Charger 2017, Rohloff upgrade?

elect

Member
As titled, I have a Charger GT Nuvinci (n380) from 2017 and I'd like to know if it's actually possible to upgrade to a Rohloff..

Online I read discordant opinions.. although R&M did offer a version with the Rohloff originally, called, unsurprisingly the "GX Rohloff"

What can you tell me, guys?
 

Afren

Active Member
I don't why anyone would want Rohloff. To begin with, you never know what gear you are in and secondly, changing gear takes much longer than a conventional gear. I have three ebikes; all three have internal gear hub. The two with Shimano 8 and 9 gears, change easily and you have a display telling you in what gear you're in at all times but my Supercharger GX with Rohloff gear system is an absolute pain in the peverbial backside when it comes to being in the right gear at the right time. Only today, I came to a sharp bend in a road I hadn't travelled on before and the road suddenly started to climb. I tried to change to the right gear (8) but ended up to changing to 5 which was absolutely the wrong gear. Nope, not for me.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
@elect I have had a Shimano Alfine 8 speed on an acoustic bike. It is adequate for easy round town, flat riding but the gear range is very limited and they are not very robust so will not hold up to vigorous mid drive ebike riding especially in a hilly area.

I have a Riese & Muller Homage class 3 HS matched up with the Rohloff, I think it is close to the ideal, low maintenance, high efficiency drive train. Being able to dig in and go over 20 is the only way to go IMO. I had a Class 1 20mph bike and was frustrated bumping up against that assist limit all the time. The Rohloff, with its huge gear range helps take full advantage of the high speed capability having high enough gears to sustain the 28mph speed without spinning out and still being able to climb any hill I have encountered. We life up a 14% grade so every ride ends with a hill. I have no anxiety about that even after a long hard ride thanks to the Rohloff and Mr. Bosch. So to answer your question, Going forward I would only buy a Rohloff. It takes the bike into a whole different category of performance, durability and riding pleasure, totally worth the extra cost. My second choice would be the derailleur system. I had a Nuvinci and while it was really cool to shift ratios, it had a real mushy, inefficient feels to it. There was a perceptible loss of power that I did not like, not an issue at all with the Rohloff. There is a reasonlong distance bike trekkers prefer Rohloffs. They are the most maintenance free, durable and largest gear range internally geared hub out there.

After a few days of riding, not having a visual reference to tell me what gear I am in is no big deal. Whatever gear I am in I know how many gears to shift up or down when the topography changes. Shifting does require a momentary (less than 1/4 second) easing up on the pedals to be done smoothly. If you learn to shift with your feet high and low (12 and 6 o'clock) where there is minimal torque being applied to the cranks anyway, you will have no problems, even downshifting while climbing a steep hill.

It is possible to get a E14 electronic shifter retrofitted to an earlier Bosch powered ebike. That will give you a gear selection field on your display along with push button shifting.

Cycle Monkey in Richmond California is the US distributor of Rohloff and might be helpful in fitting out your Charger. Where are you located. There are some very good Riese & Muller dealers like San Diego Fly Rides (my dealer) Proplel in NYC and G&O Family Cyclery in Seattle. that can be helpful as well.
 

Afren

Active Member
Wow, what a comprehensive and informative reply. I need time to digest your post fully before replying to it. I'm based in Europe and not the USA. I'm too poor in the eyes of the current administration to be allowed to live in your country which I absolutely love. 🙁
 

elect

Member
I'd like the Rohloff mostly because the (upper) range is too small on my unrestricted Charger.

I hit many times the maximum cadence, when I could go still faster. And this is my commuting-all day bike, so ultra low maintenance is required.

I have to admit I'm even considering changing the whole motor with the HS version..

I don't care about knowing the gear I'm current in, when I ride, I have an idea how much I'd like to scale up or down in the next seconds..

I live in Hamburg, Germany, though.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
@elect As to whether Riese & MUller will sell the components, dropouts, etc. needed to make the conversion, that is something to take up with one of their dealers nearby, hopefully the one from whom you bought the bike. There may be other specialty bike mechanics who can get the needed parts and would do the conversion for you. It will take some serious googling to ferret them out.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I don't why anyone would want Rohloff. To begin with, you never know what gear you are in and secondly, changing gear takes much longer than a conventional gear....
Odd ... my Rohloff has a dial with the gears marked. Its about as easy to read as my Alfine 8. Neither is visible in the dark. But as someone else wrote, I usually don't need to look at it as I know the relative position. I really only care to see the dial when I'm stopped. Sometimes I get the wrong gear at a stop light in the morning's wee hours and I start in 7 or 9 when I was trying to hit 8. But it isn't a big deal. As for taking much longer to shift, I don't notice a big difference. Practice perhaps. Letting off on the pedal pressure and shifting at 12 and 6 o'clock. And you can shift when stopped which you can of course do with other IGHs but can't do with a conventional setup. The Rohloff is also robust and seems adequate to handle a mid-drive speed bike. It definitely has some upsides and I can see why folks, including me, would opt for one.

I have the Rohloff on one e-bike and conventional setups on several e-bikes. I'm not sure I have a big preference as they are different. I like both. I don't like cleaning drivetrains. I think the conventional is giving me slightly better battery range but that is an unscientific observation. I feel from my experience that the conventional setup might be slightly more efficient. I tried the Nuvinci on another e-bike and didn't like it because of the limited gear range. I have the Alfine 8 on a belt-drive conventional bike and I love it. I haven't tried it on an e-bike but on my conventional bike in my flat urban terrain, it is the cat's meow.