So a few weeks ago I acquired a Sturmey Archer F-XD hub with integrated drum brake. I was originally going to build a wheel for the Stowaway around it but found the prospect of doing away with my constant re-adjustment of the front callipers on my daily rider just too good to pass up. So a trip to the LBS was made to have new rim laced to the hub. I’d have done it myself, but the sad reality is that I’ve not laced a wheel and to do so with my first hub-brake seemed like a bad idea. There will be lots of opportunity to butcher a wheel for the Stowaway (actually already have but I’ll save that for another post).

Here’s a photo of the hub in its new wheel being adjusted on the daily rider:

Are those are hose clamps, I hear you asking? Why yes they are. The original brake arm clamp was of insufficient diameter to fit on my chunky front forks. It seems Sturmey-Archer only ships clamps suitable for English Three speeds with their hubs. Fortunately I had done a bit of reading and have it on good authority (the bloggosphere) that hose clamps will do the job nicely. I have two on there for extra security at the moment.

How does it perform? Well I’ll keep you updated. For now I’ve only done 2 days commuting on the hub and only put about 15 kms on it so my initial impressions are only that.

The braking is consistent and powerful. Not so powerful as to flip me over the bars, but in terms of consistent and prompt stopping. I like this, and I like the way the command I feel over the brake. The breaking in period (get it?) will require adjustments so I’m sure I’ll see fluctuations for the next little while so I won’t do a full review.

I also want to review the wheel and its build — so far I am deeply impressed with the work done by Bikes on Wheels on this particular project. So I’ll have more to say after the wheel’s been ridden in.