Hub manufacturer Sturmey-Archer is poised to reintroduce a classic component: a three-speed, fixed gear rear hub.
According to a post on Sturmey’s blog the new S3X hub is at prototype stage and will have an aluminium alloy hub shell.
The S3X will have gears of direct drive, minus 25 percent and minus 37.5 percent.
Retro fans might be slightly disappointed that Sturmey hasn’t exactly replicated the ratios of the ASC fixed-gear three-speed of the early 1950s. However, it’s a similar range to the common AW three-speed which should make it a bit more broadly useful than the ASC, which was intended for time-trialling.
The ASC is one of those legendary components that has old-bike-gear freaks getting all misty-eyed when it’s mentioned. Examples are rare and change hands for hefty three-figure sums when they appear.
This writer had one on a road bike that was stolen from outside a pub in Leeds in 1987. The simplicity and versatility of a three-speed fixed made it far and away the best knockabout bike I’ve ever had.
There’s no word yet as to pricing or time line.