The hub gear, when first introduced in 1903, (patented in 1902), must have been a wheel builder's nightmare because of the pear shaped flange.
Quoted from: The Ingenious Mr. Pedersen by David E. Evans.


The pear shaped flanges required, it is said, twelve different lengths of spoke and although the company provided spoking charts they were not popular with wheel builders of other firms. A letter in October 1907 from W.J.Ashworth, then Commercial Manager of the Pedersen Works, to Mikael Pedersen, states that manufacturers were "disgusted" with the trouble in building these hubs into wheels and were refusing to buy. By 1909 both flanges were circular.

The gear like the saddle had its converts. The Southhampton Times and Hampshire Express in 1904 extolled the virtues of the gear in a long article. After stressing these and explaining its principles it remarked "to alter the gear is extremely simple. It requires about as much exertion as is necessary in turning on the electric light and what could be more easy than that?"

The gear gave a 50% increase with each change upwards, which suited some people but not others. the gear tables below are representative. The 2 speed gears were 3 speed gears without the low range.


This photo gallery includes:
- Three speed gear showing pear shape flanges of pre 1907. Photo: B.J. Ashworth
- 3-sp D-P hub from 1912. Photo: Jack Bissel 


Gear tables


The John Pinkerton Memorial Publishing Fund Has published a booklet (48 pages) on "The Pedersen Hub Gear" by Cyril J Hancock. Order details here: (scroll down to "The Pedersen Hub Gear").