Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Topic started by: Andrew Br on February 01, 2010, 09:38:43 pm

Title: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Andrew Br on February 01, 2010, 09:38:43 pm
I'm now thinking about a replacement for my stolen Enigma.
Some things will stay the same- Enigma, Ti, discs- as will the main uses- day rides, light touring, light off-road plus I intend doing more (only done one so more won't be difficult  ::-) ) audax.
Longer term the plan is to get a lighter, faster bike as well but, for now, I'm thinking about the tourer.

So, what about getting a Rohloff ?
The main attraction to me would be the lack of maintenance and wear on the drive-train. On the previous bike I got through chains in about 1000 miles, probably because of the off-roading.

Drawbacks ? Main ones that I can see are:-

I'm aware of the other drawbacks (particularly cost, noise and drag) but I think I can come to terms with that.
On the brief ride that I've had on a Rohloff equipped bike, I didn't notice the drag or any noise.

Are there any other things that I should be thinking of ?
Anything that I've missed ?

TIA.

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: rogerzilla on February 01, 2010, 09:45:15 pm
I don't believe they're efficient enough.  Google Berto and Kyle's measurements (which are backed up by theory anyway; one top-quality epicyclic is about 97% efficient, so stick three of them in series as the Rohloff does in some gears and you get only 90% or so).  It's beautifully engineered and everything, but a 10% power loss would eat away at my soul.

If you can cope with seven speeds, a SRAM Spectro S7 is a sounder design.  Actually, for the price of the Rohloff you could have a Schlumpf bottom bracket and the SRAM hub.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: arvid on February 01, 2010, 09:49:28 pm
You missed weight, and running it in. It really takes a couple thousand kms before it runs smoothly. Before that you definitely will notice noise (and you'll always know by the amount of noise when you're in 7th), and probably some drag too.
I find getting the rear wheel out very easy, but I have an EX type with disc.
To get a lot better chainlife you should protect the chain from dust/sand. It won't help a lot if the chain is still in the open air. I am still eating chains like I used to with a derailleur on my recumbent.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on February 01, 2010, 09:59:31 pm
I don't believe they're efficient enough.  Google Berto and Kyle's measurements (which are backed up by theory anyway; one top-quality epicyclic is about 97% efficient, so stick three of them in series as the Rohloff does in some gears and you get only 90% or so).  It's beautifully engineered and everything, but a 10% power loss would eat away at my soul.

If you can cope with seven speeds, a SRAM Spectro S7 is a sounder design.  Actually, for the price of the Rohloff you could have a Schlumpf bottom bracket and the SRAM hub.

The Rohloff is a 7 sp hub (ie 3 epicyclics, only 1 used at a time) with a doubler epicyclic to get 14 gears.  So at most only 2 epicyclics used, for the lowest 7 gears.  The Rohloff never has 3 epicyclics in series.


Personally, only the drop bar thing is a problem for me.  There isn't really an elegant way of combining a drop bar and Rohloff twist shifter.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: rdaviesb on February 01, 2010, 10:05:30 pm
As you are touring, I would go for Rohloff. If its fast enough for Bowthorpe and Beaumont, it's fast enough for me. Our tandem is Rohloff with a disk, and I really like it. Removing with wheel is really easy if go for the external gear box.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: dasmoth on February 01, 2010, 10:06:20 pm
The puncture-fixing situation isn't too bad.  At least, getting the wheel off is very easy indeed -- just twist a couple of bayonet connectors in the gear cable.  Getting it back on again is slightly fiddly if the cables are tight, but not too bad.

I'd say it's worth trying to get a decent-length test ride on one before deciding.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: rdaviesb on February 01, 2010, 10:15:46 pm
Quote from: dasmoth link=topic=29392.msg538903#msg538903 date=1265061980
I'd say it's worth trying to get a decent-length test ride on one before deciding.
[/quote

Definitely. Its a lot of money to add onto the build.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: CommuteTooFar on February 01, 2010, 10:43:52 pm
You can use one of those Thorn headset spacer bar extender things to mount the shifter. I think that is why SJSC got the things. 
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Wowbagger on February 01, 2010, 11:22:37 pm
I've got more than 3 years' experience of Rohloffs. More than 6 if you multiply the years by the number of bikes!

Weight: does a Rohloff weigh more than a big block of cogs, extra front rings, two gear changers, longer chain etc? If so, it's not by much.

Wheel removal: there are two types of connection but both are dead simple. It's also a lot simpler to get the wheel back on because you don't have to worry about getting the derailleur in the right place.

Noise: generally much quieter than derailleurs - no more chain graunching / power loss when you get in the wrong gear. Gear changing can be done either stationary or on the move, although not when under heavy pedal pressure. There's a certain amount of "meshing" noise most noticeable in 6th & 7th, but there's none in the higher gears. It gets a bit less with use, but I still get it on both bikes. The tandem has done more than 7000 miles, my solo machine more than 11000. The freewheel is quiet too.

Spoke breakages: I got a few early on at the nipple end on the solo machine, but this was down to Thorn not supplying correctly drilled rims. They use 26" wheels and the large hub/small rim diameter combination means that the spokes enter the rim at about 78°. They've cured that problem now. If you do get a spoke break, it's easy to post a new one through without even taking the wheel off.

Power loss: definitely some. I'm sure you don't notice any when you are riding but when you wheel the bike, in most gears the pedals still turn, which means that the friction is greater than that caused by the freewheel.

Dropped bars: Lee has a Rohloff / dropped bar combination and seems to have no problem.

Chain wear: my first chain was discarded at 6000 miles. I'm beginning to think about changing again now that 12000 is approaching.

The big problem we've had has been on the tandem: we've broken three Rohloffs when bits of flange have cracked. I've never had a problem on the solo bike. Thorn offer a lifetime guarantee so the only inconvenience we've had has been sending the wheel back for a rebuild. Thorn paid the postage.

Rohloffs are fantastic for touring. Mine's on a Thorn Raven Sport Tour and although the Thorn website suggest keeping loads down a bit (12kg at the back I think they mention) I've exceeded this with no problem whatever with handling and the tubes, which are a light gauge than on the Thorn Raven Tour, seem to cope very well. Since the bulk of the weight of the rear rack is supported by a really hefty stainless steel dropout, I'm not sure why they are so coy about the Sport version's luggage capacity. Then I'm no engineer.

We've twice had gear cables break on the tandem but it's a 10 minute job to replace them. To be fair both times the breakage has been at the join where the S & S couplings are. You need a torx 20 screwdriver to get into the cable housing at the changer end.

If you were thinking of going down the Thorn route, you've always go their 100-day money-back guarantee on every Rohloff equipped bike they sell. They won't do you a bike in titanium though.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: MacB on February 01, 2010, 11:35:22 pm
for mounting the shifter I'd say the Thorn Accessory bar is the best, off the shelf, provided it doesn't interfere with anything else. You can also do a homemade handlebar mount, akin to the Hubbub idea, but mounted at rightangles to the flat section of the bars. I did this and it works fine but is a bit crude. However following on from another forummers efforts here, I've been able to file out the bar clamp of MTB trigger shifter pods and put them on drop bars. It took about 10 minutes for each pod, combination of filing and bending out the clamp a bit. So this got me thinking and I tried the same with a bar end, worked very well. Any old bar end as long as it's got enough straight section for the shifter and it's standard 22.2mm diameter. I'm not sure I'd trust it for bar end duties but mounting a twist shifter seems fine.

I've only done this with my SRAM twist shifter so just one cable, but the routing is very tidy. It comes down from the bar straight to the top/down tube join area.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: robbo6 on February 02, 2010, 01:27:58 am

Personally, only the drop bar thing is a problem for me.  There isn't really an elegant way of combining a drop bar and Rohloff twist shifter.

I would like to differ:-
Members' bikes (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=17.msg81454#msg81454)
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Greenbank on February 02, 2010, 09:12:33 am
Weight: does a Rohloff weigh more than a big block of cogs, extra front rings, two gear changers, longer chain etc? If so, it's not by much.

I think a Rohloff weighs less than all that cruft for low end groupsets, but not if you spend the same amount on the groupset as you do the Rohloff. Still, it's close.

But the majority of the Rohloff weight is added as rotating mass on the rear wheel, which will add to the feeling of sluggishness of the bike.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Julian on February 02, 2010, 09:17:35 am
I didn't get on with Rohloff when C. & I tried it out at JD Cycles on tandems.

The range isn't nearly as wide as you can get with a derailleur.  Plus, if you want to change gear, you have to 'pause' in the pedalling.  This is a disconcerting experience for the stoker when you're going up a two-chevron hill at 2mph.

They also make a noise like a crazed sewing machine and come with the added anxiety that if it goes kaput in the middle of nowhere, you won't be able to fix it.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Tom B on February 02, 2010, 09:48:32 am
I've had a Rohloff since last May. It's been quiet since the beginning and gear changes feel wonderfully smooth. Not sure about loss of efficiency, but, is that a big deal when touring? Same thing with the weight -  heavier to lift the rear end of the bike but then my other regular bikes are all fixed. Not taken it loaded touring yet but the attraction of painless hill-starts is something I'm looking forward to.

You're welcome to come up to North Chorlton and have a go  :)
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: PaulF on February 02, 2010, 09:54:53 am
Singletrack did a comparison review of the Rohloff vs. the Alfine. I haven't read it yet though so that's probably not much help ???
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: clarion on February 02, 2010, 10:18:03 am
There is another player in top end hub gears.  The SRAM i-Motion 9 looks like a splendid unit.  Lighter than a Rohloff, and, while it doesn't have quite the range of the Rohloff, I could pretty much replicate the range & number of effective gears of my derailleur set-up.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: julk on February 02, 2010, 10:32:20 am
Wowbagger just about says it all.

I love my rohloff equipped tourer and especially the lack of maintenance.
If you are into continually fettling bikes then you will miss out with a rohloff ;)
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Gatlow on February 02, 2010, 10:48:55 am
I've used my Rohloff for 2 years and just over 11000 miles and not once regretted it.

Taking the wheel off is not a problem at all, although it has only been off once (to change the frayed gear cable).

The gear noise in 7th is not as big a deal as it may appear - its relatively noisy compared to the rest of the gears which are very quiet indeed.  The differences (weight, noise etc.) are small and often exaggerated in my limited experience, especially on a touring bike.  

Oil changes are straight forward.  I haven't needed to reverse the sprocket yet, but this can apparently be quite tough to remove - a strong chainwhip seems to be mandatory.

Chain life - I'm on the original chain still.

My Thorn is a flat bar bike - LEE would be able to give you an honest evaluation of the drop bar setup for long term use.

There are pros and cons with everything but the hub has done everything I wanted from it and done it well.

Right, i'm off to fit a computer to my Ti audax bike - sod riding the Thorn for 200km up hills and into a headwind! ;D
 
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: robbo6 on February 02, 2010, 12:29:44 pm
I like the drop bar set-up I made. The only very minor problem is that I had to move the handlebar bag forwards a bit to give index finger clearance. Obviously if you're a HDAU type of cyclist it won't be so convenient as you're on the drops more. I hardly notice it being any different to a derailleur bike to ride.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: vorsprung on February 02, 2010, 12:49:25 pm
Alfine is cheaper than the Rohloff.
Alfine only has 8 gears vs 14 on Rohloff

I haven't used a Rohloff but here are my impressions on going from single speed to Alfine (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=28954.0).
Further to these comments, after approx 600km I am noticing a slight decrease in drag as the hub wears in.

Alfine bits and pieces are fairly widely available in the UK ( or Eurozone) , whereas if you go Rohloff you'd have to deal with SJS. 

There is a third party bar end shifter for the Alfine, made by jtek.  My drop bar bike has a "brifter" trigger shifter on it.  Fitting it was "interesting" but in the end fairly easy.  See Vorsprung's Commuter Bike Build in Progress (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=27755.0)

According to a recent letter in the CTC mag reply by Chris Juden it is difficult to get your hub gear serviced by a LBS regardless of what type it is.  This kinda negates part of the low maintenance argument for fitting it in the first place
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: DrMekon on February 02, 2010, 02:17:29 pm
Has anyone other than Chris Juden got Shimano on record as saying to service every 2000 miles? My bakfiets has done a fair bit more than that and feels likes it's running in nicely.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: vorsprung on February 02, 2010, 02:24:55 pm
The Alfine tech doc says:

Quote
In order to maintain proper performance, it is recommended that you ask           
the place where you purchased the bicycle or your nearest Pro shop to
carry out maintenance such as greasing the internal hub about once
every two years starting from the first time of use (or once about every
5,000 km if the bicycle is used very frequently). Furthermore, it is
recommended that you use the Shimano internal hub grease or
lubrication kit when carrying out maintenance. If the special grease or
lubrication kit is not used, problems may occur such as the gear shifting
not working correctly.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: MacB on February 02, 2010, 02:25:18 pm
There is another player in top end hub gears.  The SRAM i-Motion 9 looks like a splendid unit.  Lighter than a Rohloff, and, while it doesn't have quite the range of the Rohloff, I could pretty much replicate the range & number of effective gears of my derailleur set-up.

Clarion, mine is currently away for repairs, siezed solid and no info on why yet. Though have had the usual questions indicating suspicion of idiotic user. I returned the wheel to Roman road in Wales, they've now sent it to Fisher. The guy at Roman road hoped they'd have sent him a new internal but no, they wanted the whole hub back. This could run into several weeks, not happy.

Weight wise, it's a fair bit heavier than a Rohloff, not far off 3kg including shifter etc.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Wowbagger on February 02, 2010, 02:33:28 pm
Alfine bits and pieces are fairly widely available in the UK ( or Eurozone) , whereas if you go Rohloff you'd have to deal with SJS. 

http://www.starbike.com/php/product_info.php?lang=en&pid=5267 do Rohloff spares. Compare the price of the oil change kits with Thorn's. I bought a litre each of cleaning and hub oil from Starbike.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: andrew_s on February 02, 2010, 02:41:02 pm
Mittelmeyer in Germany make a drop-bar compatible Rohloff shifter that would normally sit near the stem. Googling "Mittelmeyer Rohloff" should find it.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Greenbank on February 02, 2010, 02:45:52 pm
And linked off one of those pages is a Norwegian company that makes a stem with a Rohloff shifter on it:-

Scroll down to the bottom of this page: Norwid - Komponenten (http://www.norwid.de/komponenten.html)

No idea on prices.

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Wowbagger on February 02, 2010, 02:54:04 pm
If this guy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/8493238.stm) is intending to use a Rohloff-equipped Thorn for his daft escapade, he must be pretty confident in its ability.

The article didn't say so specifically but the bike in the picture is equipped with a Thorn front rack and it's definitely not a derailleur at the back.

Korea to Cape Town (http://www.koreatocapetown.co.uk/thebike.asp) says it is.

Quote
The German-made Rohloff Speedhub was designed for the kind of off-road conditions that destroy a derailleur-bike's drivetrain.

Well, we've successfully destroyed 3 on the tandem with our UK escapades! We also broke one of Thorn's Rigida Andra "Carbide" rims. Robin Thorn told me we were the only people ever to achieve this.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: LEE on February 02, 2010, 06:09:19 pm
Why do people say that a Rohloff is less efficient than Derailleur? It's not quite that simple.

The plots I have seen (Human Power Institute (http://www.hupi.org)) indicate that Rohloff is more efficient in it's direct drive (11th) than a derailleur, not much different in gears 1-8 but less efficient in it's "granny gears".

Gears 8-14 run at 96% - 99% efficiency.
Gears 1-7 run at 95% - 96% efficiency.
Each gear had it's own unique spike/trough

Derailleur ran at around 97% average.
The curve was pretty flat across the whole range.

What it failed to take into account was the cacked-up state of my rear derailleur at the moment.  I suspect that a typical winter derailleur would lose some efficiency.

For a touring or commuting bike I wouldn't let it worry you.

Noise?  It's not noisy.  It's silent in 8-14 and whirrs in 1-7.  Nobody can convince me that derailleurs are quiet and as for Campag and Hope freewheel hubs, let's just say that you don't need a bell if you ride on Hope hubs.  Noise is not an issue.  7th gear is very low, you'll be groaning and wheezing too much to notice.

Removing the wheel.  It's a non-issue.  unclipping the cable connectors takes 10 seconds but there's no derailleur in the way so that cancels it out.

My Thorn Raven is slower due to the nature of the frame and tyres than the hub I feel.  It's a heavy frame and I use 1.5" tyres.  It's a very long frame with huge clearances.  It's never going to be sprightly but I've done my SR (200km, 300km, 400km & 600km) on it.

In 3 years and 10,000 miles it hasn't missed a shift.  By that I mean that 100% of the time, I turn the shifter, there is a click and it's perfectly in gear.  No slippage, no crunching, no chain suck, it's just in gear.

Myth, you can't change gear when pedalling.  Yes you can, you back off a bit (just like I do with derailleur).

Position of the shifter with drops.  It's worse than using STI levers.  It's better than downtube levers. (I have all 3 so I know).
I use an accessory bar but you need space under the bars (not usually a problem with Thorn's short headsets and huge stack of spacers)

You can just make out the shifter (amongst a mess of lights on same accessory bar). It;s on the right and it's only about 10cm from where my hand sits on the bar tops. Much closer than downtube shifters (which I had for 20 years) and about the same as bar-end shifters.

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/email0001.jpg?t=1265133684)

Yes, it's dirty and the chain is slack but it really doesn't matter with a hub gear. They tend to shrug off the worst of winter.

Sometimes (rarely) it looks like this
(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/ravenschwalbe.jpg?t=1265134002)

But mostly it gets used when it's just too fugly out there to use my other bikes and hence gets cacked-up to the gunnels in slurry.

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: LEE on February 02, 2010, 06:13:50 pm
PS.  Any Rohloff owners who curse the cable-connectors when they have cold and oily hands?

Stick a hex bolt (from Stagonset) in the side instead of a grub-screw.  Makes life much easier

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Various/bayonet.jpg?t=1265134318)
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Andrew Br on February 02, 2010, 07:45:23 pm
Many thanks for the replies folks- lots to think about there.
On balance I'm still tempted to go ahead.
I wasn't too worried about it going "pop" in the middle of nowhere because the likelihood is very low (the likelihood of me being in the middle of nowhere with a bike  ;) ).
You've also managed to re-assure me about the puncture changing and I can see the various options for the changers, some of which have promise (I'd seen most of them, the Norwid stem was a new one though).
So, it really comes down to the efficiency. Depending on which info one reads the Rohloff, at its peak, is either only as good as a poorly adjusted derailleur or it is mid-way between a perfect and a poorly adjusted derailleur.

Tom B- that's an extremely generous offer to try your bike. I'd like to take you up on that if I may.
Do you want to PM me to sort something out ?

Thanks again everyone  :thumbsup:

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Andrew Br on February 02, 2010, 08:12:56 pm
Mainly for the benefit of Roger, although I've always been interested in epicyclic gearboxes, some pictures of a real 'box:-

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2774/4325386463_a253256c3c_b.jpg)

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2563/4326107280_3b504810f8_b.jpg)

Only 5 gears (plus reverse) but there was a splitter version available.

Sorry about the crappy photos, my scanner isn't compatible with Vista  ::-)



Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Andrew Br on February 02, 2010, 08:21:39 pm
I should also add (no, I'm not trying to get my post count up) that the insurance company rang today and gave me the go-ahead to get a new bike. They'll pay up to the insured value of the stolen bike  :thumbsup:

I can heartily recommend my house/contents insurers- they've always been fantastic with me, even if they might not be the cheapest ever.
Usual disclaimers- no connections beyond being a satisfied customer.

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: PH on February 02, 2010, 08:53:22 pm
I've had my Thorn Raven for over 5 years and still really like the hub, though I have an itch to try it in another frame.
You'll love it or hate it, if the latter I think your big loss will be on the purpose built Enigma frame rather than the Rohloff which hold thier value pretty well.  You could try the hub in something a lot cheaper, with a few compromises they fit OK in a Surley Cross Check.  

Or find a secound hand bike, Frenchie was trying to sell his a while ago.  Hubs are likely to last forever, do no harm to have someone else run it in for you.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: rogerzilla on February 02, 2010, 09:23:24 pm
Barring really bad choices of material, hub gears never die, they just get rattlier and rattlier.  I have a 1940-something Sturmey-Archer AM mechanism in the garage which sounded like a bag of nails all the way to Dunwich last summer, but it worked perfectly.  There is a NOS 1949 mechanism in there now, which I'm running in.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: LEE on February 02, 2010, 10:54:37 pm
Inside a Rohloff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7USVMrg5phY)
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on February 03, 2010, 07:24:47 am

Personally, only the drop bar thing is a problem for me.  There isn't really an elegant way of combining a drop bar and Rohloff twist shifter.

I would like to differ:-
Members' bikes (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=17.msg81454#msg81454)

Maybe we have a different meaning of elegant in this context.  Mine includes exquisitely functional in my normal drop bar riding position.  I spend too much time on the hoods and drops to consider your (and Mittelmeyer's) arrangement, despite the clean looks.  If you spend most of your time on the tops, you have a great solution but then why have drop bars?
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: robbo6 on February 03, 2010, 09:36:02 am
On the flat or down hill:- on the flats, hoods or drops depending on mood, tiredness, road conditions or wanting to change position a bit, probably no gear changing required.
Gentle climbing:- on the tops, most likely to need to change gear.
All out, lung busting climbing:- on the tops or hoods depending on tiredness, probably won't have a lower gear to change into anyway.
It all depends on your style of riding, if you're the HDAU sort who has to change gears at every undulation to keep the right cadence hub gears probably aren't for you.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: clarion on February 03, 2010, 10:14:16 am
I just want the shifter in the bar-end lever position.  Shouldn't be difficult.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: closetleftie on February 03, 2010, 06:09:29 pm
I just want the shifter in the bar-end lever position.  Shouldn't be difficult.

Shove a length of MTB handlebar into the end of the drop bars and mont shifter on that?

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: LEE on February 03, 2010, 08:18:32 pm
FYI

A closer look at my accessory bar solution. (Solidlights now gone to a new YACF home).  That's a minoura Spacebar hanging off my SJSC accessory bar btw.

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/accbarside1-1.jpg?t=1265228092)

It's actually a pretty convenient place for a shifter on a touring bike
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: PhilO on February 03, 2010, 09:33:06 pm
I just want the shifter in the bar-end lever position.  Shouldn't be difficult.

Shove a length of MTB handlebar into the end of the drop bars and mont shifter on that?


That's what I did to fit drop bars on an old MTB, using grip-shifters. Worked a treat. I still have the bars in the garage if anybody wants them...
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: robbo6 on February 04, 2010, 01:28:39 am
I just want the shifter in the bar-end lever position.  Shouldn't be difficult.

It isn't. When you look inside the end of a Roly shifter there's a split ring, remove this and the end of the shifter body fits over the bars (I had old type 65 Cinelli). The grub screws hold the shifter in position. Ideally fit a plug so the screws bite the Al. instead of distorting it.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: vorsprung on February 04, 2010, 01:53:33 pm
It's actually a pretty convenient place for a shifter on a touring bike

Are SJS on a mission to make bikes that look like industrial machinery?

Even my MTB shifters on a drop bar look better than that!
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Andrew Br on February 08, 2010, 03:33:42 pm
So the decision has been made. Rohloff it is.
I had a ride around on a Rohloff equipped bike last Friday night and I liked it.
There was a bit more whirring in some of the lower gears but I'm not sure that there was more power-loss than in the higher gears. Also, I couldn't detect which was the direct gear, even when I looked at the shifter.
I have an appointment with Paul Hewitt on Wednesday  :thumbsup:

Many thanks to TomB for letting me have a go on his bike  :thumbsup:

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: rdaviesb on February 08, 2010, 10:45:16 pm
Why not get
Hewitt to build you a frame?
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: rogerzilla on February 09, 2010, 06:30:54 am
Does he actually build frames?
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: rdaviesb on February 09, 2010, 07:10:35 am
Yes. Rather fine steel audax frames, but I am sure he can be persuaded to build whatever you want. There's a review somewhere on BikeRadar.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: vorsprung on February 09, 2010, 10:03:21 am
Does he actually build frames?

MSeries has a marvellous Hewitt.  When I first saw it and I asked MSeries what type it was he replied "It was made by Ewart".  i wondered who Ewart was.  Maybe a friend of his?
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Andrew Br on February 09, 2010, 11:42:06 am
I liked my previous Enigma so much that it seems sensible to get a new one.
The Rohloff will be the main difference.

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: MSeries on February 09, 2010, 11:46:56 am
Does he actually build frames?
I don't think mine Ewart was built by Paul Hewitt, mines an off the shelf Chiltern. I don't think Hewitt himself builds the custom ones either. He gets a man to do it for him. Just like my Merckx wasn't built by Eddy Merckx but by one of his men.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: GrahamG on February 09, 2010, 12:08:12 pm
I've got two custom built Hewitts - he has a frame builder that works part time in the back of the shop, can't recall his name. Very good quality welds (better than a friends similar Condor frame!) which they do not feel the need to file down, perfectly aligned, finish was good but not perfect (they don't do the paint jobs in house) and more importantly the price was at the lower end of the range from most UK custom builders despite quality columbus tubing used etc.
Second one was a cheeky cycle to work scheme indulgence.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: LEE on February 09, 2010, 07:44:48 pm
It's actually a pretty convenient place for a shifter on a touring bike

Are SJS on a mission to make bikes that look like industrial machinery?

Even my MTB shifters on a drop bar look better than that!

I think most bikes look almost exactly like industrial machinery.  Stick some threshing attachments on the wheels and they are industrial machinery.

The photo is taken from about 12".  It's more discreet in reality (to the point where people don't even see it).  It honestly works really well there.  Like I say it's more convenient than downtube shifters and, in my opinion (as I rarely use the drops), bar-end shifters.

Also in that photo is a Minoura Space-Grip hanging off an accessory bar (to get my lights below my bar-bag). That was a mess but it's all gone now, new light is mounted on fork crown.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: clarion on February 09, 2010, 09:22:06 pm
I just want the shifter in the bar-end lever position.  Shouldn't be difficult.

Shove a length of MTB handlebar into the end of the drop bars and mont shifter on that?


That's what I did to fit drop bars on an old MTB, using grip-shifters. Worked a treat. I still have the bars in the garage if anybody wants them...

Bob Jacksons have a tourer with just this arrangement in the shop right now.  They've cut the bottom section of the bar back slightly so it doesn't stick out too far.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: PH on February 10, 2010, 07:07:26 pm
Have you decided how you're going to tension the chain?
If you go for an EBB be careful which style.  The Van Nicholas has a wedge type, I nearly went for one of these, but there are plenty of reports of them creaking.  The type Thorn use with the set screws isn't such a good idea in a titanium shell according to the builders I spoke to, they said there was a possibility of the force distorting the shell.  That only leaves the split and clamp type, there's a picture of one on here somewhere, it's what the builders for Singular are doing, I'm sure it's fine if the welding is good enough, but it does look crude.
It's worth a bit of research before you commit yourself.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Andrew Br on February 10, 2010, 07:54:26 pm
I ordered the bike today and took a lot of advice from Paul (Hewitt).
He didn't recommend EBBs so Enigma are sourcing some horizontal drop-outs.
I've gone for a Hubbub mount for the shifter, even though I think that the cable-run isn't exactly elegant.

OT- it's mind-boggling what the choices are if you get a bike made. I've only been cycling regularly since 2007 (before that it was when I was in my early teens) and I still haven't a clue about many of the types of components eg even last year I wouldn't have known what an EBB was  :-[
This time, as last time, I relied heavily on Paul's knowledge. It worked a treat last time so I'm sure it'll be as good this time. He's a top bloke (and very patient).

Only four months to wait.......................

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: rdaviesb on February 10, 2010, 08:27:13 pm
The perfect day then...... Toekneep and I should form a welcoming committee in June! :-)
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: clarion on February 10, 2010, 09:06:24 pm
Bob Jacksons said they preferred not to use EBBs (though they would fit one if asked) because they change the geometry of the effective seat tube.

Mind you, we have one on the tandem, and I can't really tell when it's in a different position.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Andrew Br on February 10, 2010, 10:44:27 pm
The perfect day then...... Toekneep and I should form a welcoming committee in June! :-)

The perfect day will be when the bike arrives  ;D
We're planning to do London-Paris in mid-June so I hope that it arrives before then, otherwise I'll be on my MTB. That wouldn't be too bad though- I'll have my Hewitt built 700C wheels on it by then. It already seems very fast with the semi-knobbly 26".
Want the Enigma though   ;)


Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: ed_o_brain on February 11, 2010, 12:02:22 am
Good luck getting your shiny new bike in time, Cb.


I rode a Rolhoff equipped bike for a week and didn't really notice the noise. It seemed a bit draggy, but I was riding fixed at the time and quite enjoyed being able to shift and even shift whilst stationary.

Don't think I would justify the expense for a commuter bike, which is where I think hub gears work best.
I quite like the SRAM Spectre S7. Spare click boxes and internals seem easily available. The one on my Brox still seem to hold up well even though that was a pedicab brought up from London.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: PH on February 11, 2010, 08:55:34 pm
Bob Jacksons said they preferred not to use EBBs (though they would fit one if asked) because they change the geometry of the effective seat tube.


They're in good company, Mercian say the same.  The maximum height difference on my Thorn is less than the difference between my two pairs of shoes.  I'm sure there are those sensitive enough to notice it, I'm not one of them.
Quote
Enigma are sourcing some horizontal drop-outs.
Rohloff do a sliding dropout for a frame with a corresponding slot.  You can get these with a disk brake mount on the part that slides, which means the brake doesn't need adjusting when you move the wheel.  In case that doesn't make sense, here's a photo;
http://timetogetnaked.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/details20003.jpg
This also has the advantage of making your bike future proof, fitting another design of hub or even a derailleur just requires bolting different dropouts in.
I'd expect Paul Hewitt or Enigma to be well clued up on this stuff, but when it's my money I never like to make that assumption.
Are you going for Ti forks again?
Not tempted by belt drive?
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: clarion on February 11, 2010, 10:12:28 pm
That's what Jacksons fit.  Neat job.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Andrew Br on February 11, 2010, 11:16:43 pm
Thanks for the suggestions PH.
I've e-mailed Hewitts to ask their opinions about the sliding drop-outs.

Belt drive ? Hhhmmm. Interesting and appealing. I've asked about that as well.

OT (slightly)- Gates used to be a customer of mine in my last job. I supplied them with polyurethane elastomer.

Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: Porkins on February 12, 2010, 11:28:53 pm
I'm a bit late to this party but I didn't choose Rohloff when building my tourer because:

(a) the noise. I can't hear any noise from my bike except whooshing from the tyres and spokes.  (The derailleur is a 7400 Dura Ace with the SIS switched off.) I can't abide any clicking, ticking, whirring etc. It brings me down. The bike is not permitted to gobble up any more of my effort than absolutely necessary.

(b) gaps between Rohloff ratios are not as small as you can get with a derailleur. 5 of my 8 sprockets are one tooth apart. 

I might wish I had a Rohloff if I eat through lots of chains and sprockets in remote corners of the world, but I hope I'll mitigate this a bit by having 8 speed Uniglide. My dropouts are Rohloff compatible in case I change my mind one day - perhaps when future Rohloffs are lighter, quieter and allow you to choose your own ratios?
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: rower40 on February 12, 2010, 11:57:16 pm
Belt drive ? Hhhmmm. Interesting and appealing. I've asked about that as well.
Should you ever be in the East Midlands, or if there's a forum get-together where our paths intersect, I'd consider it my duty to bore you rigid with anecdotes and useless information about my belt-drive Trek.
The belt drives an 8-speed Nexus hub (strangely, the hub says "Nexus" but the shifter says "Alfine"); for a commuting bike, the number of gears isn't that important, but the overall range is a bit limiting.  First Gear is too high, and I've almost never used 8th.  And the BIGGEST problem with belt drive is that alternative-sized sprockets and chainbeltrings are not readily available.
Title: Re: To Rohloff or not ?
Post by: DrMekon on February 13, 2010, 07:28:59 pm
I quite like the SRAM Spectre S7. Spare click boxes and internals seem easily available. The one on my Brox still seem to hold up well even though that was a pedicab brought up from London.


That is interesting. We had the 5 speed on our old bakfiets, and it felt bombproof compared to nexus, albeit the shifting was more agricultural. I'd been told that the weak point was the clickbox, and that they were non replaceable.