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  1. #1
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    Rohloff chain tensioner vs philcentric BB

    I'm building a new fatbike and wanted to keep my Rohloff hub. To avoid using a chain tensioner I have slot dropouts and tug nuts but this makes getting the rear wheel out a bit of a pain. My new bike will have vertical drop outs and I was going to use a Philcentric BB to take up the chain tension but have heard a few horror stories of fitting them with a 100mmBB.
    Is there any real disadvantage to a Rohloff chain tensioner? how well do they cope with mud and sludge? Am I trying too hard to avoid one when there's no real problem with them ?
    Advice appreciated

  2. #2
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    I've got a bunch of IGH setups including an Alfine 8 Surly Pugsley.



    Here are some general thoughts:

    - the Rohloff dual pulley tensioner is much more robust than a derailleur
    - since the tensioner only has to provide tension on the chain vs. move the chain on a cassette mud will have much less effect on it
    - you can still rip a Rohloff tensioner off your bike so it's more vulnerable than a bike with direct chainline
    - I've used a Rohloff IGH with Rohloff tensioner on my cargo/touring bike for several years with no issues
    - I haven't used a Phill EBB, but from my browsing of their site it states they have a limited adjustment range



    For a fatbike that gets used hard and sees lots of varied terrain & vegetation I'd probably try the Phil EBB out accepting the possibility it may not be satisfactory then go to the Rohloff tensioner as a 2nd option. Not having to worry about having a low hanging component that can be ripped off makes life so much easier and I can abuse my fatbike with glee!

    I really do prefer the clean chainline benefits for a fatbike hence mine has horizontal dropouts and an IGH. I looked at a new fatbike frame this year, but it only came with vertical dropouts and I didn't want to mess with the Phil EBB so I am waiting until next year when they'll have a sliding dropout 135mm wide offset frame option.

    If you do end up with the Rohloff tensioner it's a pretty nice unit.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advice.
    I was going to go for the 907 with slot dropouts (which are available this fall BTW) but wanted to get away from the fiddly rear wheel removal that the slots and rohloff bring to the table.
    I agree that you cant beat a nice clean chainline and that the less dangling from the bike to be knocked or gather dirt the better. The big worry that I have with the philcentric BB is that you can't adjust the chain tension on the fly (do you ever really need to?) and that it's held in place with loctite which if it decided to fail in the middle of nowhere gives you a problem.
    If I knew someone who could say that they've ran a philcentric BB for months and hammered it through everything and it's fine that would make my choice much easier but very few people have them and I've never heard that.
    I might take your advice and give them both a chance, it's the only real way of knowing

  4. #4
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    I hear you about the Phil EBB - doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy. The Rohloff tensioner works fine and baring ripping it off it won't be affected much my dirt or mud.

    BTW - on a trip to Baja my friend didn't listen to me about sticking to the main part of the trail to avoid thorn punctures! We fixed 10 rear wheel flats on his Alfine Pugsley. The horizontal dropouts and bolt on hub were no issue for wheel removal. If you get the wheel off vertical dropouts in 10 seconds it might take you 20 seconds on the horizontal dropouts. It doesn't add appreciable time to fixing a flat or packing the bike. Reinstalling the wheel is fast as well.

    I'm building up a 29er MTB with Alfine 11 as we speak. I had a few models to choose from including sliding vertical dropouts and horizontal dropouts. I ended up with a horizontal dropout frame since the Pugsley was so easy to work with.

    BTW2 - when I spoke to the folks at 907 this past fall they only had vertical dropout 135mm offset frames and said that they wouldn't have production sliding dropouts until next year. I wasn't offered any horizontal dropout option and I haven't seen a horizontal dropout 907 build online anywhere.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  5. #5
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    The 907 horizontal dropouts will be available fall 2012.
    I wonder if the alfine comes out easier than a rohloff. I find that you have to loosen the brake caliper to move the speedbone to allow you to get the wheel out which means having to line everything back up when putting the wheel back.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose2008 View Post
    The 907 horizontal dropouts will be available fall 2012.
    I wonder if the alfine comes out easier than a rohloff. I find that you have to loosen the brake caliper to move the speedbone to allow you to get the wheel out which means having to line everything back up when putting the wheel back.


    The Alfine doesn't have a Speedbone - it pulls straight out. I would recommend the Monkey Bone instead of the Speedbone. You shouldn't have to mess with the brake. Just rotate the OEM2 tab forward and pull the Rohloff out. I had that setup on a Surly 1x1 and was slick.

    Vik's Big Dummy: Monkey Bone
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  7. #7
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    So am I right in thinkng that with a monkey bone in my pugs I'll be able to just slide my rear wheel out without loosening the brake caliper or anything? If this is the case I don't need to change anything and I could wait until the horizontal dropout 907's come out, no chain tensioner or philcentric BB required, sorted.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose2008 View Post
    So am I right in thinkng that with a monkey bone in my pugs I'll be able to just slide my rear wheel out without loosening the brake caliper or anything? If this is the case I don't need to change anything and I could wait until the horizontal dropout 907's come out, no chain tensioner or philcentric BB required, sorted.
    Shouldn't be a problem.Your rear brake has limited stopping power so positioning the caliper for ease of rear wheel removal wouldn't compromise anything.

    Do you have a Pugsley at the moment? What frame are you riding?

    BTW - My understanding was that the 907's next fall would have sliding vertical dropouts rather than horizontal dropouts.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  9. #9
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    At the moment I ride a pugsly with rohloff hub.
    Sliding vertical dropouts would be awesome and probably address every issue.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose2008 View Post
    At the moment I ride a pugsly with rohloff hub.
    Sliding vertical dropouts would be awesome and probably address every issue.
    Given the cost of the Monkey Bone it seems well worth a try and if you are happy grabbing a 907 with sliding dropouts later this year seems like a killer option...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  11. #11
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    Monkey bone ordered, can only tidy things up if nothing else.
    907 with sliding dropouts this fall defo, orders being taken as of September, my name will be down.
    Glad you filled me in or I would have had a vertical dropout frame on the way.
    Cheers

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose2008 View Post
    Monkey bone ordered, can only tidy things up if nothing else.
    907 with sliding dropouts this fall defo, orders being taken as of September, my name will be down.
    Glad you filled me in or I would have had a vertical dropout frame on the way.
    Cheers
    No problemo... Let me know how the Monkey Bone works for you...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  13. #13
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    Don't know if this is a dumb question but do I still use my speed bone if I have a monkey bone?
    I have both at the moment and can't see how I'd get my rear wheel to slide out horizontally if I put the OEM2 upwards into the monkey bone and did away with the speed bone.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose2008 View Post
    Don't know if this is a dumb question but do I still use my speed bone if I have a monkey bone?
    I have both at the moment and can't see how I'd get my rear wheel to slide out horizontally if I put the OEM2 upwards into the monkey bone and did away with the speed bone.
    The Monkey Bone and OEM2 axle plate are all you need. On my Surlys with horizontal dropouts I just push the wheel forward slightly and rotate the OEM2 plate forward then I can pull the wheel out. On my Surly with vertical dropouts I just let the wheel drop down and the Monkey Bone will disengage without any attention.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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