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  1. #1
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    New Rohloff Speedhub

    So I have been looking to purchase a IGH and i did some poking around at Rohloff to see when their new hub will be sold. This is the email i got from them.

    Hello Justin,

    We are indeed working on a newer, lighter version of our ever popular SPEEDHUB 500/14.

    It is not possible (as with other bicycle components) to simply replace the material from which the SPEEDHUB is constructed with that of a lighter metal. Instead we must try to reduce the surface area of the entire system and this means completely revising the construction of the hub. This process as I am sure you can understand, is not exactly a light task.

    To date, the designs themselves are not satisfactorily completed, for this reason we have no prototypes which we can start testing and therefore will most probably take a good couple of years before we are ready to release something into the open market place.

    Again, because we have not yet completed the designs of the newer SPEEDHUB version, I am momentarily not able to say anything more about the construction.

    The current version (SPEEDHUB 500/14) weighs approximately 1760g and therefore the weight lies only a few hundred grams over that of a derailleur gear system of the same quality. For this excess weight you receive a product which saves maintenance and repair costs, time by cleaning and adjustment, and by shifting the entire weight of the shifting system to the rear of the bicycle, the total weight of a bicycle will be evened out and centrally balanced (balancing point over the BB).

    More information over the current SPEEDHUB can be found on our internet site www.rohloff.de .


    Best Wishes from Fuldatal, Germany.

    Stewart Stabik,
    Technical Support Manager
    Rohloff AG, Germany
    __o
    _`\<,_
    (*)/ (*)
    -+-+-+-+-+-+-

    ------------------------------------------------------------------<
    * contact:
    * Rohloff AG, Stewart Stabik,
    * Mönchswiese 11, D-34233 Fuldatal
    * phone: +49 561 510 80 0, fax: +49 561 510 80 15
    * http://www.rohloff.de, mailto:stewart.stabik@rohloff.de

    * Aufsichtsratvorsitzende: Iris Doepfer * Vorstand: Barbara Rohloff
    * Handelsregister: Amtsgericht Kassel HRB 4472
    * Sitz der Gesellschaft: 34233 Fuldatal
    * USt-ID-Nr. DE 113 084 808

  2. #2
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    I had just heard the same thing. Bummer. Oh well, I'll just keep riding the one I already have and think "light".

  3. #3
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    I am really glad I have a definitive news.. Now i can happily buy a speedhub 14 and not worry about not buying the latest and the greatest..

  4. #4
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    cmreddy my exact thinking. . . no hesitation for me anymore.

  5. #5
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    So I got cheap and held off on my Rohloff purchase, but with the anticipation of another riding season coming up I find myself drooling over the Speedhub once again. To be cautious, again, I emailed Rohloff about any news or the forthcoming Speedhub 'lite'. This was their response:

    Hello Justin,

    We are indeed working on a newer, lighter version of our ever popular SPEEDHUB 500/14. This will not be suitable for every aspect and style of cycle sport and therefore, even after its release, it may well be that the current model is better for your riding preferences.

    To date, the designs themselves for the newer SPEEDHUB version are however not satisfactorily completed, for this reason we do not have prototypes which we can start testing and therefore it will most probably take a good year or so before we are ready or able to release a new product into the open market place. I must however stress that development can never be truly estimated, sometimes there is a breakthrough which can lead to earlier than expected release, sometimes there are set backs and the product can take years longer to complete. I really am not able to estimate when the newer version will be market ready.

    It is not possible (as with other bicycle components) to simply replace the material from which the SPEEDHUB is constructed with that of a lighter metal. Instead we must try to reduce the surface area of the entire system and this means completely revising the construction of the hub. This process as I am sure you can understand, is not exactly a light task.

    We hope that the newer SPEEDHUB version will be circa 300-400g lighter than the current version. We plan to retain the number of gears and the even increments but expand the overall gear range to approximately 580%. The new/lighter version will most probably not be suitable or permitted for use in a tandem, however this hub will be more than capable of normal (ie. no extreme freeride) use. I am afraid that I cannot be 100% certain of any details simply because the designs of the newer SPEEDHUB version not yet completed. All plans are still subject to change depending upon feedback, the market and any technical hurdles which our engineers may encounter whilst constructing the gear-unit. I am therefore momentarily unable to say anything more about the exact construction.

    I hope this information helps you further.
    Have a nice day.


    Best Wishes from Fuldatal, Germany.

    Stewart Stabik,
    Technical Support Manager
    Rohloff AG, Germany
    __o
    _`\<,_
    (*)/ (*)
    -+-+-+-+-+-+-

  6. #6
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    Wow, this talk has been going on for coming up on five years. At least they're still talking about it.

    The one thing that seems to stay constant is the "not tandem rated" which to me implies they're looking for that threshold of how bulletproof is too bulletproof?

    With Shimano's deep R&D pockets, I wonder how long Rohloff can keep this up. Among other things, this hub is projected to be more expensive, too.
    speedub.nate
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    With Shimano's deep R&D pockets, I wonder how long Rohloff can keep this up. Among other things, this hub is projected to be more expensive, too.
    The elephant in the room!

  8. #8
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    I think the Shimano 11 is going to put a fire under Rohloff's butt. If the Alfine 11 is as good as the 8, and they can hit that <$500 mark I'll guess that Rohloff will have to find a way to drop the price of their standard hub quite a bit, or loose a huge number of sales. Rohloff also has to get their North American distribution and service back together or Shimano will bury them on that front too.

    I'm super excited to see the IGH wars start up and bring things into the modern age.

  9. #9
    Rohloff
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    I really like Rohloff, but they need to get on the ball. They've got a real good product but I think it's a little over-engineered and over-geared. It would seem to me to be a relatively easy task to simply to drop off a primary gear, making it a 12 speed with about a 475% range, and slightly downgrade the specs so it's engineered to last a couple of decades instead of centuries. It would be naturally lighter and a little cheaper to build. Sell it for under $1000 and they'd have something a little more expensive but probably better than an Alfine 11.

  10. #10
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    Is there a reason they(Rohloff) have never attempted to make any kind of trigger or dual thumb press style shifters? Are these simply MUCH less popular in europe and the UK or is it a sore point there too?

    I know some people prefer the twist shift style but tbh if you are designing a bulletproof 10 yr all duty hub you have to assume DHers and hard use all mountain guys are going to get it intending on putting it through it's paces and that is quite hard to do when constantly having to worry about hand placement on the bars. On top of that Shimano and Sram make pretty much solely non twist at the higher end of there gear systems so it is hard for me to believe that this doesn't affect there sales considering it is a standard that is basically an entire generation of MTBing behind.

    You would think that an overhaul with weight cuts in mind might warrant a look at redisigning the shifting method to make it a bit more flexible but so far I have never seen a mention or acknowledgment of it being limiting from them ever. I realize it is ideal the way it is for enduro riding in remote regions but considering the high price tag and high weight it sure seems like they are bound and determined to corner themselves into an ever tighter niche of the MTB world.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deserteagle99uzi

    Is there a reason they(Rohloff) have never attempted to make any kind of trigger or dual thumb press style shifters?

    The company line is that only twist shifters allow you to drop a full range of gears in a simple, fluid twist of the wrist. I actually concur with that, but Rohloff as got to know that there is a whole population of riders out there unwilling to switch to a Speedhub due to hate and scorn of twisters.

    There have been rumors, and there have been product announcements from third parties, but as far as I've seen, none has ever materialized. Triggers may be a bit more technically challenging than we would all suspect, but more challenging than building a 14-speed hub? I'm skeptical.
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  12. #12
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    A few years back I designed something like a pulley attached to a old downtube shift lever on a Kelly Take-off that would shift a Rohloff. I never ended up making it, but every Rohloff owner I ever told about the design said it would have been awesome to have that option. So even owners would like a different option.

    I hate to say that I doubt they'll change anything of their chain is any example. I love my SLT on 8-speed or single-speed, but on 9-speed they don't shift very well. They've also avoided making a 10-speed or narrower 9. They are a prime example of a company who designs something great and then refuses to touch it, even if that change makes a better product or increases sales.

  13. #13
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    So no more info about a release date for this lighter version then?
    Marriage is a wonderful invention, but then again so is the puncture repair kit...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by themanmonkey
    Rohloff also has to get their North American distribution and service back together or Shimano will bury them on that front too.

    Distribution issues were resolved last fall after only a few months of interruption. The hubs are currently available through QBP, BTI, and Cycle Monkey, with Cycle Monkey handling all of the hub service. Stewart at Rohloff is available for tech support as well as myself.

    Neil
    Cycle Monkey
    Rohloff Speedhubs - Schlumpf Gearing Systems - Custom Wheels
    www.cyclemonkey.com
    cyclemonkeylab.blogspot.com

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyWrench

    Distribution issues were resolved last fall after only a few months of interruption. The hubs are currently available through QBP, BTI, and Cycle Monkey, with Cycle Monkey handling all of the hub service. Stewart at Rohloff is available for tech support as well as myself.

    Neil
    Thanks, Neil.

    Now just if some creative guy with the right resources could address this trigger issue, everybody would be happy...
    speedub.nate
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Thanks, Neil.

    Now just if some creative guy with the right resources could address this trigger issue, everybody would be happy...

    Yeah, I know. The resources are the key ingredient at this point. I have a design, but no machine shop and limited capital. Anyone interested in helping fund this project????

    Neil
    Cycle Monkey
    Rohloff Speedhubs - Schlumpf Gearing Systems - Custom Wheels
    www.cyclemonkey.com
    cyclemonkeylab.blogspot.com

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyWrench

    Yeah, I know. The resources are the key ingredient at this point. I have a design, but no machine shop and limited capital. Anyone interested in helping fund this project????

    I've got no money, but have a Dremel and a micrometer at the ready. Just say the word!
    speedub.nate
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  18. #18
    mmm, carbon
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyWrench
    Yeah, I know. The resources are the key ingredient at this point. I have a design, but no machine shop and limited capital. Anyone interested in helping fund this project????
    What's your design?

  19. #19
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    Two triggers, one for each thumb, shift direction reversible as with the twist shifter.
    Cycle Monkey
    Rohloff Speedhubs - Schlumpf Gearing Systems - Custom Wheels
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    cyclemonkeylab.blogspot.com

  20. #20
    mmm, carbon
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    Yeah I've thought about doing it that way. Are you proposing taking up the cable slack in the shifters with springs? I mean if you perform a shift on one side, the other side will have to spool the same length of cable out again. It's tricky to come up with a mechanism that will do this reliably. I've come up with a couple of ideas for doing this, but they are complicated and are full of tiny parts that would be hard to manufacture and would be difficult to get to work with stock springs without a lot of tuning and/or compromise in terms of size/weight.

    The other idea I've had is to move the ratcheting mechanism to a replacement external shifter box (i.e. the black thing that goes on the hub itself) so that the individual shifters are mechanically disconnected from the hub until they're actuated.

    One of these days I'll get enough spare time to actually manufacture these ideas .
    Last edited by Timbo; 02-27-2010 at 04:39 PM.

  21. #21
    Rohloff
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    I think fabricating the trigger shifter will be the easy part. The hard part will be developing the strength and stamina to operate the triggers with your thumb and/or finger.

  22. #22
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    The ratchet will indeed go in a new cable box, maybe a shift box, but better to leave that part alone. Simple spring return on the lever at the bar, mtb type thumb lever or drop bar integrated levers could plug in. The mechanism isn't very complicated. No tiny part, only a couple of moderately difficult parts to cut.

    Lever force is dictated by cable pulley diameters, so no problem making it function with normal thumb strength. Is 2 gears per throw enough for most people or would 3 be the minimum? 4 would be pushing it. Less thumb force = fewer gears per lever throw.
    Cycle Monkey
    Rohloff Speedhubs - Schlumpf Gearing Systems - Custom Wheels
    www.cyclemonkey.com
    cyclemonkeylab.blogspot.com

  23. #23
    MHC
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    I've always thought a hydraulic shifter would work with two small cylinders mounted on the shifter, pulling the lever with the index finger compresses the fluid in one & a thumb push compresses the fluid in the other (both venting the pressure in the other to give the same push/pull action of the cable system) then two hydraulic lines down to a rotorary actuator on the click box.
    I don't think the volume of fluid required or the pressure would be very high (same force as the twist action of the grip) therefore cylinders & levers could be very small & parts very light.
    Might even be doable with a couple of modified disc brake levers.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MHC

    I've always thought a hydraulic shifter would work...
    Hmmm... I wonder if you'd be able to feel each click. I'm guessing "yes," sort of?

    Gotta say, though, that all this talk of triggers makes it seem like a lot of effort and complexity to change a very simple twist-shift system that works really, really well and will get you to just about any gear with the quick flick of the wrist -- which is perhaps why nothing's been produced yet.
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  25. #25
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    hope they keep the twister

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