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3 spd Shimano vs Sturmey Archer

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at some 3 speed bikes to use for local errands. The post office,
groceries store, blockbuster, get a cup of java, that kind of thing. Might
even ride it on the paved bike paths some. I have a road bike and a full
suspension off road bike, and ride them often, I just want a bike with a
rack, I can ride in my sneakers, to prevent me from jumping in the car for
short trips. Is there much difference in the Shimano vs. the Sturmey Archer
3 speeds? I'd love to have an old Raleigh with the Sturmey Archer, but I
have not much luck finding one. A LBS has a Sears Free Spirit with the
Shimano, it's in decent shape, has the rack, rear coaster brake, and is
ready to ride for $50. They are not sure of the year, but it's red white and
blue so it may be around a 76? I've also seen a few Columbia's, some with
the Sturmey Archers, would they be a better choice? TIA -Scott
post #2 of 10

Re: 3 spd Shimano vs Sturmey Archer

"Werehatrack" wrote: (clip) There's a classic English roadster with a
3-speed Strmey-Archer hub right next to it which I have been known ride
decked out in a tweed jacket and nowhere-close-to-matching tweed cap on a
cool day.)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Cool.
post #3 of 10

Re: 3 spd Shimano vs Sturmey Archer

Scott Gates wrote:
> Is there much difference in the Shimano vs. the Sturmey Archer
> 3 speeds?


Not a whole lot. I'm not certain if the new Taiwan-made Sturmey-Archer
products are interchangeable with the old, but there's still bunches of
junkers to strip replacement parts from if needed. I'd bet Shimano's
three-speed parts are still available.

Given the choice, I'd probably go for Shimano if only for the fact its
shifting mechanism is slightly better protected. The Sturmey's
indicator chain seemed to fail whenever the bike was dropped on the
right side.

FWIW: back in Schwinn School (eek! 25 years ago!) one of the final
exams was to dissassemble three 3-speed hubs (two Sturmey, one
Shimano), mix up the parts, and then reassemble them. Not fun.

Jeff
post #4 of 10

Re: 3 spd Shimano vs Sturmey Archer

At the moment I have his and her Dutch Gazelles. Got
them in a trade for a mountain bike. I've worked,cleaned,lubed,and
set up the he bike. And rode it on Sunday afternoon with a few
adjust- ments while out on the road. So now its perfect. The she has
just started its its go over,clean,and lube. Then it will move up to a
test ride and maybe a full ride by the wife with 2 of her grandkids on
their bike. I rode Shimano 3 speed with a twist shifter. All the Sturmey
Archer's have been the handle bar thumb shifter. The only thing I can
say Shimano were more sound proof.With a 3 speed you can't be no wimp
when it comes to hill. They were designed for pretty flat landers.
London,Hol- land ect. Not New London Ct or Sanfransico Ca.
Remember bike where made to pedal not walk up hills.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Re: 3 spd Shimano vs Sturmey Archer

I've looked for about a year. I've seen them on Ebay, but I'm a bit hesitant
to buy a bike of that vintage with out inspecting it, plus the shipping is
often a large percentage of the selling cost. The LBS has a nice Raleigh
now, but it's too large for me.
"dynohubbill" <bputnam@ci.madison.wi.us> wrote in message
news:1111677335.282658.248550@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> Scott Gates wrote:
>> I'm looking at some 3 speed bikes to use for local errands. ... Is

> there much difference in the Shimano vs. the Sturmey Archer
>> 3 speeds? I'd love to have an old Raleigh with the Sturmey Archer,

> but I
>> have not much luck finding one....-Scott

>
> How much have you looked around for an old Raleigh or Raleigh built 3
> speed? In this area (Madison, WI USA) these can be found fairly
> frequently in the trash or at our twice per year police auction. They
> also come up on e bay. As Andy mentioned the Raleighs are generally
> better quality bikes than the Free Spirit type of bike that Shimano
> hubs are typically supplied with.
>
> In my experience spare parts for the Sturmey hubs are much easier to
> find than the Shimano hubs. The Sturmey hub, once properly cleaned and
> oiled, and rebuilt with new or good used parts where needed, works very
> well. Be sure that the hub is adjusted properly and that there are no
> kinks in the control cable. Jobst has pointed out previously that the
> Sturmey AW hub has a basic design flaw which can lead to it jumping out
> of 3rd gear, especially when worn or misadjusted, but again at least in
> my experience if the hub is in good condition and set up properly this
> has not been a problem for me. Note that the old Sturmey twist grip
> shifters do not function well, the classic handlebar mounted trigger is
> the one to use.
>
> If you do get a 3 speed I'd encourage you to pick up a 22 or 24 tooth
> rear sprocket. I find that a 46/24 gearing with 590 rims makes for a
> reasonable gear range for the terrain (moderately hilly) and riding
> (utility and commuting) that I do on the 3 speed.
>
> Bill Putnam
>
post #6 of 10

Re: 3 spd Shimano vs Sturmey Archer

(Hi Bill)

dynohubbill wrote:

(snip)

> How much have you looked around for an old Raleigh or Raleigh built 3
> speed? In this area (Madison, WI USA) these can be found fairly
> frequently in the trash or at our twice per year police auction.

They
> also come up on e bay. As Andy mentioned the Raleighs are generally
> better quality bikes than the Free Spirit type of bike that Shimano
> hubs are typically supplied with.


Like mine! ;o) http://drumbent.com/superbe.html

That said, there's nothing wrong with the Free Spirit as an errand
bike. I volunteer at our local bike re-cycling co-op, and the Free
Spirit is the name we see most often (followed by CCM, and once-proud
Canadian name).

> If you do get a 3 speed I'd encourage you to pick up a 22 or 24 tooth
> rear sprocket. I find that a 46/24 gearing with 590 rims makes for a
> reasonable gear range for the terrain (moderately hilly) and riding
> (utility and commuting) that I do on the 3 speed.


I use a 20 tooth, even though it's fairly flat where I live, as the
stock gearing really is too high. For flatlanders the 20 will get your
cadence up, but hilly terrian would be best served as Bill suggests.
Sheldon describes how to modify Shimano cassette sprockets for use on
3-speeds (which all share the same 3-spline design) so you can have the
exact gearing you require.

Oh, and FWIW, I've heard that the Sturmey is more durable than the
Shimano, but it's the opposite if the 3-speed has a coaster brake!

Cheers,
MarK
====
webpage: http://drumbent.com
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Re: 3 spd Shimano vs Sturmey Archer

Thanks, It's pretty flat here in the Dallas, so I think the stock gearing
will be fine. Most rides on it will be under 2 miles round trip. That covers
the PO, Groceries, videos, beer, Home Depot, Library, about 20+ restaurants
from Sushi to Pizza, the auto parts store, Target, radio shack, the tennis
courts, just about all the "basics"! I think I'll ride that Free Spirit,
and if it checks out OK, spend the $50. At 15 MPG in my beloved (as in paid
for) F150, I should recoup that in no time.
<mark@drumbent.com> wrote in message
news:1111707839.998334.223960@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> (Hi Bill)
>
> dynohubbill wrote:
>
> (snip)
>
>> How much have you looked around for an old Raleigh or Raleigh built 3
>> speed? In this area (Madison, WI USA) these can be found fairly
>> frequently in the trash or at our twice per year police auction.

> They
>> also come up on e bay. As Andy mentioned the Raleighs are generally
>> better quality bikes than the Free Spirit type of bike that Shimano
>> hubs are typically supplied with.

>
> Like mine! ;o) http://drumbent.com/superbe.html
>
> That said, there's nothing wrong with the Free Spirit as an errand
> bike. I volunteer at our local bike re-cycling co-op, and the Free
> Spirit is the name we see most often (followed by CCM, and once-proud
> Canadian name).
>
>> If you do get a 3 speed I'd encourage you to pick up a 22 or 24 tooth
>> rear sprocket. I find that a 46/24 gearing with 590 rims makes for a
>> reasonable gear range for the terrain (moderately hilly) and riding
>> (utility and commuting) that I do on the 3 speed.

>
> I use a 20 tooth, even though it's fairly flat where I live, as the
> stock gearing really is too high. For flatlanders the 20 will get your
> cadence up, but hilly terrian would be best served as Bill suggests.
> Sheldon describes how to modify Shimano cassette sprockets for use on
> 3-speeds (which all share the same 3-spline design) so you can have the
> exact gearing you require.
>
> Oh, and FWIW, I've heard that the Sturmey is more durable than the
> Shimano, but it's the opposite if the 3-speed has a coaster brake!
>
> Cheers,
> MarK
> ====
> webpage: http://drumbent.com
>
post #8 of 10
As a person that makes his living working on the internal gear hub. http://flatsfixedbicycles.com/ I can tell you right now the shimanno 3 speed is in no way near the standard of the sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub. If you took apart the nexus three speed you will see they just gave it a new name. The SA 3sp is a brute it is built tough and is designed to last a life time. in 2000 when the factory was moved to Taiwan Sun race had all the equipment from all over the world sent to them.
The Britts Always took there bicycle factory where ever they went.

This is why you will see the SA all over the world. The funny thing was the SA manufacturing equipment really varied and Sun Race struggled to understand the specs of a 3 planetary gear system.
just like a bar stool all three are in contact at all times. Knowing this could cause a massive failure if not done right, They beefed these things up with very good steel. But found the need for the specs had to let it float. Yes float and let the oil bath keep it clean. so I from 2001 to 2005 and every once in a while I get a hub made during that first two years it has some hub noise why because it to tight.

Tiawan took the SA 3sp to another level in modern specs. And made it to tight. I have to loosen the hub up 1/4 turn and give it a good oil bath after about 10,000 miles those hubs finally break in.

They learned this from a man that worked in the Nottingham factory. When things rely on a oil bath give it room to float on that oil.
the new Sunrace sturmey archer hubs are of some of the finest quality in the world. I am not going to speak about shimmano I have taken many apart and have replaced parts but i will tell you it is a disposable hub as like much of shimano stuff is.

This is why when replacing a three speed hub I as a mechanic have to face my customer day in and day out through the years I have only one choice the SA 3speed.

there are other three speeds based on the SA design the sauchs or sram and BSA.
post #9 of 10

That's some great information, flatsfixed. Thanks!

post #10 of 10
Quote:
 Given the choice, I'd probably go for Shimano if only for the fact its
shifting mechanism is slightly better protected. The Sturmey's
indicator chain seemed to fail whenever the bike was dropped on the
right side.

 

This makes no sense bike fall to both sides in the early 40's a plastic cap still used to day for my customers  protects the indicator chain. and once you go to the shimanno 4 speed and up. the cabling is under  the frame this make it useless for off road mtb use. 

 the shimano 3pd hub will on it's own ruin it self just because of the shifter and it's internal design is of such low  quality metal. If not in perfect adjustment it fails.

 the Shimanno  hub has been in production since 1960 or about. I have not seen one of that age come in that was working with out skipping or worn out internals parts.

 

I get SA 3spd in every other day  made pre 1950's that need nothing but  a good cleaning and lube. And that hub on a nice 4130 tubbing frame is about 21 lbs. not bad for a commuter.

 

 If any one understand that shimmano own 85 percent of the market the only way to keep selling is to make sure you change designs so you have to buy new.

 Or you make the life time of the product shorter. The Shimanno hub was used to go up against the 1960's department store bicycles. A area that SA had wrapped up for years.

 But you all Know the department stores look at numbers  not quality. Same as todays So called bike shops that tell you carbon fiber is better when it actually is cheaper to make.

 The lightest fastest bike was made by 1950 and it was steel. to reproduce that bike today as Waterford cycle does cost about $9,000.00 US. 

Trust me newer is not better. And if you think the manufacture thinks of you  you have  alot to learn it is all about numbers. Time per unit. 

 it takes 1/10  the time to make a carbon fiber frame then it does a steal frame bike. 

 I repair them Frames I  glue them back together all the time. JUNK.

The cost of an indicator chain is $3 usa. now price the the replacement on the shimanno the rod the shifter mechanism by the way the replacement doesn't come with a double ended adjuster nut. why because they changed the design about every 5 years.  Ok just buy a new hub why not shimmano is disposable.   

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