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"Experimental:" Sturmey AW + 2 cogs = interesting machine

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"Experimental:" Sturmey AW + 2 cogs = interesting machine

Old 05-05-06, 05:54 PM
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"Experimental:" Sturmey AW + 2 cogs = interesting machine

I had some time to kill today, so I put to a test a long-time idea of mine: Can a two-cog derailer gear mechanism be added to a Sturmey AW hub without the need for a threaded driver or a Cyclo converter?

The answer is yes. With two offset cogs placed back-to back to each other on the three-spline driver with a single Sturmey spacer, it certainly is possible.

I just finished adding this system to my beater machine, a 1969 Robin Hood, with considerable success.

Some permanent modification is required however, to the derailer hanger (in this case, a Raleigh-badged Suntour V-series rear mechanism), and the hanger nut at the dropout. As Raleigh used (until '77-'78 or so) a slightly narrower dropout slot for Sturmey-Archer hub axles, the two alignment nubs must be ground down, and the hanger nut must be trimmed a tad to slide into the dropout.

As for the cogs, I found that the width of two S/A cogs butted up together would not sufficently take up the width of the driver, and the addition of one of the S/A spacers would not allow the lockring to sit properly. Although one could conceivably grind down the washer to proper width, I compromised by using a slightly thinner (not an SA, but not one of the current 3/32" chain-compatible Shimano cogs either) cog from my parts pile on the inside, then an SA cog, followed by the washer and lockring.

I regretfully used a cheap Shimano MTB friction lever to operate this thing, but it was the only non-indexed, handlebar-mount thumb shifter I had on hand. Is there any classic, decent-looking, chrome bar-mount lever out there that one might suggest I use instead? I went against a stem shifter, for I wished both the Sturmey and derailer shifters to be in close reach of my right hand.

The system performs very well, I must say. Once or twice, the chain skated one cog while engaging back to the smaller cog, but I expected that the wide 1/8" chain might do this, for it's a bit slower to engage then 3/32" chain. Hardly noticeable when it does happen, really. Other then this, it performs perfectly.

Pictures enclosed. Had yet to run the derailer cable in the first three photos.

Comments and questions encouraged.

Take care,

-Kurt
Attached Images
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Robinhood_5speed_1.jpg (88.6 KB, 332 views)
File Type: jpg
Robinhood_5speed_2.jpg (59.9 KB, 441 views)
File Type: jpg
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Old 05-05-06, 06:50 PM
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I had an old JC Higgins 9 speed with the knockoff S-A 3 speed hub and a Benelux derailleur. The hub had a broken axle, so I replaced the rear wheel with a regular 3 speed one. I wish I had it all back, but it is long gone. I was in the 5th grade when I got the bike for free.
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Old 05-05-06, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
I had an old JC Higgins 9 speed with the knockoff S-A 3 speed hub and a Benelux derailleur. The hub had a broken axle, so I replaced the rear wheel with a regular 3 speed one. I wish I had it all back, but it is long gone. I was in the 5th grade when I got the bike for free.
Reminds me of a '62 Raleigh Lenton Convertible. Those Benelux derailers are worth quite a bit now. Also easy to bend and break, those little buggers.

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 05-07-06, 06:43 PM
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Neat idea. What were the tooth counts on the cogs you used, and did you find them to be good choices? I'm not requesting gear-inch info, just your seat-of-the-pants impression. Will you be experimenting further with this setup?
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Old 05-07-06, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FlatTop
Neat idea. What were the tooth counts on the cogs you used, and did you find them to be good choices? I'm not requesting gear-inch info, just your seat-of-the-pants impression. Will you be experimenting further with this setup?
If I'm not mistaken, I used either 16/17 or 16/18. Although ideal for a club machine, I can't say that this close ratio was exactly what I had in mind for the Robin Hood...but it so happened that these were the largest and smallest cogs I had on hand in the desired thicknesses.

I hope to try a 17/21 or 17/22 setup if I can locate a pair of suitable cogs...for those times when I want to "spin-start..."

-Kurt
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Old 05-07-06, 08:29 PM
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3 tooth count differential

The 17 and 22 cogs would give several near duplicate gears. A 3 tooth count difference gives you a much more useable range w/ no near duplicates. YMMV according to your conditions.
Kurt, I very much like the look of the Suntour / Raleigh derailleur and plan on putting one on my 3 speed Sprite hotrod.

Robert
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Old 05-07-06, 08:48 PM
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Kurt,

Nicely done! Brings back memories of my second-favorite commute to work bike 35 years ago: Raleigh Twenty folder with a 3-speed Cyclo sprocket and Huret Allvit derailleur. Well, it's what I had available on the workbench at the time, and I was looking for strength should I go down in a traffic situation.

Rode TOSRV 76 on it - wearing a suit, bow tie and bowler hat. Smoked a pipe almost the whole way down to Portsmouth.

Probably would have kept it if the boss hadn't tempted me with that white/gold pinstripe Sports.

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Old 05-10-06, 11:42 AM
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I've just realized three things:

That I have the necessary parts in my stash to duplicate this project, including a few bikes doing nothing much and suitable to be converted to a Sturmey Archer/derailleur 6 speed.

That those extra ratios would come in handy on heavier and more heavily-loaded bikes,

and finally, that I didn't want to see this very cool post slip off into limbo simply because the traffic is getting a bit heavier here in Classic&Vintage.
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Old 05-10-06, 11:49 AM
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Why stop there? Go for a dual chainring up front too.

I think downtube shifters would be a better idea than the thumbies.
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Old 05-10-06, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
Why stop there? Go for a dual chainring up front too.

I think downtube shifters would be a better idea than the thumbies.
Haha - that ruins the beauty of the minimum of gears and levers. I wanted the extra cog to serve mainly as an overdrive, nothing more. You can't stick an FD under the chainguard either.

There's just enough room under the guard for the two-speed though, although one of the Raleigh full-length "wing" guards would allow for additional cogs, for they're open on the left side.

Downtube? On an upright-bar tourer? Ridiculous. The beauty of the S-A three speed is the thumb-action trigger - always there right next to the grip. After looking over the bar though, I can't see any other possible mounting for the rear derailer lever other then a Suntour barcon - which sounds pretty good, in fact!

P.S.: If I was looking for excess, I would have used a Sturmey S5-2 with a threaded driver, a Shimano 8 speed freewheel and a triple up front. Nope, even better - a TA Pro 5 vis "Cyclotourist" with four chainrings. 160 gears. I dare say I'd have every one of those "more-gears-are-better" Craigslisters in town going nuts for such a machine at the tune of $600.


Originally Posted by USAZorro
I've just realized three things:

That I have the necessary parts in my stash to duplicate this project, including a few bikes doing nothing much and suitable to be converted to a Sturmey Archer/derailleur 6 speed.

That those extra ratios would come in handy on heavier and more heavily-loaded bikes,

and finally, that I didn't want to see this very cool post slip off into limbo simply because the traffic is getting a bit heavier here in Classic&Vintage.
I assume you'll be grinding up a Shimano cassette then? Works, but IMHO, the grinding defeats the simple beauty of putting this system together without any major modifications (save for grinding the derailer hanger tabs, if you're mounting the system to a pre-'77 Raleigh dropout).

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 05-10-06, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
...Haha - that ruins the beauty of the minimum of gears and levers. I wanted the extra cog to serve mainly as an overdrive, nothing more. You can't stick an FD under the chainguard either...
A good notion, but taken another step, couldn't the extra cog serve instead as an underdrive ratio on my big, heavy Columbia Sport III with SA hub?

Originally Posted by cudak888
...I assume you'll be grinding up a Shimano cassette then? Works, but IMHO, the grinding defeats the simple beauty of putting this system together without any major modifications (save for grinding the derailer hanger tabs, if you're mounting the system to a pre-'77 Raleigh dropout)...
There's a lot to be said in defense of simplicity, but the Shimano cassettes are absolutely everywhere, and if grinding doesn't fillet one, I have access to a bandsaw.

Thanks for sharing. I never guessed this was possible, let alone a fairly simple adaptation.

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Old 05-10-06, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by FlatTop
A good notion, but taken another step, couldn't the extra cog serve instead as an underdrive ratio on my big, heavy Columbia Sport III with SA hub?
It most certainly can.

Originally Posted by FlatTop
There's a lot to be said in defense of simplicity, but the Shimano cassettes are absolutely everywhere, and if grinding doesn't fillet one, I have access to a bandsaw.
And so are coasterbrake triple-splined cogs everywhere. But it's your choice. Let me know how it works out.

-Kurt
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Old 05-11-06, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Haha - that ruins the beauty of the minimum of gears and levers. I wanted the extra cog to serve mainly as an overdrive, nothing more. You can't stick an FD under the chainguard either.

There's just enough room under the guard for the two-speed though, although one of the Raleigh full-length "wing" guards would allow for additional cogs, for they're open on the left side.

Downtube? On an upright-bar tourer? Ridiculous. The beauty of the S-A three speed is the thumb-action trigger - always there right next to the grip. After looking over the bar though, I can't see any other possible mounting for the rear derailer lever other then a Suntour barcon - which sounds pretty good, in fact!

P.S.: If I was looking for excess, I would have used a Sturmey S5-2 with a threaded driver, a Shimano 8 speed freewheel and a triple up front. Nope, even better - a TA Pro 5 vis "Cyclotourist" with four chainrings. 160 gears. I dare say I'd have every one of those "more-gears-are-better" Craigslisters in town going nuts for such a machine at the tune of $600.
The FD and the downtube shifter suggestions were both jokes.

If you REALLY want excess, you could do the above with a Rohloff 14 speed hub - which a quick calculation tells me would have 448 gears. (14 x 8 x 4).
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Old 05-11-06, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
The FD and the downtube shifter suggestions were both jokes.

If you REALLY want excess, you could do the above with a Rohloff 14 speed hub - which a quick calculation tells me would have 448 gears. (14 x 8 x 4).
And good for about $1200 on craigslist!

cudak888 - well done conversion, always enjoyed seeing the fruits of a bit of imagination and an inventive nature.
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Old 05-11-06, 07:42 PM
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Not a bad idea, considering having the SA instantly multiplies all your cog speeds x3. You could easily pull off a full 12 speeds with just four cogs and one chain ring if you had the AW in there. Not sure that would fit right, but I'm sure someone out there has dreamed it up some way or another.
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Old 05-12-06, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
Not a bad idea, considering having the SA instantly multiplies all your cog speeds x3. You could easily pull off a full 12 speeds with just four cogs and one chain ring if you had the AW in there. Not sure that would fit right, but I'm sure someone out there has dreamed it up some way or another.
I wish I still had my Cyclo hybrid transmission, which featured a 14-16-18-20 1/8" cogset on an AW, giving me 10 nicely-spaced ratios and 2 near-redundancies from 40 to 100 gear-inches, when I used a 40T chainring and 26" wheels. I hated the Cyclo bandspring derailleur and eventually replaced it with a Campag. Gran Sport. I had a Cyclo downtube lever on the right and the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed trigger tucked in behind the left brake lever, to support simultaneous gear changes on the two systems. The bike was an old gas pipe Armstrong former 3-speed with drop bars and a tensioned leather saddle; I wish I had tried the transmission on something lighter and more resilient, but this was good basic theft-resistant transportation for a starving UCLA undergrad.
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Old 05-12-06, 01:38 PM
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Since the ratio progression on an AW is 0.75 - 1.00 - 1.33, I would like a 2-speed combination which split the difference, e.g. 16-18, which would yield a respectable gear progression of 43-49-58-65-77-87 with a 40T chainring and 26" wheels.
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Old 05-12-06, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
... If you REALLY want excess, you could do the above with a Rohloff 14 speed hub - which a quick calculation tells me would have 448 gears. (14 x 8 x 4).
I have seen a 90-speed bike (Sturmey-Archer 5-speed hub, 6-speed cogset, and triple chainring).
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Old 05-12-06, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by John E
I have seen a 90-speed bike (Sturmey-Archer 5-speed hub, 6-speed cogset, and triple chainring).

How long would it take to sequence through the lot of them?
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Old 05-12-06, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SirMike1983
How long would it take to sequence through the lot of them?
Simple. Ask the Craigslister buying it to demonstrate.

-Kurt
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Old 05-12-06, 06:14 PM
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Sheldon Brown's OTB with 63-speed drivetrain: https://sheldonbrown.org/otb.html

The seven cogs on a Sturmey Archer hub must be a bit of a letdown after the 90-speed, but I've started to get antsy waiting for someone to post this admittedly offtrack link. Like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
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Old 05-12-06, 07:07 PM
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Sixty-three speeds? *ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz*

That's nothing compared to the maximum gear ratio I can think of, a 224 speed machine. Essentially a Sturmey Sprinter 7 w/splined driver, 8 speed Shimano freewheel, and a quadruple TA Cyclotourist crankset.

Yes, some folks have managed to get four chainrings on the TA Cyclotourist, I hear. Must be a chainline nightmare.

-Kurt
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Old 05-12-06, 09:12 PM
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The largest number of gears I ever had was 36: 53-49-45 / 14-16-18-20 on the Sturmey-Archer AW I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, there were lots of redundancies and plenty of uselessly high gears. What would have made more sense is a 24-speed, viz: 42-40 or 40-38 / 14-16-18-20 with the AW.
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Old 05-12-06, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Sixty-three speeds? *ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz*

That's nothing compared to the maximum gear ratio I can think of, a 224 speed machine. Essentially a Sturmey Sprinter 7 w/splined driver, 8 speed Shimano freewheel, and a quadruple TA Cyclotourist crankset.
Talk is easy, doing it is not so easy.

Shimano has never made an 8-speed freewheel, and freewheels don't fit splined drivers.

If you really want to get the big numbers, you use a second internal gear hub as a jackshaft.

The Sprinter would be a poor choice for this due to its fragility and the difficulty of obtaining spare parts.

Now you could use a threaded driver on a Sturmey-Archer 5-speed hub, stick an 8-speed freewheel onto that. If you used one at the wheel, another at the jackshaft, you would have theoretically 40 at the wheel X 40 at the jackshaft X 3 chainrings...4800 speeds.

If you could figure a way to extend the axle past all of the sprockets, you could use Rohloff 14 speeds instead...

My 63 speed actually works.

Sheldon "Mostly Riding Nexus 8 Speeds These Days" Brown
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+-----------------------------------------------+
|       Many workmen                            |
|       Built a huge ball of masonry            |
|       Upon a mountaintop.                     |
|       Then they went to the valley below,     |
|       And turned to behold their work.        |
|       "It is grand," they said;               |
|       They loved the thing.                   |
|                                               |
|       Of a sudden, it moved:                  |
|       It came upon them swiftly;              |
|       It crushed them all to blood.           |
|       But some had opportunity to squeal.     |
|                    --Stephen Crane            |
+-----------------------------------------------+
Sheldon Brown is offline  
Old 05-12-06, 10:39 PM
  #25  
randya
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Suntour made some nice friction thumb shifters in the early days of MTB (early mid 80s). Good luck finding some used, one of my coworkers keeps wanting to buy the two sets I have off the bikes I have them mounted on.
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