Roll on Rohloff The Rohloff Speedhub is a high performance geared hub for mountain biking and touring; a far cry from the old 3 speed Sturmey Archer I had as a kid. The Speedhub has 14 even spaced gears which is pretty much what you end up with after overlap with your 3 x 9 speed standard set up. The whole mechanism is sealed in the hub and thus protected from mud, water etc. Its a beefy bit of kit but overall the weight of a Rohloff System (hub, torque arm, chain tensioner, one front chainring, single handlebar shifter) is only marginally more than a full derailleur system (front and rear derailleurs, 3 front chainrings, rear cluster, double handlebar shifters). The Rohloff has a number of advantages: it can be shifted under load or whilst standing still, it requires next to no maintenance (an annual oil change is all that is recommended), chain wear is vastly reduced and it continues to perform in wet and muddy conditions. Whilst not cheap (some $1500-$1800 depending on model and components required) you wont have continually be buying replacement worn components as you do with a standard system so its a long term investment. Depending on how your frame is configured you can do away with certain components for the Rohloff. For example, if you have disc brake mounts, you can dispose of the fairly hefty Torque Arm by allowing the disc brake mount to take the torque with the special Speedbone adaptor. If your frame has horizontal dropouts (or a special Rohloff dropout) you can do away with the chain tensioner and thus end up with a completely clean chainline. This means nothing hanging low for sticks and stones to break. Due to a communication error with the frame builder, my frame ended up with standard vertical dropouts necessitating the use of the chain tensioner. I am now looking at retrofitting special dropouts or using a more out of the way singlespeed chain tensioner to replace the Rohloff chain tensioner.