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  1. #1
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Questions about IGH on a vintage road bike

    Hey folks. I'm planning to set up a vintage road bike frame (late 80's - early 90's Gios if it works out) with some form of IGH, keeping the drop bars.

    I'm looking for some advice/pointers about selecting the hub, shifter, and crankset.

    I don't want or need a lot of gears, but I do want/need a pretty wide range. 3 speeds would be fine: one for flats, one for uphill, one for downhill would meet my needs, but I do need a decent range, I would think that 200% from low to high would be dandy, but more would be better. The main goal here is to give my knees a break from my fixed gear bike, especially given how much weight I've gained in the year since the knee probs killed most of my cycling and basically all of my running.

    As noted, this is going on a road bike with drop bars. It seems to me that a bar-end shifter would be the way to go. Indexed would be nice, but I guess it's not totally necessary. I've found that a Shimano 8-speed indexed bar-end shifter works with a Nexus or Alfine hub if you use an inline Travel Agent to adjust the ratio.

    The 8 speed setup is more gears than I really want, and more money than I'd like to spend. This isn't a super low budget project, but if I can find something serviceable with 3-5 gears that's significantly cheaper because folks are fixated on the newer setups with more gears, then that's cool.

    To me, the Sturmey Archer S-RF5(W) or S-RF5(N) look good on paper: 256% range from 1st to 5th, low flange, and no brake (I want to go with dual-pivot caliper brakes front and rear). I'm not sure about the pros & cons of the 9-flange mount for the cog on the (N) vs what the (W) has (presumably threaded). Plus they make bar-end shifters and ones that can be used with the braze-on on the downtube.

    Is there any reason I shouldn't go with the S-A 5 speed setup? What cog mounting is preferable, and why? If I also go with their crankset, should I expect that to make chainline alignment easier? I hope not, their cranksets are f'n ugly. Bad enough to put a heavy, ugly IGH on the back where I don't look at it so much - a fat ugly crankset would be a bit much to bear...

    Any advice or info on this would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.

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    Hi
    I recently had an idea for a two speed which was fairly simple but haven't really thought about it since.Single sprocket on the rear with a derailleur or even one of those spring tensioners and fd with two rings in your case three.I got the idea cycling in town which i don't do to often and i was just flicking back and forth on the fd at lights and what not.It would be cheap, light weight and a simple setup.I never attempted to work out any gearing.In my case it would be a 52/42 with 15 on the back and you can use whatever crank you like.Thumb friction shift and boom you've blown away the s.s guys.

  3. #3
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    you can just crack open an inexpensive ($12) hyperglide 7-speed cassette, remove a couple of the cogs and replace them with inexpensive plastic spacers. keep the crank, remove any unwanted chainrings (singlespeed chainring bolts might be in order), mount any derailleur you want and use a single DT friction shifter. now it's a five speed. done.

    or you can buy just use any hyperglide freehub and individual hyperglide cogs and build whatever you want. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 speeds. chainline issues are minimal when a defailleur is employed.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 02-10-12 at 04:42 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    I don't want or need a lot of gears, but I do want/need a pretty wide range. 3 speeds would be fine: one for flats, one for uphill, one for downhill would meet my needs.

    As noted, this is going on a road bike with drop bars. It seems to me that a bar-end shifter would be the way to go. Indexed would be nice, but I guess it's not totally necessary.

    The bulletproof Sturmey-Archer AW or its variants is a good, reliable 3-speed hub. With 3-speeds, it's better to set up 3rd gear as your level ground cruising gear, with 1st and 2nd used for acceleration and climbing. If you set 2nd as your cruising gear, performance on hills is limited, and 3rd gear is too high to be of much use. I'd set it so 3rd gear is about the same as your current fixed ratio if you're happy with that.

    The chainline on a 3-speed can be adjusted by rearranging the sprocket and spacers, and/or flipping over a dished sprocket.

    IGHs require an indexed shifter, since running them out of adjustment can damage the internal parts. SA produce several variations of shifter for their 3-speeds. The original-style trigger shifter can be mounted right next to a drop bar brake lever or alternatively close to the end of the bar. You can also get a thumb shifter that can be used as a bar-end or also as a downtube shifter.
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  5. #5
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    you can just crack open an inexpensive ($12) hyperglide 7-speed cassette, remove a couple of the cogs and replace them with inexpensive plastic spacers. keep the crank, remove any unwanted chainrings (singlespeed chainring bolts might be in order), mount any derailleur you want and use a single DT friction shifter. now it's a five speed. done.

    or you can buy just use any hyperglide freehub and individual hyperglide cogs and build whatever you want. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 speeds. chainline issues are minimal when a defailleur is employed.
    Recently, I was playing around with a wide-range 3-sp exactly like this--used specific cogs from an 8sp cassette with the cassette spacers. I had a 1x3 system going on: 32 front, 14, 24, 32 out back. Shifter was a Fox shock remote lockout switch I repurposed as a friction shifter. Worked really great. Never checked to see how this ratio compared with a 3sp IGH. With the cable travel allowed by the repurposed "shifter," I could probably add one more gear. Note: the limit screws on the derailleur only barely accomodated 3 8sp cogs--any less or narrower spacers, like 9sp, and I'd probably be throwing a chain off one side or the other of my modded cassette.

    Basically what it allowed was a few gears, using something that was kicking around the shop in a spares bin (shifter), and components already hung on the bike (derailleur, cassette) without having to purchase a new shifter or set of shifters. ...not that 8sp shifters are at all that expensive--buying a Fox part to use as a shifter would probably be almost as much...--just got it in my head to try this out and had parts kicking around.
    Last edited by mconlonx; 02-10-12 at 05:45 AM.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  6. #6
    rhm
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    Most IGH shifters fit a 22.2 mm (7/8") handlebar, which is what you find on most MTB's and old three speeds &c. So if you want to have a drop bar, this is going to be a problem. There are now a couple aftermarket options, rather expensive, for the newer eight speed hubs. But Sturmey Archer makes a bar end shifter (for drop bars) for both their 3 and 5 speed hubs, and you can order these hubs with that shifter. So that's the way to go.

    3 or 5? Well, I do a lot of riding on both 3 speeds (old Sturmey Archer, but it's the same as the new Sturmey Archer) and 5 speeds (I ride old Sturmey Archer, but the new Sturmey Archer is better) and I'd have to say the wider range of the 5 speed is really nice. Worth the extra cost. I also ride 8 speed IGHs (new Sturmey Archer and new Shimano) and I like those as well, especially the Sturmey Archer one. The Shimano 8 speed is my least favorite of the bunch, but even so, I prefer it to a derailleur.

  7. #7
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Good plan. The 5 speed wide range is a great choice for this. For a crank, I'd go with a Sturmey Archer FCT Track series crank.
    http://www.sturmey-archer.com/produc...ks/cid/5/id/16
    Chain rings are readily available for it from 42 to 48 teeth. Just as a random example, assuming you will be running 700x23c tires, a 46 tooth ring and a 23 tooth cog would yield a 32.95" low gear and a 84.4 high gear. Lots of room to move those numbers up or down.
    Sturmey Archer bar end shifters are very nice too.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the advice and insight.

    I appreciate the suggestions about getting creative with cassette & chainring options, but my motivation for going with an IGH is that I really hate derailleurs. This bike will be my primary transportation, and I want a drivetrain that I have to think about as little as possible.

    The SA 5-speed with either a bar-end or downtube shifter is the way I'm gonna go. That FCT crank looks pretty good, but I'd have to figure out if I can live with a square taper BB. I was pretty fixated on a sexy new external BB setup, and I'm not even sure why.

  9. #9
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    Thanks to all for the advice and insight.

    I appreciate the suggestions about getting creative with cassette & chainring options, but my motivation for going with an IGH is that I really hate derailleurs. This bike will be my primary transportation, and I want a drivetrain that I have to think about as little as possible.

    The SA 5-speed with either a bar-end or downtube shifter is the way I'm gonna go. That FCT crank looks pretty good, but I'd have to figure out if I can live with a square taper BB. I was pretty fixated on a sexy new external BB setup, and I'm not even sure why.
    well, Sturmey Archer shows a crankset like that on their site, although I've not seen one and can't tell ya if it's vaporware or not.
    http://www.sturmey-archer.com/products/cranks
    The FCT series is definitely not vaporware, because I have one. I say go with it, because it will fit the theme of an older road bike very nicely.
    It's available in lots of colors too. Here's mine.

    Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 02-10-12 at 09:27 AM.
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  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    IGHs require an indexed shifter,
    WABAC, blissfull ignorant youth, Kennedy before Dallas, years,
    I used just a friction down tube lever.

    Old Brits, back then mounted the trigger shifter just under their brake lever,
    so they could shift from the drops..

    village bike club folks time-trialed on them on the 1 lane back roads

    Now, the new 5 speeds have the 3 speed's ratios [3/4, 4/3] as 2nd and 4th.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-10-12 at 10:00 AM.

  11. #11
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    I've done this and am about to do it again. I love an IGH for commuting, and the Sturmey Archer hubs are just bulletproof.

    I actually ordered a 5-speed bar end shifter new from a UK seller on Ebay for a great price. Even after shipping to the US I saved about $15. Here's the link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/400258365309...#ht_1787wt_831

    We're pretty much building the same bike right now, except mine is a Raleigh frame. I'm not sure if you're thinking of building wheels or not, but previously I used a set of Soma "Iggy" wheels which were great. I was using the 3 speed setup, but they have a 5 speed one also. The rims are polished silver and look nice on a classic bike.



    edit: Oh, I'm also using a single speed crank from Electra. Looks very nice: http://store.electrabike.com/eSource..._/_750024.aspx) But be careful if you want to change out the chainring or take off the guard. They have used loctite on the bolts, and I rounded a couple off. Grr. They apparently come off with a little heat.

    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson) San Remo Plus, 1989 Trek 520, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  12. #12
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monster Pete View Post
    The bulletproof Sturmey-Archer AW or its variants is a good, reliable 3-speed hub. With 3-speeds, it's better to set up 3rd gear as your level ground cruising gear, with 1st and 2nd used for acceleration and climbing. If you set 2nd as your cruising gear, performance on hills is limited, and 3rd gear is too high to be of much use. I'd set it so 3rd gear is about the same as your current fixed ratio if you're happy with that.

    The chainline on a 3-speed can be adjusted by rearranging the sprocket and spacers, and/or flipping over a dished sprocket.

    IGHs require an indexed shifter, since running them out of adjustment can damage the internal parts. SA produce several variations of shifter for their 3-speeds. The original-style trigger shifter can be mounted right next to a drop bar brake lever or alternatively close to the end of the bar. You can also get a thumb shifter that can be used as a bar-end or also as a downtube shifter.
    +1 It's hard to go wrong here.
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  13. #13
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Most IGH shifters fit a 22.2 mm (7/8") handlebar, which is what you find on most MTB's and old three speeds &c. So if you want to have a drop bar, this is going to be a problem. There are now a couple aftermarket options, rather expensive, for the newer eight speed hubs. But Sturmey Archer makes a bar end shifter (for drop bars) for both their 3 and 5 speed hubs, and you can order these hubs with that shifter. So that's the way to go.

    3 or 5? Well, I do a lot of riding on both 3 speeds (old Sturmey Archer, but it's the same as the new Sturmey Archer) and 5 speeds (I ride old Sturmey Archer, but the new Sturmey Archer is better) and I'd have to say the wider range of the 5 speed is really nice. Worth the extra cost. I also ride 8 speed IGHs (new Sturmey Archer and new Shimano) and I like those as well, especially the Sturmey Archer one. The Shimano 8 speed is my least favorite of the bunch, but even so, I prefer it to a derailleur.
    Couldn't agree more with Rudi's comment on the Shimano 8 speed. My wife has one on her Linus mixte and it annoys me to no end with the uneven spacing between the gears. I'll ride my SA 8, before I ride any Shimano hub. I have yet to figure out why Shimano doesn't re-design their hub to address that issue. And, yes, I prefer any working IGH to a derailleur. See sig below.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm sold - it does look good. Guess I might as well go with an S-A front hub, too. I'm contemplating going with a dynamo front hub (in part to balance the looks of that giant rear hub), but in these days of Li-Ion batteries and LEDs, it seems kind of pointless. Their track front hub would probably look OK and make sense with the S-A drivetrain.

    Looks like the high-flange version of the 5 speed brakeless hub is 36h, which would let me run the rims I want (Velocity Deep V in retroreflective black).

    It's a bit shameful how excited I'm getting about this build... Barely slept last night.

  15. #15
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
    I've done this and am about to do it again. I love an IGH for commuting, and the Sturmey Archer hubs are just bulletproof.

    I actually ordered a 5-speed bar end shifter new from a UK seller on Ebay for a great price. Even after shipping to the US I saved about $15. Here's the link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/400258365309...#ht_1787wt_831

    We're pretty much building the same bike right now, except mine is a Raleigh frame. I'm not sure if you're thinking of building wheels or not, but previously I used a set of Soma "Iggy" wheels which were great. I was using the 3 speed setup, but they have a 5 speed one also. The rims are polished silver and look nice on a classic bike.



    edit: Oh, I'm also using a single speed crank from Electra. Looks very nice: http://store.electrabike.com/eSource..._/_750024.aspx) But be careful if you want to change out the chainring or take off the guard. They have used loctite on the bolts, and I rounded a couple off. Grr. They apparently come off with a little heat.

    Is the inner chain guard removable on that crank? Anything less than about a 45mm chainline probably won't allow room for it.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


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  16. #16
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    Yeah, I'm sold - it does look good. Guess I might as well go with an S-A front hub, too. I'm contemplating going with a dynamo front hub (in part to balance the looks of that giant rear hub), but in these days of Li-Ion batteries and LEDs, it seems kind of pointless. Their track front hub would probably look OK and make sense with the S-A drivetrain.

    Looks like the high-flange version of the 5 speed brakeless hub is 36h, which would let me run the rims I want (Velocity Deep V in retroreflective black).

    It's a bit shameful how excited I'm getting about this build... Barely slept last night.
    See the picture in post 9 above. That's a Sturmey Archer track hub. It's beautiful.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


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  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    No IGH on the track.. Velodrome.

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    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    No IGH on the track.. Velodrome.
    Nobody's talking about IGH on the track. We're talking about a track crankset & front hub on a road/commuter build that uses an IGH in the rear.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    See the picture in post 9 above. That's a Sturmey Archer track hub. It's beautiful.
    Thanks again for all your advice. You're pretty close to me, where do you source your S-A parts from? LBS, online vendor, ebay + patience?

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Ah .. 4/32 chainring rather than 3/32..

    My age, 144 BCD was the Road crank too, now its just for the Track chainrings.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-14-12 at 02:01 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syscrush View Post
    Thanks again for all your advice. You're pretty close to me, where do you source your S-A parts from? LBS, online vendor, ebay + patience?
    I sent you a PM.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


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  22. #22
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    Is the inner chain guard removable on that crank? Anything less than about a 45mm chainline probably won't allow room for it.
    Yes; I had to remove it to make it work on my bike. Plus I think it looks better without it. The stock chainring has holes for it, but the replacement ones do not, so since I replaced the chainring it doesn't look like anything's missing. But watch out for the loctite!
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson) San Remo Plus, 1989 Trek 520, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  23. #23
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    No IGH on the track.. Velodrome.
    Who's going to the track?!
    1964 JRJ (Bob Jackson) San Remo Plus, 1989 Trek 520, 2000ish Colian (Colin Laing), 2013 Velo Orange Pass Hunter

  24. #24
    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    Not really what you had in mind, but I wanted to offer that I have played with a few permutations on my road Nishiki over the past few years. First I went single speed and, although the hills were more of a challenge, and downhills were coasters, I did enjoy it. About 500 miles ago I switched to a SA 2 speed kickback IGH. It has a range of 135% and suits my needs perfectly: It's simple, reliable, and does not need cabling. It took me a while to be competent about knowing what gear I was in but it is working well. The decision was partially related to me not wanting to spread the stays for a wider axle.

    -G

  25. #25
    Senior Member Syscrush's Avatar
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    I saw those. It's a nice and very clean solution, but I do need a wider range.

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