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  1. #1
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    Reputation: intheways's Avatar
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    Rohloff for technical riding

    I just have a few questions regarding using a Rohloff hub for technical terrain. I currently have a Surly Pugsley that I would really like to outfit with a Rohloff. I'm drawn to this hub like a fly to $hit, but the price keeps repelling me.

    To those who have ridden a Rohloff on technical trails, how is the hub engagement? Does the shifting mechanism cause any problems when shifting fast? Any other comments would be appreciated before I put a $1500 dollar hole in my bank account

    Thanks
    Last edited by intheways; 08-15-2011 at 10:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Rohloff
    Reputation: bsdc's Avatar
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    I much prefer internal gear hubs on technical terrain. The shifting is quicker. I don't notice any lag in the engagement of my Rohloff or my Alfine hubs. If price is a big factor, consider an Alfine hub. Alfine is a lot cheaper and better in some ways.

  3. #3
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    I am using a speedhuh for a few years now on my 1x1, and I'm quite happy with it. Shifting is no problem under any condition. This is, if you have the money and are not afraid of the bit of extra weight it adds, still the best shifting system out there.

  4. #4
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    I bought a speed hub for my Pugs having never seen or ridden one, and I'd never give mine up. It's that good. It adds a little weight, but nothing you couldn't handle. They don't call it a speed hub for nothing

    Go ahead. You won't be sorry.

  5. #5
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    The ability to shift from 1 to 14 without pedaling is worth it.
    In technical situation , I often have to shift while holding still and you can only do that with IGH.


    As for the Alfine , I have both too and the Speedhub is really in another class.

    The Shimano hubs are very good for the money but they have two big disadvantage over the Rohloff : Spring tension to downshift and shifting mechanism exposed to elements.
    Both of these are also disadvantages of derailleurs.

    The only advantage of the Shimano is the noise: it's silent.

    I wouldn'T say that cost is an advantage on the Shimano because while I'm on my eight year on my Speedhub and it is better than when new , I went through 3 Shimano on my commuter .......
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  6. #6
    Slow But Still Pedaling
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    What exactly is "technical" to you? (A guy who rides MUPs most of the time might have a very different view than say, a trials rider. )

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies.

    For context, I'm running Hope SS/trials hubs now, so I'm pretty spoiled for quick engagement. I've ridden an Alfine 8 and liked it for commuting, but a bit too mushy for my tastes. I guess I should take a test ride on. Rohloff.

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Rohloff
    Reputation: bsdc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by intheways View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    For context, I'm running Hope SS/trials hubs now, so I'm pretty spoiled for quick engagement. I've ridden an Alfine 8 and liked it for commuting, but a bit too mushy for my tastes. I guess I should take a test ride on. Rohloff.

    Thanks
    If you think an Alfine is mushy then you should definitely ride a Rohloff before you buy one. An Alfine hub is much more smooth, like a SS hub. The shifting is a bit mushy but tolerable. By contrast, the Rohloff is clunky and grindy. It feels quite a bit further removed from the super slick feel of a SS hub.

  9. #9
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    Nothing bad to say about Alfine, if I did I would just be BS ing because I've never owned one. My Rohloff works like a dream compared to Der.'s and like others have said the shift selection while stationary is worth the price of admission on its own. You will not regret the investment.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    If you think an Alfine is mushy then you should definitely ride a Rohloff before you buy one. An Alfine hub is much more smooth, like a SS hub. The shifting is a bit mushy but tolerable. By contrast, the Rohloff is clunky and grindy. It feels quite a bit further removed from the super slick feel of a SS hub.
    I agree that the Rohloff feels Mushy on 5 gears : 3-5-7-10-12

    On the 9 other speeds , the feeling is comparable Alfine's 8 speeds.

    As for shifting ,I agree that the Shimano shifts better on Upshifing than the Speedhub, but not downshifting , you have to put less pressure while the Rohloff is constant , either up or down. The downshifting on the Shimano is dependant of the spring , just like a derailleur system.

    The Speedhub have a constant 13.5% ratio differential between each gears.


    Nothing feel like a SS , not even a derailleur system.
    It is the most direct, efficient system.
    You have to see IGH like a geared bike with loads a advantages not like a SS.
    Last edited by fokof; 09-02-2011 at 09:15 AM.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by intheways View Post
    ..... I'm drawn to this hub like a fly to $hit, but the price keePs repelling me.
    Price is a good repellant ?

    I'll keep that in mind next time I go camping.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  12. #12
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    I have a Rohloff, and uses it a lot on heavy technical trails. Small hills, rocky, muddy, it eats everything with a smile. No issues. Shifting gear is faster than a derallier so I feel more efficent. The shifting of gears goes under a second of on Rohloff, so it's easy to keep riding under difficult terrain. Have some measured the time of gearshifting?
    Please note that I had 24gear STX (6 years old) on my bike, so your mileage may vary.

    I had some adjustment issues in the beginning, and I broke that gearwire adjustement thingy after few months so I swapped these to steel. Fits nicely and looks more sleek than ever. (Well!)

    After one year of regular usage I shifted faster while I easened up the load on cranks, my body got in sync with Rohloff. The bicycle got more weight on the backwheel, but I got quickly used to it, I just leaned a little more back. No big deal.

    The price is steep but remember that it can go for 70.000 km.

    Let's say that I have a Rohloff and XT in usage for 20 years:
    My estimate is that shifters last 6 years, derailler 2.5 years, front gears 4 year, rear hub 20 year. Cranks, chain, gearwhire, cog/cassette, discs, pulleys, lube and tools are not included. Breakage is not included, only wear and usage is considered. Maintenance cost are not included. I am open for correction or suggestion of the lifespan of the Shimano parts, these numbers are my experience. My experience is that a Shimano system usually lives 3-4-5 years compared to Rohloff, and the maintence cost is higher. (hidden cost)

    All prices from jensonusa.com, rounded up to whole dollars.

    4 x 109USD = Shimano XT SL M770 9SP Shift Lever Set = 436 USD
    8 x 79USD = Shimano Deore XT M772 Rear Derailleur = 632 USD
    5 x 35 USD = Shimano Deore XT M770 Front Derailleur = 175 USD
    1 x 85 USD = Shimano XT Disc M775 Rear Hub = 85 USD
    1 x 34 USD = Shimano Deore HG-50 9-SPEED Cassette * = 34 USD
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Cost of Shimano System in 20year = 1362USD

    * ((A new Rohloff cog cost around 20USD and it is included. One cassette because it's the inital cost of ownership; i took the cheapest one)

    20 years:
    Rohloff: 1500/20 = 75USD / year
    Shimano: 1362/20 = 68.10USD/year

    10 years:
    Rohloff: 1500/10 = 150USD /year
    Shimano: 740.5/10 = 74.05 USD/year

    Well, I didn't expect that the difference was so small in 20year range!
    The 10 years range is unrealistic because it means that you'll stop cycling after 10 years. In 10 years the Rohloff will be still in good condition, while the Shimano would be worn down, so you'll have to stop bicycling or buy new. If you're really stopping cycling, and sells Rohloff for maybe 500 USD, you'll EARN money!

    I remember that somebody wrote that each Rohloff has it own sound signature, somebody are more smooth, other have a more different tune. After the first oilchange the hub would defineably be little better. I have no problems with it.

    Hope my english wasn't too crappy.

  13. #13
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    Nice way to see it !




    ( But you didn't put chain/cassette/Rings wich get chewed up and cost a lot !!!!! )
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    Nice way to see it !

    ( But you didn't put chain/cassette/Rings wich get chewed up and cost a lot !!!!! )
    True, it would be high!
    One of the reason I ignored the maintenance cost that it is very personal and different for each person. I always used the cheapest cassette/chain/chainrings just because I am a cheap bastard!

    My maintenance cost on chain are less because I can use cheaper chains.
    I like that.

    I have to change the chain more often on my Rohloff-bike because of the vertical dropout (GASP!). It works nice, but in total my chainwearage cost are higher than I had with Shimano STX on it.
    I recycle the chain on my other bike (fixie), so no big deal.

    I have been thinking a little more and found out that it's unrealistic to expect that a Shimano rear hub would live 20 years. maybe 10, at least 5 year. Well, the number I used could be less conservative.

  15. #15
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    I've had a Rohloff since '08 but only had a go at mtb again (since I was a teenager) at the beginning of the year. After an initial "woah! This is tricky!" I fell completely at home on quite technical singletrack through woods etc....even popping out of old ww2 bomb craters. I constantly notice how the other guys are mashing their gears all the time and getting stuck trying to change on steep bits....I would say its worth it!

  16. #16
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    I would rate IGH's as perfect for technical trails, (not proper trials too heavy) but for fast changing terrain i.e.short up and downs, swoopy single track, step ups, drops offs, jumps, other trail obstacles etc. spot on
    Used for DH, Freeride, All Mountain and XC

    Had a Rohloff since 03, changed oil once a year and changed the rear sprocket once and cables 2-3 times.
    Multiple gear changes are very fast, just ease up on the pedals if going uphill.
    Only bad points, all the weight at the back of the bike (but i like that), price and you need to under gear the recommnded ratios to get a very low gear for grinding up very steep inclines.

    Can't ride with standard gear systems now, love them.

  17. #17
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    As jes has said. Rohloffs are great for fast terrain changes. Once you get in the groove it seems like you don't even have to think about changing gears. It just happens almost instantly. Multiple gear changes are the same. Crank one gear or several. It's a very intuitive way to ride.

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