Complete Transmission Changeover on a Rohloff-Geared Thorn

Few earthly pleasures can compare with that of riding a bicycle equipped with a Rohloff hub gear.  This much we have already established in these pages many times.  But what happens when, as is inevitable, the wearable parts such as chainring, chain and sprocket need to be replaced?  Can you, as a cyclist, tackle such a task with confidence and pride?  Or should you bow to the unspoken pressure that your local bike shop exerts on you?  Well this is the story of one man who did it his way.  He was no longer content to take it in the ass from The Man, as it were.  My correspondent from the North has prepared an essay detailing how, during a break in his special needs metalwork classes at Wirral Tech, he swapped the transmission on his Thorn Raven Sport Tour himself…….and if he can do it, then so can you!  Throw off your chains, cyclists, as it were!

“As the teeth on my chainring had become gnarled away [still wasn’t slipping but it was nearing it’s end] and it had done 10,000 miles plus, a full transmission change was called for.

I’d already flipped them once before so a reversible 48T chainring,a reversible 16T sprocket & new chain were procured from SJSCycles.  A special Rohloff socket removal tool and decent chain whip are essential for the job.

As with anything bicylic, there are 817 different opinions on best practice but I use the removal method suggested by Thorn.

I had previously tried another method not using the vice, but I couldn’t get the leverage and had ended up with scraped knuckles.   So a bench vice is needed and, of course; a decent cuppa…..[at a push it’s a 2 brew job].

Pic showing special sprocket tool – put QR lever back in and drop into vice.

This way is much better I think, with the only drawback being that as you have to clamp  it sprocket face down, oil WILL leak out [see pic below] so you have be a bit lively in getting the chain whip on and muscling the little fella off.  Having learnt from previous experience about the leak, scheduling an oil change after this is not a bad idea…[any excuse to get the rhino tranquilizer syringe out eh Paul?!]

That’s the hard bit over!  Changed the front ring and linked up a new chain [put a more expensive one on this time as the cheap KMC one had stretched far quicker than I expected so I went with the KMC X1 ] – Job done! All in the space of an Archers’ omnibus edition!

…..and the end result……looking good for another 10,000 miles!!”


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