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zoom2zoom
12-19-2017, 08:50 PM
I am looking in buying a used bike with very clean Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14. I never ridden a rohloff before so I’m not exactly sure why to look for.

I tested it today and it felt fine, something i need to get used to, but i do have a few questions hoping you guys can help

1. Are the gears suppose to click into gear when shifting?

2. Do the gears sometimes get stuck a bit when trying to shift? Is that normal?

3. Is there anything i can check as I’m going back again to see the Bike later this week

4. It currently have a flat bar setup, but i like i like to switch to dro bar, do i need to get a shifters for dropbar?

5. Is it difficult to replace flats on the rear?


Thanks in advanced

bmeryman
12-19-2017, 09:04 PM
Here's my experience with them:

1. There's a feeling of a click usually, but not usually an audible click. Rohloff shifting systems are indexed at the hub, not the shifter, so it's less common to hear any clicking. If you were to remove the shift cables (or detach the shift box at the rear hub) you should be able to rotate the gripshift smoothy on the handlebar.

2. Like other internal hubs, Rohloffs shift best under no load or light load. It's possible that you may have noticed some hesitation if you were shifting while applying force to the pedals. You can also check slack in the cables themselves. There are two barrel adjusters at the shift box that allow you to remove any slack.

3. You could ask the current user when the oil was changed most recently. It's a very low maintenance product, but it does require maintenance. Most importantly, the first oil change is recommended much sooner than subsequent ones (I think it's like less than 1000mi or something like that).

4. Rohloff does not make a shifter setup for drop bars, but Gebla does (it's called the Rohbox). It's actually just a replacement shift box that allows you to modify a standard shift/brake lever (most commonly Sram) to work with the Rohloff hub. One side will shift down and one will shift up. They work pretty well if you want drop bars, but they're a touch less precise feeling than the OE gripshift.

Good luck!

zoom2zoom
12-19-2017, 09:07 PM
Thank you.. all this is very helpful

Here's my experience with them:

1. There's a feeling of a click usually, but not usually an audible click. Rohloff shifting systems are indexed at the hub, not the shifter, so it's less common to hear any clicking. If you were to remove the shift cables (or detach the shift box at the rear hub) you should be able to rotate the gripshift smoothy on the handlebar.

2. Like other internal hubs, Rohloffs shift best under no load or light load. It's possible that you may have noticed some hesitation if you were shifting while applying force to the pedals. You can also check slack in the cables themselves. There are two barrel adjusters at the shift box that allow you to remove any slack.

3. You could ask the current user when the oil was changed most recently. It's a very low maintenance product, but it does require maintenance. Most importantly, the first oil change is recommended much sooner than subsequent ones (I think it's like less than 1000mi or something like that).

4. Rohloff does not make a shifter setup for drop bars, but Gebla does (it's called the Rohbox). It's actually just a replacement shift box that allows you to modify a standard shift/brake lever (most commonly Sram) to work with the Rohloff hub. One side will shift down and one will shift up. They work pretty well if you want drop bars, but they're a touch less precise feeling than the OE gripshift.

Good luck!

BikeNY
12-20-2017, 09:08 AM
bmeryman gave you good info, but I'll elaborate a bit with my experience.

1. Are the gears suppose to click into gear when shifting?

I don't remember any audible click, but you could feel it click into place.

2. Do the gears sometimes get stuck a bit when trying to shift? Is that normal?

There are a number of reasons a Rohloff could get stuck between gears. First, trying to shift under a lot of pedal pressure will cause the shift to hesitate until the pressure is lifted. Next, the cables could need adjusting, or are not run smoothly from shifter to hub. I found it very sensitive to extra friction in the cables if there are sharp bends, etc. Lastly, the hub could be damaged, but not likely. Also if you feel it not going into gear smoothly, don't get on the pedals hard, that's one of the only ways to damage a Rohloff.

3. Is there anything i can check as I’m going back again to see the Bike later this week.

As mentioned, the shifting can easily get messed up with poor cable adjustment or routing. The shifting takes a bit to get used to, releasing pedal pressure briefly at the right time for a smooth shift. You can also remove the shift box at the hub, just loosen the thumb screw and pull it off. You can then shift it with a hex wrench, I don't remember what size though. You obviously can't shift it like this while riding, but you can get an idea if the problem is in the hub or the shifter cables. You do have to make sure the hub is in the same gear again when you re-attach, otherwise you will be missing gears. I would suggest shifting it to 1st gear, then disconnecting the shift box.

4. It currently have a flat bar setup, but i like i like to switch to dro bar, do i need to get a shifters for dropbar?

There are a couple of options for drop bar shifters, none of them great. First, someone makes a bar end extension so you can mount the current shifter off one end of the drop bar. Second is the Gebla mentioned below. Lastly, there is another company making dedicated thumb shifters that mount on the flats, one side shifts up, the other side shifts down. They are expensive from what I remember.

5. Is it difficult to replace flats on the rear?

Depends on how it's setup, but it's not a big deal. If the frame is setup for a Rohloff, there will be a dedicated long dropout on the non drive side with a keyed axle plate that slides into it. If it's setup like this, you just loosen the shift box thumb screw and pull the shift box off the hub, then remove the wheel like normal. Other setups will be slightly different and a bit more work, but still easy enough.

Rohloff hubs have their quirks for sure, and they are not for everyone. They can have kind of a grindy feel, which changes depending on what gear you are in. This feeling bothers some people(myself included) but not others. Gears 8 through 14 are much smoother than the lower 7. I had one for a while on a 29+ bikepacking rig, and just couldn't get along with it. That grindy feeling bugged me and the engagement is kind of slow and spongy feeling, which was not fun on my MTB trails. I ended up going back to a normal derailleur drivetrain on that bike. On a road or touring bike it would be more tolerable. And if I was putting together bike to tour around the world for months or years, on or offroad, I would most definitely have a Rohloff on it. They have a well deserved reputation for being bombproof. Really the only maintenance is a yearly oil change, which is very simple with their oil change kit.