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  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Sturmey Archer front hub

    Does anyone have any experience with the Sturmey Archer front hub. It's for a planned wheelset that will have an SA hub at the rear, the attraction being matching hubs. I'm not fazed by loose balls (if they use them) but am concerned about quality, smoothness and life.
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  2. #2
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    There's nothing really special about front hubs. Even a cheap hub with unpolished races can last for decades with a modicum of care. Unless you're thinking of a drum brake or dynohub front hub...

  3. #3
    cheese connoisseur Mumonkan's Avatar
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    i got the drum front and its wonderful, been using it since winter which was about 1300 miles ago and no problems
    ride bikes, eat food. the circle of life.

  4. #4
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mumonkan View Post
    i got the drum front and its wonderful, been using it since winter which was about 1300 miles ago and no problems
    Agreed. My point wasn't that drum brakes or Dynohubs won't last, but that they represent special cases of front hubs. One of my bikes has drum brakes dating from the mid-80s and they're still working fine in all kinds of weather, and another has a Dynohub from 1949 that's also still working fine.

  5. #5
    Senior Member hockeyteeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
    Agreed. My point wasn't that drum brakes or Dynohubs won't last, but that they represent special cases of front hubs.
    Interesting. Do you mean because the braking surface will wear too much or drum pads won't be available far in the future? I can understand electrical connections failing over time, but not sure what you mean about drum brakes...

    Also, here's an excuse to show off my Atom drum brake rear hub that I have yet to use on a future tandem project. Someone way back drilled it to from 36h to 72h so they could lace it to a 48h rim:


  6. #6
    cheese connoisseur Mumonkan's Avatar
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    to be clear my comment was just in response to the op, however i dont think @JohnDThompson was saying anyting negative about drum or dyno hubs, quite the contrary.

    sounds to me like he was just making a statement that theyre special hubs, not just a plain front hub.
    ride bikes, eat food. the circle of life.

  7. #7
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    I had an '05 S/A X-FD 70mm aluminium front hub. I loosened the reaction arm. YMMV.

    I do make it a habit to practice panic stops.

    They do have cartridge bearings, btw. Unnervingly small, shielded but not sealed cartridge bearings.
    Last edited by garage sale GT; 07-22-13 at 04:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mumonkan View Post
    sounds to me like he was just making a statement that theyre special hubs, not just a plain front hub.
    Exactly, thank you. As I mentioned, I have several bikes with drum brakes and Dynohub alternators and they are no less durable than a standard front hub. I just don't think that standard front hubs have much to distinguish them from each other at any given price point. But a drum and/or Dynohub front hub by definition have features lacking in a standard front hub.

    The OP's Sturmey Archer front hub is likely perfectly fine, and if it matches the color of the rear hub, so much the better and perhaps that is enough of a reason to prefer it over another model. But quality-wise I wouldn't expect much difference vis--vis any other standard front hub at that price point.
    Last edited by JohnDThompson; 07-21-13 at 04:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyteeth View Post
    Also, here's an excuse to show off my Atom drum brake rear hub that I have yet to use on a future tandem project. Someone way back drilled it to from 36h to 72h so they could lace it to a 48h rim:

    Looks nice; I have the factory-drilled 40-hole version of that hub on my tandem (it also has an oversize 12mm axle and a 4-pawl tandem duty freewheel). It's held up well since 1984. I also have a bike with front and rear Maillard drum brake hubs I've been riding since 1987, and front Dynohubs on other bikes from 1949 and 1972 that both still work fine. So clearly they are durable.

  10. #10
    old legs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mumonkan View Post
    i got the drum front and its wonderful, been using it since winter which was about 1300 miles ago and no problems

    that's true my wife bike has the first wheel I ever built with a looseball Shimano MTB hub from the late 80's. I repack it ever year and I have replaced the balls once but its fine

  11. #11
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    I re-laced the wheels on my 1975 Schwinn Speedster with Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs. The rear is a combination 3-speed + drum brake. I had them on there for over 35 years w/o any service or problems.

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