Monday, February 11, 2008

New Rohloff Speedhub

This post from the UK Rohloff Owner's Forum gives some additional details about the new Rohloff hub that is currently in design. Of note is the fact a production unit won't be for sale until 2009 and depending how long the prototyping phase lasts that could slip until 2010.

"Here is a bit of explanation on what we can expect from Rohloff in the next 12 months from our own member "Rohloff AG" aka Stewart from the Customer care team at Rohloff in Germany!

The new product?

Yes we are working on a newer, lighter up-speced version of the SPEEDHUB 500/14. There is currently no release date because We just arn´t satisfied until the product is damn near perfect. The Rohloff AG is a company which has built itself up over the last 20 years into one of the most innovative bicycle component manufacturers there is, we obviously do not want to risk our reputation by selling a product that hasn't completed and withstood our rigorous R&D phase, proved itself and met our expectations.

At present there are only a select number of components completed as prototypes, definitely not enough to build up one finished hub. We are not 100% happy with the designs of all parts and so prototypes of other components will just have to wait a while. We hope to be able to present a finished hand model at Eurobike this year in Friedrichshafen however I must stress that this is a target and by no means a fixed presentation date. This is obviously only realistic when we finish the designs in time to send the contracts out to finish the prototype components.

No matter when the prototypes are finished, the long and important R&D phase must still be carried out. It is important to remember that this stage of the process could take up to a year or so. We cannot rush this process as the area of intended use and the warranty/guarantee and possible restrictions will depend upon what feedback we recieve through this process. If the product fails here.......... we have to start over, so basically it comes when it arrives. Sorry.

We will definitely not be designing a gearunit with less gears. There are other manufacturers which build gear hubs of this kind and we at Rohloff do not want to build products that other firms already have on the market.

As I said, the rumours of a lighter, smaller hub are true. This is however not just a lighter version of the tried and trusted 500/14 but a completely re-worked gear unit. A bit of fine tuning and so, so that it remains a trustworthy product and suitable for nearly all aspects of cycle sport. What I can tell you is what our expectations and targets are for this new gear-unit.

We hope to reduce it in weight by approximately 400 grams.
We hope to increase the overall gear range to approximately 590%.
The increments will remain evenly spaced, however slightly larger.
The number of gears will remain 14.
....and it will definitely be smaller in overall size, however not yet possible to say how much smaller.

We are expecting that it will no longer be an appropriate alternative for tandem usage but its too early to tell. Thats all I can tell you all at the moment so hope this helps."


Anonymous said...

I was wanting to put one of these new hubs on a SPOT belt drive Bike.
The rear cog is obviously different for a chain drive type cog. Will Rohloff offer these belt drive cogs as an option on the new hub?


Vik said...

Since the hub is not even close to being released it's hard to say what optional parts Rohloff might sell for it.

The manufacturer of the belt and belt specific chainring/crank might also make a Rohloff compatible cog.

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