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Any Chainlinkers out there riding a SRAM Automatix?  What's your experience and what type of brakes are you using?  I'm of the less-is-more school, but am hesitant to go single speed - thoughts / opinions / experience on single speed commuting in Chicago are welcome as well.  

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Wow! I've been (very slowly) working on a two speed project - haven't gotten around to building the wheel yet. I was gonna use a SA Kickback, but after a wretched experience with an SA three speed, I've been kind of leery. This thing seems like a better deal and better technology - and sort of local. I think I'm changing my plan!

I am using a bendix red band 2 speed automatic (kick-back)on a cruiser.  It is a lot of fun and has been bomproof, although it weighs about a ton and doesn't have a great sealing system, so I rebuild it once a year. 

 

You can find these super cheap, and mine has been running for about 40 years!  The Sturmey Archer S2C has gotten some bad press for failing in dangerous ways, but it has been said that the current versions have been of better quality.

 

http://mccraw.co.uk/sram-automatix-review/ is a good write-up on the SRAM automatix.  Notice that this hub too is not sealed so it will require periodic maintanence during the winter months.  Coaster brakes are the way to go, way fun and make up for some of the hub's weight.

 

Just my two cents...

Right on, the old 2-Speed Bendix hubs on vintage Schwinns!!!

They are indeed heavy, work well, and are inexpensive. Be aware, for ideal tuning of braking and shifting, you will need to find a shop with the old Bendix 2-Speed tools. We can do that at Mikes Bikes in Palatine. Also, there are 3 different gearing's I am aware of... Red, I believe the most common for 26" wheel, Blue, and Yellow. I think the Yellow is for a 20" wheel bike. 


Good Point, I did end up making a tool out of an old socket to make the bendix easier to dissassemble,  I can be done without it, but its not easy.

 

The red band and yellow band are both underdrive hubs 1:0.67 with a direct drive second gear.  The red band is older (up to 1964) and uses the traditional wedge-type coaster brake and the yellow uses a drum coaster brake. These were used on 24" and 26" wheel bikes

 

The blue band came on 20" bikes (Krates) and is an overdrive hub with a drum coaster brake; this has a direct drive 1st and 1.5:1 2nd gear.

I commute on a single free wheel. I will admit that there are times when the wind is really blowing (either against me or with me) that I wish I had another gear (because I am either struggling to push the pedals or because I am spinning out).

This hub looks pretty good. I hadn't come across it in my preliminary research an internal hub options. Please let us know how it goes if you pull the trigger.

Awesome information!!! Thank you!

Casey Carnes said:


Good Point, I did end up making a tool out of an old socket to make the bendix easier to dissassemble,  I can be done without it, but its not easy.

 

The red band and yellow band are both underdrive hubs 1:0.67 with a direct drive second gear.  The red band is older (up to 1964) and uses the traditional wedge-type coaster brake and the yellow uses a drum coaster brake. These were used on 24" and 26" wheel bikes

 

The blue band came on 20" bikes (Krates) and is an overdrive hub with a drum coaster brake; this has a direct drive 1st and 1.5:1 2nd gear.

We got to test some early prototype models and they worked great, but we didn't use them for any extended periods. We also recently built a wheel with this hub for a fella who really loves it.

Will - I've been riding the SRAM 2-speed Duomatic hub for about a month now.  It's been an interesting ride - in general I like it.  A few thoughts:

- when I chose this, I thought I would mostly be riding in the low gear with the high gear available as needed.  In reality, I am mostly riding in the high gear.  It shifts up pretty quickly.  I'm undecided about how I feel about that.  I'm going to ride some more, get into better shape, and then decide if I need to have it adjusted.

- on the mean streets of Chicago, it has shifted between the gears if I hit a pothole or rough patch by accident.  Not often, but it has happened.

- it's completely silent in the low gear, there's a very faint clicking in high gear (FYI - I have a Gates belt drive)

- although it's not supposed to be kickback, I've found that if you want a quick downshift, a slight kickback will do the trick

Happy to answer any  questions you might have.


Will G - 10mi said:

I commute on a single free wheel. I will admit that there are times when the wind is really blowing (either against me or with me) that I wish I had another gear (because I am either struggling to push the pedals or because I am spinning out).

This hub looks pretty good. I hadn't come across it in my preliminary research an internal hub options. Please let us know how it goes if you pull the trigger.

Thanks for the update Grace, I liked the way it shifted when I was test riding it, but it is good to hear real world experiences. 

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