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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 <http://www.rohloff.de/en/home/index.html>.


    Best Wishes from Fuldatal, Germany.

    Stewart Stabik,
    Technical Support Manager
    Rohloff AG, Germany
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  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
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  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.
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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
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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
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  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...
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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
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  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!
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  18. #18
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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.
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  20. #20
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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 05:39 PM.

  21. #21
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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.
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  23. #23
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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

  26. #26
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    ^^^ this

    Can't see how you can pass from 1 to 14 instantly with a trigger.

    "The" big advantage of the twist.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  27. #27
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    I don't understand why people always say that. For one it's hardly instant; it takes me 3 or 4 twists to go from one end to the other. The hypothetical trigger shifter may take 1 or 2 more "strokes", but is moving through your entire gear range quickly really all that useful in the first place?

    The two approaches aren't mutually exclusive anyway. If Rohloff or someone else eventually develops a trigger shifter, it's not like they're suddenly going to stop making the twist shifter...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyWrench
    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.
    I favor low shifting force and would be happy with 2 gears per throw. It would be great if you were able to offer triggers!

  29. #29
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    It will be interesting to see what happens first:

    1) Shimano Alfine 14 speed IGH for $700USD

    2) New version of Rohloff
    Safe riding,

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  30. #30
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    I have recently spent some time on an Alfine hub and the single gear per throw is no good, especially when I'm used to dumping large numbers of gear with my Rohloff twist shifter when needed. I now think two will probably also be too few. 4 would be ideal. Just a matter of lever force.......
    Cycle Monkey
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyWrench
    I have recently spent some time on an Alfine hub and the single gear per throw is no good, especially when I'm used to dumping large numbers of gear with my Rohloff twist shifter when needed. I now think two will probably also be too few. 4 would be ideal. Just a matter of lever force.......
    Why not run the Alfine with a Nexus 8 twist shifter....that will work with 8 speed Alfines?
    Safe riding,

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  32. #32
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    I use a Nexus 8spd twistshifter on my Alfine.
    It works fine, and then again is doesn't.
    Shifting is OK, but lots of ghost shifts on the trails.
    Never had ghost shifts with my SRAM gripshifters(X-9).

    I think about buying the alfine trigger shifter, altough I'll miss the ability to shift "all" the gears in one twist.
    Belgian beer and Scotch whisky.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb
    It will be interesting to see what happens first:

    1) Shimano Alfine 14 speed IGH for $700USD

    2) New version of Rohloff
    For sure the Alfine 11 speed will happen first. And that may be enough. If they can get that thing out for under $500 and it's as smooth as the 8 is with more range. They're going to see a big uptick in IGH interest.

  34. #34
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    Forgot about that option, but still unhappy with the performance of the Alfine hub under load and the limited gear range for hilly riding. Surprisingly, I didn't notice the inconsistent gear ratio changes as I had expected to. The shifts often won't take unless almost all the power is let off. The Speedhub complains sometimes when shifting under load, but you can almost always force it to shift. I was running a Schlumpf HSD with it so I actually had a wider gear range than the Speedhub but I ended up needing to shift the crankset too often and it was not always convenient to get my heel to the shift button when I ran out of hub gears on a steep pitch.

    I put the Speedhub back on that bike last week and it was a welcomed change. Admittedly, I ride a bike with a Speedhub almost every day so they feel normal to me, but they definitely work better.

    Neil
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    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.
    I had this same worry when I bought my Speedhub in 2006; I ran SRAM Grip Shift in the mid-90's, and didn't really care for it. I went back to Rapidfire, then SRAM trigger shifting for quite some time.

    However, I've since found that having fourteen gears available in one shifter was pretty nice. I've lost any misgivings that I ever had.

    I also have a Nexus-8 Red Band with the Shimano twist shifter on a townie bike that my wife and I use for dragging our boys around in their Chariot. The Nexus's unpredictable shift behavior and general feeling of flimsiness leads me to even more appreciation for the robustness and good performance in the Speedhub.
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  36. #36
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    Shift-box converter idea

    I've just ordered my Speedhub and I'm super stoked to get it next week.

    I read this forum thread and I see lots of good ideas. How about this one:

    Why bother designing a trigger shifter for the SH? Is it not possible to create a shift-box (the thing down at the hub) that could convert the input from ANY shifter?

    Admittedly I'm no engineer, so I'm speaking in concepts. Any machinist out there want to run with the idea? Is it even possible? Maybe with return springs in the shift-box or something?

    My two cents...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokimann View Post
    I've just ordered my Speedhub and I'm super stoked to get it next week.

    I read this forum thread and I see lots of good ideas. How about this one:

    Why bother designing a trigger shifter for the SH? Is it not possible to create a shift-box (the thing down at the hub) that could convert the input from ANY shifter?

    Admittedly I'm no engineer, so I'm speaking in concepts. Any machinist out there want to run with the idea? Is it even possible? Maybe with return springs in the shift-box or something?

    My two cents...
    Not an engineer either, but I think you'd have to devise a cable pull multiplier in something that like as a trigger won't pull the 4" (?) of cable the SH requires. Something like the cable from the trigger rotating a small splindle attached to a larger diameter spindle with the cable attached to the "shifter box mechanism thing" that engages with the hub? So when you pull the trigger and move the cable 1/4" it pulls the cable at the box by 1"? Just thinking out loud.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokimann View Post
    I've just ordered my Speedhub and I'm super stoked to get it next week.

    I read this forum thread and I see lots of good ideas. How about this one:

    Why bother designing a trigger shifter for the SH? Is it not possible to create a shift-box (the thing down at the hub) that could convert the input from ANY shifter?

    Admittedly I'm no engineer, so I'm speaking in concepts. Any machinist out there want to run with the idea? Is it even possible? Maybe with return springs in the shift-box or something?

    My two cents...
    The indexing in the Speedhub is at the hub. The indexing in other gearing systems is at the shifter. Two problems with that:
    1- The amount of cable pull per shift doesn't match so 1 click on, say, a Shimano shifter doesn't equal 1 gear change worth of cable for the Speedhub.
    2- There aren't any 14 speed trigger shifters.
    Additionally the Speedhub uses two cables, other shifters use one.

    I doubt it would be too hard for someone to make a thumb shifter to handle the double cables of the Speedhub but a trigger shifter is a bit harder to design. In order to use the two levers, one for up and one for down-shifting, you need a ratcheting mechanism of some sort which means pre-defined stops (each time the pawl catches a gear tooth) which you'd have to keep perfectly lined up with the detents at the hub. I guess you could use a roller clutch arrangement or something but then you are looking at a lot of fiddly little parts for a garage machinist to make.
    Also, I've never used a Speedhub but I don't believe there's much if any pull in one direction on the cables so unlike a normal trigger shifter, where your thumb works against the derailleur spring and your index just releases cable, on a Speedhub trigger shifter your index would also have to pull cable which seems like it might be awkward. You could, as you suggested use a return spring on one end of the cable but will the shift-box like that?

    Obviously all these issues are surmountable, even for a hobbyist but I suspect it would be as a labour of love for themselves, not something to sell at a reasonable price.

  39. #39
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    Marriage is a wonderful invention, but then again so is the puncture repair kit...

  40. #40
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    So are Rohloff releasing any new kit or what!!?? I've seen "in testing" and "about bla weight" and "trigger this" and "hardcore" that and "bike show" the other. Geez. Sorry Rohloff. Did you hear that slight smooth buzzing noise? That was a Shimano Alfine 11 speed passing you by.....

  41. #41
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    any news from the eurobike?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat-with-one-t View Post
    Did you hear that slight smooth buzzing noise? That was a Shimano Alfine 11 speed passing you by.....
    If only .......

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

  43. #43
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    There will not be any light Rohloff

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpinibis View Post
    There will not be any light Rohloff
    Care to elaborate ?
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  45. #45
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    Any updates?
    I'm still tossing up between a Speedhub and an Alfine 11 for my MTB...my rational side tells me SHIMANO, but deep down inside I want to spoil myself with a rohloff...hmmmm :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mat-with-one-t View Post
    ... Did you hear that slight smooth buzzing noise? That was a Shimano Alfine 11 speed passing you by.....
    Keep dreaming.

  47. #47
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    Greetings,

    IGH looks to me like a great opportunity to implement a remote wireless shifting system.

    At the hub, a servo actuator, and black box, at the bars, a little black box with a dominant rocker switch, and tiny ( so as not to accidentally activate) or under cover secondary programmable function, buttons.

    With the latter, you choose things like how many gears to throw with a click of the rocker, or in the more advanced model, an electronic inclinometer and other sensors scan for things like slope, humidity, temperature, and also talk to your heart rate and cadence able computer wireless-ly, to automatically adjust to a preselected ratio range, so as to keep you in the zone.
    Of course you will also, have "idiot" buttons to simplify things and go from "Sport or Race" mode for total manual control to "Training mode or leisure" mode for pre-canned ( those that the electronic geniuses combined with exercise physiologists will create for the less creative) programs, or some based on parameters you choose based on heart rate etc like I mention above, based on your own knowledge of your body.
    All the technology is available, and cheap, actually. There are miniature servo actuators that can exert more than the necessary forces and PCB controls weight many times less than mechanical controllers.
    That alone would help shave quite a bit of fat of the current Rholoff. From a human factor stand point, and in my opinion ( which tends to generate controversy and downright piss off others, without it being my goal) , the thing is that hard core mechanical minds sometimes get stock in purist solutions and in doing so they get tunnel vision.

    In brief why spend time and money developing electromechanical shifting "aids at best" for the traditional derailleur system when IGH are such a natural.

    Besides why get stuck on CNC manufacturing as a limitation, like it sounds Rohloff is doing, when parts could also be high pressure cast while integrating function along the way.

    Has anyone tried a "torque converter" transmission for bikes? The bike itself is a pump isn't it?
    Capillaries would probably create enough force for shifting. with minimum fluid weight, and a little high pressure accumulator ( also molded inside the hub, could accumulate enough energy to maintain power much in the same way capacitors would in a dynamo electromechanical based system like mentioned in the beginning. (KERS)

    BTW all this material is copyrighted by the BORG collective and if you use it without expressed written permission you will most definitely be assimilated.

    PG

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    Patagrande, wow, that's a lot to digest... By torque converter transmission, do you mean something like the NuVinci hub?

    I don't know about wireless, maybe, but I like the idea of electronic shifting by push of a button. I think it would be neat to have a small button on each side of the handlebar that you'd tap with your thumb, left side for up, right side for down. Sort of like paddle shifters in a Formula One car.
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  49. #49
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    ... and if we just ...

    Drew,

    Sorry for the indigestion

    I am not too familiar with the Nuvinci, but I think it is a CVT constant velocity Transmission.

    I looked at the weight of one and decided against it, I got the impression their aim is at electric assisted bikes.

    Rocker switches are generally used for changing between states, on/off for a light switch, or in this case up/down, but your idea of one switch per bar side is more consistent with current practice.

    The most common torque converters are paired to automatic transmissions, and in essence use a fluid ATF, to transmit power, it all happens in a sealed "container". On the drive side you have the engine spinning a shaft that goes through a sealed hole on the side of the container, at the end of that shaft there is a sort of "propeller" but it acts more like an egg beater really, or better yet a mixing paddle, its purpose is to "spin" the fluid, as this happens, the driven side which is the same type of arrangement but ends up at the differential, starts to spin as well, and in turn the rotational motion is apportioned to each wheel as needed, this due to the fact that fluids are not compressible, there is no mechanical contact between the "propellers".

    The torque converter idea was a dumb thing for me to mention as a possible application.

    See, the reason why one cannot push start an automatic transmission equipped car, (actually its possible but can be nerve wrecking and also car wrecking) its because you need to be able to have the drive side spin at a considerable high RPM for there to be transmission.

    Perhaps there could be a way to make it work for lower speed application using a higher viscosity fluid, but then this is likely to pose problems at the transmission end.
    Dumb idea, forget I mentioned TC's.

    The electromechanical scenario is still the most attractive for IGH in my opinion, on both function and viability.

    PG

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    Shimano had the cyber-nexus, which was much as you have described.

    Also, there have been at least two electronic shifters for Rohloff.

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    Evrac,

    Thanks.

    I went looking for details, but I could only get limited info and some pictures.

    Although I could see the computer and handlebar buttons, a la Drew. I could not find any info as to what functions and data was being handled by the computer/sensors package.

    If the battery is lodged in the non drive crank= goofiness, the "motor Unit" = after thought=compromise= half baked effort.

    My impression of these IGH efforts by Shimano, is that they have been targeted to the wrong people.

    The second that I see marketing that mentions the word "comfort" associated with cycling, I immediately envision a group of out of shape, unrealistic people expecting miracles out of technology, as the target group. People that will buy a 4k bike and after outfitting it with a kickstand, will let it rot in the garage after the initial 2 weeks of excitement, have given way to the realization that the only way to achieve "comfort" in cycling is to first achieve fitness, and we all know that pain and fitness go hand in hand.

    No wonder that the more fitness (comfort) we achieve the more OCD we become about maintaining it, because we know that loosing 10% fitness translates into 20% gain in pain,and we do not want to go there if possible.

    Using technology with the exclusive objective to bring people to the lowest common denominator disgusts me and I believe it only leads to further degradation of the species.

    If Rolhoff has achieved the success they have, and considering their price, it is because they know that their target market is composed of people looking to maximize their riding/training time, and that means minimizing their wrenching, cleaning, maintaining time.
    And yes, if you consider fixing a bent derailleur hanger or the like, in subfreezing temperatures while donning winter gloves, steamed up glasses while snot runs uncontrollably from your nose, as uncomfortable, then yes they are also looking for comfort.

    PG.

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    Patagrande you are a weird yet logical fellow. =)

    Why do I have a sudden urge to blow my nose?
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    @Drew,

    My dog thinks I am perfectly normal, and she is quite the independent, non communist accomplished type, she speaks three languages fluently, actually 4 if you consider dog

    I am working on a Rohloff/Shmidt setup for my 9 Zero 7 build, including heated grips, and possibly using my old heated BMW vest, if you look at my page tomorrow (or this week sometime) you will understand why its time to hang the Turner for the season and get the fatbike ready.

    PG

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    Haha, you're talking to a guy who rides fat tires year round, I know the deal =P

    Unseasonably warm and dry here in Minnesota right now.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patagrande View Post
    Evrac,


    If Rolhoff has achieved the success they have, and considering their price, it is because they know that their target market is composed of people looking to maximize their riding/training time, and that means minimizing their wrenching, cleaning, maintaining time.

    PG.
    Not exaclty the point. One needs to ride a Rohloff to get it.

  56. #56
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    Evrac,

    I am trying to simplify, you might have noticed it is not easy for me.

    I am very interested in your setup, you appear to be quite knowledgeable and experienced, which most definitely I am not in regards to the Rohloff.
    My experience is very limited, and on pavement with 2.35 tire, it did look to be able to fulfill my needs, but being that my aim is for the system is a fatbike, a 9 Zero 7 in particular, I am trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible form those who are running it on fatbikes, or at least MTB's

    My prior assessment was from a conceptual standpoint as it compares to the system you mentioned as incorporating some of the ideas I had mentioned.

    It was simpleminded please accept my apology.

    PG

  57. #57
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    [QUOTE=Drew Diller;8606355]Haha, you're talking to a guy who rides fat tires year round, I know the deal =P

    By "Unseasonably warm and dry here in Minnesota right now" I am sure you mean its a balmy 12 F and you have been able to survive without the use of your snorkel, correct?

    If you are running the Rohloff on your fat bike, could you please post some shots of your set up?

    PG

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patagrande View Post
    By "Unseasonably warm and dry here in Minnesota right now" I am sure you mean its a balmy 12 F and you have been able to survive without the use of your snorkel, correct?

    If you are running the Rohloff on your fat bike, could you please post some shots of your set up?

    PG
    No, it's like... 40F. Crazy warm. No snow. Very odd.

    I should shut up, as I'm getting way off topic, and don't even own a Rohloff. My fat bike is a Hammerschmidt equipped dinglespeed (no typo) - see here.
    Last edited by Drew Diller; 11-08-2011 at 01:40 AM.
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  59. #59
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    While a trigger like that shown in post #39 would work there are simpler, and obviously more elegant, ways of doing it. If you used the existing twist shifter, the new version, as a template and take off the grip part. You're left with a hollow donut ring with the two cables entering to one side and wrapping round the outer cable channels.

    Take the donut and attach a clamp at 90 degrees to the side for fixing to the bar. Now you need to put something in the middle to replace the grip shift. I would suggest something along the lines of a multi arm trigger, think of a Ninja throwing star or a 4 spoke cartwheel. One above and one below, each with four arms. This removes the problems of sorting some sort of ratchet and return mechanism as the multiple triggers allows one to be in reach all the time, and you can also still do the multi shift thing.

    As a prototype this would be bulky as the ring size is currently dictated by the need to go round handlebars. The whole thing could be refined to a smaller package, shaped so that the triggers are above and below the bars. The added benefit is that either upper or lower triggers could be moved in either direction, so two way shifting above and below the bars. Overall cable pull, in either direction, is 96.2mm at 7.4mm per click for 13 clicks. So a diameter of 35mm would allow the 96.2mm of cable to be wrapped and leave 13.8mm spare for cable entry/exit points. Or even smaller if you want to spiral the cables. The trigger arms could even be off centre so that they protrude on the side facing the cyclist but not on the far side.

    Effectively an elaborate barend shifter on a thumbie type solution. Make it with a hinged clamp and shims so that it could be fitted to any bar in any location, and you've got a winner. It could even be mounted to the side of drop bar levers in the style of a Kelly Takeoff.

  60. #60
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    I noticed that's it's been a year since this thread started with an email quote from Rohloff indicating that they were actively working on a new lighter model with a slightly greater range. I'm starting to work on the design of my dream titanium Rohloff equipped bike. This new model, as described, would be ideal. One would think that in a year, something would have happened. Anyone know anything?

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    It's been 3 yrs since that email, and its been 3+ years prior to when the talk started so I wouldn't hold your breath. They seem to have been busy releasing the 36h hubshells so they clearly aren't shifting from "old" to "new" or they wouldn't have bothered with that effort.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbeardsl View Post
    It's been 3 yrs since that email, and its been 3+ years prior to when the talk started so I wouldn't hold your breath.
    +1 - with Shimano closing in on them fast I'd expect they'll circle the wagons around their proven product and try and make a stand there. They can't afford to out R&D Shimano so all they can do is keep promoting the durability/service life of the Rohloff while minimizing expenses like a new IGH.

    If Shimano can build a 14 speed oil bath IGH for less than 50% the price of a Rohloff I suspect that will be the end of the company.
    Safe riding,

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  63. #63
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    There will not be a light Rohloff. I got an email from Rhloff saying that.

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    Thanks, I'll probably spec the Rohloff for my bike, as you point out, it's an 'oldie but a goodie' with, at this point, millions of miles of excellent and reliable service on the design. While I would not have minded a bit less weight and more range, neither are deal breakers. I just didn't want to be in the position, having dropped a bunch of money, only to have the new one come out within a few months, Murphy's Law and all, but obviously that's not a concern. Even if some other company comes out with something that looks better on paper, it'll be years before the design has proven itself as the Rohloff has.

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    I think Rohloff has shown good judgement not going forward with a light hub.

    As far as Shimano putting Rohloff out of business. Shimano will never make anything near as good as Rohloff for half the price. Even if they could I for one would never buy one. Rohloff has a tested product that can withstand all comers if they stay in business....and if they don't cheaper the speed hub which I don't see them doing under current management.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    I think Rohloff has shown good judgement not going forward with a light hub.

    As far as Shimano putting Rohloff out of business. Shimano will never make anything near as good as Rohloff for half the price. Even if they could I for one would never buy one. Rohloff has a tested product that can withstand all comers if they stay in business....and if they don't cheaper the speed hub which I don't see them doing under current management.
    I agree whole heartedly with your first point. In business deciding to stop a plan is sometimes the best option.

    As for Shimano vs. Rohloff even if I agree with you that Shimano couldn't build an IGH as good as a Rohloff [not something I would say is true] all Shimano has to do is divert 30-50% of Rohloff's customers who don't need an IGH as robust as the Rohloff and who might be fine with an Alfine quality 14 speed IGH at 50% the Rohloff cost. At some point the loss of market share will hurt Rohloff and make it unviable as a company.

    I suspect the Alfine 11 is already starting that process. If they offered an Alfine 14 with oil bath many people would go that route rather than spending the extra $ for a Rohloff.
    Safe riding,

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    I see a lot of if's in your statements. Do you have inside knowledge about Rohloff's solvency ? I believe Shimano could flood the market with such a hub selling at a loss trying to drive Rohloff out of business, but I don't see that happening. Even if they could and did, we all lose.

    As far as many people would go that route rather than spending the extra $ on for a Rohloff as you've stated exactly where did you get that information. How many is many ? Have you taken a poll ....and please include the world not just a few hundred here if you have.

    You're probably right there are many people who don't need something as robust as a Rohloff myself included, but it's a matter of want. What do we really need in life ? I wanted a speed hub for all the obvious attributes including robustness. I'm not willing to give up my speed hub for anything Shimano or anyone else dreams up. I'm willing to bet most speed hub users would feel the same.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    I see a lot of if's in your statements. Do you have inside knowledge about Rohloff's solvency ? I believe Shimano could flood the market with such a hub selling at a loss trying to drive Rohloff out of business, but I don't see that happening. Even if they could and did, we all lose.
    Simply my opinion.

    The number of Rolhoffs that are going to be sold each year at $1500USD is limited. Shimano is selling the Alfine 11 for $600USD and could probably sell a 14 speed version for $700-$800 without losing money. At some point the sales of Shimano IGHs will eat up enough of the cashflow from Rohloff to cause significant problems.

    I work with small/medium sized businesses and the difference between survival and failure is a fine line. It's a simple equation of cash flow, costs and cash on hand.

    Up until the release of the Alfine 11 there wasn't another IGH option with a wide enough gear range for most people to replace a MTB or touring drivetrain. The 11 is close enough people are switching to it vs. the Rohloff and if Shimano comes out with a 14 speed Alfine that can match the Rohloff's gear range at 50% of the cost it will be hard to see a lot of people spending the $$ on a Rohloff.

    I've been torture testing an Alfine 8 in my Pugsley for years with no issues and just started torture testing an Alfine 11 in a MTB. While I give Rohloff the nod for a more durable design at some point if I can get long enough service life from my Alfines the extra potential benefit of a Rohloff is of only theoretical.

    I also own 2 Rohloffs and they are great hubs, but when I have to buy a new IGH I'll probably spring for an Alfine 11 at $600 vs. another Rohloff at $1500 and I'm one of those people that can appreciate the finer points of Rohloff ownership - they just aren't worth 2.5 to 3 times an Alfine 11 or 5 times an Alfine 8 for most applications.
    Safe riding,

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    I have an unsubstantiated guess that America is a rather small market for Rohloff. Americans tend to be short sighted. They're generally out for themselves imo looking for the most bang for the buck. I guess you could include some Canadians in there somewhere too. If we don't support niche companies that deserve to be supported they will disappear. If Rohloff stopped making the speed hub for whatever reason where will you get parts if ever needed ? Maybe Shimano will help out.

    Someday if we're not careful we'll only have Walmart, Shimano and other mega giants. In the end we all make our own decisions which are largely based on our opinions.

    Thanks for your opinion...

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    I have an unsubstantiated guess that America is a rather small market for Rohloff. Americans tend to be short sighted. They're generally out for themselves imo looking for the most bang for the buck. I guess you could include some Canadians in there somewhere too. If we don't support niche companies that deserve to be supported they will disappear. If Rohloff stopped making the speed hub for whatever reason where will you get parts if ever needed ? Maybe Shimano will help out.

    Someday if we're not careful we'll only have Walmart, Shimano and other mega giants. In the end we all make our own decisions which are largely based on our opinions.

    Thanks for your opinion...
    Shimano sells the Alfine in Europe and Asia and the enthusiasm from riders over there mirrors what's happening in North America as far as I can tell from my friends around the world. Shimano certainly has the capability to design and manufacture an IGH as good as Rohloff.

    Personally I have bought 2 Rohloffs so I don't feel like I'm somehow not supporting them by buying a third or fourth. I'd love to, but I don't have enough of a bike budget to simply get everything I want. I mean it's a product with a service in excess of 100,000kms how many of them do I need? I also buy the Rohloff oil change kits at $30/per and Rohloff cable kits and spare parts [shifters, axle plates, tensioners, etc..]. As things go I think I'm a pretty loyal customer.

    If Rohloff goes out of business I'll buy up all the spares I can and I imagine there will be someone fixing them still out of their basement which will keep me running for a couple more decades.

    Don't take anything I'm posting as anti-Rohloff. I think it's a great product and great company. I'm just calling the situation how I see it. I agree that it would be a shame to see Rohloff go out of business.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    I have an unsubstantiated guess that America is a rather small market for Rohloff. Americans tend to be short sighted. They're generally out for themselves imo looking for the most bang for the buck. I guess you could include some Canadians in there somewhere too. If we don't support niche companies that deserve to be supported they will disappear. If Rohloff stopped making the speed hub for whatever reason where will you get parts if ever needed ? Maybe Shimano will help out.

    Someday if we're not careful we'll only have Walmart, Shimano and other mega giants. In the end we all make our own decisions which are largely based on our opinions.

    Thanks for your opinion...
    I'm with you on the negative impact of our basic human desire to get more for less, but there's no need trash America. Selfishness and greed aren't uniquely American traits. We are just more innovative about it. You can read more about that here.

    Amazon.com: Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture (9781594202155): Ellen Ruppel Shell: Books

    I appreciate Rohloff's old world craftsmanship, but it's their market to lose. They are still ahead of the game. They've got the best product. They've been doing it much longer. They don't have to reinvent the IGH. They just need to figure out how to succeed in an ever changing world.

    I think the problem with Rohloff is the same as with the rest of us. They want to get more for less. They don't want to reinvest and innovate. They want to ride their 25 year old design into the dirt.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    ...

    I think the problem with Rohloff is the same as with the rest of us. They want to get more for less. They don't want to reinvest and innovate. They want to ride their 25 year old design into the dirt.
    "Into the dirt"? I want to ride their product IN the dirt. And I am.

    Great product, though costly and it requires some tinkering (and most bike mechanics are utterly unfamiliar with Rohloffs).

    Like many others, especially in this thread, I'd be very interested a newer, lighter version of the Speedhub. Doesn't seem that it will happen right away, that's for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkehler View Post
    Like many others, especially in this thread, I'd be very interested a newer, lighter version of the Speedhub. Doesn't seem that it will happen right away, that's for sure.
    I think that the issues behind canceling the lighter version relate to the twin facts that one of the Rohloff's major selling points is the proven track record of millions of reliable miles under all sorts of conditions, something a redesign would set back to zero. Combine
    this with the fact that pretty much everything one normally would do to reduce weight also has the potential to reduce reliability- things like making things thinner or using advanced materials whose long term durability is not well understood, canceling the upgrade does make sense. Especially given that the sorts of gains that were being talked about were incremental at best.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by edsterra View Post
    I think that the issues behind canceling the lighter version relate to the twin facts that one of the Rohloff's major selling points is the proven track record of millions of reliable miles under all sorts of conditions, something a redesign would set back to zero. Combine
    this with the fact that pretty much everything one normally would do to reduce weight also has the potential to reduce reliability- things like making things thinner or using advanced materials whose long term durability is not well understood, canceling the upgrade does make sense. Especially given that the sorts of gains that were being talked about were incremental at best.
    +100...with Shimano closing the gap on gear range Rohloff's major selling point now is reliability/long service life. If they put a new hub out there and it had any problems their reputation would be screwed.

    The problem is with the new oil bath design there is no reason an Alfine 11 won't last as long as most people need if they take care of it. Once the Alfine 11 has been around as long as the 8 and people have a lot of confidence in it the Rohloff advantage will only be in place for the really hardcore users like expedition tourists and they don't make up that much of the bicycle market.
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    The problem is with the new oil bath design there is no reason an Alfine 11 won't last as long as most people need if they take care of it. Once the Alfine 11 has been around as long as the 8 and people have a lot of confidence in it the Rohloff advantage will only be in place for the really hardcore users like expedition tourists and they don't make up that much of the bicycle market.
    Reading threads about failing Alfine 11 in this forum , I can't see this happening anytime soon. For a bike that will never see any mud or snow , I am sure it will be a fantastic product.

    I bought my Rohloff 8 years ago on my MTB , and it has seen lots of mud/dust/snow while I pass through 3 Shimano IGH on my commuter. (wich has never saw any mud)


    The 11 are half the price of Rohloff , are they half as good or less?
    If an Alfine 11 lasts 3-4 years in extreme MTB condition , wouldn't it be a better move to get a Rohloff in the first place and have it for 10+ years?

    People are not used to buy stuff that lasts

    Programed obsolescence
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    This is a good thread. There are a lot of intellects here myself not included. I agree with bedc until you said Rohloff is riding the design into the dirt. Man you missed the boat on that one. Time tested proven designs are what we want and need. Not new and improved at every turn.

    I don't have the slights clue why Rohloff didn't go forward with the light version but my opinion is they couldn't shave enough weight and still have a uber robust product. What have we all become ? Weight weenies ? You can't have it all man. Make your choice. Long term durability or weight weeny stuff that will probably fail sooner than later.

    Like fokof said people are not used to buying stuff that lasts .....anymore. We have been programed to accept obsolescence but don't you know we don't need the latest and greatest. What we need is time tested stuff that will last and last just like our forbearers had. I see Rohloff as clinging to the old ways, and I thank them for having the courage not to cave in.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    This is a good thread. There are a lot of intellects here myself not included. I agree with bsdc until you said Rohloff is riding the design into the dirt. Man you missed the boat on that one. Time tested proven designs are what we want and need. Not new and improved at every turn.
    My comment about Rohloff riding their design into the dirt may not be the best phrase. I didn't mean it so negatively. I've owned a number of businesses for 20+ years. I've gone through lots of different approaches. At times I've been innovative and did a lot to reinvest to grow or maintain the viablility of my business. Other times I've sat on my heels and let the business coast on it's prior success. This usually causes a slow decline. Because of that, I'm in the process of closing one of my businesses down.

    Running a business is like riding a bike. You are either pedalling softly to maintain your speed, pedalling hard to gain speed or your not pedalling and you are slowly coming to a stop. Rohloff has a lot of momentum to coast on, but if they don't start pedalling, they're going to coast to a stop. I'm not saying that's good or bad. That's just the way it is.
    Last edited by bsdc; 02-14-2012 at 02:07 PM.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    Reading threads about failing Alfine 11 in this forum , I can't see this happening anytime soon. For a bike that will never see any mud or snow , I am sure it will be a fantastic product.

    I bought my Rohloff 8 years ago on my MTB , and it has seen lots of mud/dust/snow while I pass through 3 Shimano IGH on my commuter. (wich has never saw any mud)


    The 11 are half the price of Rohloff , are they half as good or less?
    If an Alfine 11 lasts 3-4 years in extreme MTB condition , wouldn't it be a better move to get a Rohloff in the first place and have it for 10+ years?

    People are not used to buy stuff that lasts

    Programed obsolescence
    Nobody knows how long an Alfine 11 will last with regular oil changes it's too new. I put one in a MTB and I ride all year long in the rain forest so I'm interested to find out.

    My Alfine 8 with no maintenance is on year 4yr of MTB/snow/saltwater/sand use and going strong. If I was motivated to clean and lubricate it I could get it to last 8yrs+ no problem.

    My oldest Rohloff is ~5yrs old and is leaking enough oil it needs its seals replaced [my friend is in the same boat]. With no local repair facility we have to ship them to the US or figure out how to tear down the hub ourselves.

    There is no perfect product. Rohloff is not without it's problems and I wouldn't agree that Shimano hubs are throw away unless you don't maintain them...if that's the case everything is disposable.
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    Interesting approach angles here, some I really hadn't considered.

    Rohloff - core product superb but development has been lacking and I don't mean the fabled lighter hub. But shifter options, standardise shells to accept 6 bolt rotors, 36h shell, offer a choice of axle plates rather than OEM1 as standard and OEM2 aftermarket. Just the little bits that they can't have been unaware of due to the amount of people developing aftermarket products to fill the gaps.

    Alfine - I'd trust an 8 speed but not yet the 11 speed, after waiting for it and then seeing some early reports I decided on the rohloff. But that's mainly based on reliability and the ability to use QR.

    Weightwise there's nothing between Alfine 11 and Rohloff, if anything the rohloff is still lighter. At least according to every aftermarket weigh in I've seen.

    Gearing - if you have the A11 and rohloff with the same top gear inches then the rohloff gears 3 followed by 5-14 are almost identical to the 11 of the Alfine. So the rohloff is only really giving you the additional gears 1, 2 and 4. For comparative purposes we can pretty much ignore gear 4 so your gain is 2 lower gears.

    I'm just not sure there's any incentive for Shimano to take on rohloff as building something to last like that doesn't tend to be the modern way. Something that's attractive about things like the rohloff hub is the feeling of long term. You don't feel like you are about to be obsoleted by incremental 'improvements'.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    This is a good thread. There are a lot of intellects here myself not included. I agree with bedc until you said Rohloff is riding the design into the dirt. Man you missed the boat on that one. Time tested proven designs are what we want and need. Not new and improved at every turn.

    I don't have the slights clue why Rohloff didn't go forward with the light version but my opinion is they couldn't shave enough weight and still have a uber robust product. What have we all become ? Weight weenies ? You can't have it all man. Make your choice. Long term durability or weight weeny stuff that will probably fail sooner than later.

    Like fokof said people are not used to buying stuff that lasts .....anymore. We have been programed to accept obsolescence but don't you know we don't need the latest and greatest. What we need is time tested stuff that will last and last just like our forbearers had. I see Rohloff as clinging to the old ways, and I thank them for having the courage not to cave in.
    I agree ...understanding the way Germans make things and the way their products work, like their cars, everything they do is for a reason, and usually a good one. That doesn't mean that everyone is going to like it, just that they make a product that works incredibly well for what it was intended. The feeling I get form my rohloff, and all the literature that comes with it is that absolutely everything has been considered, and well considered. A lot of the changes people ask for are not necessarly compatible with what makes Rohloff robust and functional. Old technology? Sure, I suppose some of it is, but so what? I bet you find the same technology at use today in other cutting edge gear. So often, what is old, is new again.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by finch2 View Post
    I agree ...understanding the way Germans make things and the way their products work, like their cars, everything they do is for a reason, and usually a good one. That doesn't mean that everyone is going to like it, just that they make a product that works incredibly well for what it was intended. The feeling I get form my rohloff, and all the literature that comes with it is that absolutely everything has been considered, and well considered. A lot of the changes people ask for are not necessarly compatible with what makes Rohloff robust and functional. Old technology? Sure, I suppose some of it is, but so what? I bet you find the same technology at use today in other cutting edge gear. So often, what is old, is new again.
    No one is suggesting they stop making the current Speedhub. I understand German engineering but why stop engineering? No one is suggesting they make cheap plastic crap. Some of us are just saying a slightly lighter, slightly cheaper hub, with a little less gear range, that will only last a few decades, might be a good addition to the market.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    Some of us are just saying a slightly cheaper hub, with a little less gear range, that will only last a few years, might be a good addition to the market.
    With the correction I made , a Shimano IGH fits the description !
    IMHO "cheap" and "lasts decades" in the same sentence is an Utopia.





    And BTW , I'm am not bashing Shimano , I've used theirs since they were introduced , it just happened that they didn't last as long as my Rohloff is. I bike a lot and hard.
    Last edited by fokof; 02-15-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    With the correction I made , a Shimano IGH fits the description !
    IMHO "cheap" and "lasts decades" in the same sentence is an Utopia.

    And BTW , I'm am not bashing Shimano , I've used theirs since they were introduced , it just happened that I didn't have much luck with those. I bike a lot and hard.
    Why do you think an Alfine 11 will only last a few years? The new oil bath design makes maintaining the hub much easier than previous versions of their IGHs. Folks are still riding older British IGHs decades after they were put into service.

    Even the Alfine 8 can last a long time if you choose to clean and lubricate it. That process is just harder than for an oil bath IGH.

    There are definitely some applications and some riders that suit a Rohloff, but for many people it would be completely unnecessary. I doubt my GF will wear out the Nexus 8 IGH in her daily commuter despite our PNW climate if I take the trouble to clean and lubricate it annually. Does it make any sense for her to spend 4 or 5 times as much for a Rohloff?

    Of the folks that I know who are putting mega miles on a Rohloff IGH they are having them stripped down and serviced regularly to keep them functioning properly.

    From what I've seen of Shimano Nexus/Alfine 8 IGH users most treat the hubs as sealed units they don't open and ride until they fail. That's an operator choice. If you did the same thing to a Rohloff it would fail on you as well.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post

    There is no perfect product. Rohloff is not without it's problems and I wouldn't agree that Shimano hubs are throw away unless you don't maintain them...if that's the case everything is disposable.
    One of the advantages of the Rohloff is that they are designed to be repaired/taken appart.
    If you ever had taken appart a Shimano hub , you know what I mean.

    I was not able to repair and get parts for my last Shimano while I could easily change the bearings/ paper gaskets and Bearings on my Speedhub.

    I consider myself a good mechanic , worked in shops , mount all my wheels , etc...
    In general , all Shimano products are not designed to be repaired , they are designed to work well and thrown at the garbage when broke.
    Shimano's shifters , deraillers, BB are all thrown away products.
    It's a fact.

    I'll repeat myself = Programed obsolescence

    When I bought my last Alfine , I bought it knowing very well that I'll have to replace it in 3-4 years , same thing when I bought my last printer.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  85. #85
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    You need to match the service life of a product you are considering [along with other parameters] with your needs.

    For sure there are some folks that need a Rohloff, but if an Alfine 11 meets your needs and will last a decade+ for you it may be the right answer.

    I kept my last pick up truck ~15yrs. By the time I got rid of it I was not unhappy to get a new one that was modernized and took advantage of advances since my old truck was built. My old truck still runs [I gave it to a friend] and I could have kept it running for another 10yr if I really wanted, but at some point it makes sense to move on.

    BTW - I realize I can repair my Rohloffs, but given the ease of doing so [I have to ship to a service center] there is a practical limit to how repairable they are for me in practice if I am paying $100+ each time in shipping.
    Safe riding,

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  86. #86
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    The alfine isn't that difficult to maintain.

    Bicycle repair. Shimano Alfine oil bath lube job.. - YouTube

    No special tools are needed, but a bench vise is handy to have.

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    I really don't have a horse in this race. Yes I do have a Rohloff on my Pugsley, but biking/cycling isn't a way of life that defines me. I have one bike and one Rohloff. I don't need anything more. I don't want anything more. I know some of you do.

    With all due respect to some here it sound like they're on a mission to convince others that they're correct and in most ways I think they are, but maybe they're just trying to convince themselves. Again I emphasize that most of us don't need a Rohloff. It's a matter of want. I want a Rohoff. I don't want a A8 or A11. Just don't want it. Maybe if I had a bunch of bikes I'd try other hubs because who's rich around here.

    I think people who service their speed hub on a regular basic are smart.I don't see the need for a strip down, just change the oil annually and a seal replacement every blue moon. Things that last need regular maintenance. No secret there. I can see where people with A8 or 11's might not service them as much if any because they perceived them as having a less finite life. At least that's my opinion.

    So carry on gentleman. I'm enjoying the stimulation

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    No one is suggesting they stop making the current Speedhub. I understand German engineering but why stop engineering? No one is suggesting they make cheap plastic crap. Some of us are just saying a slightly lighter, slightly cheaper hub, with a little less gear range, that will only last a few decades, might be a good addition to the market.
    Yes I can see no one is suggesting that...that would be silly. I'm not saying there is nothing that can be done. I lke that they came out with a lighter shifter, probably after others started doing it. I beleive they improved their seals, and then got better at making sprockets etc etc. The core design however I think is more difficult to improve on. There would have to be a leap in design or materials as big as the original concept to have a real impact IMO. Shimano's best offering is heavier with less gearing with less low end and less robust. The best thing about it is less cost which is not really about innovation, just accessability. I agree with oyu though, if possible to make a significantly lighter hub at the expense of a few gears, while maintaining the low gears, I would definitely be keen.

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