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  1. #1
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    Did I damage my Sturmey Archer hub?

    Hey everyone-

    So I may be an idiot. Let's get one thing out of the way for starters: I am a total diletante into things bike mechanical. I'm building a 3-speed wheel using a spankin-new internally geared SA SF3 hub. I got a vintage AW too but the frame I'm using is too modern to accomodate its slim spacing.

    I mistakenly thought that the nuts on the outside of the stack of my hub body were the nuts used to put it onto the chainstays of the frame. I tweaked on them pretty hard before I looked in the box for the actual nuts (nice one!) and now the hub seems to have a little "tick" in it.

    I also don't know how tight these nuts should be- too tight and the hub doesn't spin freely, too loose and it wobbles. What gives? Should I abandon hope? I guess the plan is to continue with the project but man is it going to suck if I get the thing all rigged up and it rides poorly.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Gear Hub fan
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    Youy may have damaged the bearing balls or cones. Proper bearing adjustment on any hub is a pretty subtle as the proper adjustment range is very narrow. Read this linked to article and try to follow the "cone adjustment" procedure.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer.html

    If other questions not answered here or by the article then join the Geared Hub Bikes Yahoo group linked to in the signature block below and ask for help there. Lots of SA hub enthusiasts there.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

    Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/

  3. #3
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    thanks much! now what?

    Thanks for your reply. So should I take the thing apart and inspect/change out the bearing balls?

  4. #4
    Gear Hub fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastenerpuller View Post
    Thanks for your reply. So should I take the thing apart and inspect/change out the bearing balls?
    Probably worthwhile if you absolutely cannot get the bearing adjustment to provide correct operation. Parts are available for most SA hubs I believe. Also closely inspect the cones and races to make sure that they have not been damaged. They might require replacement too.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

    Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/

  5. #5
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastenerpuller View Post
    Thanks for your reply. So should I take the thing apart and inspect/change out the bearing balls?
    Did you ride the bike with the hub like that or just try to get it together without riding? Did you force the wheel to turn? For sure you or somebody need to inspect (and maybe replace) the bearrings and then get the right tension before installing and riding. Mybe you are lucky.

  6. #6
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    Hey thanks everyone-

    Nope, I haven't ridden it yet. In fact, the wheel hasn't even been put on the frame. I spun the wheel in both directions while holding on to the axle, and I've since spun it in both direcitons on the truing stand. It's not that bad, but when it comes to hub smoothness, "not that bad" is pretty bad when you're riding. I think the plan is to proceed with the project (bottom bracket, front wheel etc) and then revisit it.

    So that brings us to the million dollar (ok, fifty dollar) question: if I ride the bike now, will I only damage parts that I've already damaged, or will I potentially do more harm? I really don't want to spring for internal hub maintinence at the LBS unless I have to.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
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    if you feel you have damage your wheel no I would not ride it and yes take it to the shop and have them look at it. it better to be safe than sorry.

  8. #8
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    Go to the SA web site and download the repair manual. I just got done cleaning and lubing a S-RF3 hub. The right side bearing adjustment is critical, it will effect gearing if not done right, good luck.

  9. #9
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    Will do! Thanks for all the help!

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