Why Rohloff hubs are the best choice for touring bikes.
The Rohloff family company started life in Germany in 1986, making the SLT 99, a very expensive, hi-tech bike chain. In 1994, at the Tour de France, the Rohloffs went cycling on the beach and found themselves ground to a halt when sand got in their derailleur gear sets.
This was a lightbulb moment for Bernhard Rohloff: he decided to start work immediately on a new internally geared hub.
Two years later, Rohloff announced their 14-speed gear hub, weighing just 1700g. This was a huge breakthrough; at the time, the market leader was a 12-speed system, weighing 3700g. A year later they had a workable prototype. And, after initial problems securing money to develop the hub, production finally got going and the first orders went out in December 1998.
To our minds that’s one of the best Christmas presents the cycling world has ever received. Particularly if you’re geeky tourers like us.
We love the Rohloff hub here at Sven Cycles. It’s so incredibly well designed, with such a huge range of gears, that, even hauling a tag-along up a hill in the Lake District, I’ve always found exactly the gear I need. And the gear change is so smooth. In fact, it gets even smoother over the years.