rolhoff speed hub

gerryscott

Regular
just wondering if anyone has tried a rolhoff speed hub with a gates belt drive, would this make it easier in hilly areas or is it a bit of a gimmick
 
Location
Loch side.
Neither the belt drive or the hub would make it easier in hilly or other areas per se.

Gearing is what it is. A 1-4 gear on a Rohloff or a derailler is exactly the same.

And, the belt drive is just the drive, it doesn't affect the gearing.

Neither are gimmicks, but both have their place in specific situations but none of those have to do with gearing.
 

MacB

Lover of things that come in 3's
The belt drive would make no difference and, as YS states, the gearing chosen for the Rohloff is up to you, within reason. I've used Rohloff, Alfine 8, Sram I-9 and Sturmey Archer 3 speed hubs. I find no appreciable difference in performance compared to derailleurs but then I'm not a performance cyclist. But hub gears fall into that category of cycling stuff that a lot of guff gets talked about and there are some deep seated prejudices.

Small thing as it may be but for me the greatest thing about a hub gear is being able to change gear when not moving and, with a Rohloff, being able to change multiple gears in one go.
 

Venod

Eh up
Location
Yorkshire
I have to agree with Yellow Saddle & MacB, I have had a Rohloff equped Orange P7 MTB, the big advantage for MTB use is no mud clogging of the dérailleurs, and your never in the wrong gear at the bottom of a hill a quick twist of the shifter and the gear you want is there, the down side is you have to learn to ride with the extra weight on the back end, I went back to dérailleurs for MTB but I would have one for commuting or touring a very well engineered piece of kit although a bit expensive. can't see any advantage of belt drives.
 

fossala

Veteran
Location
Cornwall
I use my rohloff on a Thorn Raven Tour daily. It's perfect for my 27mile commute as I don't have to worry about cleaning as much and things don't need to be replaced as often.
 
Location
Loch side.
I have to agree with Yellow Saddle & MacB, I have had a Rohloff equped Orange P7 MTB, the big advantage for MTB use is no mud clogging of the dérailleurs, and your never in the wrong gear at the bottom of a hill a quick twist of the shifter and the gear you want is there, the down side is you have to learn to ride with the extra weight on the back end, I went back to dérailleurs for MTB but I would have one for commuting or touring a very well engineered piece of kit although a bit expensive. can't see any advantage of belt drives.
They are rather expensive for what you get, isn't it?

A belt is quite nice in that it is truly zero maintenance. And incredibly tough. It is quite a bit less efficient than a chain but in certain situations that little disadvantage would be outweighed by its ability to soak up an entire one-month off-road tour without any pampering at all.
 

MacB

Lover of things that come in 3's
Expensive but I like to offset other costs so you need to deduct:-

Rear hub
RD
FD
Shifters
Cassette

The cost of what you deduct will vary, many negative Rohloff comparisons like to compare costs by using cheapo MTB components. Whereas if you compare it to 10/11 speed high end then the price isn't much different at all
 
OP
G

gerryscott

Regular
Thanks folks for the reply, been drooling over van Nicholas pioneer rolhoff with belt drive but could not justify the expense, also the concern if belt drive snapped in middle of tour trying to get a replacement could be difficult even in the middle of europe
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Gates, who make the belt, say the life is 'about twice that of a chain' which is not much given that the belt is a lot more than twice as expensive as a chain.

I tested a Gates bike briefly - the test was brief because the belt popped off and it's not possible to wind it back on at the roadside.

I've had a much longer ride on a Rohloff/chain bike.

In use, the Rohloff was similar to my Alfine 11, it works as they say it does, but you can feel the extra weight in the rear wheel.

Neither bike has a particularly low first gear.

I appreciate you can tinker with sprockets and chain rings, but both makers publish maximum recommended alterations.

There's a range table online somewhere, but neither hub can compete with the range of a mountain triple.

One strength of the Rohloff is just that, its strength.

They are bomb proof, whereas there have been reports of reliability problems with the Alfine 11.

Not least with mine, which to be fair to Madison/Shimano was fixed free of charge despite being 18 months old.
 

Rohloff_Brompton_Rider

Formerly just_fixed
I had a Trek district and the belt was superb. I'm a bike rider not cleaner so it was perfect for commuting. It did skip if the tension wasn't mega high, which did worry me a bit about the bb prematurely wearing out.

The new style gates belt are reportedly far superior and require far less tension and track better so alignment isn't a crucial as it used to be (which according to reviews leads to less belt derailments). Gates also do special sprockets for Rohloff as well.

They're not really that expensive when sprockets, belt and chainring are taken into context against chain versions especially the stainless options.
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Belt drives are ideal for pub bikes, folders, commuter bikes stored in your house/apartment, occasional use and rental bikes, very rainy regions, lazy cyclists, ladies wot lunch in posh frocks. Most of the interest and development has been by off-road sporty riders.
 
My touring bike has a Rohloff hub with standard £5.49 chain. The first chain lasted 14,000km before I changed it. I'm only on my 2nd chain having done another 3-4,000km on it.

Of you want to get a lower gear ratio, must change the sprocket and chainring combination. My touring bike currently has a 38/17 combination on it. Rohloff have recently approved use of something like a 38/19 combination or 36/17 iirc.
The 38/19 combination will give some seriously low gears. 38/17 gets my husband up 20% gradients with camping gear, but I'll confess that for me 20% is too step with that combination and camping kit on tour.
 

shouldbeinbed

Rollin' along
Location
Manchester way
Belt drives are ideal for pub bikes, folders, commuter bikes stored in your house/apartment, occasional use and rental bikes, very rainy regions, lazy cyclists, ladies wot lunch in posh frocks. Most of the interest and development has been by off-road sporty riders.
Belt drive-----folder?

That very much depends on how they fold, the B'Twin Tilt & Dahon type hinge around seatpost type fold that leaves the drivetrain in-situ ok, but a Brompton or Birdy up and under rear end fold that needs some semblance of chain tension when folded would be rather more difficult to accomplish with a belt.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Belt drive-----folder?

That very much depends on how they fold, the B'Twin Tilt & Dahon type hinge around seatpost type fold that leaves the drivetrain in-situ ok, but a Brompton or Birdy up and under rear end fold that needs some semblance of chain tension when folded would be rather more difficult to accomplish with a belt.
I've never seen any folder with a belt for the reasons you state, although they may exist.

A Brompton with a belt and usable solid tyres would be close to the ultimate low maintenance folder.

Many of us on here ride other bikes, but I suspect a lot of multi-modal Brompton commuters are not interested in cycling, so would appreciate a clean to handle bike that just worked.
 
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