After browsing on the hub gallery you've probably discovered that geared hubs distinguish pretty much physically. The following submenus will give you an inside in the interior of a hub. Though designed more and more sophisticated over their years of progression, they contain at least one so called 'planetary gear'. As a heart of a hub it enables the rider to move at different speeds though pedalling constantly. Find out how it works in the submenu Planetary gears.
Besides having at least one simple planetary gear, hubs contain of course lots of other components, which can be very variable in different hubs. Some of these elementary components will be presented in the submenu Hub elements.
Complex hubs contain multiple planetary gear trains resulting in an abundance of combination possibilities to archive more than 3 speeds. This was already extensively utilized by the hub pioneers in the first half of the 20th century. Nowadays it is state of the art to be on the way with at least 5 speeds. Read more about it in the submenu Gear configuration.
There wouldn't be any benefit for the planetary gears at all if its single gear elements were not joined together by clutches skilfully. It's getting really interesting here and this will be a feast for the eyes for friends of fine mechanics. How these clutches work will be shown in the submenus Gear changing 1 and Gear changing 2.
It is fascinating to compare the well-known global manufacturers. The originality of Fichtel & Sachs or Sturmey-Archer is identifiable in all of its products. There where a lot of highlights and some hubs are highly sought-after among the collectors. Some manufacturers were compared with one another and their imagination should be appreciated - and aesthetics - in the submenu Manufacturers.