Touring Bike FAQ #5: Derailleurs Or Internal Hub Gears (Rohloff)?

There are people in this world who you could put in a room and let them argue until the end of all time about whether or not a touring bike should be equipped with a Rohloff Speedhub.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Rohloff, it’s a rear wheel hub that costs the best part of a grand and automagically changes gears without the use of the derailleur system (the collection of cogs, cables and moving parts that’s used to change gears on almost every bicycle on the planet).

Rohloff Speedhub internals

Internet-based wanderings will unearth no end of people who ‘swear by’ Rohloffs, and no end of kit-list webpages from folk who’ve shelled out the requisite cash to equip their bike with one. They’re ultra-reliable, less messy, simpler on the outside, smoother to use, and you can change gear while stationary.

They are not, however, essential items of equipment for round-the-world touring.

People have indeed cycled round the world with Rohloffs. But more people have cycled round the world with traditional derailleur gears, having had a century’s head start.

The decision to invest in a Rohloff is not about whether it will will get you through a very long bike trip ‘better’ than a derailleur. As evidenced by the Database of Long Distance Cycling Journeys, they’ll clearly both do the job.

It’s more a question of the differing approaches that people take towards touring.

Why People Do (Or Don’t) Choose A Rohloff Speedhub

The first main difference in reasoning lies in how people deal with the fear of something going horribly wrong.

When the non-user-serviceable Rohloff Speedhub breaks, you send it back to Germany and spend a couple of weeks waiting in whichever city you had to hitch-hike to when it happened. Rohloff repair or replace the hub and send it back to you.

You hope that this happens before a) the locals customs department get hold of it, and b) your tourist visa runs out.

Eventually, you continue with your tour.

When a derailleur breaks, you try to fix it yourself, because all the parts are exposed and relatively simple, you’ve been on the road for long enough to know how to fix your bike, and you’ve long since stopped caring about getting greasy fingers.

If you can’t fix it, you remove a few links from your chain and turn your bike into a single-speeder until you get to the next city, where you check into the local hostel to find another cycle tourist awaiting the return of his or her Rohloff hub from Germany. You find a new derailleur or gear hanger or cassette or chain or chainring from any local bike shop.\

Eventually, you continue with your tour.

The second point of divergence regards whether people would prefer the reassurance of a Rohloff or an extra £1000 towards their tour.

What would an extra £1000 in spending money mean for your tour?

Touring Bike Derailleur

Consider that there’s no difference between the two systems that will occupy your mind when you’re actually turning the pedals of your bike. You’ll have better things to think about. Ultimately, both systems will allow you to change gear when you need to – until something goes wrong.

So if money is no object at this stage of your bike-choice process, the only real way to decide between the two is by rather whimsically thinking about which you like the idea of best.

Out of sight, out of mind for tens of thousands of miles – until it possibly breaks catastrophically? Rohloff it probably is.

Not as shiny, and needing occasional tweaking, but familiar to every bicycle repairman on the planet? Derailleur it probably is.

Still can’t decide? Flip a coin, cover it up, and then think about which side you really wanted it to land on…

Next in the Touring Bike FAQ series: What’s The Best Way To Avoid Buying The Wrong Bike?

Understanding Touring Bikes For Epic Expeditions

Choosing a touring bike for the ride of a lifetime?

Understanding Touring Bikes For Epic Expeditions will bring you up to bang speed on what matters (and what doesn't matter) when you're choosing a bike for a truly epic trip.

Click here to find out more →

49 Responses to “Touring Bike FAQ #5: Derailleurs Or Internal Hub Gears (Rohloff)?”

  1. Shaun

    Absolutely agreed on this one. If you break a derailleur the chances of finding another within hours is high and you can bodge a repair in the meantime.

    The other thing to factor in is a Rohloff wheel has shorter than usual spokes. Even a well equipped bike shop may not stock them.

    Reply
  2. Mark

    For me some of the greatest joys of cycle touring is in it’s utter simplicity , independence and self sufficiency. Foe me I would feel more secure that I can repair and maintain all of my own kit. I don’t doubt Rohloff ‘s reliability and quality, but if it went wrong I would lose that independence and self reliance that I value so much. So my choice would probably be a 21 or 24 speed bicycle, in the knowledge that I could bodge it in an emergency (turn it into a single speeder) until I can repair it properly. But I would be setting out in the knowledge that I could get myself back on the road and continue my tour. That’s why I’d choose Dérailleur over Rohloff.

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Agreed – and that’s why the expedition bike I designed is a 24-speed.

      Reply
      • Stathis

        G’day Tom, just following up on your advice from your other thread on the LHT, in regards to Rohloff versus derailleurs if they should break down in the middle of nowhere. A very good point was made in regards to serviceability, where you have to send the hub back to Germany in a worst case scenario.

        However, I would just like to mention a point that hasn’t been mentioned. I do recall briefly reading up in my manual that should the Rohloff become faulty for whatever reason, lets say the shifter packs up and you can no longer change gears ? Well, the info that I came across in the manual actually stated that the hub can actually be converted into a single speed. I don’t recall exactly how ? It may be the turn of a screw or something along those lines. Basically, the hub can be put into default mode just like a derailleur set up can to get you home. In other words, yes it can be salvaged somewhat just like your derailleur set up can. And no, as mentioned earlier, you can’t rectify it on the spot or at your local bike shop as easily. Nevertheless, it is a little more versatile than most of us may have assumed. Just thought id mention it. Cheers 🙂

        Reply
        • harry

          hi if the cables or shifter broke, the rohloff could be put in any gear really easily by pulling the cables at the back near Hub, also you can move the gears manually with a spanner. I think most peoples worry is ,what would happen it the hub No longer had any gears or made a grinding crunch sound and the wheel was completely locked up. Remove the chain and start Pushing 46 km over the mountains to the next town.

          Reply
  3. Simon Currey

    Are not internal hub gears less efficient? Even Rohloff’s excellence marginalise this it surely adds up?

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Perhaps – but I suspect that the numerous people who’ve circumnavigated Earth with Rohloffs would say that it’s more academic than anything else…

      Reply
      • Steve Jones

        Simon, if efficiency is your No.1 concern you’ll be riding a well oiled and finely tuned single speed. And why not? Seriously though, I have bikes with both, and when set up correctly and maintained there is no difference, Both systems work well, however you’ll find that as soon as you ride in wet or mucky weather ( as can often happen on a tour ) your beautifully set up derailleur will soon get clogged up and require quite a bit of attention to keep it running smoothly. My bike with the Rohloff laughs at the other one in those circumstances. And when you are cold, tired and wet,that’s nice. More than nice.
        The catastrophic failure that some seem to expect MUST eventually happen if they fit a Rohloff seems to be more in the mind than anything else.
        Hasn’t happened to me and if it does I’ll deal with it. Also, when a derailleur system jams and the chain gets all mangled up in the works, you might not be able to fix it despite your best efforts especially if you’re out in the cold with numb hands in freezing weather and miles from anything that remotely looks like a bike shop. That’s reality for you. Yep, that HAS happened to me!
        At the end of the day I think Tom explained the options well.
        Choose your poison, and don’t expect any system or component on your bike to be completely foolproof under all circumstances. If you do, you’ll be sure to have lots of surprises as you rack up the miles.
        Something,sometime, somewhere on the bike will fail. But it won’t be the end of the world.

        Reply
        • harry

          Hi Great comment.. I have been contemplating buying a tour bike with Rohloff hub. But I need to get over my fear of something going wrong. I love the simplicity and look of these Hubs. I suppose if you had any issues you could have it converted back to derailleur while you wait for the return of the Rohloff hub

          Reply
  4. Dominic

    I’d read the well- peddled comment about how fixing a Rohloff means sitting around for weeks, and so you can imagine my surprise when they proved to be incredibly responsive, with a replacement innards FedExed to me within 24 hours. It was less than 72 hours between first contact and the package arriving in Uruguay, shipped out on Rohloff’s dime, and they more concerned about me getting back on the road. I could send them the old innards whenever I got round to it, which ended up being about 4 months later.

    Rohloff’s do have shorter spokes, that’s true. And what do shorter spokes mean? Less chance of failure. Oh and if you do break a spoke on your Rohloff wheel, it’s just the same as fixing a spoke on your front wheel. No need to go through the hassle that is changing a drive-side spoke on a derailleur-equipped bike.

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      What – you mean Rohloff Speedhubs aren’t failproof after all…? 😛

      Good to know that shipping can be quick – although it obviously depends on where exactly you are and what mood the customs officials are in when the package arrives, which has little to do with Rohloff’s customer service (hence the well-peddled comments).

      Reply
    • daniel

      Dominic,
      the point about the spokes is actually good. I started to loose spokes on my back wheel when crossing from Kyrgyzstan to China. I had an NBT2 (next best thing) cassette lockring remover, but as much as we tried we could not loosen it up, so could not replace the ones on the drive side. Every hole or bump on the road made me nervous – and they have a lot of those up there 🙂 By the time I got to china I had 4 spokes less than I should! I also hate my dérailleurs when it gets really wet and muddy. I will try the Rohloff for the next big trip.

      Reply
  5. matt newtpn

    I’m a Rohloff man.
    Agree about the cost but it should of course be spread over the entire life of the bike, not just the tour.
    I use a chain glider to cover the sprockets and chain so wear is dramatically reduced. So saving on costs there plus less chance to foul ups in muddy weather.
    Just saying.
    Each to there own.
    Matt

    Reply
    • Tom

      How does the Alpine 11 compare to the Rohloff in reliability and gear ratio.
      Is Gates belt drive more reliable or efficient versus chain drive?

      Tom

      Reply
      • Simon C

        I’ve used Alfine 8 which lasted about 8k miles before failure due to water ingress and an Alfine 11 di2 which I replaced with a Rohloff after 4k miles. The issue with the Alfine 11 di2 was an oil leak on the non-drive side and failure of the electrical connector onto the shift motor. The connector is not designed to be repeatedly connected and disconnected but this is exactlybwhat you have to do every time you take the wheel out.
        I had issues with the cable and shifter mechanism of the Alfine 8 icing up in freezing weather. I converted from Gates carbon drive to chain after the belt snapped after just 1900 miles. This is terminal, however, converting to chain is simple.
        With regard to chain life, my hub geared bikes average 4k miles on a set of chains and sprockets whereas my previous derrailure bikes chain life varied from 1500 to 2700 with an average of 2k miles based on 16k miles of commuting. An always straight chainline as in an internal hub gear significantly extends chain life, in fact the limit is wear of the cheap and nasty pressed steel Alfine sprockets.
        Not been running the Rohloff long enough to comment on reliability or sprocket life yet.

        Reply
      • Joseph Melcher

        I’ve just put 8K miles on a Gates carbon fiber belt (more than twice the listed expected miles). Not sure why all the complaints, here and elsewhere. You mentioned breakage, which is certainly a bummer. But I’ve had a chain break, too (after a faulty link repair). (I’d be surprised if Gates would not replace the broken belt. If adjusted as per Gates, yes, they are tight and produce noticeable drag. So I ride it somewhat loose it’s been working fine! I also periodically reverse its direction, which probably explains its long life. I ride 8+ miles daily in temps from -20F, in rain and/or snow with salt and sand on the roads. The belt has never slipped or broken. Zero maintenance (other than the occasional reversal). And of course, there’s zero wear on the chainring and cog. BTW, it’s paired with a NuVinci hub. Heavy, but has also performed beautifully. Never affected by extreme cold, and can be shifted anytime, even under heavy load. It is undoubtedly less mechanically efficient than a derailleur. However, I figure I’m in better shape as a result. I’m a (fast) commuter, not a racer.

        Reply
  6. Ed Booth

    Here is my tuppence on the subject
    Ridden the same bike since 1982. – though technically only the stem dates from 1982.
    I love the gears, I love tweaking them, I love the mess I make doing it, I love their ‘well I might go in to the gear you want or I might do smithing totally unexpected’ attitude .
    Last year my mum left me some money with strict instructions to spend it on something I could not justify .Rollhof it was . 3000miles later and zero tweaking I love it just as much.
    Flip a coin – ether way you’ll be happy.
    For the reccord this years pattagonia trip will be Rohloff powered, but the old majestic still gets a lot of riding and tweaking.

    Reply
  7. Bernie

    It’s worth mentioning, although a Rohloff hub costs close to a grand, for that money it replaces at least 6 other components you would need on a comparable derailleur bike. (front and rear derailleurs, cassette, hub, chainrings, front shifter). They themselves could cost anything up to a grand. Of course it’s more expensive than a 7 speed cassette, SIS derailleur and a thumb shifter, but that’s not really comparing like with like.

    Reply
    • Ian

      Plus for the true cost you need to factor in that a speedhub can always be resold for half its new value . So the true cost is £500 . Max

      Reply
  8. harry

    Great comments and great web page…..oh my Goat! I can feel myself drifting towards the Rohloff powered tour bike. I like the look and simplicity of those Rohloff Hubs. If it were to go wrong in a remote place, it wouldn’t be long before I botched an other temporary wheel back in the frame..

    Reply
  9. WSL

    Well, I use both. My longest tour was through Europe and Middle East with a Deore DX equipped bike. No problems with that system at all. Love it. Over the years, parts were replaced and maintenance done.

    New custom built touring folder with Rohloff. No long journeys but the maintenance is an order of magnitude less than the derailleur system. And I can’t see it failing unless you do something extraordinarily stupid with it, which your derailleur equipped bike would likely fail too in the same situation.

    You can have a look at Thorn Cycles who have published a pdf about Living with a Rohloff. It’s quite comprehensive. Dominic may email them and tell them about his experience because it would be their first time hearing about someone being stuck with a dead hub in the middle of nowhere.

    Reply
  10. Richard

    I have also used both derailleurs and the Rohloff on long tours. The non-dishing rear wheel with the Rohloff makes for a stronger wheel (the spokes are shorter and of equal length). I carry a few spares but have never had to use them with the Rohloff.

    Yes, both derailleurs and the Rohloff can fail but the lack of external parts with the Rohloff minimises the chance of damage against rocks and when throwing your bike on a bus roof!

    With a Rohloff you effectively have a single speed setup with 14 evenly spaced gears. Get a good strong single speed chain. You can also reverse the rear cog and the front chainwheel (with Thorn bikes) thus extending the life of both.

    The best bit about a Rohloff – you can change gear without peddling. Useful with a heavily loaded touring bike setup.

    There are advantages to both systems regarding price and availability but I never worry about the Rohloff failing – I will just deal with it if it ever happens!

    Reply
  11. Rob

    Great stuff! Thanks putting this together 🙂

    Reply
  12. Joe

    Thanks for the article. I live in Germany (but not German myself) and I see Rohloffs everywhere, even in commuter bikes that won’t ever live the city, leave alone the country, in a touring trip. But for many Germans it’s important to “buy the best”, no matter if justified or not. Plenty of people with Mt. Everest suited jackets to go shopping when raining.

    For me the main reason not to go the Rohloffs route is price. All my bikes have costed less, the full bike, than what a Rohloff hub costs alone (excluding my latest mtb, only 200 eur above).

    Last year I did 1200 km on the Indian Himalayas with a bike that costed 85 EUR in total (and which I sold for 60 EUR at the end to avoid the hassle of re-boxing). The trip, all included, costed about “1.1 Rohloffs” 😉

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      I like the idea of using the Rohloff as currency. How many Rohloffs did your trip cost? 🙂

      Reply
      • paul

        Hi Tom
        You seem very much against Rohloff but the comments are pointing heavily towards them being an extremely good choice for touring.
        I am in the process of making a decision on what to get and everyone I have spoken with has raved great things Rohloff, they all say they wished they had had one 20,000 miles ago.

        Kind Regargs

        Paul

        Reply
        • Tom Allen

          I’m not against Rohloffs. I just think it’s worth pointing out that they’re a luxury, not a necessity, and an expensive one at that. 20,000+ miles on derailleurs hasn’t changed my mind.

          Reply
  13. Graham

    I’ve put 10,000 miles on a Rohloff equipped bike, riding about 50/50 on and off road, over the last 3 years. My advice would be not to go straight on a tour with your first/new one. There’s things that might catch you out if your just used to derailleurs.
    For example, if you’ve not clocked up miles on a single speed either, there’s only a single sprocket. Its going to wear quicker than you’d be used to with a cassette. Yeah you can flip all but the smallest sized sprocket over. That only really gives you a better tooth profile for longer. There’s still the same amount of tooth to wear through. It takes a lot of torque to get the sprocket loose too, I’ve always had to use a vice.
    Even if your not going to service it yourself and think you can do the trip on one sprocket, theres still some unexpected things to watch out for. Like not over tightening the axle, over time that can put the shifts out of alignment. Its possible to do that even with the pressure from a quick release.
    Don’t get me wrong, they are tough and I’m glad I got mine. If they do go wrong you can often keep riding, just not with a full compliment of gears.

    Reply
  14. Michel

    My bike frame is made for both derailleur and Rohloff. So IF the Rohloff fails completely far from home, I can put a derailleur system on the bike in a local bike shop. It was not a concern when I bought my bike, but it might solve the dilemma presented in this thread.

    Reply
    • Tim

      I was wondering if that was an easy fix. Sounds like the perfect solution if the budget allows, especially with the new belt driven types

      Reply
  15. Mike

    Hi,

    I live in Canada, and bike to work all year round. The first 3 years, did so on a old mountain bike. Nothing wrong with a derailleur bike, until winter! At around -20C or colder, the chance that the freewheel springs will freeze and stick when you coast, becomes more of guarantee than a possibility. Its like locking your drivetrain in neutral! Snow builds up on the cassette, which will freeze and compress, when you shift to a different gear, the chain skips on the ice. Every so often you have to stop to clean out the cassette. Also, chains wear out in about a month.

    Enter Soma Juice with Rohloff. 2 winters under its belt. -40C is the coldest day so far. Never once an issue with shifting, or freewheeling, in the cold. The single speed drivetrain does not build up with ice because, the chain keeps it clear. One chain lasts me the entire winter. This is by far the best winter drivetrain!

    The only negatives that I’ve noticed about the Rohloff; 1. I live in a hilly city, the rohloff doesn’t shift well on a steep hill, under load. 2. Gears 1-7, the noise and resistance, is noticeable, especially gear 7. I’ve adapted my hill climbing , and do not spend much time in the lower gears. Oh yeah, and the initial purchase price.

    Derailleur for summer, Rohloff for everything else!

    Reply
    • Punchy

      Very well said. However, im going to throw a curve ball…

      I agree with almost everything tou said. I will add to it by saying Derailleurs for summer, Rohloff for winter and hills… FIXED GEAR for everything except steep hills. Simplest maintenance, low cost, reliability, and most rewarding ride. It’ll keep on keeping on rain, hail or shine. Only a steep hill will get in its way.

      Reply
      • Mike

        Sorry Punchie,
        I didn’t mean to leave out the single speeds. It is the perfect drivetrain when big hills aren’t involved. Plus, I’m getting older and weaker.
        Recently, I’ve noticed that downhill speeds between my Soma Juice Rohloff with fenders and 37mm. tires was slower than my Cannondale Lefty with 2.35″ knobbies (thanks, Strava!). Same hill. Must say something about friction loss.
        Mike.

        Reply
  16. Allan Nelson

    A friend of mine just got a new tandem and decided on a Rohloff hub. I have to say, I hate it. You say in your article “Ultimately, both systems will allow you to change gear when you need to”. I beg to differ. Not if you’re going uphill, round the corner and the gradient goes up to 25% (lets say from 20%) it won’t. There’s no changing under load. Living where we do in the English Lake District, that’s a real bummer. Reminds me of the old Sturmey Archer 3 speed in the 1960’s. As for the weight! They shouldn’t break with that amount of metal in them! I hope he does get the promised trouble-free mileage out of it. Not for me though. I’m one of those fickle types. I don’t WANT a bike or bits on it to last me 50 years. I LIKE getting new stuff occasionally.

    Reply
  17. Andy

    Got my Rohloff back in June 2004, only £500 back then, I have done a few tours from Manchester to Scotland via the Lakes, so it has had some good use.

    The only maintanence it has had, is the annual oil change, when I first got the Rohloff I bought a 1lt can of the SpeedHub oil, and two of the 1lt cans of Cleaning oil.

    What a brilliant piece of engineering the Rohloff is, and why they are still producing bicycle’s with derailleur gears is because they are cheap to make.

    Had the Pinoin gear system been around when I got my Rohloff, I would have gone for that instead, as in my mind the Pinion system is an even better solution than the Rohloff.

    Reply
    • erwin

      I was thinking the same. Pinion drive seems to be a better solution than Rohloff or derailleurs. Expensive and to new. Further testing and research is required.

      Reply
  18. Dan Gao

    There is one thought I don’t see here, that took me by surprise when I was surfing the question. In discussing the “quality” of the ride, some people mentioned the clockwork feel of internal gears was less pleasing than the direct connection of a derailleur set up.

    Reply
    • Graham

      The difference goes both ways ridding mine. When freewheeling, or going up steep hills I’m aware there’s a set of cogs between me and the wheel. However, when stopping and starting a lot, wanting to go from a standing start quickly and put a lot of power down, it feels more direct than a derailleur. To do that you’ve got to get used to doing a quick twitch-like pause in peddling to change gear under the heavy load, but you can grab a handful of gears at once when you do change. Might be to do with the constant chain tension and thick chain, but its reminiscent of single speed in some ways. Great for commuting, but for really long journeys, I’m not sure.

      Reply
  19. Tony

    Rohloffs are great in many ways. But they are not magic. They can have long term maintenance issues. My wife’s 40000 km Rohloff is starting to drop oil regularly now, despite twice having seals replaced. It is now stiffer to pedal than it used to be and I wonder whether the long term reliability people write so much about is just hype. I’ve had issues with mine in the past too that necessitated a return to Rohloff. At least with derailleurs you can fix them easily!

    Reply
    • paul

      Hi Tony

      With all respect….. 40000 ks is a pretty good run for the price, well done to your partner for such a fantastic achievement, will she be replacing it, was she happy with it.

      Kind Regards

      Paul

      Reply
      • Tony

        Hi Paul,

        Thanks.

        Actually, the inner gearbox on a Rohloff is likely to exceed 100,000kms. It’s the seals and bearings that need to be replaced around 50,000kms depending on use/abuse. I live in Perth, Western Australia and our local Rohloff Service centre charges for this service whereas, anecdotally, the German manufacturers seem to do it for little cost.

        The main point of my post was that they are great gear systems but they do have their own quirks.

        Many people claim that Rohloffs are not cost effective but that’s simply not true. The cost of a new, quality derailleur groupset is $1500 or more and the chain and cassette will last 10,000kms at the very most – alot less in wet or gritty conditions. A Rohloff sprocket will last 10,000kms. Then it can be reversed and used again for another 10,000kms.

        Cheers,

        Tony

        Reply
  20. Dominic

    Just a follow-up to my earlier experience. I’d had a Rohloff start developing skipping and fantastic service from them while I was in South America. Well, 40,000km later they started again. This time I was back in the UK and sent the wheel back to Thorn Cycles to forward it on to Rohloff. Thorn were great, Rohloff however decided that the failure was my fault and must have been caused by me submerging the hub, something I haven’t done, and so I had to pay £235 to fix it. With help from Thorn I’ve got the wheel back, but I’m really hoping I don’t have the Rohloff failing for a 3rd time.

    Reply
    • Tony

      Hi Dominic,

      I experienced skipping and loss of all seven lower gears just after a tour of France a few years ago. Glad it didn’t happen near the Pyrenees!

      After flying back home to Western Australia I sent the hub back to Rohloff in Brisbane who stripped it, cleaned it and returned it for free.

      To be fair it has been virtually faultless ever since. But I always wonder: could it happen again???

      From your experience, it sounds as though it can!

      At least with derailleurs I can usually fix problems in the side of the road, or after a quick trip to the nearest bike shop!

      Cheers

      Tony

      Reply
  21. Meach

    I have been running a Rohloff hub for 10 years now as a daily commuter in Pennsylvania. This includes winter with salt and gravel. On my previous (derailleur) bike, I regularly ground up chains, cog sets and occasionally derailleurs. The Rohloff simply DOES NOT FAIL. It shrugs off abuse, mud, brine, immersion (not recommended but didn’t seem to bother it) off-roading and flights of stairs. It only requires periodic oil changes and only once changing out the rear cog (it is double sided). At this point I have ~40K miles on this hub and it has never given me ANY issues. The linear shift is wonderful, the gear range is enormous and no more dropped or wedged chains from a bad shift. I would take it over a derailleur anytime on tour or commute.
    Run your new hub through the break in period (one or two oil changes) and it will be butter smooth and trouble free no matter the abuse.

    Reply
  22. Russel Kennel

    Just Bought two Rohloff equipped Gates belt drive folding Bike Fridays for recreational use. Three other friends did the same. We are retirement age and don’t want gear change and maintenance issues. No greasy chains against the car interior or skin.

    Reply
  23. Pat

    Thanks for all good and helpful points made.
    I’m currently on the fence between the Alfine 8 and a Rohloff.
    Really teetering here…
    pat

    Reply
    • Tony

      If you want a hub gear then nothing beats the range and quality of a Rohloff.

      Reply
  24. Kelcy

    Have 2 specialized AWOL’s
    1 with a Rohloff
    1 with traditional derailluer
    taken tours with both
    on flat tours Rohloff is great
    On hilly tours I’d rather have the derailluer – You have to stop pedaling to shift on a hill with the Rohloff – and you really do loose your MOJO – It is easier to index down through the derailuer and keep on stroking – it is also much heavier and on the hills every pound counts

    Reply

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