Re: [Geared_hub_bikes] Re: Demystifying a Sturmey Archer 8 speed.
- Actually the roller clutch appeared about 4 years ago, with no marketing fanfare (that I saw), in the Alfine line. I've had one of each type of the Alfine 8 speed.--
From: pj <prester_john_in_cathay@...>
Sent: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 3:17:56 PM
Subject: [Geared_hub_bikes] Re: Demystifying a Sturmey Archer 8 speed.
Shimano introduced the old Fitchel&Sachs roller clutches in one of their cassette hubs back in the mid-1990s, but despite being quiet, strong and cost competitive, it received a collective meh from the derailleur world. (Some other brands of cassette hubs use the noise they make as an advertised feature.) The silent freewheel cassette hub joined aerodynamic groupsets, Biopace chainwheels, drop spindle pedals and automatic shifting IGHs on the 'they didn't buy it' pile, except for a single model specially manufactured for their 'law enforcement bicycle' parts group.> I suspect the "problem" of strange noises in different
> gears is what lead Shimano to switch from ratchet to
> roller clutches/drive, in it's Alfine line.
They introduced their eight speed IGH to general acclaim and ever increasing sales, but in order to meet price points and maintain sales to OEMs they had to expand the manufacture from Japan to Singapore. To prevent putting Japanese employees out of work, they had to create a higher spec model with a greater perceived value that could command a price point commensurate with the cost of manufacturing it in Japan.
So they resurrected the silent freewheel ideal, added a disc brake mount and anodized it black (all inexpensive features) and called it the 'Alfine'.