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Old 03-16-06, 01:23 PM   #1
mriley
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reliability? Sturmey-Archer vs. Shimano

Does anyone here have any knowledge about how reliable the Shimano multi-speed hubs (7-, 8-speed) are.
I consider the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed to be very reliable - I've never had one fail. How do the Shimanos compare?
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Old 03-16-06, 02:24 PM   #2
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If a sturmeyt ever breaks, you can go inside it and fix it relatively easily. Same can't be said for nexus.
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Old 03-16-06, 02:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
If a sturmeyt ever breaks, you can go inside it and fix it relatively easily. Same can't be said for nexus.
Ditto on this. From what I've been learning the S-A hubs are tough as nails. And if they do break, the parts are available either from reputable bike shops or on line.
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Old 03-16-06, 03:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mriley
Does anyone here have any knowledge about how reliable the Shimano multi-speed hubs (7-, 8-speed) are.
I consider the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed to be very reliable - I've never had one fail. How do the Shimanos compare?
mriley
3 speeds:

If it has a coaster brake, Shimano is better.

If it does not have a coaster brake, Sturmey-Archer is better.

The older English Sturmey-Archer hubs are much better than the later ones. The new Taiwanese ones also look quite nice (definitely better than the later English stuff.)

8 speeds:

I own two bikes with the Shimano 8-speed and just love this hub.

http://sheldonbrown.com/raleigh-international

http://sheldonbrown.com/iro

I have recently been trying out a Sturmey-Archer 8-speed, but so far I'm pretty disappointed in it. Shifting is much fussier than the Shimano (The Shimano Nexus 8 shifts better than any other bicycle gear system I've ever tried.)

Also, the Sturmey-Archer 8-speed gearing is kinda weird. Direct drive is the lowest gear, all of the other gears are step-ups. Only two sprockets are available for it, 23 teeth or 25 teeth. Thus, if you want decent low gearing you need a teensy-weensy chainring, or a small rear wheel. I've installed mine on a Raleigh Twenty. I think the Sturmey is best suited for folding bikes for this reason.

For detailed info on gearing, see my online Gear Calculator for Internal Gear Hubs:

http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/internal.html

Sheldon "Epicyclic" Brown
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Old 03-16-06, 09:49 PM   #5
mriley
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Thanks very much for your answer, helpful as always. It would appear to me that your (shop's) 8- speed Bianchi San Jose or a similar Quickbeam would be a good light touring bike.
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