Why Rohloff? #cycling

Someone asked (well, kind of), so I thought I’d mention some of the reasons for wanting, owning and never getting rid of a Rohloff Speedhub.

Here’s what it’s like inside:
(Image source http://www.carbonaribikers.com/AlbumEventi/18%20-%20EuroBike%20-%20Set2009/PartsAlbum/imagepages/image115.html)

Gearing is quoted as 526% ratio, something like a 27 geared deraileur setup I expect.
Single chainring, no deraileurs at all, single rear (reversible) sprocket, single shifter and a shorter stronger chain always running in a straight line, you have to be impressed.

Indexing in the hub is wonderful, the only adjusting I’ve had to do is cable tension when installing a new cable i.e. the cable length, once done there isn’t any more tuning to ever have to do. I remember once trying to setup a deraileur, never again, no thanks. I also remember countless times a deraileur setup failing to change down under tension of a hill, again no thanks. The phrase “crashing gears” is one I am also no longer familiar with and I would like to keep it that way.

Most hub gears require the cable to be under tension, the Rohloff doesn’t, the cables are slack, so no cable stretch either. The key part here is there are two cables, twist one way you pull up a gear, twist the other then you are pulling the other cable and you go down a gear. Grab as many gears as you like while stationary and cycle away in the right gear, no rotation required as you have with other gears, you are always in the right gear! They come in QR or solid axle, most others are solid axle only.

Here’s an earlier post to balance the books: My Rohloff thoughts one year on ā€“ nearly perfect, but not quite

Right, now I’ve blogged this I will never have to go on about the Rohloff again will I? OK, maybe I will.


5 responses to “Why Rohloff? #cycling

  1. Wow. It sounds like a lovely thing to use but they are eye-wateringly expensive!

    I can see why people use them though; certainly on a round the world tour or something similar, the thought of having a single chainring & sprocket, stronger chain, sealed hub and no pesky derailleurs to worry about is certainly attractive.

    I guess now I have the Troll, I could always upgrade to a Rohloff if I can ever afford one!

    Thanks for the blog post, Tim.

    • They seem expensive, but in reality there are less things that wear out, very little maintenance, they retain their value well too. Try selling a worn cassette or deraileur and see what you get for it.

      The concensus I read when thinking about getting one was the cost probably balances out as you’ll go through several (many) group sets over the lifespan of a Rohloff, given enough miles the Rohloff was proportedly cheaper too.

      Mine is second hand, 12 years old, 30K miles on the clock and runs like new (after break in time I mean). I don’t expect to have to replace it anytime soon.

      I have no intention of cycling around the world, I also have no intention on fiddling with my gears regularly, so a Rohloff is for lazy people too šŸ™‚

      I’d suggest picking up a second hand one, try it, if it’s not for you, then sell it on and you won’t lose any money on it. Around Ā£600 was what they were going for on ebay last time I looked.

  2. northernwalker

    Hi Tim,

    I too am a fan of the Rohloff having taken a Thorn Nomad for a quick spin. I hadn’t considered the second-hand route as I thought most folk would make such an investment and learn to love it. However, Ā£600 is certainly more appealing. One day for the Troll, perhaps… and then ride across South America!

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