Sturmey-Archer produces bicycle gear hubs and motorcycle gearboxes, as well as built-in engines.
Sturmey-Archer was established in Nottingham in 1902, when Sir Frank Bowden met teacher Henry Sturmey and engineer James Archer. Both had designed a 3-speed gear hub for the bicycle and Sir Bowden brought the two together. They subsequently founded the Three-Speed Syndicate Ltd. of Nottingham. The Sturmey-Archer hub was used in Sir Bowden’s bicycles and Sturmey-Archer remained part of the Raleigh enterprise set up by Sir Bowden.
Bowden went on to produce motorcycles. Sturmey-Archer manufactured gear boxes for dozens of motorcycle brands and was commissioned to produce motorcycles for the British Army at the start of World War I. After the war, the company continued developing built-in engines for many different brands. The last built-in engine they produced was a 50 cc two-stroke engine for Radco, used by this brand between 1958 and 1960.
Sturmey-Archer’s most important product remains the 3 speed gear hub for bicycles, which can be operated from the handlebars using a Bowden cable. Versions with 4, 5, 6 and even 7 gears were introduced later on.
In 2002, the company was bought by SunRace, another company in the sector that’s located in Taiwan. In September of that year the Nottingham branch closed down and production was moved to Taiwan. Sturmey-Archer’s European headquarters are located in Amsterdam-Zuidoost.