Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
PH
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby PH » 17 Feb 2019, 11:06am

ThePinkOne wrote:maybe I shouldn't be moithering over justifying bike-spend if I enjoy it.

That's my approach :wink:
I know the Rohloff price induces shock and horror in some people, but in the larger scheme of things a grand for something you enjoy using and is likely to last a lifetime doesn't seem extravagant to me. If it leads to being able to dispense with a car, it's an absolute bargain :lol:

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 17 Feb 2019, 3:43pm

It’s also depends on the alternatives - there are other fairly wide IGH systems for somewhat less, with maybe a few feeer gears, or slightly varied jumps, it’s not as if the rohloff is clearly bad value - it’s wonderfully engineered.

I think I’d struggle to justify over, say, an 11 speed from elsewhere at a quarter of the price though.

For some bikes I could probably justify it, but not where I am now.
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pwa
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby pwa » 18 Feb 2019, 6:12am

I have a Rohloff sat in my garage doing nothing, and I'm not eager to dig it out. It is on a tandem, for which purpose it was fine, but we have tired of tandeming and I don't like the Rohloff enough to re-purpose it by building up a new bike. I get on with derailleur systems very well and find Rohloff a bit numbing to use. Low maintenance, certainly, but it takes out some of the feel. Hard to explain really, but I don't miss using it.

brynpoeth
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby brynpoeth » 18 Feb 2019, 6:23am

Why have you tired of tandeming? Time to sell the hub and make some cash? How are secondhand prices?
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Mick F
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby Mick F » 18 Feb 2019, 6:29am

pwa wrote: ....... but it takes out some of the feel. Hard to explain really ..............
This is one of the things I love about the system I have on my Moulton.

10sp Triple with a SA 3sp hub. Complicated to use, but great fun and a huge wide range of ratios. It cost £100 for the hub, and I built it into the wheel. Cheap and at the same time wonderful and plenty "feel" as I feel at one with the system.

Hard to explain really. :D

£100 for a hub, when you already have the 10sp Triple is chicken-feed. I could buy ten new SA hubs for just one Rohloff but then I'd need a new chainset and gear control as well. My SA hub is just an addition to the present system. No changes to anything.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Cunobelin
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby Cunobelin » 18 Feb 2019, 6:37am

My wife wanted to try one, so we went down to Bridgwater and tried

I fell in love with it and we bought two Thorns

I now wouldn't but anything else, and my Catrike, Gekko, KettWiesel and Birdy all have Rohloff

Brucey
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby Brucey » 18 Feb 2019, 7:45am

IMHO 'nice to have' is a bit of a luxury on a utility bike.....this is an unquantifiable 'benefit' in the cost/benefit equation.

FWIW I would (and indeed have) chosen a SA 5s hub with a 70mm hub brake for my utility bike. The gearing is compared with a rohloff here;

http://ritzelrechner.de/?GR=RLSH&KB=42&RZ=16&UF=2185&TF=90&SL=2.6&UN=MPH&DV=gearInches&GR2=SAX5&KB2=36&RZ2=22&UF2=2185

and shows that with the right choice of sprockets etc on the 5s hub you can have a gear range that is high enough to let you do the thick end of 20mph when the going is good, but also includes a 28" gear for the hills. This hub could break and have new internals bought for it about ten times over and it still wouldn't have cost what a rohloff does.

The brake is of course the lowest maintenance brake you can get.

cheers
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Tiberius
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby Tiberius » 18 Feb 2019, 8:39am

ThePinkOne wrote:
Another thought is to get an Elephant bike for local use


How timely.....I saw my first 'Elephant Bike just' yesterday and wondered what it was all about. I've just researched it, what a brilliant idea !!

Back on topic..I have both a Rohloff bike and a Sturmey bike. For a run around utility bike I would go with the Sturmey (in fact I do) The Rohloff is brilliant but it's overkill for a town bike....and there's a whole lot less fretting about it getting nicked.

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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby PH » 18 Feb 2019, 11:08am

brynpoeth wrote:Why have you tired of tandeming? Time to sell the hub and make some cash? How are secondhand prices?

They rarely fetch less than £500 on Ebay, regardless of age. I think I saw one go for £450 though it was badly described and photographed, the others I've seen fetched between 500-650 though sometimes that includes the wheel they're already in. I was happy to pay that sort of price for a secondhand one, although I knew it's history.

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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby PH » 18 Feb 2019, 11:11am

Tiberius wrote:
ThePinkOne wrote:
Another thought is to get an Elephant bike for local use


How timely.....I saw my first 'Elephant Bike just' yesterday and wondered what it was all about. I've just researched it, what a brilliant idea !!

I came close to buying one, I might have needed to change the gearing for the local hills otherwise it would have suited me well - except I live on a first floor flat and it's a heavy lump to be carrying up the stairs...

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 19 Feb 2019, 7:35am

For anybody considering a bike with Rohloff gearing I would strongly recommend one in combination with a Gates belt drive. The belt drive most likely requires a specific frame, which would make the whole thing more expensive still, but it requires rather less maintenance than the hub itself, and is incredibly clean compared to a chain.

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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby Bonefishblues » 19 Feb 2019, 7:52am

I recall that Stephen, the rtw guy had particular issues with his Gates belt Rohloff and ended up converting to a chain.

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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby Brucey » 19 Feb 2019, 8:40am

re belt drive on Rohloff: For the last few years Rohloff have been fitting their new style driver which makes life easier for the average user; it allows easy replacement of the chain drive sprocket which is now fitted with a spline. This replaces a unique (multi-start) screw thread arrangement for the sprocket. It turns out that the splined arrangement doesn't like a lot of preload on the chain/belt; the sprocket starts to orbit around on the driver, at first by a small amount (determined by the clearance between the parts) and as time goes on by an increasing amount and making a lot of noise too. (BTW the same thing often happens with belt drive sprockets fitted to other IGHs with the conventional three-lug fitment.) Problems are pretty much guaranteed with belt drive because belt drive requires a fair amount of preload.

This has caused plenty of grief to owners and was soon a known problem but it didn't stop folk being sold expensive machines which were bound to give trouble:

https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/cycling-around-the-world-sadly-had-to-return-for-major-repairs.227214/

I'm sure that belt drive suits some folk but I would not choose one myself; chains and sprockets are readily available, cheap, and don't fail often and/or without due warning. If they do fail they are easy to repair.

One of the reasons for buying a rohloff is that it is an efficient transmission. However if you fit a belt drive to one, you have thrown this advantage (and plenty more besides) away.

[Belt manufacturers will produce data which suggests that their belts are efficient. However this data is generated under constant torque conditions, may or may not include a representative preload, and isn't representative of what happens when you ride a bike; the torque varies wildly during pedalling and each time it does the belt stretches slightly and then relaxes again, in a way that doesn't conserve energy. Motorcycles are also available with a choice of belt or chain drive and they too are similarly somewhat 'pulsey'; dynamometer tests suggest that you could be losing tens of percent with a belt drive. ]

To anyone that doesn't care about efficiency, and has never seen one break and/or had to deal with the consequences, belt drives may seem like a really good idea. However if you have seen a belt drive fail or give trouble for some stupid reason that you wouldn't expect, you might think otherwise.

cheers
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pwa
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby pwa » 19 Feb 2019, 9:44am

Living with a chain on a Rohloff is easier than living with a chain on a derailleur. The chain itself is likely to be a more robust sort, is much easier to clean on the bike, and doesn't have the sprocket hopping gymnastics to do. And it doesn't have to be held in tension, in fact it is better if it isn't. A very slight flop in the resting chain is ideal.

ubert767
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Re: Should I convert to a Rohloff hub - costs vs benefits ?

Postby ubert767 » 19 Feb 2019, 10:24am

After eleven years of faultless service, a thimble-full of oil every year and a new sprocket when required.......for me the Rohloff choice was a sound one.

Rob