A customer recently brought in some parts for a Rohloff wheel build. Having never built a Rohloff before, I was very excited to do the build. Rohloff is famous for having (arguably) the best internally geared hubs in the world. The advantage of internally geared hubs is that they are less susceptible to damage and wear across the drive-chain. This is particularly useful if you’re planning an epic cycle touring journey and don’t want to get caught out with a mechanic problem that can’t be fixed without a bikeshop and spare parts. Another advantage of the Rohloff hub is the strength of the wheel that it can be built into. Unlike most rear hubs that have an uneven centre to flange distance, the Rohloff has an even distance between the flanges, so the wheel can be tensioned with even spoke tension across all of the spokes. The Rohloff’s spoke hole circle diameter is also a whopping 100mm, meaning that the bridging angle of the spokes is much greater for improved lateral strength – a critical feature of wheels used for fully loaded cycle touring.
I found it very hard to get any information about the Rigida Andra rim, but then I discovered that the Rigida company has changed owners and they are now called RYDE. An interesting feature of the Andra rim is the “Carbide Supersonic System” treated rim wall which is designed to improved braking performance in wet conditions as well as the longevity of the rim wall — a good match for the Rohloff hub. Building the wheel was not too complicated although I spent a lot of time making sure I had the correct lacing pattern for the Andra’s (‘Rohloff drilled’) rim. Rohloff provides specific instructors on how to build their wheels. I had to be very careful making sure I had the lead spoke in the correct spoke hole otherwise I’d have to re-lace the wheel all over again.
Rim: Rigida Andra 30 26″, Black, Carbide Super Sonic (CSS) brake surface
Hub: Rohloff Speedhub 500/14 (32h)
Spokes: DT(Silver) Double Butted, 238mm
Nipples: Sapim Polyax, 12mm, brass (Silver)