Rohloff E-14 Electronic Internally Geared Hub Overview

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi guys, while visiting Propel in Long Beach this week I was able to spend some time with Chris looking at the new E-14 internally geared hub that's Bosch compatible. The Rohloff Speedhub E-14 is one of the highest quality internally geared hub systems for bicycles and electric bikes. It's electronically shifted for high precision and integrates with Bosch ebike systems for shift detection, to reduce wear and stress. The E-14 offers fourteen gear choices and a range of 526° of gearing range. This makes it a great choice for climbing and high speed applications alike. Much like the SRAM Eagle 500° cassette (with 10 to 50 tooth sprockets) the Speedhub is a great choice for mountain bikes and urban speed pedelecs alike. It's durable, with reports of over 200,000 miles of use, only requiring occasional oil changes. There is no external derailleur, so the gears and shifting mechanisms are very well protected. It does weigh a bit more than a cassette and derailleur at roughly 3.75lbs (between 1,700 and 1,800 grams depending on the model chosen). Rohloff offers a wide range of hub spacing options from 135mm, 142mm, Boost 148mm, Fat Bike 170mm, Fat Bike 177mm, 190mm, and 197mm as well as 9mm axle and M12 12mm thru-axle support. It can be shifted at standstill, as with most internally geared hubs and continuously variable transmissions like Enviolo/NuVinci and even has an automatic downshift feature that can return to a set gear when the bike is stopped. This makes starting from standstill efficient.


Pros:
  • Extremely durable, low maintenance and longer maintenance intervals compared to a derailleur and chain
  • Shift detection support when paired with Bosch
  • Electronic readout of chosen gear
  • Automatic downshift on stop with gear choice
  • Allows for shifting at standstill
  • Compatible with Gates Carbon belt drives
  • Many hub spacing and axle size options
  • In really dirty conditions, a belt drive might not be ideal... so it's cool that the E-14 is also compatible with chains
Cons:
  • Adds roughly $1,000 USD to the price of most bikes
  • Adds weight, compared to a traditional cassette + derailleur but still weighs less than the NuVinci N380 or N360 which are roughly 2450 grams (5.4lbs)
  • Even at 180 milliseconds, it shifts slower than a derailleur
Other details: Synchronized shift process via CANBus connectivity, can shift gears singularly or push and hold button to shift 3 gears simultaneously (following the initial single gear shift), automatically return to pre-programmed start gear once stationary, designed to endure up to 130 newton meters of torque force (Bosch Performance Line CX motor peaks out at 75nm for reference), it's compatible with the Bosch Active Line, Active Line Plus, Performance Line, and Performance Line CX ebike motors, they do not currently sell a retrofit kit... it's only sold with new electric bicycles, manufacturers using the E-14 include: Heisenberg, i:SY, Koga, Nicolai, Maxcycles, Riese & Müller, TDS Velos, Velo de Ville, it is not compatible with non-electric bicycles, I believe that the E-14 was launched in late 2017 for use on 2018 model year electric bikes such as the Nevo GX Rohloff in the video review.

rohloff-speedhub-e-15-with-gates-carbon-belt-drive-and-bosch-ebike-motor.jpgshimano-tourney-14-28-gear-ratio-spread.jpgsram-eagle-10-50-gear-ratio-spread.jpgrohloff-speedhub-e-14-gear-ratio-spread.jpgrohloff-e-14-speedhub-hub-spacing-and-axle-sizes-9mm-12mm-thru-axle.jpg

As always, I welcome feedback, corrections, additional pros/cons and your own experience with this part. I think it's pretty cool and look forward to testing it with more electric bikes in 2019 and beyond :)
 
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Sage Oz

New Member
I'm really happy to see this shifter system come to market and also that it integrates with the Bosch with shift detection to boot. I've used a Rohloff (with standard twist shifter) for the last couple years on my Jones and LOVE it. Anybody on the fence about going with one will not regret the leap because it's so much nicer than derailleur systems. Hopefully Rohloff will soon expand its compatibility to the other systems on the market....
I'm really looking forward to when I can upgrade my stock shifter to this system!
 

ChrisHudson

Member
I test rode an R&M Delite MTB with one of these and was really impressed. So much so, I opted to 'upgrade' my original bike choice (regular derailleur) to the E-14. To me, it felt so much better than a derailleur and the auto downshift function when you stop is very cool.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
Court, I'm very much in favor of simplicity, & this R&M system certainly make changing the rear tire
much simpler..,,but The mechanism itself is more complicated, an engineering trend that often becomes
more trouble than it's worth. Just look at the auto industry. You need a GPS just to locate the fuel
filter on modern vehicles & a degree in electrical engineering to find a fuseable link.
When I can buy a derailleur & a cassette for under $50, why would I pay $1000 for a Rohloff?
Just think how much longer you'd have to work to buy one.
 
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steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Court, I'm very much in favor of simplicity, & this R&M system certainly make changing the rear tire
much simpler..,,but The mechanism itself is more complicated, an engineering trend that often becomes
more trouble than it's worth. Just look at the auto industry. You need a GPS just to locate the fuel
filter on modern vehicles & a degree in electrical engineering to find a fuseable link.
When I can buy a derailleur & a cassette for under $50, why would I pay $1000 for a Rohloff?
The only reason I would be interested in Rohloff is if it could save money on maintenance in the long run. I cannot even buy a Shimano Ebike rated chain for under $50. I ride alot and I am looking at 300-400 bucks a year maintanance easily. I do not know how long the Rohloff lasts but I think it could end up cheaper in the long run?
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Why you'd probably like a Rohloff:

  • You can shift when you're stopped
  • Rohloffs often outlast bicycles. There are many accounts of people with 100k miles or more on a Rohloff
  • Maintenance is once a year or every 5000k, and involved changing the oil in the hub. The kit to do the oil change is about $40. Based on the oil coming out of my hub I suspect most cyclists can ride much more than 5000k before needing an oil change.
  • You can shift when you're stopped
  • No exposed derailleur hanger to break, and no exposed gears that can get fouled with mud or snow or vegetation
  • Wider shift range (500+ percent) than any 1x system, the shift range nicely compares to road or mountain doubles
  • Did I say you can shift when you're stopped?
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
The question I would like answered is how many kms or miles until it pays for itself? Anyone care to speculate? Does 50,000 km sound about right?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
The question I would like answered is how many kms or miles until it pays for itself?

I used to change
  1. chain ( KMC X10EPT ECO PROTEQ)
  2. cassette (Shimano HG50)
every 3500 miles or 5630 kms as part of comprehensive tune-up (roughly 8-9 months of riding).
A good E-bike chain + cassette would run about $75 USD.

So, $75 of parts + $25 of labor= $100 for every 5600 kms.

If I did 56,000 kms at that rate, that would be about $1000 in parts and labor for every 6 years 9 months...

To break-even, it would be 6 years or more for that kind of mileage to come close to Rohloff's initial cost.

But, with a Rohloff, you would need to spend much less time doing maintenance.

The break-even point would go exponentially lower if you did more annual mileage or your commute was on a flat terrain (in that case, you would replace your smaller cassette cogs every 1/2 months).
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
I used to change
  1. chain ( KMC X10EPT ECO PROTEQ)
  2. cassette (Shimano HG50)
every 3500 miles or 5630 kms as part of comprehensive tune-up (roughly 8-9 months of riding).
A good E-bike chain + cassette would run about $75 USD.

So, $75 of parts + $25 of labor= $100 for every 5600 kms.

If I did 56,000 kms at that rate, that would be about $1000 in parts and labor for every 6 years 9 months...

To break-even, it would be 6 years or more for that kind of mileage to come close to Rohloff's initial cost.

But, with a Rohloff, you would need to spend much less time doing maintenance.

The break-even point would go exponentially lower if you did more annual mileage or your commute was on a flat terrain (in that case, you would replace your smaller cassette cogs every 1/2 months).

Thing is, Ravi, if I don't have something to tinker with on my bikes, my wife will find something else for me to do.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
Hopefully, if the Rohloff geared hub becomes avaliable on a lot more models and brands the price will go down.
On the Riese & Muller bike that I like, the full suspension Delite, the difference, in Canadian funds, between the Shimano Deore XT kit and the Rohloff kit is $2300.
I really like the Rohloff kit, but I don't think it's worth that much more.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
You aren't purchasing a Rohloff to save you money.

They work best for people riding long distances in tough and dirty environments. The other big advantage is that you have a much wider shift range than any 1x system (a 1x7 that most people use is around 350 percent, and a 1x11 is usually around 425-450 percent, while the Rohloff has around 520 percent). That means you can climb steeper hills and ride faster before you lose pedal engagement.

The two big disadvantages of the Rohloff are weight (about twice as heavy as a derailleur, and it is more noticeable because all of it is on the rear wheel), and the fact that in some situations, like going up a steep hill in a low gear, where the fact that you have to pause (or at least lay off the torque) pedaling before you shift can cause you to stall out -- in practice that only happens on stupid steep hills in very low gears.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
The only reason I would buy it is to save me money in the long run. I can already climb anything that I have the courage to climb and the performance is quick and sporty. The XT deraileur works perfectly. The thing I hate is that ever since I got this chain gauge it seems like the damn chains stretch as soon as I put them on. Kmc or Shimano makes no difference so far. I have ordered a SRAM xx1 which I have read has more resistance but lasts longest. We shall see. Maybe I should throw away the gauge ( which the LBS generously gave me gratis)?
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
The only reason I would be interested in Rohloff is if it could save money on maintenance in the long run. I cannot even buy a Shimano Ebike rated chain for under $50. I ride alot and I am looking at 300-400 bucks a year maintanance easily. I do not know how long the Rohloff lasts but I think it could end up cheaper in the long run?
One reason I buy cheap parts, $300/400 ? I have several bins of parts, new & used, what do ya need? They may or may not last as long,
but they don't cst near as much.
 

RPB

New Member
You aren't purchasing a Rohloff to save you money.

They work best for people riding long distances in tough and dirty environments. The other big advantage is that you have a much wider shift range than any 1x system (a 1x7 that most people use is around 350 percent, and a 1x11 is usually around 425-450 percent, while the Rohloff has around 520 percent). That means you can climb steeper hills and ride faster before you lose pedal engagement.

The two big disadvantages of the Rohloff are weight (about twice as heavy as a derailleur, and it is more noticeable because all of it is on the rear wheel), and the fact that in some situations, like going up a steep hill in a low gear, where the fact that you have to pause (or at least lay off the torque) pedaling before you shift can cause you to stall out -- in practice that only happens on stupid steep hills in very low gears.
For user who off road riding a derailleur is not an option because they pick up every twig and leaves around. So the only options are the heavy duty IGH that can handle 750W
 

David Berry

Well-Known Member
Going up a steep hill in a low gear… pausing pedaling (or at least laying off the torque) before you shift can cause you to stall.
Agree.

In tricky situations, I find changing down with a derailleur superior. This is because you can, in fact must, keep pedalling as you change down.

With an E-14 you have to wait, quite likely at the very time you do not wish to do so! I am thinking of situations, such as going through a gully, when you have to change down from a high gear, #10 say, to a low gear, #5 or #4. Not easy.

For me, the E-14 has two major drawbacks; this interruption to pedalling rhythm when the going gets really tough is the second of them.

How to get a Rohloff fixed when there is a problem should not be set aside by quoting internet links concerning their legendary reliability. If your Rohloff E-14's 'reliability' proves be just a legend, you could be in serious trouble. Who's going to fix it? Buyer beware.
 
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