Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rohloff Hub - Impressions!

I have had the Thorn Nomad MK2, with the Rohloff Speedhub 14, for about 3-4 months now.

I have taken the bike on a few medium distance rides so far and here are some of my impressions of the Rohloff Speedhub 14:
  1. Initially when I setup the bike, I could not get to all the gears. Like a newbie, I did panic a tad. However, all I had to do was to look at the Rohloff manual (and also consult Vik). I simply had to disconnect the external gear mech from the gearbox and use a spanner to rotate the Rohloff counter-clockwise until it didn't move anymore. Then, I simply reconnected the external gear mech to the gearbox and I was done. If it sounds complicated, it might be because I wrote this piece in my own words :) But, don't let that fool ya, it is simple as it can be.
  2. I have ridden it in some crummy conditions, gotten it splashed with mud, rode through pools of water {I don't plan on crossing rivers using my bike :) }, gotten it really soaking wet and none of this mattered. It simply continued working like a Rohloff!
  3. When shifting from gear 7 to 8 or shifting from gear 8 to 7, you need to ease-up on pedaling. If not, Rohloff will put you in gear 14, the highest gear and it is not where you want to be when climbing a steep grade. On one or two occassions, I didn't do this right and I had to dismount once. Oh well! Now, I know how to manage this and I don't have any problems in gears 7 & 8.
  4. Gear 7 can be a bit noisy, according to Rohloff experts. I only hear very little noise and I believe it will go away with time. It does not bother me.
  5. I have had the best experience with the Rohloff hub so far and I believe I will not have any problems in the future, as long as I do my maintenance as recommended by Rohloff, which by the way is not until the 5000th kilometre (3100 miles).
  6. I love the fact that I can change the gears while parked. So, for instance, if I don't make the light at the bottom of the hill before the climb, no biggie, I can simply shift the bike into the gear I would be most comfortable with for climbing the upcoming hill.
  7. The speedhub works like a charm. I do not have to worry about having to fix the derailleur cables or some such thing to make it work properly.
One critisicm that I hear often is that the Rohloff is not cheap. There is a price for everything. I economize in other walks of life to enjoy the Rohloff, if you ask me.

Peace :)

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