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Aaron's (was Handlebar lever shifters for geared hubs

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  • Benjamin Nead
    As a followup, Micheal, I did write JTek and got a very nice reply. They basically don t have an over-the-shelf solution to adapt a thumb lever shifter (a la
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 2, 2013
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      As a followup, Micheal, I did write JTek and got a very nice reply. They basically don't have an over-the-shelf solution to adapt a thumb lever shifter (a la Sturmey-Archer) to the SRAM i-Motion 3.

      I then decided to make the same inquiry to Aaron's in Seattle (the hub-centric bike shop that John mentioned in an earlier post) . . .

      http://www.rideyourbike.com/internalgears.shtml

      The return email I got from Aaron was basically a politely worded form letter, stating that the first technical question would cost $10 to answer (albeit, subsequent ones being less expensive,) but that I could apply that money to the purchase of a hub within 30 days.

      Well, fair enough . . . I guess email tech inquiries take time off the repair/sales floor in a brick-and-mortar neighborhood bike shop. But I did decide to write back and see if I could get at least one non-tech question answered for free before I would proceed further: did he have either the SRAM i-Motion 3 or the Sturmey-Archer S-RK3 in the store at the moment?

      Aaron's answer? Nope! . . . "Seattle is too hilly for 3 speeds, we do not stock them" he told me.

      So, I would have potentially paid money for an answer to a tech question and then, if I immediately requested to purchase one of these particular hubs from Aaron's based on that answer, he would have to order it from his distributor and - in all likelihood - it might take more than 30 days before it would arrive at his door and then get shipped to me . . . hmmm.

      The S-RK3 is looking better all the time. Unlike SRAM, Sturmey-Archer actually seems interested in the hubs they make and provides repair parts, if needed. If it's nothing my favorite local bike shops have, I'll purchase it from a reliable online vendor who isn't potentially going to be playing funny games with me.

      For all I know, Aaron's might be the real deal. But this initial encounter is leading me to stay away for now.

      Ben in Tucson

      --------------------------------------------------------------
      --------------------------------------------------------------

      Hi Ben,

      It would be nice to have options other than twist shifters.
      For what it's worth, J-Tek Engineering in Minnesota produces very high quality bar end shifters for Shimano 7 and 8, and Sturmey 8 speed hubs. I wonder if they would consider designing one for the 3 speed hubs you mention.

      http://jtekengineering.com/barendshifter.php

      Michael
    • jpbabic
      ... I would agree with this statement, but Aaron can speak for himself. He is active on this group and can provide more where details on he s coming from. I
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 2, 2013
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        > For all I know, Aaron's might be the real deal.

        I would agree with this statement, but Aaron can speak for himself. He is active on this group and can provide more where details on he's coming from.

        I get the impression that Aaron is a big advocate of internal gear hubs and would like to see not only more on the road but more shops selling and servicing them.

        Click around here for messages from Aaron and you can read some of his posts for yourself.

        Regards and best wishes in your work.
      • Alex Wetmore
        From: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com [Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of Benjamin Nead [mcnead@earthlink.net] ... That is pretty unlikely.
        Message 3 of 12 , Feb 2, 2013
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          From: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com [Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of Benjamin Nead [mcnead@...]
          > So, I would have potentially paid money for an answer to a tech question and then, if I immediately requested to purchase one of these
          > particular hubs from Aaron's based on that answer, he would have to order it from his distributor and - in all likelihood - it might take
          > more than 30 days before it would arrive at his door and then get shipped to me . . . hmmm.

          That is pretty unlikely. Seattle bike shops can get parts from a few major distributors (J&B Importers, Seattle Bike Supply, and some other smaller ones) in 0-2 days depending on when the next delivery truck is out. Parts from the largest distributor (QBP) usually come into most shops once a week. I've never had to wait long for a special order at a shop in Seattle.

          I think that Aaron's tech consult charge is an attempt to stop from being free tech support for people who then would go and buy stuff from other sources. I think that it is a reasonable approach. At the same time he often gives out free advice on this list, but that is done at his available time, not on demand.

          I've known Aaron for over a decade. He's an honest and skilled mechanic who is trying to figure out how to keep local brick and mortar bike shops viable while providing products and services that most local shops won't. I've bought multiple IGHs and lots of parts from him. His shop is nowhere near my part of Seattle (and Seattle is blessed with what might be the best mix of shops in the US), but I still make a visit a couple of times per year.

          alex
        • Benjamin Nead
          Fair enough, guys. If Aaron s return email to me would have indicated that these are things he does actually sell (perhaps mentioning prices, shipping costs,
          Message 4 of 12 , Feb 2, 2013
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            Fair enough, guys. If Aaron's return email to me would have indicated
            that these are things he does actually sell (perhaps mentioning prices,
            shipping costs, etc.,) then that would have inspired far more
            confidence. Simply advancing "we don't stock them" leaves a lot to the
            imagination and can easily construed to be an invitation to buy elsewhere.

            Ben in Tucson

            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            I would agree with this statement, but Aaron can speak for himself. He
            is active on this group and can provide more where details on he's
            coming from.

            I get the impression that Aaron is a big advocate of internal gear hubs
            and would like to see not only more on the road but more shops selling
            and servicing them.

            Click around here for messages from Aaron and you can read some of his
            posts for yourself.

            Regards and best wishes in your work.

            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            Alex Wetmore wrote:
            >
            > From: Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com
            > <mailto:Geared_hub_bikes%40yahoogroups.com>
            > [Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com
            > <mailto:Geared_hub_bikes%40yahoogroups.com>] on behalf of Benjamin
            > Nead [mcnead@... <mailto:mcnead%40earthlink.net>]
            > > So, I would have potentially paid money for an answer to a tech
            > question and then, if I immediately requested to purchase one of these
            > > particular hubs from Aaron's based on that answer, he would have to
            > order it from his distributor and - in all likelihood - it might take
            > > more than 30 days before it would arrive at his door and then get
            > shipped to me . . . hmmm.
            >
            > That is pretty unlikely. Seattle bike shops can get parts from a few
            > major distributors (J&B Importers, Seattle Bike Supply, and some other
            > smaller ones) in 0-2 days depending on when the next delivery truck is
            > out. Parts from the largest distributor (QBP) usually come into most
            > shops once a week. I've never had to wait long for a special order at
            > a shop in Seattle.
            >
            > I think that Aaron's tech consult charge is an attempt to stop from
            > being free tech support for people who then would go and buy stuff
            > from other sources. I think that it is a reasonable approach. At the
            > same time he often gives out free advice on this list, but that is
            > done at his available time, not on demand.
            >
            > I've known Aaron for over a decade. He's an honest and skilled
            > mechanic who is trying to figure out how to keep local brick and
            > mortar bike shops viable while providing products and services that
            > most local shops won't. I've bought multiple IGHs and lots of parts
            > from him. His shop is nowhere near my part of Seattle (and Seattle is
            > blessed with what might be the best mix of shops in the US), but I
            > still make a visit a couple of times per year.
            >
            > alex
            >
            >
          • aarons_bicycle_repair
            Dear Ben, I am in the process of moving my shop. And yes, Seattle is too hilly for 3 speeds, especially when there are so many hubs with more gears for
            Message 5 of 12 , Feb 2, 2013
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              Dear Ben,

              I am in the process of moving my shop. And yes, Seattle is too hilly for 3 speeds, especially when there are so many hubs with more gears for Seattle. Also, there are millions of AW hubs around. They work great and are durable. You can pick one up at any used or community bike shop for little money. There is no reason for us to stock 3 speeds, but we do have several rebuilt ones. Your email was more than just a few questions, you were asking for professional advice in a 2 page email. My canned response even linked to this forum and to Hubstripping, where you can get all the free advice you want. Why do you expect to get advice from me for free? It takes time to answer specific questions for a particular customer. It is not generic. Plenty of folks here are glad to do it for free because it is a hobby to them. To me it is my profession. I also love IGH, so I post here.
              I see no reason for you to tell only part of the story.

              Here is your email: (some one here can answer your questions)

              Hi Aaron's . . .

              I'm hoping to get some advice regarding choices for a 3-speed internally-geared hub, if you are able to do that sort of thing for me via email. It's for my mountain bike, a used Montague folding model that I purchased late last year, which I can easily compact for the occasional journey in the back of my car. Since I'm using the Montague exclusively for short work commutes on the streets of (mostly flat, very dry and often excruciatingly hot) Tucson, I'm in the process swapping out various off-road items in favor of more street-oriented ones. I've got a good local bike shop helping me along in this regard. The suspension fork recently got swapped out for a tubular steel one and thinner non-knobby tires are next. The bike already suites my needs very well and it's only getting better as carefully-considered upgrades are added.

              One thing I noticed right away was that the stock 24 speed gearing system was vast overkill for my needs. I un-installed the front derailleur and its now runs exclusively as an 8-speed on the outside (42T) chain ring. Out back, most of my riding is done in 5th gear (18T) and I occasionally choose 3rd (24T) or 7th (13T) at the gearing extremes. I'm not exactly ready to consider going the single-speed route but, as a wheel build is contemplated later this year, I'm investigating what's available in regards to current generation 3-speed hubs. The bike has vertical dropouts and (unless you know of a better option) will get a Surly Singulator chain tensioner.

              I was pleased to find out that all current hub manufacturers offers a rear disc brake option and I'd like to go with a mechanical Avid BB7 back there. But this would preclude going with the Shimano SG-3D55 hub, as the Centerlock disc mount won't work with the Avid. That leave either the SRAM i-Motion 3 or Sturmey-Archer S-RK3, both of which accommodate the 6 bolt Avid rotor mount.

              I like the fact that the SRAM's shifter cable doesn't protrude past the chainstays and the gearing provides a slightly greater spread from 1st to 3rd. But I initially heard that part availability from SRAM hubs - especially the 3 - is poor in the US. Your web site, with pictures of the SRAM parts drawer, alliterates those concerns. The only thing that is preventing me from purchasing the SRAM right now is the lack of handlebar shifters beyond the provided twist shifter. So far, after checking on various online forums and emailing a few aftermarket manufacturers, this appears to be the only way I can go.

              ** First question: is there another shifter - such as an unobtrusive thumb lever unit - that can be reliably adapted to the i-Motion 3?

              The other contender is Sturmey-Archer S-RK3. Parts, apparently, are readily available and 177% gear spread between 1st and 3rd is probably suitable for my needs. Old Schwinns and Raleighs of my youth had AW hubs, which worked very nicely. But I remember on more than one occasion back then having the shifting mechanism (the bumpy wire part that protrudes out of the axle end) snagging on something and breaking off. Other than that, I like the fact that Sturmey-Archer provides different shifter options, including a thumb lever one that looks ideal.

              ** Second question: given what I've told you above about my concerns, balanced against your experience servicing these things and dealing with both SRAM and Sturmey-Archer . . . which one of these disc-ready 3-speed hubs do you think is the best bet?

              ** Third (final) question: while excessive moisture isn't a concern down here (as in your native Seattle,) excessive heat is. Is there anything I should know about lubrication for hubs in my climate? Various oils and greases are probably not in any danger of washing away and having everything rust. But, rather, there's a concern that some lubrications could melt and leak away . . . or lubes that could stop working in the heat and turn to varnish.

              Thanks in advance for anything you can tell me . . .

              Ben Nead


              BTW, if you want your local bike shop to stock and service IGH you need to go ask them!

              --- In Geared_hub_bikes@yahoogroups.com, "Benjamin Nead" wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > As a followup, Micheal, I did write JTek and got a very nice reply. They basically don't have an over-the-shelf solution to adapt a thumb lever shifter (a la Sturmey-Archer) to the SRAM i-Motion 3.
              >
              > I then decided to make the same inquiry to Aaron's in Seattle (the hub-centric bike shop that John mentioned in an earlier post) . . .
              >
              > http://www.rideyourbike.com/internalgears.shtml
              >
              > The return email I got from Aaron was basically a politely worded form letter, stating that the first technical question would cost $10 to answer (albeit, subsequent ones being less expensive,) but that I could apply that money to the purchase of a hub within 30 days.
              >
              > Well, fair enough . . . I guess email tech inquiries take time off the repair/sales floor in a brick-and-mortar neighborhood bike shop. But I did decide to write back and see if I could get at least one non-tech question answered for free before I would proceed further: did he have either the SRAM i-Motion 3 or the Sturmey-Archer S-RK3 in the store at the moment?
              >
              > Aaron's answer? Nope! . . . "Seattle is too hilly for 3 speeds, we do not stock them" he told me.
              >
              > So, I would have potentially paid money for an answer to a tech question and then, if I immediately requested to purchase one of these particular hubs from Aaron's based on that answer, he would have to order it from his distributor and - in all likelihood - it might take more than 30 days before it would arrive at his door and then get shipped to me . . . hmmm.
              >
              > The S-RK3 is looking better all the time. Unlike SRAM, Sturmey-Archer actually seems interested in the hubs they make and provides repair parts, if needed. If it's nothing my favorite local bike shops have, I'll purchase it from a reliable online vendor who isn't potentially going to be playing funny games with me.
              >
              > For all I know, Aaron's might be the real deal. But this initial encounter is leading me to stay away for now.
              >
              > Ben in Tucson
              >
              > --------------------------------------------------------------
              > --------------------------------------------------------------
              >
              > Hi Ben,
              >
              > It would be nice to have options other than twist shifters.
              > For what it's worth, J-Tek Engineering in Minnesota produces very high quality bar end shifters for Shimano 7 and 8, and Sturmey 8 speed hubs. I wonder if they would consider designing one for the 3 speed hubs you mention.
              >
              > http://jtekengineering.com/barendshifter.php
              >
              > Michael
              >
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