Bicycle Mechanics - Oil for Sturmey-Archer hubs?
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07-23-09, 10:09 AM
Hi, what oil is best for Sturmey-Archer hubs, and what can go wrong with the wrong stuff? What about Tri-Flo?
07-23-09, 10:54 AM
I've read somewhere on the forum that the factory lube is like a 20W oil. Although somebody said that they used automatic transmission fluid with good results. It's a higher heat resistance, an oil specifically made for high stress gears. You should do a forum search.
07-23-09, 11:03 AM
Do not use 3 in 1 as it can gum up due to the vegetable oil component. Generally speaking 20 or 30 weight oil was the factory recommendation. Genuine Sturmey Archer oil was a 20 weight non detergent oil per what I have read.
07-23-09, 12:04 PM
Current production S-A hubs warn not to use oil - take them to a S-A certified shop for repacking with grease.
07-23-09, 12:06 PM
I put in whatever I'm using for the car, either 5w30 or 10w30.
07-23-09, 01:20 PM
I suspect anything will be adequate, though straight 20w or 30w without detergent would be ideal.
Other bad substances:
I'm using ATF nowadays but haven't run the hub for long enough to report the results. Pink is my favorite color, so I had to try it.
07-23-09, 02:48 PM
ATF works fine. As does Phil Wood Tenacious Oil.
Sturmey tips (http://bikesmithdesign.com/SA/SA-Tips.doc) from Mark Stonich.
Modern factory Sturmey greases: gear, SA103A
Sturmey SA103A is a semi-fluid, NLGI #00 grease, a product that has been developed for industry to replace oils in gearboxes either for longer service life or because the gearbox has developed a leak. That should do fine, if only you can find a small quantity.
How about oil? I've seen the following recomended, all of which seem reasonable:
20wt motor oil
30wt motor oil
10W-30wt synthetic motor oil
automatic transmission fluid
75W-90 gear oil
75W-90 synthetic gear oil
sewing machine oil
Of these I'm personally attracted to the 75W-90 synthetic gear oil. It's locally available in quarts, it's not terribly expensive, it has extremely long shelf and service lives, it's designed for use in non-pressurized lubrication systems and as a purpose designed gear lubricant it has anti-sheer additives.
07-23-09, 05:48 PM
Redline 10-30 rocks.....forget the Mobil1 or castrol junk............wait wrong forum....this is not bimmerfest
but I can imagine the potential for on going which oil is better for IGH posts :p
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