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Tech Guru Sheldon Brown Dies

Published February 4, 2008

NEWTONVILLE, MA (BRAIN)—Sheldon Brown, who could explain the intricacies of 40-year-old Sturmey Archer hubs with the same patient clarity with which he would explain suspension or integrated shifters, died from a sudden heart attack Sunday night.

His death was unrelated to the progressive multiple sclerosis that had kept him off his bikes since September 2006.

Most bicyclists encountered Brown through his technical writing on the Harris Cyclery Web site,, where he was webmaster and general tech guru for the West Newton, Massachusetts retailer.

If a cyclist had a problem with any cycle, from any time period, from any country, Brown had probably collected the information they needed. If not he would happily help them further. Industry insiders knew him as a fount of incredible knowledge about the bike industry and always quick to help.

Brown wrote copiously, whether it be hundreds of thousands of words on bike history or component specification on the Harris Cyclery Web site, or the numerous articles for Bike World, Bicycling and American Bicyclist magazines and his regular contributions to Adventure Cyclist magazine.

According to his last blog entry on Sunday February 3, the day he died, Brown was looking forward to casting his vote on Super Tuesday for Barack Obama, influenced by the hard work his daughter has done on behalf of the Obama campaign.

Brown’s sudden death took his family and his friends at Harris Cyclery by surprise. The shop has received many calls from those expressing their condolences, and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

—Matt Wiebe

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