21 Ways to Run Rohloff Shifters with Road Drop Handlebars

Alee November 12, 2011 24

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 done. Enjoy.

Aftermarket Rohloff Shifters and Handlebars

1. Cinq5 Shift:R Thumb Shifters

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These Cinq5 Rohloff thumb shifters are the first of their type available. They look smart and operate in a unique way: the left trigger shifts down a gear, and the right shifts up. They’re produced by the same crew that make Tout Terrain bikes and retail for $360US.

2. Co-Motion Twist Shifter

Rohloff CoMotionNew for 2014 is a smaller shifter grip on the Co-Motion shifter.

Co-Motion have recently released a shifter which fits both 26.0 and 31.8mm drop handlebars. It looks well sealed, and felt really smooth when I was playing with it at Eurobike 2012. The only issues that might arise are that handlebar bag mounts (eg. Ortlieb) could get in the way, and it might become slippery when shifting in the wet. Retail price is $249 USD.

3. Gilles Berthoud Shifter

The Gilles-Berthoud shifter is beautiful.

The Gilles-Berthoud is a more refined Mittelmeyer. I’m keen to use one, but am currently not convinced that the metal surface will work effectively when wet. Retail price is $195 USD.

4. 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. This is one of the best solutions because you get to use a shifter with a rubber grip – great under wet conditions. 125 Euro will do it.

5. Utopia Rohloff Drop Handlebar

The Lenker X-ACT Randonneur Vario Handlebar splits into three pieces.

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 taller riders often use a 44cm handlebar, and smaller riders generally feel at home using 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.

6. 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 potential in this product.

Rohloff Shifter Adapters

7. Thorn 55mm Accessory Bar

Rohloff ShifterThorn Accessory Bar with Rohloff shifter mounted

My Thorn Accessory Bar is well out of harms way, as it mounts off the steerer tube. I’ve done over 50,000km with this setup and have found it to be a practical and usable solution. The shifter location near the top of the handlebar makes it easy enough to change gears from the top of the bars, whereby the actuation for the Rohloff is like turning a door knob. Another advantage of having my shifter located near the stem; I’m not limited for choice of road handlebar. That was vital for finding a handlebar shape that suited me.

8. Rodriguez DooHickey

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

9. HubBub Drop Bar Adaptor

The Hubbub adapter is another popular accessory.

The HubBub is another good way to mount a Rohloff shifter. It simply slides into your barend and creates a 22.2mm surface where you can mount your standard Rohloff shifter. It’s slightly lower and out of the way than other options, but has proven itself to be easy to use.

10. Patria Adjustable Stem

Patria Rohloff StemThe Patria Adjustable Stem is a neat solution

The Patria Adjustable Stem allows you to modify the front end of your bike and mount your Rohloff shifter. We feel that the shifter may get in way of your knees when standing up.

11. Norwid Rohloff Stem

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The Norwid stem has a stub which pops out the side, allowing you to mount your Rohloff shifter.

Prototype and Discontinued Rohloff Shifters

12. Mittelmeyer Shifter

Mittelmeyer Shifter – not recommended!

The Mittelmeyer was my first attempt at having a neatly integrated Rohloff shifter setup. Unfortunately, the Mittelmeyer never worked as planned. Once setup, I found there was a bit more friction than usual. In addition, the metal surface didn’t really offer any grip in my hand to change the gears (which is why I prefer rubber gripshift options).

I rode the touring bike for a while, but after every ride the friction in the shifter increased. It wasn’t until I took my touring bike overseas that it decided to seize up! That effectively meant singlespeed touring in New Zealand (hilly and windy). :(

13. Gilles Berthoud Prototype Trigger Shifter

Gilles-Berhoud-Rohloff-ShifterA prototype thumb shifter by GB.

This prototype shifter was shown at Eurobike in 2013. It looks refined and promising!

14. Daumenschalter Prototype Trigger Shifter

Daumenschalter Prototype Trigger Shifter

Looks awesome! This is the first trigger prototype I’ve been aware of. I can’t wait to see the refined product in action!

15. 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 will be built however…

Other Shifter Mounting Options

16. Minoura Space Grip Extension

Rohloff Shifter 1Hugh and Pauline have their Rohloff shifter above their handlebars.

I originally used the Minoura Space Grip to get my shifter into the same spot as with my Thorn Accessory Bar. I found it not be quite stiff enough, and to loosen over time.

17. Greenspeed Downtube 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.

18. Bar-End for Quill Stem

Rohloff BarendRunning a 22.2mm quill stem? You can mount a barend 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.

19. Cycleologist Steerer Mount

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

20. SweatyDonkey Stem Faceplate Mount

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

21. 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
  • Guest

    Alivio + exage, My cheap solution.

  • Guest

    alivio + exage My cheap solution

  • Daniel

    old Exage + alivio. My solution with what I had at home.

  • landy