Modern multi-speed hubs?

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kingfish254

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I've run Shimano Nexus 3's on a few of my builds as well as Shimano Nexus 7's. I love both of these hubs. Beter shifter options with the Shimano's because the incremental cable steps between each speed is equal. That means you can use most old school stickshifts with them. Sturmey's are great hubs too, but the spacing between gears is staggered, so only shifters meant for a sturmey will work.
 

kingfish254

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But with that being said, Sturmey does make a killer fat 3 speed hub for 4 inch wheels.

1650849040378.png
 

kingfish254

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The hub that I owned back in the 60s was Not a coaster brake model. I actually never knew that such a thing existed until recently. This is so cool because it gets me out of the caliper brake business.
The coasters on them are a little week compared to the 3 speed nexus but I also have front brakes.
I agree on having a front brake as an extra. If the chain comes off or breaks, you have no brakes except your feet.
Yes, always have a front brake. In most of Europe, it's the law. Front brakes are much more effective than rear brakes. I find myself getting annoyed with coaster brakes. Everything is better with two rim brakes (or discs) and a freewheel: getting on the bike, coming to an intersection, getting off the bike, and, in an emergency, stopping quicker.
 

Ulu

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I rode a bike in Duluth Minnesota and all I had was a coaster brake. When I put on the Sturmey 3 speed I was forced to buy a caliper brake (for the rear wheel only.)

But I sure don’t like the style of brake that was on the front of the bike. As for the brake itself, it was total garbage.

I don’t need it at all because I live in a totally flat area. I might put a slightly different style of brake on that bike though
 

Ulu

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But with that being said, Sturmey does make a killer fat 3 speed hub for 4 inch wheels.

View attachment 191048
I’ve been trying to find a wheel rim like that locally, and they are not available.

I can get one by buying a whole bike.

I asked the guy in the bike store, “what happens if I buy this fat bike and I bend a wheel?”

“They are all on back order.”
 
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Years ago when the Nexus 7 first came out I got hold of one from a local shop. It was attached to a badly damaged beach cruiser that UPS had crushed in transit. I had nearly nothing invested other than my time stripping down the bent up bike.
At the time I had an upper mid range road bike with a full chromoly frame, 1" tires, and its original Araya A20 rims.
I built that hub into the rear wheel, found a set of alloy north road bars and set the bike up as an upright cruiser.
It was a tall, 64cm frame, which fit me well as a road bike. However, when converted to an upright bike, the bike was miserable to ride. The frame flexed with every pedal stroke, the rear hub felt 'heavy' in that bike, and the upright position made the weight distribution a problem with the narrow tires.
The hub never shifted well, I tried the original twist grip shifter, then went with the trigger set up, but shifting was vague.
The roller brake worked well, but added more weight, and to make it worse, I added a front roller brake.
The roller brakes worked great but they would overheat on downhill stops, which soon killed the front brake and boiled the paint off the rear brake assembly. I scrapped the roller brakes and went back to calipers.
The gearing was fine, I was running 48x20t cogs, which if anything were a bit low but I didn't stick with it long enough to make any changes there.
I ended up putting the bike back to stock and selling it. I then tried the hub in a 1987 Schwinn High Sierra mtb, but never really liked how slow it shifted and how long it took to run through the gears.
I did pick up a Jamis cruiser at auction about 12 years ago with one factory installed, but that behaved the same way. I ended up removing the Nexus 7 in favor of a newer Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. I sold the Nexus 7 on fleabay and sold the bike to a neighbor a few months after that. It was a far nicer bike with the SA 3 speed. The funky push up, push down and twist grip shifters were the biggest issue, you never knew what gear it was in, even though the push type shifter had a gear indicator, it was never aligned correctly and would never stay adjusted. There was just too much slop in the cable and all the plastic parts.
I got the impression that Shimano built the hubs and then bought the shifters from Mattel or Hasbro.

These days i stick to older SA AW hubs or coaster brakes.
 
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I built a wheel for my Dad's bike with a new sturmey archer 2 speed kickback coaster. The kickback is really nice.

I have a sturmey archer S-RF3 3 speed freewheel, it's new, but didn't come with shifter etc. Need to figure out those parts and get it on something.

I've been riding freewheels since I was 8 yrs old, I'm so used to backpedaling when going thru a turn, a coaster brake really screws me up. Love how clean they are on a build (no cables)
 
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I built a wheel for my Dad's bike with a new sturmey archer 2 speed kickback coaster. The kickback is really nice.

I have a sturmey archer S-RF3 3 speed freewheel, it's new, but didn't come with shifter etc. Need to figure out those parts and get it on something.

I've been riding freewheels since I was 8 yrs old, I'm so used to backpedaling when going thru a turn, a coaster brake really screws me up. Love how clean they are on a build (no cables)
A lot of people who try coaster brakes like freewheel better, they like to position their feet wherever they want as they coast along. You have an advantage with coaster brakes as they aren't subject to getting wet, but your feet could be at a position that's awkward to apply good brake pressure. You could put a caliper on the rear and front and have 3 brakes. I have to explain the coaster hub here, as almost no bikes use them, they are mostly freewheel with a band brake, or an MTB. The bike shops don't carry the hubs, I have to order them online, and they are all the cheap crappy ones.
 

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I don't care as long as it's not a fixie. I don't enjoy not being able to coast.
I love the clicking, because people hear you coming.

My worst criticism of this bike is the clip-on pedals. I don't want to mod them as they are already scarred for life.
But they are smooth enough to ride fast if I fuss to get them upside down first. They must go if I keep this bike.

I put the seat all the way down and let my wife have a ride. It's easier than her bike. Her's hasn't had fresh grease in 5 years. It's also got MTB tires. Not so fun on the pavement.
 

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I currently have 4 bikes with Nexus7s on them, one with a Sturmey 5spd, and my daughter has a Triumph with a SA 3spd.

In my experience, the Nexus7s bikes are my go to loaners... because they are rock solid reliable and hassle free. The only one I've had to adjust is one of the Electras because it gets ridden the most... adjustment took far less than 5mins, and it was my first time.

My daughter's Triumph takes fiddling every single time it goes on a family ride...not entirely it's fault, mostly because it has old cables and it tends to get left outside often.

The 5spd Sturmey is broke (just the shift cams...easy fix if I ever get to it).

All igh hubs are draggy. The trade off for less maintenance and increased reliability is less efficiency. Depending the igh, 2-10% loss in efficiency compared to derailleur equipped bikes... usually the more gears, the more loss.
 

JA331

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I was going to buy a new bike just to get the Shimano 3 speed hub. $265
Ehhhh....I don't even think it's a real Shimano. It's a copy.

I want another Sturmey.
Save yourself a stack of cash and look for a cheap, barely used Electra lady’s bike with a 3 speed nexus. I’ve picked them up for less than $40.
 

JA331

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Years ago when the Nexus 7 first came out I got hold of one from a local shop. It was attached to a badly damaged beach cruiser that UPS had crushed in transit. I had nearly nothing invested other than my time stripping down the bent up bike.
At the time I had an upper mid range road bike with a full chromoly frame, 1" tires, and its original Araya A20 rims.
I built that hub into the rear wheel, found a set of alloy north road bars and set the bike up as an upright cruiser.
It was a tall, 64cm frame, which fit me well as a road bike. However, when converted to an upright bike, the bike was miserable to ride. The frame flexed with every pedal stroke, the rear hub felt 'heavy' in that bike, and the upright position made the weight distribution a problem with the narrow tires.
The hub never shifted well, I tried the original twist grip shifter, then went with the trigger set up, but shifting was vague.
The roller brake worked well, but added more weight, and to make it worse, I added a front roller brake.
The roller brakes worked great but they would overheat on downhill stops, which soon killed the front brake and boiled the paint off the rear brake assembly. I scrapped the roller brakes and went back to calipers.
The gearing was fine, I was running 48x20t cogs, which if anything were a bit low but I didn't stick with it long enough to make any changes there.
I ended up putting the bike back to stock and selling it. I then tried the hub in a 1987 Schwinn High Sierra mtb, but never really liked how slow it shifted and how long it took to run through the gears.
I did pick up a Jamis cruiser at auction about 12 years ago with one factory installed, but that behaved the same way. I ended up removing the Nexus 7 in favor of a newer Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. I sold the Nexus 7 on fleabay and sold the bike to a neighbor a few months after that. It was a far nicer bike with the SA 3 speed. The funky push up, push down and twist grip shifters were the biggest issue, you never knew what gear it was in, even though the push type shifter had a gear indicator, it was never aligned correctly and would never stay adjusted. There was just too much slop in the cable and all the plastic parts.
I got the impression that Shimano built the hubs and then bought the shifters from Mattel or Hasbro.

These days i stick to older SA AW hubs or coaster brakes.
I have 3 Nexus 7 hubs. The roller brake version is my least favorite but I have never had a problem with any of them including the shifters. I can’t speak for the older SA hubs but I find the new 3 speed drum SA I have the hardest to set up right. Its a nice hub but not enough gears for me.
 

Ulu

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A lot of people who try coaster brakes like freewheel better, they like to position their feet wherever they want as they coast along. You have an advantage with coaster brakes as they aren't subject to getting wet, but your feet could be at a position that's awkward to apply good brake pressure. You could put a caliper on the rear and front and have 3 brakes. I have to explain the coaster hub here, as almost no bikes use them, they are mostly freewheel with a band brake, or an MTB. The bike shops don't carry the hubs, I have to order them online, and they are all the cheap crappy ones.
This is very important if you have a bike so low you can't pedal while leaning in a curve. The bike can apply its own coaster brake if the pedal hits wrong.

I built a motorcycle like that low once. To take a sharp fast corner you had no choice but to hang off on the inside and keep the frame pretty vertical, or drag the rails. You could often burn it around a corner, "squaring it off", as your weight comes off the tires.

Low Altitude Orbital Physics . . .

;)
 

Ulu

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Save yourself a stack of cash and look for a cheap, barely used Electra lady’s bike with a 3 speed nexus. I’ve picked them up for less than $40.
3 gears is plenty for me. I can afford to buy new and chop it. I may be cheap, but I somehow spent $10k on skateboards in 5 years, so not poor.

How's the frame on that Electra? Mild steel or hi-tensile?

I have found a couple Electras for sale locally but they aren't cheap.
We have the most expensive gas in the nation here and also the most expensive bicycles.

Right now I'm looking at a (urgh!) Kent Margaritavlle for $269 new with the Shimano 3 speed. Mostly it is drek, but I think the frame is mild & could use a few of the little bits too.
 

RustyGold

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I did pick up a Jamis cruiser at auction about 12 years ago with one factory installed...
Was your Jamis like this...

21fc4869-62ba-4a54-b5f2-4e5a0238535c.jpg


I have one of these aluminum Earth Cruisers as well...it's a real ripper (has roller brake Nexus7).
 
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