Does a Sturmey Archer 2 speed kick shift hub let you backpedal?

A backpedal / coaster brake changes riding technique so much it drives me nuts; I am wondering if you can backpedal at least enough to reposition your pedals for starting (or while doing a track stand using your front brakes).

  • 1
    Wel, if you try to reposition your pedalson one of those, you'll shift so you should really be stopping with the pedals in the right position.
    – Batman
    Feb 26, 2015 at 11:48
  • But does it prevent you from backpedaling to get the pedals in the right position? If you just picked up the bike you probably don't know what gear it was in anyway. Feb 27, 2015 at 17:13

3 Answers 3


The original Sturmey-Archer 2 speed kick-back hubs are coaster brake hubs and do not allow much movement backwards before the braking happens. Track standing on a coaster brake would be tricky because the pedal position would always rotate in the direction of travel and you would eventually end up at the dreaded 12 o'clock position.

The new versions have two models;

◎ Type S2 2-speed freewheel hub ,without brake
◎ Type S2C, B2C 2-speed hubs ,with coaster brake.


While using IGH hub it's good to learn pedal repositioning technique different from freewheel hub. You may observed that when bike is pushed backwards, the pedals also go backwards. Of course, at junction there is not enough distance to go back enough to lift your favourite pedal to position convenient for start. But you really need centimetres-long distance to adjust your pedal as needed, taking advantage of engagement mechanism inside.

do: Push back your bike a bit, that pedal lifts a bit. Keep pedal with your feet from below, move few centimetres forward. Repeat. It can be done without coming off the bike.

But best practice is to learn positioning your pedals as you wish before you stop :)


can backpedal at least enough to reposition your pedals for starting?

I have just fitted a type S2, without the coaster brake, to an ebike/pedelec conversion of a single speed folding bike so that I can ride pedal-assisted with a lower cadence once I'm 'up to speed'.

I can confirm that with a current version of the Type S2 you can back pedal to re-position your pedals for startup and that if done 'gently' it won't change to the other gear setting.

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