Are they hacks or aftermarket tweaks? Whatever they are, we spotted two at Eurobike that we rather like the look of.
First up, Marin has fitted a dropper post to a drop bar bike using a hack which has been around for a while but they’re now actually allowed to do at the factory without voiding the warranty. By taking out part of the mechanism in the shifter they’re able to make the gear shifter operate the dropper post – so you get a lovely neat cockpit set up with an easy to access dropper post.
If you’re going to have a dropper, it’s important that the actuator is as accessible and natural to reach as possible, so for those of you who want a dropper on a drop bar bike, this is a great solution. But surely the question remains: is it really necessary? If you need a dropper, do you actually need a flat bar bike? Oooh, the controversy.
The other new item we saw also made use the option to remove the pawl and spring from the shifter on a SRAM lever. This little magic box – also known as a Rohbox – contains a spring system which acts as an external gear shifting mechanism for a Rohloff 14 speed gear hub. This means you can attach it to a variety of shifters – or indeed potentially brake levers – to give a ‘one lever for up, one for down’ effect.
Stewart from Rohloff gave a Rohbox a clear cover so you can see inside how it works, plus there’s a ton of information on the GEBLA website. It’s worth noting that the inventor previously worked for SRAM, so it does work with SRAM shifters, but will also work with a range of others – you’d actually have to break a Shimano shifter to achieve the same effect, but any other non-indexed gear shifter should work.
This is potentially an interesting ergonomic improvement for riders who don’t like the bar end or twist shift options currently available for Rohloff hubs.
Of course, you couldn’t have both hacks on one bike – so which would you choose?