Thursday, July 30, 2020

Book review - The Hub of the Universe

Books written by enthusiasts with real in-depth knowledge of and passion for their subjects along with an ability to write flowing English in a readable manner are always a joy to read. The Hub of the Universe is certainly one such book.

Tony Hadland is the author and Alan Clarke is the Sun Race Sturmey Archer official Historian. The book is a second edition update of one published over thirty years ago, is hardback and 358 pages long. The stated aim of the book is as a company, product and technical history of the Sturmey brand. Obviously the three speed hubs figure most heavily though all other products are included as well.

Coverage of bicycle products is the main focus though there is a brief chapter that is motorcycle related. Perhaps the subject becomes a bit too vast when covering motorcycle range as comprehensively as the bicycle one. Certainly the interest in the bicycle products is vastly larger and SA motorcycle gearboxes and engines are a rather more esoteric topic. Maybe there is scope for a full tome on the SA motorcycle products - anyone out there who will step up to the mark?

Large format, professionally printed and well researched cycle history books are rather few and far between making The Hub of the Universe something to cherish even more. Definitely one for the shelves of any vintage bicycle enthusiast. The usual retail is around £45 but it is available at a discount to Veteran Cycle Club members giving yet another reason to join.


  1. For amusement, I mentioned the existence of this book (which I would love to read) to my wife. Her reaction was indeed amusing.

    1. Ha! Can't believe she isn't intrigued to know which hubs were in the 1929 Sturmey Archer line up!