3 spd Shimano vs Sturmey Archer

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Scott Gates, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Scott Gates

    Scott Gates Guest

    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
     
    Tags:


  2. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 15:44:52 -0600, "Scott Gates"
    <scottgates1@comcast.net> may have said:

    >... 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


    I've had both Shimano and SA 3-speed gearhubs, and find little
    difference between them. That Free Spirit will doubtless gather
    disparaging comments from the exotic-or-die crowd, but in my
    estimation it's probably quite suitable for the task that you
    describe. You may want to swap out the seat if it still has the
    crappy one that came with it.

    (There's a 3-speed Free Spirit lurking on my patio; the SO rides it
    occasionally. 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.)

    --
    My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
    Typoes are not a bug, they're a feature.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  3. Leo Lichtman

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    "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.
     
  4. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Scott Gates wrote:

    > 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


    I prefer the Sachs Torpedo (which is used as the base of the Sachs/SRAM
    Spectro 3x7 hub).

    --
    Tom Sherman - Earth (Downstate Illinois, North of Forgottonia)
     
  5. JeffWills

    JeffWills Guest

    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
     
  6. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    Scott Gates wrote:

    > 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
    >
    >

    Both can work but Shimanos are more commonly found on the
    sort of bikes ( Columbias) which are likely to have other
    issues - poor prep and poor care leading to rust/premature
    bearing wear, etc.
    Sturmeys are more likely found on bikes ( Raleigh Sports
    Raleigh Superbe) of better quality and usually with better
    prep/ maintenance.

    Look at that sort of thing specifically though. You are not
    buying an average you're buying one bicycle.

    --
    Andrew Muzi
    www.yellowjersey.org
    Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  7. 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.
     
  8. Martyn Aldis

    Martyn Aldis Guest

    In message <12699-4242ACC8-234@storefull-3217.bay.webtv.net>,
    crazy6r54@webtv.net writes
    > 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.


    Sounds good.

    >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.
    >

    Remember it is easy to change the overall gearing. I have put 18 tooth
    sprockets on my 20" wheel bikes that came with a 15t and a 22t or 24t on
    my big wheel 5 speed F & S hub geared Dutch bike. Can't remember which.
    It was the largest I could get into the gear case.

    Now the limitation of the Dutch bike in hilly country is the sitting
    position not the gearing.

    The original gearing was really high.


    --

    Martyn Aldis, e-mail martyn.aldis@syntagma.co.uk
    ==============================================================================
     
  9. dynohubbill

    dynohubbill Guest

    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
     
  10. Scott Gates

    Scott Gates Guest

    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
    >
     
  11. (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
     
  12. Scott Gates

    Scott Gates Guest

    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
    >
     
  13. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Bill Putnam wrote:

    > ...
    > 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,

    What about the steeper hills - say the street that goes up to Shorewood
    Hills from University Avenue (near the UW Credit Union and Borders)?

    --
    Tom Sherman - Earth (Downstate Illinois, North of Forgottonia)
     
  14. dynohubbill

    dynohubbill Guest

    Tom Sherman wrote:
    > Bill Putnam wrote:...
    > >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,
    >
    > What about the steeper hills - say the street that goes up to

    Shorewood
    > Hills from University Avenue (near the UW Credit Union and Borders)?
    > Tom Sherman - Earth (Downstate Illinois, North of Forgottonia)


    There are some short moderately steep hills in that area (e.g.
    University Bay Drive off University Avenue). Depending on how much
    weight I have in the panniers and how tired I am I'll either remain
    seated and push harder on the pedals or stand and pedal. It takes more
    effort but it's faster than crawling up a hill in a granny gear. With
    a 3 speed there is a compromise between top end speed and ease of
    climbing.

    For another example, I have one 3 speed set up with studded tires for
    winter riding, this bike has 38/24 gearing. Due to the substantial
    rolling resistance of the studded tires, the lack of tall gears isn't
    an issue because there's so much effort involved pushing a big gear
    with all the rolling resistance. With that bike there isn't much need
    for a wider ratio.

    As an aside, a friend of mine used to do club rides on his 1950's
    Columbia middleweight one speed coaster brake bike. Original steel
    rims, fairly low pressure 26 X 1.75 (55 pound) tires. That bike had
    fairly standard gearing for a bike of its time, about 48/19. Even on
    some steep hills, well into a 70 or 80 mile ride, he would outclimb
    other riders on 22 pound derailler equipped bikes. And he would do
    this while seated. But he had that bike from new, it was his only
    bike, and his body was adapted to it.

    Bill Putnam
     
  15. flatsfixed

    flatsfixed New Member

    Joined:
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    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.
     
  16. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    That's some great information, flatsfixed. Thanks!
     
  17. flatsfixed

    flatsfixed New Member

    Joined:
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    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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