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Old 05-30-08, 01:31 PM   #1
bryroth
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Is there such a thing as a 3-speed bike?

Hi - I am looking for a bike that won't break as much as my cyclocross triple monster. So I want a freewheel single speed. Simple. However I have knee problems so I can't mash the pedals, so I need some kind of smaller gear on there to save my knees. Is there such a thing as a three-speed?

EDIT: A decent, new-type bike though. Not a vintage.

Thank you sirs.

Last edited by bryroth; 05-30-08 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 05-30-08, 01:46 PM   #2
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Are you wanting internal hub 3-speed freewheels? Because Shimano definitely makes 'em.
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Old 05-30-08, 01:48 PM   #3
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I don't know what that means. I am about to google it.
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Old 05-30-08, 01:49 PM   #4
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Well I found this link http://web.mit.edu/2.972/www/reports...speed_hub.html.

I still don't know how it works.
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Old 05-30-08, 01:51 PM   #5
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Ok, I just figured it out. Would I be able to buy a single speed and slap a new three-speed hub on it?

Then I could take it on the trail.
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Old 05-30-08, 02:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bryroth View Post
Ok, I just figured it out. Would I be able to buy a single speed and slap a new three-speed hub on it?

Then I could take it on the trail.
Sure. Any bike can be an internal hub bike. All ya gotta do is lace in the hub.
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Old 05-30-08, 03:13 PM   #7
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I have an Electra Townie3. It's a 3 speed IGH, and loads of fun to ride. I even use it for towing my canoe.



I don't know of anyone who has a Townie and doesn't love it.

http://www.electrabike.com/04/bikes/...06_twn_06.html
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Old 05-31-08, 05:41 AM   #8
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You get 3 speeds hubs from Shimano, SRAM, Sturmey Archer, they are pretty common on low cost city bikes.. They all need a chain tensioning system, preferably a horizontal dropout on the frame to move the axle back.
Hub-gears also come in 5,7,8,9 and 14 speed.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Sure. Any bike can be an internal hub bike. All ya gotta do is lace in the hub.
As always, the devil is in the details.

1. Your chosen hub has to match the over locknut dimension of your bike. Sometimes you can modify either the bike frame or the hub to match the other.
2. Internal hubs need either horizontal frame dropouts (rare on modern bikes) or some kind of add-on chain tension device.
3. Think through your shift cable routing before you spend any money. Might be a piece of cake and might not.
4. "All ya gotta do is lace the hub." That's not too big of a project if it's your second one.
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Old 05-31-08, 08:59 AM   #10
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As always, the devil is in the details.

1. Your chosen hub has to match the over locknut dimension of your bike. Sometimes you can modify either the bike frame or the hub to match the other.
2. Internal hubs need either horizontal frame dropouts (rare on modern bikes) or some kind of add-on chain tension device.
3. Think through your shift cable routing before you spend any money. Might be a piece of cake and might not.
4. "All ya gotta do is lace the hub." That's not too big of a project if it's your second one.
Ah yes, Those damn details get in the way everytime.
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 05-31-08, 03:40 PM   #11
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So I want a freewheel single speed.
for a freewheel single speed you need a single speed freewheel hub or casette and a bmx single speed freewheel or casette.
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Old 05-31-08, 08:37 PM   #12
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do you want to just buy a new three-speed bike? or convert a single speed? If you haven't bought a bike yet, search for a three-speed. Save yourself some trouble.
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Old 05-31-08, 10:33 PM   #13
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What's breaking on the bike you have? I weigh 240, and used to be pretty strong (not so much anymore...), and I rarely break anything. If you're having driveline problems, it might be something as simple as setup or technique. Post that and maybe somebody will be able to help you.
A singlespeed geared low enough to save your knees will drive you crazy on the road--mine is a 34-20(34tooth chainring, 20t freewheel), and I'm spun out at 15 or 16mph, but there are lots of hills around here and I need the low ratio.
There certainly are three-speed bikes, and also internally geared seven-speeds, but unless you're ripping off derailleurs, they won't help you. The other parts of the bike are no stronger than what you're riding. You can also get singlespeed hubs that hold a freewheel on each side, so you can ride with a small cog until you need a lower gear, then reverse the wheel and use a larger one. www.sheldonbrown.com is one place to look.
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