Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rohloff Speedhub 14 speed bicycle hub

Like many folks growing up in the 70's and 80's, the last time I rode a bike with a shifting hub it
was on an English 3 speed and it was not pleasant. They were probably poorly adjusted and
in need of some service, but they shifted terribly and I never gave them a second chance or
thought. Well, as it happens, some folks have been giving it a lot of thought and the current
state of the art as nearly as I can tell is this incredible German made 14 speed hub. Though I
in general try to avoid excess complexity, a derailleur setup is not prize in the simplicity dept
either. The Rohloff has been out for at least a decade and by all accounts is extremely reliable.
The hub is completely sealed and purportedly maintenance free, which a derailleur is definitely not.
Unfortunately, all of this comes at a price of around 1,300 $ US, which in the high end bike world
is not unheard of, but for a casual user it's a bit high. You can learn more about this hub and
practically everything bike at http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/ . Harris cyclery and the late
Sheldon Brown are legendary in the local bike community and their site is a terrific resource.


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