Urban Velo

Torker KB2 – 2 Speed Kickback

First look at the new Torker KB2, one of if not the first stock bike with a kickback hub in quite some time. Kickback? That’s right, it’s a newly manufactured Sturmey Archer 2 speed coaster brake hub that shifts from one gear to another with a slight backpedal just before the brake engages. While it is true that the hub shifts every time you apply the coaster brake, they’re not nearly as hard to get used to as it sounds. These hubs were fairly common on folding bikes at one time, and also were speced on a number of balloon tire cruisers but had faded to an esoteric bit of bicycle mechanics up until now. The $399 Torker KB2 has big tires and a direct drive gear with second gear being 130% of the first, both reasonable choices for city riding. Look for a full review once the bike is available this fall.

19 Comments

  1. beezlebossAugust 18, 2010 at 12:50 am

    3G bikes has had that set up for a while now. just saying:)

  2. BikeBikeAugust 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Love it! Sensible gearing for a city bike.

  3. CarterAugust 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    This bike is making me seriously consider the sale of my langster. It just makes sense. Although I would switch out the stem and bars for some drops of horns.

  4. Ted JohnsonAugust 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I was just talking about kick-backs the other day. I’d love to see them make a comeback. I spent some time on a single-speed recently, and really just wanted one more gear.

  5. TerryAugust 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I wouldn’t mind getting a hub and trying it out–don’t need another bike though.

  6. erikAugust 19, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    i dig this bike… those torker guys do a good job…

    i put a 3 speed coaster brake hub on my track bike a while back cuz i wanted a brake and gears… a few adhesive cable guides and a hose clamp later, i turned my points race bike into something useful… wish i would have known about the kick-back hubs then… wouldnt have needed the hose clamps…

  7. PhilAugust 20, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I had a 2-speed kickback on my Schwinn sting-ray in 1969. Still have the hub. Time to re-cycle.

  8. NickAugust 20, 2010 at 7:43 am

    I have been pleasantly surprised with Sturmey-Archer since they were purchased by Sun Race. It is nice to see all of the classic hub designs come back. Maybe someday there will be a highend coaster brake hub on the market(Phil Woods, Chris King, White Industries, etc…) to build on. This 2-speed kickback is the nicest at the moment.

    I think Torker has been outstanding in using the Sturmey-Archer hubs on the Graduate. The KB2 seems to build on their relationship with Sturmey.

  9. DanAugust 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Any idea when this will be ready to order?

  10. J.R.October 24, 2010 at 8:03 am

    The three-speed fixed hub still looks more attractive. And these gear ratios are pitiful. But with a “high-tens” frame, whaddya expect?

  11. J.R.October 24, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Correction: high-ten fork. “Tri-Moly” frame, whatever that means.

  12. Urban JeffOctober 24, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I believe “tri-moly” means the seat tube, down tube and top tube are chromoly, the rest of the frame is high-tensile steel.

  13. High n DryFebruary 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Anyone riding this yet? How durable do you think the kickback hub will be for a rider doing 3000 miles per year?

  14. jimmiMarch 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    This is a great bike its the one im looking for where can i buy one

  15. jimmiMarch 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    The torker kb2 is so simple but its great

  16. bradyApril 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    does anyone know where i can order one? and what size i would need… Im 6ft tall

  17. Dirt McGirtMay 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I’ve now had this bike and have been riding it almost every day since Late Feb of this year. All I have to say is the frame, fork, front wheel and cranks are GREAT.

    That rear hub sucks all the way around, though. It doesn’t stay at the proper cup/cone tension for more than 2 days (and that’s being generous) and the way the hub is designed the lube from the non-drive side (the brake side) bearings always makes it’s way onto the braking surface. And I’ve tried EVERYTHING my shop has to offer. I’ve also used up my “working on your bike on the clock” time screwing with the rear hub, dang it!!

    Such a pain in my ass. I’m going to sell it (with added caliper brakes) and my Trek lime and buy a Redline Monocog Flight (the better of the 2 SBS brands by FAR) and be done with this douche-baggery.

    TIRED OF IT!!!

  18. tom shermanJanuary 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    to make a two speed i would have drive trains on both sides with lets say sprokets on the rear hub freewheeling in both directions. it would be simple to design a means to stop the freewheeling on one side or the other. this side would then be the driver in track mode while the other freewheels. if neither side is locked the bike freewheels. i would have a track bike where one could shift to one of two speed or shift to freewheel.

  19. willyFebruary 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Late to the story but have to mention I laced a Sturmey Archer SRC-3 hub to a Dahon Mu Uno and within 4 months of thrice-weekly hill climbs the hub was shot. That’s more than 15 months ago and Sturmey customer service has been non-existent. Caveat emptor.

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