Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
zerobuttons
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Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby zerobuttons » 4 Dec 2010, 9:29am

This will be my presentation of myself, since I didn´t see a specific members forum, so here it goes..... :)

I plan to buy a new touring/trekking bicycle March-April 2011, and am looking into a Rohloff configuration. Could I get you to say a few words about your experiences here, if you have bought a bicycle from a builder in EU who do Rohloff?

I am thinking about these guys for instance, but I may not have spotted all European builders who make bicycles with this gear hub:
Thorn
Mi-Tech
Van Nicholas
Nicolai
Koga Miyata

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Cunobelin
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby Cunobelin » 4 Dec 2010, 12:29pm

Visit Thorn, who have a very varied set of routes to try out their bikes and then make up your own mind?

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julk
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby julk » 4 Dec 2010, 4:19pm

I have bought 2 Thorn Rohloff bikes from SJSCycles, both excellent.

Try the Thorn Forum for the most Rohloff discussion.

zerobuttons
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby zerobuttons » 5 Dec 2010, 10:17am

Thank you, I hadn´t noticed the Thorn fora. I will trawl through the Rohloff specific one and probably a few others to get a feeling for what options I have.

pete75
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby pete75 » 8 Dec 2010, 5:20pm

Don't know about EU builders but why not try a UK builder? Bob Jackson will build frames with specially designed dropouts for Rohloff and I guess many others would if you requested it. http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/rohloff-hubs.php

Thorn frames are, for the most part, imported from Taiwan and are just Thorn "branded" in Somerset.

If you are looking to buy abroad Roseversand do Rohloff equipped tourers and are always competively priced.

goatwarden
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby goatwarden » 8 Dec 2010, 5:34pm

pete75 wrote:Don't know about EU builders but why not try a UK builder? Bob Jackson will build frames with specially designed dropouts for Rohloff and I guess many others would if you requested it.


As will Roberts ( http://www.robertscycles.com/), Mercian ( http://www.merciancycles.co.uk/ and many others. They all seem quite comfortable with the dedicated drop-outs, etc. for Rohloff now; this is probably also true for most EU Mainland frame makers. Don't bother e-mailing Roberts, they are very helpful when you 'phone them though.

PH
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby PH » 8 Dec 2010, 8:05pm

pete75 wrote:Thorn frames are, for the most part, imported from Taiwan and are just Thorn "branded" in Somerset.

That's a bit harsh and a little inaccurate. Having frames made to your specification elsewhere is more than a branding exercise. Otherwise the same could be said of Trek, Specialized, Giant and most of the other big names.

gilesjuk
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby gilesjuk » 8 Dec 2010, 8:10pm

Nicolai are very good, premium mountain bikes.

Van Nicholas have a lot of experience with titanium and will build you a custom frame to your exact specifications.

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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby PH » 8 Dec 2010, 8:16pm

Nearly all the custom builders are using sliding rear dropouts to tension the chain, probably because these are easily available from Rohloff in small quantities. IMO an eccentric bottom bracket is a better option, you'll notice most of the manufacturers producing Rohloff bikes in numbers use this method, usually with their own design of dropout.
The 100 day trial period with a Thorn would put it high on my list of bikes to consider, I don't know of anyone else who offers this.

goatwarden
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby goatwarden » 9 Dec 2010, 9:37am

PH wrote:Nearly all the custom builders are using sliding rear dropouts to tension the chain, probably because these are easily available from Rohloff in small quantities. IMO an eccentric bottom bracket is a better option, you'll notice most of the manufacturers producing Rohloff bikes in numbers use this method, usually with their own design of dropout.
The 100 day trial period with a Thorn would put it high on my list of bikes to consider, I don't know of anyone else who offers this.


Yes, up to a point. The sliding rear dropouts are pretty good design (two M8 bolts to lock each side - i.e. twice the locking force per bike than most eccentric BBs, so hopefully less temptation to over tighten) and greatly preferable to running a chain tensioner (this negates a great deal of the advantage of hub gears over derailleur).

An eccentric BB would often be a more aesthetically pleasing solution, but its function depends to a great deal upon its design. Some eccentrics can prove very problematic, depending upon where and how they clamp up.

Thorn, I believe, always use eccentric BBs with Rohloff. This is OK, except on a tandem. Tandems depend upon an eccentric BB (usually at the front) to tension the timing (crossover) chain. Thorn use two eccentrics (front and back) on their Rohloff equipped tandems. I worry that this can encourage a circle of despair whereby you can only ever get one chain correctly tensioned until you weald the chain breaker. In a tandem application, one eccentric BB and sliding dropouts ( so that each chain is tensioned away from a fixed point – the rear BB) makes far more sense to me.

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julk
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby julk » 9 Dec 2010, 9:46am

The chain tension with a Rohloff is not critical, I run mine until the chain goes well slack before adjusting the eccentric bottom bracket. The chain runs well with some slack, after all it is in a straight line with the chainring and rear sprocket.

Having an eccentric bottom bracket means that the wheel is always in the same position when adjusting chain tension - which means brakes and mudguards stay in the optimum position relative to the wheel.

pete75
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby pete75 » 9 Dec 2010, 9:58am

PH wrote:
pete75 wrote:Thorn frames are, for the most part, imported from Taiwan and are just Thorn "branded" in Somerset.

That's a bit harsh and a little inaccurate. Having frames made to your specification elsewhere is more than a branding exercise. Otherwise the same could be said of Trek, Specialized, Giant and most of the other big names.


Yep many of the big names are merely assemblers not manufacturers and some are just branders.

jamesofyorkshire
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby jamesofyorkshire » 17 Dec 2010, 3:57am

I bought a Rohloff-equipped Tout Terrain Silkroad last year and love it. It's a great ride when weighed down. Check out the attention to detail on everything from the forks to the rack. I knew when I saw it that it was THE touring bike.
I got a cheapo flight to Germany (they are made near Freiberg) and saved myself best part of a thousand pounds over that over-priced and under-helpful sole dealer in London.

Quality oozes out of this bike!

goatwarden
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby goatwarden » 17 Dec 2010, 2:31pm

jamesofyorkshire wrote:) and saved myself best part of a thousand pounds over that over-priced and under-helpful sole dealer in London.


Now there's a recommendation to live somewhere nice instead!

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Phatman
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Re: Experience with EU builders and Rohloff?

Postby Phatman » 18 Dec 2010, 4:52pm

I have a Fahrrad Manufactur 900 which uses the sliding rear dropout method - very happy with it. I have an eccentric BB on a tandem and prefer the sliding dropout method. It was on this FM 900 that I discovered that not all external bottom brackets are the same - there are different models for single speed chainwheels - thread length and bearing casing vary by only a couple of mm but it makes a difference when trying to find a replacement.

Re British builders - I have just taken delivery of a Bob Jackson road frame (non-rohloff) and am very pleased with the product and the service.