Sturmey Archer S2C Review

This two-speed hub with coaster brake has no cables. It ships broken, and you need to get a part sent by Sturmey Archer, dismantle your new hub and rebuild the axle. It will then explode a few hundred miles later. Bad.

£70 two-speed hub with coaster brake

Fatally flawed, great if it works

The Sturmey Archer S2C is a hub full of golden promise within its very specialised niche – without any cables at all, you get a low/high gear and a brake, with good efficiency and reasonable weight.

s2c hub1

If it wasn’t sold off the shelf with a serious mechanical fault requiring the end-user to rebuild it with a new part shipped out by Sturmey Archer (yes really), and didn’t fatally explode after a few hundred miles, it would indeed be great – but more on that later.

Update: my hub exploded, locking up in the frame while I was riding. Scroll to the bottom for conclusions.

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Who cares about fuel strikes?

The country is in the grip of a government-fuelled panic over… fuel. A tank normally lasts us a month, so it’s no big deal. I did enjoy whisking past the queues with large white goods on tow though!

Cunning cyclists circumvent car combustibles crisis

Bakery Workers Union: “Cake supplies holding up”

Today I took delivery of a new fridge freezer and so I had to run the old pair out to the dump Community Recycling Centre. I could have got them in the back of the car, but I hadn’t bothered to defrost or clean out the insides, so chucked them on the Carry Freedom Y-Frame instead.

h50

It took two trips instead of one, but taking into account the mess advantage (no hovering up polystyrene chunks from the upholstery!) it came out as a wash.

  • I poked the people queueing for fuel at the local station in both eyes (one each trip 😉 )
  • I’m in pocket to the tune of £1.64 – maybe more if the pump price is being hiked
  • I can eat a large cake and still need trousers with a smaller waist
  • My CCE awesome “power” rating has crept up a notch

What a winner.

h51

At somewhere north of 320 litres, the fridge represents the largest load I’ve carried (by volume) although certainly not the lightest or longest (for those, see the links below).

If anybody is interested in the Y-Frame, I’ve touched on it a couple of other times. You can check it out directly at the Carry Freedom website.

Very highly recommended.

See also

Paper Bicycle Review

Made in Scotland, this funky and distinctive utility bike is a must look for the discerning 21st century rider who isn’t always in a hurry!

A Brooks leather saddle, dynamo lighting, hub gear and braking are all topped off by elegant wooden coachwork, with only a couple of wee niggles…

Painfully stylish & practical, from £670

Made in Scotland (ish)

model poses for the Paper Bicycle review

I have to admit – this is not my usual style… but with Edinburgh’s Laid-Back-Bikes providing a prominent city-centre home for Paper Bicycle, I eventually cracked and agreed a swap deal with David Gardiner, leaving him stuck with my commuter while I spent a couple of days travelling in style!

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