Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

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Swede
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Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:03 pm

I need your collective experience with this...

I have a Rohloff equipped Surly ECR which I've had for four years now. I don't keep a track of the mileage but the Speedhub's oil was replaced in May 2018 and I recently decided to do it again, along with several other jobs.

One of the jobs was to heat shrink sleeve the two twist shift cables together which meant removing the EX cable box in order to thread the cables through the sleeving. However, when I tried to reattach and loop the cables around the pulley that lives inside the box; I couldn't. One of the cables was shorter than the other and when I pulled the inner's out, I noticed that along most of their length there were kinks & curls. I've no idea how/when this happened but I ordered some replacements.

The bike was put back together and I've probably done about 100k since.

What's immediately noticeable is that the shifting is now very light. For the last four years I've thought that this was normal "Rohloff" but that's not the case :-bd . What is weird though is that the whole gear range has moved downward, for example 1st is now ridiculously low and I’m almost spinning out in 14th on the flat.

There's also a noticeable roughness/rumble that you can feel through the pedals under load :cry: . It didn't do this last week, so what's changed?

BB?
I've double checked and it (a UN-55) which spins fine and there's no lateral movement. The tapers are have been cleaned again are grease free.
Pedals
They're new(ish) as the original ones died. They're also well secured to the crank arms.
Chainring?
Tightly held to the crank arm.
Chain?
According to my Park tool it's f**ked... The 0.75 gauge drops cleanly through, but does it matter if I don't have a derailleur? The flanks of the sprocket are no longer symmetrical, so I should probably replace the chain and spin the sprocket around.
I also read somewhere that it could be “chordal action” which should go after lubrication – no luck with that!
Chain tension?
The rumble is definitely worse if it’s slack but I have to tighten the tensioner all the way in now which I’ve never had to before.
Hub?
There’s no sign of leakage following the oil change but there was quite a bit of sludge in the old oil, so maybe it was this that was generating resistance internally and is why I was had to ride in lower gears? Could it be that this thicker oil was cushioning the vibrations that I’m now feeling?

Any ideas?

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JohnClimber
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by JohnClimber » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:57 pm

If you are based near Manchester take it in to Rich and Shona at Keep Peddling, they will sort it (call them first to book it in)

I change my Rohloff oil every 12 months or so and that's all I do with it, any more it goes in to Keep Peddling

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:26 pm

Unfortunately not but I have popped into the shop a couple of times.

I've ordered a new chain (KMC e1) and a sprocket removal tool - hopefully that'll help!

Hamish
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Hamish » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:29 pm

Sorry for asking the 'are you sure you haven't runout of petrol question' but... Have you still got 14 different and useable gears? And did you always have 14 gears before!? I only ask because sometimes you can lose some if you put the box on out of phase with the hub. I did this once and didn't notice I had lost 1st and 2nd for quite a while :oops:

The shift box is obviously independent of what goes on in the hub itself. So you can use a spanner to change gear on the hub to check its all working in there. The. Set the hub to 1st and rotate the shifter to first position itself and refit the box and it should be in phase.

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious.

Hamish
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Hamish » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:31 pm

Also, try the Thorn Cycles Forum. They are full on Rohloff obsessives on there.

lune ranger
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by lune ranger » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:20 am

Hamish wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:29 pm
Sorry for asking the 'are you sure you haven't runout of petrol question' but... Have you still got 14 different and useable gears? And did you always have 14 gears before!? I only ask because sometimes you can lose some if you put the box on out of phase with the hub. I did this once and didn't notice I had lost 1st and 2nd for quite a while :oops:

The shift box is obviously independent of what goes on in the hub itself. So you can use a spanner to change gear on the hub to check its all working in there. The. Set the hub to 1st and rotate the shifter to first position itself and refit the box and it should be in phase.

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious.
That probably wouldn’t make all gears seem easy. It might make ‘1st’ feel harder and ‘14th’ easier or the opposite.

I’m finding it hard to imagine how a cable change could affect the internals of the hub.
If it was working before the cable and oil change it should be working now. Speedhubs just don’t brake.

FWIF my oldest hub is now nearly 21 years old. It’s not always jade the oil changed as regularly as recommended and it’s absolutely fine.
I inherited a hub that had been kept on a yacht that was fully f@cked when I got it. Rohloff in Germany brought it back to life.

Thorn cycles are a fully accredited workshop. Not sure about Keep Pedaling, they may well be. If you can’t work out what’s happened, bite the bullet and send it off and it’ BBe fixable. I do have a hunch that a Rohloff mechanic should see the whole bike though not just the hub. Call one of the above for a talk through first.

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BigdummySteve
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by BigdummySteve » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:15 am

It’s possible that the cables were incorrectly installed previously and you were not actually getting all 14 gears , assuming you have now the correct cables lengths remove the shift box and after checking that you can select all gears without the shifter manually put it into 1 or 14, move the shifter to the appropriate position and reinstall.

My favourite rohloff trick used to be installing the cables in the wrong positions and reversing the shifting pattern.
‘ it’s good to be lost, I don’t want to be found’ -HMHB

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:44 am

I had 14 before and I have 14 now but they all seem to be lower...

I've taken the box off quite a few times now and have even put it on with the shifter and 8mm hex nut on the hub "out of phase" in an attempt to move things upward. All that happened was the the shifter wouldn't rotate to 3 but would go beyond 14 :???:

I'm thinking this is a thin/new oil and worn chain combination rather than something that's broken. Chain should be here tomorrow but it'll be a couple of days yet before SJS post the tool.

Keep you posted.

Cyclepeasant
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Cyclepeasant » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:09 pm

Hmmmm....interesting.
A couple of thoughts.
When you changed the gear oil,did you clean and lube the chain also?
I have found a near worn chain after it has been cleaned with the sprocket(s)and chainring(s) then relubed, does feel rougher through the pedals. (But easier/free-er)
Maybe the gunge that builds up between the links takes up play and dampens noise and vibration.
Same probably applies to old rohloff lube,creating more friction.
Flushing old oil and replenishing with new oil has allowed everything to rotate and mesh more freely?
Not actually ever experienced that with any of my rohloffs ,nexus or alfine hubs.....yet!
Insanity over vanity

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:01 pm

Yes, I stripped the bike down to the frame and gave it its annual clean (inc. the chain) at the same time.

New chain arrived this afternoon and feels quite different to the old loose/rattly Z1.

I'm working on the theory that the gears haven't changed it's just that gunge was making it harder to turn. Consequently it was harder to pedal so I was riding in lower gears. Take that away and I'm now using higher gears. The only way to prove it would be to put the gunge back in; but that ain't happening!

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:04 am

Tool arrived yesterday and I tried to remove the sprocket following the official Rohloff video but I nearly bust a blood vessel staining to get it off!

I couldn't get this method to work either; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD2K1lrES4E.

In the end I had to flip the wheel over, put the whip and spanner in the vice and with the aid of a small(ish) child we manged to squeeze the two until there was a loud bang and the sprocket was free :-bd

Should have the chain on later today.

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Thu Jul 02, 2020 3:52 pm

Well that didn't work ~X(

New chain is on and the sprocket has been turned around but what was a feeling through the pedals is now very loud noise when you pedal! The only thing I can think of now is that I need a replacement sprocket.

With the chain cut to the same 96 links the old one is at least a link longer, so I'm guessing that the uneven flank on the sprocket is causing the noise?

lune ranger
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by lune ranger » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:41 pm

Consider getting a splined sprocket carrier and splined sprocket. It’ll make all future sprocket changes a doddle.

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/sprockets/r ... rier-8540/

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/sprockets/1 ... ket-steel/

Hope you get your problem sorted.
I had an annoying crunch on one of my Rohloff bikes recently. The cause was a chain that was over tight at one point during a pedal rotation.

Hamish
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Hamish » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:14 pm

I assume you changed the chain ring too? If the sprocket and chain were that worn I am guessing the chainring is likely to be knackered too?

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:15 pm

The chainring is new but I don't think reversing the sprocket is an option if it's too worn. Can't seem to find screw on ones anymore as they all seem to be splined which requires a special/expensive carrier.

If I have to order one of these it'll be next week before I get it.

Cyclepeasant
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Cyclepeasant » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:28 pm

Advise you convert the carrier,then the sprockets will be easy to replace.
The first time I rotated a sprocket and fitted a new chain it felt rough through the pedals.
I just replace the sprocket and chain now.
The big bang happen every time I replaced the sprocket,caused a few grazed knuckles and cut skin. (+ A few choice Dave Barterisms! )
Insanity over vanity

survivor
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by survivor » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:52 pm

You haven't got carried away with the chain tension when you reassembled did you? This could cause the roughness.

The lower gearing thing is a mystery. I can't think its the rohloff. Perhaps you, overnight, became super fit as if by magic? :grin:

ripio
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by ripio » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:05 pm

Swede wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:15 pm
The chainring is new but I don't think reversing the sprocket is an option if it's too worn. Can't seem to find screw on ones anymore as they all seem to be splined which requires a special/expensive carrier.

If I have to order one of these it'll be next week before I get it.
SJSC sell their own branded screw on Rohloff sprocket, but it's not any cheaper than buying the newer splined carrier and sprocket.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/sprockets/t ... -hubs-19t/

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:41 pm

Cyclepeasant wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:28 pm
Advise you convert the carrier,then the sprockets will be easy to replace.
The first time I rotated a sprocket and fitted a new chain it felt rough through the pedals.
I just replace the sprocket and chain now.
The big bang happen every time I replaced the sprocket,caused a few grazed knuckles and cut skin. (+ A few choice Dave Barterisms! )
It's good to know I'm not alone! I'll take the plunge and order a new 16T splined sprocket and carrier.

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:37 pm

The Jteck sprocket saves £2 so I've gone with the splined version. Not going to be riding this weekend as I can't be arsed to change the sprocket around and put the old chain back on.

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:56 pm

The sprocket and carrier arrived this morning and have now been fitted - no roughness/no rumble :-bd

Apologies for the sh*te photo but you can see that the old one was really bad and had gone (I think) beyond the point where spinning is around was going to work.

Note to self... change the chain and oil on an annual basis and spin the sprocket around at the same time! :oops:
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BigdummySteve
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by BigdummySteve » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:47 am

Looks like you got value out of that drivetrain :-bd
‘ it’s good to be lost, I don’t want to be found’ -HMHB

Lazarus
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Lazarus » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:03 am

glad its sorted

ripio
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by ripio » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:53 pm

Swede wrote:
Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:56 pm
The sprocket and carrier arrived this morning and have now been fitted - no roughness/no rumble :-bd

Apologies for the sh*te photo but you can see that the old one was really bad and had gone (I think) beyond the point where spinning is around was going to work.

Note to self... change the chain and oil on an annual basis and spin the sprocket around at the same time! :oops:
That sprocket would be fine if it was reversed as designed.

This is an example of a badly worn Rohloff sprocket (not mine) :
4953956488_68ab25e9fd.jpg
4953956488_68ab25e9fd.jpg (45.71 KiB) Viewed 194 times

Swede
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Re: Troubleshooting (Rohloff) help needed

Post by Swede » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:27 pm

Bloody hell :shock:

I guess I could have carried on with the old chain and maybe I should have tried spinning the sprocket around first but hindsight and all that...

Anyway I went out this evening and knocked a couple of minutes off my normal route without really trying, which I put down to a lack of Watt sapping sludge rather than any new found fitness!

The new chain says it's good for 3,500km and Rohloff say you should change the oil at every 5,000km but in future I think I'll do both at the same time. I'm guessing that once the wear gauge drops through at 0.5% it's at 3,500km(ish)?
Last edited by Swede on Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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