This is might be trivial for someone who actually have a one, but after countless hours reading and watching about the Rohloff speedhub I can't answer this question myself.

AFAIK the OEM grip shifter is not the most loved feature of the system. It can't be used with drop handlebars, - as all other grip shifters - it is slippery when wet, and it is not a trigger shifter. So far I have found 23 quirky ways to overcome the handlebar issue, and one trigger shifter review.

My first idea would be just to use a one-cable (maybe indexed) friction shifter, and some counter pull mechanism on the other end of the cable to replace the second cable. Seeing the how much effort has gone into mounting or replacing the original shifter, there should be something why this won't work.

So why? Why there is no friction shifter available for this hub?

  • 3
    Guessing - there are no IGHs with friction shifting because you want the gears to be fully engaged, not partially engaged causing stress on teeth.
    – Criggie
    Apr 3, 2018 at 0:20
  • 1
    Thanks for the answer! Today I tested a bike with 8-speed Alfine IGH. It had only one cable and a trigger shifter where the indexing is happening. Why this is not possible with a Rohloff (and pinion)? One cable looks so much neater than two.
    – Balint
    Apr 22, 2018 at 21:32
  • 1
    Totally guessing - the rolhoff has 14 gear positions to move through, which may require pulling more cable, and there could be engineering challenges getting a spring to pull the cable back. You can't push a normal cable, you can only pull it, or have a super-thick inner of wire like a Positron shifter.
    – Criggie
    Apr 23, 2018 at 1:12
  • Also you could do no cables on your Rohloff with the speedhub e-14 which is DI2 compatible. rohloff.de/en/products/speedhub/e-14
    – Criggie
    Apr 23, 2018 at 1:13
  • electronic shifting rohloff is only compatible/available with the Bosch mid-drive, according to site FAQ.
    – user36575
    Jan 21, 2019 at 19:11

3 Answers 3


The Rohloff shifting mechanism is designed specifically not to include a spring or other mechanism to move one of the directions. Since it pulls so much cable, it would indeed be difficult to do a single friction shifter. The 2-cable system is feature, not a bug, since Rohloff believes the 2-cable system to be more reliable than one cable + spring.

They discuss spring mechanisms as prone to failure. I've had a high-end SRAM x.0 derailleur main spring break on me in the middle of a commute (fixed it with a zip tie in the middle of the cassette so I could at least get home with the 3 rings in front as my gears), so I've seen them go myself. The 2-cable system also makes it pretty simple to keep the bike going should one cable fail, since you can shift the bike with a wrench, something that wouldn't be possible if there were a spring trying to return the hub one direction or another (unless that were accounted for in some design).

That said, there is a trigger shifting option (ed. by cinq5) which is using 2 triggers. It's described in a blog post by Cycle Monkey.

I love my Rohloff but I'm no fan of the grip shifter, only because it slips in my greasy hands. If it just had a different texture, I'd be happier.

Best solution I've seen was to save a few of those giant rubber bands, that are used to tie broccoli in stores, and apply them to the shifter with a cross pattern for an easy friction increase. I need to go visit the produce section myself.


You could use a Rohbox from Gebla.


These Boxes attach instead of the Rohloff shifting box to the hub. To shift two modified SRAM shifters are used. It can be eiter MTB or Road versions. So it can be used with a dropbar or with a standard handlebar.


I'd second @nollak's answer on using the Rohbox (here for prices and parts).

The Rohloff hub has its indexing in the actual hub: gear changes are managed by moving a hexagonal nut through 1/14th of a whole turn, and the force required is the same in both directions. This is a good arrangement: the indexing doesn't go out of adjustment. I can't imagine though that a return spring would ever have enough force to move the nut, so two cables are absolutely required.

With the Rohbox and profile / bullhorn handlebars, I've used as shifters the DiaCompe 139 Road Safety Lever brake [sic] levers suggested at the above link. The result is great: I can change gear from both hand positions, in my imagination not a million miles from the shifting of a formula one car, albeit without as good an engine. Getting used to one lever for up and one for down was quick, and I now much prefer it.

I'd imagine on drop bars, if ergo-style levers = brifters = STI doesn't appeal, bar end levers such as "DiaCompe Bar End Shifters Silver" on the same page would also work well.

(shifting two gears at a time can be a little hit and miss: it might be that I need to adjust the cables or otherwise).

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