Why don't Shimano make a Rohloff equivalent hub gear for £200

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  • Why don't Shimano make a Rohloff equivalent hub gear for £200
  • Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    selling derailleurs is a better business model.

    Premier Icon riddoch
    Subscriber

    Economys of scale. It would be interesting to see how the sale figures compared but I would guess rolhoffs are in the hundreds at best whereas the acera would be in the tens or hundreds of thousands.
    If the Alfine covers off that market for shimano would they ever get a return on their development spend?

    packer
    Member

    I think they are missing a trick by not updating and improving the Alfine.

    Me too. Alfine 11 was a real disappointment to me.

    not just flats on the axle

    What’s wrong with this? Much neater than a torgue arm and I never heard of anyone having a problem with it.

    ndthornton
    Member

    I think the Alfine 8 is better than the Rolhoff anyhow. Its a lot lighter which for MTB purposes is main consideration. Its also more efficient in most gears I think….

    When you add more gears you add more weight so happy with 8. I would just like a larger range please if possible, if you can reduce the weight and increase the efficiency that would be nice.

    A Rohloff front chain guide costs £51, the far more complex Shimano front Acera derailleur costs £10.
    A Rohloff tensioner costs £66, the far more complex Shimano Acera rear derailleur costs £15.50.

    So, if a Rohloff hub costs £1050, why can’t Shimano make something just as good, or better, for around £200?
    500%+ gear range, proper torque arm, not just flats on the axle, and shifter included.
    I think they are missing a trick by not updating and improving the Alfine.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Its a lot lighter

    About 100g, so not a lot in it.

    I’d rather have a rohloff.

    scruff
    Member

    *COUGH* 700c Alfine 8 for sale in classifieds *COUGH*

    Because they seem unable to make something half as good for £400? Alfine 11 was their attempt and they didn’t get it right.

    Really isn’t much in the weights when you include all parts.

    Rohloff are selling somewhere upwards of 20k hubs a year now so not tiny but shimanos numbers will be an order of magnitude larger.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    why dont they make a 10speed 11-40 cassette?

    thepodge
    Member

    ndthornton – When you add more gears you add more weight so happy with 8.

    Their 11 speed is lighter than their 8 speed.

    sram have some geared hubs and did the hammerschmit so they potentially are more likely but no one seems to be able to do it right

    ndthornton
    Member

    Their 11 speed is lighter than their 8 speed

    So they must have improved and/or compromised other areas of the hub at the same time.

    The same treatment given to an 8 speed hub would make it lighter still.

    More gears is never less weight.

    avdave2
    Member

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC8q1QSkE3M#t=58[/video]

    hilldodger
    Member

    About 100g £600, so not quite a lot in it.

    I’d rather have a rohloff a derailleur and learn how to set it up properly.

    thepodge
    Member

    They compromised on reliability, I’d prefer they didn’t do that to my 8 speed

    ndthornton
    Member

    I’d prefer they didn’t do that to my 8 speed

    Me neither
    But they wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. I’m convinced that with a little more investment there’s more weight to be taken out of that hub.

    I’d rather have a rohloff a derailleur and learn how to set it up properly.

    It’s not really about that though is it? No doubt at all that a dearailleur is lighter and quicker shifting when new but they don’t stay like that for long. In time the front mech ends up slightly misshapen and the pivots wear on the rear so that it’s no longer perfectly straight. When I cleared out my box of parts when we moved I had a box of about 10 XT mechs that were all potentially usable but were never going to run perfectly with any amount of proper set up. Other than the cranks and shifters the rest of a conventional drivetrain is basically a consumable on a mountain bike.

    One of my Rohloffs is just about to go back to the factory for a once over – I think it needs new seals. It’s 10 years old and has been in use most of that time. I’ve almost certainly spent more on replacing the rims on the wheel than i have the rest of it in that time.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I just took delivery of an M615 deore rear mech which cost the princely sum of £20 (thanks merlin), the cassette to go with it will be ~£20 the Shifter will be ~£25-30ish maybe, broadly similar expenditure would probably follow if I wanted multiple rings at the front (I don’t), so a functional 2 or 3 ring 9/10 speed mech based drive is shimano’s ~£200, ~500% range, alternative to spending ~£750 on a Rohloff drive…

    I’m not completely down on the idea of Planetary hub gears, but I don’t think they are universally the “Best” solution for all applications…

    And what really is so terrible about Mech’s exactly?

    OK so you have to have a dangler at the back, is that the end of the world? how many have you really managed to bust? I’ve spangled a couple in the last ~25 years of using them, that’s not very many, and they are replaceable, a bolloxed mech doesn’t mean a whole new drivetrain just a new mech, maybe a cable and a hanger… Job done.

    For all their faults I don’t actually think the humble dérailleur has yet been beaten in terms of VFM or efficiency in providing a multi-speed bicycle drivetrain…

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    thepodge – Member

    (alfine) Their 11 speed is lighter than their 8 speed.

    shimano would love us to believe that, but i’ve weighed both.

    both 1690g.

    (which i thought was weird)

    ndthornton
    Member

    As cookeaa says – different gears for different needs. I have 2 mtb’s with derailleurs which I use about 70% of the time and I also have an alfine full susser for filthy weather conditions.

    However those numbers you were quoting for drivetrain parts dont stack up quite so well against an Alfine 8. I think mine was £180 all in. and you didnt mention cleaning and maintenance times either.

    brianp
    Member

    Bike Rumor had this to say about 2015 developments

    “If IG hubs are your thing, there is a new Alfine 8 speed mechanical IG hub with a flat bar Rapidfire top-normal shifter. The Nexus Inter-7 hubs see improvements as well for improved shifting. All hubs will be offered in black or silver, and are expected around September for availability.”

    http://www.bikerumor.com/2014/02/28/shimano-expands-11-speed-tubeless-road-wheel-line-up-polishes-dynamo-and-ig-hubs-plus-all-new-alivio-and-tourney-groups-for-2015/

    Any engineering company redesigns and tries to improve reliability in it’s next iteration of product development, and Japanese companies excel in this area. So, if Alfine is moving to top shifting, the opposite way round, perhaps this indicates greater internal changes.

    Let’s hope so.

    Brian

    hilldodger
    Member

    One of my Rohloffs is just about to go back to the factory for a once over – I think it needs new seals. It’s 10 years old and has been in use most of that time. I’ve almost certainly spent more on replacing the rims on the wheel than i have the rest of it in that time.

    I find it easier to occasionally replace a rear mech than rebuild a wheel.
    I use a bike every day, all conditions for my commute which is a 20 mile round trip using a mix of minor roasds, canal paths and woodland trails.
    Rear mechs aren’t even close to being a recurring problem for me – I guess you guys with boxes of trashed mechs must be several gnaars of rad above me (or just clumsy beggars)…

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    sram have some geared hubs and did the hammerschmit so they potentially are more likely but no one seems to be able to do it right

    I believe there’s some agreement with Suntour (who own Sturmey Archer) that SRAM don’t market their IG hubs in countries where SA were strong and vice versa.

    In any case, the Hammerschmidt wasn’t renowned as a great example of a properly developed product when launched, and they’ve done SFA to improve it. Same goes for the Automatix 2-speed hub, which is another promising idea.

    shimano would love us to believe that, but i’ve weighed both.
    both 1690g.

    Isn’t that much the same as a Rohloff (I’ve got 1700g in my head as their stated weight)?

    Sven
    Member

    2 smashed rear mechs in 15 years is not much, but then 5 or a few more services on my Rohloff in 10 years (with the same rim all the time) is even better; less time servicing, more time riding, what’s not to like (apart from the weight, but I’d rather worry about loosing body weight than a few hundred grams on my rear hub).

    Back to the OP’s question, I am still toying with the idea of building a 3 speed Sturmey Archer bike, cheap, light-ish and less restrictive than a single-speed for when it’s not too steep.

    Sven

    ndthornton
    Member

    I guess you guys with boxes of trashed mechs must be several gnaars of rad above me (or just clumsy beggars)…

    Very few problems for me with mech’s breaking…. but I hate cleaning my drive train and I hate noise (chain slap). So I’m lazy and intolerant.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Hmmm, Reading the linked bit on 2015 Alivio and Tourney (here) is interesting, 2015 Alivio may not have Shadow+ but as a groupset it is probably on a par with SLX/LX/Deore from just a few of years ago, especially with a HT2 Crank option and some proper disc brakes (looks to be lots of trickled down Deore parts), it makes you wonder how quickly Shimano are going to roll 11 speed down their MTB groupsets after XTR is released…

    I reckon you’ll be able to buy a Zee/SLX level 1×11 drivetrain by late summer 2017, they’ve understood they need to keep pace with SRAM now…

    IGs will be put to one side while they try to hold position in their “Traditional” markets…

    SA have some strong looking products: disc brake compatible 5 and 8 speed hubs at competative prices, but I don’t know much about them at present… tempted to look at converting My SS to a cheap IG, but I would worry about reliability…

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    SA have some strong looking products: disc brake compatible 5 and 8 speed hubs at competative prices, but I don’t know much about them at present… tempted to look at converting My SS to a cheap IG, but I would worry about reliability…

    Questions would be about sealing, range & torque limitations. There’s a project for someone looking at manufacturing a proper MTB IG hub, but it’ll be a struggle to do it for less than a ‘Hoff

    Premier Icon nemesis
    Subscriber

    I believe there’s some agreement with Suntour (who own Sturmey Archer) that SRAM don’t market their IG hubs in countries where SA were strong and vice versa.

    Er… that sounds a bit illegal… source?

    birdage
    Member

    Although it worked well I found the weight distribution all wrong with the Alfine, especially when lifting the bike over fences etc. Think cleaning, maintenance is much easier with a 1x set-up and no horrible front mech.

    2 smashed rear mechs in 15 years is not much

    Lucky/unlucky, I think my record is 5 in 2 months, a run that was only halted when I broke my arm instead.

    I keep thinking Shimano really should build a gearbox, it’s the seemingly logical next step, not 10-42 cassettes (even less so 11-42), and about the only thing that really would be a leap ahead of SRAM, other than Di2, which is IMO just too expensive when cables are simple to maintain even if it is a PITA over the winter.

    Build an XT (like the original disk brakes, it’s not really an XTR product) gearbox, refine it for a few years, release a smaller lighter version and use that as the ‘sandard’ forever and a day (a bit like Di2, except I guess gearboxes will be tied to frames so standards are less anoying).

    ndthornton
    Member

    gearboxes are good in principle but require a bespoke frame to fit.
    Shimano don’t make frames so would require co-operation with a frame manufacturer. You cant retro fit them to existing frames so they wont make much money in the short term. Also no matter how good the gearbox is, weight weenies and racers will never buy it as a derailleur will always be lighter and more efficient. So long term profits are limited.

    All of this is unfortunate as I would really like one

    Saccades
    Member

    Although it worked well I found the weight distribution all wrong with the Alfine, especially when lifting the bike over fences etc. Think cleaning, maintenance is much easier with a 1x set-up and no horrible front mech.

    Wait, what?
    Weight distribution all wrong when lifting over fences etc? who gives a monkey’s? really? I could understand if you said it felt a bit rear heavy, some say dead, some say planted/solid on the trails – but fences… give me strength.

    As for thinking it’s easier to clean and maintain a 1x set up – what maintence do you need on an alfine? My SG500 is 5.5 years old and I’m still on the original chain, sprockets, cables etc. It gets washed about once a year, I go on a spin I finish the spin it get put in the shed, it occasionally get oiled.

    My SG501 isn’t quite as old but has been looked after just as well. Only a single speed is less faff and possibly longer lasting.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    Er… that sounds a bit illegal… source?

    Now you mention it… though it may be related to some SA/Sachs licensing agreement. I’ll have a proper look for the source when I’m at home and have proper internet.

    I find it easier to occasionally replace a rear mech than rebuild a wheel.

    Presumably you’ve had to buy or rebuild wheels in the last 10 years though?

    Isn’t that much the same as a Rohloff (I’ve got 1700g in my head as their stated weight)?

    Just about. Total weight of the two systems isn’t different enough to worry about.

    There’s a project for someone looking at manufacturing a proper MTB IG hub, but it’ll be a struggle to do it for less than a ‘Hoff

    And what would you change? Rohloff have a proven, reliable product. Lighter would be good (and Rohloff supposedly had one in the works a few years back) but difficult as Shimano have shown. Cheaper would be good (but not at the expense of reliability – difficult as Shimano have shown)
    The ‘proper MTB’ alternative are the Pinion or Effi-gear Gearboxes

    gearboxes are good in principle but require a bespoke frame to fit.
    Shimano don’t make frames so would require co-operation with a frame manufacturer.

    Really not an issue – Shimano have created enough ‘standards’ over the years and just expected frame manufacturers to cope. New bottom bracket standards, various disc brake mounts, headset/fork standards, belt drive – all need redesigned frames. A gearbox is no different.

    I can’t help thinking it’s the razor blade model. In theory you could make a razor with ceramic blades that didn’t go blunt but it’s not a good business to be in as you only sell one to each customer. No-one else has come up with a gearbox or hub gear that has disrupted Shimano’s markets – if someone does I’d expect them to respond pretty quickly with something really good.

    hilldodger
    Member

    Presumably you’ve had to buy or rebuild wheels in the last 10 years though?

    Bought a spare set of wheels for winter use, never had to rebuild any though, in fact I tend not to break stuff at all, despite high mileage.
    But I’m no heavyweight, ride smooth and have been lucky I guess 🙂

    ndthornton
    Member

    all need redesigned frames

    Really??
    I actually can’t think of a single frame standard change that shimano have been responsible for.
    Bottom brackets shells have been the same for donkeys years.
    Headtubes went to 1,1/8 from 1 inch and now tapered but that wasn’t shimano.
    Did they have a hand in bolt through rear axles?

    Even if they did we are talking about a frame that can only be used with gearboxes- not a disk mount that can be converted to whatever with a £10 adaptor.

    thepodge
    Member

    I look at ihg as a lazy singlespeed instead of a replacement for a rear mech

    I’m still quicker than some I ride with and slower than others I ride with regardless of what method I use to change gears

    thepodge
    Member

    I’m sure it’s not beyond the great minds of the bike business to fit a standard bb into a frame designed for a gear box so frames could be used with whatever you liked

    ndthornton
    Member

    You might do it but no one would buy it.
    it would be the mother of all bodges and a big step backwards for derraileur bikes.
    Oh and look pants

    It would likely be heavy though. I suspect to become popular they’d need to be lighter which would mean making the box structural, so an addapter would end up costing a lot and being quite heavy anyway.

    15mm was a stupid standard dreampt up by Shimano, as are some of the quirkier rear axles at the moment, and the original Saint mechs/hubs,

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