Cycling Around the World


Rohloff 14 Speed Hub gear ratios?

Posted by Stephen Peel - Cycling Around the World on May 20, 2017 at 2:15 AM

Rohloff 14 Speed Hub Gear Ratios??

I'm no bike engineer or even have a basic understanding of gear ratios. Finding info on the Rohloff Speed Hub is easy, finding the information I want is not so easy. It's probably right in front of my eyes, but I'm just not bike techy to see it.

I have been trying to find out how the 14 gears of the Rohloff, compare to those in say, an average 32 speed road bike derailleur setup.

I mean, is hub gear 1 equal to gear 1, and is hub gear 14 equal to gear 32, and if so, does this mean that hub gear 7 is equal to gear 16?

Does the jump in missed gears compared to derailleur cause problems in any way?

So what did I learn from my extensive internet search? A learned there are a lot of numbers out there, which made no sense to me whatsoever. Ratios I couldn’t understand or get my head around. I just wanted a simple “yes, hub gear 7 was equal to gear 16” or “no”.

I get that there are all sorts of variables regarding cog sizes and stuff, but a just thereabouts would have done me.

Some things I did find interesting are as follows:

The Rohloff 14 speed hub is a seven speed hub with a set of (internal) reduction gears, giving a second set of 7 speeds. 7 gears in low ratio, and 7 gears in high ratio. And that changing from 7-8 or 8-7 means easing off pedalling before changing, in just these two gears, as the gears move between high and low ratio. Gear 7 is the top gear in low ratio, and gear 8 is the bottom gear in high ratio.

Gear 7 is noisiest and gear 1 to 7 are best for steep hills up to the steepest, especially with a fully loaded bike, which I will have.

The gear range means you can pedal at a 75rmp cadence at 3mph uphill and roll down still pedalling at 28mph.

I know I said no percentages, but damn, I’m struggling here and what does this really mean:

"Gear range is 526%, meaning the highest gear is 5.26 times as high as the lowest gear” OK, so what is the lowest gear equal to when compared with an average derailleur?

"It offers the gear range of derailleur gears and more, and at its ratio of 5.26:1 more range than a typical road bike ratio of 4.28:1 with 50/34 chain rings and 11 to 32 tooth cassette." Does this mean that hub gear 1 is even lower than an average derailleur gear 1?

Questions questions :), see what you can come up with for me here, but in terms a complete novice would be able to understand :)

Here is a link to this blog post on my Google+ page, where it has received a fair few responses which might help.


July 4 2017, and after just a few days with my Rohloff, I can see there is quite a distance between each of the gears, as though 1 gear is missing between them. A bit of a jump. That said, the range feels very much like my 24 speed Giant Escape at both at high and low gears, and so other than the high and low 1 and 14 on he hub, the other 12 are spread out over what would be the other 22. If you get what I mean. But feeling good all the same. Just taking a bit of getting used to.

Categories: Bikes and Equipment

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1 Comment

Reply Stephen Peel - Cycling Around the World
3:29 AM on November 22, 2017 
Had to return to the UK due to mechanical issues. Hopefully back on the road soon.