Sturmey Archer Geared Hubs

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by thomas pendrake, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake New Member

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    While writing about my first bike (63 years ago) I thought about my second bike, a Western Flyer with a Sturmey-Archer 3 speed geared hub. I didn't really like it when I replaced that with a derailleur. How does the Sturmey-Archer 8 speed hub compare, and does any one use them (or the 5 speed) in combination with a front derailleur?
     
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  2. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    You will still need a means of tensioning the chain if you go with a front derailleur.

    I have not tried the five speed but I did not like my S/A 8-speed. It was geared too high, sixth was never there even when the hub was new, and they didn't want you to use a larger sprocket to raise the gearing. However, I think it was an early model that they revised significantly. It was the x-rd8 iirc. Some speculate that it was designed especially for small bikes like folders and that's why it had high gearing.

    The five speed has about the range of an old tenspeed. The larger gearhubs are kinda heavy though.
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Although it would have been an un-authorized customization, why didn't(-or-couldn't-or-haven't) YOU simply (have) change(d) the sprocket?

    As they say, if-I-knew-then-what-I-know-now then I suspect that I might have been spared the experience of a so-so French 10-speed (which I nonetheless still think highly of despite its many shortcomings) because I could have optimized my S/A 3-speed's gearing for my level of fitness & modest Midwest terrain.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Yes, internally geared hubs have been used in combination with front derailleurs. I don't know how long shimaNO or S-A would live under the torque requirements. Rohloff units seem to be rated for more torque input, but even with one of those more expensive hubs I would be wondering when something would let go inside the hub.

    shimaNO did manufacture an 11-speed Alfine. That might give you some more gear ratio spread and Di2 electronic shifting has also made it to the internally geared hubs.
     
  5. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    It's nonstandard. I don't know of one bigger than 25T.
     
  6. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake New Member

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    I know that I never had any problem with the 3-speed i had all those years ago. and I have seen derailleur sprockets wear out, and chains break or simply come off the sprockets. I don't know about other models or brands, I thank you for the comments above, and will try to read them again when AI am not half (or better) asleep.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    YOU will probably know the answer to this ...

    Are the Cogs which Sturmey-Archer hubs use interchangeable with the ones which the SACHS 3-speed hubs and/or Shimano 3-speed hubs use?

    Ditto on the question for their other internally geared hubs.

    Well, if THAT is the case, then (based on having done so, myself), then YOU/anyone can cannibalize almost any size Cog from a SHIMANO Freehub-based Cassette and sleeve it onto the 3-speed hub ...

    That apparently means that as large as a 42t Cog can theoretically be be used on a 3-speed hub, now ...

    And/Or, as small as a 12t Cog, too!

    If a person has the energy, they can even file out the excess material from an 11t (final) Cog.

    Yes, most Freehub Cogs are ramped ... that should not be a problem if the proper chain tension is maintained.

    With a Sachs hub, I simply filed away (with a half round file) some of the extra splines so that the THREE mating splines remained ... the three remaining splines were then rounded off with a hand file (if I didn't use the same half round file, then it was a triangular rat tail) to fit the hub's receiving grooves AND spacers were initially used to take up the slack ...

    There is enough slack to install TWO Cogs + a spacer and thereby make it possible to have two different size Cogs if you use a narrower (e.g., Sedis narrow width ... a 9-speed Shimano chain will work), Road chain ...

    Basically, a single-sided Flip-Flop option OR a derailleur can be used to move the chain & take up the excess chain ... that is, just loosen the bolts & slide the hub back-or-forth to adjust the chain tension.

    Currently, I have a Sachs hub configured with two Shimano Cogs + a spacer ...

    I don't have the wheel in front of me & my memory is (apparently!) fading, but a 22t & a 15t come to mind would have been chosen because I believe that I had calculated that they would subsequently yield the equivalent of a ~12t on the high end & a ~27t on the low end.

    By my reckoning, a "modern" Shimano rear derailleur can handle an 8t step between ramped Cogs without any problem; so, a 3-speed hub can be a 6-speed hub & a 5-speed hub can be a 10-speed hub.

    Depending on the inner diameter of the Cogs which Shimano uses on their 11-speed Alfine hub, those could become a 22-speed hub ...

    et cetera.
     
  8. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake New Member

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    I just recently saw a special on TV about Shinola, and looked up the specs on their highly rated bikes. I notice that they use an internally geared hub, and mention how maintenance free it is. That is how I felt about my old Sturmey-Archer hub bike. Now I just need to figure out how to buy a bike that costs as much as a decent used car.
     
  9. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Bikesdirect have mtbs with 9 speed Alfines for a reasonable price.
     
  10. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    The first 8-speeds from Taiwan had 3 splines inside like a standard 3-speed or c/b sprocket but larger.
     
  11. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I'm not quite sure what you are saying ...

    Regardless, unless the receiving portion of the internally geared hub has a smaller diameter then I believe that it should be possible to modify any loose Cog from a Shimano-or-SRAM cassette as a replacement for a standard Sturmey-Archer Cog ...

    28t Cog ...

    Easily done ...

    32t Cog ...

    Seems reasonable enough ...

    34t Cog ...

    Why not?

    36t Cog ...

    Make it so!

    42t Cog ...

    Oh no!?!
     
  12. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    The diameter was larger.
     
  13. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake New Member

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    I have just been doing a little more reading on the subject, and site after site say that internal geared hubs are not only more reliable, but more efficient. The Sturmey-Archer 3 speed seems to be very highly rated, and the 5 speed also gets high marks. I think that if I ever get ahead a bit, I will look for the option of a good IGH bike.
     
  14. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    IGH vs external gear is a recurring debate, and tend to end up being considerably influenced by personal preference. Snippets of data being overblown by both sides to support their own opinion.
    In a strict mechanical view, an ideal chain gear will outperform a planetary gear. Not much point in discussing THAT.
    However, it's not quite as clear how close to ideal a bicycle drive train is in real life.
    IGHs are quite reliably heavier than external gears.
    But this too is isn't particularly clear cut as to how important it is. Weight is a very tempting feature for comparison, as it's so readily available and well defined. OTOH many will agree that when looking at bike+rider weight some hundred grams doesn't matter much.
    Upkeep is another so-so thing. I commute 30 mile daily, five days a week, and I don't find external gear maintenance particularly burdensome.
    But sure, would I use an IGH instead, with a well-enclosed chain case, I would reduce the need for maintenance further.
    The main thing that has kept me from IGHs is the lesser range than external gears. And cost for a good unit. And the limited choice of shifter configuration.
     
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