Wednesday, 26 May 2010

First Rohloff Oil Change

The Rohloff Speedhub on the Raven Nomad requires an oil change every 5,000 km to keep it running smoothly. Conveniently, I've just passed that mark before I go to Canada. So today I did my first Rohloff oil change.

Rohloff Oil Change Kit: Speedhub Oil, Cleaning Oil, Syringe and Drain Plug

It's quite an easy task, but looks a bit strange on the first look as the Rohloff Oil Change Kit contains a great big syringe! Is this bike maintenance or a medical procedure I'm about to perform on the Rohloff?

Ok, so it's a tiny bit late...

The first step is to use the Rohloff Cleaning Oil to help remove the existing oil from the hub. Draw the contents of the blue labelled bottle into the syringe. Then, after removing the small drain plug on the hub, connect the syringe and squirt the contents inside! (Then draw some air back out through the syringe to equalise the pressure).

Drawing the old oil from the hub before adding the clean stuff

Refit the drain plug and turn the cranks for a few minutes in gears 3 and 5. (This engages all the hub's planetary gears and ensures the Rohloff Cleaning Oil gets in all the nooks and crannies). Reconnect the syringe and leave with the syringe at the bottom. After 15 minutes draw the old oil out of the hub. Return the contents to the Cleaning Oil bottle for safe disposal.

Fill the syringe with about 15-20ml of clean Rohloff Speedhub Oil. Add this to the hub (then equalise the pressure again) and fit the new drain plug. Job done.

Continue riding, with a near maintenance free transmission system, for a further 5,000 km...


Anonymous said...

I had a discussion with the Australian distributer of the Rohloff Hub a few months ago and they had anecdotal evidence that those who do less frequent oil changes had hubs that actually ran smoother. It was agreed that this was most likely due to the accelerated wear in process caused by running 'dirty' oil longer. So now I'm looking to just do an annual oil change. For me this means somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 km.

Though I did my first oil change at around 1,500 km after a very wet short tour that include several submersions of the hub - I just wanted to convince myself that the seals on the hub were up to it - they were :)

steve oxley said...

Shaun , exciting times ahead , feel i am riding with you, having done it i know what you will feel , kit list looks good as does bike , on my exp i cut down the hand grip so the gear shift is closer.your brakes are the same as mine -awesome ,swiss blues last forever , i will follow you as you ride , best wishes and tail winds, regards - steve , from the past and present.