Sturmey Archer 5-speed ( sprinter, etc. )

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Brucey
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby Brucey » 25 Apr 2014, 10:38am

Sweep wrote: Is it fair to assume that a "slippage" soon after changing gear is far less serious than one some time after you have made the change - on the basis that this may just be a problem with initial engagement of the gear rather than an inability to stay in that gear? (If I get a slippage I always change to another gear immediately though this may not have always been the experience of the gearbox - the gf rode it once and despite being asked to tell me if she encountered slippage during a ride chose to tell me at the end).


if you pedal forwards (without significant force, for 1-2 full turns of the pedals) during the shift, the gear should go in properly. If you freewheel or backpedal, it won't, not always. In the latter case it may slip as it goes in, or not go in fully before you pedal hard again. Any slippage can cause further damage. (Re adjustment, see my note in the X-RD5(W) thread.)

However I have noted that on all NIG hubs it is possible to get a 'funny noise' even in the direct drive gear, even on hubs that are in super condition. This seems to happen maybe one time in twenty when shifting to the direct drive gear, normally about five pedal turns after making the shift. After much thought I now suppose that this is the result of just one of a pair of pawls failing to engage properly; either between the driver and the gear ring, or between the gear ring and the hubshell. One pawl can engage if the parts are not centred properly; given that the driver is always able to rock slightly and that the gear ring has a radial tolerance I guess this is going to happen from time to time. Normally a brief backpedal or freewheel allows the pawls to engage properly and then normal service is resumed. So for that reason I'd suggest that on hubs that are prone to this (it varies) pedalling with little force for a few turns after a shift into the direct drive gear (or whichever other gear does similar) isn't a badi idea. If the sole engaged pawl squirms badly (it will) and then slips out (again it will) and this happens under full load, this is exactly the kind of thing that will damage a hub.

Another question. I have noticed that SOMETIMES when wheeling the bike backwards (as you might briefly when manoeuvring it when walking with it) I get a clicking from the gearbox and even a resistance to this backwards movement. Is this a sign of anything?


The NIG design of hub (in high gears) will actually break into myriad tiny pieces if you wheel the bike backwards and the actuator plate doesn't do its job and/or the main clutch isn't lifted on its ramps. This is because the driver is in mesh with both the gear ring (via the pawls) and the planet cage (via the main clutch). The splines between the driver and the main clutch are angled (presumably so that the clutch is forced into engagement) but this (or simple friction in the splines) means that the angled ramps on the reverse face of the driver cannot force the clutch off reliably when the bike is wheeled backwards. This is when the actuator plate is meant to defeat the driver pawls, so that the hub doesn't load itself (effectively by selecting two gears at once) and then shatter. If the actuator plate is faulty or worn then it won't do its job and the hub will break. In theory the wearing parts of the actuator plate fall into two categories; those that see wear all the time ( like the locating tabs, the eventual failure of which causes the actuator plate to come adrift catastrophically) and those that see wear only when the bike is backpedalled (low loads) or wheeled backwards in high gear (high loads).

My advice is not to wheel the bike backwards in high gear, and in the long run avoiding backpedalling (esp in high gear) isn't a bad idea either. If there is appreciable resistance already when wheeling the bike backwards, this most likely is an indication that the actuator plate is struggling to do its job. If I see this I will recommend that the actuator plate is changed without delay. It is a cheap part and can be fitted without a full hub stripdown; the driver assy will come out quite easily once the RH cone is unscrewed. However it isn't a bad idea to check everything else at the same time, so pulling the whole centre is best.

cheers
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breakwellmz
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby breakwellmz » 25 Apr 2014, 12:33pm

Your last paragraph combined with the need for a certain technique when changing gear,hardly recommends a SA5 hub for the inexperienced cyclist,or one without mechanical sympathy.I can`t imagine other hub manufacturers hubs having such`quirks`.

Brucey
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby Brucey » 25 Apr 2014, 2:32pm

breakwellmz wrote:Your last paragraph combined with the need for a certain technique when changing gear,hardly recommends a SA5 hub for the inexperienced cyclist,or one without mechanical sympathy.I can`t imagine other hub manufacturers hubs having such`quirks`.


I can. I don't think there is an IGH made yet where at least some of the shifts don't require a certain degree of circumspection, when you look into it. Or the hub has weird losses in some gears, that could have been avoided.

On an SA 5s hub the 2-3-4 shifts are just like a three speed; it is the 1-2 (and to a lesser extent 4-5) shift that is most liable to give trouble, and these usually see the least use.

In fairness the NIG actuator plate normally lasts a few years before it gives trouble, and normally works well enough in the meantime. You have to ask the question 'how long do you want it to last?' . With the three speed especially, SA are between two stools here; in steel hubbed form they are pitched at the bottom of the market, but in alloy shelled form they are seen as a middle to high end product. When the innards are the same in each case, you can see that there might be problems.

cheers
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SA_SA_SA
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby SA_SA_SA » 25 Apr 2014, 2:38pm

For 3 speeds, how come sunrace SA don't raid the SA back catalogue of patents, for neater ways of making a simpler NIG hub?

They also patented some different 5 speeds but never made them...
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Brucey
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby Brucey » 25 Apr 2014, 3:01pm

It is all money, isn't it? The AW was a cheaper-to-make design when it came out, and the SW was meant to be cheaper than that, with an even lower part count.

The current NIG 3s designs are dirt-cheap to make and that is their raison d'etre. That they work as well as they do is pretty amazing when you think that they are (I think) sold to bike makers for about £10 a pop. That the same/similar innards and parts find their way into more expensive (3s and 5s) alloy hubs is simply unfortunate.

Look at the opposition; the Sachs (SRAM) 3s hub is now made in Taiwan and they appear to be trying to buy market share in Europe. Recent versions have a rotary shift with a PITA cable cassette buried in the end of the hub, with some horrid plastic parts to make it all hang together; this is probably an improvement over (say) click-boxes but still a POS design.

The shimano Nexus 3 is actually a pretty good hub ( the innards are probably stronger than a current SA 3 speed) but the flanges are too thin (any wheel built without spoke washers breaks spokes -even 13G spokes- like they are going out of fashion), they don't put enough grease in them, and the bellcrank assy is a POS arrangement that is designed to fail in several interesting ways. Having said that the shift is nice and light, the shift control spring (in the pushrod) seems to work OK.

The SA 3 speed hub; perfect? No... but is probably the cheapest to make and it is probably the simplest/cheapest to maintain, too. The toggle chain is of course anachronistic, but is easily protected and as well as simply and easily replaced in the event of damage. My LBS still sells toggle chains for £1 a pop; they certainly shouldn't cost the £5 or so that some cheeky gets want for them.

cheers
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SA_SA_SA
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby SA_SA_SA » 25 Apr 2014, 3:33pm

Brucey wrote:It is all money, isn't it? The AW was a cheaper-to-make design when it came out, and the SW was meant to be cheaper than that, with an even lower part count.

The current NIG 3s designs are dirt-cheap to make and that is their raison d'etre.


I was hoping that a designed in from the start NIG feature (rather than a hack needing a thin plate actuator) might have been cheaper to make than the NIG-hacked AW. Perhaps not then :( .

I wonder with better manufacturing tolerances than in the distant past, if Sunrace could actually make a reliable SW style hub..... (but with 33% steps :) )?
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Brucey
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby Brucey » 25 Apr 2014, 7:32pm

if you think the NIG AW is odd enough, take a look at the coaster brake version....

I have owned and used an SW and it was a fussy little blighter. The oil needed to be exactly the right viscosity, the hub free play needed to be 'just so' and in cold weather it would misbehave even if everything was (you thought) 'just right'. I certainly came to appreciate the virtues of pawl springs.

SA seem to be changing all kinds of stuff right now; the +33% ratios are probably soon to be history; the latest version of the AW has a wider ratio spacing, presumably to 'be more like the Nexus 3'. Harrumph.

cheers
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Sweep
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby Sweep » 26 Apr 2014, 7:10am

many thanks for your further posts on this Brucey.

Will report back if any significant changes/progress.
Sweep

TwoWheelsGood
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby TwoWheelsGood » 26 Apr 2014, 11:16am

SA_SA_SA wrote:For 3 speeds, how come sunrace SA don't raid the SA back catalogue of patents, for neater ways of making a simpler NIG hub?

They also patented some different 5 speeds but never made them...

Sunrace SA may have done this with their forthcoming C50 5 speed hub; they claim that you don't have to stop pedalling to change gear and it uses a rotary gear select mechanism. Of course this hub has yet to be proven and may not be available for a while yet; there's still very little information available online but this page shows two hubs and a twist shifter:

http://www.radmarkt.de/nachrichten/stur ... -range-aus

There's also a new SA 4 speed hub but that has direct drive at first gear just like their 8 speed hub. Also of interest is a new SRAM 3 speed hub with a kick back gear change, though the disadvantage appears to be that you can't change down a gear without braking, and a special version will be produced that can also power machinery. Available perhaps by the end of this year:

http://www.bikerumor.com/2014/04/07/sra ... huck-corn/

Brucey
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby Brucey » 26 Apr 2014, 11:25am

I've been waiting to get my hands on a C50 since it was announced last year.

For those who don't speak german here is the same Radmarkt linky with Googletranslate applied;

http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.radmarkt.de/nachrichten/sturmey-archer-baut-nabenschaltungs-range-aus&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dsturmey%2Barcher%2Bc50%2Bradmarkt%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D2I7GGHP_enGB0536______

There is a similar story (in English) on Bikerumour, although it doesn't stress the e-bike market in quite the same way. I absolutely get why it is that a 'shifts under load' gear is a good idea for an e-bike, and that it may be difficult (and perhaps unnecessary, whilst your batteries hold out, anyway...) to engineer one that is really bombproof with more gears in it.

cheers
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fatboy
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby fatboy » 27 Apr 2014, 11:38am

SA_SA_SA wrote:I found the old narrow range SA sprinter style 5 speed took so long to change to the outer wide ratio gears (1 and 5) that it is no improvement on a fast changing AW 3 speed (non-NIG version)*. Also, the lowest gear is so much more inefficient for such a small decrease that it seems irrelevant: you just pedal faster for the same effort.


I can concur that the bottom gear on a Sprinter on a Brompton is fairly useless. I discovered this when I took my Brommie up Cheddar Gorge! Coupled with the fact that honking is no real fun made for entertaining times at the steepest bits. On the positive side the jumps are smaller than an AW and I've never found the shift into 5 to be an issue. I am not looking forward to removing the back wheel (really must practice thus at home some day!). What I find worst about the hub is that it's very sticky to back pedal in 4 and especially 5 which can be a pain when folding.

I am pondering building up an SA based commuter. What I'd like is AW reliability with the range and gaps of a Sprinter (at the cost of an AW!).
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

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barrym
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby barrym » 27 Apr 2014, 1:21pm

I seemed to have missed something here. What does NIG stand for and if not self explanatory what does it mean?

Barry
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Barry

fatboy
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby fatboy » 27 Apr 2014, 2:06pm

barrym wrote:I seemed to have missed something here. What does NIG stand for and if not self explanatory what does it mean?

Barry


Took me a while too! It's no intermediate gear which I think means that the dreaded neutral of an AW hub is avoided (somehow!)
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

Brucey
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby Brucey » 27 Apr 2014, 3:05pm

fatboy wrote:
SA_SA_SA wrote:I found the old narrow range SA sprinter style 5 speed took so long to change to the outer wide ratio gears (1 and 5) that it is no improvement on a fast changing AW 3 speed (non-NIG version)*. Also, the lowest gear is so much more inefficient for such a small decrease that it seems irrelevant: you just pedal faster for the same effort.


I can concur that the bottom gear on a Sprinter on a Brompton is fairly useless. I discovered this when I took my Brommie up Cheddar Gorge! Coupled with the fact that honking is no real fun made for entertaining times at the steepest bits. On the positive side the jumps are smaller than an AW and I've never found the shift into 5 to be an issue. I am not looking forward to removing the back wheel (really must practice thus at home some day!). What I find worst about the hub is that it's very sticky to back pedal in 4 and especially 5 which can be a pain when folding.


The dragginess is normally in part because of the ramps on the main clutch causing an additional end thrust when backpedalling in 4/5, and partly because the gear is lubricated with somewhat sticky grease. If the gear is adjusted correctly and lubricated with something thinner than treacle it should be a bit easier.

The 4-5 shift is quicker than the 2-1 shift simply because the hub internals are turning more quickly. The same parts move inside the hub during both these shifts. If the hub is in good shape and the right technique is used the shift can be OK but it isn't the fastest shift, not by a long chalk. The upshift from 4-5 is + 18.4% and feels like a fairly sizeable shift, in part because you'll likely be hitting an aero brick wall. By contrast the shift from 2-1 feels smaller, in part because the drag forces work differently at low speeds (being more closely proportional to speed, rather than speed squared) and because it genuinely is a smaller shift; whilst an upshift from 1-2 is + 18.3% a downshift from 2-1 is - 15.5%. So for both reasons I'd suggest planning ahead for the 2-1 shift, and doing it as soon as you might think you will be needing to do it at some point; waiting until you have nearly conked out in 2nd is not the best way to use it at all.

I am pondering building up an SA based commuter. What I'd like is AW reliability with the range and gaps of a Sprinter (at the cost of an AW!).


Ha. Dream on, eh...? For a utility bike the Nexus 7 is hard to beat, but you just can't be thinking about the efficiency though...

cheers
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cjchambers
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Re: S.A. 5speed

Postby cjchambers » 4 May 2014, 8:59pm

I spent yesterday lacing a SRF5(W) into a wheel for my Dahon. Went out for a quick test ride today, fairly pleased with the spread of gears (32T chainwheel and 16T sprocket) and didn't have too many shifting issues although I need to check the 4th gear adjustment as described above as it's not quite right.

Two questions:

1. Is it normal for 1st gear to feel/sound so awful? It feels like I'm pedalling one of those old fashioned hand-held whisks with bevel gears! The pitch of the whirring seems to increase with speed. Is this one of the things which will get better with relubrication? Or indicative of a problem?

2. Being new to Sturmey Archers, I committed the cardinal sin of disturbing the right cone. Having learned the error of my ways, I have followed the instruction of finger tightening then backing off half a turn and installing the locknut (no lock washer on mine . . .?). However, I am not 100% sure if I'm getting it exactly right - is there any way of telling whether the right hand cone adjustment is correct?

Thanks,
Chris