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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:24 pm 
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Thanks for all the input so far folks. I'm looking to put together a zero-maintenance town bike that's comfy and stable over wet cobbles and tram tracks as well as broken surfaces - so I'll go with hub gears and brakes for the first iteration. If it doesn't work out for me then I can always rethink later and these wheels are a fair price - well, they are right now anyway. The frame is not terribly heavy (531) but I'm not looking for a light bike anyway - for a change!

I'll definitely contact Geoff Apps for his thought on Sturmey stoppers though.

Cheers, Gareth.

one-eyed_jim wrote:
orange71 wrote:
as good as cantis or not?

Not. I'm sure there are modifications that can be made to improve them (and I'm sure Geoff Apps can tell you far more about that than I can) but stock Sturmey drum brakes aren't good stoppers. They're mediocre in all weathers with zero maintenance though, which is their advantage.

Quote:
in terms of durability or speed of gear change or what?

I really meant the brakes. But for off-road use, this doesn't seem to be a great compromise - you add a hell of a lot of weight and end up with a narrow gear range, limited tyre choice and mediocre brakes. For an errand bike it's a different matter, but it would make more sense to start with a frame (Post Office surplus?) that's built to take the wheels.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:35 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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hmmm...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:57 pm 
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one-eyed_jim wrote:
stock Sturmey drum brakes aren't good stoppers. They're mediocre in all weathers with zero maintenance though, which is their advantage.


In Geneva, I am using a dutch bike with sturmey drum brakes
and truly as jim said, the braking is mediocre even if there is zero maintenance. Not to say a puncture becomes a nightmare to mend :cry:

not only do you have to anticipate a lot but an "urgency stop" is impossible

and if you have got a bit of slopes in town, its even more "scary"

I have in mind a clunker and was looking for sturmey hubs with drum brakes and I am rethinking my line of thought !
don't believe the coaster brake version are an improvement :?:

even for an errand bike you need to stop and do more than "deccelerate" :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:09 pm 
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i thought there were 26" sizes
26 as in old 26x1 1/2 steel town bike, typical raleigh stuff
26 as in triathlon/TT stuff
26 as in mtb.

I dont know by how much size varies and whether clearances and canti mounts would fit several or not.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:25 pm 
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pigman wrote:
i thought there were 26" sizes
26 as in old 26x1 1/2 steel town bike, typical raleigh stuff
26 as in triathlon/TT stuff
26 as in mtb.

That's all true, but the basis of the [26" x (fraction)] designation is that the overall diameter of the inflated tyre on its matched rim is 26". So a 26 x 1 1/4" tyre, a 26 x 1 3/8" tyre, and a 26 x 1 1/2" tyre, while all requiring different rims and correspondingly different brake drops (if rim-braked) will all fit the same frame, lateral clearance permitting.

The modern 26" (559mm) mtb tyre grew out of the 26 x 2" cruiser tyre: 22 inches of rim, plus 2" of tyre twice gives 26". That means that there shouldn't be a clearance problem putting any of the old 26" standard wheels in an mtb frame. The possible problems only arise when you consider some of the modern crop of knobbly 650B tyres that are bigger than the nominal 1 1/2" of the corresponding 26" standard.

Quote:
I dont know by how much size varies and whether clearances and canti mounts would fit several or not.

You can often get ordinary cantis on an MTB to reach a 571 (650c) rim. Going the other way can also be a useful swap, tyre clearance permitting. I once crammed a set of 26" Fatboys into my friend's 650c Cannondale. Of course this thread's about drum brakes, so brake reach isn't an issue.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:15 pm 
retrobike rider
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one-eyed_jim wrote:

Quote:
Not. I'm sure there are modifications that can be made to improve them (and I'm sure Geoff Apps can tell you far more about that than I can) but stock Sturmey drum brakes aren't good stoppers. They're mediocre in all weathers with zero maintenance though, which is their advantage.

I really meant the brakes. But for off-road use, this doesn't seem to be a great compromise - you add a hell of a lot of weight and end up with a narrow gear range, limited tyre choice and mediocre brakes. For an errand bike it's a different matter, but it would make more sense to start with a frame (Post Office surplus?) that's built to take the wheels.


The above is basically correct and Geoff Apps has more experience of using drum brakes off-road than anyone.

As I have been riding mountain bikes fitted with drum brakes since 1984 and last year built a hub geared/braked bike, here's my take on the subject.

1. Most hub brakes have a fundamental flaw in that when new, they work well. However the two brake shoes wear unevenly. Eventually only one shoe touches the drum and so the braking effect halves. Try this link for a more detailed explanation.
http://www.63xc.com/dws/hubbrake.htm

Both hydraulic hub brakes, Shimano Inter8 Roller-brakes, Highpath hub-brakes, and the brakes Geoff Apps used on the Clelands, do not have this problem.

2. Hub brakes weigh more than disk or rim-brakes.

3. If badly designed, they can make the wheels more difficult to remove.

4. They are usually very low maintainance. One set of Highpath brake shoes lasted more than 20 years of heavy off-road use.

5. Good hub brakes have superb modulation characteristics and so provide unrivaled control. They deliver the braking forces much more subtle, gradual and progressive manner than any other brakes, and so are much less likely to lock up unexpectedly. This can be described as an anti-locking characteristic, though if you pull the levers too far they will eventually lock up.
(On a recent 1 in 3 down hill in the snow, the riders were surprised that I could control the decent without locking up the wheels. The others had to descend with their rear wheels locked).

The king of the hub brakes at the moment are the Shimano Inter8 Rollerbrakes. They use a system of cams and grease covered rollers and are silent and smooth in operation. Most other braking systems fail if contaminated with grease!

The downside is that they are heavy and though lightweight versions could be made this is unlikely as the Dutch and Belgian market they are intended for are not very weight conscious.


Last edited by GrahamJohnWallace on Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:47 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:27 pm 
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I think a mate of mine from back home has a pair of 26" wheels with a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub which he wanted to shift. They'd have to be rim braked though, obviously... would this be of interest, or are you set on hub brakes now? :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:41 pm
Posts: 173
I am just down the road from that bike shop.

I have a Sram P5 hubbed mountain bike with a hub brake and front discs that is my town bike.

Works really well .

I would favour these over the ones you are looking at.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:11 am 
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Thanks for all the interesting information and opinion, guys. As I think I said at the start, the weight and outright performance aren't critical as it's just to go on a town bike. Simplicity and low maintenance are keys here, and the fact that thieves don't tend to view hub gears and drum brakes as especially desirable helps. Also, I rather like the look of those postie wheels with the shiny rims - they'll set off the chrome on the fork and stays a treat!

Can someone tell me about the forces that the reaction arms tend to load onto fork blades and stays? The frame is 531 (c, I think) so it's light enough without being a featherweight. Can I simply bolt these wheels in place safe in the knowledge that the tubeset can take the stresses? It's a Raleigh Team frame from about '74, designed around caliper brakes but with guard/rack eyes, and tyre clearance, wheelbase and rake suggesting it's built for solidity rather than speed.

Graham - I'm interested in your comment on the longevity of the Highpath shoes. Were these shoes compatible with Sturmey hubs? And is there any chance of finding a set these days??

Update - the hubs are stamped 1995 apparently. Does this put them in the epoch of deteriorating quality leading to the buyout? Or should they still be decent?

Cheers, Gareth,


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:13 pm 
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The frame would be fine.


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