enter image description here This is a pic of my 1952 hub dated Raliegh with a sturmy archer coupled with a 3 gear derailleur. Was this a common thing to do? This works flawlessly and I like the vintage Frankenstein parts. I got this from a gentleman who said he did this upgrade in the 1960s himself

  • I noticed the missing teeth but it doesn't appear to be worn down but maybe came that way. Undecided on that one cuz it all works so well. It also has dia compe brake levers that are not original to the Raliegh.
    – Johnny B
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 22:59
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Feasibility of coupling internal hub gear and derailleur
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 4:38

7 Answers 7


The only case I'm aware of this kind of arrangement from the factory are Brompton folding bikes. If you take the options, you can have an IGH and a derailleur. Dahon also have folding bikes with IGH and derailleurs (thanks @RLH)

They however use less conventional derailleurs: as you can see from the photo below, the derailleur is actually the element attached to the frame, it pinches the jockey wheel, and allows the whole assembly with the tensionner to rotate to change the sprocket (there's a lot of lateral play in the tensionner).

Brompton derailleur

  • 1
    I've got a Dahon Speed TR (their touring model) with a 3-speed hub and an 8-speed cassette with a standard derailleur.
    – RLH
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 3:05
  • 1
    @RLH thanks for the information, post updated. It looks like they have both conventional derailleurs (with bigger wheels), and derailleurs like Brompton's.
    – Rеnаud
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 6:19

No, it’s not common. With most internal gear hubs it’s impossible to mount several sprockets.

Most internal gear hubs have relatively low torque limits. So there is a hard restriction on your lowest (easiest) gear and speed anyway.

Adding a derailleur to an internal gear hub (IGH) would ruin most of its advantages. You lose low maintenance and robustness, you can’t fully enclose the chain, don’t have symmetric spoke angles, you can’t use single speed chains and so on. At the same time you have the lower efficiency (unless you stay in its direct gear most of the time) and higher weight of the IGH.

For most people it simply makes more sense to either use a pure IGH setup with all its advantages or to use derailleur setup (with as many as 3x10 gears).


When I was living in China I had a Japanese city bike with this type of drive. I LOVED it! Recently I bought a Specialized Crossroads 1.0 (7sp). I replaced the rear hub with the Sturmey Archer CS-RK3 hub, and changed the cassette to an 8sp (12-32). The gearing would have been too high with the original chainwheel so I downsized from 42T to 36T. This gives me a gear ratio range of 0.85 to 4 with a 3x8 drive. IMO just right for a city/utility bike (I sometimes use it to pull a trailer). In use shifting on the hub is effortless and trouble free, so I use it much more than the front derailleur on my previous bike. When riding downtown or in a residential area where speed is changing constantly, staying in a middle gear on the cassette and doing all gear changes with the hub works very well. It took some effort (and money) to put this drive train together, but in practice it works wonderfully. I LOVE it! PS: Sturmey Archer designed this hub so that any 3sp SIS indexed front derailleur shifter will work with it.


Certainly an uncommon setup, but not impossible. I've heard of at least two other bicycles with an IGH and a derailleur, including Sheldon's 63 speed bike.

Your bike looks excellent - a great candidate for a clean and derust. The only thing I'm not sure of is the round lower jockey wheel. That probably should have some teeth on it.

  • 4
    The round jockey wheels are a common feature of older derailleur designs. Have a look through www.disraeligears.co.uk for your entertainment.
    – Noise
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 10:13
  • If memory serves me right, Greenspeed used to sell their tandem with a 3x3x7 setup.
    – Adam Rice
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 21:45
  • @AdamRice Nice! Memory does serve correctly - recumbentriders.org/forums/threads/18028 shows a greenspeed trike with 3x3x7 You should totally make that an answer.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 23:33

I have this set-up if on the front wheel of a Flevo trike.

That is a front wheel driven leg steered recumbent trike (and those come in bike shape as well.)

It is not as uncommon in recumbent bikes as it is in sit-up bikes, because it is often more difficult to have the 'front' deraileur. But recumbent bikes are rare to start with, so that will not be a big market.


I don't think this combination is particularly common but I have come acrooss a few bikes with a similar set up and one with a front derailleur too.

It is still possible to buy a Sturmey Archer hub that takes a Shimano-HG-style 8/9/10+ speed cassette sprocket, so there is still the possibility to see this on a modern bike, even if they are fairly uncommon.

I am not certain, but I believe I have seen vintage Sturmey Archer material advertising the combination you have, so you may find that the hub is designed to take the triple sprocket rather than being an aftermarket/nonstandard modification.


It's one of those things that's never really been that mainstream and has become increasingly less so as one gearing system or the other could deliver sufficient range for its target market. Essentially, from a marketing pov commuters don't want the additional complexity and racers the drag and weight. Fitting two different systems increases the costs and means more to maintain and go wrong.

However, that being said, there is at least one company now selling high-end, versions of such systems to the Gravel and Road sectors. The chief selling point is that a modern hub gearing/cassette approach is a just as efficient, more reliable and robust technical solution to gear range gaps than either front derailleurs or evermore gears on rear cassettes.

There may be others, but the company I'm aware of is called Classified, and their system is called Power Shift. It's a wireless, two-speed hub system for use with 11/12 speed cassettes. If interested, there are various reviews online, e.g. GCN,Cycling Weekly. It's available as an aftermarket option or as an original fitment on some high-end/niche brand bikes brands, e.g. Ridley, Rose, Storck

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.