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  1. #1
    KVW is offline
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    Aug 2011

    New question here. SRAM I-Motion 3-speed question - changing out it's horrible Bandix shifter

    I'm taking delivery of a new bike soon that is equipped with the SRAM I-Motion 3 speed internal geared hub. From everything I've read about it so far on the net (which isn't much - hard to find info about it), it should fit my needs well. In fact I eventually plan to change out the crankset to a 2 or 3 ring to give me a total of 6 or 9 gears for greater ratio coverage (that's the plan anyways, we'll see).

    But one thing I've read that I know I'll already hate is the cheap twisting "Bandix shifter". From the little info I can find about it, others say it can't be swapped out because it has an odd cable pull distance per shift that other handlebar shifters can't do (please tell me if that's inaccurate). However if that's the case, wouldn't something like this work?

    Paul Component Engineering - Thumbies
    I'm thinking with something like this, the amount of cable need to be pulled can be odd and it wouldn't matter, just pull on the thumbie until it changes in to the right gear. Eventually I'd get used to how much is need to be pulled and I'd imagine it would be rather quick.

    Anyways just wanted to get your thoughts on this idea. Oh and if anyone has any experience with this hub, please let me know if there's anything I should watch out for. I'm a little bit playful with my bikes, even if I'm riding a commuter (with skinny tires) it doesn't hold me back from jumping curbs or riding down small flights of stairs and stuff like that... I'm hoping this hub isn't made of glass or something like that.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2009
    Disclaimer: If you snarf up your wonderful little three-speed hub by using something other than the factory shifter, don't come whining to me.

    That said, the late Sheldon Brown shifted his Sturmey Archer 3-speed hubs with a DT friction shifter for years and reported no problems.Now, and this is important, you gotta line up 2nd gear accurately. If you don't get 2nd lined up, your hub can have a short and very unhappy life.

    With a friction shifter, you have to know ~somehow~ when the shifter is in the right position to align 2nd gear. Mr. Brown said on his set-up that it was when the shifter pointed at his navel!

    Of course the other two gears, 1st and 3rd, are found on the shifter at cable slack and cable taut.

    With SRAM 3-speeds, there is no "2nd gear aligned" indicator the way there are with Shimano and Sturmey 3-speed hubs. In general with SRAM three speeds, 2nd gear is cable travel half way between 1st & 3rd.

    Besides friction shifters, another approach with a three-speed is to use a many-speeds indexed shifter (DT, bar end or brifter) and set one of the middle index positions to 2nd gear. This acurate shifter index position can be found when riding by counting clicks, visual observation, looking at the shifter's indicator (were applicable) or feel.

    At a cycle swap meet I picked up an old Shimano LH (front) bar end shifter that had a single index click position in the middle of its travel. It's perfect for three-speed hub 2nd gear shift position.

  3. #3
    KVW is offline
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    Aug 2011
    thanks for the help John.

    Seems a bit discouraging and dangerous. Maybe I'll just see how bad the Bandix shifter is before I embark on finding another indexing shifter solution, i mean it's only 3 gears right? lol I just remember hating them with a passion way back when I was first exposed to biking as a kid. They're usually found on only low-end bikes so I've just never seen one made well ... not to say this one is - just saying ... why do they continue making them as it seems everyone else hates them as well.

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