If you read this blog regularly you’ll know:
- I love a good IGH [Rohloff/Alfine, etc]
- I love my Santa Cruz Nomad
- I’m not a weight weenie
So it shouldn’t shock you that I was pondering mounting a Rohloff in my Nomad frame for a super clean chainline, easy all weather shifting and shifting while coasting. I have a Rohloff wheel in my Surly Big Dummy built up using a Mavic 321EN all mountain/enduro rim which would be a good match for the Nomad. I got as far as pulling the wheel from my Big Dummy and stripping off the Schwalbe Marathon XR tire [still in great shape! after two years of cargo biking].
Although I’m not a weight weenie the heftiness of the Rohloff wheel was disturbing. So I decided I might as well weigh it to see how heavy it really was. The answer = 6.2lbs [Rohloff, spokes, 160mm disc rotor and cog]. I wanted to borrow Kurt’s Nomad for my GF to use this weekend and offered to fix a flat he had in exchange for the loan. When I had his rear wheel in hand with tire/tube off I was shocked by how light it felt compared to the Rohloff. His wheel [Mavic 321XM, DT hub, cassette and 160mm disc rotor] = 3.6lbs.
If we were talking a touring bike or a commuter I couldn’t care less about 2.6lbs. The trouble is on a long travel full suspension mountain bike the rear wheel has to do a ton of up and down at high speed. The extra 2.6lbs will be something like 60% of the weight of my Nomad’s rear wheel with tire/tube. That’s a significant difference and a performance issue that I don’t think I can live with.
I’ve seen some custom mountain bikes with Rohloffs built into the main frame and a simple cog/fixed gear wheel in the rear to drive the bike. That’s a smart solution to keeping the Rohloff’s weight suspended. Not one that will work for me though.
Probably for the best…my Big Dummy loves that Rohloff and on a cargo bike 2.6lbs extra IGH weight just makes the bike more sexy!…=-)~