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  1. #1
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    BMX Commuting - Hub Gears vs Singlespeed

    Hi all,

    I'm new to bike forums, but definitely not new to bikes

    Last year, when I was in Paris, I wanted a commuter setup on the cheap. I was thinking about buying an old racer and converting it into a single speed, but I didn't have the tools

    So, I got a flatland BMX with slicks, put on mudguards and lights, and off I went

    The thing was incredibly light; 6061 (I think) frame which was ridiculously compact, and it was great training for spinning at high RPMs. I regularly beat people on road bikes, and sometimes even scooters, though scooters were GREAT for drafting behind.

    That gave me an idea, however:

    putting a 3-speed (or more, perhaps 5 or even 7) rear hub gear onto a BMX, which would have the following benefits:

    1. lightweight
    2. compact (for taking on the train, etc)
    3. gears

    Anyone had any experience? I don't need a heavy duty hub, as I wouldn't be doing any real BMX stuff.

    thanks in advance

    J

  2. #2
    Senior Member adaminlc's Avatar
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    No experience, but the only issue I can think of is the spacing on the rear dropout. As long as they can match up I can't see what the problem would be.
    I like fat tires and I cannot lie...

  3. #3
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    So long as the rear end is wide enough to fit a geared hub, I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. What you describe is basically a folding bike, minus the fold. Compact frame, small wheels, etc.

    If you use a hub that is direct drive at first gear (Sturmey Archer's 8-speed hubs are like this, at least), you wouldn't even need to put a huge chainring on it.

  4. #4
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    if you do this you should post us some pics

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're essentially making your own version of a mini-velo. These types of bikes are often discussed in the folding bikes section of Bikeforums.net.

    Good luck with the conversion...
    --sam

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Kona made a 24" BMX cruiser with a three speed hub a few years ago, quite a cool bike. It inspired me to add an SA hub to a 24" BMX frame that I have and got as far as checking that it will fit the dropouts (it will...) but I didn't go through with the build because I didn't quite fit the bike.

  7. #7
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post
    Kona made a 24" BMX cruiser with a three speed hub a few years ago, quite a cool bike. It inspired me to add an SA hub to a 24" BMX frame that I have and got as far as checking that it will fit the dropouts (it will...) but I didn't go through with the build because I didn't quite fit the bike.
    I love my Kona Keiki.
    Cantilever brakes and a 3-sp hub with a coaster brake, how can you go wrong?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    That's some intimidating seatpost, there.
    "The automobile became a hypnosis, the opium of the American people..." -James Agee, Fortune, September 1934

  9. #9
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's one of the downsides of liking tiny frames.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    Let us know how it turns out if you decide to go that route; I've got a buddy mulling the same possibility.

  11. #11
    Gear Hub fan
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    I have an older Kona 26" cruiser that has what appears to be a BMX style frame that I installed a Sachs 3 speed hub on several years ago. It has worked fine.

    Small wheel bike service is actually easier on a gear hub as the primary gearing needs to be higher to give reasonable overall gearing. This decreases the input torque the hub is subjected to.

    The Kona model is a Humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua'a according to the top tube label. From about 1995 or so as I recall.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

    Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/

  12. #12
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    Cannondale Hooligan

    So... it's been a while since I thought about this project but I discovered that Cannondale made a goofy-looking BMX-style 20" bike with disk brakes and hub gears called the Hooligan...

    Looks like they beat me to the concept, but I think I'll still wait around to build my own - rather then spend the $900... plus it'd be more fun

  13. #13
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    How light do you want to get? I have a Downtube 8H folding bike that weighs 26.5 lbs stock. You can knock off a few pounds by removing the rack and swapping out the front suspension fork. It comes with a Sturmey archer 8 speed IGH. It's around $400.

    http://www.downtube.com/Font_Suspens...ding_Bike.html

  14. #14
    tcs
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    Palmer tcs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonojet View Post
    So... it's been a while since I thought about this project but I discovered that Cannondale made...
    Dahon has been offering the N.A. market their "shark" series of mini-velos for a couple years now.

    http://us.dahon.com/bikes/1674/bullhead
    http://us.dahon.com/bikes/1680/smooth-hound

    tcs
    "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.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

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