|[ Main index » Bicycle components tests » Transmission types and number of gears » Brief comparison the Pinion C1.12, P1.18, and Rohloff speedhub with Gebla Rohbox with modified SRAM shifters||]|
2023-3-24: I went to a bike shop to try out a bike with Pinion gear. They had a bike with P1.18 and a bike with C1.12, but also a bike with Rohloff hub with Gebla Rohbox and SRAM GX shifters converted for use with the Rohbox! So I tried all of them...
First I tried the bike with P1.18: This feels quite smooth. The force to switch gears is a lot lower than with the Rohloff hub. I can shift 3-4 gears at a time. Gear steps are slightly smaller than the Rohloff hub which is noticeable, and they are not too small. This confirms my estimates and calculations that the Pinion P1.18 is very close to optimal in gear step size. I heard no noise though I rode on a fairly busy road and a parking lot, but nothing stood out contrary to the Rohloff hub of which the noise clearly stood out. I estimate that the shift spacing is about 19 degrees per step, which is slightly less than the Rohloff shifter (21 degrees), so the force being far lower has to be a large factor as to why turning larger angles than for 2 gear switches is not comfortable with the Rohloff speedhub.
Then I tried the bike with Rohloff hub and Rohbox + modified SRAM GX shifters. You can switch 1 or 2 gears up or down at a time. With the rotational shifter you can switch more gears in one go, but only when moving your arm/wrist, normally I can only shift 2 gears with the Rohloff rotational shifter too. This system of Rohbox + modified SRAM GX shifters worked perfectly, but it is a lot heavier going than derailleur shifters or than the rapidfire shifters with the Shimano Alfine hubs. Would it be worth it to install this? I wasn't sure because with that bike too, even on a road with a lot of cars and thus noise, the noise from the Rohloff hub is clear to hear, and on quiet roads that noise is annoying. So I didn't get a feeling of "Cool, this fixes the dislikes I have with the Rohloff speedhub". With the Pinion P1.18, switching 3 gears in one go is easy, 4 gears is slightly less easy but no problem at all. This means a gear factor for 3 gears of 1.115^3=1.39, for 4 gears 1.115^4=1.55. With a Rohloff hub I can normally switch 2 gears, so a gear factor of 1,134^2=1.29 which is a lot lower. The Pinion is therefore significantly better, switching 4 gear steps is about 3.5 steps of the Rohloff hub.
Then I tried the bike with Pinion C1.12. This felt clunkier, noisier in shifting I mean, than the P1.18, and I noticed that the gear steps are a bit bigger than with the Rohloff hub (and not quite optimal according to my calculations), but it works well, a lot easier to shift than the Rohloff hub. I didn't note how many gears I could switch in one go, hmm...
Then I tried the bike with P1.18 again to see about this clunkiness/noise. The P1.18 has the same type of gear switching noise as the C1.12, which you can also feel through the bike, but it is far less noticeable, switching seems smoother.
The P1.18 is apparently €600 more expensive than the P1.18, so that is a fair bit of money. An option is to upgrade from C1.12 to P1.18 when you want to at a later date, as the mount is the same.
Of all 4 options I like the P1.18 most of all even with a rotational shifter, my preference in decreasing order is:
For the purpose of commuting or relatively short tours of say 100km per day and a few days at most, so when extreme range (mountains) and durability (far away from service centres) are not required and price is more important, I will include the Nuvinci/Enviolo Trekking. Perhaps I should include the Alfine 11 too? Best one first:
I didn't think about prices when going to the bike shop, I just wanted to try out any Pinion bike to see how heavy going shifting is compared to the Rohloff speedhub with which I now have a lot of experience, to then decide on possibly buying such a bike. This aspect came back when we came to the price. It turned out that the bike with Pinion P1.18 on which I made a test ride costs 6800 euros without even a dynamo hub and lights! The bike as I rode it with a SON28 + Edelux 2 and Schmidt taillamp is about 500 euros more, so EUR 7300 in total. WTF? They didn't have other bikes with Pinion so that more or less ruled out buying such a bike as this is just too much.
What is going on, just inflation, other factors?
I go into more detail about prices on this page: Prices of transmission systems and bicycles: Why are some bicycles so ridiculously expensive in 2023? Is it the transmission systems?
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Last modified: 2023-4-2