Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sturmey-Archer Trigger Shifters

In trying to figure out why the nameplate on my Huffy/Raleigh's Sturmey-Archer trigger shifter is upside-down, I've been directed to the following very informative article on the history of the S-A trigger shifter. Fair warning, the link goes to a rather large PDF.


  1. I think the reason why your text is upside down is that you've got it on the right handlebar instead of the left where they usually are.

    The list of different triggers is very amusing. I used to have a Moulton with the above bar mounted 4 speed lever in the list, but my current town bike has the relatively boring post 1976 3 speed lever...

  2. Hmm. I've never seen one mounted on the left, but it wouldn't matter anyway, since the position of the name plate vis-a-vis the point of attachment wouldn't change. The current working theory is that they were originally intended to be attached under the bar, rather than on top of it.

  3. If the shifter was on the left the "label" would be on the outside and you wouldn't be able to see the shift points (as though that really matters with a 3 speed ;-) )

    I read through that paper and it is an interesting bit.


  4. It's a pre-1960s trigger, as shown in the document, and intended for mounting on the left underneath the handlebars.

    On the left and underneath is the only position in which the writing would be the right way up, so that must surely be what was intended.

    Modern levers, though, do always go on the right. I'm not sure quite what I was thinking last night. The trigger on my town bike is definitely on the right.

  5. David, you are quite right, as I go back and look over the document again--mounted on the left and underneath would make sense.

  6. If so glad i found your blog, its helping me and my husband with our own little progects,

    we just picked up matching Raleigh Sport 3speeds and for $40 each we think they are a steal.

    we already have matching superbes, but working on the sports will be fun!

    now we gotta find matching Sprites

    cheers, Kael & Chiara