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Old 09-14-06, 04:27 PM   #1
SoonerLater
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Re-Hubbing a bike (eg. turning a Dahon Boardwalk coaster into a 3, 5 or 8 speed)

Has anyone replaced the rear hub of a folding bike. I see that I can buy Dahon Boardwalk single speed for about $200. An 8-speed Sturmey-Archer hub can be had for about $150.00. A Shimano Nexus 7 speed can be bought for about $125. I have a buddy who does wheel-building. I don't see why a guy couldn't take the existing back wheel of a bike and re-spoke it with an internally geared hub and turn a cheap single-speed bike into something more useful.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-14-06, 05:33 PM   #2
LittlePixel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerLater
Has anyone replaced the rear hub of a folding bike.
Yup... On my Raleigh Twenty; from a 1970's Sturmey Archer 3 speed to a SRAM Spectro 7. And then to a fixed gear track hub...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerLater
I see that I can buy Dahon Boardwalk single speed for about $200. An 8-speed Sturmey-Archer hub can be had for about $150.00. A Shimano Nexus 7 speed can be bought for about $125. I have a buddy who does wheel-building. I don't see why a guy couldn't take the existing back wheel of a bike and re-spoke it with an internally geared hub and turn a cheap single-speed bike into something more useful. Any thoughts?
Sounds like a good idea. Totally do-able. I can't really see any big caveats with that. You'll maybe need to change handlebar grips/brake handles to fit the changer on the chosen setup but otherwise it should be totally straightforward. Be sure to check that the width of the space between the rear dropouts (OLN) matches. Most internal hubs are 135mm wide - if yours is narrower you might need to cold-set (ie bend) the stays out a little for the wider axle.

Don't forget Dahon do a Vitesse D-5 bike that sort of fits what you're describing... Maybe check the prices in case it works out cheaper to get an off the shelf one rather than your own custom version. Also - it's worth noting that SRAM have a 9 speed hub out for 2007 if you want to wait for more gears... Or for more fun have a look at the Rohloff 14 speed. Be ready with your chequebook for that one though...
Good luck with the project!

Last edited by LittlePixel; 09-14-06 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 09-16-06, 11:18 AM   #3
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I am an owner of a Boardwalk S1 purchased in 2003. I converted it into a Three Speed with a handlebar mounted shifter at the time of purchase. I used a Sturmey Archer AW rear hub (one of the last ones actually made in England). Then I added another brake for the rear rim-a simple single pivot Teckro hand brake with a silver lever. The Dahon issued brake lever and the Teckro one does not match, but I think it adds a little charm to the bike.

Yes you can do the modification to this model of bike. I have done it with sucess (and extra cash) at my local bike shop. If I would do it again, I would use a duel pivot brake, but that's it. And you should consider some sort of brake since you will be removing it when you replace the original hub. Either add a hand brake like I did or opt for a coaster style rear hub. That is offered as an option in the hub you are considering. As for the method of changing hubs, it is called Cold Pressing and this method works fine for steel frame bikes. The bike also has a horizontal rear dropouts so you do not need a chain tensioner.

For more information, see Sheldon Brown's web page on this topic.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 09-16-06 at 11:25 AM.
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