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Old 12-15-07, 07:26 PM   #1
illdoittomorrow
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Questions about Sturmey-Archer FG 4-sp dynohub

Originally posted in the Mechanics forum, but no one is biting.

I really like the idea of commuting on a bike using a hub like this:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/Vintage-Sturmey-A...QQcmdZViewItem

but I don't have any experience with internal-gear hubs. If it needs repairs later on, are parts available? Are FG hubs as reliable as AW's? How long-lived are they? (This one dates from 1960). What shifter do I use, and is it hard to come by? Do FG hubs have any quirks I need to know about?

Those are the big questions for now... if anyone has any information to share, I'd really appreciate it
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Old 12-16-07, 09:40 AM   #2
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Stay away from that thing. All it's suitable for is a display in a bicycle museum. Old SA dynamo hubs used magnets housed in steel poles. If you try to take it apart for service the magnets will lose what little magnetism they have remaining after so many years. If you want a dynamo hub for your commuter go ahead and spend the money for a quality new dynamo hub.
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Old 12-16-07, 10:20 AM   #3
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Depends on what you plan for it. I have commuted on the old AW hub for thousands of miles and put thousands on the front dyno hub. Both still work fine. FWIW I have two of the combo hubs, an FG and an AG. The FG is getting built up in 700c wheel to go on my "club racer" build up. The AG is going with a 26x1-3/8" Weinman alloy rim to get put on my beater Raleigh Sports.

Both are dependable hubs IMHO. Parts can be an issue, but are available if you search. You will need an early model 3/4 speed trigger shifter for the FG. They are out there.

If you are looking for the best available technology, get a Nexus set up (to the best of my knowledge they don't make a combo hub), it will cost more, but it will be brand new and there have been improvements in the generator department as well as the internal geared hubs. Sturmey Archer does still make generator hubs and internal geared hubs, but not in the combination units. Availability in the US is sporadic in my searches. YMMV

Also the dynohub can be serviced, just don't separate the magnets from the ring. I have torn them down many times. Here is a LINK to a set of service manuals for the various hubs.

Aaron
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Last edited by wahoonc; 12-16-07 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 12-16-07, 10:38 AM   #4
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Can you find 40 hole rims anymore?
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Old 12-16-07, 11:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jimisnowhere View Post
Can you find 40 hole rims anymore?
Yep the Sun CR-18's are back in stock in a 26x1-3/8" and there are several if you use the 700c wheels.

Aaron
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Old 12-16-07, 04:25 PM   #6
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Thanks, wahoonc! It turns out shipping would have been in the neighbourhood of $80 anyway, so I think I might as well stick with new parts after all.
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Old 12-16-07, 08:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by illdoittomorrow View Post
Thanks, wahoonc! It turns out shipping would have been in the neighbourhood of $80 anyway, so I think I might as well stick with new parts after all.
That is one of the disadvantages of buying things from England via FleaBay. I have an inside track...my son is a grad student at Leeds University in Leeds, England So I buy a few things and have them shipped to his apartment, then when he makes his trip home he has a suitcase half filled with dad's crap Best one so far is the 16" wheel with Dyno hub that is making it's way home this week....wonder what he tells Customs

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Old 12-17-07, 02:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jimisnowhere View Post
Can you find 40 hole rims anymore?
I hope so, as I just ordered one along with the matching 32 holer. I also inquired about shipping on that hub. Puts it out of my price range for sure. Now if someone just had to have it to complete a restoration I guess it would be worth it.
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Old 12-17-07, 04:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
If you are looking for the best available technology, get a Nexus set up (to the best of my knowledge they don't make a combo hub), it will cost more, but it will be brand new and there have been improvements in the generator department as well as the internal geared hubs.
I respectfully disagree. If you want the top notch technology with no expense spared, you should go with a SON dynohub and a Rohloff rear hub. The SON will have less drag than a Nexus, the Rohloff will have better gear range. Rohloff also has more gears, which may be a plus for some. In addition they're both probably more durable than any Nexus, but I don't know if any thorough comparison has been made in that respect.

The SON-Rohloff setup will cost you a couple of limbs compared to Nexii though.

--J
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Old 12-17-07, 09:43 AM   #10
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I respectfully disagree. If you want the top notch technology with no expense spared, you should go with a SON dynohub and a Rohloff rear hub. The SON will have less drag than a Nexus, the Rohloff will have better gear range. Rohloff also has more gears, which may be a plus for some. In addition they're both probably more durable than any Nexus, but I don't know if any thorough comparison has been made in that respect.

The SON-Rohloff setup will cost you a couple of limbs compared to Nexii though.

--J
Poor choice of words on my part I should have said "best valued tecnology" No argument from me that the SON and the Rohloff are state of the art and top notch.

Aaron
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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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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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