Just in: Traitor Luggernaut

Lugged steel and 3-speed hubs: welcome to the now!

by Dave Atkinson   March 23, 2011  

If you're anything like me then your first experience of a hub-geared bike was a Raleigh Grifter, and after the middle gear had slipped and you'd bashed your knee on the stem for the 68th time you swore you'd never get another one. Skip to the now, though, and they're suddenly back in vogue, mainly because they're a cracking low-maintenance gearing option for an everyday bike. It's no surprise that just over the channel in the low countries, where they take everyday cycling seriously, they never went away.

Another thing that's never really gone away, but has taken a back seat for a while, is lugged steel frames. It's a great way to make a frame, and the finished product is invariably a classy looking bike. Like hub gears, they're going through a bit of a revival. So you could say that the lugged, hub-geared Traitor Luggernaut 3spd is right on trend... and an equally on trend thrifty £749.95.

Traitor's Luggernaut frame is made from lugged Columbus Thron tubing and it's mated with a sturdy lugged fork. You can have it as a singlespeed but it's also available in this build, with a Sturmey Archer S-RF3 hub gear, controlled by a bar-end shifter. The hub has a classic 177% range (25% below and 33% above direct drive middle gear) and with the supplied 42/16 transmission (check out the lovely Sturmey Archer crankset) that equates to 53", 70" and 94" gears. That should be fine for the flat but around here it ain't flat, so we'll probably swap out that 42T ring for something a bit smaller.

The bike is designed to run tyres up to 34mm (it comes with 29mm Halo Twin Rails) and there's braze ons for rack and 'guards (although you'll have to double up on the single dropout thread at the rear). Traitor finishing kit completes the build, including some absolutely cavernous drops, and stopping is taken care of by Tektro levers pulling the same company's R538 long drop callipers.

The overall look is minimalist and classy, helped by the low-impact decals, and our 59cm bike weighs in at 10.8kg (23.9lb) which isn't too shabby at all for a very solidly built machine. We're looking forward to giving the Luggernaut a blast around the lanes (and paths) of Bath, stay tuned for a full review soon.

9 user comments

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Sigh soooooo close - with silver rims instead of the black ones it would have been really classy.

Still, looks like an interesting machine. Interested to hear the review, particularly on the 3 speed hub.

posted by step-hent [718 posts]
23rd March 2011 - 16:52

1 Like

Nice looking bike but unfortunate typo alert:

"controlled by a bar-end shiter."

Whoops! Wink

posted by rodsquad [31 posts]
23rd March 2011 - 21:53


Now that looks lovely. I want one.

Napalmhaze's picture

posted by Napalmhaze [81 posts]
24th March 2011 - 1:06


Nothing much wrong with the look of the bike at all - except, as step-hent says, silver-rims would just add the only missing touch. Oh, a chain-guard would be nice too. I know we Brits tend to frown on them, but for sheer practicality they make a lot of sense, and nicely styled it wouldn't detract from this model. Reminds my of my first drop-barred bike, the Raleigh Hustler. It bet it rides a whole lot better though. Sigh. How much?

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
24th March 2011 - 7:01


simonmb wrote:
Oh, a chain-guard would be nice too. I know we Brits tend to frown on them, but for sheer practicality they make a lot of sense, and nicely styled it wouldn't detract from this model.

Agree - would add to the practicality and fit in with the retro styling. I have no idea because I've not owned a bike with a chain guard since I was 6, but anyone know if it is possible to retrofit one?

posted by step-hent [718 posts]
24th March 2011 - 10:43


simonmb wrote:
How much?

Ah yes, the price Smile

It retails for £749.95

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7857 posts]
24th March 2011 - 12:49


I knew I was right on trend!

posted by Fishy [55 posts]
25th March 2011 - 19:24


tis beautiful. but why oh why oh why oh why did they not put a second set of braze ons on for the rack?

Is it available as a frame set do we know?

EDIT: Yes £350 f+f but I wonder what the Exile will cost cos that is dribble-tastic

Really, though?

posted by workhard [393 posts]
25th March 2011 - 20:04


I hated the 3 speed on my Grifter...was always replacing the link 'doobry' every 5 minutes...but I guess this machine isn't built for launching off/down crazy angled ramps and bings...(I doubt the Grifter was either...but I couldn't persuade my old man to get me a BMX..said I'd probably hurt myself on it....) Thinking
I like the black rims...but the stickers would have to go...and maybe put on some whitewalls...


The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [642 posts]
26th March 2011 - 0:29

1 Like