Biktrix misleading on strength of Sturmey Archer 5 Speed Hub

bigoilbob

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When I bought my 750 watt mid drive Stunner in late 2018 Biktrix claimed that the Sturmey Archer 5 speed IGH would be strong enough. I naively accepted that. The hub began clunking loudly, even at low assist levels, right away. They replaced it for me, and said that it was a rare infant failure. The new one clunked less - as opposed to the required not at all - initially, but the clunks increased after ~3000 miles. Last summer it began skipping and clunking all of the time. I was out of warranty with Biktrix, so I found a youtuber who pulled the core on his identical IGH, soaked it in synthetic ATF and reinstalled. His problems were solved. I did this twice, to no avail.

I read that I.T.M.T. Sturmey Archer explicitly warned that their IGH was not e bike compatible. I wrote Biktrix about this. No response, and the same bike is still being sold.

So, thru my local bike shop, I ordered a shimano sg-c7000-5d 5 speed hub, laced to a new wheel, a shifter, and associated trim. Over $600 all told (the bike shop took their markup, so sharp shopping might bring this down). This hub is explicitly e rated, and I did the arithmetic for max rated torque with my sprockets. I'm coming in under. I installed the wheel and shifter last week and rode it 14 miles yesterday. Silent, with similar high gearing, low gearing a little slower than Sturmey Archer's, and IMO, less IGH friction. It is my main city driver, and I can dress for St. Louis weather from now on, unless it's wet and/or icy. My wife (2018 750 watt Evelo Aurora, with Enviolo auto trans and big battery) and I also share a Bob trailer. Either of us can load it with 60+# of groceries or Total Wine and More items and ride it home.

So, be waved off this bike, and for it's misrepresentation, Biktrix. Instead, there must be a similar product out there (750 watt mid drive, 5 speed hub, good weight rating), with an e rated IGH. Look for that, maybe with a torque sensing motor, hydraulic brakes, and an adjustable chain tensioner.
 
Sturmey-Archer's were always weak. I had a 3-speed on my 1962 Schwinn Jaguar. You never hit it too hard, if you knew what was good for you.. But it was the strongest internal that was available at that time.
 
Sturmey-Archer's were always weak. I had a 3-speed on my 1962 Schwinn Jaguar. You never hit it too hard, if you knew what was good for you.. But it was the strongest internal that was available at that time.
If only I had listened to you!

~1000 mile update. No problems, and it just seems so much smoother and quieter. I swear that there is less parasitic drag as well. I check my shift adjustment regularly ( the SA hub required adjusting every 200 miles or so) and it hasn't moved perceptively. I'll have to pull to lube sooner or later, which makes me wish that I would have bought one of the hubs in this line that you can lube with the wheel installed. But I didn't want to pay and didn't need the extra gears. Oh well - maybe this can be my excuse to buy a high $ repair stand.
 
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