Sturmey Archer SRF3 hub not engaging freewheel

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  • I've got a 3 speed Sturmey Archer SRF3 hub, which I recently overhauled after sounding pretty grotty. I replaced a pawl spring on the gear ring assembly, and cleaned and relubricated the whole thing.

    It's running very smoothly now, but occasionally the freewheel won't engage immediately after coasting. The pedals spin for a couple of rotations before the freewheel reengages. I can't see any suggestions about this issue in the service manual. I've experienced it most commonly, but not exclusively, shifting down between 3rd and 2nd gear. It's fine once it's engaged and pedalling - doesn't slip.

    Has anyone got any suggestions of where should I be looking in the hub to fix this?

  • What did you lubricate it with? It sounds like maybe the grease is too thick and it causes the pawls to stick. Adding some gear oil through the hollow axle might thin the mix enough to resolve without disassembly.

    Use a semi fluid grease in future.

  • I used the Sturmey Archer official hub grease on some parts and a wet chain oil on others. But I guess the pawls sticking is the issue...

  • Oh that's odd. The sturmey grease is supposed to be fairly liquid. I wonder if something in the chain lube could affect the grease making it gum up?

  • Hello, I thought I'd ask here rather than start a new thread.
    The "x-rd3" 3 speed hub (with drum brake) on my parsley is running funny, only 2 hear available and one of them isn't smooth, almost feels like a cog's broken inside, and intermittently (although this is still rare) it just doesn't engage.
    I got the bike second hand and at the time the hub wasn't working properly, main bearings were so loose the axle's main bolts were in screwing while pedaling and I think the gears had a hard life. I partly disassembled the hub (not the hardcore planetary section) re greased the bearings etc. and the bike's been working ok for a year of light and occasional use. One day going up crystal palace and pushing the gears quite hard I felt something going wrong and it's been a bit funny since.
    My solution is to buy a new SA inner gearing bit, and just swap it. At about £30 posted it's cheaper I imagine that any specialist bike shop intervention, and I don't have the time to learn the dark art of fixing SA complicated gearing parts. Does that feel the sensible thing to do (in my situation) or am I missing a trick? The Pashley is the currently preferred dad bike...

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Sturmey Archer SRF3 hub not engaging freewheel

Posted by Avatar for scraplab @scraplab