This is still off the road coz those gears are just too skippy.
Has anyone got any recommendations for mechanics (preferably South London based) who won't panic and start bullshitting when faced with a 30-year-old Sturmey Archer hub?
Ninon, not sure what part of town she’s in. Expert in this stuff. London Bike Kitchen should be able to put you in touch.
Bleh, the hub shouldn’t need too much doing to it to get it back in check. A couple of back to basics things:
-what lube is in it? It wants a thin oil like engine oil or 3-in-1. Not grease, don’t pack it with grease. If there’s an oil port in the barrel, squirt in about a tablespoon of oil, else put the bike on its side, undo the adjuster chain and take it out and put the oil in the hole in the axle. The oil will work its way round and clear the crud off the surfaces, then it all starts shifting better. Expect it to leak, this is normal.
-it’s usually 3rd or 1st it’ll struggle to stay in, if it’s a bit crudded up. Running it for a bit with plenty of fresh oil in usually clears it.
-setting gear adjustment: slack chain it ought to be in 3rd. The cable wants to be just slack with the shifter in 3rd. In 1st it wants to be just pulling tight at the limit of travel at the other end and 2nd is really determined by the shifter indexing position. Too tight and it won’t drop into 3rd, too slack and it won’t pull all the way into 1st. 2nd should be your sweet spot. You can only really check if it’s engaged properly by really standing on the pedals, so expect a whack in the shins when trying it.
-Is the shifter indexing ok or a bit vague/worn?
Five months later and I'm interested in this project again. And, no longer trusting my LBS, I've opened up a Sturmey Archer-flavoured can of worms and I'm tucking in. Yummy.
Closer inspection of the SA rear hub strongly suggests that my LBS were lying when they said they disassembled and serviced it.
I'm waiting for this beast to arrive in the post, so that I really can get down and dirty.
Best jigsaw I've done in lockdown.
Put this all back together and reinstalled the wheel.
Everyone (including @Jonny69 above) says that, to get the gears operating properly, there should be a tiny bit of cable slack in the high gear position and an even tinier bit of indicator chain movement in the low-gear position. Trouble is, I can't get both.
In order to get the cable tight enough to stop the gears slipping in 2nd, the cable is so tight in 1st that I fear something is going to snap. There's no movement at all, which isn't right.
There's also no play in the rim, which there is supposed to be.
All of this leads me to think that the drive-side cone is too tight. By loosening it off, I should increase the range of movement in the driver.
So that's tonight's task.
Ooof, pulling apart an SA hub does sound like the best lockdown project one could do. Good luck getting the hub dialed in!
Put everything in that Sturmey Archer hub back together, all beautifully cleaned, oiled and regreased. Reinstalled the wheel I'd finally cracked it when I took it out for a long evening ride and it didn't miss a beat. Glorious. Put the bike back in the bike shed feeling very satisfied.
Took the bike out two days later, started riding it and ... it's back to slipping around in second gear around like fish on a waterslide.
Took it all apart again tonight to have a closer look and think I might have found the issue.
In second gear (which is where the gear slips), the clutch engages directly with these teeth in the gear assembly. On mine, the corners of these teeth are worn down. I reckon that's causing the clutch to slip off. I can temporarily solve the problem by tightening the gear chain so that the clutch engages higher up these teeth....but that causes problems with the alignment in the low gear instead.
My gear assembly has only four teeth. But by the look of the SJS spares list, all the replacement gear assemblies have many more, which presumably spreads the load and prevents the teeth wearing so quickly.
Love this, I've taken a few Shimano geared hubs apart and an old torpedo 2-speed. Love it when you're in the middle of tinkering and actually understand (maybe) what the mechanism is up to, before the whole thing becomes a metal mystery box again.
The part that I need is HSA 118. But that's long discontinued. Can't see any up for sale on ebay either.
Anyone know if any of the options on SJS are compatible? Seems like they could be interchangeable, but that's a big assumption.
Contact sjs &/or SA to ask?
Amazing thread. Grips on page 1 was gold.
@R.hobbs (I think) might be able to help with your question
Boom. There was one on Ebay after all.
But just to make sure, I'm also ordering new bearings, a new clutch, new pinion pins and new cones.
Also, check this out: Sturmey knew best all along.
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