When I was at Spin London last year I showed Sjoerd from Vellowland a doodle of an idea for a fork I had. Always been fascinated by the Cannodale Lefty fork for it quirkiness. He liked it so having found a front wheel I eventually got round to knocking this up.
Now I need to finish it up and do the frame to match.
Some time ago I bought a Sturmey Archer S2C hub. I’d read a bit of bad press but wanted to try the idea out as umpteen years of pulling away from traffic lights and gurning up hill on my single speed left me thinking it might be a good idea. Fortunately I picked it up nearly new built into a wheel for the price of the rim alone. Maybe that should have told me something.
It started off ok but did start making some strange noises and the gear change was just unreliable. It was good to be able to chose when to change gear , if indeed it would change, except it needs a little backpedal. When the big gear gets to much when going up a hill, you slow the pressure and try to hook the lower gear. If you backpedal too much you hit the rear brake or if it doesn’t change pretty quickly you come to a grinding halt, stuck in the big gear. So I thought i’d try an SRAM Automatix instead.
I built a new one into a wheel and immediately found the (well documented) automatic gear change was at the wrong point. It started well, again, in the lower gear but you get to about 60 rpm and it changes up. Annoying on the flats but impossible to use on a hill with sticking below the gurning rate of 40 rpm. Who designs this stuff? Thankfully (thanks to Dave McCraw’ s website) there’s info on that there interweb of how to fix it. A few minutes to whip the hub apart and effect a change and things are much better. Test rode it to Brooklands Motorcycle Show today and enabled lower gear hill climbing but with big gear for the flats and down.
The lower gear for starting off is nice but need to remember it’s got a coaster break when hopping up curbs!