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AS-1

I live for the CABE
I am in the middle of building a Ballooner Comfort Bike for trips to the P.O. and the Candy Store. It will have fenders, tank and chainguard so it won't be light. The area is gently rolling with two decent little hills.

The question is about the transmission. I have two candidates. One is my Sturmey-Archer three speed with drum brake. That will require a shifter and a break lever. My plan would be to try to let the rear drum be the only brake. The other option is my 7 speed Shimano Nexus with coaster brake. That has an ugly thumb shifter but no lever for the break.

The bike will be black and chrome with a little white lettering. Tastefully understated, sophisticated, but not snobby (yadda yadda yadda).

Which rear end would you use? Thank you.
 
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Will the SA give you a low enough gear for the local hills? If not, the Shimano would be the obvious choice. Regarding braking, I like to add a front brake when feasible. Truth of the matter is that when you really need to stop the front brake does most of the work. In emergency braking the rear brake will lock up and hardly do anything. Please post pics of that understated, sophisticated, but not snobby bike when complete. Have fun!
 
The Sturmey drum rear hubs are not enough stopping power by themselves in my opinion. Might be ok if you've only got light traffic near you and you're staying within about 3mi of the house, but if there's a lot of stop and go and hills with intersections, you definitely need a front brake to go with that Sturmey rear drum...and a 24t rear sprocket at least. Perhaps add one of the Schwinn accessory(clamp on canti) scripted brakes, depending on whatever fork you end up using.

I've not ridden the 7 speed Shimano enough to say, but I imagine the braking power is plenty for what you need putting around near home and a lot better than the Sturmey drum rear, easier to dial in one of those 7 gears too.

Add a Sturmey 90mm front drum with either of these and you're set. I can't find them at a reasonable price new anymore though. I've got a few coaster brake bikes I want to upgrade because I take them a bit further and on trails where they come in very handy on hills and in stop and go traffic. They'll have to settle for Vintage 70mm Sturmey and Sachs hubs I suppose.
 
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I revisited this bike today, has a 1980 SAB3 hub on the rear and a similar vintage, possibly 90s chrome Sturmey drum on the front. The rear stopping power reminds me of an ND that hasn't been serviced for 70 years...like if you took the rubber out of your caliper brake pads lol... possible the brake shoes have had oil contamination though. The front stops better than I remember and they do offer a new version of it that is quite affordable. https://www.ebay.com/itm/3544703513...d=link&campid=5335809022&toolid=20001&mkevt=1
 
Nexus 7 with the coaster brake. It will give you more stopping power and gearing for about any situation. I have had one for several years and it works great for me. My shifting is done via a twist shifter on the grips which i think you can add.
 
I go along with the Nexus, besides more gears the brakes seem to work better. I have a Sturmey 3spd w/ the drum & it has minimal stopping power. I even made a longer lever on the drum & it was still not great. Another option would be adding an electric front hub, they're disc brake ready, and add another dimension to these old beauties.
 
I go along with the Nexus, besides more gears the brakes seem to work better. I have a Sturmey 3spd w/ the drum & it has minimal stopping power. I even made a longer lever on the drum & it was still not great. Another option would be adding an electric front hub, they're disc brake ready, and add another dimension to these old beauties.
Thank you, one and all. It looks like the Nexus is the hands-down favorite. Truthfully, I was hoping that you guys would go that way.It is currently laced to one of those 1995-ish rims with heavy duty spokes. I'll change it over to an S-2 rim. The thumb shifter is really OK to look at and I'll just reuse the set-up, cable and all. I'm working on the bike a little bit every day so it shouldn't be too long before I can run Sea Trials and I will take pictures and post them.

Thanks again! I appreciate the help.
 
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