Sturmey-Archer's fixed-wheel three-speed hub



I like the idea - especially in Brisbane where it is hilly in places.

It still has more cred than all those softies riding on freewheels.

I used to like the idea of these, now I don’t. If you’re going to have the complexity of gear assemblies and shifter cables you might as well be able to coast too.

Years ago you used to get a two speed hub (was a coaster brake unit) the beauty was you changed gear by back pedaling. Just a kick back and it changed gear. No cables at all. I encountered it on a Raleigh 20 so likely to have been a sturmey archer unit.


Can I just say, however, that regular SA 3-speeds are excellent. The missus has one on a little Dahon folding bike and it’s really a piece of cake to adjust and maintain. Also, you can shift when you’re stopped. I’ve got a spare on a Raleigh 20 that’s “awaiting resto” (cluttering up the house) and I’ve half a mind to relace it into a big wheel to put on the fixie.

That’s a Sachs Torpedo Duomatic kickback hub.

I have one that I’m going to build up, keen to find out what it’s like to ride.

There was also an automatic version that shifted once you reached a given speed (centripetal force moving sprung weights at a given rpm.)

Probably Sturmey’s S2 (from 1966) in this case.
Bendix also did a pair of two speed kickback coaster hubs, one type stepped up from direct drive, the other down.