Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
tommydog
Posts: 164
Joined: 11 Feb 2017, 6:48pm

Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby tommydog » 24 Nov 2017, 11:31pm

I remember reading this magazine article some time ago about hydraulic shifting for the Rohloff:

https://www.cyclingabout.com/2017-bpod- ... hloff-hub/

The product is called the Bpod PSH’R and is available here for € 646.00:

http://www.pshr.ch/shop.html

Just wondered what people thought about this, as I can't find any real world reviews since the products release. Has anyone got one of these and what do they think about it?

Also is anyone aware of any other hydraulic shifting solutions for hubs? I came across this one:

http://www.kindernay.com/

But it seems to be at the pre release stage, with no real world reviews.

User avatar
Tigerbiten
Posts: 1602
Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 6:49am

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Tigerbiten » 25 Nov 2017, 2:27am

I like the idea, just not at that price.

They probably suffer the same downsides as electronic shifters for a Rohloff.
No visual indicator of what gear your in and the inability of shifting more than one gear per click.

The no visual indicator of which gear you're in is more an annoyance than a problem. I tend to keep track mentally of which gear I'm in and the change in noise between the low and high range (7-8) is a great help. But I've gone for 15th gear a number of times .... :D .
In the dark when I cannot see the shifter, I check what speed and if I'm doing ~14 mph, ~20 mph or ~35 mph then it means I need to shift up to the next gear range.

It's the inability of shifting more than one gear per click that's more of a problem for me. I've multiple chainrings on my trike, so shifting up a range at the front means I need to drop 2 or 3 gears at the back. It's quick and easy with the twist shift but takes longer when you can only shift one gear at a time. Even with the twist shifter it can be hard dropping enough gears quick enough when touring with a full camping load.

The other thing I'd like to know is the MTBF.
Are they like hydraulic brakes. Better than cables when they work but only reparable if you're lucky when they fail.
With the USS on my bent trike then the levers will probably point up. If they're anything like my hydraulic brakes then muck will gather on top of the piston seal. This causes the seals to fail in the wet resulting in no brakes. I solved that problem with covers over the brakes to stop muck getting into the piston seal. Will these levers suffer the same type of problem.

Brucey
Posts: 31130
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Brucey » 25 Nov 2017, 6:54am

I wonder if the issue of multiple shifts could be addressed by using a two-stage (concentric, nested) piston arrangement, where a short lever stroke works a small diameter piston, and a longer stroke works a larger diameter piston that does many more shifts in the same length stroke. For example if the second stage piston is x2 diameter, you could get four shifts in the second half of a stroke, and one in the first, for five total, or perhaps two and then another eight, if there is enough leverage.

The lack of sticking friction in cables etc ought to make for a lighter shift action, all in all.

But... I can't help but think that the repairability issues are likely to be a worry. It doesn't really matter how well it works when it is working, if it isn't 100% reliable, doesn't have a benign failure mode, and it can't easily be fixed when it stops working it will be eschewed by many.

Ironically it is not as if the standard cable shifting is a blemish-free bundle of joy in every respect; as well as all the usual issues with rotary shifters and cables (which are at least straightforward to address in the main), there is the short cable that works the gear selector pulley. I have not done an external gear selector, but replacing the short cable in an internal gear selector is a pretty fiddly job. If the cable frays badly enough it can be a major hassle just to remove it. I'd carry a spare cable (with termination tubes and zip ties, it'd pack small and weigh almost nothing) on a long tour, but I wouldn't be expecting to be able to fit it easily in a short length of time or anything. Rohloff say that the cable ought to last 10000km but I don't know whether this is borne out in fact or not. I just did one yesterday and fitting the cable took about 45 minutes in a well-equipped, brightly lit workshop; I wouldn't fancy it much as a roadside repair.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
Tigerbiten
Posts: 1602
Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 6:49am

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Tigerbiten » 25 Nov 2017, 10:51am

Brucey wrote:Ironically it is not as if the standard cable shifting is a blemish-free bundle of joy in every respect; as well as all the usual issues with rotary shifters and cables (which are at least straightforward to address in the main), there is the short cable that works the gear selector pulley. I have not done an external gear selector, but replacing the short cable in an internal gear selector is a pretty fiddly job. If the cable frays badly enough it can be a major hassle just to remove it. I'd carry a spare cable (with termination tubes and zip ties, it'd pack small and weigh almost nothing) on a long tour, but I wouldn't be expecting to be able to fit it easily in a short length of time or anything. Rohloff say that the cable ought to last 10000km but I don't know whether this is borne out in fact or not. I just did one yesterday and fitting the cable took about 45 minutes in a well-equipped, brightly lit workshop; I wouldn't fancy it much as a roadside repair.

cheers

The 2 main hassles with the clickbox is cutting the cable to the exact length needed and wrapping the cable around the pulley.
The easy way is to carry a pair of precut inners and outers when on tour.
Otherwise just carry a 200mm length of outer as a guide to the cut cable inner length.
As for wrapping the cable around the pulley, thats a major PITA due to only having one hand. You need to keep tension on the cables to stop them unwrapping while putting it in the housing.
If the cables go on the road, I just put my hub hub in around 4-6th gear. This lets me limp somewhere with 4 gears before repairing it.
I've done that a few times on tour, so I now make sure I carry all the tools needed for the job.

Luck ...... :D

pwa
Posts: 7994
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby pwa » 25 Nov 2017, 11:01am

Why do people buy Rohloff? Surely they are looking for reliability, simplicity of operation, and low maintenance. All of which you get with cable operation. Rohloffs have the indexing at the hub, which means the grip shift you twist is very simple. Cable tension is not critical in the way that it is with other gear hubs. On yt tandem (external box) I can play around with the cable tension without altering the ability of the gears to shift reliably. All that happens if I get the tension a bit out is that the numbers on the twist grip tell me I am in gear 8 when I am actually in 9. Why play around with something so idiot proof, that actually works better than most things on bikes?

User avatar
Tigerbiten
Posts: 1602
Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 6:49am

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Tigerbiten » 25 Nov 2017, 11:27am

I think it's a bit like hydraulic brakes, they are after better shifting from less force.
Plus you cannot fit the twist shifter to drops easily, while it looks like you can with this system.

But all non-Rohloff systems tend to be a silly price, probably due to small volume sales.

PH
Posts: 6077
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby PH » 25 Nov 2017, 11:41am

Brucey wrote:Ironically it is not as if the standard cable shifting is a blemish-free bundle of joy in every respect; as well as all the usual issues with rotary shifters and cables (which are at least straightforward to address in the main), there is the short cable that works the gear selector pulley. I have not done an external gear selector, but replacing the short cable in an internal gear selector is a pretty fiddly job. If the cable frays badly enough it can be a major hassle just to remove it. I'd carry a spare cable (with termination tubes and zip ties, it'd pack small and weigh almost nothing) on a long tour, but I wouldn't be expecting to be able to fit it easily in a short length of time or anything. Rohloff say that the cable ought to last 10000km but I don't know whether this is borne out in fact or not. I just did one yesterday and fitting the cable took about 45 minutes in a well-equipped, brightly lit workshop; I wouldn't fancy it much as a roadside repair.
cheers

I've just had my hub converted from internal to external shifting, in order to use a disc brake. With the internal shifting I have a spare pulley and cable set up ready to do a complete swap (This also gets carried on tour), the pulley was a one off purchase as it gets reused. I've followed Thorn's recommendation which I think is very conservative, it's never looked worn, or been troublesome, but as you say not the sort of job anyone would want at the roadside. The external box is probably slightly easier, but in the past I've changed the shifter cables more often than the gear end and now it's all in one.
I can see there might be some circumstance where non cable shifting would be an advantage, but none that are ever likely to apply to me.

Brucey
Posts: 31130
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Brucey » 25 Nov 2017, 12:53pm

it certainly makes sense to carry a spare pulley and cable all built up for the internal system, it would be a good deal easier to fit. Even so I can't imagine replacing it one-handed!

The cable I replaced was in a very well-used hub. It was so frayed that individual strands were starting to poke out of the concertina booting. I don't know if I got the length perfectly correct but the old cable appeared to be 215mm length from the pulley, i.e. it started out 440mm long. It took a while to find some stainless inner cable that was skinny enough to go in the pulley grooves. I'd have bought a new Rohloff cable but it is amongst the many other things that Isons don't have in stock...

I can see why Rohloff only use the external shift box with a brake disc hub, but I think that the internal shifter would work provided

a) there isn't a direct clash between the brake caliper and the shift cables and
b) some kind of shield is mounted (on the hub or the frame) to prevent the concertina booting from touching the disc itself.

BTW how much does it cost/how long did it take to get the hub converted to external shifting/with a disc type hub end cover?

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
Tigerbiten
Posts: 1602
Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 6:49am

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Tigerbiten » 25 Nov 2017, 2:11pm

Brucey wrote:BTW how much does it cost/how long did it take to get the hub converted to external shifting/with a disc type hub end cover?

cheers

The full Rohloff External Gear Mech Kit - 8213 is £129.99 at SJS Cycles.
That will convert from internal to external workings.
Rohloff Rotors are ~£60 as they only use 4 bolts.
Dont know how much the endplate is if you need to convert the hub to fit the rotor. You'll have to contact SJS Cycles about that.
There's a vid/description of the change over on this page -> https://www.rohloff.de/?id=1437&L=1 , just scroll down a bit.

Luck ......... :D

PH
Posts: 6077
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby PH » 25 Nov 2017, 3:21pm

Tigerbiten wrote:
Brucey wrote:BTW how much does it cost/how long did it take to get the hub converted to external shifting/with a disc type hub end cover?

cheers

The full Rohloff External Gear Mech Kit - 8213 is £129.99 at SJS Cycles.
That will convert from internal to external workings.
Rohloff Rotors are ~£60 as they only use 4 bolts.
Dont know how much the endplate is if you need to convert the hub to fit the rotor. You'll have to contact SJS Cycles about that.
There's a vid/description of the change over on this page -> https://www.rohloff.de/?id=1437&L=1 , just scroll down a bit.

Luck ......... :D

Disc conversion fitted is £75ish, it may also need a different axle plate for £20, there's a choice of four bolt rotors, I bought this one for £24
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brakes/hope ... ve-design/

EDIT - no it isn't that one, it was the same price, 160mm and and I now can't find the link.

User avatar
Gattonero
Posts: 3244
Joined: 31 Jan 2016, 1:35pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Gattonero » 26 Nov 2017, 1:57pm

To me, a different type of actuation for a Rohloff shifter is just to complicate something that is already good and works well :roll:

Aside from the price (though they look well engineered and manufactured), is the need for it that I cannot justify. Hydraulic lines have two big advantages:
-can run in tight corners where a Bowden cable would have friction or would wear fairly quick
-can exert a good pressure with little force from the lever
none of those is particularly useful on a bike equipped with a Rohloff hub, you're not going to use it on a TT aero bike, nor the shifting requires so much force.
Plus different mechanical shifters are already available at better price, just stay away from the Cinq triggers (another over-complicated thing that doesn't make much sense)
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

Mike_Ayling
Posts: 57
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 3:02am
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Mike_Ayling » 27 Nov 2017, 5:05am

pwa wrote:Why do people buy Rohloff? Surely they are looking for reliability, simplicity of operation, and low maintenance. All of which you get with cable operation. Rohloffs have the indexing at the hub, which means the grip shift you twist is very simple. Cable tension is not critical in the way that it is with other gear hubs. On yt tandem (external box) I can play around with the cable tension without altering the ability of the gears to shift reliably. All that happens if I get the tension a bit out is that the numbers on the twist grip tell me I am in gear 8 when I am actually in 9. Why play around with something so idiot proof, that actually works better than most things on bikes?


Agree

Mike

Brucey
Posts: 31130
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Brucey » 27 Nov 2017, 8:34am

but... the standard Rohloff shifter is still a gripshift style one, which not everyone likes, or finds is the right thing to fit to dropped bars. I think there is plenty of scope for making a better (more ergonomic, more versatile) Rohloff shifter, so there are changes to be made.

The most fiddly cable replacement is still easier than messing with hydraulics by the roadside, so I don't think that cables are the main problem; it is the rest of it, really.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
Tigerbiten
Posts: 1602
Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 6:49am

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby Tigerbiten » 27 Nov 2017, 10:33am

I've a bad wrist, so sometimes the twist shift is hard to use especially if the cables are a bit sticky.
Cannot use the other side as that wrist is not there anymore ....... :(
Plus with the Under Seat Steering on the recumbent, the twist grip is the wrong way around in my hand.
I've solved that with a Toxiholic full high shifter, but I would like to try the hydraulic shifter and see if it's easier.
But thinking on it, would I be able to work the shifter easily with my little finger ..... :?:
If it easier then I may be able to change gear and brake at the same time ......... :D

AndyA
Posts: 332
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 9:16pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Hydraulic Shifting for Rohloff etc?

Postby AndyA » 27 Nov 2017, 9:11pm

If there was a wireless electric Rohloff shifter that cost less than £250 I would buy it tomorrow. If it was £400 I'd probably hum and haw and think for ages before taking the plunge - a bit like buying the hub!