Interbike: Sturmey-Archer's new 3-spd fixed hub

Want to have options on your fixed?

Many agree that the simplest form of cycling comes from riding a fixed gear.

With manufacturers like Surly offering a two-cog option - which still needs to be manually adjusted while stopping - Sturmey-Archer has taken it to the next level with its modernised 980g S3X aluminium-shell rear hub.

The S3X is a 3-speed fixed gear with a close gear ratio of 160 percent, with gear steps of 20 and 30 percent. According to Sturmey-Archer's US spokesperson  David Prosser, the design is based on a popular Sturmey-Archer A.S.C. model from the 1950s, which collectors have been paying upwards of US$800 for.

At a targeted price of US$150, the 2010 S3X hub also uses a threaded driver for a non-fixed gear conversion with a standard singlespeed/BMX freewheel.

A down-tube shifter - compatible for bar-end (96g), flat-bar/thumbie (77g) and seatpost mounting (80g) - activates the rear hub like a standard 3-speed, with a pull chain and rod. The updated hub design uses an aluminium lock-ring and spacers for an adjustable chain line. Spoke drillings are for 36 holes. Spacing options include 120 and 130mm, with 12- or 18-tooth 1/8-inch pitch cogs and 12- or 13-tooth 3/32-inch pitch cogs.

Sturmey-Archer's own forged aluminium front chainring and crankset works with square-tapered bottom brackets to fit 68mm English-threaded shells, available with 42/44/46/48-tooth 144mm bolt-circle diameter rings in 165/170/172.5mm lengths. Crank weights range from 722 to 797g.

Prosser's Napa, California neighbour Curtis Inglis built a custom RetroTec to hang the custom red anodised S3X bits at Interbike. Felt worked closely with Sturmey-Archer with its 3-speed fixed-gear Gridloc model, and Pashley was showing a prototype Clubman with the S3X as well. Prosser hopes to have the S3X available by the end of 2009.

Follow BikeRadar's Twitter postings at

For BikeRadar's complete Interbike 2009 reports, click here.

Related Articles

Back to top