A couple of weeks ago one gear on my Rohloff started slipping. I don’t know which gear, the numbers don’t matter to me and wore off my shifter years ago, but a guess would be 5.
Anyway, the slippage didn’t go away and happened every time I attempted to engage that gear.
After a week or more I got fed up and eventually decided to do something about it. I drained the oil, filled with Rohloff cleaning oil then road it for a week (10 X 12.5 miles). During the week it appeared to happen less and less until I forgot about it.
I then drained and re-filled with 50/50 oil and cleaning oil until the weather warms up (it’s not that cold here, but the mornings can be below 0C).
Cleaning oil did seep out and even made it onto my rim – which made for very odd rear wheel braking, mostly overbraking and locking the wheel up. Anyway, I cleaned the wheel, nothing else of course.
Bluebell is back to full working order and maybe next winter I’ll add a little cleaning oil.
Sure, nobody except me will be proud of these, but…
- Today I cleaned Bluebell for the second time this year! And yes, it was raining at the time, she didn’t mind though. I even cleaned her chain with the fancy chain cleaning gizmo that I never bother to use, I can see why I never bother with the faffy thing.
- Today was only the second time I have bought anything cycling related this year (total spend on cycling this year is only £64)
I can definitely say that Bluebell is very low maintenance and cost, so long as you keep the Rohloff oil changes as they advise and also occasionally check oil levels to make sure you don’t run dry. The only semi-regular maintenance she needs is brake tweaks (as they wear), chain oil and eccentric bottom bracket tweaks (as the chain wears).
I sometimes dream of a super speedy road bike, but I know I’m too busy / lazy to maintain it, so I will keep Bluebell and not needlessly waste money on some fragile carbon money-pit.
I’ve been meaning to write about my Rohloff shifting experiences I had a couple of years ago I for a while now, probably since I had them, but now I’m finally putting the words down on virtual paper.
I had a long commute at the time and I was getting really bad wrist pain in my shifting hand. This was before I had decent grips too, so it wasn’t the most comfortable ride either. I put the wrist strain down to shifting it too much, people do warn of such wrist strain injuries that can occur, but this is one I never thought I’d encounter.
So, tugging at the gear ring cables and the Rohloff seemed to change gear easily enough, pulling the gear cable through by hand also seemed a little stiff, but nothing major, so I couldn’t see a problem.
I decided to replace the gear cable inner and outer (cable housing) just to rule that out and my gosh, what a difference! Shifting was then possible using only my finger and thumb rather than huge effort, marvellous. My wrist strain went away and I also bought some decent ergonomic grips, I’ve not had a problem since!
What prompted the change of cable was a bit of rust I spotted, but actually it turned out to be far worse, the housing had actually split in a couple of places and was long overdue a replacement.
I often think that if I want a bike that feels new, the best thing to do is replace the cables, adjust the brakes and that makes a world of difference.
I pull up to a junction and guess what, I’m in the wrong gear. No worries I can change gear when I’m stationary… oh… I’m not riding Bluebell, I’m on a derailleur bike… No Rohloff! Gasp!
OK, stay calm, accelerate gently in this high gear and change down gently….
Well, I guess you know what happened next.
I recently replaced my chain, I then notice a grinding noise coming from the Rohloff side of things. It’s nothing to worry about… but it is something that is must and can easily be fixed…
I’ve had this before when I’ve over tightened the eccentric bottom bracket, so I loosened that up a bit and tried another test ride. The grinding noise was still there under power / high tension on the chain.
The Rohloff sprocket is normally reversible (13T is the exception I think), so I took the beast (Park Chain Whip) and whipped it off, flipped it over and the problem is solved.
Named after the dinosaur in Ice Age 3.
You will notice he is a crank forward style bicycle which makes you feel a bit gangster as you cruise along. Rudy is a RANS Fusion ST (step through), the RANS Cruz is very similar, but has curved tubing. Rather than the normal derailleur gears, he’s kitted out with a mint condition Rohloff Speedhub. I’ve written about my other Rohloff before, that one is old and well used, this one is barely used, newer (hence lower friction seals) and is a fancy red colour. I bought Rudy as a complete bike second hand (but barely used) and I made a couple of changes, but nothing massive.
Introductions over, let’s go through some of the issues he had.
Notice anything wrong here?
Yes, the blocks are on the wrong sides
But that is not all, notice anything here?
Yes, the pads were for different blocks and didn’t fit properly on one side. Closer inspection and the left and right are different, might be a manufacturer trying to prevent generic inserts being used as replacements
Anyway, I swapped them for a different set and all is well
Notice the bit of gaffer tape on the rim, I use that to toe-in my pads if I’m not feeling dexterous or i’m not having much luck at the time.
The second one shows Rudy is covered in road filth already – from the first test ride – mudguards are on the shopping list.
Next one, notice anything wrong?
Yes, apart from the colour of the pedal, it is on the wrong side, which leads to the pedals loosening as you ride and eventually falling off. Why’s that? Check this
Yep, they are a LHS crankset! Doh!
The fitted chain tensioner (required because of length of chain and no eccentric bottom bracket) was rubbish, fortunately I had a decent one i picked up second hand from eBay a while back, so I fitted that
It’s far better and meant I could fit a standard triple chainring and manually choose a chainring (should I want to)
Those are 152mm cranks so my midget wife can comfortably spin without hurting her knees.
All this of course meant I needed to extend the chain slightly
Can you spot the shiny new KMC X8 quick links joining it? I hope there will be enough chain remaining for the donor chain to fit Bluebell, hopefully nothing wasted. Worth mentioning, I like KMC chains, though the quick links are anything but unless you use a pair of pliers.
That’s it pretty much, a few other accessories fitted and I was cruising in style (or as close to it as I get).
I’ve since tweaked a few more things, snapped the mirror off, fitted a new one, etc. The wife took a quick test ride today and the summary of her thoughts:
- seat is comfortable
- both feet can touch the floor at once
- knees aren’t too high, so no knee strain
- gears change without fuss
- great gear range and very low bottom gear
- no pressure / strain on hands, wrists or shoulders
- it’s cool and different
- I didn’t feel as stupid as I thought I might
- I try not to think about how much it cost
Posted in Cycling
Tagged Avid, Bluebell, BottomBracket, Brakes, ChainTensioner, CrankArms, Cranks, Crankset, EccentricBottomBracket, FusionST, GafferTape, KMC, Mudguards, Pedals, QuickLinks, RANS, Rohloff, Rudy, SingleDigitSL, Suntour, V-brakes, X8