I am planning to buy the SG-3D55 internal gear hub.

According to this forum post, the SL-3S35 is compatible. But what about the other 3 speed nexus shifters? I am finding it hard to find any documentation.

Also I am in the UK, so hoping to source the shifter for here if possible. I am already resigned to having to import the SG-3D55 from the US, as I can't find it in the UK/Europe.

Any specific or general wisdoms gratefully appreciated.

  • Normally, I see these things with some shimano twist shifters on a hubbub adapter if on a drop bike, but I havent really played with them. This thread may be useful though: bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-699764.html
    – Batman
    Commented Nov 30, 2013 at 5:11

4 Answers 4


User6527 is wrong there. You can not use derailleur shifters due to the different cable length that is pulled or pushed to shift to another gear. You can not use other brands' shifters either for the same reason.

The shifter you mention yourselve is available in black and silver, and both with and without integrated brake lever. There is also a 'cheaper' version: SL-3S41E.

I thought there was a retro alternative as well, but I can't find it. Not online, and even not at our bicycle parts wholesaler.


That comes down whether the internal mechanism of the different Nexus 3 hubs are the same or not. My guess is they are the same. Some options for you:

  • I had a similar issue with a Nexus 8 hub. In the end I checked with a Shimano approved service center in near me (looked up on Shimano's page). I talked in person to the mechanic, and he knew which would work or not.

  • I recommend to buy the gear with the shifters in a set.

  • A third option could be to buy it on amazon.co.uk, where you have 30 days to return if it doesn't work.


User 6527 is probably right actually; 3 speed hubs really only need to be accurately adjusted in second gear; pull more cable and you're in 3rd gear on a shimano hub or 1st gear on a SA hub, release cable and you're in 1st on a shimano hub or 3rd on an SA hub.
The problem comes with 7 and 8 speed nexus hubs that aren't compatible with 7 or 8 speed derailleur shifters; as noted the cable pull is different and and the indexes in the shifter don't match up with the gears in the hub.

  • This statement is not true. Shifter for SA hub pulls not the equal lenght of the cable for 2nd and 1st gear. It Cannot be a replacement for Shimano hub. Some SA shifters can be used with Sachs dreigang/ SRAM T3 hubs.
    – krzyski
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 13:21

You can use any front derailleur shifter just tune 2nd gear on the shifter to 2nd gear in your hub.

  • Front derailleur shifters don't suit internal hubs. Internal hubs need specific cable length positions for each gear. I can only imagine a "free-range" (bar-end) shifter, but then it would be a hit and miss each time one shifts a gear.
    – olee22
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 5:13

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