Rohloff Speedhub

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 is a 14 speed epicyclic internal hub gear for bicycles. It has 14 equally-spaced sequential gears operated by one twistgrip with no overlapping ratios. The gear range is wider than that of 27-speed derailleur systems. The Speedhub 36 500/14 has a gear range of 526 %, which means that the highest gear is 5.26 times higher than the lowest gear. Across the entire range of the 14 gears shifts increase or decrease in even increments of 13.6 %.

The Rohloff is a little heavier than a triple-chainset derailleur drivetrain with a similar spread of ratios. Being completely sealed it requires substantially less maintenance, especially when combined with a full chaincase. It can be used with a wider chain than most current derailleur gears, which reduces wear on the driving gears. Gear changing is smoother than a derailleur; gears are changed when there is no pressure on the pedals. It is slightly less efficient than a clean and lubricated derailleur system and is much more expensive (currently around two to three times the price of a capable triple chainset, rear derailleur, cassette and hub). It is noisy in the lower gears, although users report that the noise is much reduced as the hub wears in.


There are several different versions of the hub for different applications that a bicycle might be used in:
* TS (Touring Axle)
* DB (Disc Brake)
* CC (Cross Country)
* EX (external Gearbox)
* OEM (original equipment manufacturer)
* OEM2 (like OEM, for frames with Disc Brake mount, after IS 2000)
* T (Tandem)The hubs are available in different colors: silver (aluminum polished), red or black.

Depending on the type of dropout slots on the frame the sag of the chain can be adjusted differently. The usual type of dropout slots for hubs, which are open in an angle to the front side, is long enough to tighten the chain by moving the back axle up or down. For short dropout slots at frames built for a regular chain derailleur system you will need a suspension strained chain tensioner. The same applies to back wheels with suspension, because the distance between crank and back wheel is changing while riding due to the suspension. It is also possible to tension the chain using an eccentric bottom bracket.



The internal construction of the gear hub consists of three planetary gear systems, connected one after the other, which are selectively engaged depending on the user’s gear choice. The first two gear systems provide seven ratios, doubled to fourteen by the third gear system. Unlike other hub gearsFact|date=January 2008 the Speedhub is built mainly with roller bearings for efficiency. All components are immersed in lubricating oil.

The IGR, hub revolutions per sprocket revolution of the Speedhub, lies between 0.279 and 1.467 depending on the gear chosen. The Speedhub has a 526 % range between the highest and lowest gear. Gear 11, with a ratio of 1.0, is called the neutral gear.

The overall average loss of the gears is about 1 %–5 %, comparable to a derailleur.

The range of gears in detail is shown in the table below.

The Speedhub weighs about 0.5 kg more.

A new version (currently in development, with testing due to begin in 2009) will weigh 1400g, be 20% smaller and have a larger overall ratio of 580%. [ [ New Rohloff Speedhub in (development in) 2008] ]


* There is less wear on all parts, resulting in an almost entirely maintenance-free hub.
* The compact, closed design requires only a single chain wheel.
* The chain may be enclosed.
* Since no derailleur is involved, the chain is always in the optimal position regardless of the chosen gear.
* Because the hub is sealed from the elements, dirt and water do not interfere with its operation.
* The Speedhub permits symmetrical lacing of the spokes, which leads to less spoke strain and fewer breakages.
* Gears can be changed while the bicycle is stationary.
* Gears progress in constant steps.


* High initial price. For a user covering long distances, total cost of ownership needs to take into account the cost of maintenance and replacing worn components, which may reduce the price disadvantage.
* When changing from the 7th to the 8th gear or viceversa under high pedalling pressure, the hub may change to the 14th gear.
* For the first few hundred kilometers, the friction of the hub seals may cause a forward movement of the pedals. The effect lessens over time.
* The unusual regularity of the 13 % gear stepping is sometimes uncomfortable for riders when the hub is in higher gears.
* The seals of the hub may leak when transporting the bicycle on a plane unless the oil is drained.
* Storing the bike in a horizontal position for a long period of time may cause the seals to leak.
* The twist shifter is not compatible with all handlebars. While there are some assembled handlebars available for racing bikes, there is not much variety.

Comparison with other hub gears

The Rohloff has a wider range of gears than any other hub gear available in early 2008, but the price is much higher.

Technical Data



* [ SPEEDHUB 500/14 “Owner’s Manual”] , WS 2.13E 0605 (no ISBN) available in English, Dutch, French and German.

External links

* [ Rohloff AG]
* [ Technical CD to the Speedhub “Tour de Hub”]
* [ Striptease Video Animation “A Teaser”]
* [ Unofficial Rohloff forum]
* [ Rohloff page] from Sheldon Brown's website
* [ Kinetic’s Rohloff page]
* [ Rohloff Owners Club forum]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rohloff Speedhub — Schnittdarstellung der Nabe Foto eines Schnittmodells …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 — Schnittdarstellung der Nabe Foto eines Schnittmodells …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rohloff AG — is a German company from Fuldatal near Kassel that manufactures hub gears, bicycle chains and tools that are known for their durability and high performance. The company’s logo is a black silhouette of a raven on a yellow background.Rohloff AG… …   Wikipedia

  • Speedhub 500/14 — Schnittdarstellung der Nabe Foto eines Schnittmodells …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Speedhub — Schnittdarstellung der Nabe Foto eines Schnittmodells …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rohloff AG — Fahrradnabe Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 Detail der Fahrradkette SLT 99 Die Rohloff AG ist ein Unternehmen aus Fuldatal bei Kassel. Sie wurde 1986 gegründet und Anfang der 1990er Jahre bekannt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rohloff Mad East Challenge 500 — Mad East Challenge e.V. (MEC 500) Zweck: Austragung von MTB Rennen Vorsitz: Matthias Mende Gründungsdatum: 2004 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rohloff (Unternehmen) — Rohloff AG Rechtsform Aktiengesellschaft Gründung 1986 Sitz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Speedhub 500/14 — Eclaté du moyeu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rohloff — 51° 20′ 53″ N 9° 31′ 00″ E / 51.3481, 9.51667 …   Wikipédia en Français

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