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Old 05-07-07, 09:22 AM   #1
yairi
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Anyone run a classic road bikes with an internally geared hub?

I'm thinking of converting my early '70s Bottecchia to a three-speed. Still with drop bars, just change the driveline.

Anyone else taken this approach? I hear it was the done thing in the UK in pre-war times.

I think it would make a good early/late-season, bad-weather training bike. It's a fairly low-end frame so a bit of elemental exposure wouldn't bother me (or it).
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Old 05-07-07, 09:25 AM   #2
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This will be, when I can afford the parts I need. It's a Sturmey FM 4 speed hub, but might need new rims. Gonna put a new Brooks, old style track bars, and have a fixed wheelset and the 4 speed as alternates. Needs a respray of course.

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Old 05-07-07, 09:32 AM   #3
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I added a Nexus 8 to an 1973 Schwinn World Voyageur. I had to spread the rear to get it to fit. I like it very much and use it in the winter.



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Old 05-07-07, 09:43 AM   #4
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I threw a Shimano 8-speed hub in my Fuji Royale. It's great. In April I rode both metric and imperial centurys on it. If you search for Shimano Nexus on eBay you can find 4, 7, and 8 speed hubs aplenty. Old frames are great for this because they almost always have horizontal dropout so you can tension the chain. Your only challenge will be making sure you get a good chain line. You may find you need to use the inner sprocket.

Supposedly the Nexus can use old SA sprockets. And supposedly you can file off 3 tabs on a modern Shimano hyperglide sprocket and use it on a Nexus. I haven't tried to do either, but if that is true, perhaps you can file off those tabs and use a modern 13 or so rear sprocket on an SA hub to get decent gearing if you are forced to use the inner chain ring. Wouldn't cost much to try!

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Old 05-07-07, 10:26 AM   #5
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I have a late 80's Le Tour bare frame I've been wanting to do this to for about 6-8 months. I have paint, a vinyl sticker set made up, and I just recently found a set of rims, FINALLY! Now I have one bike to sell, and I can afford the wheel build and other bits. Funny thing is I just found the exact same size bike in an 87 Prelude, but it's too nice to repaint.,,,,BD
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Old 05-07-07, 01:40 PM   #6
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This is encouraging. I think I will do this.

The Human Power journal found that three-speed hubs (single-stage geartrains) were equal in efficiency to derailleur drivetrains, provided that they were lubricated properly. So assuming that developing a range of useful cadences is actually part of the objective, I don't think I'd be giving up anything. Maybe a bit of weight.
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Old 05-07-07, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yairi
This is encouraging. I think I will do this.

The Human Power journal found that three-speed hubs (single-stage geartrains) were equal in efficiency to derailleur drivetrains, provided that they were lubricated properly. So assuming that developing a range of useful cadences is actually part of the objective, I don't think I'd be giving up anything. Maybe a bit of weight.
Weight was not that big of an issue for me with this bike as it is a deicated winter commuter bike. In the winter I run studded tires on it so there is no pretending that I am going to win any race on it! That said, this winter there was very little maintinence to do. I would clean the chain off when it got really cruddy and re-lube w a 50/50 mix of ATF and 10w-30. I adjusted the shifter cable when it streched. I did run into a fellow commuter one day who was having troble with his gearded bike becaues the rear derailer got clogged with ice and snow. The weight penalty is made up for in my mind by the ease of operation when the weather is bad.
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Old 05-07-07, 02:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverborama
I threw a Shimano 8-speed hub in my Fuji Royale. It's great. In April I rode both metric and imperial centurys on it. If you search for Shimano Nexus on eBay you can find 4, 7, and 8 speed hubs aplenty. Old frames are great for this because they almost always have horizontal dropout so you can tension the chain. Your only challenge will be making sure you get a good chain line. You may find you need to use the inner sprocket.

Supposedly the Nexus can use old SA sprockets. And supposedly you can file off 3 tabs on a modern Shimano hyperglide sprocket and use it on a Nexus. I haven't tried to do either, but if that is true, perhaps you can file off those tabs and use a modern 13 or so rear sprocket on an SA hub to get decent gearing if you are forced to use the inner chain ring. Wouldn't cost much to try!

Any reason you can't go with a different bb spindle for getting a good chainline? Seems like it would be much easier.
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Old 05-07-07, 02:32 PM   #9
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Well, I did, of course. I put a new cartidge BB in there with a Sugino RD crank. I was thinking yairi might be trying to keep costs low on the project by retaining the original BB and crank.

Yairi, while the article in http://www.ihpva.org/pubs/HP52.pdf states that replacing the grease in a Sturmey-Archer hub results in increased efficiency, I know a couple of guys who have tried it and the seals just don't keep it in. Their rear wheel was always a mess and their rear brakes didn't work. I think you'd be happier with 2% less efficiency and a clean bike.
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Old 05-07-07, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huerro
Any reason you can't go with a different bb spindle for getting a good chainline? Seems like it would be much easier.
I imagine a BMX BB would work, as long as the width is the same. Also the old school rear sprockets have a dish to them. You can flip them either way to improve the chain line some. I did it on my stretch cruiser with a Nexus 7.,,,,BD
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Old 05-07-07, 02:58 PM   #11
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I hear this place has sketchy customer service, but I thought about building up a bike with one of these:

http://www.nycbikes.com/item.php?item_id=472

$99 for a 700c three speed wheel with all the fixings, don't know about shipping and customs to the great while north however.
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Old 05-07-07, 03:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverborama
Well, I did, of course. I put a new cartidge BB in there with a Sugino RD crank. I was thinking yairi might be trying to keep costs low on the project by retaining the original BB and crank.

Yairi, while the article in http://www.ihpva.org/pubs/HP52.pdf states that replacing the grease in a Sturmey-Archer hub results in increased efficiency, I know a couple of guys who have tried it and the seals just don't keep it in. Their rear wheel was always a mess and their rear brakes didn't work. I think you'd be happier with 2% less efficiency and a clean bike.
I'll figure out the chainline somehow, no big deal. The original crank is still on there, it's a steel cottered crank, but it's getting replaced as soon as I have my Ofmega bottom bracket to suit my crankset of that brand.

I believe the older hubs had better seals, no? I thought if it had a port for oil then it was meant to be lubricated with a lighter oil, and later models with no oil port were greased and meant to just run that way indefinitely. I could be wrong on this?
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Old 05-07-07, 07:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yairi
I'm thinking of converting my early '70s Bottecchia to a three-speed. Still with drop bars, just change the driveline.

Anyone else taken this approach? I hear it was the done thing in the UK in pre-war times.

I think it would make a good early/late-season, bad-weather training bike. It's a fairly low-end frame so a bit of elemental exposure wouldn't bother me (or it).
Works for me! I have a Dawes Galaxy frame that is going to get built up with a Sturmey Archer FG 4speed hub.

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Old 05-07-07, 10:32 PM   #14
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My regular commuter has been a 1971 Raleigh Competition that I outfitted with an alloy shell Sturmey Archer 3-speed AW hub built into a Weinmann 27" alloy rim and Nitto Promenade bars. I just finished re-retrofitting it as more of Club bike look with GB drop bars and NOS Weinmann levers with Carlton hoods. Now off to the marketplace it goes as I thin the herd. I'll try Craig's List first, and if no action there, eBay.

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Old 05-08-07, 04:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yairi
I'm thinking of converting my early '70s Bottecchia to a three-speed. Still with drop bars, just change the driveline.

Anyone else taken this approach? I hear it was the done thing in the UK in pre-war times.

I think it would make a good early/late-season, bad-weather training bike. It's a fairly low-end frame so a bit of elemental exposure wouldn't bother me (or it).
Here's a link to my original post about my 1977 Jim Redcay with a Sturmey Archer AM 3-speed hub:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...05#post3857505
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Old 05-08-07, 05:21 AM   #16
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Oh! Wahoonc's comment reminded me of the Dawes Galaxy I've been converting into a lightweight 3 speed. Since it has flat bars, and will have a chainguard, as well as the fenders and rack, I kinda didn't think of it as a road bike but here it is. It'll have an alloy crankset and a chainguard.

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Old 05-08-07, 05:49 AM   #17
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Over the winter, I converted a Kabuki to 3 speed, using a Shimano hub. Everybody talks about internal hubs being heavy, and that may be true when you are looking at just the hub, but the bike lost a pound by removing the deraileurs, and a couple more by switching to alloy wheels. The alloy wheels really improved the ride, too. Right now I am using the 39 tooth chainwheel with a 19 tooth sprocket.
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Old 05-08-07, 07:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyqlist
Here's a link to my original post about my 1977 Jim Redcay with a Sturmey Archer AM 3-speed hub:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...05#post3857505
That is Practically Perfect!

I was thinking of downtube mounting for the shifter as well. Or maybe even seat tube.
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Old 05-08-07, 08:06 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Pompiere
Everybody talks about internal hubs being heavy, and that may be true when you are looking at just the hub, but the bike lost a pound by removing the deraileurs, and a couple more by switching to alloy wheels.
Everybody talks about the weight distribution, too. Since my wheels never leave the tarmac, I don't think weight distribution matters at all. But the weight distribution DOES make the bike feel heavier when you pick it up. Most people grab the seatpost and the bars to lift it up. Since the more weight is located in the hub I think this makes the bike feel heavier to the hands than it really is.

Before I realized that Shimano was making an 8 speed I was trying to figure out how to make a 9-speed out of two SA hubs using a countershaft with a primary and secondary drive chain (like you might find on an older motorcycle) but I couldn't see how to do it without making the bike impossibly wide and heavy. I'm sure glad the internally geared hubs are becoming more popular.

Here's an idea for a continuously variable hub. I'd like to see one up close!
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/b...nci-247436.php
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Old 05-08-07, 08:39 AM   #20
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During my college years, I ran my first road bike, a low-end 1962 Bianchi, as a coaster brake 3-speed. I kept the front brake and one Huret downtube shift lever (friction shift is easy with a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed, but I cannot recommend it with 4 or more internal gears), and it served me as a budget, theft-resistant transportation beater for a couple of years.
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Old 05-08-07, 11:27 AM   #21
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During my college years, I ran my first road bike, a low-end 1962 Bianchi, as a coaster brake 3-speed. I kept the front brake and one Huret downtube shift lever (friction shift is easy with a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed, but I cannot recommend it with 4 or more internal gears), and it served me as a budget, theft-resistant transportation beater for a couple of years.
I went the more complex route, as there was one hell of a hill between my apartment and the bike shop where I worked: SA three speed, with a 3-speed Cyclo cluster replacing the freewheel, and a Huret Allvit dérailleur. Worked real fine, and that was probably the only application I ever saw an Allvit work well.

First used on my white '71 Sports, then transferred to the coffee colored Raleigh 20 that replaced it. Did the 1976 TOSRV on that outfit, in a suit, bow tie and bowler, smoking a pipe!

I'd love to find another Cyclo cluster, as that freebie Sports is due for teardown as soon as I've got my Triumph Bonneville back on the street again. And somebody could certainly supply me with an Allvit and lever.
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