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The History of Sturmey Archer
The Sturmey-Archer Story

Bicycle internal hub gears like the Sturmey Archer "AW" are based upon the epicyclic gear principle.

In the late 19th century, Frank Bowden, of Raleigh fame, had purchased a bicycle company initially located in Raleigh Street, Nottingham, England and his engineers worked with ideas from Henry Sturmey and James Archer resulting in the first Sturmey-Archer 3-speed bicycle gear hub patent in 1902. This is all described in much more detail in “The Sturmey-Archer Story”, a book by Tony Hadland, from 1987.


The early 20th century history of Sturmey Archer is described on Sheldon Brown's web site. Sturmey-Archer hub gears and dynamo hubs were the mainstay of the British three-speed Roadster type bicycles of the 1950s to 1970s.


In 2001, 99 years after invention of the first Sturmey-Archer gear and 98 after formal establishment of Sturmey-Archer as The Three-Speed Gear Syndicate, the company passed out of British ownership. It entered a new era as a Taiwanese-owned enterprise, with a European base in The Netherlands.


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