The SPEEDHUB for frames with disc brakes. At present the speedhub is fully compatible with the disc brakes from Magura (Gustav M. and Louise) and Hope. Specially designed discs (discs with min. 160 mm) are required! Quick releases as above.
Strengths: Little maintenance, straight chain line, clean good looks. No chain suck. Reliability.
Weaknesses: Weight, cost.
I purchased this hub after the failure and high cost of my XTR setup. I race my bike and am used to spending a lot on maintenance especially with using XTR. Annual cost of 3 cassettes and 4 chains as well as a complete set of 3 chainrings every year. These add up to about the same cost as the Rohloff Speedhub so initial cost, while high for the hub was what I would would spend in a year just maintaining the XTR setup.
I had just replaced the XTR cassette and chain a week prior to a race I was training for and the first time I rode on the new equipment, I got chain suck as I hadn't changed the chainrings. The chain wrapped around the small ring gouged a hunk out of the chain stay and twisted the chain. This after only 5 km of riding. I was not pleased about having to buy another new chain and set of chainrings. I raced the next weekend and the race went through a really muddy area where cattle had been gathering, I picked up muck and straw in the chain and couldn't use 4 of the sprockets on the cassette. This was a one week old drivetrain! It was after this that I decided to look for an alternative.
I fitted the Speedhub to my Specialized S Works Epic mid way through a race series and the second ride I had on it was in a race. My time was about the same as my previous rides on the same circuit even though the bike felt quite a bit different with the extra weight in the rear and the different feel of the gear changing. I was already a Gripshifter so the Rohloff twist shifter was no big deal. (Why would anyone want to muck about with delicate little thumb/finger shifters which can only shift a couple of gears at once?) My race times improved throughout the series and I won my division. I've had the speedhub for just over a year now and have fitted it to my Ventana El Commandante 29er. This year I repeated my win in the same series as last year, this time on the El Commandante with the Rohloff.
I believe the Rohloff hub is just better all round especially for racing. It provides a high level of reliability at times where I don't want to be on the side of a trail trying to rectify faults with derailleur systems just because the external gears are exposed. Chain wrap and flexibility is a built in problem with derailleurs leading to high wear and low reliability when it matters. The Rohloff Speedhub has none of these issues. Comments are made about the Rohloff not changing under pressure but derailleurs don't either. Derailleur manufacturers have attempted to make their equipment better by ramping and pinning their drivetrains and they now change smoother and better than they did in the past but all these systems still force the chain to ride at angles where it does not sit naturally, ie, in a straight line. They do not always change when you want them to especially under extreme conditions. The Speedhub changes smoothly and effortlessly every time, even when standing still and can change more than one gear at a time. You could change all the way from 1st to 14 if you could twist your wrist far enough! Changing gear is different than for a derailleur but is much faster and smoother, it just requires a different technique. The Speedhub is heavier than high end derailleur systems and all that weight is centered in the back wheel. This is not a problem, just a different feel and balance to the bike which I got used to very quickly. I think handling is actually improved over small humps as the back end tends to stay down on the trail rather than bouncing up. I now spend most of my riding time on my Rohloff equipped Ventana just because it feels good. I do have a choice too, I own a Campagnolo Record equipped Merlin, a Doulas 'cross bike, as well as my S Works Epic.
I'm now a Speedhub convert and will be changing some of my other bikes over to Rohloff as well.
Most people will be looking at this hub for touring, commuting or the 'wow' factor. I am a racer who believes this hub should suit anyone who wants reliability, simplicity and long life from their equipment.
Bike Setup: Ventana El Commandante 29er with Fox Float 29 forks, XTR front hub and brakes, Saint chainset, Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 rear, Stans ZTR rims.
a All Mountain Rider
from Tampere, Finland
Date Reviewed: April 9, 2012
Strengths: -Reliable for all year around, no frozen gears, no chain sucks...
-low maintenance. All year around usage here in Finland requires 2 oil changes per year, not bad
-easier to clean whole drive train compared to derailleur gear system
Weaknesses: -Pricey, but I assume that comes to equal to derailleur system after 10years...
-Heavy.... well I am not racing and main focus is to get more pedal power, so not a real problem for me :)
-No trigger shifters(yet)
As a all year around cyclist the initial reason for my Rohloff purchase is this:
So basically I got fed up with derailleur gears on winter time, which causes always some problems especially to rear derailleur and casette, which is stuck with snow.
During 2years with Rohloff I have have zero problems with drivetrain and that fact keeps me smiling even tough there is some extra weight on the bike compared to derailleur systems. Shifting is almost bomb proof on all conditions. I have suffered couple of times not fully engaged gear problem on early winter, when I didn't change "winter oil" in to the hub soon enough. Normal Rohloff oil works to ~-5C and after that it is too stiff...
Similar Products Used: Shimano Nexus & Alfine, XTR/XT derailleur gears
Bike Setup: Rohloff F2 & Surly 1x1 with Rohloff (with quick release axel)
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 14, 2012
Strengths: Flawless, perfect German precision engineering. Never a missed shift, all weather performance. he Rohloff is smooth perfect shifting every time. I have two Rohloff hubs now and likely will get more. While it is a bit pricey for a bike part, I haven't regretted spending the money once. What I have saved in maintenance, headaches and breakdowns has more than made up for the relatively high upfront cost. I am lucky enough to live near the US distributor for Rohloff (cyclemonkey.com), but since there is almost no maintenance (once a year oil change) it probably doesn't make any difference. With the straight chain line, I have been able to use belt drive for my mtb. I also was able to retrofit my C'dale with a Phil Wood 1/2 link ebb.
Perfect shifting every time. I commute year round on my bike, plus weekend mountain riding. After suffering chain suck for the last time (which chewed enough aluminum to ruin my C'dale frame), I said never again. If you can get over the slight extra weight, this is a purchase that you will never regret if you are looking for reliability, perfect gear spacing increments and solid performance.
Bike Setup: Spot belt drive and C'dale chain w/PW ebb
a Cross Country Rider
from Nanaimo, BC. Canada
Date Reviewed: December 30, 2011
Strengths: We had a great Calfee carbon fiber tandem for about 3 years. We loved the bike but I were looking for the ultimate drive train for long treks. We sent the bike back to Calfee and had them install a Rohloff hub with Gates Carbon drive belts front and back. We put the Rohloff twist shifter on the end of the right drop bar with a carbon insert.
We have done 2 big tours now including Israel and Maui. The Rohloff - Gates belt drive combo is totally amazing. It shifts perfectly with a very small amount of technique to briefly reduce the pedaling pressure while shifting. It takes a couple hours to get the shifting down to an art but it is way better than a deraileur setup. The belt drives are silky smooth and you can always find the perfect gear with the Rohloff. Climbed 6000 feet yesterday non-stop up Haleakala crater road and the Rohloff performed faultlessly. I am perfectly happy with the twist shifter at the end of the drop bar.
Weaknesses: A small bit of extra weight. Lose a pound off your gut and it's just as light as a deraileur setup.
After having ridden tandems for many years, this is by far the most perfect setup I have ever been on. Would highly recommend the Rohloff for any high demand cycling application where perfect reliability and performance is needed.
Similar Products Used: Many different tandems over the years.
Bike Setup: Calfee carbon fiber tandem with Rohloff Speed hub and Gates Carbon belt drive front and back. Titanium S&S couplers, Avid BB7 disk brakes (mountain bike version), 700X23 120psi Continental Gatorskin tires, Cane Creek Long pull leversl for Calfee carbon drop bars.
a Cross Country Rider
from lowell, MA
Date Reviewed: October 30, 2011
Strengths: Works great, no more crunching gears, perfectly spaced gears, little maintenance
Weaknesses: Will not shift under pressure, Price
People claim that weight is noticeable and that efficiency is lower but I do not notice any real difference. Rode exact same 27 mile course on my Campy Equipped Colnago bike and finished with pretty much exactly the same time. Shifting takes a little getting used to and is not as convenient as STI shifters. If Rohloff had an STI type shifter for this thing it would get 6 chillies. Disk brake is also a nice upgrade from Cantis.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 6, 2011
Strengths: Durability, ZERO maintenance, ease of use, sealed unit...
Weaknesses: Shifter location / mounting limitations for drop bar
This is a long term investment item. I have been using the Rohloff for 6 years now and it has never let me down. The shifting takes some getting used to, but improves with time. The only issue is mounting the shifter on a drop bar. Rohloff needs to design a shifter , like a split shifter, that will fit on a drop bar. On the drops under the brake lever would be a good spot. For the time being, the Rohloff can be used as a bar end shifter using the HubBub adapter. A 90 degree metal cable guide would allow the cable to run under the bar tape.
Maintenance is a breeze. The 'oil change' on the Rohloff is far easier than any conventional drivetrain. There is no mess and you can do this on your clean carpeted floor without spilling a drop.
For sand, mud, snow and water, the Rohloff is ideal. This is the all-round top performer for dependability under adverse conditions. For touring, nothing compares to the Rohloff.
Investment-wise, the price up front is expensive, but you will spend far more money over time with a conventional drivetrain than with the Rohloff. If you like to change bikes every season, this may not be the hub for you. If you like quality and like things to last, look no further - the Rohloff hub ROCKS!!!
Weaknesses: Heavy rear end. Grip shift requires you to loosen grip on bar to rotate and change gear, unlike trigger shift allowing better grip on bar through rough terrain while shifting (or when doing a mono/wheelie). Too many gears for me, I'd rather half as many. Leaks oil if bike is laid horizontal for extended periods.
Over rated for me.
Best suited for people who want ot cruise around australia at their leisure with low maintenance or weight concerns.
I'm not a weight weenie, but the weight is all at the rear making the bike less manouverable.
For me it needs to be lighter (half the weight), less gears with greater gaps, so less changing is required, trigger shift for better grip comfort and security.
I have just purchased a Santa Cruz 4X, but I am not going to keep the Rohloff from my Bullit. I am going to sell it.
Bike Setup: Rohloff 203mm Disc + Downhill chain guide on rohloff. Santa Cruz Bullit Heavy duty trailbike.
a Cross Country Rider
from Madison, WI, USA
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2010
Strengths: Simple, clean look. Shifts perfectly with no chain suck. Very quiet driveline except for lower 7 gears. No chain and deraileur clatter when riding rough sections. No gucked up jockey wheels to clean and lube. Simply shift up or down as needed and don't need to think about having to move to other chainrings. Shifting always in adjustment. Bicycle is very easy to clean. Stronger rear wheel with symetrical spoke length, no wheel dish. Excellent gear range and perfect gear spacing, for me at least. Able to shift anytime, I didn't realize how nice this is until I started riding this. When you need it is is fantastic.
Weaknesses: A little noise in the lower 7 gears but not really bad. I had a Dura Ace group that was sometimes noisy on climbs. Small amount of additional weight over deraileur setup, I really don't notice it.
This hub is perfect for me as I ride 8000+ miles per year and I was tired of cleaning, maintaining and replacing deraileurs, chainrings and freehubs. I would wear out a set every other year or so and they always flew apart at the worst possible time. The hub is not for the occasional rider, it wouldn't be cost effective and you would never get it broken in to enjoy it the most. For my situation, this has been the best kept secret, wish I would have stumbled upon it sooner. After you get used to riding with it, even the top-of-the line Shimano, SRAM and Campy deraileur sets just seem full of engineering compromises.
Similar Products Used: I have Shimano and Sturmey Archer hubs but they are crap in comparison
Bike Setup: Cross bike with Midge mtn drops, thomson seatpost, brooks saddle, Race Face cranks, Paul Canti brakes, Mavic A719 rims.
from Wiesbaden, Germany
Date Reviewed: January 26, 2010
Strengths: Straight chain line and allows tandem timing chain to be located on right hand side. 14 well spaced gear ratios. Easy maintenance. Great for snow and mud
Weaknesses: Weight. This piece of equipment weighs a TON!!! It's on a tandem, so no big deal, but the rear of the bike is enough to sink a battleship! Try removing the cog when it's time for a replacement (again, could be related to tandem'ing). Impossible to shift under power.
Bottom line: I love the hub 80% of the time. It shifts fine while cruising and under moderate excersion. The straight chain line is a blessing (even though we did fold a 46T chainring). Snow and mud have little affect on this hub and drive chain.
Now, the other 20% of the time I'd like to chuck the wheel into the river! Shifting under power is IMPOSSIBLE. Remember, we're riding a tandem, so communicating with your stoker as to when the shifts are coming isn't always possible. The worst situation for this hub: riding in traffic. Trying to accelerate (and shift) with traffic results in more obscenities and four letter words imaginable. It grinds, pops, skips and I darn near give myself a hernia tring to twist the shifter. I'm sure it's much easier on a single bike (when you know exactly when the shift is coming), but I've raced in Germany for 8 years and wouldn't add the weight to my cross country machine. Be aware that the cog threads on like the old free wheel cassettes. I broke every single chain whip I had before finally taking the wheel to a bike shop for cog replacement.
Bottom line: Would I buy this hub again for our tandem? Tough question (I'm still on the fence with this one). It really boils down to your riding style. Are you an aggressive, racing, passing roadies with your mountain bike, interval training behemoth? Then this might not be for you. However, I think this hub will put smiles on 95% of the cycling population. Even I've learned to put the racing mentality aside and enjoy this hub (80% of the time). So yes, I'd buy it again.
Similar Products Used: Derailleur cassette combinations
Bike Setup: Ventana El Conquistador Tandem, White Brothers Magic 100, Brooks saddles, Magura Gustav discs, King front hub.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2009
Strengths: Setup and forget. Changing gear while coasting is an invaluable advantage. Constant gear change. SS simplicity. Shifting in the gear box , no indexing.Mud/snow/dust/sand proof.
Weaknesses: Shifting cable OEM is crap. Weight. Noise.
Second report after 4 years of intense usage;
-I changed the shifting Rohloff cables after the first month , those were very crap.
Since then I broke one cable on a trail , but you still can change speed with an 8mm. You have a variable SS...!
I setup my cables end with heat shrink , so no water gets in.
No troubles with those for the last three years.
- I change the oil every year , that's it. Nothing but 100% reliability.
- It gets smoother with age , I must have 7000km on it and it is better now than when new. Still a bit noisy to my taste on certain speeds ,but not more noisy than when in a cross-chain situation with a standard drive train.
-The shifting ability can be a bit long to get , I had 20 years of derailleur habit to forget, but once you get how to shift this thing , it the perfect drivetrain. I ride in some pretty extreme condition (mud & snow) and I'm always amazed how superior this hub is over traditional drive train.
-After 4 years , the cost of it is almost at par if I would have kept my XTR drivetrain.Very glad to have dicided to go with the Speedhub.
-I really don't notice the weight. When I installed it , It kind of bugged me , but not anymore. The advantages are a lot more than disadvantages. (price/weight/noise)
Similar Products Used: Nexus,Alfine,Sturmey-Archer
Bike Setup: Cannondale 1FG (SS EBB)
a Cross Country Rider
from Poznan, Poland
Date Reviewed: February 22, 2009
Strengths: great marketing, smooth shifting in any weather conditions, possibility to change gear while stop or not pedalling
Weaknesses: delicate "outboard" equipment (chain tensioner, gearbox), 7 to 8th gear change issue, changing gears under heavy loads, overpriced (sprockets)and hardly available spare parts
First of all this hub was my dream since it came on the market in 90's. I finally managed to buy it and it strongly dissapointed me. I thought it will match my riding style (tricky, technical terrain i any weater conditions) perfectly but it did not. I switched to speedhub from the full deore xt M750 setup. It took me 5 hours (excluding the new wheel building) to have it setup on the bike. I took it as an time investment for promised "maintenance free use". First impression was great. I felt like switching form a car with stick shift to an automatic one. The “dark sides” I've noticed were: internal drag and a feeling of poor efficiency, noise, hard shifting under load, 7 to 8th gear change issue. I thought they will go away with time (after 1000 km). After over 3000 km they have’t dissapeared. Instead of being ahead off my buddies on technical trail sections, I got stuck in the hard gear many times. Next dissapoiment was very delicate construction of gearbox: wich hasn’t survived a little branch (broken adjusters) and a light crash (ripping off the cover, unfixable in the wild). After almost a year off giving it chances, I decided to sell it. For the money I got I bought a complete XT 770 set with Shadow deraileur and XTR SL-M970 shifters and a Nexus 8 equipped commuitng bike to get to work. And I am very happy with them. My conclusion: Speedhub is a great idea, but it's technology is over 10 years old. External deraileurs are way better now that they were than. I think it is good for rather calm style of riding, with no need of rapid gear changes, like tourism or commuting. Time for more changes, then only great lookin laser etched logos.
Similar Products Used: shimano nexus 8, sram spectro 7,
Bike Setup: specialized enduro 130 trail bike
a Cross Country Rider
from San Francisco, CA
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2009
Strengths: Bomb proof, barely had to touch it in 7 years of riding
This is the best piece of bike gear I own. The performance and lack of required maintenance more than make up for the weight. Three of my other friends have gotten these since I did and they are super happy.
Similar Products Used: Nexus 8 spd hub, SRAM 9spd disc hub
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Blur LT 07
a Weekend Warrior
from guadalajara mexico
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2009
Strengths: -Perfect shifting every time
-Always ready to ride
Weaknesses: -Weight, maybe (I could loose the weight myself)
i have just 200km on the rohloff, its just superb. It took me some time to get used to grip shifting and not having to pedal to complete the shifting, but now its all joy. My bike is ready to ride every time. I can give my friends a hard time every time they miss a shift, ha... The chain is always on the correct place no matter what. No chain slap. I´m a bad mechanic, so not having to adjust a thing on the derailleur and be ready to ride every time is just glorious. I did extended search before buying so I knew what to expect, but its better than expected. Thanks Tomas and Neil at Rohloff usa, also thanks to Chetto at crossmountain for the installation. Regarding the price I know its high but I do believe that you get what you pay for.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia
Date Reviewed: January 25, 2009
Strengths: Everything - it is faultless. I love being able to crank up and down 3, 4 or more gears at a time (and without peddling) It is as robust as a single speed - nothing to catch, clog or break.
Weaknesses: None. I think the price is good for such a miraculous piece of engineering. The weight is not significant given the benefits. I have never had an issue changing gears while climbing (while my derailleur mates are clunking, cursing and swearing trying to change down.
Cannot recommend it highly enough. I was almost put off by a review in which the reviewer claimed the hub was noisy and sapped the last ounces of power out of his legs. I have normal hearing and can only hear the hub over tyre noise in 7th but it is hardly noticeable. The power loss if any is made up for by efficiency in changing gears and the faultless operation
a Weekend Warrior
from Basel, Switzerland
Date Reviewed: December 2, 2008
Strengths: -Close to 0 maintenance
-Chain path is no issue, shifting without thinking
-Installation on bike
-More pedalling resistance (98% in comparison to normal chain shifting just can't be true)
This is an follow up. I was getting used to my rohloff not really noticing it's advantages anymore. But lately I testrode my friends Maverick with normal XT-gear and had real troubles finding the right gears. And this is what i consider the rohloff's biggest advantage: shiftig is super easy, no thinking just turning the gripshift. No worries about the chain path, no chain suck, no need to pedal when shifting from one gear to another, shifting ten gear at once. Of course it's nice to know that it is basically indestructable and there is no need to adjust it - but the thing is really the ease of shifting. Now even in different anodized colors. It's perfect for anybody who rides a lot and doesn't race.