Replacing Rohloff Hub Oil Seals…

9 05 2013
Leaky Rohloff...

Leaky Rohloff…

The Rohloff IGH in my Surly Big Dummy has been leaking oil for a while. This doesn’t really matter a whole lot as the Rohloff continued to work just fine, but I knew it was something I should sort out. So I collected the parts I needed and specialized Rohloff tools last year and finally got around to making it happen last week.

Most of what I needed...

Most of what I needed…

Here is what you need:

  • Hub oil seals x 2 = #8244
  • Tools for mounting hub seals = #8503
  • Paper gaskets = #8710
  • Loctite = #8347
  • Oil change kit = #8410
  • Sprocket removal tool = #8510
  • Rohloff instruction manual
  • Torx 20 driver
  • 3mm, 5mm & 8mm allen keys
  • large adjustable wrench
  • chain whip
  • paper towel
  • q-tips
  • rubbing alcohol
  • beer x 6
  • music

Before getting started wash your hub/rim/tire and let dry. You don’t want to have chunks of dirt fall into the open hub and it will be nicer to work with a clean wheel.

Axle side oil seal removed...

Axle side oil seal removed…

Like all Rohloff projects I’ve embarked on it was much easier than I had feared, but complicated enough that I ran into a couple glitches. Here are some instructions on how to replace the hub oil seals.

You will also need to read up on:

  • removing/installing the disc brake [assuming you have one]
  • removing/installing the shifting mechanism
  • removing/installing the drive sprocket
  • how to do an oil change

It’s worth reading all the way through so you can be sure you have all the parts and tools you need.

Staying organized...

Staying organized…

I started on the axle side where the shift box attaches. Pulling off the disc brake rotor and the shifting mechanism was easy. The hub oil seal was in pretty tight so it took me a few tries to get it out. It helps that you can destroy it in the process since it’s headed for the bin anyways.

New hub seal...

New hub seal…

With the Rohloff tool installing the new hub seal is dead easy. Just make sure you clean out the old seal mating surface before installing and don’t get crazy with the Loctite around the new seal. You don’t want to contaminate the hub.

Seal installed...

Seal installed…

Once the hub seal is installed just reassemble the axle side of the hub. It’s a bit fiddly so read the instructions first and then tackle it.

Paper gaskets...

Paper gaskets…

It was about this point that I realized I was missing 2 small paper gaskets I needed to reinstall my shift mechanism. I was a bit bummed because I didn’t think I’d be able to source them locally and figured I might be waiting 2 weeks for mail order parts to arrive. Happily I went down to the Fairfield Bicycle Shop and they had exactly what I needed in stock. Awesome! ūüôā

It’s really nice to have a LBS who services Rohloffs in town. If I ever have questions I can talk to them and they carry the parts I need for any projects.

The video above shows how to remove the sprocket from a Rohloff hub. These sprockets are threaded onto the hub and continuously tightened by your pedalling action. So they are a bitch to get off.

I tried....

I tried….

I tried to loosen the sprocket at home, but failed. So I carried the hub down to the kind folks at Cycles West my neighbourhood LBS. They used their bench vice to hold the hub and spin off the sprocket with a chain whip. Thanks guys – you rock! ūüôā

The video above shows how to replace the hub oil seal on the drive side of the hub.

SLX brake parts...

SLX brake parts…

I cleaned the brake rotor with rubbing alcohol to remove any traces of hub oil that may have gotten on to it. I sanded down the pads and then set them ablaze for a while in a pool of rubbing alcohol to clean them up as well. I probably need new pads, but I’m a bit lazy so I’ll use these for now until I get some freshies.

My Big Dummy repair stand... ;)

My Big Dummy repair stand… ūüėČ

With the hub back together I pumped some cleaning solution into it as the first part of an oil change.

The video above explains how to do an oil change.

Time to haul...

Time to haul…

I needed to work the cleaning solution all through the hub so I figured I might as well go get some groceries.

Checking everything out...

Checking everything out…

The ride let me check that the hub was working correctly in case I had goofed something during reassembly. As it turns out the IGH was purring like a kitten! ūüôā

My buddy Steve...

My buddy Steve…

I ran into my buddy Steve so we talked cargo bikes and he checked out the passenger deck.

Fresh oil...

Fresh oil…

Once home I let the dirty oil drain out and then I injected 25ml of the clean stuff and buttoned up the Rohloff.

See you in 5000kms...

See you in 5000kms…

Since my Big Dummy doesn’t see big mileage these days and lives inside I won’t be messing with this Rohloff for a few years.

Ready for summer...

Ready for summer…

Now that I have been through it all once I could replace a set of Rohloff hub seals in 1hr – assuming I had the parts and a bench vice at home. Sadly I’ll probably forget everything I just did by the time I need to do it again! ūüėČ

Gravel Pimp – Dead End Recon…

23 06 2012

Enjoying a ride along the coast…

If you haven’t read the Extreme Recon chapter of the Gravel Pimp Saga than click here and read it so you know what’s shaking.

Our last attempt to pioneer a dirt route between Lake Cowichan and Victoria BC failed when we were diverted by a security zone around the Victoria Water Supply Area [aka The DMZ]. Not to be deterred we retreated back to Gravel Pimp HQ and reviewed our maps then plotted a new route.

Pink is the new route – click for larger…

The map above shows our planned route in pink. The green route is what we had hoped to ride last time when we were stopped. As you can see the new route is a significant detour, but better a few extra KMs of dirt than riding pavement home. Where the pink and green tracks meet at the bottom of the map is Leectown and the top of the Galloping Goose MUP.

Our bikes ready to roll…

Trying to schedule a ride between everyone’s work obligations and weather was a challenge, but finally we found a window that worked. A-Man couldn’t make this edition of Gravel Pimping, but he has a sweet Moots 29er ready for next time!


We had a¬† few beers to adequately prepare for the rigors of the ride….;)

Scott enjoying some sunshine…

Rolling down the Goose MUP was pleasant as always.

My trusty steed got a new frame bag that actually fits!…=)

Our first night’s goal was modest since we didn’t want to try any of the hard route finding until the AM. So in true Gravel Pimp style we detoured to a pub and enjoyed some additional beers as well as some burgers.

Home sweet home…

We took advantage of the Barnes Station Shelter, but threw up the mesh tents as bug nets. You can tell spring is here when you can snack just by riding with your mouth open!

Is it morning already?

Scott was super keen to get rolling so he kicked me out of my sleeping bag at 5am. Breakfast was a variety of cold snacks I had stuffed into my front pouch [aka the Feed Bag].

You can’t bitch about the scenery – Sooke River…

Our first goal was finding Leechtown – an old mining settlement that would mark the start of the hard route finding.

Scott finds Leechtown…

Finding Leechtown was just an easy few km spin up the Goose MUP to its end. Although we realized we were on the wrong side of the Sooke River so we needed to do some ‘schwacking!

It’s all gone green…

We followed some forest tracks to the river.

There was a bit of walking…

A little hike-a-bike never hurt anyone.

Even Scott had to walk…

The nice thing about finding your way next to a river is that you can’t get lost!

Crossing the river part 1…

Although the Sooke River is pretty intense further downstream it was broken up into a few manageable creeks where we were trying to cross.

The might Sooke River has been tamed!

The ‘schwacking continued after the water crossing.

Need any spare parts…

We started to see derelict machinery, but we never did see any old buildings.

Denied by the DMZ again!

As we scouted out route options we encountered the first dead end at the Evil Red DMZ Gate. These gates are all around the water supply area. Happily the guards didn’t notice us and Scott wasn’t beaten half to death this time.

Checking out some equipment we may need later!

Denied by the DMZ we tried some of the logging roads that ran west along the Leech River.

Scott is thinking about a kickstand for the Hunter…

But, before we did anything hasty it was time for a snack break.

I like snack breaks!

I streamlined my food supply – leaving three elements at home – fruit, sandwiches and M&Ms. Mistake! Next time I will have all three with me. Recon work is tough and I got hungrier than I thought I would. I didn’t run out of food, but what I was putting in my mouth just didn’t seem to satisfy me as well as it should.

Steep loose gravel…

After the DMZ gate our first attempt was a rough double track that was clearly made with a bulldozer and never improved for frequent vehicle traffic. The big chunky rocks were hard to ride up and scary to ride down. It was fairly “climby”, but it had a nice remote feel that would have made for a great bikepacking route.

It was good – until it ended!

Sadly the road just ended. We don’t mind a hike-a-bike, but not 30kms of it over a mountain range!

Guess what?

As we backtracked we tried a side trail that had some potential, but it ended as well.

Clear cut…

We ended up back at Leechtown and headed west on a well used logging road on the south side of the Leech River. This was shown on our map as connecting up with the other logging roads we needed to get to further north.

Yup…it’s true….denied again!

But as we found out that was a lie. The road just stopped at a scree slope that was hard to walk across let alone carry a bike across.

Overgrown double track…

Although it didn’t go anywhere this section of the ride had some super fun overgrown double track to pedal. Life could be worse than riding your bike in the forest looking for promising bikepacking routes….;)

Hmmm….why is Scott walking back?

There was a turn off from the main road that went higher and we hoped got around the rock slide. So we cranked uphill and found that it did go a bit further, but it also dead ended despite being shown on our map as continuing onwards.

Scott immersion testing his Rohloff!

So defeated yet again we rode back to Leechtown to regroup. Our time and energy levels were running low as we still had a few hours of riding back home to Victoria. The most promising option was straight up a mountain north of Leechtown and neither of us could handle the thought of 15kms of grinding uphill only to be denied. So we decided it was time to roll for home.

Nearly road kill…

Scott bunny hopped over a snake on the Galloping Goose so we stopped and herded him off the trail so he could live to slither another day!

Another snack stop…

The roll home was pleasant, but to be honest we’re over the Goose MUP. It’s a convenient way to get out of town on dirt, but after you’ve ridden it 12 times in a year you want to load a movie on the iPhone just to stay awake! Don’t get me wrong it’s far better than hoovering exhaust fumes on the side of Hwy 14 while dodging trucks. I’m just a spoiled whiner!

Pink was the theoretical route – dark red the actual GPS track…

All told the ride was ~145kms long with ~1200m elevation gain. Progress was slower and harder than those stats would indicate with a lot of walking & talking to workout what to do next. While it wasn’t successful in finding a route north to Lake Cowichan we did expand our knowledge of the area and confirm that the maps we have are “optimistic” when it comes to the logging roads. You can click on either map to enlarge them.

Our full route – click for larger…

So what’s next?

  • Craig Main is a logging road up a mountain north of Leechtown that connects through based on our maps. It would provide the most direct route so it’s the next priority for recon effort.
  • Butler Main is a logging road that heads west, but offers the potential of then branching north where we want to go. It’s not very direct, but if Craig Main doesn’t go it’s next.
  • After those two options are explored if we aren’t successful I think our next move is to go back to the north side of the route and explore south as far as we can. Eventually we’ll have GPS tracks for everything reasonably close we can ride and we can figure out if an extreme bushwack is possible to connect the route.

Of course my hope is that there is a nice logging road through to Lake Cowichan, but so far such a beast has been elusive. Time will tell!

Surly Troll Rohloff Build…

5 05 2012

Pushing Pedals Blog…

The Surly Troll is a popular 26″ bikepacking rig and some smart folks are building them up with Rohloff hubs. If you click on the images in this post you’ll be launched to other sites where you can enjoy some IGH bikepacking goodness,,,,=-)

Cass Gilbert’s Rohloff Troll…

BTW – Pushing Pedals Blog has a shout out to Porcelain Rocket that’s worth a look.

Gravel Pimping…

16 02 2012

The Gravel Pimps at Oak Bay Bikes Westshore...

Scott and I have been talking about getting out and doing some bikepacking on the south end of Vancouver Island, but life has been getting in the way. So we decided to make a break for it when we saw a window of good weather Monday. With both of us busy with work our departure got pushed back until 4pm. In December that would have meant a 100% night ride our first day, but just a few weeks later we still had nearly 2hrs of daylight to enjoy from the saddle. We stopped in at the Westshore location of Oak Bay Bikes just to say hi and check out what they had on the floor.

What else would I rock for bags?

It got dark soon after we left OBB on the Galloping Goose Trail. We both had about 900 lumens of LED firepower at our disposal which we didn’t use at¬†full-power¬†given the easy terrain and our sedate cruising speed. ¬†We wanted to hit up the 17 Mile House Pub on Hwy 14 for beers and burgers so I stopped a few times to check my iPhone. I don’t like riding with a GPS on my bars unless absolutely necessary so I had to stop and¬†retrieve¬†my phone each time.

Scott warming his hands...

During one of these stops I found myself at the top of a set of stairs [click here for a photo from the next day’s return trip]. Scott wisely backtracked and went down the trail. I of course had to do a stupid human trick and decided to ride down the stairs. Now normally this would be no problem, but at night with a new bike loaded for the first time with gear and backpack, my weight distribution and inability to get back off the saddle because of the seatbag resulted in an over the bars endo/vault. Thankfully not very fast, but nevertheless I ended up with two sore palms and a bashed up¬†elbow/knee on the left side of my body.


It’s been years since I’ve been even moderately hurt on a MTB so I don’t feel hard done by, but what a dumb way to get banged up. No heroic story of a 6′ drop off a skinny wood bridge while being chased by a cougar…just operator error!

Got gravel?

Luckily I was able to find a hand position on my bar ends that wasn’t terribly painful and we cranked along the rest of the way to the pub. Several pints of beer and many dead chicken wings later I was feeling better. I climbed back on my bike gingerly and we cruised the rest of the way to our destination for the night.

A room with a view and no doors!

I had spotted this shelter last time I was up this way biking with Aaron. Since only crazy people go camping in early February on Vancouver Island we had the place to ourselves and simply ignored the no camping signs. Yeah we are bad asses!

Low rent, hardwood floors and indoors bike parking - score!

The shelter was spacious and clean with great protection from wind and the inevitable rain that was to fall that night. Bikepacking bags only let you carry the bare essentials so we didn’t get up to much upon arrival beyond setting up our sleeping bags and munching on a few snacks. When it’s dark and cold I find myself very quickly jumping into a down¬†cocoon! I told Scott he could yell and kick me if I was snoring too loud and with that I passed out.

Black and white On One Scandal 29er...

I woke up in the middle of the night and did a quick inventory of my aches and pains. Everything was feeling pretty good except for my left hand which was very tender and swollen. Not great, but at least I knew I could bike home with 4 out of 5 contact points on the bike feeling decent. Back to sleep I went.

Rohloff'd Hunter 29er...

I wish I had a watch in my sleeping bag as I got up at 6am [according to Scott] to pee and went back to bed because it was still dark. Had I known it was 6am I would have probably made a move to get rolling. After a certain point sleeping on a hard surface with a thin thermarest doesn’t provide much additional benefit.

It's alive!

It started to just get light at 8am so I got rolling. I fired up the stove and made a random dehydrated meal I found at home and some green tea. It was less than gourmet, but it hit the spot.

Minimal, but effective...

Water is plentiful in the rainforest so dehydrated meals are very handy if not the most delicious thing you can eat…=-)

Clean well stocked toilets...

Although we didn’t make much use of the campsite infrastructure there were lots of tables, water and clean toilets close at hand. Nice to see tax payer $$ going towards something I cared about instead of fighter jets!

Sooke Potholes Regional Park...

There was an old mining town a few KMs north from us and I had hoped to spin up there and check it out, but my hand was really sore and I decided it was best to make tracks for home, painkillers, ice and beer!

Scott loading my bike bags...

With one bum hand I was having issues loading my gear back into my bike bags. Scott was kind enough to help me out. Lucky for him I hurt my left hand otherwise I would have needed some assistance in the toilet as well….hahaha! =)

One last look back at our hut...

The scenery up this far along the Galloping Goose Trail is stunning something you can’t appreciate riding it at night.

Pointing our bikes down the map back towards home...

I was sad to miss the mining town, but it will be there next trip. This run up the Goose is our entry pass into a vast network of forest service roads. So unless we drive our bikes to a different starting point all our bikepacking rides will pass this way.

One of the many wooden bridges on the Goose...

My left hand wasn’t terribly happy, but as long as I lifted it off the bars before any major bump was encountered I was able to tolerate light pressure as I gripped the bar end.

Scott keeps it in first gear...

We rode down the Goose slowly in a light rain. Scott kept his back brake on the whole time just to get a better workout…=-)

Yo - check the Pimp rig...

Happily the wide 29er tires rolled well over the gravel/dirt trail surface making it an easy task to spin back towards Victoria.

Another killer view...

The spectacular views helped me keep my mind off my aches and pains!

My bike not looking so clean...

I was happy to roll into my yard and pop a couple Tylenol as I took a swig from an ice cold Corona! Despite my stupidity it was still great to be out on the bike on the South Shore of Vancouver Island. This ride let me figure out some things about my bike and how to best pack it for future adventures.

Nothing a quick hose down can't fix...

The Alfine 11 IGH and the 29er hardtail bike is proving to be a fun versatile machine that’s ideal for lots of different adventures. I’m going to take a few days off the bike to let my left hand rest and then I’ll be back hard at work wearing out parts…=-)

BTW – in case you are wondering about the title of this post we decided that “Gravel Grinding” sounded too boring for a couple wild and crazy guys like us – hence we coined the new term “Gravel Pimping”. You have our permission to use it as you wish!

Surly Black Ops 1×1 Mountain Bike…

24 11 2011

It's rigid and black and beautiful...=-)

Riding with Scott and Aaron on their hardtail MTBs has shown me that my XL sized Santa Cruz Nomad isn’t the best weapon for tight twisty singletrack where the speed never climbs to warp levels. I love my Nomad and won’t be getting rid of her until she dies of natural causes, but I wanted to try something more nimble that better suits the realities of mountain biking in the Forests of Endor.

Shimano XT + Mavic XC717 front wheel...

Thing is I didn’t have any desire to buy a new MTB so I looked around the garage and decided I’d try franken-building something. I stole the front wheel from my Surly Big Dummy as I had a dynohub wheel I had planned to install anyways.

160mm disc up front...

Avid 160mm disc rotor from the Big Dummy. Shimano SLX hydraulic brake that I bought for my CETMA cargo bike, but never installed. I was going to use it on my Pugsley, but stuck with the tried and true Avid BB7s on the fatty. So that freed them up for this build.

Jonny Tomac pro-model rubber!

Kenda 2.35″ Nevegal with stick-E rubber compound to get some traction in the slick forest.

Lots of room in there...

If this experiment proves successful I’ll be looking for wider rubber to add some float to this rigid frame…something between 2.5″-3.0″

38T x 16T...

The Shimano Deore BB/crank from the fixie build lives on with a Thorn 38T chainring. I may go lower in terms of my gearing, but I had the 38T ring so we’ll start there and stay legal!…=-)

IGH bling...

Of course having a spare disc ready Rohloff IGH built up into a nice Velocity Aeroheat wheel from the CETMA was the critical element in the whole plan. I had a spare Rohloff disc rotor so I was golden. Note the Surly Tugnut to keep the wheel from sliding in the horizontal dropouts due to my massively powerful chicken legs. No need for a chain tensioner on the 1×1.

Slick Rohloff setup...

I used a Monkey Bone disc adapter & Rohloff OEM2 axle plate to keep the IGH from¬†spinning. 160mm Rohloff rotor and external gear mechanism is normal fare for a mountain bike. I used a Nashbar allen bolt semi-QR skewer so I could¬†tighten¬†the wheel up better than a QR. We’ll see how this works.

Where did I go?

I see some night winter MTBing in my future so I left one light on the 1×1.

Right hand control setup...

I had a previously¬†hacked set of Ergon Grips I threw on the bike with some rubber bar ends and the SLX levers. I managed to cable the Rohloff backwards so gear #1 is the hardest and gear #14 is the easiest. Since it works fine I’ll just use it like that.

Time to break you in!

I kept the very very very hard narrow Brooks B17 saddle from the fixed 1×1 build. I figure I’ll break it in MTBing or die trying…=-)

Black is back...

You’ll notice in the top photo I’ve added a rear clip on fender to the downtube mounted splash guard. This should keep the Brooks from self-destructing and keep my back from sporting the brown MTB strip of shame.

My plan going forward is:

  • ride the 1×1 rigid and see what I think
  • consider a short travel suspension fork if I can find one that’s reasonably priced [EBay?]
  • try some wider rubber
  • try some lower gearing

Is that all the rubber you got?

If I’m happy I’ll keep tweaking and riding her. If it’s not a fun setup I’ll probably strip her down and return the parts to the spares bin.

You might be thinking what about the Pugsley as a rigid MTB? I’ll be testing out the fatty this winter as well. I’ll end up using whichever one makes me smile the most.

This was what the 1x1 looked like when started the MTB build...

The right Rohloff for your Big Dummy?

7 05 2011

A Big Dummy love a Rohloff!

This is is a repost from an old blog. I figured it would be useful to have here in case someone was searching for Surly Big Dummy Rohloff information.

One problem with buying a Rohloff hub is that there are a TON of options to navigate if you want to get the right hub. In this post I’ll run through the options to let you know what works and what I chose.


  • available in¬†red, black and silver
  • the anodized cases [black and red] should withstand salt and other elements a bit better than the polished aluminum case
  • cases are now laser engraved. If you see one with a sticker on the hub it is older stock.
  • I chose black for the stealth Big Dummy look
Internal or External Gear Mechanism:
  • the external gear mechanism is a box that attaches to your hub and your cables terminate there
  • this means you can easily detach it for removing the rear wheel
  • cables are run fully covered to the external gear mechanism so they are immune to the elements
  • it is easier to field service the external gear mechanism
  • the trade off is the shifting is slightly less smooth
  • you cannot use disc brakes with the internal gear mechanism
  • I went with the external gear mechanism for the ease of maintenance and so I could use disc brakes.
Disc Brakes:
  • you will need to use the external gear mechanism
  • you will need to specify disc brake use when ordering your hub
  • you will need a¬†Rohloff specific disc rotor
  • you can use a Rohloff disc hub on a rim brake bike as long as you use a rim with a braking surface
  • I went this route as I wanted to use Avid BB7 disc brakes on my Big Dummy
Torque Support:
  • without any torque support the hub will want to spin and will not drive the bike forward
  • you can get a Rohloff with the following torque support options:
  • you need to be sure you get the OEM2 axle plate
Accessories you’ll need:
  • chain tensioner¬†– you’ll need this as the Big Dummy has vertical drop outs. Keep in mind there is a standard and DH version. You want the standard version.
  • Tandem length cables – due to the length of the Big Dummy you’ll need the longer tandem length cables.
  • Rohloff specific disc rotor – you cannot use the rotor supplied with your brakes as it will have the wrong bolt pattern.
Accessories you may want:
  • chain guide¬†– keeps your chain on the front ring
  • oil change kit¬†– you’ll need one of these every 5,000kms so it migt be easiest to buy one or two when you get your hub.
  • Sprockets¬†-all hubs come with a 16T sprocket. You can also get 13T, 15T & 17T sprockets.
Non-Rohloff specific parts you’ll need:
  • 38T or larger front chain ring that will fit on the outside of your cranks – same position as big chain ring on a MTB triple. You want a ~54mmm chain line. This chain ring does not need to be pinned and ramped. You’ll be able to flip it around and use the other side when it wears out.
  • 2 chains – you’ll only use 1 and a bit, but you can save the extra portion and use it dnotw h road. You’ll also be able to flip your chain and rear cog around when things start to wear out and get more miles out of your drive train. I bought two 8 speed SRAM chains as they were cheap.
Rohloff Part Numbers

To make your life easier here are the part numbers you can use to ensure you are getting exactly what you need when you order your Rohloff hub:

  • Silver disc brake CC External Gear Mech OEM hub [specify OEM2] – #8025
  • Red disc brake CC External Gear Mech OEM hub [specify OEM2] – #8026
  • Black disc brake CC External Gear Mech OEM hub [specify OEM2] – #8027
  • Axle plate OEM2 [if you forgot to ask for it like I did and got an OEM hub] – #8227
  • Tandem Length cables – #8267
  • Chain Guide – #8290
  • Avid/Shimano 160mm disc rotor – #8281S
  • Hayes 160mm disc rotor – #8281H
  • Magura 160mm disc rotor – #8280
  • Oil Change Kit – #8410
  • 13T Sprocket – #8219
  • 15T Sprocket – #8220
  • 16T Sprocket – #8221
  • 17T Sprocket – #8222

Drivetrain Efficiency…

11 12 2010


This interesting article was posted over at BROL.  It discusses some measurements of various drivetrain efficiencies.   Click on the image to read the PDF Рarticle starts at pg 3.

One question I have is that they note that efficiencies are worst at lower input power. ¬†Since cyclists have a short peak of power twice per crank revolution followed by 2 lows and the majority of the power stroke is between the low and high values I wonder what the measured efficiencies would be with a variable power input that simulated how a cyclist’s legs worked?

Rohloff Video

10 12 2010

Click image to view video...

This is a repost, but I just ran across this again and to be honest I never get tired of watching this…=-)

When do IGHs make sense?

8 12 2010

The Gold Standard for IGHs...

I’m a fan of IGHs.¬† I’ve got 2 Rohloffs, 2 Nexus 8s and an Alfine 8 in service in addition to a number of derailleur equipped bikes.

There are a lot of things to like about IGHs:

  • low maintenance
  • hard to break in¬†accident¬†or during shipping/transport
  • clean looking drivetrain
  • easy to use sequential gearing
  • builds up into a strong dishless rear wheel
  • easy to adjust shifting when needed
  • IGH wheel can be shared easily between multiple bikes
  • can shift when stopped [say on a steep hill]
  • will work on almost any frame

There are also some things not to like about IGHs:

  • internals are not field serviceable
  • cost is higher than comparable quality derailleur setup
  • greater power loss than derailleurs
  • greater weight than derailleurs
  • gear range usually lower than a 3 x 9 setup
  • can’t tell what conditions internal mechanism is in without a tear down
  • limited selection of stock bikes sold with IGHs so you have to replace a stock derailleur setup or build custom from frame in most cases
  • drivetrain is in hub so if you have two wheel sets for a frame each needs its own IGH
  • limited shifter options for drop bars

When you consider these points it becomes clear that there is no slam dunk in favour of derailleurs or IGHs.¬† The optimal choice depends on what’s important to you.

Here are some things to consider:

  • a quality derailleur drivetrain that has been setup properly shouldn’t need a lot of attention if used on paved roads – especially if it doesn’t see much rain.¬† As you start to ride more in the rain and move onto mud, snow & sand derailleurs get messed up and need lots of love. This is where the IGH’s low maintenance can be a considerable benefit.¬† However, for a lot of people who ride for pleasure or are fair weather commuters they won’t see a lot of benefit, in terms of maintenance, between a derailleur and an IGH, but they will have to deal with the extra weight, extra cost and power loss of the IGH.
  • if you are having problems with your derailleurs and they are low end units replacing them with some middle of the road will probably solve your problems with less cost than an IGH and with less weight and power loss.
  • derailleur setup are more efficient in the larger cogs of the cassette which correspond to low gears.¬† A Rohloff is less efficient in the lower gears than the upper gears due to the way its planetary gears are setup. This means you’ll experience the most inefficiency with a Rohloff vs. a derailleur on a steep climb where a weaker rider can afford least to give up power.
  • An IGH can be shifted at a stop. For a cargo bike or some recumbents this can be a real benefit since unweighting the back wheel to shift to a lower gear isn’t easy.
  • An IGH rear wheel is very strong since there is little or no dish to the spokes and the resulting equal tension and wide base makes the wheel very robust.¬† Having said that a well tensioned cassette wheel is strong enough for adult men to use mtn biking so for many applications it’s more than adequate.¬† If you are not a clydesdale and/or you are not riding an overloaded bike, but still have wheel problems talk to an expert wheel builder – there is something wrong with your wheels.
  • I use a 3 x 9 derailleur setup in a simple way.¬† I ride in the middle ring 90% of the time and use the 9 cogs as a sequential gear box.¬† I use the bottom 3 gears and top 3 gears 10% of the time when I need them.¬† This is easy to do and doesn’t require a lot of thinking to get the right gear.
  • The only satisfactory drop bar IGH shifter I have come across is the JTek bar end shifter for the Nexus 8 /Alfine 8 hubs.¬† It’s a pleasure to use. JTek will be coming out with a bar end shifter for the Alfine 11, but it might be the end of 2011 before it hits the market. You can mount twist shifters and trigger shifters on or around drop bars and they work, but I have found them to be so poor to use that I won’t bother using such a setup.

Surly Cross Check in lovely Robin's Egg Blue...

Example #1 Sharon’s Cross Check

I’m going to build Sharon a Surly Cross Check using parts from her city bike.¬† The goal is to have a more efficient ride for her since she is not a powerful rider.¬† I considered whether or not to use the Nexus 8 IGH from her city bike or build her a custom 700c cassette wheel and use derailleurs.

I decided to use the Nexus 8:

  • the main benefits of the Nexus 8 for Sharon are 1) it’s paid for 2) it’s easy to use/maintain.
  • Sharon’s current commuter MTB has a cheap derailleur which needs monthly adjustment and she’d rather put a nail through her hand than learn how to tweak a derailleur [I don’t blame her!].¬† The Nexus 8 is dead easy to adjust since you simply align two yellow marks are you are done. Plus it doesn’t need frequent adjustment – maybe twice a year.
  • I am concerned that the extra weight and power loss are not ideal for Sharon since she isn’t a speed demon.
  • I think Sharon will like the simple aesthetic of the IGH chainline and how quiet it is.
  • for the initial build we’ll use swept back riser bars from her city bike and a twist shifter as well as the city bike’s v-brake levers – they are all paid for!

Looking forward I think when the Nexus 8 dies we’ll try a quality derailleur 1 x 9 or 2 x 9 setup:

  • I have lots of derailleur parts in my spares bin so cost will be low.
  • she can benefit from extra efficiency and lower weight.
  • a quality derailleur [LX,XT, 105 or Ultegra] won’t need lots of maintenance or adjustment given she rides only paved roads.
  • she would benefit from the aerodynamic position and multiple hand positions of a drop bar so we’ll use a bar end shifter.
  • she doesn’t need an uber strong back wheel since she is light and doesn’t carry lots of cargo.
  • with another few years of cycling under her belt she will figure out how to adjust a derailleur by ossmosis and it won’t be a big deal.
  • we’ll need drop bar v-brake levers, but by that time her current ones will be old and it makes sense to replace them.

If I was starting from scratch I’d build her bike with drop bars¬† and 1 x 9 derailleur setup mainly because as a weaker rider getting as much power to the road is a benefit she will realize every pedal stroke whereas the difference in maintenance is a smaller benefit realized only occasionally.¬† The drop bar aero position is a benefit when she wants to get more aggressive and increase her sped.

The muddy Dempster Highway...

Example #2 my Surly Big Dummy

My Surly Big Dummy was initially built up with a Rohloff hub and it’s a setup I continue to ride today.¬† If I was starting again I’d use the same hub:

  • having an uber strong rear wheel on the Dummy is critical.
  • this is a heavy bike so the incremental weight of the IGH isn’t a big penalty.
  • I use wide stiff tires [Marathon XRs] on this bike which cause a bigger performance hit than the Rohloff.
  • I generally ride this bike short distances at moderate speeds.
  • A lot of the folks I ride with regularly are weaker riders than me so the Dummy helps equalize things while being very useful if we run errands on the ride.
  • being able to shift while stopped is a big benefit when you stop in a high gear at the bottom of a hill and you have a passenger on the back.
  • I wanted to use Titec H-bars for this bike which work fine with the Rohloff twist shifter.
  • I have used this bike for dirt road/muddy road tours and the Rohloff’s imperiousness to mud was a major benefit.

Besides being a cargo bike this bike is my dirt road/expedition touring rig. The Rohloff’s strength and low maintenance are benefits in this role that out weigh the weight and power loss. I would not ride this bike across Canada on paved roads – it would be painful compared to my Surly LHT.

Trucking on the Bow Valley Parkway, Alberta...

Example #3 my Surly Long Haul Trucker

I built up this touring bike from parts using a 3 x 9 derailleur setup.¬† After several thousands of kms of touring and errand riding I’m on the same cassette/chainrings/derailleurs, but I have swapped in new chains as needed.¬† I love riding this bike.¬† If I were to start again I’d go with a similar build although I might simplify it by skipping the front derailleur and going with a 1 x 9 setup.

  • all my riding has been on paved roads [wet and dry, but mostly dry].
  • I haven’t had much maintenance hassle with this bike.
  • I really enjoy how the Shimano bar end shifters work and love using drop bars on this bike.
  • by touring standards by 32H wheels are light to medium duty yet I have had zero problems and they have not needed adjustment since built up.¬† I attribute this to sensible component selection and the skill of an expert wheel builder who tensioned the wheels.
  • this bike is fast and efficient by the standards of a touring bike and can still haul enough gear to cross the continent while camping/cooking my own meals.

I have considered using an IGH with this bike, but upon further thought it seems I have nothing to gain by that change and I would end up with a heavier less efficient bike.

Who needs gears?

Why not just fix the problem?

Many cyclists who are thinking of IGHs to get low maintenance trouble free drivetrains should take a close look at using a fixed gear bike.  By doing away with gears entirely a FG bike is lighter and more efficient than a derailleur bike while also being lower maintenance and more bombproof than an IGH.

There is this myth that FGs are slow and they are hard to climb.¬† Neither are true for even an average cyclists as long as you aren’t medically compromised and you don’t live in San Fran!¬† For a commuter, pleasure cyclist and even for light errands a FG offers a lot of benefits.

If the lack of coasting ability freaks you out a single speed setup adds a slight bit of weight and complexity, but lets you cost on the downhills.

Naturally for some applications [cargo biking, touring, recumbents, etc..] a FG or SS may not work, but that still leaves the majority of cyclists who could use one.

Sharon has checked out a FG/SS bike and expressed interest. What I may do for her CC is get her some 700c FG/SS wheels that she can swap in to see what she thinks. If she likes them we might skip gears entirely and go simple and light which would be to her advantage in many ways.

Rohloff Teardown…

19 11 2010

For obvious reasons I don’t recommend you try this at home. ¬†Just change the oil in your Rohloff and be happy!

If you are more of a still pictures person click here.

CETMA Bar Swap

26 09 2010

CETMA sporting KORE riser bar...

I didn’t love the swept back city bars I tried on my first¬†iteration¬†of my CETMA cargo bike build. I felt like I wanted a wider bar for more leverage so I grabbed a KORE mountain bike riser bar I had kicking around. ¬†The install was super easy and I definitely like these bars better.

Old and the new bars...

I was¬†surprised¬†to find out the swept back bars were actually wider then the new bars. ¬†I guess wider was not what I was after…the difference in sweep must have made more difference than I had expected.

Ergon Rohloff Avid happiness...

So far so good. ¬†I’ll keep the KORE bars and given them a good test run.

Thanks Fairfield Bicycle Shop!

13 09 2010

Rohloff dual pulley chain tensioner...

As I was getting close to finishing my CETMA cargo bike build I realized I had forgotten to order a Rohloff dual pulley chain tensioner…*sigh*…a critical component if I wanted to get my new bike on the road. ¬†Since no LBS have stocked Rohloff parts in my experience I usually order this stuff from the UK or the US. ¬†Both of which would likely take 7 days to get the part to me if it was in stock.

I really wanted a Rohloff tensioner as I have had good luck with the one on my Surly Big Dummy. Additionally having two means I can always cannibalize one to get the other bike rolling and they can share spare parts.

I was on the phone with the Fairfield Bicycle Shop and had the crazy idea of asking them – “…you guys don’t have a Rohloff dual pulley chain tensioner in stock….do you?…” ¬†The fellow I was talking to said he’d look and to my¬†amazement¬†he came back on the phone and said he did! ¬†Better yet it was priced at $50 less than the best online price I could find…sweet!

I know how much hassle and cost is involved stocking obscure high-end bike parts so I definitely appreciated the significance of getting this part locally, at a great price with no shipping delay.

CETMA Impressions…

8 09 2010

A shopping cart of groceries plus beer & wine...

Here are my thoughts on the CETMA cargo bike so far:

  • linkage steering is different, but easy to get used to
  • bike handles as well loaded as empty…maybe even better loaded
  • long frame offers a nice suspension effect when loaded and going over bumps
  • Schwalbe Supreme/Big Apple tires were a good choice
  • City style swept back bars are too narrow [will swap in some MTB risers for more leverage]
  • Ergon grips are comfy
  • Rohloff is working well – excellent gear range for this bike and love being able to shift at a stop
  • climbs well [for a heavy cargo bike!]
  • Selle Anatomica saddle is kind of wasted on this bike due to shorter riding distances so I’ll replace with something cheaper
  • front brake is very mushy due to long full run cable housing [not sure it’s worth the $$ to fix….may just wait until next year and put a hydraulic disc up front]
  • shorter run rear brake is fine
  • very easy to use since cargo box is ready to accept stuff without strapping it in or doing anything at all
  • center stand is awesome…very easy to deploy and retract…very stable when deployed
  • definitely a truck made for serious hauling
  • length and width take some consideration when riding in narrow or crowded areas
  • need to fit fenders

I’ll continue to post CETMA photos to Flickr here.

Electronic Rohloff Shifter

25 08 2010

Electronic shifting for your Rohloff...

This new electronic push button shifting system has appeared on Australian EBay.  I have no experience with it and have not read any reviews, but I thought I would share it in case someone out there is in need of a Rohloff shifter for a drop bar or other type of non-flat bar install.

Box contents...

Since my Rohloffs are on flat bar bikes I’m pretty happy with my twist shifter¬†and¬†cables since it works well and is reliable – not to mention easy for me to service at home.

Shift motor attaches to Rohloff External Gear Mechanism...

However, I have tried a Rohloff with a drop bar bike and never found a solution I was really happy with so I can see where this product or at least something other than a twist shifter would make sense.

One of two shift buttons that can be placed anywhere you like...

The bike in these photos is a front wheel drive recumbent with drop bars.  So they have placed the shift buttons under each brake lever.  Although you could place them somewhere else you found convenient.

This control box connects the buttons and shift motor...

I’m assuming the battery is located in the box pictured above and has a capacity for 600-1000 shifts. ¬†This may be only a few days of riding if you like to shift a lot and ride in stop and go traffic. ¬†I’m also unsure how the battery life will be affected by cold temperatures and if the unit is waterproof.

Complete bike...

I’ll be interested to see if this¬†product¬†survives in what is a very small market given how few Rohloffs are out there [maybe 100,000+] and that a lot of people are using Rohloff’s for their¬†reliability¬†and low maintenance which could be¬†adversely¬†affected¬†by adding this¬†complex¬†shifting mechanism to the mix.

How Schwalbe Tires and Tubes are Made…

13 07 2010

Fastolfe posted this video on BROL…very interesting…I run a lot of Schwalbe tires and Schwalbe USA HQ is located in Victoria, BC, Canada!¬† Makes me appreciate what goes into my bike tires.

I posted this video about how Rohloffs are made a while back, but in case you missed it they make a fun double header for the bike tech geek…=-)

Thorn Rohloff Brochure…

6 07 2010

I never get tired on peeking inside a Rohloff...

If you are keen on a Rohloff hub I highly recommend you download and read Thorn’s Living with a Rohloff brochure.¬† They tell you everything important you need to know and it’s easier to digest than Rohloff’s website.

Feel free to email me or leave any question you may have in the comments section.

Rohloff Santa Cruz Nomad?

6 04 2010

Rohloff wheel from my Surly Big Dummy...

If you read this blog regularly you’ll know:

  1. I love a good IGH [Rohloff/Alfine, etc]
  2. I love my Santa Cruz Nomad
  3. 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!…=-)~

Flanged Rohloffs from Thorn

18 03 2010

Standard Rohloff

Thorn bikes are now adding reinforcing flanges to Rohloff hubs used on their tandems [see photo below].¬† I’ve also read that they are drilling Rohloff hubs for 48 holes for tandem use.¬† So you could get a 48 hole Rohloff hub with flanges added…probably total overkill, but I’m sure someone will want one!

Rohloff with extra flange added.

I got these photos from this YACF thread and there is also a related thread on the Thorn Bike Forums here.

I should point out that I’ve been using a standard 32H Rohloff on my Surly Big Dummy under massive loads and had no issues.¬† I’m not suggesting getting your Rohloff drilled for 48 holes and/or adding extra flange reinforcement is needed except in the most extreme circumstances.

48 hole Rohloff

17 03 2010

Photo: Aaron's Bicycle Repair

Aaron’s Bicycle Repair will redrill your Rohloff hub so you can lace up a 48 hole rear wheel.¬† The service is low cost @ $50USD incl shipping back.¬† Rohloff hubs only come in 32 hole drillings from the factory.

Keeping in mind that a 32H non-dished Rohloff wheel is stronger than a 48H dished wheel I’m not really sure how necessary this is.¬† I’ve had 300lbs+ off cargo on my Big Dummy as well as my 165lbs with zero issues.

This will of course void your warranty!

Heavy Haulers…

9 03 2010

Two of my cargo machines...

Removing a Rohloff Cog

1 03 2010

Photo: Speedub.Nate @

Over at Speedub.Nate posted a great article about how to remove a stubborn Rohloff cog.¬† Well worth a read if you are a Rohloff owner.¬† He also points out that it’s worth removing your cog and re-installing with anti-seize compound to ensure your cog doesn’t corrode onto your hub badly making removal at a later date challenging.¬† Good advice…I’ll be doing this myself this summer on a rainy weekend.

Thorn Nomad Mk1 Cockpit Mods

22 02 2010

Rohloff shifter and modified Ergon Grip

I’ve been trying out my Rohloff shifter mounted to a Thorn Accessory Bar and didn’t love it – details here.¬† It’s taken me a while, but I’ve gotten around to moving the shifter to my Titec H-bars.¬† Since the Titec H-bar is a little short on space I’ve had to cut down the right Ergon Grip to fit.¬† This is the same setup as I use on my Surly Big Dummy.¬† I’m going to really enjoy having much easier access to this shifter.¬† I don’t shift a lot compared to some people, but having to take my hand off the bars and hunt down the Rohloff shifter was not much fun at all.

Dual Thorn Accessory Bars

I no longer need the second smaller Thorn Accessory Bar so I’ll be getting rid of it at some point when the mood strikes me to tinker.¬† For now I’m not using my Ortlieb handle bar bag so I’ll put my headlight on it out of the way.

Bird's eye view of cockpit...

Rohloff vs. Mud

15 02 2010

#1 reason to run a Rohloff...

One of the things that’s great about running a Rohloff equipped bike is how impervious to mud/dirt it is.¬† The hub will shift as nicely clean as it will coated in mud and filth.¬† This photo came from a proud owner of a Thorn Raven Sport on the Thorn Forum.¬† I had a similar experience with my Rohloff equipped Surly Big Dummy on the Dempster Highway.

It’s not a question of the Rohloff still being able to manage a shift when covered in mud…the crazy thing is it shifts just as well dirty as it does sparkling clean.¬† When all the rest of your gear starts malfunctioning because of mud it will blow your mind that your bike still shifts perfectly.

Rohloff 1 - Mud 0

If you are not familiar with Rohloff hubs Thorn has a useful guide available here.

Rohloff Porn

10 02 2010

Rohloff Speedhub

Click here for a great video showing how a Rohloff is made.

Winterizing my Thorn Nomad MK1

8 02 2010

Schwalbe Snow Stud

The roads around here are crusty snow and ice.  Not much new snow, but several warm cycles combined with a few deep freezes has made things treacherous.  My Pugsley works pretty well, but some studded tires would be better and I had a set Anna left me when she headed to California so I mounted them on my Thorn Nomad Mk1.

Carbide studs - the other winter weapon!

I do like the fact this bike has full coverage fenders so I can wear some decent clothes and go out after a ride across downtown.¬† The Rohloff means no maintenance which appeals to my lazy side…=-)

Shimano Dynohub

Additionally I had a 26″ dynohub wheel I wasn’t using that would be really useful on a winter bike due to the short amount of daylight available each day.¬† I’ll be mounting the Solidlights 1203D from my Bike Friday NWT.¬† I can just leave it on 24/7 and not worry about my batteries running out.

Two lights are better than one...

I like having multiple lights on my bikes at night – especially in the winter as snow/ice/fog can make visibility worse than ever.

Zipties - cheap and effective...

I don’t have any mounts for my Thorn’s rear rack, so I just zipped tied a Planet Bike Superflash on.¬† Not the most elegant solution, but it works just fine.

My Nomad looking the business!

Rohloff Security Tip

23 09 2009
Put the shifter into 14

Put the shifter into 14

I’ve been riding my Rohloff equipped Thorn Nomad around town a fair bit lately.¬† Often I have to stop at a shop and grab something quickly.¬† So I leave the bike leaned up against the store window where I can see it. This still leaves the possibility someone jumps on my bike and rides away with it.¬† You can’t catch up to someone stealing your bike if you are on foot – trust me been there and it’s a bitch watching your bike rolling away on you like that…=-(

One option is to lock it to itself so it can’t be ridden.¬† That works, but even a simple cable lock is a pain to get out, put through the front wheel and frame – plus you gotta unlock it and take it off the bike.¬† When all you need to do is run in for 60 seconds to grab some milk that’s too much overhead.

Well I’ve come up with a strategy that’s super easy and much faster than locking your Rohloff bike, but almost as secure for short dashes into a shop.

  1. put the Rohloff in 14th gear [hardest] = 1 second
  2. unscrew thumb screw on external shift box pull off of hub = 5 seconds

Your bike is now in the hardest gear and if some punk gets on it and tries to ride away he’ll get all of 4ft before you deck him.¬† Nobody who doesn’t have a Rohloff will know what to do and even if they did it would take them a lot longer than an experienced Rohloff owner so you’d have time to notice someone messing with your ride.

If you are the paranoid type you can make this even more secure by rotating the Rohloff shifter back to 1st gear once the external shift box is off.¬† This way even if somebody manages to reinstall the shift box the shifter will be maxed out and they won’t be able to get it out of 14th gear.

External shift box removed from hub.

External shift box removed from hub.

Don’t worry if I leave my bike for any length of time and/or it’s out of my sight I lock it to something with an uber beefy lock.

Carbo Loading…

17 09 2009
My kind of fully loaded bike touring...

My kind of fully loaded bike touring...

New Rohloff USA

15 09 2009
Rohloff Porn

Rohloff Porn

So apparently Rohloff Germany [the mothership] is working out a new distributor agreement for USA and I presume Canada. I don’t know who the new Rohloff USA will be, but I did find out that Cycle Monkey in the US was and still is the authorized Rohloff repair company.¬† So if you have any warranty work or non-warranty repairs required on your Rohloff give Cycle Monkey a ring.¬† It also sounds like they have a good stock of small parts and complete hubs if you are trying to get something Rohloff related.¬† Until the North American distributor issue gets sorted out they may be the easiest source for all things Rohloff.

For Canadians it may be just as expedient and cost no more to order Rohloff parts from SJSC [Thorn] in the UK.¬† I’ve had fast service from them on a number of orders.

Rohloff Shifter on Thorn Accessory Bar Update

14 09 2009
Rohloff Shifter mounted on a Thorn Accessory Bar

Rohloff Shifter mounted on a Thorn Accessory Bar

As I mentioned in my previous post I like the Titec H-bar a lot.¬† I have one on my Surly Big Dummy with a Rohloff shifter mounted next to a cut down Ergon Grip on the right side of the bar.¬† This works well, but I thought I would try something a bit different when mounting the Rohloff shifter on my Thorn Nomad S&S touring bike.¬† Thorn sells a small Accessory Bar that can be used to mount Rohloff shifters and/or other components that you don’t want on your main set of bars.¬† In fact on my Nomad I have two Accessory Bars mounted one above the other.¬† The lower one holds my Ortlieb handle bar bag and the upper one holds my Rohloff shifter.¬† By angling the Accessory Bar back and to the left the Rohloff shifter is relatively easy to get your hand to.¬† The result is a very clean Titec H-bar with loads of room for a variety of hand positions.

Top View

Top View

I’ve been trying the Rohloff shifter setup this way since spring.¬† My conclusion is that this setup works fine, but I don’t love it.¬† I don’t shift particularly frequently when I ride, but I still find taking my hand off the bars and shifting to be more effort than I like.¬† I also think in tough conditions [really bad road, downhill with full touring load] I’d have to just give up on shifting until things calmed down or risk a crash….not a great situation for an expedition touring bike!

Since I’m not embarking on a tour imminently there is no rush to sort this out, but eventually I’m going to setup this bike the same as the Big Dummy – with Ergon Grips and the Rohloff shifter mounted on the right side of the bars.

New Rohloff Shifter

16 07 2009
Image: Twinni's Flickr Page

Image: Twinni's Flickr Page

Here is a new full length grip shifter for the Rohloff made by Toxoholics. This might be just the ticket for anyone using a Rohloff with a MTB bar and not enjoying the shape of the stock Rohloff shifter.

Shifter Uninstalled

Shifter Before Installation

See more photos at Twinni’s Flickr page.