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  1. #1
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    Rohloff and a TT/Triathlon bike

    Hello to all. Please forgive that this is not directly mtb related. The simple fact is this is the best collection of experienced Rohloff users I can find. I've sold off most of my mtb gear and switched over to tri's due to the kids and time constraints (particularly traveling to trails, ect).

    I built up a tri bike (Cervelo P2SL) and have been debating putting a Rohloff on it. Why? Because they are cool and I've always wanted to try one. No real advantage aero-wise, and it would certainly weigh more than a traditional derailluer setup. Weight isn't a great issue on tri's, thankfully. Aero-ness is.

    I'm a little concerned with the torque and its stress on the Al frame, and expect to have to run the torque arm. I will probably run a single chainring and would like a tensioner-less drivetrain. The dropouts are horizontal and about 1" long.

    I've seen the push-button gearbox available on eBay and it would allow me to put shifters on the aerobar extensions.

    Any help, ideas or issues I'm missing, I'd like your input. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Helibee
    Hello to all. Please forgive that this is not directly mtb related. The simple fact is this is the best collection of experienced Rohloff users I can find. I've sold off most of my mtb gear and switched over to tri's due to the kids and time constraints (particularly traveling to trails, ect).

    I built up a tri bike (Cervelo P2SL) and have been debating putting a Rohloff on it. Why? Because they are cool and I've always wanted to try one. No real advantage aero-wise, and it would certainly weigh more than a traditional derailluer setup. Weight isn't a great issue on tri's, thankfully. Aero-ness is.

    I'm a little concerned with the torque and its stress on the Al frame, and expect to have to run the torque arm. I will probably run a single chainring and would like a tensioner-less drivetrain. The dropouts are horizontal and about 1" long.

    I've seen the push-button gearbox available on eBay and it would allow me to put shifters on the aerobar extensions.

    Any help, ideas or issues I'm missing, I'd like your input. Thanks!
    First, thank you for the hint to the "SHIFTEZY" PushButton Gear Shift system of "EDSAN Automation Systems", VIC, Australia. Never heard of that promising device before. It seems to be so very new in the market that ride reports are not yet to find in the web.

    If you would prefer a rather "old fashioned" cable shifter over the all-new electric one, there are a few more options than the actual genuine ROHLOFF made twist shifter:

    The ROHLOFF guys have a new light weight twist shifter in the works:


    More light weight twist shifters are available from
    REWEL (Italy), made in titanium and in various sizes: (short, long)


    TUNE (Germany) "Rolff", made in aluminium and anodized in various colours:


    As the best of all - aesthetical as well as functional - is considered the make of IBC user Speedskater who made twist shifters in different lenghts, anodizes colours, for right hand and left hand specific use, and he has a model in the pipeline with a cable mount more like a GripShift twist shifter, in other words parallel to the mount resp. bar instead of orthogonal. The latter is still a prototype and has furthermore the feature of apparently (!) only one cable mount instead of two:


    Yet there are some specific solutions for curved bars:
    MITTELMEYER (Germany) makes a very nice shifter (see also 1,2):


    NORWID (Germany) makes special stems with a welded-on twist shifter mount als well as separable curved bars:


    Similar solutions come from the M-gineering company (The Netherlands):


    and others manufacturers:


    Not inteneded for curved bars but nevertheless interesting, a ROHLOFF specific twist shifter in extended lenghts made by TOXOHOLICS:


    Last but not least, two prototypes from year 2008 made by TOUT TERRAIN (Germany, Eurobike 2008):


    and by NICOLAI (Germany):



    The only consideration to keep in mind regards the use of the ROHL(EX!) SpeedHub 500/14 in a TT resp. triathlon bike that I see are the even but in relation to an up-to-date derailleur drive train considerable large gear ratio changes while shifting (13,6 %).

    However, the ROHLOFF torque arm looks rather a overengineered on such a lacy frame but there are much more dramatic problems out there.

    If you are intended to push your ride to the limit, you can consider a ROHLOFF-specific left-side drop-out, so may be you can find an experienced custom frame builder who would modify a given frame. More consequently you can let a custom frame builder make a ROHLOFF-specific new one with clean lines from the scratch up.

    Such a ROHLOFF-specific frame can finally shine like this one made by NORWID (Germany):


    Furthermore one could consider a GATES Carbon Drive, too.

    Custom made NICOLAI "Argon Road" track bike with GATES belt drive and a separable right seat stay (single speed):


    Last but not least, the torque induced by the ROHLOFF Speedhub should not be underestimated, it can be so enormous that frames that are not constructed for this use can snap, at least in combination with the use of disc breaks. To illustrate this, two broken "GT" MTB frames:

    GT "Zaskar"

    "Before"

    "After"

    GT Fully

    "After"

    If you are not afraid to use an online translator, you can of course feel free to look at the German IBC forum because I believe there are by far the most extensive threads about ROHLOFF specific questions (e.g. 1,2,3). Not to forget to mention, don´t hesitate to post in English and make a discussion in English from the start.

    At the very least, I hope you will became an Ironman winner with your aerodynamic CERVELO P2SL! Good luck with your exciting TT/triathlon bike project!

    Best regards,
    Wilhelm

  3. #3
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    good stuff wilhelm....I never saw so many twister options. I'd love one that I could read what gear I am in!

  4. #4
    Welsh Dave
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    Excellent info on the various Rohloff options, Wilhelm.
    Thanks!

  5. #5
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    A good solution with Shimano Alfine and Gates Belt.






  6. #6
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    What shifter is used above? This is probably answered elswhere in the forum but that is COOL!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisboa98
    A good solution with Shimano Alfine and Gates Belt.
    Thank you for posting these nice pics. The clean lines of that ride are more than stunning!

    Quote Originally Posted by tommignon
    What shifter is used above? This is probably answered elswhere in the forum but that is COOL!
    It seems that the right SHIMANO STI Dual Control shifter has the same indexing like the SHIMANO Alfine. Very nice assembly.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisboa98
    A good solution with Shimano Alfine and Gates Belt.





    It seems that JERÓNIMO custom bicycles makes lots of cool stuff. Is it the pleasant countryside and fine weather of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife - Islas canarias - España, that makes you so extraordinary creative?

  9. #9
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    Why not use this ?
















  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helibee
    I built up a tri bike (Cervelo P2SL) and have been debating putting a Rohloff on it.
    Any help, ideas or issues I'm missing, I'd like your input. Thanks!
    Are you still monitoring this thread or you're definitely gone?

    My two cents - as much as I am a fan of any solutions based on internal gear hubs, I think your idea is terrible and you should forget about it immediately.


    Any road racing bicycle is about one thing - efficiency.

    1. Aerodynamic efficiency: so you have to have a terrible, uncomfortable riding position and even some streamlined components

    2. Rolling efficiency: so you have to have slick tires pumped so hard the ride comfort and bump/vibration absorption becomes virtually non existent

    3. Power transfer efficiency: internal gear hubs FAIL here. Even the best ones stand no chance against clean and oiled chain drive. In any serious race, you stand no chance against competitors on derailleur bikes.


    At the same time, you use internal gear hubs to protect the bicycle drivetrain from sand, mud, other abrasives and water or to decrease the influence of these factors on the drivetrain. But unlike off road, in road use presence and intensity of these factors are greatly diminished. So are the advantages provided by the hub when compared with bikes used off road and in difficult weather conditions.

    To sum up: cool idea of very little practical value.

  11. #11
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    @bikeisbetter.............will have my new frame built up by end of Feb - custom built disc specced running 23c contis aim to have curly bars on it too!

    I ride out with roadies now on a cheap mtb frame with 700c discs, flat bars and keep up just fine!

    The reduced efficiency and bigger jumps between gears which Speedhubs have in comparison to compact road systems only really make a significant difference if you're a pro as far as I'm concerned.

    The ability to change gear sequentially is also quite a biggie for me......haven't yet met a roadie who can beat me from a standing start. All the stuff about differences made in efficiency is nothing compared to a good engine!

  12. #12
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    I love my two Rohloffs, but this is one application that I can't see any point in using an IGH of any kind let alone a Rohloff.

    You don't need a weatherproof uber reliable drivetrain that can survive low maintenance and rough treatment. You need the most efficient drivetrain possible which is probably some fancy roadie groupo that is cleaned religiously after every 50km ride.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  13. #13
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    Just to mention this is the best collection of Rohloff shifters I have seen, along a couple of the coolest looking Rohloff bikes I've seen!

    Going back to the OP......

    Plus points of sticking a Speedhub in a tri-bike:

    • Most of the weight of the drivetrain is located around the rear axle as rotational weight so rather like a dynamo it likes to keep spinning once it gets going - my last rim brake setup wearing the rims through is testament to tha!
    • Aerodynamically the system can be extremely neat with the main mass of the system being behind and in line with the bottom bracket and front hub with no derailleurs waving around.
    • A large range of gearing means using less energy to get from start to top speed and you can time gear changes so there is next to no let up in your pedal stroke (I've snapped chains shifting too hard on conventional systems).
    • Sequential gears with the option of skipping gears give a car paddle shift-like effect which goes well with the large range.


    Minus points:


    • Large gear range means in this case a wider gap in ratios between each gear and there is no way I know around that. I notice it when riding with people who have compact systems so you may find yourself spinning to hard before hiting the next gear at an optimal point.
    • Less efficiency - this is undeniable but how less is not something I'm qualified to comment on. This obviously means of the energy you're putting in, less of it will get transferred to rubber on tarmac which could make a difference in tt.
    • Weight around the rear axle means you have to get all that weight going!


    I haven't included the extra weight as an issue as the OP says it doesn't matter as much in TT. I really couldn't say in all honesty if doing TT with a speedhub would be an advantage or disadvantage - guess the only way is to be a bit of a trailblazer and give it a go!

    Oh and can't remember if it was mentioned but 135mm rear spacing........

    I would definately say if you're gonna do it, get dropouts replaced with Rohloff specific sliders and consider with a frame builder if you need to reinforce anywhere to protect the frame from the torsional rotation of the hub.

    I will also add that I'm having a Reynolds 853 frame custom made by Paul Villiers which will have clearance for cyclocross tyres, mudguards and disc brakes so not really a low pro sort of design but I will dive drop bars a go with the Mittelmayer twistshifter to fit on em......nothing to stop me from sticking some aerobars on there and havin me a TT race!!!!

  14. #14
    dru
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    love, kinda.....

    I love, absolutely, the look of an IGH. I particularly like that green Norwid. Saying that, I'd love to build exactly that bike for my next frame building project, but I won't

    Problem is, it will suck against true racing bikes. The efficiency loss and weight gain is something you can't get around.

    I know this from road riding on my Alfine equipped Salsa El Mariachi. I normally ride it as it was meant with big tires and a flat bar, but wanted to try road riding but didn't own a road bike.

    The conversion consisted of 700x32 tires, 42x16 primary drive, drop bars with an enlarged Alfine shifter clamp, drop V levers, and BB7s calipers in place of my XTRs .

    On flat ground with a medium fast group I could pull just fine, but as soon as we hit hills I got crushed. My bike in mountain guise weighs a little over 27 lbs. With the heavier bars and calipers of my conversion the bike weighs over 28. In addition 1st gear is fairly inefficient as are a few of the other gears.

    On one 80 km endurance ride the group dropped me after about 60 k. I had nothing left. They were averaging +33k. I finished the ride still averaging 31 km/h. All these guys were riding 16 lb bikes and said in no uncertain terms that the weight and inefficiency was what was killing me.

    Is anyone surprised I got dropped as soon as we hit some really hilly stuff?

    When I build my road frame it will be with derailleurs. It is just no fun getting dropped.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  15. #15
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    @dru

    Woah there! 32c tyres with roadies?!!! Alfine?!!!!

    I currently ride a flat bar 26" £30 mountain bike frame (my last good one got snapped in a crash and am waiting for my proper one to get built) with 700c bb7 disc brake wheels, Mavic cxp33 rims, 23c Continental GP4000s chilli tyres, carbon forks, bar ends and for comfort a Brooks B17 Ti saddle......and Rohloff Speedhub.

    I broke my hand a few weeks ago so am off speed but when on form can easily average what you're saying over the distance you went.....My training rides on said bike were methinks that your engine (you!) and your choice of setup WILL definately put you at a considerable disadvantage but I don't think that until you get to semi-pro or pro level that a "best possible setup" Speedhub equipped "road" bike will overtake the advantages of a well trained athlete!x

  16. #16
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    Thanks to all of you for posting in this thread. It is amazing!

    I have been dreaming up a new ride centered around the speedhub & it is good to see all the shifting options and that there are some beautiful machines like that amazing green roadie that are built specifically around the hub.

    I have been riding custom Landshark bicycles since 1988 and am thinking of havin John build me a new ride.......

    Now I just have to just hand around here lots to see how I would like to outfit my new dream machine!

    Thanks to you all for being here

    -DON
    "with malice toward none; with charity for all...." - Lincoln

  17. #17
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    Great post Wilhelm! As this seems to have become the default Rohloff shifter thread, I'll ask a couple of questions:

    Has anyone had any experience with either the Tune shifter, or the 'Speedskater' shifters? Interested in:

    1 - how either feel in comparison to the original (both shifting, and integration with grips)

    2 - the all in weights of either, especially in comparison to the original setup (I guess the speedskater are pretty good from the pics on scales, the Tune claims 22grams without the grip)

    3 - Is the speedskater model OK to use with carbon bars, like the Tune is?

    4 - What grips can you use with either the Tune or speedskater? Am wondering about trying to fit some ESI silicon grips, but I guess they will be hard to fit as the OD of the shifter is bigger than that of the bar...

    5 - With the speedskater seemingly having barrel adjusters, can you get away without those at the gearbox end - I've managed to snap 3 now through riding, transportation, and a failure of the axle plate, and they seem like a weak link in the system...

    6 - does anyone have any contact info or prices for the speedskater shifters?

    On a related note, I'm trying to save weight with the cables too - has anyone used Powercordz on a Rohloff? Presumably the 1.2mm version...

    Thanks!

  18. #18
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    I'm a fellow triathlete as well (mostly half IM, and 1 Full IM to date). I have a Rohloff on my Trek Fuel Mountain Bike and love it for its intended use, but I would never put on a racing road bike. Too heavy and inefficient for road use - it will easily add 2lbs to your tri bike and be slightly slower at the same watt output by the rider due to planetary gear friction inside the hub.

    On a mountain bike the Roholff excels where shifting often and always being in the right gear for the moment makes up for the small efficiency drop and weight gain, but in my opinion you'll be faster with a derailluer set-up on the tri bike - I'd guess at least 1/2 mph faster with a derailluer set-up (going on subjective feel of using my Rohloff equipped Mtn. Bike)

  19. #19
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    New drop bar shifter - flashy and beautiful compared to the Mittelmeyer!


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    Good job!

    Using this thread to scrapbook interesting Rohloff bikes.....!

    Not bad at 8.2kg - belt drive and a couple of mods would prob bring it down a few grams....

  21. #21
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    Mittelmeyer thumb triggers coming out next March::


  22. #22
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    AND! Mittelmeyer drop bar "brifter" style coming out next March too. Not sure why, but they're making it for hydraulic brakes only.......

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnybags View Post
    AND! Mittelmeyer drop bar "brifter" style coming out next March too. Not sure why, but they're making it for hydraulic brakes only.......
    They look exactly what I would like for my drop-bar Rohloff bike except that it's for hydraulic brakes and I've got BB7s.
    Why have they done that ?
    I know there's a move to hydraulic discs for drop bar bikes but surely they're some way off ?
    Buying this shifter and changing to hydraulics would be very expensive and I'm not sure that I want hydraulics anyway.

  24. #24
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    And to the OP:

    I can't think of a worse use for a Rohloff than TTing. The extra drag over a well set up derailleur rules it out.
    My road bike has derailleurs, the tourer a Rohloff. I wouldn't consider the Rohloff for a fast road ride, especially if it was hilly.
    I wouldn't consider the road bike for a trip along the local muddy/gravely trails.
    Horses for courses and all that........................


    .

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chocolatebike View Post
    They look exactly what I would like for my drop-bar Rohloff bike except that it's for hydraulic brakes and I've got BB7s.
    Why have they done that ?
    I know there's a move to hydraulic discs for drop bar bikes but surely they're some way off ?
    Buying this shifter and changing to hydraulics would be very expensive and I'm not sure that I want hydraulics anyway.
    I was with my frame builder on Saturday and he thought there must be a way to engineer it to take a cable brake instead of hydraulic. I'm in the same position of using BB7's.

    I cannot think why they would go for hydraulic only on the brifter.

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