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SO!
I'm looking at this bike that's got a Rohloff. It's setup to be a singlespeed, so changing to gears would be difficult if I decide not go with the Rohloff.

My question! Anyone in OR using these? Riding in Oregon means steep muddy slippery rooted climbs that sometimes I make, and sometimes I don't.

I run an 11-34 cassette and often find myself grinding up hills with a 22 front 34 rear.

Thoughts?
 

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I think the Rohloff is an awesome idea. The reason I haven't purchased one is because of the super slow engagement (number of clicks on freehub). I think it's something like 16 points.

Weight, price... I guess Hammerscmidt has those downsides as well.

A non-derailleur-multi-gear drivetrain would be awesome though.

Have you looked at the Shimano Alfine?
 

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I've done a fair amount of offroading with the SRAM DualDrive Disc 3-speed hub I bought for commuting. It's a special 3-speed hub with a cassette freehub on it, intended to be used on small-wheel folding bikes and recumbents which would otherwise need a 72t outer chainring to get a full range of gearing. But like any cassette hub, it can be outfitted it with spacers and a single cog, and thus used as a simple 3-speed. To my knowledge it's the only disc-compatible 3-speed out there.

This is my 4th winter commuting on it, but I've ridden it quite a bit offroad in Forest Park as well as real singletrack elsewhere. It's not officially rated for offroad use but has held up to my abuse just fine. Of course, like any singlespeed or gearhub drivetrain it is completely unaffected by weather and requires zero maintenance. And it weighs just 900g (less than half a Rohloff), so the total weight ends up being just a bit less than a conventional geared derailer bike. Only real downside is the $200 price, just as much as the Alfine, but I've long since recouped that investment and I've found it to be worth every penny.

Of course it won't get you the super low gearing of an 11x34, but it is a lot more versatile than a singlespeed while still having most of the benefits.
 

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"Swift", an OR rider and poster on MTBR, uses one, and swears by it. Spendy and heavy, IMO. Just not my gig...
 

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They are pretty cool, but super heavy. We've built 2 of them up at the shop that I've seen. One was for a DH bike and one was for a big dummy. It would be a cool idea if weight or price isn't a concern. Alfine would be some slick stuff, also heavy, but not as bad as the Rohloff. It would be similar weight wise to say a full LX group. It's also a lot cheaper.
 

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Hey Glowboy, couldn't a guy get 11-34ish gearing by installing a large cog? Might limit upper range, but I imagine a guy could get that low anyway.

--Sparty

GlowBoy said:
...

Of course it won't get you the super low gearing of an 11x34, but it is a lot more versatile than a singlespeed while still having most of the benefits.
 

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Not singlespeed 29er but...

Rohloff on I-Horse MKIII

Over 1.5 years of year-round riding and this bikes gets about 80% of my ride time. I'd, personally, never go back to derailers on a trail bike. Those things are for roadbikes only IMO. The Rohloff has a niche' it fits in (trail riding / Downhill, perhaps) and it does a great job at it but it's not the best tool for every job out there.

Cons:
-Expensive
-You'll add about 1 to 1.5lbs to your bike compared with a derailer system
-The weight will be redistributed on your bike, making it heavier in the rear. I've found this to be nice for wheelie drops and such but a bit of a challenge in getting the rear very high on a bunny hop.
-Built into the wheel so if you're hard on wheels, you better learn to build them yourself or be ready to spend your pennies on the local builder.
-Doesn't shift all that well when the temps get super cold ("super cold" being a technical term) ;) I've only ever experienced this once,and while noticeable, it wasn't a huge issue.

Pros:
-Shifts without pedalling
-Shifts as many gears as you'd (1-14) like in one simple motion
-Hit your shifts EVERY time with no hassle
-Reliable
-Ease of maintenance (after over 1.5 years, only one oil change to date). The chain, itself, is now my biggest drivetrain maintenance item.
-Less vulnerable to trail obstacles. (I bent a derailer hanger and the hub still shifter perfectly. I didn't even notice it 'til I got home and saw the chain tensioner at a crazy angle)

I'm not going to put a Rohloff on my light-weight road bike but for the trail, there's no looking back for me. The weight penalty is a small price to pay IMO and becomes a non-issue after only a couple rides. Your conditioning will accomodate the change in short order. All my friends ride derailers and I seem to be able to keep up in groups without issue. The cost, on the other hand, is something every potential Rohloff buyer will need to wrestle with on their own...

:thumbsup:
 

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Sparticus said:
Hey Glowboy, couldn't a guy get 11-34ish gearing by installing a large cog? Might limit upper range, but I imagine a guy could get that low anyway.

--Sparty
Most internal geared hubs have a lower limit for gearing. If you spec a larger cog or smaller chainring the internals can't take the force and get destroyed.
 

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One last con: you will incessantly preach to your riding buddies about the perceived advantages of the Rohloff, alienating them on large road trips and flat out annoying them on the trail. :)
Sorry Swift, had to got there! :)
 

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I have this funny feeling that internal transmission systems that are up to the demands of off-road riding (and don't weigh a ton and don't cost a million dollars) will be appearing on the market within the next couple years.

Hope so, anyway.

--Sparty
 

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dirtpunk7 said:
One last con: you will incessantly preach to your riding buddies about the perceived advantages of the Rohloff, alienating them on large road trips and flat out annoying them on the trail. :)
Sorry Swift, had to got there! :)
Edit *You da man!* Edit :)
 

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It was a joke my friend, nothing more. Hence the smiley faces. Wasn't reading into anything. In fact, I thought you did an excellent job of keeping your bias out of it.

My point in jest was that you liked it so much you were not afraid to tell anyone who would listen the advantages of the Rohloff. Nothing wrong with that.

And...if Monty had clothes that fit me I wouldn't be too proud to get his handme downs. But I think I'll need to wait a few more years before he fills out. He is skinny like his dad, not short and stocky like myself.
 

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I have 600 miles on my Rohloff and as Nat said.....I'm lovin' it! I have not raced the bike yet, but come Spring I will be racing and training for CCP 2009.

I'm not planning on going back to a traditional drivetrain on my MTB anytime soon.

Cheers,
BFE
 

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iRider said:
Most internal geared hubs have a lower limit for gearing. If you spec a larger cog or smaller chainring the internals can't take the force and get destroyed.
Yep, I think a big guy on ultra low gearing would shred most internal gear hubs (except for the Rohloff or possibly the Alfine) pretty fast.

I should have qualified my statements that mine's geared 34x22 and I'm in the 170lb range and not super strong. It isn't certified for real offroad use and and I can't project what anyone else's experience would be, but it certainly has worked for me offroad. I believe redhaze destroyed one, but it was from jumping, not mashing.

FWIW, I just dropped the gearing on my wife's (Bianchi Milano) Nexus 8sp from 42x19 to 36x19 with no ill effects except she has a much easier time pulling our child trailer up hills.:thumbsup:

Sparticus said:
I have this funny feeling that internal transmission systems that are up to the demands of off-road riding (and don't weigh a ton and don't cost a million dollars) will be appearing on the market within the next couple years.

Hope so, anyway.

--Sparty
I agree, I think there is a growing market for a such a thing.

A lot of people are having good results with the Shimano Alfine. 8 speeds should be plenty for a lot of riders, and it's a lot lighter than the Rohloff and a tiny fraction of the price. If I were in the market for another gearhub and needed more than 3 speeds, I would get one in a heartbeat.

My ideal would be a 5 or 6 speed hub with the overall range of the 8sp but bigger steps between gears (and less weight).
 
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