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The only scheme I know of is called planetary gears, or as Wikipedia calls it Epicyclic gearing. @Daniel suggests that there are other designs. Here is one of the images from Wikipedia: The inner gear is called the sun and the gears that go around that are called the planetary gears. In the basic design (the original Sturmey Archer design) the sun was ...


2

If both bikes have a frame which is set up for it, with the long drop-out on the Thorn pictured below and the EX Box below it, then it would be the work of 5 minutes. Just unscrew (possibly by hand) that big nut on the ex-box, remove the wheel and put it onto the other bike. The only issue to remember is to always shift to the same gear (say, the lowest) ...



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