I have published the following missive from my cycling buddy Mark, who is rather excited about his new steed. Rightly so….
Faced with the prospect of yet again re-equipping the trusty but increasingly rickety Marin to cope with an extended commute across the Wirral [see route www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/New-Brighton-to-Deeside] alternatives to the klanging de-railleur set-up seemed the way forward for me.
Bottom lip was thumbed briefly whilst considering the more robust drive options out there, which led initially to a jaw-grinding, aborted attempt to buy a Trek belt-drive/Alfine hub [teething problems with the 1st production run apparently..] .
Undeterred and spurred on by a hoofed-up budget, research kept vomiting forth the mighty Rohloff speed-hub [14 near indestructible German build quality ‘planetary’gears floating around in ein oil-filled hub of ausgezeignig-ness]
But with the plummeting £/Euro rate boosting bike prices, like a German vegetarian; I feared the wurst.
However, common sense was swiftly dispensed with and an order, together with my required vital stats [knee circumference – huh?] was sent to the helpful peeps at www.sjscycles.co.uk [Endorfin, Cannondale etc are putting Rohloffs in some very sexy MTB bikes with decent dropouts & eccentric bottom brackets, but for the varied ‘road/trail/track/cyclepath covered with broken WKD bottles’ route I’m doing on a daily basis, the rugged touring-tested Thorn won hands down.
It’s such a sweet ride – comfortable, responsive and surprisingly – very fast!
The hub hasn’t disappointed [very glad I spent a few hours studying the Rohloff gear-ratio tables to decide what sprockets to put on to achieve a decent ‘Gear 11’. This is your ‘ride-all-day-long’ direct-drive gear on a Rohloff
and it’s perfect [and silent]. The Rohloff’s 14 gears are basically 2×7, the higher 7 being quieter, the lower 7 are quite ‘meshy’ going up steep hills and might take some getting used to but that’s the only gripe. [If you’re looking at lots of climbing then it might prove a bit too draggy and heavy on the backend…..]
Everything else, like the wonderful ergo grips & brooks s17 saddle, all add to the overall enjoyment and there’s no doubting the higher price tag is easily justified.