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Old 06-08-09, 11:25 PM   #1
nauboone
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Best internal gear hub with 120mm OLD?

I want to convert my singlespeed Fuji Track to use a new, high quality internal gear hub. The frame is steel and has a rear dropout spacing of 120 mm. I want to use normal (dual-pivot) brakes. I'd like to use a bar-end shifter, if possible. It looks like my choices (from www.hubgear.net/table.html) are:

1. Sturmey Archer SRF3 (118.9 mm OLD)
2. SRAM Spectro T3 (117 mm OLD)
3. Sturmey Archer XRF5 (119.7 mm OLD)

Am I am missing any possible choices? Which of these is considered the highest quality?

Thanks.
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Old 06-09-09, 01:06 AM   #2
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They are all pretty crap. Get an old Sachs/Torpedo like this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...:X:RTQ:US:1123 3-speed hub sans brakes. The OLD is 108 mm, but if you put the anti-rotation washers on the inside, you end up close enough to 120mm.
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Old 06-09-09, 07:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by nauboone View Post
I'd like to use a bar-end shifter, if possible.
If and until Sturmey's SL-50B bar-end shifter for their five speed hub becomes available, this limits you to three speed hubs.

The newest 3-speed designs on the market, Shimano's SG-3D55 roller clutch and SRAM's iMotion3 with it's inboard shift cable, are both designed at a 132/135mm OLD.

Any of the traditional hubs would work: The Shimano SG-3R40, the SRAM T3 or the Sturmey-Archer SRF3. The Shimano and Sturmey would be easier to confidently shift with a bar-end since they align in 2nd gear. The SRF3 is a beautiful component that would look at home on an expensive bicycle, and it's the least expensive as well.

HTH,
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Old 06-09-09, 02:25 PM   #4
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I did a conversion like you propose and used the SRAM P5 no brake hub which has an OLD of 122mm. On a steel frame easy to spread the dropouts enough to insert the wheel without any problem. IIRC the SRAM P5 has the widest ratio spread of any 5 speed gear hub if overall gear range is a consideration for you.

As no bar end shifter available for it I used a home machined version of the Hubbub adapter to mount the shifter on the end of my road drop bars. I have found it to be convenient and reliable shifting even if a bit wierd looking.
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Old 06-10-09, 08:54 AM   #5
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The SRAM P5 sounds like a good option. I would like to have a wider gear range if it doesn't cost much more money or weight. I see the P5 is 1330 g and $140. I don't really mind the grip shift itself, but I don't want to use flat bars. It is possible to slide the grip shifter onto the flat (upper) part of drop handlebars, or onto the flat part of bullhorns?

The SA SRF3 is really cheap! only $60. It does look very nice, and I can shift it with a bar end? Sounds great. Does the low price reflect poor quality or unreliable operation? All the websites where I can find this hub call it Model S30. That's the right hub, right? Some websites don't list the OLD. I want HU2209 = 162.7 mm axle = 118.9 mm OLD. Is this correct? Also, the weight is 1050 g, correct?

Thanks.
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Old 06-10-09, 11:56 AM   #6
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The SRAM P5 sounds like a good option. I would like to have a wider gear range if it doesn't cost much more money or weight. I see the P5 is 1330 g and $140. I don't really mind the grip shift itself, but I don't want to use flat bars. It is possible to slide the grip shifter onto the flat (upper) part of drop handlebars, or onto the flat part of bullhorns?

The SA SRF3 is really cheap! only $60. It does look very nice, and I can shift it with a bar end? Sounds great. Does the low price reflect poor quality or unreliable operation? All the websites where I can find this hub call it Model S30. That's the right hub, right? Some websites don't list the OLD. I want HU2209 = 162.7 mm axle = 118.9 mm OLD. Is this correct? Also, the weight is 1050 g, correct?

Thanks.
No way to slide the grip shifter onto where you want as it is sized for straight bars and is too long to go around bends in a bar. That is the reason I mounted mine as a bar end shifter on my drop bars.

Here is a link to some photos of the Harris Cyclery San Jos8 showing the drop bar mounting of the Shimano grip shift on that bike's drop bars. My setup with the SRAM shifter looks similar.

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/bianc...os8/index.html

There is a European company which makes a drop bar which splits, and has a reduced diameter section on the tops, for mounting the Rohloff grip shifter there. Here is the company link. Click on "Specials" to see the bar. Not sure of a retail source. Also no idea of whether or not the reduced diameter section is long enough for other makes of grip shifter.

http://www.noell-fahrradbau.de/

Not sure if the bar end shifter for the SA hub is actually available yet. In the new catalog but so are other SA items which are still unobtanium.
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Last edited by tatfiend; 06-10-09 at 11:58 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 06-11-09, 06:38 AM   #7
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The SA SRF3 is really cheap! only $60. It does look very nice, and I can shift it with a bar end? Sounds great. Does the low price reflect poor quality or unreliable operation?
The SRF3 is an improved version of the classic AW3, in production since 1937 and arguably the most reliable mutligear device you can buy. Mine is beautiful inside and out. As far as the user community has been able to determine, the low price reflects efficient Taiwanese manufacturing.

Until Sturmey's own SLS30-B bar end shifter is released, here's how to shift an SRF3 with a bar end: get an indexed bar end shifter. Set a certain index position as gear #2 - that would be with the indicator rod's shoulder even with the end of the axle, as Sturmey 3s are always aligned for operation. An in-line cable adjuster will help you do this. Then high gear (3rd) will be slack cable, and low gear (1st) will be taut cable. You will have to keep track - by feel, looks and/or counting indexing clicks - when you are aligned in 2nd gear.

HTH,
tcs

PS - I see AEBike has the SRF3 for $53. No connection to AEBike.
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Old 06-11-09, 03:57 PM   #8
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Here's a page that links to Sturmey-Archer's current (?) catalog and '2009-10 specs (Excel file)'. The website content is stale, refers to the year 2005.

http://www.sturmey-archer.com/contact.php

Note that axle length varies between models that are otherwise the same.

Good luck.
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Old 06-12-09, 02:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for the link to that Excel file with the hub specs. That's got everything.

How can I use just any old index bar end shifter to shift an SRF3? Don't indexed shifters pull a certain length of cable with each shift? This length of cable pulled is probably not going to match the length of cable needed to pull to shift the SRF3, I would think.

Or is it just close enough?
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Old 06-12-09, 05:58 PM   #10
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They are all pretty crap. Get an old Sachs/Torpedo like this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...:X:RTQ:US:1123 3-speed hub sans brakes. The OLD is 108 mm, but if you put the anti-rotation washers on the inside, you end up close enough to 120mm.
This is the best way to go. Can't get much better than an old Torpedo hub (although Sturmey-Archer did a killer hub as well), and this one on ebay isn't too expensive and has all the goodies.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:06 PM   #11
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How can I use just any old index bar end shifter to shift an SRF3? Don't indexed shifters pull a certain length of cable with each shift? This length of cable pulled is probably not going to match the length of cable needed to pull to shift the SRF3, I would think.

Or is it just close enough?
Carefully read tcs post above. He clearly describes how to set it up and use it. The adjustment for second gear is the critical one. Get it wrong and you can damage the hub. Choose an index position for second gear adjustment which allows the shifter to fully slacken the cable when choosing first gear and fully tighten it when choosing third. As noted you will need to count clicks for the shift to second gear or memorize the bar end shifter lever position. Not idiot proof but it can work well.

If you read the procedure for adjusting a SA 3 speed hub shifter cable and still cannot understand tcs post then doing your wanted build is not recommended.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:35 PM   #12
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I have a 3 speed C/B Shimano. It's held up for about 3 years of pretty rugged use.

I don't think there is a brakeless Shimano available. You have to buy the one which is splined for the roller brake.
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Old 06-13-09, 12:02 AM   #13
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I have a 3 speed C/B Shimano. It's held up for about 3 years of pretty rugged use.

I don't think there is a brakeless Shimano available. You have to buy the one which is splined for the roller brake.
Agreed but if you do not install the optional roller brake it is effectively a brakeless hub.
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Old 06-13-09, 12:12 AM   #14
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They are all pretty crap. Get an old Sachs/Torpedo like this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...:X:RTQ:US:1123 3-speed hub sans brakes. The OLD is 108 mm, but if you put the anti-rotation washers on the inside, you end up close enough to 120mm.
Why do you say they are all crap? So far as I know the T3 is basically unchanged from the older Sachs Torpedo 3 speed hubs and I know some IGH fans who feel that the current 3 speed SA hubs are better quality than the old British SA production, at least the later British production units. My current P5 is also basically the same so far as I know as the last Sachs Pentasports except for the shifter.
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Old 06-13-09, 03:33 PM   #15
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Why do you say they are all crap? So far as I know the T3 is basically unchanged from the older Sachs Torpedo 3 speed hubs and I know some IGH fans who feel that the current 3 speed SA hubs are better quality than the old British SA production, at least the later British production units. My current P5 is also basically the same so far as I know as the last Sachs Pentasports except for the shifter.

Well, I work at a bike shop and can speak only from what I see coming in daily in the workshop. As for the T3, they come on low end bikes nowadays and I've take some apart for a rebuild and the T3 is definately not the T3 anymore. I think SRAM is using inferior materials to build the same hub Sachs built. I've seen plenty of them corroded on the inside after just one year of use, not to mention totally pitted cones etc. It seems the production process is focussed more on keeping price down (saving on lubricants, for example) than on quality. I still see 20 years old Torpedo hubs almost every week that have only gunked up badly and are purring on their way after a thorough cleaning and rebuild with fresh grease.

The Sunrace SA hubs also come on lower quality bikes and I haven't rebuilt any of them, but they sound awful when you spin them. Just the other day I had a 6 month old bike come in for a service that had a Sunrace SA front dynohub. It spun like it had chips and stones for bearings!

The P5 is the only hub I know of that still has the same internals, only SRAM calls it the 'cargo' version. The regular P5 is the SRAM redesign.
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Old 06-13-09, 11:22 PM   #16
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Carefully read tcs post above. He clearly describes how to set it up and use it. The adjustment for second gear is the critical one. Get it wrong and you can damage the hub. Choose an index position for second gear adjustment which allows the shifter to fully slacken the cable when choosing first gear and fully tighten it when choosing third. As noted you will need to count clicks for the shift to second gear or memorize the bar end shifter lever position. Not idiot proof but it can work well.

If you read the procedure for adjusting a SA 3 speed hub shifter cable and still cannot understand tcs post then doing your wanted build is not recommended.

+1 on this! I broke the shifting pin inside a Sachs hub by screwing up with a grip shifter. And try finding a replacement pin!!!!!! Tried fabricating one out of a motor indexing key but couldn't get the profile right and finding a 2mm threaded tap -
If you have a spare hub in reserve to cannabalize for parts, then maybe.
P.S. I'm working on my shifter real soon!
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Old 02-11-11, 09:40 PM   #17
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What did you finally do?

Hello,

So which of the three choices did you make eventually? I am in the same boat, I have a 120mm rear spacing bike and would like to put an internally geared hub on it. Any opinions or advice you can offer?
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Old 02-12-11, 01:11 AM   #18
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Not sure why this wasn't mentioned in the original thread, but Sturmey Archer's 8 speed can also be spaced down to a 120mm OLD.

There's a bar end shifter for this hub available from http://jtekengineering.com/
(fits both 22.2 and 23.8mm bars)
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Old 09-12-11, 09:14 AM   #19
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Sorry to resurrect an old issue but it came up for me as well. My wife loves her shimano 8-speed internal (SG-8R36 "red band") and I was investigating rebuilding onto a track frame. The Shimano 8 needs a 132mm drop. I removed the non drive side housing (exposing the notched assembly where a coaster brake could be applied) and replaced the spacer and lock bolts with a single skinny lock bolt. This reduced the span to 122mm. I will rebuild it onto a off-center rim (aerohead OC) and add some minor dishing to re-center the rim, but I anticipate total success building this nice hub onto a track frame.
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Old 09-12-11, 12:22 PM   #20
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Sorry to resurrect an old issue but it came up for me as well. My wife loves her shimano 8-speed internal (SG-8R36 "red band") and I was investigating rebuilding onto a track frame. The Shimano 8 needs a 132mm drop. I removed the non drive side housing (exposing the notched assembly where a coaster brake could be applied) and replaced the spacer and lock bolts with a single skinny lock bolt. This reduced the span to 122mm. I will rebuild it onto a off-center rim (aerohead OC) and add some minor dishing to re-center the rim, but I anticipate total success building this nice hub onto a track frame.
Is there something in place to shield the bearings?

The nut on the brake side of the Nexus 8 is about 7mm if I recall. You probably only need 2mm of nut for it to work well, definitely 3.5mm would be adequate.

There is a small area that dirt could get in if it isn't covered.
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Old 09-12-11, 01:37 PM   #21
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The SRF 3 is great, I also retrofitted one to a track frame (see link in my thread about my Mercier). An alternative to a trigger or bar end shifter is to mount a thumbshifter on the stem, like I did.

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Old 09-12-11, 03:15 PM   #22
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Is there something in place to shield the bearings?

The nut on the brake side of the Nexus 8 is about 7mm if I recall. You probably only need 2mm of nut for it to work well, definitely 3.5mm would be adequate.

There is a small area that dirt could get in if it isn't covered.
I was planning to modify the existing housing to fashion a small cover, ...but the exposed area looks to be nicely sealed already. ALSO I've run 4 other nexus-7's on various family bikes and they never had any housing over this side --and their exposed area looks identical to the 8-spd. The nexus-7's have run flawlessly for years with no maintenance whatsoever.
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Old 09-16-11, 08:52 AM   #23
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Slight problem discovered: Having removed the the extra spacer nut and lock nut (replaced with single skinny lock nut), I'm realizing that the flattened portion of the axle (that allows the spacer guides to keep the axle from rotating in place) does not exist on the newly exposed portion of the axle.

In other words, the axle has two flattened sides that revert to full threading before encountering the 120mm span point of the rear drops. Might have to flatten them down myself, or rely purely on the drive side locks.

So it's a bit more complicated than I originally suggested for the SG-8R36 to be fitted to a track drop.
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Old 09-16-11, 09:26 AM   #24
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AW3, Sturmey Archer hubs are offered for folding bikes like Brompton
and they are 117~120 frames ,
so have a shorter axle, in spare parts, available, that you can put in a 36 hole hubshell,
by removing the whole core, and re assembling it around the new, shorter, axle.

the hubs that Brompton has made for them , now called the BSR, is a 28 hole hubshell .
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Old 09-16-11, 09:33 AM   #25
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They are all pretty crap. Get an old Sachs/Torpedo like this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...:X:RTQ:US:1123 3-speed hub sans brakes. The OLD is 108 mm, but if you put the anti-rotation washers on the inside, you end up close enough to 120mm.
So, having never had to service or rebuild an SA or SRF3 you have determined that they are crap ?

Most consider these to be the most bombproof IGH ever made and if your world only needs three speeds it is the way to go... I might have to rebuild 1 SA hub a year in my shop that needs work and many of these come in after seeing 10's of thousands of miles and little love.
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