Rohloff Speed hubs on E-bikes (Mechanical and E-14) - Discussion

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
The hub becomes tiny bit louder and it is not the best case scenario. I have read one case where a world tourer had minimal oil in the hub and he was very concerned. Rohloff advised him to just fill up more oil and he was able to move on without any issue for the rest of his tour.

When they do oil change, one has to extract some air out of the hub shell to maintain optimal pressure. Upon filling 25 ml oil, if they don't extract some air to create mild vacuum-like condition then once you close the cap, the hub shell has much high pressure and of course it may leak. So, it is really hard for me to think, a product that is revered by world tourists can be tarnished just like that. I simply don't buy it.

Is oil leakage possible, yes. But, I simply don't have enough data to make conclusive statements as of now.

This guy does put his bikes through very punishing conditions and if he can vouch for a product, that counts for something.

Product validators tend to get taken care of. I’m sure if he has a problem the wait time isn’t absurdly long.

That support for this product in the US is near non-existent is just a fact. And that second person who allegedly will offer an east coast based service has a reputation for being difficult to deal with. Just sayin’.

I’m sorry, the Rohloff isn’t that great that I should be carrying around Rohloff oil. It has been leaking 1-1.5 ml every 5-6 mile ride. At that rate, I’m going to go broke buying oil.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I’m sorry, the Rohloff isn’t that great that I should be carrying around Rohloff oil. It has been leaking 1-1.5 ml every 5-6 mile ride. At that rate, I’m going to go broke buying oil.

Well, perhaps all this needs is a simple seal replacement. I have linked the video in this thread. You could ask your dealer or any shop to do this.
At this point, you have few options.
  1. Go on a tirade of how Rohloff service sucks (this may or may not help your situation).
  2. Get Rohloff seal kit and get the seals replaced at your cost, so you can enjoy the bike.
  3. Ask your manufacturer to help in any of this.
  4. Not everyone has to have Rohloff. You could change the drivetrain to a derailleur and still keep the bike.
  5. If the Rohloff service does not care, your dealer is helpless and your manufacturer is useless, then just drop the idea, sell the bike. Chalk up the losses to life lessons and move on.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
Well, perhaps all this needs is a simple seal replacement. I have linked the video in this thread. You could ask your dealer or any shop to do this.
At this point, you have few options.
  1. Go on a tirade of how Rohloff service sucks (this may or may not help your situation).
  2. Get Rohloff seal kit and get the seals replaced at your cost, so you can enjoy the bike.
  3. Ask your manufacturer to help in any of this.
  4. Not everyone has to have Rohloff. You could change the drivetrain to a derailleur and still keep the bike.
  5. If the Rohloff service does not care, your dealer is helpless and your manufacturer is useless, then just drop the idea, sell the bike. Chalk up the losses to life lessons and move on.
Didn’t you start this thread and ask for details?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Didn’t you start this thread and ask for details?

I am trying to put myself in your shoes and thinking how I could resolve it. Those are all the options I would be thinking if I was in that predicament.
Once we have a problem, we could focus on possible solutions. We don't get anywhere by blaming Rohloff or Riese and Muller or anyone else.
 
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dblhelix

Well-Known Member
I am trying to put myself in your shoes and thinking how I could resolve it. Those are all the options I would be thinking if I was in that predicament.
Once we have the problem, we could focus on possible solutions. We don't get anywhere by blaming Rohloff or Riese and Muller or anyone else.
I am very enthusiastic about both you and @pushkar developing solutions to expand options In North America. This is the overarching macro problem.

As far as the micro problem is concerned, I guess i don’t feel like -> I’m <- in some sort of predicament, probably because it’s gone on for so long. I don’t think about the entities “R&M” or “Rohloff” that much — except for the “never again” thought concerning manufacturers that can’t or won’t support their products in the US. I’m not offering a blow-by-blow because it’s the typical fare as far as these situations are concerned. Anyone who needs input to make an informed decision is free to hit my inbox. Bottom line is that with the promised resolution vaporizing yet again, and with the six-month mark passing last Friday, I’m over it. I work in medical education and have other things to concern myself with. I may feel differently in 60 days, but at present, the $$$$$$ bike people won’t be renting space in my head. In short, you won’t see me at a workbench desperately working with the oily hub anytime soon, lol.

I think it’s been an outstanding thread, all views Included, and has a lot of value, not only for those considering a purchase, but also for the stakeholders who would like us to buy their products.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Is oil leakage possible, yes. But, I simply don't have enough data to make conclusive statements as of now.

This guy does put his bikes through very punishing conditions and if he can vouch for a product, that counts for something.
...

There are a lot of people like him. I jumped on a Rohloff-equipped e-bike with literally both feet because I've ridden touring and mountain bikes with them and in my experience they were indestructible.

I'm kind of developing a theory of what is going on here... my bike was (mistakenly) surface shipped from Germany to the Pacific Northwest and I have had no problems. Who has had their bike shipped by air or doesn't know if it was surface shipped or air shipped?
 

Dionigi

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Santa Cruz & Pittsburgh
The assumption I made from my Rohloff experience is the Rohloff hub has a higher potential to leak oil when paired with a high torque electric bike. I have 4 Riese and Müller ebikes , the other three have Enviolo CVT IGH hubs and they have been flawless and maintenance free. If the Enviolo ever fails the unit would be replaced, for the hub is relatively inexpensive and readily available. My Rohloff hub had 500 miles when it failed and Rohloff would not replace the hub. Riese and Muller needs to put their thumb down on Rohloff or dump them. My dealer bent over backwards to resolve the problem, but the Riese & Müller/Rohloff policy to send the hub to Cycle Monkey was a nightmare. A bike that is 6 weeks old should have the failed component replaced. The ebike market is a cash cow for Rohloff who is pushing a 25 year old design based of factious reliability myths.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
While it is possible that service from Rohloff let some people down.
As an OEM, I will be having detailed discussions for sure. We can always vote with our wallet when we make decisions.

I have read of amazing service by Rohloff (see below)


1587330837106.png
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
While it is possible that service from Rohloff let some people down.
As an OEM, I will be having detailed discussions for sure. We can always vote with our wallet when we make decisions.

I have read of amazing service by Rohloff (see below)


View attachment 50278
This is a UK site or thread. Yes, I think we’ve all suspected that the service process >>> USA. Judging by the age of the thread, this was pre e-bike as well — probably lower throughput through the home service center. Good luck with your continued fact-finding and discussions.
 

Dionigi

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Santa Cruz & Pittsburgh
While it is possible that service from Rohloff let some people down.
As an OEM, I will be having detailed discussions for sure. We can always vote with our wallet when we make decisions.

I have read of amazing service by Rohloff (see below)


View attachment 50278
When you have those discussions see if Rohloff will supply you warranty replacement hubs for failed hubs, and ask if they have inventory in the USA. Also ask what the average turnaround time for warranty repair. You can find both sides of any story on the web. For every Toyota Tacoma with a million miles there are million in the scrapyard. My sense is this hub needs a redesign.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
again, not sure what Ravi's target market is. For a FS trail bike a lighter Bosch motor makes a lot of sense

Sorry, missed your post.
In short, people want an very agile, dependable and comfortable bike that is at home whether commuting or light off-road.
There is a new term for it: Sport Utility Bikes (SUB). Sort of everyone wants an SUV these days and sedans are not so versatile in people's mind.

My goal is bring high-quality products and battery tech into the E-bike space. I can't use our own special batteries for Bosch but it's possible to use it with other systems.
There are bikes like Sur Ron with 2KW battery for $3800 and there are bikes like Juiced Rip current for $2k.
While they are great products in their own accord, they weigh a ton. The bike we have designed is 49lbs as a full suspension trail bike making it agile and an option to outfit it with sprung rack, fenders and lights.
I just don't see another Bosch Gen 4 speed motor + full suspension bike for $2999 and come with 10yr frame warranty.

Being an OEM, it gives great leverage and flexibility to spec Derailleur or IGH (Enviolo/Rohloff) as the customer requires. So, in short, it's an agile SUV of E-bikes - fast, comfortable, reliable.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
The assumption I made from my Rohloff experience is the Rohloff hub has a higher potential to leak oil when paired with a high torque electric bike.
It is possible flexure of the input shaft on the rohloff tears up any seal. Great for people, not for motors. Except front hub motors. See comments above about belt drive, which requires a high tension, being paired with incidence of leakage.
After reading this, a shimano 8 speed IGH may be in my future.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
It is possible flexure of the input shaft on the rohloff tears up any seal. Great for people, not for motors. Except front hub motors. See comments above about belt drive, which requires a high tension, being paired with incidence of leakage.
After reading this, a shimano 8 speed IGH may be in my future.

I use a Rohloff and a Bosch CX drive, and climb very steep hills back to my home every day. I stretch out chains about every 1000 miles. Never had a problem with the Rohloff.

Based on what has been posted on this and other forums I've got several theories, in decreasing order of probability, on the Rohloff failures reported here:
  • Seals are blown when the bike is shipped by air. Note that the seals can just as easily be blown by air in the hub as oil in the hub. That is why I am asking about who had their bike delivered by air freight (which I know was an option).
  • A manufacturing or design problem in R&M bikes, in particular bikes with belt drives. Has anyone with a non-belt drive had a leaking hub?
  • Some incomprehensible problem integrating E14 with the Rohloff. It seems a lot of people who have Rohloff problems have E14.
  • R&M received a batch of Rohloffs with a defect. It would be interesting to know when people received their Rohloff-equipped R&M and perhaps we can see a pattern.
Again, while I've had no problems with my bike, I consider any such failure in a high-end no-compromise bike to be egregious. My Charger GX didn't just cost more than my first car, it cost more than my first four cars. Actually it comes in pretty close to the combined cost of my first four cars.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
I use a Rohloff and a Bosch CX drive, and climb very steep hills back to my home every day. I stretch out chains about every 1000 miles. Never had a problem with the Rohloff.

Based on what has been posted on this and other forums I've got several theories, in decreasing order of probability, on the Rohloff failures reported here:
  • Seals are blown when the bike is shipped by air. Note that the seals can just as easily be blown by air in the hub as oil in the hub. That is why I am asking about who had their bike delivered by air freight (which I know was an option).
  • A manufacturing or design problem in R&M bikes, in particular bikes with belt drives. Has anyone with a non-belt drive had a leaking hub?
  • Some incomprehensible problem integrating E14 with the Rohloff. It seems a lot of people who have Rohloff problems have E14.
  • R&M received a batch of Rohloffs with a defect. It would be interesting to know when people received their Rohloff-equipped R&M and perhaps we can see a pattern.
Again, while I've had no problems with my bike, I consider any such failure in a high-end no-compromise bike to be egregious. My Charger GX didn't just cost more than my first car, it cost more than my first four cars. Actually it comes in pretty close to the combined cost of my first four cars.
If the internet is to be believed, leaking is not uncommon at all. I can vouch for temperature as a factor. Part of my long wait was due to the holidays, and it was very cold on some days. I did notice that the leaking was worse on those days — larger temperature differential bringing it inside.

it comes up a lot when googling. Even if it’s just 10% of owners, R&M is going to have a PR problem, and they should have researched this more carefully. Too much leaking all over E14.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Sorry, missed your post.
In short, people want an very agile, dependable and comfortable bike that is at home whether commuting or light off-road.
There is a new term for it: Sport Utility Bikes (SUB). Sort of everyone wants an SUV these days and sedans are not so versatile in people's mind.

My goal is bring high-quality products and battery tech into the E-bike space. I can't use our own special batteries for Bosch but it's possible to use it with other systems.
There are bikes like Sur Ron with 2KW battery for $3800 and there are bikes like Juiced Rip current for $2k.
While they are great products in their own accord, they weigh a ton. The bike we have designed is 49lbs as a full suspension trail bike making it agile and an option to outfit it with sprung rack, fenders and lights.
I just don't see another Bosch Gen 4 speed motor + full suspension bike for $2999 and come with 10yr frame warranty.

Being an OEM, it gives great leverage and flexibility to spec Derailleur or IGH (Enviolo/Rohloff) as the customer requires. So, in short, it's an agile SUV of E-bikes - fast, comfortable, reliable.

Thanks, that actually sounds pretty good. 10 year frame warranty wouldn't be a selling point for me as I expect to replace my bike in ~5 years anyway but the sprung rack definitely gets my attention. Can you can add a spare (bosch) battery and will it fit on the frame or would that be relegated to rack? Also, does that include Rohloff or is it an upgrade? Similarly, is belt an option with the FS? I assume another reason to go with Bosch (vs Yamaha or Shimano) is for the Rohloff electronic shifting (tailing back to the original question).
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Can you can add a spare (bosch) battery and will it fit on the frame

Yes the frame is designed for 625+500 = 1125 whr capacity. See two mounting points on the downtube. I am experimenting different travel shocks and how it impacts the kinematics.

1587437356656.png


does that include Rohloff

Not everyone wants or likes Rohloff, so it will be an upgrade. A high-quality frame, Bosch System + Rohloff will cost a lot of money even to an OEM.
Of course it will be an E-14.
Currently, the frame is designed to accept any combination of chain + derailleur /Enviolo/Rohloff E14.

Engineering a solution for belt requires quite a bit of work and perhaps change in the frame dimensions and kinematics.

I am also experimenting with another system that can communicate with the Rohloff system. It still needs development but looks promising. It is made by a German automotive giant ZF.
Runs at 48V and rated at 110Nm and they claim it is very smooth and almost as powerful as TQ motors found in Flyon. So, I will be testing this motor and how it can be made to work with Rohloff in a seamless fashion.



Company link here: https://sachsmicromobility.com/motor/
ZF Sachs RS


1587437897361.png
 

Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
I just want to address the importance of dealers and the pressure they can bring onto manufactures, I work in a different industry, but the manufactures try to turn down warranties all the time, ones that are clearly warranty and they have the paper work to prove it, and we also say it should be warranted. So it depends on the person, so my co-worker could call them and say this is the situation, and they say no and they just accept the answer. However I have been in the industry much longer, I don't accept it, I push back hard, actually I enter into "aggressive negotiations" they still don't buckle, I threaten to call up the district manager who I know, did I mention we do millions with your company every year. Guess what they are doing it now. The dealer acts as the end users advocate in these instances. By the way try getting something under warranty from Amazon after a couple years without dealer support.....not going to happen, a good dealer that will support your warranty claims is money in your pocket.

I have come to realize back end service is the real measure of a customer service and the actual product, everything is puppies and rainbows when sales are great, but how do you deal with problems with those warranty claims that roll in....seems like Rohloff could improve on dealing with oil leaks on their products. It also seems to be a bad idea to buy a Rohloff alone and install it on self-built Ebike.
 
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ROCebike

Member
While it is possible that service from Rohloff let some people down.
As an OEM, I will be having detailed discussions for sure. We can always vote with our wallet when we make decisions.

I have read of amazing service by Rohloff (see below)


View attachment 50278
Hi Ravi

Thought I’d add my 2 cents to this thread. and in anticipation of your pending meeting with Rohloff. I think your earlier comment on data is key. What is the failure rate, globally?

in my experience with manufacturing companies, they all got religion in the 90’s with Statistical Process Control (SPC) and ISO Compliance. I can argue the flaws in ISO, but it did help to adopt tools for quality management. Back then, companies would be required to track quality and defect rates, sometimes also generating histograms that showed most common failures.

An ISO 9003 certificate meant that you did QC checks on finished parts or products. A 9001 certificate meant you had measurements in place for process control. It was expected in my industry (chemical, plastics, packaging) to share the data with major customers. ISO compliance was not perfect, and it could be gamed, but every manufacturer had to get on board. This standard was especially dominant in the EU. Germany probably the largest adoption rate. They wanted to promote German engineering and ISO compliance was the method.

ISO had its time, it evolved from 9000 to 14000 standards, and still exists. Other manufacturing quality measurement programs became popular like GE’s Black Belt and Six Sigma, House of Quality (HOQ), Overall Asset Effectiveness (OAE), no doubt there’s others. The key is whether they choose to incorporate customer returns in the data collection. Internally focused companies tend to avoid including returns. Customer focussed cultures willingly include it.

so... I would be very surprised if Rohloff didn’t have the data you seek and help resolve this thread. It’s very easy for them to provide product failure and return data and list it by root cause. If you ask for this information, it will explain a lot about their quality promotion (arrogance?). It could be sorted by week, month, quarter, year, ship to country, by shift, and so on.

As bike builders, You and @pushkar are well within your rights to ask for this data. My guess is they will only share under a non disclosure agreement. Not sharing it with you at all would be most telling.

Good luck with the meetings.

Nobody likes to hear that their failure was the 0.01% of all sold. But it does happen.