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Rohloff vs Pedelec

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Rohloff vs Pedelec

Old 07-07-21, 09:27 AM
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vencel
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Rohloff vs Pedelec

Hello,

I am very new to this forum, but I am planning to buy a bicycle and I would like to get your opinion.
I am 45 years old and a rather casual biker. I used to ride a Trek MTB when I was much younger, but now I am looking for a more comfortable bicycle.
As I also have a young child I would like to carry him behind me in a child seat, use the bike when on vacation as well as riding around our neighbourhood. I live in Budapest on the Buda side which is not really flat. It's nice to ride down, but to get home I would have to climb around 2 km. I would like to buy a used, relatively maintenance free bicycle. I decided to have internal hub, either the Shimano Alfine or the Rohloff, for brakes either Magzra rim brakes or some good qaulity disc brake.

So the question: in your opinions should I buy a fully manual bicycle with Rohloff internal hub and belt drive system plus disc brakes OR should I rather buy a pedelec with Bosch middle drive system and Shimano Alfine internal hub? I am afraid a pedelec with belt drive and Rohloff would be too expensive for me.

I am very curious about all opinions, pros and cons as well as recommendations.

Thank you!
Vencel
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Old 07-07-21, 02:45 PM
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Pop N Wood
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Buy a fully manual bike and add a motor kit to it later on. This approach could easily cut the price in half.

You might want to do some more reading on belt drives and internal gear hubs. They take a bit of finesse. Whatever you get make sure you have an option for repairs and maintenance.
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Old 07-07-21, 03:29 PM
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I don't like the recommendation (above) to add a motor to a regular bike. If you already had a bike that was otherwise perfect, it might make sense; but with the cost of ebikes coming down, you might as well get what you want from the start. And a purpose-built ebike will perform better, and give you fewer problems, than something that is bodged together from a kit.

As to whether you should buy a manual bike with Rohloff or an ebike with Alfine: that depends on your riding abilities and the terrain. From what I recall of Budapest, your side of the river is quite hilly, and you want to carry your child, too - so, that is a lot of weight.

One last thing: a Rohloff hub will be more reliable than an Alfine. Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 07-07-21, 03:41 PM
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They make Pedelec with Rohloff belt drive also.
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Old 07-07-21, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
And a purpose-built ebike will perform better, and give you fewer problems, than something that is bodged together from a kit.
Simply not true. Check out some ebike blogs with people that actually own them. *
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Old 07-07-21, 06:45 PM
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My preference would be IGH disc brakes, no electric assist.
Nor - would I add electric assist to a manual bike.
Have been riding a red band nexus hub for probably 10 years now,
hilly and flat terrain, all kinds of weather - works great !
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Old 07-07-21, 07:41 PM
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I would do it all and I did. R-M Supercharger2 Rohloff HS and I love it and wouldn't have wanted to compromise.

I would not add a motor to a bike, you can run into various problems. There are some people who have had luck with the kits but a regular bicycle is not designed for an added motor and most shops don't want to work on kit bikes.

If you know you want an e-bike and you know you want Rohloff why go with something else? The Alfine Di2 is not a good system for e-bikes (it can't handle torque well) and regular mechanical hubs are a pain as you cannot shift while pedaling and Enviolo/NuVinci is decent but isn't as durable and reliable as one should expect.
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Old 07-08-21, 12:37 AM
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Thank you very much for all the opinions. I was not clear enough, my apologies. I would love to have a Yamaha or Bosch mid-drive system ebike with belt drive and Rohloff IGH, but that would simply cost too much and it would be the right choice to someone who bikes every day.

I am rather looking at used bikes and recently there's one swiss made bike (Flyer) with Bosch Performance Line drive and Rohloff IGH and another manual bike made by Nicolai in Germany, also with Rohloff plus it has belt drive. The Flyer costs double the amount of the manual Nicolai and my budget is rather limited (around 1.500 euros). My dilemma is if I should wait and collect more money and to buy a Pedelec with Rohloff and belt drive OR as I will anyway not use the bike every day and I will only carry my son on flat area then I should be OK with the manual Nicolai bike.

I don't mind pedalling, but that's true that Buda side is hilly so I definitely need some good gear ratios to get up to where we live. The elevation is not huge though.

I was thinking that if I have a electrically assisted (mid drive) bicycle I would perhaps not need 14 speeds, but less would be enough.

I really would like to buy something that provides trouble-free operation for years and I don't want to spend too much time on adjusting this and that continously. That's why I am thinking of belt drive and IGH.

I guess if I would finally decide on ebike I would have to get either the Nuvinvi or Rohloff IGH as the Shimano doesn't seem to be able to handle the torque of the mid drive motors.
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Old 07-08-21, 12:44 AM
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I'd get a disc brake bike with a Bosch middle motor, whether derailleur or IGH

-Edit- at 1500 I'd buy the normal bike..
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Old 07-08-21, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by martianone View Post
My preference would be IGH disc brakes, no electric assist.
Nor - would I add electric assist to a manual bike.
Have been riding a red band nexus hub for probably 10 years now,
hilly and flat terrain, all kinds of weather - works great !
Thank you for your advice. I also need consider the health realted benefits of riding a manual bike.
So far I was only using manual bike and didn't have any difficulties wen riding it, but it has to be countinosly adjusted to make it shift fine. It's an old Trek 950 with Deore LX shifter. I have to admit that with this bike it was rather difficult to ride up to the place where I live.
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Old 07-08-21, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I would do it all and I did. R-M Supercharger2 Rohloff HS and I love it and wouldn't have wanted to compromise.

I would not add a motor to a bike, you can run into various problems. There are some people who have had luck with the kits but a regular bicycle is not designed for an added motor and most shops don't want to work on kit bikes.

If you know you want an e-bike and you know you want Rohloff why go with something else? The Alfine Di2 is not a good system for e-bikes (it can't handle torque well) and regular mechanical hubs are a pain as you cannot shift while pedaling and Enviolo/NuVinci is decent but isn't as durable and reliable as one should expect.
Thanks a lot for your recommendation. I can understand why you love your R-M Supercharger2. It is a top bike, but I could not afford it. I checked R-M website and found one bike which has Bosch Performance Line Gen 3 mid-drive system, it has Shimano Nexus 8-speed gear hub, a belt drive and also looks very stylish to me. This is the Urban Cruiser (r-m.de/en-gb/bikes/cruiser/), but again it is way out of my budget unfortunately.
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Old 07-08-21, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by vencel View Post
Thanks a lot for your recommendation. I can understand why you love your R-M Supercharger2. It is a top bike, but I could not afford it. I checked R-M website and found one bike which has Bosch Performance Line Gen 3 mid-drive system, it has Shimano Nexus 8-speed gear hub, a belt drive and also looks very stylish to me. This is the Urban Cruiser (r-m.de/en-gb/bikes/cruiser/), but again it is way out of my budget unfortunately.
There are other bikes using Bosch and Rohloff E-14. The Nexus and other similar hubs don't work well on an e-bike because you have to stop pedaling shift and start pedaling again which isn't a long process but can be quite a pain sometimes. I do ease up while shifting normally but to have to stop pedaling completely is just not acceptable all the time.

R-M makes some excellent stuff and they are well worth it but I have seen other bikes using similar technology that are easier to get especially in Europe. Plus if you stick to a single battery you will save at least 1k right away. You might even get somewhat lucky and find a used bike with all the features but no warranties which can be handy.

If you have a shop that can do financing, that is what I would highly recommend. I did it personally and have helped a lot of other folks get set up on it and it is well worth it. Get the bike you want or at least as close as possible. You will have the bike a while and compromising on an e-bike just doesn't make a ton of sense when in some cases it can be hard to add upgrades without a lot of cost put towards it.
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