Surly Moonlander Rohloff

Surly has to be one of the most innovative companies in the cycling industry.  Fatbikes, big wheels, large tires, on and on.  

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They have a dedicated Rohloff mounting slot on some of their frames because they understand their customers and know what they use their bikes for.  Their customers ride; a lot. And they ride everywhere and anywhere all over the planet.   Their frames run full length cabling, multiple water bottle mounts, threaded holes for racks, fenders and trailer mounting nuts.  Pretty much ready for anything.

For an upcoming project, we're converting a Moonlander to use a Rohloff hub.  This earlier frame doesn't have a Rohloff dedicated  mounting slot but we think we can still do it with either the Speedbone or the Monkey bone.  It's something we'll try out and see which is the best option.  In any case, we think it'll be really cool and looking forward to putting it all together.  

Stay Tuned!

Spokewrench

 


Another Project Complete!

 Steve send us pictures of his completed bike with the Gates/Rohloff and Gebla Rohbox shifter.  Looking good!  Best part about custom builds is the whole process from beginning to end and finally the pictures.  Because each project is so unique to the owner, each one is never the same and the time and effort really makes all the difference in the end.

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Favourite Cranks

These are by far our favourite (favorite for our American friends) cranks.  They are solid, stiff, Cinch system so easy to install, 30mm BB, use of Narrow Wide rings (which are perfect for Rohloff) and most important of all, the perfect chainline for the Rohloff (135mm version).  It's the only crankset I recommend to all my customers.  If you browse through our bike builds, you'll see it being used a lot :)

Below are some pictures from a customer's bike. 

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The SRAM Eagle has landed!!

As most of you probably know, SRAM's latest 1x12, Eagle drivetrain has been introduced.  In a previous posting I wrote, I talked about a little bit about Gear Range and Gears and Gear Inches and I thought it might be a good idea to re-visit the topic again now that SRAM has come out with its 1x12 system.

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In the above picture, I'm comparing a Rohloff Speedhub 36T/16T to SRAM Eagle 32T / 10-50T setup.  I purposely picked 32T as that matches the 36T/16T well and probably a typical setup someone looking at the Eagle would pick. 

The data can be found here and you can try different combinations.

So to start, SRAM is touting the benefit of a 500% gear range which is all well and good except Rohloff has a 525% gear range and have always had this gear range right from the get go, 20 years ago.  I think at this point, there is no denying that riders like not having to fuss with a front derailleur/extra shifter and enjoy the simplicity of a single chain ring but Rohloff knew that sooner ;) 

Rohloff having 14 gears offers a consistent ~13.5% in each gear increase/decrease.  If you look at the chart above for the SRAM Eagle system, the gear step is low as 13% and as high as 20% so what that means is that some gear changes feel larger while others feel more incremental.  The gear range for the Rohloff is 70.4 vs SRAM's 67.4.  So larger gear range with more gears vs lower gear range and 2 less gears.  Which system do you think will give you a higher chance of finding that 'right' gear?  Don't forget most riders are not Enduro riders where most of the course is downhill.  Finding that right gear is important.  And let's get that elephant in the room out of the way, the SRAM Eagle is lighter and cheaper initially (although not by much) and I would argue would end up costing a lot more which I'll explain below.  

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The drivetrain for the Rohloff hub is inside a hub shell and protected from sand and grit and for the most part everything out there.  The SRAM Eagle like any other derailleur system has everything exposed so the gears will wear, that's just a fact of life.  The derailleur will wear and the cassette will wear.  I know many people that have ridden all over the world with Rohloffs and have only had to do oil changes along the way and replace the seals and maybe bearings for a cost of $150-$200.  And that's 10s of thousands of kilometers.  The SRAM Eagle cassette and derailleur will set you back $580 US every time you need to replace it.  Not to mention the extra cost of the chain ring and chain compared to Rohloff that uses standard narrow wide chain rings and standard 8 spd chain for $40.  So we must think about lifetime cost and not just purchase cost.  Unless of course we're sponsored by SRAM, then obviously that doesn't matter.  Then we'd get our own mechanic and maintenance wouldn't matter either.  But of course we don't live in a perfect world with our own personal mechanic cleaning our drivetrain after every ride. 

Let's then talk about the durability of the overall system.  The SRAM Eagle wheel requires it to be dished, that's just the reality of a derailleur system.  The spokes are not tensioned equally on each side of the wheel.  A Rohloff wheel has no dish, the spokes are equal length on each side, and hence equal tension on both sides.  An equally dished wheel compared to a dished wheel all things being equal means a stronger wheel.  That's just physics.  The SRAM wheel may be lighter but it'll be weaker and because the gears and derailleur is exposed to the elements will not be as durable. 

At the end of the day, the SRAM Eagle as great as SRAM touts it to be is really only lighter.  It's not cheaper (see above), offer more gears or gear range, stronger or more durable and requires more maintenance.   So there you have it, a comparison between the SRAM 1x12 Eagle and the Rohloff 500/14 Speedhub.  Eventually when SRAM and Shimano offers their 1x14 drivetrain, I'll have to do this again.  Although I can't imagine how thin the chain and each cassette cog would have to be and how much dish the wheel would be to accommodate that many gears. 

Spokewrench


Rohloff and Post Mount

There has always been a desire to mount Rohloff hubs on frames with post mount rather than IS mount.  For frame with IS mount, it's always been easy as there are IS to Post Mount adapters and with the use of the Monkey Bone, the Rohloff Speedbone is even eliminated only needing the OEM2 axle plate.  By using the OEM2 axle plate along with either the Speedbone or Monkey bone, the setup is much cleaner and no more need to use the standard axle plate that bolts onto the chainstay.  For some frames such as the Surly Troll, there is even a dedicated spot to attach the OEM2 axle plate to.  I truly feel Surly is one of the most innovative bike companies today and understands their customer base like no other.  Post mount frames however has always been tricky for Rohloff and there just wasn't a clean way to mount it. 

New for 2016, that has all changed.  Rohloff has introduced their PM bone along with 2 different axle plates.  A CC to PM axle plate as well as an A12 to PM axle plate is now available to be used in conjunction with the PM bone.

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The PM Bone enables a SPEEDHUB, fitted with a PM axleplate, to anchor its output torque to a frame equipped with Postmount direct brake mount. This torque anchoring system can only be used on 135mm, 142mm, 170mm and 177mm spaced frames with a direct mount for 160mm or 180mm brake rotors.

The PM axleplates which grip onto this PM Bone are available for both CC and A12 axle styles:

  • Axleplate CC PM = for Rohloff SPEEDHUBs with a hollow quick release axle. These can be pre-fitted to new hubs or purchased separately to convert existing hubs.
  • Axleplate A12 PM = for Rohloff SPEEDHUBs with an internally tapped axle for mounting in 12mm thru-axle frames.

These can be pre-fitted to new hubs or purchased separately to convert existing hubs.

The PM Bone is mounted between the brake caliper and the frame itself. As such, the PM Bone acts as a +20mm adapter and thus will require a 20mm larger brake rotor.  So what that means is that a 160mm rotor before will require a 180mm rotor after and 180mm will need the 203mm Rohloff rotor.  Generally this isn't a problem for most people.  People generally don't complain with more braking power.  However some frames are speced to use a maximum sized rotor like 160mm so be sure to double check. 

Now a lot of frames are still being made with IS mounts and we suspect that will be the case for many years to come.  However if you happen to purchase a frame with post mount disc brake mounts, now there is a way to use a Rohloff hub with that frame too! 

More options for 2016 and that is never a bad thing.  Next time you look for a frame, chances are it'll be compatible with Rohloff.  If not sure, drop us a line and we'll do our best to check for you!

Spokewrench


SRAM Modified Rival22 Brifters

We have modified SRAM Rival22 Brifters in stock for anyone looking at the Gebla solution for dropbars.  By far the best solution we've seen for road bars. 

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Easy to install and setup and almost no learning curve as everyone is already familiar with brifters.  The only thing is that one side shifts up and the other side shifts down.  We typically setup the right shifter to shift up and the left shifter to shift down but can easily be the other way around.  The Brifters are also compatible with both cantilever and cable disc brakes such as the Avid BB7s.   

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