Van Nicholas - divisible handlebar for Rohloff Twistshifter

Shifting Possibilities:- Van Nicholas unveils another first with their new divisible handlebar.

Rohloff SPEEDHUBs have been a popular choice with Van Nicholas (founded in 1986) customers ever since they were introduced back in 1998. These low-maintenance, sealed units are the ideal choice to ensure years of trouble-free cycling. Effortless shifting is controlled by a twist shifter which can be easily mounted on straight 22.2mm handlebars. What about cyclists wanting to use the Rohloff SPEEDHUB on a bike with drop handlebars though?  To date, these riders have had to mount the shifter in awkward positions at the end of the handlebar due to design limitations. It simply wasn’t possible to mount the shifter on the top of drop bars – until now.

After repeated customer requests, Van Nicholas designed a solution: the divisible handlebar. Stephan de Wolf, Van Nicholas Head of Design, explained the challenges: “The difficulty in designing this handlebar lies in the small internal diameter of the Rohloff shifter, the need to route a brake cable underneath the shifter and the possibility of dividing the handlebar. By making the handlebar divisible, the Rohloff shifter can be easily mounted by anyone. This solution however demands some specific features from the construction. The middle section needs to be solid enough to cope with daily use on the road, but also remain easily mountable.”

The design they settled on connects the handlebar ends using a sleeve, which then allows the entire unit to be mounted with one single bolt, effectively delivering the rigidity necessary for miles of hard riding, while also minimizing potential weight gain. They also integrated reinforcing ribs into the design which allows a brake cable to run neatly beneath the shifter, resulting in the same clean lines found on normal drop handlebars.
Designed as part of the VNT accessories range, the Rohloff SPEEDHUB specific handlebar will be available from March 2014 and is sold in conjunction with either an adjustable or a regular stem (package price starting at € 125).