Dunelt Five Speed

I’ve seen many a three speed in my travels around Portland. When I pass one, I stop to check it out if time allows. When I saw this Dunelt ladies bike on my commute to work on Sunday morning, I stopped. At first glance it looked like a nice example of your standard “sports” bike. But then I looked at the handlebars and noticed something was different. Two shifters? At first I thought someone just threw an extra one on “for show”, but my eyes followed the cable from the trigger shifter to the rear hub, and saw the cables went to either side of the hub. Confused for a sec, then I realized what it was: a five-speed! The old Sturmey-Archer five speeds needed two shifters/cables. I couldn’t tell what model it was (couldn’t see any markings on the hub) but it could very well be an S5. From Sheldon Brown:

The earliest 5-speed hub, a modified FW. The original S5 used two cables, a conventional 3-speed type on the right, and a bellcrank/pushrod unit on the left. The right lever/cable has 3 positions, and works as a normal 3-speed hub. The left lever/cable converts the hub from a medium ratio to a wide ratio 3-speed. Since the middle gear is direct drive, the left control has no effect on the middle gear.

You don’t see these five speeds everyday! Maybe someday I’ll find one of my own…

One thought on “Dunelt Five Speed

  1. Nicely spotted! I’ve never seen one myself, but I do have a wheel with a 4 speed hub. Apparently, they have identical internal gearing so by adding the bell crank/pushrod and another shifter you can get the extra gear.

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