19 Ways to Run Rohloff Shifters with Road Drop Handlebars

Alee November 12, 2011 17

Now that you’ve read 15 Reasons to Tour with a Rohloff Hub, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to mount that pesky Rohloff shifter to your road handlebars. Well, we have compiled a list of every mounting option that’s been thought of!

1. Thorn 55mm Accessory Bar

I use the Thorn Accessory Bar to mount my shifter out of the way.

The Thorn Accessory Bar is our preference for mounting a Rohloff shifter on drop handlebars. The shifter is well out of harms way, as it mounts off the steerer tube. Once the accessory bar clamps on, it is not going anywhere. Its location near the top of the handlebar makes it easy to change gears from the top of the bars; the actuation for the Rohloff is just like turning a door knob.

Also, having the shifter at the stem doesn’t limit our choice of road handlebar: vital for finding something comfortable.

2. HubBub Drop Bar Adaptor

Campbell uses the HubBub bar-end shifter and loves it!

The HubBub is our second preference for Rohloff shifter mounting options. It simply slides into your bar-end and creates a 22.2mm surface where you can mount your standard Rohloff shifter. It’s slightly lower and out of the way of the accessory bar and it still offers ease-of-use.

3. Mittelmeyer Shifter

I didn’t have any luck with the Mittelmeyer shifter. It seized up mid-tour leaving me with one gear!
The Mittelmeyer internals…

The Mittelmeyer was our first attempt at having a neatly integrated Rohloff shifter setup. Unfortunately, the Mittelmeyer never worked as planned. I installed the shifter onto my bars with a little difficulty and once the setup was complete there was a bit more friction than usual. The first thing I noticed was that the metal surface didn’t really offer any grip in my hand to change the gears.

I rode the touring bike around Melbourne for a while and after every ride the friction in the shifter got greater and greater. It wasn’t until I took my touring bike overseas that it decided to seize up on the first day! That effectively meant singlespeed touring in New Zealand (hilly and windy)!

I do not recommend looking into this option based on my past experience with the product.

4. Gilles Berthoud Shifter

The GIlles-Berthoud shifter looks beautiful!

The Gilles-Berthoud looks like a more refined Mittelmeyer! We’re keen to give one a go one day, but are worried that the metal surface will be slippery when wet.

5. Co-Motion Shifter

Co-Motion have just released a nice Rohloff shifter! From the feel of it at Eurobike, it will work well!
New for 2014 is a smaller shifter grip on the Co-Motion shifter.

Co-Motion have just released a new shifter which fits both 26.0 and 31.8mm drop handlebars. Retail price is $249 USD. It looks well sealed, and felt really smooth when I was playing with it at Eurobike 2012. The only issues that might pop up with this shifter is that handlebar bag mounts (eg. Ortlieb) could get in the way, and it might be a bit hard to shift in the wet.

6. Cinq5 Shift:R Thumb Shifters

Not available quite yet, these shifters operate with one trigger shifting up, and the other down. They are produced by the same crew that make the brilliant Tout Terrain bikes and will be sold under the brand Cinq5. It sounds like they’ll be ready for 2014 in anodised silver. Cinq5 parts catalogue is HERE.

Cinq5 Rohloff thumb shifters
Cinq5 Rohloff thumb shifters
Cinq5 Rohloff thumb shifters
Cinq5 Rohloff thumb shifters

7. Minoura Space Grip Extension

Hugh and Pauline have their Rohloff shifter above their handlebars.

I originally used the space grip to get my shifter into the same spot as as what I’ve done with the Thorn Accessory Bar. I found it to be not as stiff as the accessory bar, and to loosen over time.

8. Rodriguez DooHickey

The DooHickey is essentially the same steerer tube mount as the Thorn Accessory Bar. What we prefer about the Accessory Bar is that it extends 55mm away from you, which when you’re standing up keeps the shifter out of your knees way.

9. Patria Adjustable Stem

The Patria adjustable stem is another neat way to mount the Rohloff shifter.

The Patria adjustable stem will allow you to modify the front end of your bike as well as mount your Rohloff shifter. Could be worth checking out if you have these requirements, although we feel it might get in way of your knee when standing up.

10. Greenspeed Mount

A custom shifter mount can be made to fit downtube mounts.
The inside of the Greenspeed tube shows how the mount can be fitted.

Using a Greenspeed Computer Head Mount, you are able to cut the hoop off the end of the mount and fit the bar to existing downtube shifter mounts for old school radness.

11. Bar-End for Quill Stem

Running a 22.2mm quill stem? Well you can run a bar-end off the side of your stem for a Rohloff shifter!

If you’re running a quill stem, a 22.2mm bar-end will be able to mounted off the side of your stem for a Rohloff shifter.

12. Daumenschalter Prototype Trigger Shifter

Daumenschalter Prototype Trigger Shifter

Looks awesome! Can’t wait to see a refined one in production!

13. Cycleologist Steerer Mount

According to the link, a bit of machining was required to get it on. Changing gears is done… ‘pepper grind’ style!

14. Van Nicholas Divisible Handlebar

This new handlebar for 2014 breaks into multiple parts to slide on your stock Rohloff shifter. Unlike the Utopia handlebars (below) these handlebars are available in standard widths: 40cm, 42cm and 44cm. We reckon this is one of the best solutions. 125 Euro will do it.

15. Utopia Rohloff Drop Handlebar

The Lenker X-ACT Randonneur Vario Handlebar splits into three pieces.
Utopia Velo’s Split Handlebar with a Rohloff shifter on it!

Utopia Velo make all sorts of bikes and bits. One product in their selection is a nifty drop handlebar which splits into three pieces. The upper arms of the handlebar are 22.2mm, meaning a Rohloff shifter is able to be fitted on when the bar is split. At the stem clamp, the diameter is 25.4mm, allowing a standard MTB stem to be used. As the handlebar curves, it uses a 24mm diameter which STI or standard brake levers will attach to.

My only concern with this handlebar is that it is incredibly wide (50-52cm width). Usually, road handlebars are most comfortable as the same width as your shoulders. To give you an idea on what I’d generally recommend, a tall male would often run a 44cm handlebar, and a rugby player maybe 46cm. Smaller ladies generally feel at home on a 38cm handlebar.

You can purchase this handlebar on the Utopia Velo website by clicking ‘Shop’ – ‘Accessories Shop’ – ‘Steering’ – ‘X-ACT Randonneur handlebars Vario’. CNC Bike Shop will also sell you a pair.

16. Minortriad Custom Wooden Shifter

This person made their own shifter out of maple!

This is an impressive piece of work! I’m not sure that any more other than this will be built however…

17. Shiftezy Electronic Rohloff Shifter

The Shiftezy allows you to change gears via buttons!
Buttons are the future!

Change gears via buttons! I’m not sure how well this would work on a bike tour, but there is definitely some potential in this product.

18. SweatyDonkey Stem Faceplate Mount

SD got excited and decided to make a stem faceplate adapter for his Rohloff shifter to sit on. Apparently it works pretty well!

19. Mark’s Lever Mounted Shifter

Mark managed to get a shifter on the end of his lever! The best bit is that you don’t need to move your hands off the brakes in order to shift.


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  • Aozolins

    Very nice and useful compilation of options. thanks.
    (BTW, drop bars are routinely split by Bike Friday to make their bikes pack into a suitcase. They insert a sleeve at the cut that bridges the two halves and gets pressed snug inside the stem. I don’t know of any failures, certainly not on my Bike Friday over many, many miles.)

    • http://www.cyclingabout.com/ Alex Denham

      Thanks for this information. I’ll do a bit of homework and update the page accordingly!

      • Andrew

         And now Mittelmeyer has an STI-type shifter on their site, for release this month (Mar 2012)

    • Sweatydonkey

      My own take on the Rohloff drop bar conundrum.

  • Nojean

    One additional mounting suggestion. If using on a bike with a 25.4mm quill stem with a long enough quill you can mount the shifter on the quill with no additional or special attachments.

  • Nojean

    Sorry, meant to say 22.2mm quill (1″)

  • sweatydonkey

    Another one of my takes on the dropbar issue. A stub tube mounted to the bars. 

  • sweatydonkey

    Picture of the final setup. Works pretty well and cable routing neat.

  • chasK

    Many thanks for this page it is very helpful. I use a Patria mount but as I am on the small side the handlebar stem is rather short which gives me little space to get my fist round the twister grip.  I also have a bar-bag mount which would rule out the GB twister solution. Sometimes I think I am crazy continuing with drop bars since everything off-the-peg is made for straight bars these days.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516787593 Mark Edmunds

    he is an other way that that i retro fitted a rohloff twist shifter too drop bars by fitting a handle bar stub to the rh brake lever so it gives a very ergo gear change while riding on the hoods. so while climbing out up hill riding on the hoods you dont have to move your hand too far off the hood, it also enables you to still sort off be able to cover the brake lever while changing gear.   

  • Bikeboss

    14. Rohloff with Magura Louise and FSA Vision 22,2mm; steering, braking, shifting in one Position

  • Simoninmilan

    One more idea.
    Use an old Cinelli Spinaci mount with a cut down length of 22.2 bar. Works perfectly. Cost buttons! Noone wants the Spinaci / 3TTT Tiramisu bars anymore.

  • Rodriguez Bicycles
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  • Andrea