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  1. #1
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    Rohloff and Ellsworth Truth...

    Hi folks, as I wear out another expensive drive train I'm considering switching over to a Rohloff... I've ridden one, studied their construction, already ride with grip shift etc... it seems that since I will need to use a chain tensioner (suggestions?) that my current vertical dropouts will suffice. Am I missing something? Does anyone ride an Ellsworth Truth ('10) with this combo? (a picture would be great!) Also cable routing, is there a trick way of running the cable? I have integrated cable supports for the disk brake running down the left seat stay but not on the left chain stay. Sorry for so many newbie questions, I'll pay the favor back by answering some questions on forums where I have experience, Cheers.

  2. #2
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    I don't ride suspension so I don't know how that would impact on cable routing and tensioning.

    For tension I use a Mini EBB but I would guess you would need a tensioner to cope with the suspension anyway. I've read good things on the Rohloff one but don't know whether you'd be best with the regular or the downhill version.

    You need to counteract the torque of the hub and, unless you have rohloff specific dropouts, you'll need the tension arm, the rohloff speedbone or the monkeybone. The latter two both work by torquing via the disc tab and require you to purchase the OEM2 axle plate and replace the original axle plate, it's an easy job. I looked at both and found the Monekybone to be the neatest of the solutions.

    Cable routing - you can get rohloff cable clips, which are zip tie style, reusable and also open and close to release cables. I have two of these on my chainstay but they weren't long enough to go round my DT so I used stick on cable guides(M-Part ones I think). Which secure the cable via little cable ties. Cables can be routed via chainstay or seastay using the same method, though possibly more room on chunkier chainstays. The orientation of the cables is dictated by the way you install the axle plate and the external mech box. I run my brake cable TT and seatstay and the rohloff DT and chainstay.

    The new lighter shifter is far easier to setup than the original one, you just slot the cables in now rather than having to disassemble bits and reassemble.

    Length of cable may be impacted by suspension so probably best to check how anyone with suspension has done this bit.

  3. #3
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    I can only comment on chain tensioner recommendation:

    I've had good experience with a "Yess ETR-V". Here's a review and here's a pic of it installed on a bike I assembled for a friend.

    It's a bit different than other offerings in that it has one wheel that is fixed, and another that is sprung, versus just fixed or sprung. I like the sprung aspect because it handles chainrings that are slightly out of round, to the point of it being useful on a rigid frame.

    I'd recommend it over a Surly Singleator - and I do like the Singleator!
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  4. #4
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    Hey thanks MacB, that's good heads up on the tension arm, I wasn't aware of that and will look into the choices you suggest. Is it like an old coaster brake arm? (I'm sure I can find pictures...), also the rohloff cable clips sound perfect, I'll be able to cleanly and securely rout cables with those... and DD the chain tensioner Yess looks great, love the ability to adjust the spring tension - simple and clean... thanks for the link. I'm looking forward to converting my bike, a fun project with lots of technical choices... appreciate the advice!

  5. #5
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    this piccie is the only one I have so far of that side, I will be taking some close ups:-


    Burls 29er 6 by MacBludgeon, on Flickr

    The two little black bands on the chainstay are the rohloff cable clips. The rear brake is an Avid BB7 MTB with a 160mm rotor, I replaced the Avid brake adaptor with the Monkeybone from here:-

    Monkey Bone Post-Mount Brake Adapter for Rohloff SPEEDHUB - Cycle Monkey

    which means I didn't need the long torque arm along the chainstay. This is my first Rohloff and, due to the cost, I wasn't taking any chances so paid a rohloff specialist MTB shop near me to walk me through the setup. I had downloaded and read all the rohloff PDFs etc but there's nothing like hands on info/training. I wouldn't hesitate to do another myself, especially as some of the most hideously complicated seeming stuff in the downloads didn't apply to the disc brake, external mech version with the new shifter.

    It's a lovely ride but I am used to hub gears and twist shifters, so I had no learning curve there.

  6. #6
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    Nice looking ride! Thanks for sharing... I wish I had a local bike shop here who didn't look all screwy when I mention Rohloff, that being said this info helps I checked out the monkey bone adapter, looks nice and integrated. Thanks for the link. If you don't mind me asking what chain are you running, track/bmx specific? It seems there must be a durability increase going with a chain that doesn't need to flex laterally. Cheers.

  7. #7
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    Just a bog standard SRAM 8 speed chain, towards the cheaper end of the spectrum and 3/32. I've yet to be convinced of the benefits of going to specialist chains or a 1/8 size. The Rohloff cog is a meaty beast and reversible, so I matched up at the front as well. I bought a new Deore H2 crankset, it has to be H2 to work with the mini EBB. But I shared it with another guy who needed new chainrings and BB, so I kept the cranks and he got the rest. I then bought a bashguard and steel reversible 38t chainring from SJS Cycles(Thorn).

    I have a stock of chains from when I started out and believing I needed to change regularly based on wear. I've since discovered that I'm happy to wear a chain to death and hub gears will carry on with chains that are officially way past the point of still being useable. On my I-9 hub I changed the first chain after 3k miles and put a new chainring on at same time. The cog was still fine and it was just a standard derailleur chainring I'd been using. If I'd changed chains per wear indicators then I would have spent 4 times as much.

    I'll be amazed, regardless of conditions, if I don't get at least 2k miles out of chain, chainring and cog on the rohloff. My amateur calcs reckon I should see 10k for ring and cog and use 3 chains in that period, so about $15 per thousand miles. I'm a big guy(240lbs) and do mash it a fair bit, so it's not like my drivetrains haven't been put to the test.

  8. #8
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    Here you go its some Photo's of my old bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rohloff and Ellsworth Truth...-czech-rep.-2007-083.jpg  

    Rohloff and Ellsworth Truth...-czech-rep.-2007-086.jpg  

    Rohloff and Ellsworth Truth...-czech-rep.-2007-085.jpg  


  9. #9
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    Thanks MacB, interesting regarding your experience with drivetrains, I've kind of followed in similar footsteps and usually get 3k+/- out of my 9 speed drivetrain, not measuring and replacing chain according to indicator. It sure sounds like you're getting good life out of a regular 8 speed chain... It was years ago but it seemed like my old 6 speed never wore out (most of the wear issues started for me with the 9 speed). When I get this all set up I will probably try a specialist chain just for comparison. Now I'm running a FSA hollow tech carbon crank, I was going to see if I can just replace the drive arm with the single speed/bmx version they have (not going to be running a bash ring) allowing me to keep the same bb and non drive arm... (knowing I will probably have to shim for front to rear ring/cog alignment). I'll check into the rings you ride. And NZP thanks for the helpful photos of your cable routing. I know the stickers say Merlin, but isn't that a Ti Ellsworth? Nice looking ride! What do you think about bringing the cables down the down tube, coming under the chain stay? More direct, less bends (I know the top tube has cable clips). Very helpful and thanks for the suggestions all!

  10. #10
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    if you're in the US then I would have thought something like the chainrings Surly do would fit the bill. To be honest the steel ring I bought was about $50-$55 and I can pick up a regular chainring for about $10. The tougher chainrings make sense if you're mashing it in SS mode, but if you're using hub gears the mashing should be significantly reduced. I splashed out a bit as it was a new build and, on top of the Rohloff price, the chainring seems like loose change. But when it comes to replace time it may well be cheapo chain and chainring for $20.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-bob View Post
    Thanks MacB, interesting regarding your experience with drivetrains, I've kind of followed in similar footsteps and usually get 3k+/- out of my 9 speed drivetrain, not measuring and replacing chain according to indicator. It sure sounds like you're getting good life out of a regular 8 speed chain... It was years ago but it seemed like my old 6 speed never wore out (most of the wear issues started for me with the 9 speed). When I get this all set up I will probably try a specialist chain just for comparison. Now I'm running a FSA hollow tech carbon crank, I was going to see if I can just replace the drive arm with the single speed/bmx version they have (not going to be running a bash ring) allowing me to keep the same bb and non drive arm... (knowing I will probably have to shim for front to rear ring/cog alignment). I'll check into the rings you ride. And NZP thanks for the helpful photos of your cable routing. I know the stickers say Merlin, but isn't that a Ti Ellsworth? Nice looking ride! What do you think about bringing the cables down the down tube, coming under the chain stay? More direct, less bends (I know the top tube has cable clips). Very helpful and thanks for the suggestions all!
    Yes Ellsworth and the Merlin are almost the same bike! Runing cables down the downtube and under the BB etc would be better! and I did look at runing them that way But Merlin's (and Ellsworth Ti) were made by Litespeed! the Ellsworth rear end was offset because of the Ti frame poorly build! the bike was ok but its one of the Good to have sold and not see again if only it had been build well??
    All the best.

  12. #12
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    Running the cables up and over is a lot smoother and keeps the box out of the muck. I've tried both ways and the box on the top is the way to go IMO. Here's the setup on my Sultan...which unfortunately has a post mount so I could not use a Monkeybone or speedbone so I had to fab an OEM2 plate to fit into the dropout as I did not want to run a torque arm. A 1/8" chain will not work with most chain tensioners, and even a 3/32" SS is on the wide side for the Rohloff tensioner, I use a Wippermann 808 8 spd chain and it works fine. Also I've tried the YESS tensioner as well as the stock Rohloff tensioner, again IMO, the stock tensioner is easier to mount and adjust and is a better option. Last note, this shifter is ace as well on bars like Jones H bars where it can become part of the grip as opposed to being a big lump on the bars:
    New Rohloff shifter on Jones Bars
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rohloff and Ellsworth Truth...-turner3.jpg  

    Rohloff and Ellsworth Truth...-turner4.jpg  

    Rohloff and Ellsworth Truth...-turner1.jpg  


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