Inquiring minds want to know...
Inquiring minds want to know...
My Sturmey Archer has been giving me a lot of trouble recently. Its an older model one and it came with my old raleigh foldable bike. Parts are definetly harder to find and replace.
00' Cannondale R1000
01' Devinci Chilipepper
When sh*t hits the fan, everything I'm not, made me everything I am.
Sram Spectro 3 - Positive: Pretty durable product, easier to adjust the rear wheel gear indicator once you remove the tire after a flat. Parts are available. You can even get a three speed with a roller brake! All instructions right on the net! Negative: Most expensive of the three, gear indicator sticks out and can get knocked off when riding, you may also lose parts after a wheel change
Sturmey Archer AW-3 - Positive: Pretty durable product, fairly inexpensive new and used hubs are abundant. Negatives: Parts are hard to get, Gear indicator harder to adjust after removing the rear wheel after a flat
Although I've never used a bike with a Nexus 3, here are some things I've observed:
It's a fairly durable product but who sells them?? Where can you get parts?? Does Shimano even sell this hub to the open public?
All 3 speed hub gears have very similar wide gear spacing so it's best to use a large cog or you'll end with a high geared Schwinn Speedster! Futhermore, no standing on the peddals please (especially with a Sturmey Archer) because these hubs can and will slip out of gear!
I really can't tell you who makes a better hub because I've never used all three. I can tell you first hand the AW-3 is a solid product and my junk folding bike is going on 4 years old and the hub still works like new! The Shimano Nexus 7/8 is a solid product and my Bianchi has had zero problems. I suspect their 3 speed version should be no different. I've ridden a folding bike with the Sram Spectro 3 and that is a very good product. Who makes the better product?? Depends on what you want to do?
If you want a solid three speed with a roller brake, you're only hope is the Sram Spectro 3. I don't know if you can get the Shimano 3 speed as I've never seen it available. The Sturmey archer product is everywhere and if you're looking for a bargain basment product, this will be your only choice.
Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 04-29-04 at 08:46 PM.
New Shimano three speed hubs are stock on a fair number of SoCal cruisers (Dynos and Electras for example), so they are available. I don't have any direct experience with new models of any these hubs, but I do with (1) older Sturmey Archer 3-speeds (50's through 70's; I've had 3 different bikes thusly equipped), (2) Shimano Nexus 7 (I've currently got three bikes w/ 'em) and (3) SRAM 5 and 7 (my wife's two bikes). I've never had to service any of them and have had minimal problems, most of which usually can be solved by correct adjustment. I find the Shimano Nexus 7 to be smoother in some gears than others, probably a design issue more than anything else. All things considered, logic would tell you that a three speed should be more reliable and easier to service than a more complicated 5,7 or 8 speed model. However, I don't find that a three speed hub gives me enough range for some of the hills I need to deal with daily, so I typically go with a 7-speed, which is becoming more common on city commuter bikes in the US now. Sturmey makes 5 and 7 speed models now too, but I've never seen one. Maybe Pashley is using them on some bikes, but you'd have to go to Canada to buy one of those.
I just bought a Sachs/Sram 3 speed and think its the tops. I've never used the Shimano - but plan on buying a Nexus 8 when they're widely available. I did use an old Sturmey and found the gearing a little too ... high ... and the shifting not as nice as the Sachs - but then again - the SA was used and I don't recall which model it was whereas the Sachs is new, light, solid and shifting is quite pleasant - though so far I haven't had any use for 1st gear, but i haven't really been hauling anything yet either.