Rohloff Rear Cog Wear

The Thorn Raven Tour is equipped with a Rohloff 14 speed internal gear hub. One nice feature is that the single drive cog can be reversed so that additional kilometres can be obtained from it as it wears. Being a single cog it functions as a single speed drive with no lateral chain movement hence less chain wear compared to derailleur gear systems. I like both derailleur and internal hub gear systems. I prefer the Rohloff hub for reliability and durability on long tours. So far there have been no problems with the Rohloff on tour.

Rohloff Cog after 10450km

A 16 tooth Rohloff cog after at least 10450km

The cog above was used on my first long tour of 6124km back in 2013. It was reversed about half way through that tour and reversed again prior to the summer 2016 trans-Europe tour. The picture shows the cog and drive direction at the end of this second 4326km long tour. It has since been reversed again as the ‘shark fin’ wear pattern had become quite pronounced.

I hope to get another 5000km (or more!) from the above cog before fitting the new one below!

Rohloff Cog New

A new 16 tooth Rohloff cog for comparison

If you have a Rohloff on your bike, how many kilometers/miles have you squeezed out of your rear cog?

Comments welcome below!

3 thoughts on “Rohloff Rear Cog Wear

  1. Danneaux

    Nice to see the update!

    When I rode the Thorn RavenTour AndyBG kindly loaned me for my 2014 double-crossing of Europe (Bulgaria-France-Black Sea), the bike had seen little use. I put on roughly 9,000km and the cog looked nearly new when I returned the bike at trip’s end, cog in the original orientation (not reversed).

    Keep in mind I kept the chain clean and well lubricated (sometimes several times a day in heavy rains) and adjusted the BB eccentric twice to make up for chain wear. I was also running a Surly stainless chainring (36×17 combo) and employed my usual fast (110-120rpm) light cadence, so those might be factors. I had fully expected the cog to show at least incipient hooking of the teeth, but none was present to eye or fingernail.

  2. Richard Post author

    Hi Dan! Thanks for your comments. I think most of the wear happened on my first long tour round the North Sea. On that tour I was using a cheap chain that ‘stretched’ very quickly. I also had no mudguard flap on the front mudguard on that tour. I remember that there was always a lot of dust and dirt thrown up into the front drive chain.

    This Summer I started with a new better quality KMC X1 chain, and a huge Brooks leather mudflap. The bike ran very cleanly even in gritty and wet conditions. I can only conclude that there may have been increased wear on the Rohloff rear cog as a result of increased grit being thrown into drive chain on the first tour. I use a Thorn chain guard but the chain itself remains exposed to the elements. The KMC X1 chain has still not reached 0.5% wear after over 5000km.

    I am using a 38 x 16 chain ring/rear cog setup so maybe the 36 x 17 setup also has an influence.

  3. Danneaux

    I use a Thorn bash guard also and readily agree: A long and generous front mudflap makes a real difference to drivetrain life and greatly reduces maintenance. Chains really do vary in their wear rates. I’ve found cheap chains really do stretch quickly and so cause greater wear on cogs and chainrings, but topline premium chains don’t last so much longer as to justify the added cost. The sweet spot seems to be in the middle to upper-middle range, as with your KMC X1.

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