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  1. #1
    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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    What's a good S-A AW 3-speed hub strategy?

    Okay, the gears are wide. Is there an advantage to setting up gearing so that one uses the middle gear (1:1 at the hub) mainly, or the high gear?

    I'm commuting, it's fairly flat terrain, and using a bike with 7 rear, 2 front, I don't shift a lot; just depends on if I'm feeling perky/competitive or lazy/old, whether I'll use 52 or 42, and I stay mainly in the middle gears like 17, 19, 21. But even that 52/42 shift is a smaller change than between any two gears on the S-A hub. And, I prefer a fairly high cadence, compared to most people I see cycling.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I have no knowledge on gearing for your situation, but I would probably target flat cruising in the highest gear, since I don't mind coasting or soft pedalling on descents.

    There is no case I can think of where a higher gear is necessary, but I can think of plenty where a higher gear is.

    Along with changing the chainring, remember you can also change the cog on the hub. Harris Cyclery lists sizes from 14 to 24.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/sturm...her-parts.html

  3. #3
    Senior Member King of Kadence's Avatar
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    I was going to say shoot for second, but realized I spend most of my riding in high gear, but at the hint of any headwind or incline I'm shifting into second because in my mind it's the sturmey's most efficient gear.

  4. #4
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Kadence View Post
    I was going to say shoot for second, but realized I spend most of my riding in high gear, but at the hint of any headwind or incline I'm shifting into second because in my mind it's the sturmey's most efficient gear.
    had the same thought, and then when I thought about the middle gear for cruising, it just seemed to have issues.

    If you cruise in high, you have the middle gear for headwinds or when you are tired, and the low gear for hills.

    By the way, for any that want to use SA hubs on your lightweight frames not built for the hub, Harris has the 9.5 mm serated washers back in stock. I just ordered some.

  5. #5
    Senior Member g-funk's Avatar
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    I purchased a few rear cogs from harris at 23 and a 21(I think). I live in northern california and have a fairly steep but short climb up to my house the 23 seems a bit easy as I'm in high gear most of the time on the flats but the low gear gets me to the driveway, this is on the bike I tow my kids with. on the other bike I have the 21 and I can make it up the hill to my house ok without kids or groceries, but a load usually has me pushing or cutting some switchbacks, much to the amusement of my neighbors. I say run the stock 18 and adjust accordingly.
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  6. #6
    Elitest Murray Owner Mos6502's Avatar
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    2nd is supposed to be used as the "flat" gear. 1st is for going uphill, and 3rd for going downhill. I have my 3 speed set up with about 70" in 2nd, and pretty much just use 1st and 2nd.
    If you live where there are steep hills, you could conceivably just gear really low so that you have two hill gears, and use 3rd as your "normal" or just use a dérailleur and use more gears.

  7. #7
    I am the Eggman Mooo's Avatar
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    I set up the Fuji conversion with about a 60" 2nd gear.

    cadence * 0.002975 * gear inches = speed.

    and 60 rpm in 2nd gives me about 11mph (~60 * 60 * .003) - happy enough for around town, giving a first of 45" (enough for many hills near town) and high is 80" - fast enough for low 20's if I'm feeling saucy.

    If I was setting one up for recreational riding, I'd probably bump that up a little.

  8. #8
    tcs
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    Funny how everybody anguishes over efficiencies in hub gears and worries about being in the most efficient ratio - but nobody ever gives a second's thought about riding in the more efficient ratios when using derailleurs!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mos6502 View Post
    ...and 3rd for going downhill.
    Coast!

    Tom
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

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  9. #9
    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    My impression after reading Sheldon's website and others is that the middle gear of a 3sp SA hub is direct drive. The high and low gear engage the transmission and produce [your personal modifier] more drag compared to direct drive. I'd set a bike up so that gearing for 2nd was my most comfortable, most-of-the-time gear.

  10. #10
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    When I set up my Kabuki, I looked at the gearing that I typically used on my deraileur bikes. I normally use about 55-60 inches for flats, so I made that my middle gear. I started with 39-19, but the cadence seemed a little fast, so I switched the cog to an 18. That gives me 44, 59, 78 inches, which covers the same as the lower 2/3 of most deraileur bikes. There aren't any hills around here to worry about needing anything higher or lower. A lot of older 3 speeds have a 46-18 combination which gives them much taller gearing. The low gear ends up being around 50 inches. Switching to a 22 cog gives you a more useful 41, 54, 72 inches.

  11. #11
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    I use 18 mostly, but I have a 21T for my wife who doesn't ride often and likes to go slow.

    I also use a 17/25T combo with a derailer for hilly rides on one bike, and a 14T for my club bike for when I feel frisky.

    I just set my 17-year-old son up with a 3 speed on his Super Course, and he went with 17T. I think 17T/18T is the all-purpose; less if you are a speed demon, more if you have hills to climb. In any case, remember; you do not want to stand up on third gear. Plan accordingly.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I've got a 21T cog on mine. That tells you nothing because you don't know my chainring or tire size. It's 52T and 28c, and that works out to 49.7, 58.3 and 88.3 gear inches. That's a bit too tall for me, so I'm going to switch to a 22T cog. I hate to do it because the 21T is chrome and the 22T is black.

  13. #13
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    The Shimano Nexus cog fits an SW driver and comes in 22t silver:

    http://www.bikemannetwork.com/biking/p/FW7022

    Neal

  14. #14
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Thank you Neal! I didn't ralize that Bikeman had all that SA stuff. I like that site.

    Have you got a link to the site where they're selling stainless steel fulcrum sleeves for $10? I had it and then I lost it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member g-funk's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=sciencemonster;5796680 In any case, remember; you do not want to stand up on third gear. Plan accordingly.[/QUOTE]

    why don't you want to stand up? I haven't heard this before. Mark, How's the trip planning coming

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
    Thank you Neal! I didn't ralize that Bikeman had all that SA stuff. I like that site.

    Have you got a link to the site where they're selling stainless steel fulcrum sleeves for $10? I had it and then I lost it.
    It's actually off of the Lake Pepin 3-speed tour page: http://www.3speedtour.com/

    Click on "Parts."

    Neal

  17. #17
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    Under pressure, it could give way and you'll find yourself freewheeling over the handlebars. This is if maybe you are a little out of adjustment, or if the doohickeys are a little too worn. Only when you really pump hard, like going up a hill in 3rd. It could slip into that place between 2nd and 3rd that freewheels forward.

    I took your advice and found a place to park in Sebastopol and forget Sonoma. I'm undecided whether to bike to Guerneville and do day trips out of there, or go city-to-city. My wife's sister's husband and I are fine just biking around and worrying about a dry place to sleep each night, where ever we find ourselves. I don't know that it'll be all that crowded that weekend. We could probably roll into a town and find a couple rooms. Of course, the girls would rather have reservations every night. THey have some kind of a problem with the remote possibility that we'd get stuck sleeping out in the rain in January

  18. #18
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    It's actually off of the Lake Pepin 3-speed tour page: http://www.3speedtour.com/

    Click on "Parts."

    Neal
    Thanks!

    I don't trust plastic parts.

    I guess you don't stand in third because of the danger of slipping into the neutral between 2nd and 3rd. One of the advantages of the new SA hubs like I have is that the neutral has been eliminated.
    Last edited by Grand Bois; 12-12-07 at 07:38 PM.

  19. #19
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    The AW hub gear ratios are 3/4, 1/1, and 4/3 (rear wheel revolutions / crank revolution). They are way too far apart for my tastes -- shifting a 3-speed hub is exactly shifting between a 39 and a 52 tooth chainring, with no option to find an in-between ratio by shifting the rear derailleur.

    My favorite 3-speed setup by far was my 12-speed hybrid, which comprised a 14-16-18-20 cogset on an AW hub, with a 40T chainring. With 26" wheels, I had pretty decent ratiometric progression from 40 to 100 gear-inches. Since the 3-speed ranges almost overlapped, I tended to use low gear with the 20, 18, and 16-tooth cogs, second gear with all four cogs, and high gear with the 18, 16, and 14-tooth cogs, giving me 10 great ratios, 40 percent of which were in the most efficient direct drive gear.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Three speed gears are too widely spaced. They sure are fun to ride, though. I think part of it is the simplicity of the system. You'd lose that by adding a derailer and another shifter.

  21. #21
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    Sure, the AW gears might be spaced too widely for club riding, but that's why SA made the FM and AM hubs. With an AM hub, your 52/21 set up would give you gearing of 76.6, 66.3, and 57.3.

    Neal

  22. #22
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
    Thanks!

    I don't trust plastic parts.

    I guess you don't stand in third because of the danger of slipping into the neutral between 2nd and 3rd. One of the advantages of the new SA hubs like I have is that the neutral has been eliminated.
    Ditto and my brother found out why not to stand and hammer in 3rd gear 14 stitches, a new off side crank arm and a donor fork

    Aaron
    Last edited by wahoonc; 12-13-07 at 05:09 PM.
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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  23. #23
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    What he say!

    Not sure if you are talking about the AW or an aluminum crank snapping, but nevertheless, that's why I recommend the Town & Country to everyone. Bicycles are dangerous! And for heavens sake! Stay in first and stay sitting! Don't go out in the street! Watch out for meteorites! Wear a helmet!

  24. #24
    Senior Member g-funk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciencemonster View Post
    I took your advice and found a place to park in Sebastopol and forget Sonoma. I'm undecided whether to bike to Guerneville and do day trips out of there, or go city-to-city. My wife's sister's husband and I are fine just biking around and worrying about a dry place to sleep each night, where ever we find ourselves. I don't know that it'll be all that crowded that weekend. We could probably roll into a town and find a couple rooms. Of course, the girls would rather have reservations every night. THey have some kind of a problem with the remote possibility that we'd get stuck sleeping out in the rain in January
    there are plenty of places to stay along the way. if you do decide to do day trip out of guerneville or even if you don't check out fort ross road out of cazedero off 116. it's a bit steep but relatively short and once you are on top on seaview looking over the coast it's amazing I see Tom Ritchey out there regularly. then the bomb down meyers grade and back into jenner or bodega is very nice. the stretch of hwy 1 between marshall(Hog Island Oysters!!!) and Bodega Bay is also very nice. Have Fun. the weather out here now is amazing. I hope it holds up for you.........

  25. #25
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciencemonster View Post
    What he say!

    Not sure if you are talking about the AW or an aluminum crank snapping, but nevertheless, that's why I recommend the Town & Country to everyone. Bicycles are dangerous! And for heavens sake! Stay in first and stay sitting! Don't go out in the street! Watch out for meteorites! Wear a helmet!
    Worse...steel crank! Broke right where the pedal goes thru. Still have the bike, it is my 1971 Sports Standard that I use as a beater. It has in excess of 15k miles on it, looks like crap and still rides pretty sweet if you don't use the brakes (big dings in the rims). It is going to be getting a nice new rear wheel built up this winter using Weinman alloy rims and an FG hub that I have.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

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