Brompton was famously left in the lurch when Sturmey Archer went pop in 2000. SRAM went out of its way to help, producing a Brompton-specific hub. However, to reduce its reliance on one supplier, Brompton is now speccing bikes with internal hubs from SRAM and Sunrace Sturmey Archer. From January 1st, all Brompton three-speed bikes will use the new Sunrace Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub and Brompton 6-speed bikes will use the SRAM-Sachs 3-speed hub.

Brompton re-specs Sturmey Archer

"When Sturmey Archer closed in September 2000, Brompton was given no notice, and due to the uniqueness of the hub, was nearly placed in a position of being unable to supply bicycles," said Brompton’s marketing manager, Edward Donald.

Brompton changed the design of its rear frame in order to incorporate the SRAM Sachs hub and SRAM processeda production run of hubs especially for Brompton due to the requirement for a shorter over-locknut dimension.

"We have taken steps to ensure this supply situation does not recur in the future by moving to dual supply of certain components," said Donald.

One such step has been to introduce the new Sunrace Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. This decision follows 18 months of in-house testing to ensure that the new SA 3 speed hub, of which 200,000 units have so far been sold worldwide, is of equal quality to the old one, said Donald.

The performance of the two hubs is similar. The SRAM 3 speed has a gear range of 1.33:1:0.75. The new Sunrace Sturmey Archer hub has a range of 1.36:1:0.73 and is 50 grams heavier. Both hubs fit a newly-designed universal rear frame: dual applicability being made possible through a combination of washers.

Upgrading from 3- to 6-speed version will now no longer be possible without the expense of buying a new wheel and hub. This is because the Brompton derailleur system does not work with the Sturmey Archer hub.


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