Rohloff oil change

A Rohluff oil hub
A Rohluff oil hub should have an oil change every 5000km or one year
I have a Rohloff-equipped Thorn tourer, which I use in summer along with my ICE recumbent and Brompton. (I use a mountain bike in winter.) The small amount of mileage that I do on my Rohloff hub surely doesn’t necessitate changing the oil every year. It doesn’t evaporate, does it?

David Preston

According to Rohloff, the mandated oil-change interval, which is performed annually or every 5,000km, whichever comes first, ensures that any oil lost to leakage is replaced, and that any moisture that finds its way into the hub either through condensation or as a result of immersion during, for example, a stream crossing, is rinsed out. The hub contains only about 25ml of oil, and although it should remain lubricated even by the small amount that clings to internal parts when the hub is drained, insufficient oil can lead to the formation of rust on internal steel parts. Water mixed with oil may hamper shifting and add to internal drag.

Rohloff note that a universal prescribed method is needed to ensure that all owners, operating in all conditions, can maintain
their hub without voiding the warranty (i.e. the hub is guaranteed to work as designed). An owner who chooses a longer service period may be lucky and experience no problems, but could be faced with a hefty
bill should a problem needing repair arise that can be attributed to extended or neglected oil-change intervals. The service kit costs about £17 and an oil change can
be done in less that an hour. Your call.

Richard Hallett

​​​Cycle’s Technical Editor

This Q&A was published in 'Cycle' the magazine for members of Cycling UK. To contact the experts, email your technical, health, legal or policy questions to or write to Cycle Q&A, PO Box 313, Scarborough, YO12 6WZ