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The three-speed bicycle is a bicycle that uses internal hub gears at the rear wheel hub to provide three gear ratios.
A bicycle, also called a cycle or bike, is a human-powered or motor-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A bicycle rider is called a cyclist, or bicyclist.
A hub gear, internal-gear hub, or just gear hub is a gear ratio changing system commonly used on bicycles that is implemented with planetary or epicyclic gears. The gears and lubricants are sealed within the shell of the hub gear, in contrast with derailleur gears where the gears and mechanism are exposed to the elements. Changing the gear ratio was traditionally accomplished by a shift lever connected to the hub with a Bowden cable, and twist-grip style shifters have become common.
Three-speed hubs have been in use since the early 1900s. Though they are heavier than comparable derailleur systems, internal-gear hub systems generally last longer and require less maintenance.
Typically, in low gear, the rear sprocket turns faster than the wheel; in middle gear, the rear sprocket turns at the same speed as the wheel; in high gear, the rear wheel turns faster than the sprocket.
During their heyday, three-speed hubs were used in all applications, including racing and time trialling, cargo cycling, utility cycling, and commuting. In many parts of the world, three-speed hubs are still preferred for commuting and other types of utility cycling over derailleur systems.
Utility cycling encompasses any cycling done simply as a means of transport rather than as a sport or leisure activity. It is the original and most common type of cycling in the world.
Bicycle commuting is the use of a bicycle to travel from home to a place of work or study — in contrast to the use of a bicycle for sport, recreation or touring.
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Derailleur gears are a variable-ratio transmission system commonly used on bicycles, consisting of a chain, multiple sprockets of different sizes, and a mechanism to move the chain from one sprocket to another. Although referred to as gears in the bike world, these bicycle gears are technically sprockets since they drive or are driven by a chain, and are not driven by one another.
A bicycle chain is a roller chain that transfers power from the pedals to the drive-wheel of a bicycle, thus propelling it. Most bicycle chains are made from plain carbon or alloy steel, but some are nickel-plated to prevent rust, or simply for aesthetics.
A touring bicycle is a bicycle designed or modified to handle bicycle touring. To make the bikes sufficiently robust, comfortable and capable of carrying heavy loads, special features may include a long wheelbase, frame materials that favor flexibility over rigidity, heavy duty wheels, and multiple mounting points.
A utility bicycle is a bicycle designed for practical transportation, as opposed to those primarily for recreation and competition, such as touring bicycles, racing bicycles, and mountain bicycles. Utility bicycles are the most common form globally, and comprise the vast majority found in the developing world.
A track bicycle or track bike is a bicycle optimized for racing at a velodrome or outdoor track. Unlike road bicycles, the track bike is a fixed-gear bicycle; thus, it has only a single gear ratio and has neither a freewheel nor brakes. Tires are narrow and inflated to high pressure to reduce rolling resistance. Tubular tires are most often used in track racing and training, though advances in clincher tire design have seen them being used somewhat more often.
Sturmey-Archer is a manufacturing company originally from Nottingham, England. It primarily produces bicycle hub gears, brakes and a great many other sundry bicycle components, most prominently during their heyday as a subsidiary of the Raleigh Bicycle Company. In the past, it also manufactured motorcycle hubs, gearboxes and engines.
A single-speed bicycle is a type of bicycle with a single gear ratio. These bicycles are without derailleur gears, hub gearing or other methods for varying the gear ratio of the bicycle.
A fixed-gear bicycle is a bicycle that has a drivetrain with no freewheel mechanism. The freewheel was developed early in the history of bicycle design but the fixed-gear bicycle remained the standard track racing design. More recently the "fixie" has become a popular alternative among mainly urban cyclists, offering the advantage of simplicity compared with the standard multi-geared bicycle.
Gear inches is one of several relative measures of bicycle gearing, giving an indication of the mechanical advantage of different gears. Values for 'gear inches' typically range from 20 via 70 to 125 ; as in a car, low gearing is for going up hills and high gearing is for going fast.
A shaft-driven bicycle is a bicycle that uses a drive shaft instead of a chain to transmit power from the pedals to the wheel. Shaft drives were introduced over a century ago, but were mostly supplanted by chain-driven bicycles due to the gear ranges possible with sprockets and derailleurs. Recently, due to advancements in internal gear technology, a small number of modern shaft-driven bicycles have been introduced.
A fork end, fork-end, or forkend is a slot in a bicycle frame or bicycle fork where the axle of a bicycle wheel is attached. A dropout is a type of fork end that allows the rear wheel to be removed without first derailing the chain.
On a bicycle, the cogset or cluster is the set of multiple sprockets that attaches to the hub on the rear wheel. A cogset works with a rear derailleur to provide multiple gear ratios to the rider. Cogsets come in two varieties, freewheels or cassettes, of which cassettes are a newer development. Although cassettes and freewheels perform the same function and look almost the same when installed, they have important mechanical differences and are not interchangeable.
A freehub is a type of bicycle hub that incorporates a ratcheting mechanism, and the name freehub is a registered trademark of Shimano. A set of sprockets are mounted onto a splined shaft of the freehub to engage the chain. The ratcheting mechanism is a part of the hub, in contrast to a freewheel, an older technology, which contains both the sprockets and a ratcheting mechanism in a single unit separate from the hub. In many high-end and midrange bicycles, freehubs have replaced freewheel systems.
The Rohloff Speedhub is an epicyclic internal hub gear for bicycles, developed and patented by Rohloff AG. It has been manufactured and marketed by that company since 1998. The Speedhub 500/14 has 14 equally spaced sequential non-overlapping gear ratios operated by a single twistgrip. The overall gear range is 526%, meaning the highest gear is 5.26 times as high as the lowest gear. Individual gear shifts when shifting up give an increase of about 13.6%.
Bicycle gearing is the aspect of a bicycle drivetrain that determines the relation between the cadence, the rate at which the rider pedals, and the rate at which the drive wheel turns.
A belt-driven bicycle is a chainless bicycle that uses a toothed synchronous belt to transmit power from the pedals to the wheel. The belts are typically made by the same manufacturing companies that produce timing belts for automobiles, machinery, and other synchronous belt-drive applications.
Bicycle drivetrain systems are used to transmit power on bicycles, tricycles, quadracycles, unicycles, or other human-powered vehicles from the riders to the drive wheels. Most also include some type of a mechanism to convert speed and torque via gear ratios.