I checked with Dale about the list-legality of a "KOF" component, and he approved this topic.
For those of you who may not have been tracking progress on modern revival of the much-revered and expensive Sturmey-Archer ASC, some details are surfacing. I haven't seen a firm introduction date yet, but the S3X is clearly getting close to market.
Take a look at: http://sunrace-sturmeyarcher.blogspot.com/
Yesterday's picture shows how, in addition to the Shimano splines for cogs, one can mount a single-speed freewheel on the hub (which seems like an "unclear-on-the-concept" choice to me).
The ratios on the new one are quite different than the original. The old ASC was .75, .90, and direct. The new S3X is .625, .75, and direct.
That first step off of direct drive on the new one strikes me as a bit larger than ideal, and becomes more of a hill ratio than a headwind or fatigue one (so what's that lower-still gear for then?). Maybe they expect you to climb in .625 or .75, accelerate from stops in .75, and cruise in direct drive. I think I would've liked something in the neighborhood of .72, .875, and direct, or simply resurrect one of the 2-speed fixed hubs, instead.
The aesthetics aren't very classic, but things could be a lot worse. The too-big black writing can probably be removed from the silver model. The anodized ones aren't my cup-of-tea, and the logos are apparently etched on those. I hope the large black knuckle pictured on the axle end (it's in an early picture on an earlier web page, not these recent pictures on the top page) isn't a necessity.
I wonder if the new hub and the old one have the same cable travel (i.e., can we use these new shifters on our old ASC hubs)?
As always, their extensive Sturmey-Archer heritage pages are a brilliant resource, too.
San Francisco, CA, USA