Saturday, April 05, 2008
I've ridden my three-speed bikes exclusively this winter and this has given me enough experience to comment on the gear ratios of the Sturmey Archer AW (both of mine are AWs). The AW has a direct drive gear and then a gear that is 25% lower and another that is 33% higher than the direct drive.
The 25% reduction gear is great. I use it when starting from a stop, especially with a loaded pannier or a load in the basket. As I accelerate, I get into the direct drive gear quickly and remain in that gear most of the time. When I need a higher gear for downhills and tailwinds, I don't use the 33% increase gear, because it's usually too much of a jump. I'd like a 25% increase instead. That would be great.
I know Sturmey used to sell a mid-range hub (the AM) that had smaller differences between the gears. I think it's called the AM. Correct me if I'm wrong. Does anyone know if the guts of these
two hubs are interchangeable?
I also have a Shimano 333 hub that I'd like to build up. I can't find the ratios for it. Do any of you know? I've read that Shimano 3-speed hubs are less durable than the SAs. Any opinions on that? I bet the parts are difficult to find for old Shimano hubs.
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