At the weekend I did a bit of window shopping for a bike for my five year old grandson and I could not help but notice the number of bike models that were fitted with some kind of internal hub gear.

I guess I can put the blame squarely on my fellow countrymen at Sturmey Archer for inventing such a complicated system.

They weighed a ton; in my wheel building youth I subjected myself to building a wheel with one. It took a week for my hands to recover.

A toggle chain made them at first easy to adjust but to repair the internal workings a PhD in rocket science or the ability to solve a rubix cube in under 10 seconds helped.

So why cannot bike manufacturers send them the way of the dinasuar, or is it in their minds derailleur gears look complicated to the average rider, so best hide the gear changing mechanism on the models they are likely to buy.

Are the new generation of hub gears meant to be a throwaway item or easily repaired and if so will replacement parts be available?

Long live le deraileur.