Re: [Classicrendezvous] Sturmey Archer SW Hub also SA front hub brake

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Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 23:26:39 -0500
To: Joseph Bender-Zanoni <>,
From: Sheldon Brown <>
Subject: Re: [Classicrendezvous] Sturmey Archer SW Hub also SA front hub brake

Joseph Bender-Zanoni wrote:
>I recently found a '57 Sturmey Archer SW hub that I am evaluating for a
>project, my '38 Schwinn Superior. I have all the original parts for the
>Superior but it came with the worst hub option, a simple coaster brake hub.
>Being ignorant except for the AW hub I turned to Sheldon Brown's site and
>learned a little. The Super Wide was only built in '57, has a wide range of
>ratios, unique quiet pawls, is lightweight, efficient and breaks a lot.
>This particular unit seems in great shape and is very silky and precise
>feeling relative to an AW. I was startled to realize that the 3rd gear is
>the one to one ratio rather than the 2nd as in an AW.

That's not correct. 2nd gear is 1 to 1. It's similar to the AW except for wider range.
>Since my theory when
>using hub gears is to primarily use the one to one gear for effeciency and
>to save wear that means that I would have a third gear around 72 or 75
>inches and first will be below 40 inches. Kind of neat for a kicking around
>and bike path bike.
>Does anyone know how truly fragile these are? In other words should I use
>this working example or let it be a museum piece.

It's not that they're fragile, but that they tend to skip, particularly in high gear. I've got one of 'em myself on a "Q ship" Raleigh Sports with a full chaincase and lightweight 27 x 1 wheels. I've got it geared pretty high, so I don't wind up using high gear all that much.

Sheldon "Epicyclic" Brown Newtonville, Massachusetts +-----------------------------------------------------------------+ | The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water, | | and breeds reptiles of the mind. --William Blake | +-----------------------------------------------------------------+
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