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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the end of my mtb season my Rohloff would "pop" when I put torque through the drivetrain. On one of my last rides of the season I stood up to get up a steep pitch in the trail and the gears popped and the cranks spun like I had lots my chain, but I had not. At this point I am a little freaked out, so I dismount the bike and walk the rest of the hill. I stopped at the next flat section and check out OEM the shift mechanism, make sure the bolt is tight, then I ran through the gears while the bike was static. Every thing functioned as normal, so I got on a rode my bike home. After much analysis I have theorized that the reason the hub "popped" and the gears broke free is because I slipped between the gears. I believe I was one of the gears 6-7-8. I know this is the gear range where the reducer engages, could the reducer have something to do with this freak occurance? Anyone else have this happen? Need I be worried? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

That being said, I'm currently not running the Rohloff for the winter months, so I want to make sure the hub is in prime working order for when I put it back to work in the spring. I performed an oil change less than 600 miles ago.

Thanks and Cheers,
BFE
 

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If the gear isn't completely engaged, it can "pop" out on you and sometimes feel like you're in 'neutral'. Try loosening your cables just a touch and you will probably have a little better luck engaging the gears.

Almost everytime I thought my Rohloff was fouled on a gear, I looked down and there was something caught in the chain. Check your chain for stiff links and/or debris too.

Winter time is when the Rohloff shines. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Swift. When I switch the bike back to gears in a couple of months I will be installing a new chain, front chain ring, and probably install new cables and hosing.

With loosening of the cables comes more slack between gear changes, no? I am trying to better understand the mechanics and use of adjustments on the Speedhub. I think the simplicity and lack of maintenance of this drivetrain just makes me curious as to how it all works. Thanks.
 

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I had this a couple of times when my rohloff was new.
SJSC advised a couple of oil changes to flush any particles out, and to make sure the cables had a bit if slack but not too much.
That sorted it for me.
 
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Fwiw

Had the exact same symptoms/problem near the end of my first season on the Rohloff tandem - replaced the drive chain and problem eliminated. PC1 chains are $7 for a reason, I guess (342 miles and it was toast, nearly a half link 'stretched' or worn.
 

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If you loosen the cables too much there is more slack between gear changes, but because the shift is 90% complete as soon as a cable starts to move it is really easy to get them to the point where one cable is too tight so it wants to pull the hub back into the previous gear with the least wiggle of the shifter. There should be a bit of freeplay in the twist shifter.
 

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I like swift's cable suggestion. I've had that happen, too -- where the cable is under so much tension that the shift lands you on the cusp of a shift detent rather than firmly in it.

Two items that seem to cause the regular trouble among Speedhub users: overfilling the oil, and losing one or both off the detent springs nestled underneath the External Shifter mechanism.

Too much oil will gum up the works, and can lead so some funky shifting as well as a messy puddle on the floor. Rohloff has three times modified their oil change procedures to reduce the amount of oil that should be going back in to the hub. They're down to about 15mL now, with the assumption that 12mL is sticking to the internals. A bone dry, factor fresh hub takes 20mL.

If you've removed the External Shifter for any reason, there's a good chance you lost one or both of the tiny springs under it. They apparently lead to shifting woes, although if I recall correctly, it's more apt to be ghost shifts to neutral.



Edit: BTW, the hub pictured above was an eBay steal -- the seller throught the internals were shot due to wonky shifting. I took a gamble ($300 buy-it-now), and sure enough, all it was missing was the two detent springs.
 

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Hi there BFE, The Rohloff has nylon shear pins between the gearbox and the hub shell. Maybe you sheared them. They are cheap and fairly easy to replace. The hub will still transmit a small amount of power even with them sheared.
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
...SNIP...Edit: BTW, the hub pictured above was an eBay steal -- the seller throught the internals were shot due to wonky shifting. I took a gamble ($300 buy-it-now), and sure enough, all it was missing was the two detent springs.

Dang you!

I've been wondering where all the deals have been going? So you're the culprit? :)

I saw one for sale on Google/CL about a week ago for $400 or $450 but when I opened the link the ad had already been deleted. No wonder! At that price someone snatched it up.

I don't think I should've ever bought my (used) Rohloff because now I'm spoiled & I'm yearning :eek: for another. The Alfine I had & the Nexus I have don't quite measure up.
 

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Sometimes said:
Dang you!

I've been wondering where all the deals have been going? So you're the culprit? :)

I saw one for sale on Google/CL about a week ago for $400 or $450 but when I opened the link the ad had already been deleted. No wonder! At that price someone snatched it up.

I don't think I should've ever bought my (used) Rohloff because now I'm spoiled & I'm yearning :eek: for another. The Alfine I had & the Nexus I have don't quite measure up.
Eh, I wish. :) That was maybe four years ago. My last one I paid something closer to retail. Granted, it was nearly new and already built into the wheel I needed, but still...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I have not pulled the hub apart at all and have only done an oil change in the last 2,000 miles. I have not had any problems with the hub other that this one incident. I'm pretty sure the cables were just a bit out of adjustment and is the reason for the 'neutral' shift. I had done a handful of rides after this incident, so I'm pretty sure I haven't sheered any pins.

Here is the next question, how does one find the 'sweet spot' in regards to cable tension? I just want to make sure this doesn't happen again. Thanks.
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
Rohloff has three times modified their oil change procedures to reduce the amount of oil that should be going back in to the hub. They're down to about 15mL now, with the assumption that 12mL is sticking to the internals. A bone dry, factor fresh hub takes 20mL.
Where did you get this info?

The offical info from Rohloff themselves clearly states that the whole bottle (25ml) of oil should be used - granted, no more, but definitely the whole 25ml. The official literature also still states that the factory hubs are filled with the whole amount of 25ml (when purchasing a complete bicycle).

I am confused now. If your source is correct, then I would expect the info to be identical with that from Rohloff directly. I dont want to risk loosing my warranty by riding with too little oil!
 

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estutjaweh said:
Where did you get this info?

The offical info from Rohloff themselves clearly states that the whole bottle (25ml) of oil should be used - granted, no more, but definitely the whole 25ml. The official literature also still states that the factory hubs are filled with the whole amount of 25ml (when purchasing a complete bicycle).

I am confused now. If your source is correct, then I would expect the info to be identical with that from Rohloff directly. I dont want to risk loosing my warranty by riding with too little oil!
My original manual stated a higher amount -- I believe 30mL, but I'd have to find it to check. You're right, the newer and maybe even current manual states 25mL.

I got to know Thomas formerly of Rohloff USA over the years and he was the one who initially told me to replace only 15mL on subsequent refills, with the rationale I stated in my previous post.

Sometime after that (and this is all going back a number of years) Thorn Cycles in the UK posted these Speedhub oil change instructions on their website, essentially confirming what Thomas of Rohloff USA told me:

http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/rohloffhuboil.html

You would have to take this advice on faith, or stick with the "official" recommendations in the manual. I've been rolling with the 15mL quantity for a good long while and haven't had problems. In fact, the amount of oil seepage my older hubs experience is significantly reduced.

The info posted by Thorn has been up for at least three years. They're a solid brand in the UK and their Speedhub-equipped bikes are sold around the world. I trust their info to be reliable and presume Rohloff would have had them change it were it incorrect (otherwise Thorn would have their own warranty worries).
 

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Nate is correct.

I started running the Speedhub back ~2000, and they recommended 30ml. This was subsequently reduced to 25ml. However, if you put 25ml into the hub without spilling any, about 10ml would weep out in the next 2 months, which was really annoying if you ran discs.

When talking to the Rohloff service (Thomas for this continent back then) he mentioned that you really only needed 15ml during an oil change, 25ml was for a dry hub, but it was better to put more in than not enough, so the recommendation for home service was to put the full 25mm bottle in. Too much oil does not hurt the hub, but does lead to leaking.

There was also discussion that you can easily go 2 years between oil changes (with mileage & hostile environment exceptions), but they kept the recommendation to 1 year - since you can't hurt the hub by changing the oil more often.

This was also discussed in the ROC, but unfortunately that forum has since died.

I rinse with 25ml, and add 15ml+ of the multi-grade oil once every 2 years, unless I run the hub in the winter - then I add 10ml of kerosene when temps go below -5C, and change the oil in the spring. I tend to run SS or fixie in the winter, so I have not winterized my hubs recently (but my SO's does get the winter treatment).

There was also discussion about using oil other than Rohloff's, but you didn't hear me mention it...

FYI: Thorn Cycles is part of St. John Street Cycles (or visa-versa), which is the UK distributer for Rohloff. SJS cycles is a good web retailer of Rohloff stuff.
 

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itsdoable said:
FYI: Thorn Cycles is part of St. John Street Cycles (or visa-versa), which is the UK distributer for Rohloff. SJS cycles is a good web retailer of Rohloff stuff.
...not quite correct. Thorn Cycles are the largest UK manufacturer who build bicycles around the speedhub. For this reason their shop (SJSC) is well stocked with all the stuff a Rohloff user needs. They are however only a shop or a manufacturer and still receive their parts through the UK distributor (ISON Distribution). Being that ISON is not a normal retailer, they will not supply us normal folk directly and therefore we dont get to know them ..... until we look up the info on the Rohloff website ;)
 

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sorry, I have re-read the replys and I am still a little confused by the answers.

If this Thomas worked for Rohloff USA and advised the use of less oil and less frequent oil changes, then... am I supposed to believe that an employee is actively trying to earn less money for his company?? I may have a small trust problem here, but thats just not normal in the industry so........
........will following this advise lead to more service issues from which he can earn money?? .... or are Rohloff earning so much money that they dont need the business?

If he was telling the truth to be a "good person" and help Rohloff customers, then I would expect this info to be published somewhere officially by Rohloff HQ in Germany.
I havnt found any such info.
Im sorry, this shouldnt sound like a personnal attack on anyone but if my only option is to believe hearsay about someone who for some reason no longer works for the company and take the risk that I get a huge invoice should I ever have a warranty claim...
...then I must admit, Id rather pay out for the oil-kit once a year!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Pessimist?

estutjaweh said:
sorry, I have re-read the replys and I am still a little confused by the answers.

If this Thomas worked for Rohloff USA and advised the use of less oil and less frequent oil changes, then... am I supposed to believe that an employee is actively trying to earn less money for his company?? I may have a small trust problem here, but thats just not normal in the industry so........
........will following this advise lead to more service issues from which he can earn money?? .... or are Rohloff earning so much money that they dont need the business?

If he was telling the truth to be a "good person" and help Rohloff customers, then I would expect this info to be published somewhere officially by Rohloff HQ in Germany.
I havnt found any such info.
Im sorry, this shouldnt sound like a personnal attack on anyone but if my only option is to believe hearsay about someone who for some reason no longer works for the company and take the risk that I get a huge invoice should I ever have a warranty claim...
...then I must admit, Id rather pay out for the oil-kit once a year!
Most all the information on MTBR is what YOU call hearsay. Why do you ask questions which you have already formed an answer too?

Re-fill your hub with all 25mL of oil, let it weep all over, and give yourself a pat on the back for "going by the book".
 
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