Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
SRV
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Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby SRV » 11 Dec 2020, 10:44am

I know that is not considered advisable to stand up with an AW hub - especially a pre-NIG hub, but I do not remember ever having experienced a 'false neutral', even in my youth, when maintenance was negligable - or even non-existent. I realise that many people have experienced this phenomenon and do not wish in any way to trivialise it.

So, what is the current wisdom, given a well adjusted hub (I use the first gear adjustment method, rather than the recommended one)?

Brucey
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby Brucey » 11 Dec 2020, 11:10am

with a pre-NIG hub, if the hub slips out of 2nd under load, it normally does not damage the internal unless this is repeated several times over. [By contrast an external slippage, eg if the chain slips around the sprocket and then re-engages, will more easily damage the hub.]

Note that any gear adjustment method cannot work unless the hub internal clearances are set correctly (RH cone nipped up then backed out 1/2 turn). If the clearance is more than this then the ring gear can flap about inside the hub and gear selection will be erratic.

If you are worried about slippage in second, make a note of the setting (or make an additional mark on the toggle chain) at the point where drive just starts to pick up in second on the third to second shift. Provided this mark is 3-4mm further out of the axle when second is selected on the shifter, the second gear selection will be robust.

The kind of cable setting error which is likely to result in slippage in a pre-NIG hub is large by comparison with that which makes gear selection wildly erratic with derailleur gears; perhaps we should recommend that no-one rides out of the saddle using those....?... :roll:

cheers
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simonineaston
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby simonineaston » 11 Dec 2020, 11:32am

I think the experience of just one pedal slip while out of the saddle is enough to put one off for life... :shock: I stay firmly sitting down.
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rmurphy195
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby rmurphy195 » 11 Dec 2020, 1:10pm

SRV wrote:I know that is not considered advisable to stand up with an AW hub - especially a pre-NIG hub, but I do not remember ever having experienced a 'false neutral', even in my youth, when maintenance was negligable - or even non-existent. I realise that many people have experienced this phenomenon and do not wish in any way to trivialise it.

So, what is the current wisdom, given a well adjusted hub (I use the first gear adjustment method, rather than the recommended one)?


I wouldn't, ever since in my yoof (about 13yo or so) I did so and ended up going head-over-heels (literally) ending up on my back with my legs tangled up in bits of bike. How I escaped injury I'll never know.
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby mjr » 11 Dec 2020, 1:19pm

rmurphy195 wrote:I wouldn't, ever since in my yoof (about 13yo or so) I did so and ended up going head-over-heels (literally) ending up on my back with my legs tangled up in bits of bike. How I escaped injury I'll never know.

Anyone making a similar pledge never to stand to ride a Shimano-derailleured bike after an autoshifting chain skate (also due to misconfiguration or poor maintenance and also producing a sudden loss of resistance from the pedals) would be dismissed as being completely disproportionate, wouldn't they?
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby Cyril Haearn » 11 Dec 2020, 1:34pm

We have many more gears now, surely honking (rouler en danseuse) is rarely necessary except when competing in a hill-climb
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mjr
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby mjr » 11 Dec 2020, 1:41pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:We have many more gears now, surely honking (rouler en danseuse) is rarely necessary except when competing in a hill-climb

Even on an AW, I basically only do it when it's out the bottom of my gear range and the alternative is walking up the hill... or occasionally to start off uphill when the front end tries to lift due to the weight of cargo in the back! (My front racks max out at between 5 and 10kg - one rear will take 50+)
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby scottg » 11 Dec 2020, 11:34pm

Brucey wrote:The kind of cable setting error which is likely to result in slippage in a pre-NIG hub is large by comparison with that which makes gear selection wildly erratic with derailleur gears; perhaps we should recommend that no-one rides out of the saddle using those....?... :roll:

cheers


You can visually verify derailer adjustment, AWs lack that.
When I rule the world, I'll have Rohloff make new TF hubs.
A New Model AM would be lovely too.
AWs are not Sturmey's best idea.
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Brucey
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby Brucey » 12 Dec 2020, 12:15am

scottg wrote:

You can visually verify derailer adjustment, AWs lack that.


ahem;

Image


...AWs are not Sturmey's best idea.


Ah, what it is to be underestimated; AWs are probably the most numerous hub gear ever made (in series production for over 60 years) and one of the most reliable too. After it had been in production for about twenty years SA themselves thought they could do better; the result was the SW and after three iterations of that, they packed it in and reverted back to making the AW.

If you have been riding one of these gears for donkey's years, you will feel when the adjustment is wrong, because the drive picks up late when shifting from 3 to 2, i.e. only just before the shifter clicks into position.

If you are neglectful and don't keep the gears adjusted, A pre NIG AW hub will eventually start to slip in second gear, at first only under load. This doesn't usually break the hub and alerts even the most dozy rider to the fact that there might be something wrong.... :roll: . It happens (by accident or design is not clear) that this usually starts to happen before first gear selection becomes erratic, which means that damage to the high gear pawls (which arises through hit and miss engagement of first gear) isn't very common in pre-NIG AWs. By contrast with most other hub gears (including SA NIG 3s) the warning signs of bad adjustment are nothing like so clear and the result is more often that the hub is just ridden until it breaks; this is doesn't take very long.

So what some folk perceive as the biggest weakness of the pre NIG AW should be more accurately be regarded as its saving grace. I'd argue that in fact the AW was sturmey-archer's best idea.

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Tiberius
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby Tiberius » 12 Dec 2020, 7:02am

scottg wrote:You can visually verify derailer adjustment, AWs lack that.
When I rule the world, I'll have Rohloff make new TF hubs.
A New Model AM would be lovely too.
AWs are not Sturmey's best idea.


And for balance, I think the AW hub is brilliant.

My No1 bike has a Rohloff but my winter bike is a single speeder fitted with a SA3 AW NIG hub. The AW drags me through hilly North Yorkshire for 2,500 KM every winter and it does it really well. I've never had a problem setting the correct cable tension - easily viewable through the little hole (No1 in Brucey's diagram).

OP. I'm old enough to remember AW's slipping and the eye watering results but I can honestly say that this NIG hub of mine has not slipped once in the eight years (20,000 KMs) that I have been using it. I regularly climb out of the saddle - I'm the sort of rider that prefers to climb out of the saddle in 2nd gear than climb in the saddle in 1st gear - and the hub has never slipped.

I would go anywhere on that bike. I regularly wonder why we have bikes with so many gears?

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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby iandusud » 12 Dec 2020, 9:16am

scottg wrote:AWs are not Sturmey's best idea.

I'm not sure that SA would agree with that :lol:

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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby jimlews » 12 Dec 2020, 9:47am

The nice thing about the no drive position of the original AW is that, when used with a derailleur system (hybrid drive), it enables one to swop sprockets whilst stationary. Brilliant!

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Mick F
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby Mick F » 12 Dec 2020, 9:52am

Yep! :D

Many moons ago, I modified my 3sp AW Hercules to take two sprockets. Gave me six ratios! The bike remained like that from the late 1960s until the late 1980s.

If I was on the small cog and waiting at a junction, I would often pull the trigger between 3rd and 2nd into "neutral" and swap to the big one, or vice versa.
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simonineaston
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby simonineaston » 12 Dec 2020, 10:07am

jimlews wrote:The nice thing about the no drive position of the original AW is that, when used with a derailleur system (hybrid drive), it enables one to swop sprockets whilst stationary. Brilliant!
Never thought of that - how cool!
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Pedalling out of the saddle with a Sturmey Archer AW hub

Postby [XAP]Bob » 15 Dec 2020, 11:25am

simonineaston wrote:
jimlews wrote:The nice thing about the no drive position of the original AW is that, when used with a derailleur system (hybrid drive), it enables one to swop sprockets whilst stationary. Brilliant!
Never thought of that - how cool!


Also the bike can be left in neutral when parked.... confuses potential ne’er-do-wells
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