Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Russcoles
Posts: 342
Joined: 6 Nov 2010, 8:09pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby Russcoles » 17 Aug 2012, 8:41am

ambodach wrote:It will be interesting to find how you get on with the grease for lubrication. My problem is that my 3 speed SA on the Kingpin leaks oil when at rest. Mebbe I use too much oil which I will admit is a failing of mine but grease would seem to be an answer.

Modern hubs switched to grease. Oil is however a better lubricant for hub gears but it will leak.
I did come across a novel approach to servicing a SA hub that had not been looked after. It basically involved placing the whole hub in a jar full of oil for a few days and giving it a shake every so often.
Does anyone actually understand how these things actually work? I have before now taken a hub apart and replaced parts that had broken, I can happily strip a hub down and put it back together, but for the life of me, I still cannot understand how they actually work.

Brucey
Posts: 35945
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby Brucey » 17 Aug 2012, 9:43am

Russcoles wrote: .... I can happily strip a hub down and put it back together, but for the life of me, I still cannot understand how they actually work.


you should be careful doing that. The pinion pixies may escape... :shock:

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
breakwellmz
Posts: 1982
Joined: 8 May 2012, 9:33pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby breakwellmz » 17 Aug 2012, 9:51am

Wasn`t someone here going to try EP80(?) gearbox oil in their SA hub?

Brucey
Posts: 35945
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby Brucey » 17 Aug 2012, 9:56am

that is what I've used for years, before I started experimenting with the semi-fluid grease.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
georgew
Posts: 1484
Joined: 27 Jan 2007, 4:23pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby georgew » 17 Aug 2012, 10:23am

Russcoles wrote:
ambodach wrote:Does anyone actually understand how these things actually work? I have before now taken a hub apart and replaced parts that had broken, I can happily strip a hub down and put it back together, but for the life of me, I still cannot understand how they actually work.


My friend, who is totally blind, was required to strip and re-assemble this hub as part of qualifying for hie City of Guilds certificate. He builds a mean wheel as well.

rjb
Posts: 3465
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 10:25am
Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby rjb » 17 Aug 2012, 11:26am

Has anybody tried using a left hand 3 speed twistgrip to operate a sturmey 3 speed aw ?
I suppose it depends upon the cable pull ratio being similar - anyone know?
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

Brucey
Posts: 35945
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby Brucey » 17 Aug 2012, 11:37am

SunRace/Sturmey Archer manufacture a twistgrip to control three speed hubs and it isn't terribly expensive IIRC. Twistgrips for some other three speed hubs may work as well.

If you try to use an alternative twistgrip you may come unstuck if the cable pull between 1 and 2 is wrong. With a NIG AW you at least won't get slipping out of second gear as you will with older AW versions.

BTW I have just added some photographs to my original post if anyone is interested.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jezrant
Posts: 734
Joined: 14 Dec 2007, 8:11pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby Jezrant » 17 Aug 2012, 1:24pm

finally got around to reading this. great stuff. :D :D :D
It's not quite fair to suggest that the retro revival in the US is solely focused on the constructeur bikes. It's a much broader and eclectic church than just the Herse and Singer collectors and their various spin-offs, although I guess the internet maybe gives that impression. On the other hand, there does seem to be a lot more creativity (eccentricity) here in the UK. The other day I saw a lad coming down off Mastiles Lane on some sort of hub-geared MTB, but he was wearing wellies. I just assumed he was coming back from rounding up his herd of sheep. I stopped him to admire the footwear, and then I heard the click. He'd somehow modified his wellies to take SPD cleats! :D

User avatar
hubgearfreak
Posts: 8210
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 4:14pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby hubgearfreak » 17 Aug 2012, 4:53pm

Russcoles wrote:Does anyone actually understand how these things actually work?


a 3 speed, yes.

get a 3 speed. place the lhs of the axle in a vice. remove ball ring. then, get a friend to loosely hold the shell/rim (as if a load) whilst you drive (turn) the clutch. then pull the indicator rod into other gears and repeat.

the moment of revelation is a marvellous thing, good luck.

thecycleclinic
Posts: 169
Joined: 20 Apr 2012, 8:58pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby thecycleclinic » 17 Aug 2012, 9:51pm

And overhauling them is very simple.

Traitror in the U.S even spec one of there new road bikes with a 3 speed.

Ribblehead
Posts: 366
Joined: 21 Jul 2011, 3:08pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby Ribblehead » 18 Aug 2012, 12:20am

I have a relative who owns a post-war Raleigh with a Sturmey Archer four speed. I think it came with a three speed, and their father retro-fitted a four speed. It's the only SA four speed I've ever seen, so I think the three speeds were much more common. It has an oil port between the hub flanges, through which they put a few drops of 3 in 1 once a month. I suppose it's probably about 60 years old, they haven't ridden it recently, so I told them I'd gladly have it as a shopper/runabout if they decide it's no longer required.

Jezrant
Posts: 734
Joined: 14 Dec 2007, 8:11pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby Jezrant » 18 Aug 2012, 8:45am

Sheldon Brown's entry on SA makes interesting reading:

Almost all English 3-speeds have Sturmey-Archer rear hubs, and there have been many different models since the company started in 1902. Sturmey-Archer was a division of Raleigh Industries until autumn, 2000, when the parent company ran into financial difficulties. Sturmey-Archer (U.K.) was rendered homeless by various corporate maneuvers. For a while it appeared that it would disappear entirely into bankruptcy. The land the factory stood on was sold, and Sturmey-Archer was nearly liquidated by a corporate raider. Fortunately, a Taiwanese company called SunRace came to the rescue, and bought the company assets more or less intact. The machinery and stock were moved to Taiwan. SunRace resumed production of Sturmey-Archer hubs -- some pre-existing models, many new ones.
Sturmey-Archer quality had been on a downward slide since the early 1960s, as the company's engineering efforts shifted from trying to make a better product, as they had been through the first half century, to finding ways to make an acceptable product cheaper. Sturmey-Archer's quality peaked probably in the late '50s.
SunRace spent a great deal of money moving the machinery from England to Taiwan, but when it arrived, it turned out that most of the machinery was worn-out junk, no longer capable of manufacturing parts to the degree of precision appropriate to the 21st century.
I heard an interesting anecdote from a Sturmey-Archer veteran employee, now with SunRace/Sturmey-Archer:
Back in the day, sometimes a batch of internal parts would be just a bit out of tolerance, maybe a bit too small, or a bit too large, whatever. The production people would take a sample to the engineering department, where a grey-haired engineer would check it out and often say "Well, it is a bit out of spec, but not really enough to cause failure, so let's let it go."
SunRace didn't have those engineers who had grown up with Sturmey-Archer in their blood, so when they found a batch of out-of-spec parts, they would say "That's out of spec! Melt it down, and make new ones, and do it right this time!"
In any case, the quality of Taiwanese production from SunRace/Sturmey-Archer so far has been excellent, generally better than the quality of later English production. Sturmey-Archer's selection of multi-speed hubs is much wider than that of the other manufacturers. Sturmey-Archer hubs tend to be lighter than the competitors'. SunRace has also introduced many new models, including an 8-speed internal-gear hub, a fixed-gear three-speed and an updated version of the Dynohub generator. Many Sturmey-Archer hubs -- even the 8-speed -- can fit the narrow dropout spacings of older bicycles. .
Some folks don't believe that the Taiwanese can make stuff as well as the British did, but there's no factual basis for that belief, and in many cases this attitude may be traced to racism.

User avatar
breakwellmz
Posts: 1982
Joined: 8 May 2012, 9:33pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby breakwellmz » 18 Aug 2012, 9:48am

Brucey wrote:
breakwellmz wrote:Is there a photo of your bike on here somewhere Brucey?


not this one, not yet. I'll get on the case.

cheers


Thanks for the images Brucey.
What sort of control do you use?

I`ve was tempted to go down the SA5 route recently when i rebuilt my lightweight Raleigh ,that i had decided i wanted a `few` gears on.
It was previously single speed.

However,i have a(Heavyweight!) bike with a Nexus 7 hub.

How do the two compare?

Would the SA5 feel lighter and more efficient,or cruder and with big gaps compared to the Nexus?

I can`t decide how much having a hub gear makes the `heayweight`a heayweight!

Cheers

Brucey
Posts: 35945
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby Brucey » 18 Aug 2012, 1:03pm

I presently have a friction thumbshifter on the left and a cheapo five speed thumbshifter on the right. The latter only works because I'm using its clicks in an odd way; technically speaking the spacing is wrong, but the indexing mechanism will do 360 degrees, and there is a big gap between the #1 index and the #5 index second time around. I'm using the big gap for the 3-4 shift and the 2-1 index positions for the 3-2 shift if you see what I mean.

Both thumbshifters are mounted on a custom (OK... bodged up at home) welded bracket that mounts to stem nosebolt. I ride this bike on the tops a lot of the time so the levers are in the right place for me. If I do another one on a bike where I ride the hoods more it'll most likely have a set-up more like the one I made and posted pictures of in the 'skinflint' thread. Later single toggle five speeds can be controlled using a nice looking alloy thumbshifter which fits to 7/8" bars, but again a custom bracket of some kind may be required for a dropped bar installation. I think the alloy thumbshifter parts will mount to a conventional lever boss, but I've not BTDT so I can't say for sure.

The hub is only a tiny bit heavier than a three speed IIRC. The later (larger diameter) alloy hub shells are in fact heavier than the steel ones, and I have shown (well enough I hope) that you don't need the alloy flanges to stop spoke breakages. The alloy hubshells do look nice in a kind of chunky way though.

In use there are a couple of things that some people find off-putting; the freewheel sounds like your grandad's bike, and there is a fair amount of backlash when taking up the drive in some gears. Both these things are somewhat improved in later hubs but are not completely eliminated. All hub gears have some quirks of some kind I guess. I have mostly just got used to it.

As to 'that lightweight feel', 99% of the time this is dominated by the frame, wheels and tyres. Unless the hub rattles or something you don't notice it, it is not 'heavy' per se, and if there is a tiny difference in the weight distribution does this really matter? I doubt it.

Obviously more gears in a hub usually means more weight; at what point this automatically turns the bike into a heavyweight I don't know. A Nexus 7 is an altogether more sophisticated proposition in many ways; I've set my SA5 to give gear 3 at ~60-something inches; if you set gear 4 to be ~65" on a nexus 7 you get an extra low gear and an extra high gear vs the SA5, and if you set gear 5 to be a middle gear on a nexus 7 you effectively get two more low gears which I am sure some folk will value.

No one much (apart perhaps from me :oops: ) ever complained about having 'too many gears' but plenty of folk have complained at potentially reduced durability, excess weight, complexity, maintenance and associated expense; it is just a question of setting the priorities for your own use as to whether any given gear set-up makes real sense or not.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

User avatar
breakwellmz
Posts: 1982
Joined: 8 May 2012, 9:33pm

Re: Thirty Years with a Sturmey Gear.

Postby breakwellmz » 19 Aug 2012, 10:06am

Morning Brucey

Perhaps what i should have said is-

What makes the `heavyweight`feel ponderous(But comfortable) and SUCH hard work when it comes to climbing?

Living in Bath there are no shortage of climbs!

Certainly the Nexus hub feels less efficient the lower the gear.
is an SA5 less efficient again?

BTW `heavyweight` is an 80s Dawes 531 mountainbike frame on 38mm Schwalbe City Jets.It weighs 31 pounds.Nexus 7, 31" to 77"

`Lightweight`is 80s Raleigh 531 roadbike on 25mm Bontrager Racelights.Weight 18 pounds.Single 63"gear.
Wheelbase is 70cm less than `heavyweight`

How much of it is weight,and how much is it efficiency?

Cheers.