Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby Tim » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:56 am

A few more details trickling in.
Looking good.
New DT Swiss rims built for Ebikes,strong I presume. SD (?) dynamo hub, XT rear hub, Avid front and rear discs, a Rohloff model and a few other changes.
Interesting.

http://www.viventebikes.com/main/page_products_bikes_2014_changes_2013_to_2014.html
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by BNA » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:30 pm

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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby iacl » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:30 pm

Think they are referring to SP Dynamo [www.sp-dynamo.com] Shutter Precision a Taiwanese company, first I've heard of them.

I'm really happy with my trekking bar 2012 model, I've swapped over to Humpert bars (brilliant) and switch between V brakes and Avid disks (out to lunch on the disk option) on the front. Built like a tank, but comfortable as hell. So at face value, really don't need an upgrade. Except, I've always wanted a Rohloff IGH. The urge is strong.

Are there any disadvantages to retrofitting a rohloff hub?
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Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby RonK » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:40 pm

iacl wrote:Think they are referring to SP Dynamo [www.sp-dynamo.com] Shutter Precision a Taiwanese company, first I've heard of them.

Shutter Precision -very good, inexpensive, high-output and lightweight - a rational choice.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby il padrone » Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:40 pm

iacl wrote:Are there any disadvantages to retrofitting a rohloff hub?

You don't have the 'delights' of decision-making over an ideal cassette ratio choice :P

The Rohloff feels a bit heavier in the back end. You get used to that soon enough and it's never an issue unless you intend to put it on a bike to be used for MTB log-hopping.

You miss out on the experience of scraping gunge out of the cassette sprockets.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby Baalzamon » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:39 pm

iacl wrote:Are there any disadvantages to retrofitting a rohloff hub?


I was tossing up triple vs rohloff and simply a 24-32-42 with 11-36T has more range than the rohloff does in the low end. And that is not the lowest gearing that you can get.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby il padrone » Fri Apr 04, 2014 6:29 pm

Yes, the Rohloff does have a set range. It is just a gear step less than the typical wide-range MTB gear set-up. You can vary the level of it with different chain-ring and sprocket combinations, but not the absolute percentage (526%). The gear jumps are also a set and uniform 13%.

Other advantages of the Rohloff quite readily compensate for this disadvantage.

I reckon the Rohloff is great stuff for my touring riding. It may have a slightly restricted range (mostly at the top-end) for bikes like velomobiles and tandems, although there are people using them for such and quite happy with them.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby RonK » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:32 pm

iacl wrote:Are there any disadvantages to retrofitting a rohloff hub?

Despite the Rohloff marketing spin, and the enthusiasm of the fans, all is not perfect in the Rohloff world.

They never tell tell you f'rinstance, that the hub is very noisy, particularly in 7th gear (and no, changing the oil doesn't fix it).

Nor do they tell you that shifting is far from seamless, and that hasty downshifts (particularly to 7th gear again) may leave you in 14th gear just when you want something much, much lower.

Nor do they tell you that you may have to void your warranty to achieve a sufficiently low ratio.

Or that a 13% step between every gear may not suit if you are accustomed to close ratios, or if you need to avoid mashing to protect your knees, so that you be continuously hunting up and down the gears, and that the increasingly wider steps from high to low you get with a derailleur transmission is actually a superior arrangement.

Yes, there is a little less maintenance, which may be a small advantage if you are mechanically inept. Oh, and you can change gears while stationary - hooray! But otherwise, not much really for all the extra bucks - it's disappointing that the Rohloff doesn't live up to the marketing hype.

You should of course make your own decision. But be informed. I would never have bought one if I had ridden one first, and will most certainly will not buy another.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby iacl » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:24 pm

Thanks for your thoughts. The short and curly is that I should ride one first and see.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby il padrone » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:25 pm

RonK wrote:
iacl wrote:Are there any disadvantages to retrofitting a rohloff hub?

Despite the Rohloff marketing spin, and the enthusiasm of the fans, all is not perfect in the Rohloff world.

They never tell tell you f'rinstance, that the hub is very noisy, particularly in 7th gear (and no, changing the oil doesn't fix it).

Nor do they tell you that shifting is far from seamless, and that hasty downshifts (particularly to 7th gear again) may leave you in 14th gear just when you want something much, much lower.

Nor do they tell you that you may have to void your warranty to achieve a sufficiently low ratio.

Or that a 13% step between every gear may not suit if you are accustomed to close ratios, or if you need to avoid mashing to protect your knees, so that you be continuously hunting up and down the gears, and that the increasingly wider steps from high to low you get with a derailleur transmission is actually a superior arrangement.

Yes, there is a little less maintenance, which may be a small advantage if you are mechanically inept. Oh, and you can change gears while stationary - hooray! But otherwise, not much really for all the extra bucks - it's disappointing that the Rohloff doesn't live up to the marketing hype.

You should of course make your own decision. But be informed. I would never have bought one if I had ridden one first, and will most certainly will not buy another.

If you've done your homework and read a variety of literature on the Rohloff (eg Thorn Cycles' excellent brochure "Living with a Rohloff") you will have found out a lot about all of these issues.

I've found the noise to be a fairly minor thing. Yes the 7th takes a bit to get used to but the others are less so, and after a couple of oil changes (~10,000kms) it does diminish - never completely but enough to not notice on climbs. BTW, the best way to gear the bike is so that most of the time, unloaded, you hardly get into the low range except for extremely steep work, and the most used gear for normal flat road riding is 11th. So the noisier gears (1 - 7) only get used on steep climbs or when touring fully-loaded. These times you do really appreciate the low gears so it's easy to accept a little whirring noise (and that's really all it is, a sighing "whirr, whirr whirr") as you spin along, climbing the hill.


Only tricky shift is 8 down to 7 (not the other way). I've been dumped into 14 just once, in the past 3 years, and it is easily fixed - just go back and shift again, which takes about all of 1 sec. This mistake is a bit like clip-stacks with pedals - after you've done it once you know not to repeat it. It simply requires a very brief pause in pedalling, and I've never had troubles with any other shift. In fact often the gear shifts down are slightly faster than those of my riding friends as there is no chain-meshing required, it is instant. The Rohloff will not shift easily in any gear if you try it with full load on the pedals - you must ease off power slightly (like what happens at your 'top dead-centre' anyway). Thus I believe one may strike problems running it on a tandem with 90 degree off-set cranks where you have continuous load on the chain-drive; very good team work may be needed to get really crisp shifts.

Minimum low gear for us mere mortals (ie. not a tandem crew or a TdF team member - under 100kg) is now set at 36 x 17; ie. 15.4 gear-inches :o Low enough for most loaded touring mountain climbing. The warranty is valid for these gears; the top gear presents no restriction at all.


The even, 13% gear steps are not anything that has created problems for me personally, and as for them being too wide - I am used to touring ranges and often find that I hop over two gear steps in some shift situations.


Thorn Cycles in the UK now make the following statement about their backup service for their Rohloff hubs:

We are so convinced that your Rohloff hub is unlikely to ever let you down, that we make you this promise…

If you experience an insurmountable problem with your Rohloff hub, which prevents completion of your tour, contact us immediately and we will act
promptly. If you are in a remote area, we will send you a new wheel, we will send this entirely at our expense, to the closest settlement served by an international courier (DHL, UPS etc.). If you are closer to home, we will collect your wheel from you, again at our expense, we will repair (or replace it) and return it to you, free of charge, within 7 working days for UK customers and within 14 working days for overseas customers.



The "marketing hype" about the Rohloff hub is that it is an enclosed, weather-proof, low-maintenance, highly-efficient set of wide-range gears, something that can perform as well as the typical gears of MTBs or touring bikes. On virtually all of these counts I think it meets the marketing. It does have a slightly less wide range than my previous 9-speed MTB gears. Effectively this means that I don't have quite as high a top gear (96" now instead of 100") as I've set the bottom gear at the same 17" gearing. I really do not miss the top gear.

The winner for me has always been a good friend of mine. He has a Rohloff fitted to the touring bike (and panniers) that he designed and built himself. He has been riding past me on steep climbs since 1999, on the same hub. His bike and gear looks a bit rough, but he rides the bike for all his transport, around town and on expedition tours. No idea what mileage he has put on the hub but I'm sure it would go close to 100,000kms if not more.

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Certainly do your own research, ask around and consider your own personal needs. It is a big investment to make. Such a hub does not suit all, but I've personally found it a delight, and very easy riding for my touring with friends. Don't ever accept anybody talking about the Rohloff as "less efficient" or "causing great drag". It is not and does not.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby iacl » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:06 pm

If you've done your homework and read a variety of literature on the Rohloff (eg Thorn Cycles' excellent brochure "Living with a Rohloff") you will have found out a lot about all of these issues.


Thanks for this, food for thought.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:15 pm

iacl wrote:
If you've done your homework and read a variety of literature on the Rohloff (eg Thorn Cycles' excellent brochure "Living with a Rohloff") you will have found out a lot about all of these issues.


Thanks for this, food for thought.

I've read that document several times and in hindsight it's very self-serving. Do keep in mind that Thorn want you to buy a Rohloff from them.

Oh, and in my personal experience, once Thorn has your money their service may be less than exemplary, so any grandiose assertions about their afters sales support should be taken with a pinch of salt.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby il padrone » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:26 pm

RonK wrote:I've read that document several times and in hindsight it's very self-serving. Do keep in mind that Thorn want you to buy a Rohloff from them.

Yes, I do realise that. I didn't buy the Rohloff from them, but did buy the Nomad Mk2 frame.

RonK wrote:Oh, and in my personal experience, once Thorn has your money their service may be less than exemplary, so any grandiose assertions about their afters sales support should be taken with a pinch of salt.

I've dealt with Thorn/SJS a lot, mostly for components and related items. Never had anything to complain about their service. Shipping costs are a bit high, but what's new? When it comes to back-up service you could take their dealings with Danneaux as a bit of a marker. Thorn could not replicate the speed shimmy that he complained of, described in detail, and took video of; but they replaced his bike with a comparable bike of his choice.

I do not see them as penny-pinching mercantilists. They look after their interests - yes; they want to sell bikes and gear - yes. Tell me of a bike shop that does not and I'll show you a failure. Their service and support gives them a reputation and that reputation is pretty highly regarded.

I think we all hear that the Rohloff did not suit you RonK - fine. Like I said it will not suit all, of course. But why bag another bike store? Did you have some sort of problem with Thorn's service or warranty?
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby RonK » Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:37 pm

il padrone wrote:But why bag another bike store? Did you have some sort of problem with Thorn's service or warranty?

I think you know very well that I have, as posted in this thread, and to which you responded (in their defence, same as here). Anyone who deals with Robin Thorn should realise that it's Thorn by name, thorny by nature.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby Mike Ayling » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:21 pm

RonK wrote:

Oh, and in my personal experience, once Thorn has your money their service may be less than exemplary, so any grandiose assertions about their afters sales support should be taken with a pinch of salt.


After we purchased our Thorn Tandem Mary was not happy with her position on the bike so I wrote to Thorn asking whether I could purchase a longer stoker bar stem.
They replied promptly asking me to send a photo of Mary on the bike then sent out a suitable stem free of charge. I thought this was excellent after sales service.

As a Rohloff tandem user I agree with all Pete's (IP's) comments. Top may be a little low but it suits our riding style at our stage of life ( combined age 137)

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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby RonK » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:39 pm

Mike Ayling wrote:After we purchased our Thorn Tandem Mary was not happy with her position on the bike so I wrote to Thorn asking whether I could purchase a longer stoker bar stem.
They replied promptly asking me to send a photo of Mary on the bike then sent out a suitable stem free of charge. I thought this was excellent after sales service.

Mike, when buying a new bike I would expect no less than the correct size stem be provided, and most bike shops would do this without question, so nothing exceptional about that.

As I posted at the time: "Despite a history of successful transactions, the true test of customer service came when something went awry, as they inevitably do from time to time. SJS failed the test."

The full details can be read in the thread I've linked here.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby V17L » Fri May 09, 2014 9:39 pm

Hi,
Been looking at the VWR for a while, mainly because of this forum, and then notice there was a price reduction in the 2013 model a couple of months ago. I emailed Noel and asked about sizes, and blow me down, he replied so quickly, which shocked me. I measured up, and sent the reply back, and Noel again came back with his opinion re sizing, as I was between sizes. I ordered a curly handlebar model from Bio-Mechanic Cycles in Adelaide. Within a week I was able to pick up the bike.

First impressions are that it looks great, and is solidly built. I smiled at the LED lights, as they were powered by the front hub, and remained on for a short while after stopping due to capacitance in the circuit. Can't argue with anything on the bike, and its all there. It is heavy, but then i have been riding my giant carbon framed Defy, and anything is going to be noticeably heavy after that.

I rode it along a lightly graveled path, along the beach front, near Edithburgh (SA), and continued along the road. The thing i noticed is that you build up speed easily, but is is not a rush buildup like a dragster car, but rather you just keep pedaling and the speed built up. I found the ride gentle, and smooth, and bumps were not jarring like I would notice on my other bikes. I did have the tyres pumped only to 55psi, and this would make a difference to all these feeling of speed and comfort, but that was all the petrol station would fill the tyres with at the time. This was all unloaded, as I am yet to try it fully loaded.

I transported the bike and managed to break the wire connector that slips over the spade terminals of the front hub generator. I emailed Noel asking if he could identify the connector for me or advise how much it would cost to buy it from him. Not only did he reply back quickly again, but is sending one over for free. This is great after sales service.

I now look forward many years of using it for my daily rides, training bike and touring bike. I am really happy with the VWR, and stoked about the service I have received from the company.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby Andy » Sun May 11, 2014 2:20 pm

RonK wrote:
il padrone wrote:But why bag another bike store? Did you have some sort of problem with Thorn's service or warranty?

I think you know very well that I have, as posted in this thread, and to which you responded (in their defence, same as here). Anyone who deals with Robin Thorn should realise that it's Thorn by name, thorny by nature.

Re Thorn: That's good I like that. :lol:

My 2 cents,

Rohloff- I love it. With 38T ring and 16T sprocket I have found this to be enough for my unfit self. The bottom 7 are a bit noisey but don't distract me. The top 7 are quieter than my 105 groupset on another bike. Bad thing was I had a persistent oil leak which after two returns to QLD distributor was replaced with new hub internals ie new unit in old shell. For commuting and touring I think they are excellent.

Thorn- Well I could rant too easily here but I'll just say that the Raven Tour are a good ride but QC when we bought ours in 2011 was not up to scratch. My rear triangle 3mm out of alignment- thorn suggested BB in vice and cold set. Other RT when assembled the head tube was not parallel with the seat tube resulting in bars hitting top tube on one side. Thorn did all they could to wriggle out of it and with a condescending tone but after much haggling and evidence they agreed to send another quality checked and prepped frame if I paid half the cost of delivery. The good woman in the meantime was riding the bike til it got sorted and is now used to the frame so I still have a brand new green RT frame sitting in it's box in the shed.

Oh, and the first frame turned up with non 531 tubing as advertised, rusted steerer tube and brake boss threads rusted to the point that the bolts were unlikely to go all the way in. They sent another fork.

I reckon a Vivente WR with Rohloff would be an excellent bike.
Last edited by Andy on Sun May 11, 2014 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby VeloGiro » Sun May 11, 2014 3:05 pm

Tim wrote:A few more details trickling in.
Looking good.
New DT Swiss rims built for Ebikes,strong I presume. SD (?) dynamo hub, XT rear hub, Avid front and rear discs, a Rohloff model and a few other changes.
Interesting.

http://www.viventebikes.com/main/page_products_bikes_2014_changes_2013_to_2014.html


Looks like full specs and images of the 2104 models are now live on the website - I off course went straight to the Gibb to check it out...interesting that they went with the chain tensioner and didn't go eccentric BB or drop outs with some play as with other off the shelf rohloff machine... Heres the link anyway...

http://www.viventebikes.com/main/page_p ... _gibb.html
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby il padrone » Sun May 11, 2014 3:18 pm

Andy wrote:Rohloff- I love it.....
....Bad thing was I had a persistent oil leak which after two returns to QLD distributor was replaced with new hub internals ie new unit in old shell.

It is common to have a bit of weeping of oil from the Rohloff. This is not of any concern as Rohloff say that even should all the oil leak out, there will be enough remaining on the internal gears to last until another oil-change is due. Usually the cause is putting a bit too much oil into the hub at change time. Rohoff have also stated that, should you have the capacity to accurately measure the oil, then 15ml will be plenty, rather than the 25ml that is in the oil change kit. Last oil change I did this and weeping of oil has been markedly reduced.

Also the oil change kit is extra expensive. Lately I have bought the 250ml bottles of cleaning oil and lubricating oil a a much lower price per 100ml. It will all get used with three Rohloffs in the household now.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby Andy » Mon May 12, 2014 9:13 am

il padrone wrote:
Andy wrote:Rohloff- I love it.....
....Bad thing was I had a persistent oil leak which after two returns to QLD distributor was replaced with new hub internals ie new unit in old shell.

It is common to have a bit of weeping of oil from the Rohloff. This is not of any concern as Rohloff say that even should all the oil leak out, there will be enough remaining on the internal gears to last until another oil-change is due. Usually the cause is putting a bit too much oil into the hub at change time. Rohoff have also stated that, should you have the capacity to accurately measure the oil, then 15ml will be plenty, rather than the 25ml that is in the oil change kit. Last oil change I did this and weeping of oil has been markedly reduced.

Also the oil change kit is extra expensive. Lately I have bought the 250ml bottles of cleaning oil and lubricating oil a a much lower price per 100ml. It will all get used with three Rohloffs in the household now.

Agree, they can leak a little but mine was emptying rapidly so would be forever running on no oil. Anyway Rohloff acknowledged the hub was faulty and so changed it with new internals.

The other one has been fine. Not a drop of leaked oil anywhere.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby the_real_jimbob » Mon May 12, 2014 8:45 pm

Considering the Gibb with Rohloff hub but the local seller said the models on order for test rides are the derailleur versions. My biggest concern are reports on the hub noise and shifting mechanism especially coming from Ultegra on a road bike. Since these issues are subjective it seems best to test ride it before buying a $3700 bike on spec. Anyone know of any options to test ride one of these hubs in Perth?
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby il padrone » Mon May 12, 2014 9:40 pm

VeloGiro wrote:interesting that they went with the chain tensioner and didn't go eccentric BB or drop outs with some play as with other off the shelf rohloff machine...

Shame about that :| They chose the low-spec option. I can notice a significant difference in drivetrain drag on my wife's and son's bikes with the chain-tensioner, compared to mine with an EBB.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby the_real_jimbob » Tue May 13, 2014 12:49 am

How much of a consideration do you think the chain tensioner should be if buying a new touring bike with these hubs? Is drag the only issue? I'm assuming the tensioner has to be there on the design of this frame?
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby iacl » Tue May 13, 2014 12:34 pm

Starting get a bit more serious in thought about my conversion. Looking to maybe retro fit an eccentric bottom bracket along the lines of:
http://www.bushnelltandems.com/eccentric.html
http://www.rodbikes.com/articles/ebb-ar ... ticle.html

Some food for thought.
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Re: Vivente World Randonneur - the best bang for your buck

Postby RonK » Tue May 13, 2014 1:09 pm

iacl wrote:Starting get a bit more serious in thought about my conversion. Looking to maybe retro fit an eccentric bottom bracket along the lines of:
http://www.bushnelltandems.com/eccentric.html
http://www.rodbikes.com/articles/ebb-ar ... ticle.html

Some food for thought.

I have a Bushnell EBB on my VN Pioneer - it requires an oversize BB shell which would be impractical to retrofit.

No doubt that is why Noel has opted for the tensioner on the VWR. It would not make economic sense to manufacture an EBB specific frame for what is unlikely to be a volume seller.
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