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Old 02-24-11, 01:56 PM   #1
randya
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My Downtube Conversion FH8 --> FH3

I finally gave up on that stupid Sturmey 8 speed hub and replaced it with one of the SA SRF3 wheels from Terra Trike. I was able to reuse the 8 speed cabling, with solved the problem of the too-short gear cable that came with the three speed wheel, and I only had to remove one spacer from the left side of the axle to get it to fit the dropouts. The chainline has actually improved. I'm currently running 42-18 gearing but am considering dropping the rear sprocket to a 17T.

It works great! The SRF3 is almost an exact copy of the AW hub. No more skipping....

Conclusion - from my own experience and others, I'd stay away from Sturmey hubs with more than three speeds.
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Old 02-24-11, 04:52 PM   #2
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I finally gave up on that stupid Sturmey 8 speed hub and replaced it with one of the SA SRF3 wheels from Terra Trike. I was able to reuse the 8 speed cabling, with solved the problem of the too-short gear cable that came with the three speed wheel, and I only had to remove one spacer from the left side of the axle to get it to fit the dropouts. The chainline has actually improved. I'm currently running 42-18 gearing but am considering dropping the rear sprocket to a 17T.

It works great! The SRF3 is almost an exact copy of the AW hub. No more skipping....

Conclusion - from my own experience and others, I'd stay away from Sturmey hubs with more than three speeds.
I don't see any 3-speed wheels for sale at terratrike.com, where did you get it? After hearing all the horror stories about broken SA8 hubs I also picked up a spare SRF3 wheel from utahtrikes.com for $49.99 when they were on sale last year.

However, my XRF8 hub works rather well once I added a chain tug nut/tensioner and found the right cable tension adjustment (not the yellow mark specified in the manual). I hope it lasts forever, but if I thought I needed so many gears I would not hesitate to replace a broken one with the newer XRF8(W).

Although I will say that I think my shifter cable is due for replacement (lots of rust and fraying).

Last edited by chucky; 02-24-11 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 02-24-11, 05:04 PM   #3
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They are $79 now. I bought one when they were $49 but I am not going to use it. I opted for the S2C.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:22 PM   #4
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They are $79 now. I bought one when they were $49 but I am not going to use it. I opted for the S2C.
Yeah I thought about that, but 138% and 177% aren't really as close as they look (better to phrase it as a 38% increase vs a 77% increase...that's double the range). Besides, $49 for a complete wheel is a lot cheaper than ~$50 or so for just the hub. But if I get any more fed up with maintenance I might do the same as you for the sake of eliminating all rear cabling.

I really like how Sturmey Archer is reviving some of their old product line. I'm crossing my fingers for a rear dynamo gear hub.

Last edited by chucky; 02-24-11 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:30 PM   #5
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I've settled on using SA five speed hubs as it's taken me years to get my head around exactly how to service and adjust them. . . I can't be bothered to learn the intricacies of other hubs. Plus the five speed strikes a good weight/performance balance being only a little heavier than 3 speed hubs. But it is a tricky bastard to tame.

Having looked at the innards of 3 of them I've so far concluded that they're bomb-proof and I figure I'm safe sticking with what I know.
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Old 02-24-11, 07:48 PM   #6
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I don't see any 3-speed wheels for sale at terratrike.com, where did you get it? After hearing all the horror stories about broken SA8 hubs I also picked up a spare SRF3 wheel from utahtrikes.com for $49.99 when they were on sale last year.

However, my XRF8 hub works rather well once I added a chain tug nut/tensioner and found the right cable tension adjustment (not the yellow mark specified in the manual). I hope it lasts forever, but if I thought I needed so many gears I would not hesitate to replace a broken one with the newer XRF8(W).

Although I will say that I think my shifter cable is due for replacement (lots of rust and fraying).
It was one of those $50 wheels from Utah Trike, it came with a sticker on the rim that said Terra Trike
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Old 02-24-11, 08:00 PM   #7
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Plus the five speed strikes a good weight/performance balance being only a little heavier than 3 speed hubs.
Wow, the 111mm OLD S-RF5 actually weighs the same as the 127mm OLD S-RF3. 1060g...but the 5 speed costs a lot more.

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It was one of those $50 wheels from Utah Trike, it came with a sticker on the rim that said Terra Trike
:looks at wheel: oh yeah
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Old 02-24-11, 11:04 PM   #8
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Thanks for the update. I have a 2009.5 8h and my SA 8 speed hub hasn't had and problems (knocks on wood). Maybe the newer models came from a more robust batch (?). However, I don't have 1K miles on that bike either.
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Old 02-25-11, 08:12 AM   #9
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Thanks for the update. I have a 2009.5 8h and my SA 8 speed hub hasn't had and problems (knocks on wood). Maybe the newer models came from a more robust batch (?). However, I don't have 1K miles on that bike either.
There was a complete redesign of the hub with a wider gear range and all (model XRF8W vs the discontinued XRF8). I'm not sure if the Downtube bikes were ever equipped with the newer version, but even with its flaws the old version was good enough to make me swear off derailleurs forever.

Come to think of it I don't even think the XRF8W uses the same shifter as the XRF8. Say, ranya what are you doing with the shifter from your old wheel? My shifter has a crack in it and I'm not sure if the crazy glue will hold forever.

Last edited by chucky; 02-25-11 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 02-25-11, 03:06 PM   #10
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I'm almost positive my FH8 came with the older model 2007 XRF8 hub

for now I think I'm going to keep the shifter with the hub; if I ever get around to fixing it, the hub is useless without the shifter
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