VSF FAHRRAD MANUFAKTUR T400 14-SPEED ROHLOFF

Here is a post about my bicycle I call “Wooffie”. First I put specs of the bicycle and then my evaluation

“WOOFFIE”

Size  26” 57cm

Framework 25 CrMo 4, 2 double butted with eccentric bottom bracket

Fork 25 CrMo 4 a-head

Gear lever Rohloff 14-speed twist shifter

Sprocket 16 teeth

BB Sugino Messenger 42 teeth

Chain  Shimano hg 93

Handles Ergon GP 1

Brakes Magura HS33 hydraulic rim brake

Saddle Gel Selle Royal Respiro

Seatpost Satori Camber Patent, Aluminium Satori Camber patent, aluminum ?

Wheels EXAL MX19, aluminum hollow chamber, double eyelets ?

Front Hub Deluxe SON hub dynamo

Rear Hub Rohloff 14-speed gear hub with freewheel

Tires Schwalbe Marathon Supreme

Fenders SKS fixed bridge with edge protection

Porter  Lowrider Rear Tubus Cargo / front: Tubus Tara Lowrider

Spotlight B & M IQ Cyo RT Lumotec Senso Plus, LED, 40 lux

Taillight B&M Line LED mit Standlicht B & M Line LED parking light

Pedals VP-196 with reflector

Stand  Pletscher

(Chain guard Hebie Chainglider)

Weight ~16 kg

Other Nokia Bicycle Charger Kit, Bottle holders 3x , ring bell (from China), Abus lock, Sigma Computer, Mirror Mirrycle, Ortlieb locking mounting bracket (for Handlebar Bag)

HOW DID WOOFFIE MANAGE ON MY TOUR?

In general, I was very pleased with Wooffie. I cycled around 21 500km with  the load (35-45kg), mostly on paved roads and had no bigger problems . It was really pleasent and easy to ride -like Mercedes.

PROS

Rohloff – It works really good. The lowest and highest transmission is enough to cycle over Andes or shake off an Indian cyclist following you.  Exchanging hub oil every 10 000km and reversing the rear sprocket once was all I had to do.  I swapped chains every ~1500km (had chain guard) and my sprockets look still ready for another World tour.

Magura Brakes – I had three pair of brake pads and they lasted easily to the end. Very good and steady braking.

Marathon Supreme – Good choice for my “fast” tour. I was on paved roads most of the time, with some rainy days. Tyres lasted until the end, and are still usable. After my first puncture in India, I had  25 more punctures.

Robustness- I guess all the parts were really good, because I had no problems with anything cracking whatsover. Frame, racks, pedals, fork, excellent!

Outlook- It doesn’t look like a super expensive bicycle.

Rims – Had only one spoke issue, when one idiot moved my locked bicycle with force. I was worried about a rim crack in South America, but my rims lasted until the very end.

Mirror Mirrycle- The best thing to have as an extra feature on your bicycle.

Front Light – Amazingly powerful light for night riding.

CONS

Flats – If you get a “hidden” puncture in the rear tube, you are screwed. You have to unscrew just too many small (and annoyingly attached) screws to get the inner tube out. This is because of strange attachment of the Rohloff speed hub.

Fenders - Just too close to the tires. The rear wheel must be deflated in order to remove it. Also more thick mountain bike tires (especially for the rear wheel) were touching the fenders no matter what.

Expensiveness – even though it doesn’t look like it, it is expensive. That is why you need a good lock to sleep your nights calmly. And good lock weighs more than necessary.

Fixing Rohloff & Brakes – Rohloff speed hub, although “unbreakable”, and Magura hydraulic brakes are difficult to fix in the middle of nowhere… you just have to trust that the cables and Rohloff lasts. And they should.

Weight- I know I shouldn’t comment on my girlfriends weight, but she should lose some kilos. Sorry :)

+/-  0

Pletscher stand – Of course nice to put your bike on stand (and it stands), yet screws got loose way too often. Perhaps unnecessary weight?

Chain glider- keeps the mud and filth out of your chains, but keeps stupid noise. Also, with a puncture you need to take it out again and again. Not necessary…

Saddle – Not very comfortable, but I guess ergonomic and healthy for my “manhood”.

10 BIKE ISSUES DURING MY TRIP

1) For unknown reason my spotlight stopped functioning after one week. I was still in Germany, so I managed to replace it without any extra costs.

2) I accidently poked my saddle into a fence and made a small hole in the leather. No effect.

3) My bottle cage and ring bell were demolished by drunken Iranian youngsters close to Persepolis (bottle cage was partly fixed, ring bell renewed in China)

4) Broken spoke in southern Iran because of a hotel janitor who tried to carry my bicycle (it being locked).

5) First puncture in Mumbai. Since then around 25 more punctures.

6) I lost my other pit lock in India, so had to be extra cautious not to lose the other one.

7) Lost nut holding the rear wheel in Buenos Aires was problematic. 1mm thread pitch nuts were almost impossible to find in BA, until one bike shop had one in their garage.

8) The rear view mirror got fractures by unknow reason in South America. 

9) The rear wheel rim seemed to have a small crack in Bolivia, yet no spokes snapped. The rim lasted until the end.

10) Left crank got loose and worn out in Germany because of my sloppy tightening.

 

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7 Comments

  1. Posted February 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my
    comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    • Posted February 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hey, thanks for your comment. I appreciate that you did at least the short version of the mysteriously deleted text :)

  2. Ribbit
    Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi,

    Great description of a cool trip. I clicked onto your blog because I too am the proud owner of a VSF T-400, which however I mostly use for commuting to/fro work. We did do some (road) trips in Southern France this summer, but I am a long ways off pesky teenagers in Iran…

    • Posted September 18, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for your comment, VSF- T400 is a great bicycle. I hosted two french guys and the other one had also fahrradmanufaktur (I think TX400) , so it is I presume a well known brand for its quality.

  3. Posted December 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hello Mate, you do an awesome trip. May I ask, what is the standover height of your bike? Or maybe your height and inseam? I am considering a VSF like yours, but confused between 52 and 57. Cheers

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