SRAM Automatix 2-Speed Auto Shifting Hub
While visiting SRAM a few weeks ago in Chicago I had the chance to try out their new E-matic electric assist system firsthand, and also got a brief run-down of the Automatix 2-speed hub even if they didn’t actually have one on hand in the US offices quite yet. I was promised that there would be one on display at Eurobike and without fail it was the very first piece of tech I saw when I entered. Nevermind the shifter pictured with the $90 Automatix, the hub uses a centrifugal clutch mechanism (like a seatbelt) to shift between the two gears when a given rotational rate is eclipsed without any other user input. Available in either a coaster brake or rim brake version, the hub may not be suited to serious urban riders otherwise sporting a track hub, but it’s application on folding or more utilitarian commuter bikes makes a lot of sense. A low gear to get going, a higher gear once you’re rolling, nothing to think about but the ride.