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View Poll Results: Who's excited about the new Sturmey Archer, 3 speed, fixed gear hub?
Yes 14 43.75%
No 12 37.50%
Wot's fixed gear? 1 3.13%
My wife had me fixed after our last child and I just don't want to go there again 0 0%
The option for all those who didn't find an option to suit above 5 15.63%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-27-09, 09:46 PM   #1
europa
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Who's excited about Sturmey Archer's new 3 speed fixed gear hub?

Who's excited about Sturmey Archer's new 3 speed fixed gear hub?
It should be available soon ... to a lucky few no doubt

But if I can get my hands on one, the Europa will soon be able to snort at Flagstaff Hill. I can ride the hills around home, I can ride the Adelaide plains, but the climb from the plains to the hills (where I live) is too much to handle on 70 gear inches - this new hub sounds like an answer to (for me) a very real problem.

Richard
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Old 02-27-09, 09:50 PM   #2
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That's an interesting product. Hadn't heard about it. Makes a lot of sense to me, but I can't make sense out of fixie people anyway. Would give you some nice options about how to set up the gearing.

I like internal hubs. Would like to have a nice 8-spd internal hub (freewheel, of course) paired with a single crank, say 32T or 34T, with a chain guard. Would be a nice about-town bike.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:22 PM   #3
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I used to be a bit concerned about the fact that you only had one gear. On a geared bike, I'm always messing with the gears so the idea of being restricted to one was a tad scary. However, there's something in the power delivery of fixed gear that makes the added gearing un-necessary - you lose that effect when you introduce a freewheel so single speed is different again to fixed gear. I can't explain it adequately, but I happily do most of my riding with 70 gear inches and don't notice the lack of gears. I can certainly climb hills on the fixed gear in a manner that I can't on the geared bikes ... right up until I just can't turn over the gear anymore (cue Flagstaff Hill).

So within a surprisingly broad band of situations, fixed gear needs only one gear whereas a bike with a freewheel will need more gears. Weird.

Where the 3 speed hub comes into play is giving you some top end and some bottom end. 70 gear inches (which I ride now) gives me a cadence of 90 at 30 km/hr. I'll happily ride faster but it's at a higher cadence - I'll sit on 35 when on the geared bike and am pulling that same 90 cadence. I don't want to up my gearing because urban riding means you're stopping and starting and slowing and accelerating where the 70 gear inches works well. If I set the middle of the 3 speeds to 70 or a bit lower, I can ride all day there and have a slightly higher gear for flat out stuff - not essential but a nice option. The big benefit is at the bottom end where the change in gearing is more dramatic (I forget what the difference is). It won't match my geared bike in gearing but I don't need it to because I (and many others) have discovered that on a fixie, you can climb in much higher gears than bikes with a freewheel.

I've got a mate who is very fit who also rides fixed. He recently punted his fixed gear bike, with the same gearing as mine (42x16) up Expressway Hill and did it faster than he does it on his geared bike. Expressway Hill is longer but slightly flatter than Flagstaff Hill. This suggests to me that with the lower gear offered by the 3 speed hub and some determination, I should be able to turn the Europa (my fixie) into a genuine 'go anywhere' bike whereas at the moment, I don't even attempt the big hills on the Europa - the geared bike, they're just another speed hump, but I'm running 26x32 gearing on them. Mind you, I don't expect the new hub to make climbing those hills as easy as with my geared bikes, it won't, all it needs to do is make it practical (which it isn't at the moment).

I'm excited with the new hub. I just hope I can get one (the Aussie distributor doesn't even know the thing's coming so an overseas order seems the most likely option) ... and that I can afford it (with the Aussie Peso doing it's disappearing act, this is unlikely).

Richard

hang on, did I just utter a profanity when I used that 'afford' word?
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Old 02-27-09, 10:30 PM   #4
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If I vote yes, will I ever be forced to use one?
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Old 02-27-09, 11:28 PM   #5
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If I vote yes, will I ever be forced to use one?
Only if your freewheel freezes solid

Seriously, if you ever get the chance, try it ... and try one with brakes and sensible gearing. They're a completely different skill set to riding a geared bike and that's what attracts me, I'm a sucker for learning new stuff. No, you can't coast but I missed that for about a poofteenth of a second ... unless utterly knackered and faced with a long, down hill run. You don't miss not having gears ... unless the road turns vertical, normal hills aren't an issue. The joys come with the way you can control your speed using your legs - we're not talking macro changes in speed, minor stuff, just slowing down and rolling on, the sort of stuff you do all the time but can't do on a freewheel bike without reaching for the brakes and so tend not to. You feel like you have far greater control over your bike, something that becomes very real when on a loose surface - when riding from my parent's place, the first km or two are on gravel and the geared bike is just frightening after riding that same stretch on the fixed, that fear dies as I get back into riding with a freewheel but you suddenly become aware of how much you use the brakes and how much less control you have over the bike.

Yes, I love riding fixed. Not everyone does though. It's a 'give it go if you get the chance' thing rather than 'race out and build one'.

My first foray was to simply remove the cassette from the Europa and screw on a track cog - I didn't even have to redish the rear wheel which I did on the next two I built. She was languishing in the shed after buying the Trek520 so it looked like a nice way to get her back on the roads in a new role. I enjoyed it so much I had a pair of wheels built (track hub, 700c and skinny as opposed to the 27" road wheels she had), then later I removed the unused chain ring, then later I fitted some aerobrake levers (the Shimano600 brakes I bought didn't have enough reach) and now I ride her so much, I've refitted the rack. Next step she gets my 'old' Brooks (bought a new one for the Jamis), hopefully the 3 speed hub, maybe a new crankset with the new chainrings then eventually some new rims to replace the elcheapo's she wears now. If I could find someone to make copies of her stickers, I'd look at getting her repainted but in the mean time, she bears her war scars with pride.

Richard
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Old 02-28-09, 01:40 AM   #6
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I have enough problems in having a big enough range of gears for hills as it is (No I don't as only one gear gets used when gravity goes the wrong way) and don't think a 3 speed would be kind enough on my body.

Now if I lived on the flat- then it may be suitable but I might aswell ride a Fixie for gentle trips round Town. Less to go wrong and cheaper.
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Old 02-28-09, 08:26 AM   #7
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3 speed fixee

I agree with Bambadil.
('course this may have to do with being 66 and in the bruise hard/ bleed easy stage of my life)
I love internal geared hubs..there are some great ones out there currently.
BUT
I have no urge to 'pedal or die'. I like (no, I love!) the ability to freewheel when necessary.
No Fixee in My Future.
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Old 02-28-09, 08:36 AM   #8
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Sounds terrific!

Don't let riding fixed scare you. I did it because I was curious and like to learn new things, too. I was nervous at first, but it's really very basic ( I was scared when I first tried hand brakes as a kid, too. Everyone convinced me I'd fly right over the bars if I wasn't careful).

You can keep and ride your geared bikes, too.
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Old 02-28-09, 09:57 AM   #9
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I'm hoping to get one. It's actually an old product, reintroduced after half a century being out of production.
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Old 02-28-09, 03:31 PM   #10
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I do not expect to buy one, but it is a very interesting product, and the surviving post-WWII specimens do fetch a pretty penny on eBay. If I ever did get the urge to try fixed gear again, this is definitely the way I would do it. My problem is that I really love having a good range of close-ratio gears.
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Old 02-28-09, 06:21 PM   #11
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Is it actually going to be produced? Any details on spacing or shifters? Any links to current info? I looked at the blog on the sunrace sturmey archer site and not much there...
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Old 02-28-09, 07:02 PM   #12
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I think it would be a nice option if not too expensive.

You might find Sheldon Brown's (R.I.P.) take on a Gunnar frame with an original Sturmey-Archer ASC 3 speed hub interesting.
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Old 03-04-09, 01:01 PM   #13
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I'm totally excited about it, and really want one for my fixed gear bike! I would like it to be available in 32h too.

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Old 03-04-09, 02:17 PM   #14
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Fixed gear and hub gears. Two things I got out of my system a long time ago.

SP
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Old 03-04-09, 04:36 PM   #15
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I'm totally excited about it, and really want one for my fixed gear bike! I would like it to be available in 32h too.

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I think it's only 36h ... which is a great improvement over the ASXs 40h

36h suits me, I'm a generously proportioned wombat

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Old 03-04-09, 04:51 PM   #16
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I think it's only 36h ... which is a great improvement over the ASXs 40h
36h suits me, I'm a generously proportioned wombat Richard
Okay, I could do 36h, and yes it's better than 40h! WOMBATS always reminds me of Alice B. ToeClips (Jackie Phelan) who started a mountain bike club for women.

Women's Offroad Mountain Biking And Tea Society

That, of course, was back in the day . . .

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Old 03-04-09, 05:06 PM   #17
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There was one on a bike at the NAHBS bike show last weekend. It even had the same Sturmey Archer cable that my Mom's bike had back in the 60's. Sorry, I don't remember who the builder was. It looked shiny and new, not like a restored antique hub.

I think that since fixed gears pull your feet around past the dead spot, that helps to climb hills easier than a freewheel bike.

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Old 03-04-09, 05:42 PM   #18
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Okay, I could do 36h, and yes it's better than 40h! WOMBATS always reminds me of Alice B. ToeClips (Jackie Phaelin) who started a mountain bike club for women.

Women's Offroad Mountain Biking And Tea Society

That, of course, was back in the day . . .

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Old 03-04-09, 06:35 PM   #19
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Thanks Alice!

I'm really glad they're still around. I talked with Jackie Phelan about WOMBATS at Interbike in maybe '98 or something . . . Plus I got her autograph upon which she drew a cartoon of her face and below her autograph wrote "A legend in her own mind."

One of my few treasured autographs!

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Old 03-04-09, 07:43 PM   #20
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FWIW that would be Jacquie Phelan...a true cycling legend in many minds, too! Her husband Charlie is pretty cool, too.
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Old 03-05-09, 03:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
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... I think that since fixed gears pull your feet around past the dead spot, that helps to climb hills easier than a freewheel bike.
Right after WWII, Sturmey Archer also marketed the ASC to "the unfortunates" who had sustained lower limb injuries. Pedaling with one leg gives one the ultimate dead spot.
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Old 03-05-09, 05:34 PM   #22
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It's actually a
brand new, modern design product, filling a market category that's being

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reintroduced after half a century being out of production.
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Old 03-05-09, 05:46 PM   #23
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Sorry, I don't remember who the builder was.
Ingleheart.

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Old 03-05-09, 05:51 PM   #24
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I looked at the blog on the SunRace Sturmey-Archer site and not much there...
Actually, the Sturmey blog has a detailed drawing of hub dimensions, a description of the cog interface and chainline, pictures of the different colors the hub shell will be available in, photos and descriptions of the two different shifters that will be offered and a stated market roll-out window.

HTH,
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Old 03-05-09, 06:43 PM   #25
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