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I've ridden a bike with Rohloff hub before 2022 but only briefly. On 24 June 2022 I bought a 2nd hand bike with Rohloff hub and belt to try out both and if I didn't like the experience because of especially the rotary shifter then my plan would be to later install another hub in it such as a Kindernay 14.
I describe here the experiences with the bike, with trying to find out what causes vibrations, and weighing the options on changing shifters, and thoughts about switching to a different hub.
The first ride was unproblematic, a test ride to see if I liked the bike, in frame size, the Rohloff hub and belt. It has some interesting features such as a Koga Denham handlebar which has a bar-end style attachment in the centre section [ this is something I had done with bar ends many years ago already btw. before this bar existed, I mounted the handlebar ends that came with the Cannondale touring bike that I bought in 2015, in the middle to see if I could get a better aero position. And yes that worked but I'm not convinced this is optimal, I took the bar ends in the middle off of my handlebar after a while... ].
Once I decided it seemed fine for my purposes I made a ride back home, a 25 km trip. I was taking it easy and the Rohloff hub was fine, not really standing out besides the obvious noise in low gears and the heavy going shifter that I knew about from before I bought it. Besides the vibrations from the SONdelux (the GPS said it was at ca. 14-16 km/h), the saddle was annoying (a gel saddle from Terry, cutout in the middle, not numbing but pretty bad) and those 2 issues took most of my attention. So examining the Rohloff shifter in more detail in use would have to happen the next ride.
The second long ride was a 83 km bike trip. I had put a new B17 saddle on the bike which means it was very hard which you feel where the sit bones are placed on the saddle. Riding one really long trip with this saddle before it was broken in was a rough experience and I had to take a few breaks. However, the Rohloff shifter was a worse problem with this bike.
A brief note about the noise of the hub: Nexus hubs are almost inaudible, but the Rohloff hub is very noisy in the lower gears (this means gears 1-7). Lower pedalling cadences are fine with low power, which means once I get to ca. 15 km/h I can switch to gear 8 at 65 rpm when riding on the flat with no headwind, or I must go to 17.5 km/h at 75 rpm in gear 8 when going up a hill or with a headwind, then it is almost silent which means that for me the noise is often not a problem, though psychologically perhaps bad in that if you go slow (uphill) this feeling of slowness is made worse by the noise from the hub. The noise in gears 1-7 is annoying, it makes me want to speed up.
Now to the shifter: I hate this shifter more than any other shifter I have ever used. You need to apply a lot of force and rotate too much (too big of an angle) to make shifts.This angle is actually similar to the Nexus 7 speed hubs (ca. 21° per step for both the Rohloff and Nexus 7 hubs) but it feels far worse due to the required force. You could think that with a Nexus 7 there are fewer gears which means you don't need to shift as much, i.e. per shift up down you need to shift about half the number of gears as on the Rohloff, but this is not so. With the nexus 7 the range is more limited to ca. 2.45x, instead of 5.36x, and the steps are slightly bigger but not that much: About 13.8% to 17.3% which means 2 gears with the Nexus are only a little more than 2 gear changes with the Rohloff (13.6% each, i.e. a 1.136x ratio between gears). The 8 speed Nexus and Alfine hubs have a bit bigger ratios, both the total ratio as well as the steps between the gears, but still not that much bigger than the Rohloff so it's not so that 1 shift with the Nexus or Alfine gives the same gear change as say 2 shifts from a Rohloff which could account for the feeling of having to turn too much. This feeling of the Rohloff with twist shifter being very heavy to shift thus comes from the required force along with the angle of ca. 21° per step, which in combination is too much. Comparing it with the Nexus 7 speed hubs with which I have ridden quite a bit: With the Nexus hubs I dislike the rotating action but it is palatable. With the Rohloff twist shifter, shifting down for a traffic light, or uphill, and back up once you are accelerating after the light or downhill, is slow and annoying, far worse than with the Nexus 7 speed hubs that I tried.
Does the shifter slip in your hand from the wet or from sweat? On this long trip it had been hot at first, then started to get colder and near the end it rained quite a bit, during the last ca. 8 km of the ride, but I didn't lose grip with the shifter. Perhaps sweaty hands are worse than rain? Although it was warm at the start I did not sweat enough to get the shifter drenched to test this. In any case, after this ride it was clear: This shifter has to go, or the hub + shifter has to go, the rotating shifter is unpalatable.
2023-2-9: Having ridden a lot more with this bike, I am more accustomed to the rotation, which is not as annoying now as it was, but it doesn't change that I do not like this rotational shifter. In gear step sizes I feel it is fine, it is better than a 12-28 7 speed cassette system which I always found good enough, and when I switch gears down I go from ca. 70 rpm to 80-85 rpm which is in the middle of the comfort zone of cadences that I like so it's fine in this respect too (*).
Switching gears is fairly heavy going but I got used to it, still I can only switch quickly 2 gears at a time, more is too much wrist movement in most cases when not preparing for a large wrist movement. This is less than I'd want and means slower gear switching than with a cassette system or Alfine/Nexus hub with trigger shifters.
See also the new section on cadence comfort zone vs. gear step size and more.
In January it was freezing for a week or so and I couldn't use the bike because the gear shift cables were stuck, obviously frozen to the outer cable due to some water being in there. This is a problem I had with the Nuvinci 360 as well and is generally a problem with fully enclosed cables. You could add something to unfreeze but it will need to be safe in case of getting into the hub, say from going up steep hills or carrying the bike.
2023-2-11: I replaced the front wheel that has the SONdelux hub, with a wheel that I rebuilt, which I originally spoked in with a Shimano T8000 that failed (bad seals), now with a Shimano DH-S501, the same type that I used for years in the Cannondale vintage bike, which was outside most of the time, which never had any issues. I installed it along with the Roxim D6 headlamp and Büchel Wing taillamp and the annoying vibrations at 15-17 km/h were gone. I could not make out any specific range where I felt vibrations that I was certain came from the dynamo hub. I will see if this remains so when riding other routes with very smooth asphalt.
The belt-line was not straight, it was off ca. 5-6 mm. I removed some washers between the CDX ring and the mount points, then also reversed that belt ring and it was almost perfect.
Higher speed vibrations from ca. 24 km/h onwards remained, but were mostly gone when stopping pedalling. There is possibly also an issue with the rear tyre and/or inner tube, as when stopping pedalling a low speed vibration was clear, perhaps a badly patched inner tube. I will check and fix that if needed.
Rohloff says about the noise from the hub in their manual:
One of two different riding noises could be heard depending upon which gear is selected. A construction characteristic produces a freewheeling noise which is can be heard in most gears - particularly noticeable in gears #5, #6 & #7. A higher frequency is produced when riding with a higher force upon the pedals. This causes the volume of the lower gears to increase towards gear #7 - a typical characteristic of straight-toothed precision gears.
Different frame designs can amplify or deaden these audible noises because the tubes of the frames react as a resonator for the sound waves. Larger diameter tubes offer more room for sound waves thus the noise is amplified. Different noises are noticeable whilst freewheeling depending on which gear is currently selected. This is due to different elements of the gear mechanism rotating within the hub
Note that sound = vibrations, so if you can hear it, you can likely feel it too. But it is not so that if you don't hear it you don't feel it because the vibrations will go through the bike in any case. And so the vibrations I feel at higher speeds are likely indeed from the hub (not from the rear tyre and tube, though I do need to look at those as at higher speeds there is a vibration issue, but very low frequency, like from a bump in the tyre at a particular point), at those higher speeds though they don't sound as loudly as the noises at lower speeds at gears 1-7. Hearing noise of certain frequencies depends on the vibrations (from the hub and/or belt/chain ring/sprocket) making something else vibrate that can cause larger amounts of air to move such that it becomes audible, i.e. a sound resonance body, like the body of a musical instrument does.
I checked the tyre and almost half of the tyre has a lower height than the rest of the tyre. It seems this comes from the tyre and not the inner tube, so after I replace the oil in the Rohloff hub I will replace the tyre and as the tube has 2 patches I will replace that with a new one as well and keep the patched one as a spare.
Just to make sure I rotated the tyre about half a turn and the lower and higher sections are still at the same markings I made on the tyre which means the tube is not the problem. I had a similar issue with a Schwalbe Marathon 50-559 on my other touring bike a few years ago. With that tyre the higher section was shorter so it felt more like a bump every rotation whereas in this case it feels as if I am bouncing on the bike. In both cases the annoyance comes especially at speeds of more than 20 km/h...
I finished the oil change for the Rohloff hub, pulling out air sucked oil back out that I had just put in (possibly because of fairly low ambient temperatures), so I stopped with that but I left the hub open for a while to let the hub's pressure equalise. Then I went for a ride using mostly gears 3 and 5 as per Rohloff's instructions to let the old oil and cleaning oil mix. Then pulled out the oil (there was not much original oil coming out and I let the hub slowly drain over many hours as someone (not from Rohloff) recommended in a video. Putting in the new oil I again let the hub's pressure equalise with the room as drawing out 'air' actually drew out oil. Perhaps this is because the room was rather cool at ca. 13 degrees C.
I then put on a new rear tyre and tube. So originally there were 3 issues: Belt line not quite straight (ca. 5-6 mm off at the front), rear tyre was uneven causing a bouncing feeling especially at speeds of more than 20 km/h and most noticably when not pedalling, and the dynamo hub. Riding with the bike with DH-S501, aligned belt, new rear tyre I did feel light vibrations at ca. 24-28 km/h (then begin- and end speeds are a bit vague) even when not pedalling and perhaps a slight one at around 15 km/h but that is hard to be sure about without going on a long perfect asphalt road, so this is quite good, much better than before. The hub is therefore really only an issue at lower speeds but I will see about riding more and how I feel about noise/vibrations from pedalling at higher speeds on good asphalt roads.
Update on the shifter: There are I think 3 types: 1) Fairly smooth, 2) with wavey ridges, 3) 3 sided. The one I have is a 3 sided one, which is good for me, gives a good grip (would be good for screwdrivers, actually I have a 1990s Stanley torx screwdriver that has such a handle), and works well in the rain. The other ones may be better for turning more than 2 gears at a time, as that is about what I can do without specially preparing to turn (i.e. loosen grip, rotate wrist in opposite direction to prepare for a turn, then turn in opposite direction of the first wrist movement). But this is just a pain to have to do... The shifting force is quite high, so I wonder how well I would like the shifting with the Gebla Rohbox. So, should I change shifters or just accept it as is and possibly put a Kindernay in the bike when that's available again?
2023-2-15: I made 2 trips, to a supermarket to get freshly baked bread and back, This time it all became clear: I felt the vibrations at esp. 22+ km/h. Depending on cadence and pedal force the speed at which vibrations start varies a bit. What I feel is a combination of feeling the gears in the hub, and vibrations from the dynamo. This is also why the start felt so vague and the region of vibrations seemed too large compared to all other experiences with hub dynamos. It is actually hub dynamo vibration + Rohloff gear vibrations together. So I need to do a bit more testing with switched off lighting. I did that a little on these rides but need to test a bit more.
I feel the vibrations mostly through the saddle, not so much through the handle bar which btw. is an indicator that the vibrations are (mostly) from the hub, not the dynamo. This feeling is similar to the vibration issue I had with the Union roller dynamo in 2007, which ran on the rear wheel. This gave strong vibrations in winter that I could feel through the saddle because the roller surface picked up dirt that for some reason kept sticking to it while riding at low temperatures, which gave vibrations through the tyre/wheel to the frame and I felt that in the saddle.
The vibration issue from the Rohloff hub is annoying. I don't hear noise at 18+km/h (i.e. gears 8-14), or not much (I need to test on very quiet roads to see what it would like to ride through say a quiet nature area) but I feel it through the saddle, actually throughout most of the gears I feel vibrations at most speeds to some degree, the faster I go (i.e. the more power goes through the hub), the more I feel it. Now that I took away the issue with the tyre and started riding without light on very good roads, the annoyance is worse because now I am pretty sure it will never be nice to ride with this hub at most speeds! (at least in case of very good roads, on not so good roads the regular vibrations from the Rohloff hub and from dynamo hubs get snowed under under irregular vibrations from the road surface).
I will do some more tests but I think I know what my conclusion about the Rohloff hub will be...
2023-2-16: Addition: Replacing the dynamo hub may have exacerbated the issue of noticing rear wheel vibrations in the sense that when there are 2 different similarly strong vibrations going on, they become more like white noise, similar to noise from an uneven road. This is why on long trips I made with the bike (before doing in depth testing) I didn't notice this issue so much as I did recently. Well, I was examining everything so I would notice in the end in any case, I presume, but keep this in mind. This can happen with other things too. Long ago I started to silence my PC, with CPU fans, case fans. Once I made them quiet some other factors became apparent such as hard disk noises... So these noises were always there already, but only became noticeable once I silenced the fans (I put in a quieter case fan and ran the CPU fan on a lower voltage).
To come 1: more tests with lighting off + on (switching) to see about vibrations from 20-30 km/h, to estimate the strength of vibrations from the dynamo and from the hub.
2023-2-20: Another ride of about 10 km, and I looked more at where the vibrations originate. Riding with light on and off, with pedalling and while not pedalling (with a side-tailwind so I could be in the region 22-32 km/h for a reasonable time without pedalling).
1. no pedalling + light on: the dynamo gives a light vibration from I think ca. 22-28 km/h.
2. no pedalling + light off: there is I think no vibration.
3. pedalling + light on: Vibration at ca. 22-30 km/h more noticeable than without pedalling. Also, I feel the vibration not just slightly in the saddle, but more in the pedals on my feet...
4. pedalling + light off: Vibrations at ca. 22-30 km/h (exact limits vary a bit with cadence and pedal force), it is clear that the vibrations feel strongest in the feet from the pedals, less strong in the saddle. So could it be that these vibrations come from the belt/sprocket/belt ring not quite meshing well for example? To figure this out I rode in all gears (with light off), felt the vibrations, and that was very clear in gears 1-7, especially 4,5,6,7, then almost gone in gear 8 and then slightly increasing in gears 9,10, etc. This means the vibrations follow exactly the noise from the hub, that is known to be strongest in gears 1-7, and drops dramatically in gear 8. This noise is known from bikes with chains too, so the issue cannot be the belt [ Well, that is what I thought, however later (see the update below from 2023-2-23) I paid more attention to the feeling in the pedals in relation to pedalling cadence and that gave the view the actually the cadence and pedal power is largely related to the vibrations which means the belt was actually the biggest cause at these speeds ].
From this test it is clear: Dynamo vibrations are not as strong as the vibrations from the Rohloff hub, but together they feel less annoying than just the Rohloff hub. My hub came in a 2nd hand bike which I saw offered mid 2022 and bought to try out the Rohlof hub and belt drive. I don't think this hub has been used so little that it hasn't worn in the gears (it must have been used 2000km or more), so that can't be it. I've used the hub by now for about 600 km so even if this hub had for some reason not been used much, then soon it should be beyond the break-in (Rohloff says 1000 km) and then it will be certain that the hub always has these vibrations. Note that on wikipedia it says "Until the hub is broken in the rider may experience some noise or vibrations when the reduction-gear is in operation (gears 1–7).", well, I feel vibrations in ALL gears...
2023-2-23: I went on another trip of 20 km 2 days ago, and I found the vibration issue was confirmed but I paid more attention to the precise occurence of vibrations and relation to cadence/force on the pedals. Possibly a part of them were caused by another issue than the ones I mentioned as I felt that when putting force on the right pedal I felt more vibrations than when I did so on the left pedal. I wanted to adjust the belt tension anyway with the eccentric bottom bracket, so I removed the crank and when turning the bearings by hand, the one on the right hand side was slightly grindy, perhaps that could cause vibrations? The left was ok. So I ordered a new GXP bottom bracket and will do another test when that arrives. This is one of the issues when buying a 2nd hand bike... The grindy bearing is actually not that bad so I think it will not really fix much, if anything. I will keep the old bottom bracket as a spare if it doesn't improve anything.
2023-2-27: Another 20 km ride and what I thought I felt on a shorter ride was confirmed: The new bottom bracket + tightening the belt removed almost all the vibrations. I think the bottom bracket is likely a negligible effect, and that the too loose belt (measured with the Gates app using vibrations) was the cause. I think what happened is that the belt would touch the centre section of the cog depending on load/speed and thus caused these vibrations that I already thought were at least partially dependent on cadence and power as I described earlier. I still feel a little vibrations but almost negligible, and only on perfect asphalt. On most asphalt that is slightly rough (even though it is quite new asphalt laid last year) the vibrations from just riding on the road are stronger.
And so I finally arrived at the end of this journey of finding the causes of vibrations and whether they can be eliminated:
- I fixed the belt line which was off ca. 5-6mm,
- I replaced the rear tyre which was bad, as half the tyre had a bigger height than the other half which caused a bouncy feeling,
- I replaced the SONdelux dynamo hub with a DH-S501, which gives strong vibrations even with light off at 15-17 km/h and at higher speeds too (exact range not sure, due to the vibrations from the belt at these speeds given the required power to pedal at those speeds)
- I replaced the bottom bracket of which the bearing on the drive side has some rust on the outside so possibly pitting inside, it felt rough and possibly could cause me to feel some vibrations just from the bearings,
- I tightened the belt.
Since fixing all these issues only the issue of noise and vibrations in gear 1-7 remains. To improve this I may replace the front chain belt or the rear cog to lower the gears, e.g. 19 rear to 22 which would mean at 15 km/h I could ride in gear 8 without noise/vibrations, instead of at 17.5 km/h.
2. vibrations from the gears: I have not experienced these with Alfine/Nexus hubs, however, I am going to test 2 Nexus hubs, a 7 speed one and a 8 speed one, and see if this is a problem there too or not, just out of curiosity. I didn't notice such things before, but I never used such bikes for daily use, I just loaned bikes from a relative from time to time.
If you didn't have a look already, have a look at the section section on cadence comfort zone vs. gear step size and more.
Suppose you are riding comfortably at ca. 60-75 rpm [ it would be similar with 75-95 rpm as these are almost the same factor in cadence range from start of the comfortable cadence range to the end of it, of 1.25 vs. 1.27 but I want to use a different range here as opposed to 75-95 that I use in the cadence section, just as an example ]:
- Suppose you ride at 65, rpm, prepare to go slower, switch to a lower gear and speed up your cadence for the same speed, then you end up at 65 x1.136 rpm = 74 rpm. This is at the top of the range, but 65 is close to the middle so that is to be expected (as 2 gear steps cover the same range as the cadence comfort zone, see the cadence section).
- Suppose you ride a bit slower still, say 63 rpm which is between the low end and middle of the cadence range, switch to a lower gear and speed up your cadence for the same speed, then you will ride at 63*1.136 = 71.5 rpm which is between the middle and the top end.
It works the same way switching to a higher gear. For cadence ranges that have a factor of ca. 1.25 and more, the Rohloff hub's gear step size is therefore fine.
If [ cadence_low ... cadence_high ] is the range in which you comfortably cycle, then the gear step factor of about √(cadence_high/cadence_low) gives an overlap of 2 gears for each cadence that you find comfortable. This gives you room to change your cadence according to what you expect might happen or what you would prefer, e.g. go to a lower gear and higher cadence if you expect to get into rough terrain, such as sandy/muddy road.
But there is a 2nd advantage to use this gear step size (and not bigger nor smaller): If you take the comfortable cadence range you will likely have a preference for a smaller range within that comfortable range, that is approximately half this range. For example in winter I like it a bit lower than in summer: About 70 for the low limit, and 90 for the high limit. And I find it fine to ride at these cadences, but when I ride I tend to end up in a range of around 80-85, perhaps a bit lower. This is approximately the centre of the cadence range, and almost half that range. This means that within this preferred range within the comfortable range, I can always get very close to that preferred range after switching gears and staying approximately the same speed. 90/70 =1.28, √(1.28)=1.134 = optimal gear step size (optimal in the sense that we then have 2 gears overlap everywhere). Taking that optimal gear step size then from the cadence of 85 we then get to 85/1.134=75 when switching to a higher gear, which is near the bottom of the preferred range within the comfortable range.
It could be that I'm an exception in that my comfortable cadence range is larger than with most people, and that thus that a step size of 1.136 of the Rohloff hub, though fine for me, may not be fine for others, but I doubt it. However, if you feel this way, let me know, I would be interested in ranges of cadences that others find comfortable. I expect that the factor cadence_high/cadence_low will be similar to mine, i.e. about 1.28 for what is acceptable, and likely about half that range for what you prefer most of all.
If you want to help, just send me an email about what cadence range you prefer, how much you ride and what speeds you like to ride (on flat straight sections).
My definition for comfortable cadence: You can ride at these cadences, and it feels fine, not forced. If going higher your attention is drawn to the fast pedalling which already means it's not comfortable, on the low end you could for example feel it is not comfortable from the force in your knees. If your attention goes to your knees, it's not comfortable...
[ for me this range is ca. 70-90 in winter, ca. 75-95 in summer) ]
My definition for preferred cadence range: This is cadence that you tend to ride, i.e. at that you like most of all. I.e. if you don't pay attention to your riding then look at the cadence at which you ride after a while. This will be a smaller range than the above range.
[ For me this is in winter ca. 80 - 85, perhaps a bit lower, in summer not yet tested. ]
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With your hands on the handlebar in riding position: 2 gears up or 2 gears down.
When loosening your grip, rotating your wrist in the opposite direction, then shifting: 4 gears at once, up or down.
When loosening your grip, rotating your wrist + rotating arm in the opposite direction: 7 gears at once, up or down.
Only the first option is comfortable, the other 2 are circus acts in that you must twist too much.
2022-7-3: The choice is: Put in a Kindernay + hydraulic shifters, or get thumb shifters for the Rohloff. Or both :) Or perhaps install a Alfine 11 until the Kindernay 14 speed is available again as at the time I'm looking them up again (early July 2022) the 14 speed Kindernay hubs are not available.
In thumb shifters for the Rohloff at this point there seem to be 2 options available:
Here is a comparison of issues between them, which does not look positive for the cinq5: https://geared-facile.blogspot.com/2016/05/cinq5-shiftr-versus-gebla-rohbox-long.html. From these experiences the Cing5 shiftbox is too fragile. So what to do? Gebla or build a wheel with Alfine 11 until the Kindernay is available again? Or Gebla + cinq5 shifters that someone mentioned he used? (if these shifters are available)
No, it is just under the efficiency of a single speed according to Oehler's measurements and I trust his measurements (irrespective of his comments about e.g. the SP dynamo hubs long ago, which were biased and I commented about that in Fahrradzukunft, I don't doubt any of his measurements). In the video First 1200 km! – Pinion vs Rohloff w/belt – What's the BEST DRIVETRAIN? – side-by-side test / EPS 1" on the channel 'Nomad's trails' the authors say the Rohloff feels heavier going than the Pinion C1.12. I don't think this is likely and if it is then it is at best ca. 2% and you can't really notice that. Something else is likely going on. I posted a comment there:
The Rohloff is indubitably more efficient than the pinion p1.18. If the C1.12 is more efficient that still would only mean a few percent at most as at say 100W (touring power output), where the efficiency of the Rohloff is about 93%, a single speed about 97% so the c1.12 could at best be a few percent better than the Rohloff hub, as it has to be less efficient than the single speed. Do you really feel a few percent difference when riding? Highly unlikely. Other factors including psychological factors and riding position are more likely the cause, perhaps the type of oil used in each gives a lot of friction in extremely cold temperatures (say -15C and lower). I don't feel that the Rohloff is heavy going after having ridden on my other touring bike with 3x9 derailleur. But it does make more noise, and on good roads I feel vibrations in the pedals/saddle from the hub. Such factors can influence the perception of people. The most likely cause for the bikes feeling different is that they are different in riding position. From the screenshot of the video the bike with Rohloff has the saddle more forward, with a steeper seat tube angle and a shorter virtual top tube. As most riders except some fast riders (e.g. triathlon) prefer the saddle more to the rear, this can definitely influence how you feel the bike rides compred to the bike with pinion with seemingly a longer tube tube (virtual top tube I estimate from the picture, ca. 2-3 cm more on the bike with pinion, maybe a part of this is caused from the camera angle but I estimate the difference is real), and that position will make you ride in a more aerodynamic position which is not just good for fast riging but also makes it easier to put out more power without you feeling you need to do much more effort. So, 1) how do you determine that one bike is more efficient? 2) At what temperatures did you test? 3) have you compared the riding positions and whether you like the position on one more than on another and compared with another bike with say derailleur?
But I've not seen a reply.
See the section Brief comparison the Pinion C1.12, P1.18, and Rohloff speedhub with Gebla Rohbox with modified SRAM shifters for my comparisons on a few short test rides of the Rohloff with Gebla Rohbox and 2 bikes with Pinion P1.18 and C1.12.
My view is that the Rohbox + modified SRAM GX shifters works nicely, is nicer than the Rohloff twist shifter, but you are left with a system that is noisy in gears 1-7 which annoys me a lot, and which requires significant switch force (more than the rapidfire shifters for a derailleur or the Alfine/Nexus hubs), which together means that I didn't get a feeling of wanting it on my own bike.
2023-2-15, updated 2023-2-20, updated 2023-2-27, update 2023-3-28 (probably my final view):
I have not experienced the noise and vibrations that you get with the Rohloff hub in gears 1-7, with any Alfine/Nexus hubs, however, soon I am going to test 2 Nexus hubs, a 7 speed one and a 8 speed one, looking at them in detail with regard to any riding noise/vibrations to better compare them to the Rohloff hub.
The vibrations that I felt in this bike at ca. 22+ km/h that since replacing the SONdelux with a DH-S501 were caused by the drivetrain, and it turned out to be caused by perhaps partly the bottom bracket but mostly by the belt being too slack. After fixing this the Rohloff hub is reasonable in use, I still don't like the vibrations/noise at low speed (below 17.5 km/h), but as these are not that common for me except uphill, perhaps I will order a Gebla Rohbox to improve shifting... [ Update 2023-3-28: After having tried a bike with Gebla Rohbox: probably not. ]
Unfortunately there are none at the moment that are better in all aspects. Note for comparisons below, that the Rohloff hub weighs 1.8 kg with external switch box (without shifter/cables I presume, I have not weighed the hub loose as I got it in a bike).
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Last modified: 2023-3-22