Back in February, long-time Double Forte list member Jack Tomkinson posted out a link a video by the German-language IBC’s MTB News recorded during a tour of the Rohloff factory in Fuldatal, Germany. The tour features Rohloff production manager Marco Rauch walking and talking through the assembly process (in German) where a lot of emphasis in placed on the precision hand-assembly and quality control checks that go into one of Rohloff’s Speedhubs. Watching the touch-labor intensive process of assembling the 125 precision parts that make up a Speedhub goes a long way towards understanding why these things cost nearly $1k a piece.
You can find the original 12 minute video here: http://videos.mtb-news.de/videos/1/_/video/rohloff_kleinm4v.m4v
Now, unless you understand German you may not get the full benefit of what’s being described in the video; however, if you’re a techno-geek it may be worth your time to watch because even with a language barrier you gain a lot of insight into just how these amazing, internally geared hubs are assembled and tested. Towards the end of the video Bernhard Rohloff also describes how his Green Monster assembles the 450 parts that go into each chain. Now, after watching the this 12 minute video, the next two video’s will put everything you saw into context as the narrative is provided in English.
The first is a ~5:47 minute Rohloff Promo video (note that there are some buffering gaps in the playback) that takes you through the same assembly process, but not in nearly as much detail as the tour by Marco Rauch. The second is a ~3:26 minute video that shows in great detail how the Green Monster churns out SLT-99 chains.
You can find the associated MTB News item, links to the video and some great still shots at the following link to the IBC Website which I’ve run through Google’s Translator: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mtb-news.de%2Fforum%2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D433813
This final video link is provided as a reminder to Rohloff owners to ensure they take care to re-lubricate their hubs on a regular basis: