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  1. #1
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    Rohloff hub friction/resistance

    Just a quick question for you Rohloff owners...

    I have a Rohloff Speedhub on my hardtail, and when I have the bike on the stand, and spin the rear wheel, I notice a bit of friction and/or resistance (whatever you wish to call it).

    That is, I get nothing like the reasonably smooth rear wheel rotation or spin that we are basically familiar with from standard hubbed bikes. Giving it a good spin, I get a couple of rotations and then the wheel slows, and comes to a stop (not a hard jerky stop but a half-rotation slowing and stop).

    Is this due to the contruction of the planetary gear system? Or is there perhaps something amiss with the way I've got my hub set up, which is pretty new? I don't know if this is normal for these hubs.

    Any thoughts would be welcome. Thanks

  2. #2
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    I have a sample size of 1, but what you describe is consistent with what mine does. It use to bother me that the wheel didn't spin as freely as a regular rear wheel, but in real world coasting and pedaling tests it rolls as well as my various riding partners' XTR/SRAM XX/Chris King equipped bikes. I expect that the lack of "spin" when on the bike stand is 90% planetary gear and 10% seals and bearings -- next time I blow up a rim on my Rohloff hub whee, I'm sending it away to get the bearings serviced.

    In short, my Rohloff hub performs poorly on the bike stand but very ably on the trail.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  3. #3
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    Sounds normal, they also feel a bit more sticky in cold weather.

  4. #4
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    You've got seals that keep the oil in - mostly. They cause some drag at low pedal inputs like when you spin the cranks by hand. That's normal and it doesn't have much of an effect at normal pedaling loads.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks very much for the posts.

    This is what I had hoped. It is a bit alarming to see this on the stand, but the stand isn't the real world, and in the real world I haven't noticed the friction once I'm up to speed.

    I DO enjoy the hub, though it's still under 500 km old. My rides are typically on gravel and dirt, and very frequently in the rain. Normal derailleur-ed bikes are an endless pain to fiddle with, what with the derailleurs and cables, chains, pulleys and sprockets being covered in mud, dirt, gravel, wet dust etc. every day. (And I take care of my stuff.) The Rohloff is not flawless but it is far less of a pain.

    Cheers!

    [PS -- one more thing ... cables.

    I notice some slackness in the cables. OR it could be the shifter. That is, when I shift, it is not the instantaneous shifting of SRAM, say. Rather, I get some play, some looseness in the shifter. Again, is that par for the course?]

  6. #6
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    I guess the shifter can feel a bit sloppy or as though there is some give in the system.
    I think this sensation is contributed by the shifter not having any indexing, so you feel the gear remotely locating at the shifter via the hub and cables.

    You can wind out any cable slackness with the adjusters on the external cable box, but I have found this makes the shifting feel "tight" and "draggy", I find the shifting feels better with the cables a bit "slack".

    You soon get used to it and also any percieved slop at the shifter is more than compensated for by the snappy changes at the hub.

  7. #7
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    Rohloff recomends setting the cables up a bit slack. I always tell people not to shift a Rohloff in the stand if they want a good first impression. My oldest hub has over 25,000 miles on it , it is SO much smoother than my newer one , and I have a third on the way.. I am not looking forward to breaking it in. I always tell people if they can find a used one, in the right configuration for your bike, to get it. Its one part that is better used. Like your favorite jeans.

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    They acknowledge that this is the case. They describe power losses as having two types, power independent and power dependent. The loss you are talking about is power independent, and they say that it is extremely few watts, but as you say, it will stop a freely spinning tire if the bike is on a rack.

    This is a very interesting read and gives the details:

    EFFICIENCY: www.rohloff.de

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    Thanx for that link , interesting !

    There is also this one :
    http://www.ihpva.org/HParchive/PDF/hp52-2001.pdf
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

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    I gave away about 10 to 13% longer times while climbing in gears 1-7 when I had my Rohloff hubbed wheel on my Bionicon climbing the steep mountain fireroads around So California. Had to sell it, didn't feel it was efficient at all. YMMV, it may be fine for commuting, but if you have to pedal to climb, it's not the best tool for the job of being KOM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    I gave away about 10 to 13% longer times while climbing in gears 1-7 when I had my Rohloff hubbed wheel on my Bionicon climbing the steep mountain fireroads around So California. Had to sell it, didn't feel it was efficient at all. YMMV, it may be fine for commuting, but if you have to pedal to climb, it's not the best tool for the job of being KOM.
    Your hub was broken. You bought it used & broken.

    My two Rohloffs and my friends' Rohloffs all climb great and don't have any crazy efficiency losses, but they aren't broken so that's not a shock I guess...

    If I bought a damaged XTR drivetrain that worked like crap and hated/dumped it for a lovely Rohloff then proceeded to SPAM every Rohloff thread with my complaints about how much XTR sucks - my feed back would every bit as useful as yours...
    Safe riding,

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    Had to sell it, didn't feel it was efficient at all.
    Hope you told whoever you sold it to it was broken (as you've repeatedly whined about on this board). I might be coming down on the "FanBoy" side of things when it comes to the Rohloff, but seven years or trouble-free and virtually maintenance-free operation will do that for a discerning cyclist. You on the other hand come across decidedly on the WhineyBoy side of things...

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    YMMV, it may be fine for commuting, but if you have to pedal to climb, it's not the best tool for the job of being KOM.
    The best tool for climbing would be (and always is) the lightest single speed you can put together -- hell, that's even true in the TDF (Hinault used one for that reason on a critical mountain stage back in the late 70's, early 80's). But my experience is that a Rohloff works well climbing and the only penalty over my otherwise identical SS is the weight it adds. And there is, of course, the advantage that you can pick exactly the right gear for the climb when Rohloff-equipped.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the good posts. I enjoyed reading Rohloff's evaluation of their hub's efficiency.

    I'm going to post my own results in a much longer review piece, but for now let me say this:

    I ride the same route almost every day: about 14 km, so 28 km in total, with about 2000 feet of climbing. As I ride this route a lot, and I keep track of my times (along with calories expended and heart rate figures) I can compare my various bikes. For the last couple of months I've been able to compare my Rohloff Speedhub equipped titanium hardtail with my SRAM X0 27 gear full suspension Santa Cruz.

    Now, this is not going to be an exact science. There are too many variables. Weather; the condition (sogginess) of the sandy/dirt/gravel; the amount of air I have in my tires; the amount of stuff I'm carrying on my back; the amount and kinds of clothes I'm wearing (rain gear slows me down), and so on -- ALL of these things play a part in determining my time.

    So far though, my rides on my full suspension conventionally geared bike are more comfortable and faster by about 5%. (By comfortable I mean comfy for my body and comfy for my heart rate: just this week, I did two rides on the Rohloff bike and two on the Santa Cruz. My ave. heart rate for the ride was 149 for the Rohloff bike and 139 for the full susp. bike, and yet my time was 2 min. faster on the full susp. bike. THAT'S what I mean by comfort and heart rate.)

    But ... the Rohloff bike is slightly less stressful. I don't think about shifting, I don't have to listen to the drive train make a racket, and I don't have to think about having my bike mechanic look at the bike every month, which normally is the case, unfortunately. Because I'm riding in rain and muck and soggy gravel in the late fall, winter and early spring, my conventional drive train is a major PITA: I'm constantly needing to clean the bike and tweak the derailleurs, particularly the rear derailleur. And my Rohloff is so new it's barely had 500 km.

    So it kind of balances out.

    Above all, the differences in comfort have something to do with the full suspension bike simply being better for this kind of ride: I am NOT bounced around like I am on the hardtail.

    More on this another time!

    Thanks to those who've posted.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkehler View Post
    Above all, the differences in comfort have something to do with the full suspension bike simply being better for this kind of ride: I am NOT bounced around like I am on the hardtail.
    That 5% speed difference is also partially due to hardtail vs. FS bike not simply Rohloff vs. derailleur. There is no way to separate those variables unless you could run the Rohloff on the FS bike and derailleurs on the hardtail.
    Safe riding,

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    That 5% speed difference is also partially due to hardtail vs. FS bike not simply Rohloff vs. derailleur. There is no way to separate those variables unless you could run the Rohloff on the FS bike and derailleurs on the hardtail.
    You are quite right. I also believe that the FS bike just fits me a bit better too. And the rear shock keeps my rear tire "tighter" on the trail, so even though the ti hardtail is a weight weenie-ish bike, and the FS bike weighs more, the FS bike is just a tad faster. For me.

    Later in the spring, I will put the Rohloff on the FS bike.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkehler View Post
    Later in the spring, I will put the Rohloff on the FS bike.
    Awesome... That will be very interesting...keep us posted how it goes...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Awesome... That will be very interesting...keep us posted how it goes...
    Vik: I have been meaning to write to you and say how much I have enjoyed the Lazy Randonneur for quite a while. Cheers!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Your hub was broken. You bought it used & broken.

    My two Rohloffs and my friends' Rohloffs all climb great and don't have any crazy efficiency losses, but they aren't broken so that's not a shock I guess...

    If I bought a damaged XTR drivetrain that worked like crap and hated/dumped it for a lovely Rohloff then proceeded to SPAM every Rohloff thread with my complaints about how much XTR sucks - my feed back would every bit as useful as yours...
    My hub was fine when I bought it, it was I that "broke" it. It worked just fine the first 300 miles, nothing "defective" about it. Miles 300 to 400 were another story. Rohloff had a known quality control issue with the flats on the axle that allow the shifting from 2005-2006 with the subcontractor they used for machining the axles. You have no idea what you are talking about in relation to my personal Rohloff hub, or the facts as it relates to my hub. I've never had a failure in 400 miles on any DT Swiss or Hadley hub, or SRAM x7-or x9 derailleur system on any mountain bike that I've owned, built, serviced and ridden myself.

    The Rohloff, on the other hand, was a nightmare. Those are the facts and circumstances in my situation, and I can't recommend Rohloff hubs for true mountain bike applications. Rohloffs are for fanbois. No one serious about riding or competing while riding or racing mountain bikes or efficiency uses them, they are that inferior, except in conditions that would destroy the drivetrain of any bike, ie heavy mud ruining the chain. They are dead slow in climbing, where gears 1-7 are required, on extended vertical climbs, 10 - 13% slower, in my experience. YMMV, I was quite fair in testing mine to make all my samples statistically valid in measuring the climbing times. Those are the facts, in my case.

    The Rohloff is a gearbox in an oil bath, much like what is in a car. Most gear boxes in a car lose at a minimum 15% if traverse mounted, 18-19% if longitudinally mounted. It is far from efficient, and it it heavy. Gear oil is a drag, more so, the colder it gets,with higher viscosity and no means of warming it up to lower the centistokes of the oil in the gearbox, unlike a car.
    Last edited by Boyonabyke; 02-29-2012 at 07:36 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    Those are the facts, in my case.
    A sample of 1 broken hub that behaves unlike anyone else's. Totally statistically valid...
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    A sample of 1 broken hub that behaves unlike anyone else's. Totally statistically valid...
    Your Google skills are limited, obviously. The folks in England at Thorn bikes, confirmed a 2 to 3% failure rate on the yeared hubs I mentioned, about 51XXX to 82XXX, they were just sending them back to Germany for new gearboxes. BrontoTX had the exact same problem.

    It's clear, though, when I do a search on Google, that you are a Rohloff fanboi. Any hub that leaks gear oil if you lay your bike down, is defective in design. Gear oil on a brake rotor is another beef of mine, sometimes bikes got laid down on shipping blankets if we did shuttles from cars trunks instead of trucks.

    You need to accept reality vikb, you just aren't gonna win on a Rohloff, ever.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post
    Your Google skills are limited, obviously. The folks in England at Thorn bikes, confirmed a 2 to 3% failure rate on the yeared hubs I mentioned,
    When you first started going nuts about the broken hub you bought used I was the one that pointed you to the Thorn info that 1% of new hubs needed adjustment....something covered for free under warranty if you buy a new hub.

    It's a bit sad you are now recycling the info I provided you [including my comment about Google] back to me...just exaggerating the facts to suit your agenda...as usual...

    I wouldn't recommend anyone buy a young Rohloff hub used for this reason. Either buy a new one or a hub with 5000 kms on it at which point this adjustment issue will have appeared and been fixed for free.

    What you can't accept is you bought a broken hub used and didn't get warranty support. That's why used bike parts are cheaper than new. They lack warranties and they are sometimes not fully functional. It sucks, but there is no free ride.
    Safe riding,

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    When you first started going nuts about the broken hub you bought used I was the one that pointed you to the Thorn info that 1% of new hubs needed adjustment....something covered for free under warranty if you buy a new hub.

    It's a bit sad you are now recycling the info I provided you [including my comment about Google] back to me...just exaggerating the facts to suit your agenda...as usual...

    I wouldn't recommend anyone buy a young Rohloff hub used for this reason. Either buy a new one or a hub with 5000 kms on it at which point this adjustment issue will have appeared and been fixed for free.

    What you can't accept is you bought a broken hub used and didn't get warranty support. That's why used bike parts are cheaper than new. They lack warranties and they are sometimes not fully functional. It sucks, but there is no free ride.
    Now vikb, don't take this out of context, but I found something of yours worth quoting.

    It's hardly a rant and seeing what failures are happening in the field is useful for everyone here who either owns a Jones or wants a Jones.

    Substitute" Rohloff" for "Jones". I am, in your own words, providing useful information for everyone. Don't be a hypocrite and say otherwise.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/so...ml#post9017611

  23. #23
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    Randy...you're still here slamming Rohloff after all these years Give it up man. You bought a use hub that was defective. Why to you think the seller sold it ? There will always be failures in things humans make. Your problem was you bought used hoping for the best and you lost. Don't tell us the hub was fine for 300 miles/kilometers or whatever then it failed. It hop doubt had a problem before you bought it but you just didn't know it.

    Your logic makes you seem like a nut case. You bought a use hub at your peril and it didn't work out. Just deal with it man. Quit slamming Rohloff. It does no good.No one is listening. As for your statement to Vic that he's just isn't gonna win on a Rohloff ever shows how completely out of touch you really are

  24. #24
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    Randy...you're still here slamming Rohloff after all these years Give it up man. You bought a use hub that was defective. Why to you think the seller sold it ? There will always be failures in things humans make. Your problem was you bought used hoping for the best and you lost. Don't tell us the hub was fine for 300 miles/kilometers or whatever then it failed. It no doubt had a problem before you bought it but you just didn't know it.

    Your logic makes you seem like a nut case. You bought a use hub at your peril and it didn't work out. Just deal with it man. Quit slamming Rohloff. It does no good.No one is listening. As for your statement to Vic that he's just isn't gonna win on a Rohloff ever shows how completely out of touch you really are

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by suba View Post
    Quit slamming Rohloff. It does no good.No one is listening. As for your statement to Vic that he's just isn't gonna win on a Rohloff ever shows how completely out of touch you really are
    Actually, I am listening and have been for some time. You and VikB and others won't win any converts by declaring parts defective you've never seen in order to suit your own agendas.

    Rohloff efficiency is boasted about and b*tched about plenty online. Randy is not alone.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj View Post
    You and VikB and others won't win any converts by declaring parts defective you've never seen in order to suit your own agendas.
    Actually, it's RandyBoy who declared it defective (we believe him!) and when he couldn't get it warranteed he got angry and set his own agenda -- trashing the product wherever and whenever.

    And when it comes to wether a Rohloff is race worthy, here's my data: I've managed to win a few local sport class races using it (and not won many more), gone under 9 hours at the Leadville 100 while in the worst physical condition I've been in for the past decade using it, and managed to stay on Tinker's wheel up the first climb at the Park City 100 using it (but it didn't help my lousy technical/descending skills so I never saw his rear wheel again). About my only strength when it comes to mtb or road racing is the fact that I can climb -- I'm not going to sabotage my best cycling attribute with a goofy equipment choice.

    I've had my Rohloff hub for 7 years and I got it at cost and could sell it today for more than I paid for it. So for me it's not some sort of "I spent big money for it so I have to like it" attitude -- I use it because it works and has advantages. It's got disadvantages too -- it's a bit heavier, not easily ported to any given frame, has some shifting idiosyncrasies, and some pedal feedback in certain gears. But in the end it still comes out a winner for me because of the reliability, minimal maintenance and real-world efficiency.

    And craigsj, I've appreciated your posts in the past (re: the reoccurring crank arm length threads) and have given you positive reps more than once, but I have to say that you're not the one to be giving advice about winning converts -- that's not proven to be a strength of yours even when you have the facts on your side.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    Actually, it's RandyBoy who declared it defective (we believe him!) and when he couldn't get it warranteed he got angry and set his own agenda -- trashing the product wherever and whenever.
    Actually, what he said was different and that difference is important. When online, the real challenge is determining who is honest and who is full of it. Distorting what other people say says a lot. It's what happens here all the time.

    I can make a convincing argument for why a Rohloff cannot be more efficient than a conventional drivetrain. That's not important to me since I have no skin in it, but knowing it does help me understand who I can't trust. What I'm more interested in learning is how much additional is lost and that's hard for me to tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    And craigsj, I've appreciated your posts in the past (re: the reoccurring crank arm length threads) and have given you positive reps more than once, but I have to say that you're not the one to be giving advice about winning converts -- that's not proven to be a strength of yours even when you have the facts on your side.
    It is a proven strength of mine, just not a proven goal of mine. Many people here cannot be converted; my input isn't intended to convince them of anything but to prevent others of being convinced by them.

    Nevertheless, PeT, I value the experience you express with your Rohloff and I thank you for the occasional upvote. I read most actively in the areas I am least familiar and IGH is one of those. IGH should be what the industry wants; I want to understand why that isn't so.

  28. #28
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    Last edited by vikb; 03-04-2012 at 10:54 PM.
    Safe riding,

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I've read Randyboy's rant so many times I pretty much have the facts memorized. If repeating pertinent facts a MTBR member posts is some how out of line I guess I don't see what the problem is.
    Since when is dismissing efficiency claims because of shift failures "repeating pertinent facts", vik?

    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    The specific facts that Randboy has presented demonstrate he had a defective hub and that he purchased it used. When he was denied warranty service he went on the warpath against Rohloff instead of taking responsibility for his actions.
    Again, vik, what specific facts lead you to conclude that RandyBoy's efficiency compaints were due to a failed hub? How about this one, vik?

    My hub was fine when I bought it, it was I that "broke" it. It worked just fine the first 300 miles, nothing "defective" about it.[/I] - RandyBoy, post #18

    As much as you, and others, accuse RandyBoy of a personal agenda, you demonstrate yours.

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    The longer the ride/race, the tougher the conditions, the more I value the Rohloff hub. But anything I've ever done pales in comparison to the feat pulled off by Mark Beaumont, a Scot who set the record for traveling around the world by bicycle a few years back. I bought his book about the event this past fall and have been working my way through it -- it's a bit dull, but captures the essence of the effort. And while I admit to skipping some sections and so I might have missed an earlier mention, it wasn't until well over half way through the book (and around the world) that he owned-up to having a Rohloff on his bike (he needed to rebuild his wheel because of rim failure in Adelaide). I guess it wasn't worthy of mention because it was never a problem...and apparently efficient enough to make it worth equipping his bike with and riding almost 100 miles a day for 194 days straight over hill and dale. Here's a YouTube piece about his ride:

    tv ads | I Am Everyone - Mark Beaumont documentary | Orange UK - YouTube

    Just think, poor, misinformed Mark Beaumont could have done that ride 3 weeks faster if he had used a more efficient derailleur system...(not!).
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    ...and apparently efficient enough to make it worth equipping his bike with...
    But that says nothing about efficiency.

    Of the Rohloff, Mark Beaumont said "It was incredibly low maintenance – I wouldn’t go back to a derailleur setup for long tours." Notice he said for long tours and for maintenance, not efficiency.

    Long distance cyclists don't choose parts based on efficiency. Touring tires, in particular, are quite slow rolling. Then there's the parasitic drag of his dynamo hub. The closer you look, the more absurd the suggestion that Mark Beaumont is a testament to Rohloff efficiency.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    Just think, poor, misinformed Mark Beaumont could have done that ride 3 weeks faster if he had used a more efficient derailleur system...(not!).
    You are sounding increasingly like a fanboy here. Perhaps you need to reevaluate your own perception of drivetrain efficiency. It is common for people to start out with the answer and then find facts that support that belief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj View Post
    You are sounding increasingly like a fanboy here. Perhaps you need to reevaluate your own perception of drivetrain efficiency. It is common for people to start out with the answer and then find facts that support that belief.
    1. I am a "fanboy", and I think I even admitted to that. But I will note again that I'm not wedded to the idea of an IGH based upon how much money I've put into it and no one I know cares that I use an IGH on my mtb so I get no charge out of being "special" or "trend-setting". I've examined my motives -- well before you suggested it -- and conclude I'm using the hub simply because in my hands it as efficient as derailleurs and has other advantages that outweigh the disadvantages. Maybe I got lucky and RandyBoy was unlucky -- but I'm also of the opinion that he earned/deserved his luck or lack thereof.
    2. I've done the experiment -- ridden tens of thousands of miles with derailleur equipped bikes and thousands of miles with an IGH (Rohloff, some old Sturmey Archer hubs too). I doubt there's anyone touting advantages of IGHs that hasn't also done the experiment for themselves -- and most acknowledge disadvantages as well. And I also note that most IGH users also still have derailleur-equipped bikes in their stable.
    3. Seriously, do you really believe that a 10 to 13% decrease in climbing times in lower gears (RandyBoy's "numbers" that you are apparently enamored of) wouldn't be noticed by..well, everyone who ever rode one? Particularly by someone like Beaumont (who wasn't touring but rather racing)? Try it yourself -- it should be immediately noticeable. I mean, that's a HUGE change. Maybe I wouldn't note 1 or 2%, but 10 to 13% -- not a chance.
    4. You ought to look into the rolling resistance of touring tires, some of them are the fastest rollers around. And that's documented in well controlled, published experiments -- unlike RandyBoy's reported efficiency experiments with a Rohloff.
    5. Why are you so ready to believe the anecdote of a documented (see his old posts) whiner who has an axe to grind? Perhaps you need to reevaluate your own perception of what constitutes reliable information. It is common for people to start out with the answer and then find facts that support that belief.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    I doubt there's anyone touting advantages of IGHs that hasn't also done the experiment for themselves...
    Haha, I'm sure. Everyone on your side of the argument is well informed and with ample direct experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    Seriously, do you really believe that a 10 to 13% decrease in climbing times in lower gears (RandyBoy's "numbers" that you are apparently enamored of) ...
    See, there's your irrational fanboyism again. I have never said I am enamored of RandyBoy's claims nor have I said I accept them as fact. I don't dismiss them either. Since I'm not on your side I must be the enemy, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    ...wouldn't be noticed by..well, everyone who ever rode one? Particularly by someone like Beaumont (who wasn't touring but rather racing)?
    That is a hard question to answer, but I believe that people are an incredibly poor judge of such things when they are predisposed to think differently, plus a 10% difference might be hard to tell depending on what it refers to. That's RandyBoy's thing, not mine.

    Racers in endurance activities choose parts that last the duration and do not fail. Again, you want to suggest that Beaumont chose his gearing for efficiency when that's absurd.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    4. You ought to look into the rolling resistance of touring tires, some of them are the fastest rollers around. And that's documented in well controlled, published experiments -- unlike RandyBoy's reported efficiency experiments with a Rohloff.
    I have. Show me this documentation you know exists. I'm very eager to see this.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    5. Why are you so ready to believe the anecdote of a documented (see his old posts) whiner who has an axe to grind?
    I am not nor have I said I am, but let me put it another way. Why should I believe the tag-tearm that jumps in to shout him down? Has any of his detractors made a more convincing case? Why do they need to resort directly to character assassination? Why do you? Talking about axes to grind...

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    Perhaps you need to reevaluate your own perception of what constitutes reliable information. It is common for people to start out with the answer and then find facts that support that belief.
    I have found no new reliable in this thread, just the same information I've read before plus a few fanboy meltdowns. What's on display here is the belief that, in a discussion of Rohloff efficiency, the only people apparently allowed to voice an opinion are the ones who will say how good it is.

  34. #34
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    You can feel the the "grind" of the Rohloff in 3 or 4 gear. So these are less efficient.
    But the 10-11 others are fine.

    It's the same with derailleurs system , when you cross-chain , it it very un-efficient but you aren't there all day.


    http://www.ihpva.org/HParchive/PDF/hp52-2001.pdf
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    It's the same with derailleurs system , when you cross-chain , it it very un-efficient but you aren't there all day.
    In a derailleur system you never have to cross-chain. Derailleur systems have redundant gears, Rohloff doesn't. One of the flaws of the IHPVA paper is that it doesn't consider a derailleur system in how it is typically used nor does it weight the gears for percentage of usage. For example they note that the 12T is far less efficient than all others yet it counts equally despite being the least frequently used of the cogs in that configuration.

    That human power paper is often quoted as proof of Rohloff efficiency but it doesn't say what some people think it does. If you look at Figure 12 and pull off the Rohloff and 27 speed numbers, you get 88.5/90.7/91.5 for Rohloff and 91.4/93.3/93.9 for 27 speed at 75/150/200 watts. That means the Rohloff has 34%, 39%, and 39% more losses at those respective power levels! What's more is that the trend is bad, the Rohloff gets relatively worse as power levels increase and 200W isn't really the interesting case when you are climbing in MTB, high power levels in the low gears are. Rohloff is at its worst there.

    People see what they want to see, though. They see 2%, even though it's really 3%, and claim that the difference is negligible even though it's absolutely NOT negligible when efficiencies are over 90%. 3 in 10 is NOT negligible!

    A chain drivetrain has losses from three principle sources, power-side chain bending, return-side chain bending, and spinning/bearing/seal losses. Of these three, a Rohloff only has less of the second type because of the absence of the rear idler gears (which it will have anyway if a chain tensioner is needed). At high power levels, power-side chain bending dominates losses and Rohloff has just as much of this as a conventional drivetrain PLUS it has all it's internal losses. When you realize this, it becomes clear that the Rohloff can never be as efficient as derailleur drivetrain because it is a drag superset of the competition.

    djconnel has pretty detailed discussion of drivetrain efficiency on his blog. It starts here. Pretty technical but very good reading for those so inclined.

  36. #36
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    That human power paper is often quoted as proof of Rohloff efficiency but it doesn't say what some people think it does. If you look at Figure 12 and pull off the Rohloff and 27 speed numbers, you get 88.5/90.7/91.5 for Rohloff and 91.4/93.3/93.9 for 27 speed at 75/150/200 watts. That means the Rohloff has 34%, 39%, and 39% more losses at those respective power levels!
    I've been browsing the IHG forum for more info on Rohloffs and this thread is interesting.

    Craigsj's point above - I'm not dismissing your comment craigsj, I appreciate intelligent debunking of collective fan-facts online and like you I'm more interested in why IHGs are not the mainstream. I'm not great at maths and stats, but I read the 200W efficiency as 94 vs 91.5%, so I see a Rohloff losing 2-3% overall. I rode one a while back, I have no way of saying what loss I felt but it felt better than I expected, but not as direct as a derailleur. Maybe it lost a few %, not much, but I liked it more than I expected. You're looking at the % increase in loss from a perfect 100% which is a good way to present it, but I didn't feel anything like a 30% + increase in loss even though that's what it is, I just felt a bit of lag and drag compared to a clean chain derailleur. Normal gears vary by about 3% I think depending on cleanliness, chain angle etc too I thought?

    I'll look up the blog you link to, thanks.


    A bit of waffle about IGHs from my pov so far anyway - I have produced IGH bikes for a UK company before, one used an Alfine 8 to take Mark Beaumont's RTW record a while back (Vin Cox on a Genesis bike) and while I put together a few hub gear bikes there including (the first production?) Alfine 8 MTB, I'm still not a fan. Draggy, less direct engagement, weight, I want to like them but mostly I just don't.

    Well; not until recently. I'm more into long-distance riding now, bike-packing and the like. Derailleurs struggle after a few hundred off-road miles with nothing but a drip of oil. So when we talk about efficiency of a Rohloff, in my mind I'm thinking about how each system compares not new and clean, but after 20 or 30 hours of off-road use without maintenance. Last week I rode 20 hours in the mud and wet over 2 days and my gears (2x6 cut-cassette XT/XTR on a SS hub - great chainline, good range with no cog smaller than a 16T, so pretty mud-resistant for a std gear set up) were totalled. I broke a cassette cog towards the end - coincidence I think but all in all I limped home having only 3 or 4 of the 6 at the rear available and my shift onto the 22T at the front was 50/50 at best.

    At that point, any ideas of smooth efficiency of derailleurs is gone and efficiency comparisons mean less. I know this is nothing new and a point made before, but for a bike I'm prepping for a long off-road tour the as-new efficiency figures mean less. I guess the same is said for Mark Beaumont or any other long-haul rider - you have to look at the average in-use efficiency, I think derailleurs would lose little actual drive efficiency when dirty, but that's providing they keep working and don't clog.

    Oddly this is the exact theoretical reason I jumped on the Alfine 8 to make a mud-proof MTB when I worked at that bike brand, but in reality it's taken me until now to be doing the kind of riding where I think rear mechs fail. I think the efficiency topic is only an issue for those wanting to use Rohloff in a situation where mechs perform better (a Rohloff TT bike on this forum, for example..!). There's a tipping point where a durable IGH wins over. Durability, there's the key point for me - provided the efficiency loss in clean conditions isn't excessive and the balance of clean to dirty use favours the IGH. More reading to do, but many touring riders can't be that wrong.

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    http://www.ihpva.org/HParchive/PDF/hp52-2001.pdf

    Apologies if posted before. This is via craigsj's link above. All tests done with clean, oiled transmissions. It appears to agree with the general opinion that Rohloff losses are about 3% of power in compared to std gears.

    Efficiency increases in almost all gear systems by 2.5-3% between 75 and 200W power, so the stronger the rider, the less the efficiency losses matter as part of the system - it's not a direct relationship.

    Also as suspected, the bigger the sprockets for a given ratio, the more efficient - this alone can make a few % difference.

    I hope I'm reading all that right?

  38. #38
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    I just got the Rohloff hub system on my new MTB in early May, and has done quite a bit of riding with it compared to my XTR triple system.

    Having read many of the complaints about Rohloff, I came away with concerns of gear noises, efficiency, weight centering on the rear, and overall weight of the system. So I had a hardtail built with routing for Rohloff as well as possibility of going back to traditional gears if needed.



    Over the past few months, I have to say that my concerns of gear noise, efficiency, and weight balance have been a non-issue. The noise is really not bad at all, and actually quite soothing at times. It does not feel rough with pedaling. The rolling of the bike does not seem to be effected, and pedaling is not hampered by the feeling of grinding resistance. The balance of the bike has not been bad, and I don't really have to think about it switching between my traditional gearing and Rohloff bike.

    The weight is something that I definitely do feel, especially on the climbs. The Rohloff system probably adds 4 lbs to the bike, which is not insignificant. The one thing that I do notice is that engagement of the hub upon pedaling is not as quick as my Chris Kings hub for the traditional gears, but this is just a noted effect, but does not actually cause performance issue for me.

    Overall, I would do it again since now I have a bike that I can ride through the mud during the wet seasons without worrying about chainsuck. For weight conscious racers, they might think twice about the weight on the climbs, but for recreational riders like me, Rohloff is great.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rohloff hub friction/resistance-65.jpg  


  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    And when it comes to wether a Rohloff is race worthy, here's my data:
    Ollie Whalley did the Tour Divide with a Rohloff. Hadn't really heard of them before. Must be stout.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    I expect that the lack of "spin" when on the bike stand is 90% planetary gear and 10% seals and bearings...
    A lot of folks think that when they're coasting on an IGH some or all the gears are spinning, but the freewheeling ratchet is actually on the output, between the gear train and the hub shell. Coasting with the cog still, the gears are still.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by sevencyclist View Post
    The Rohloff system probably adds 4 lbs to the bike, which is not insignificant.


    When I bought mine , I weighted the bike before and after and came up with 650g more ( 1 1/2 pound)
    The bike was a triple front , XT front and rear shifter , 9 speed 36 back and Cross max wheel.

    My Rohloff alone , with the 17 gear and the gear box weight 1800g ( 4 pounds) so I wonder how you could come up with 4 pounds more if you remove all those parts ?????
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post


    When I bought mine , I weighted the bike before and after and came up with 650g more ( 1 1/2 pound)
    The bike was a triple front , XT front and rear shifter , 9 speed 36 back and Cross max wheel.

    My Rohloff alone , with the 17 gear and the gear box weight 1800g ( 4 pounds) so I wonder how you could come up with 4 pounds more if you remove all those parts ?????
    I got you. I was quite surprised by the difference, wishing it was less. However, I was comparing to XTR 2x10, and I also added the weight of the slider plates to the Rohloff system comparing to a traditional dropout and hanger which would weigh a littlet less. My comparison hub was a Chris King Hub.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by jryter View Post
    Ollie Whalley did the Tour Divide with a Rohloff. Hadn't really heard of them before. Must be stout.
    Not only did he "do the Tour Divide with a Rohloff", it seems he crushed it. From twentynineinces.com:

    Ollie Whalley, a Kiwi who came up and conquered the Tour Divide in a new record time this year. 16 days, two hours and 46 minutes, to be exact, and remember- that’s 2745 miles folks. About 160 grueling miles per day. Ollie used a Ventana El Comandante 29″er with a Gates Carbon Drive driving a Rohloff gear hub to ride the event.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    Not only did he "do the Tour Divide with a Rohloff", it seems he crushed it.[/I]
    +1

    I have weird tastes in bike equipment (gear hub, fat tires year round). I'm riding a belt and it seems to turn over fine. I have other issues with it, but not about efficiency.

    I went through a period where i was getting smacked around on group rides, and I started to think, what if it is my equipment? Then winter happened and I went on a group ride with a bunch of other fat bikes - still got smacked. It was a vindicating ass kicking, and simply showed that I needed to ride more consistently. Fast forward to earlier this year, I had plenty of miles on me, and was putting a few guys through the ringer that I used to have trouble just keeping in sight.

    Those two experiences suggested to me that it's 90% rider. The equipment is just about convenience, about preference.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  45. #45
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    My speedhub has been the single best upgrade I've done to my bike.

    No problems with noise/efficiency/weight etc.

    People who raise those issues need to get a life.

    Those who bought a used speedhub and had problems just man up and admit you should have bought new. To continually bash Rohloff says more about you than it does them.

  46. #46
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    I think I accidentally discovered a way to smooth out your Rohloff. I procrastinated changing the oil for a couple of years. Went to drain the oil, not much came out, put in the cleaning oil, not much of that came back out, and then put in fresh oil. Voila! A notably smoother running Rohloff.

    It feels like there is much less internal friction. I'm mostly hearing/feeling grinding in my external drivetrain (cog, chain, chainring) ... which are probably due for replacment.

    I assume I ran the hub mostly dry, then filed down the hard meshing gears by grinding the dry gears together for a while and then oiled everything back up. I've always heard Rohloffs get better with age. I guess I just sped up the process a bit.

    I think my next step will be a second oil change sometime pretty soon, to clean up the internals a bit.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post


    When I bought mine , I weighted the bike before and after and came up with 650g more ( 1 1/2 pound)
    The bike was a triple front , XT front and rear shifter , 9 speed 36 back and Cross max wheel.

    My Rohloff alone , with the 17 gear and the gear box weight 1800g ( 4 pounds) so I wonder how you could come up with 4 pounds more if you remove all those parts ?????
    Yup my bike is only about 1.5lb heavier, with speed bone, external shifter box and tensioner compared to rolf wheels and xt/xtr.

    I love my Rohloff, had it for 6 years, yes it has quirks...but they are better than Derailure quirks
    What exactly is a rigid hard tail?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    Not only did he "do the Tour Divide with a Rohloff", it seems he crushed it. From twentynineinces.com:

    Ollie Whalley, a Kiwi who came up and conquered the Tour Divide in a new record time this year. 16 days, two hours and 46 minutes, to be exact, and remember- that’s 2745 miles folks. About 160 grueling miles per day. Ollie used a Ventana El Comandante 29″er with a Gates Carbon Drive driving a Rohloff gear hub to ride the event.
    Ollie rode with someone almost the whole race, until the last day or two... Plenty of people were griping about him drafting and taking turns leading with the guy that placed second, that it was not in the spirit of the Tour Divide to pair up.

    Secondly, Ollie's record got crushed by almost 7 hours, by a guy on a Moots geared conventional bike, named Jay Petervary, who individual time trialed it, without drafting anyone.
    15 days 16 hours 14 minutes.

    How many records on the Divide tour were made on conventional geared bikes, compared to Rohloff's ?

    There goes your Rohloff theory.

    Tour Divide 2012 live tracker by trackleaders.com

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy View Post

    There goes your Rohloff theory.
    Still hating, RandyBoy? A Rohloff is probably not the right tool to competitively race the TD. However, if I was going to slowly tour it by myself, I might prefer the reliability of a Rohloff.

  50. #50
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    RandyBoy, you are dedicated, I'll give you that. Thought I don't understand why you expend the energy over this topic. Are these people hurting you somehow?

    Sincerely, a guy who doesn't own a Rohloff.
    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

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