Stuff about Rohloff Hubs

We’re getting increasing numbers of orders for frames to be fitted with Rohloff hubs and there are a few questions that always come up.

Argon – The Argon ROCC has sliding dropouts and therefore there’s no need for a chain tensioner. You can specify dual cabling in which case you get a cable stops for conventional gearing and a dropout with a mech hanger or no cable stops for singlespeed.

Helius – Like most of the full-sus Nicolai’s the Helius will take a Rohloff hub without the need for a speedbone or other torque transfer device. This is enabled by the ‘long’ Rohloff OEM non drive side dropout into which part of the hub slots.

You need to specify cable routing as:

  • Rohloff AND conventional – extra cable routing down the non-drive side ‘seatstay’ allows use of either form of gearing. In our experience this isn’t ideal and you’re probably better off ordering “conventional only” and attaching the Rohloff cables to the top of the brake hose if you want the option of running either sort of gearing.
  • Rohloff only – cables for hub routed under downtube/BB/’chainstay’. Whatever the bike this routing is recommmended – it leads to fewer bends which gives significantly lighter, more positive, shifting. Once you use a Rohloff you won’t go back so our advice is to do it this way (we do).
  • Full dual cabling. This has conventional cabling under the top tube AND Rohloff cabling under the downtube. In our view this is the best solution if you want to be able to run either system but does leave more unused guides on the bike so doesn’t look as tidy. Theres a surcharge of £10 for this.

Other stuff to note

  • Because the chain is extended slightly by the suspension action the Helius needs to be used with a chain tensioner. You’ll also need a chainguide on the chainset. The Rohloff ones are, naturally, recommended in both cases. With these two items in use it’s near impossible to dump the chain.

Rohloff background

Theres some good stuff on Sheldon Brown’s site here including a comparison of the gearing with a conventional 22/32/44 set up.
When you read any reviews of a Rohloff remember that the mags normally get a new one. They get smoother and quieter with age – the first year is just running in really.

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