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Old 03-22-09, 08:03 PM   #1
kiramen
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3 speed internal hub

I have a older bike with 3 speed int. hub ,
and by changing the gears it takes a while to go from 1st into 2nd or 3rd (10-15 sec.)
What could be wrong ?
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Old 03-22-09, 08:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kiramen View Post
I have a older bike with 3 speed int. hub ,
and by changing the gears it takes a while to go from 1st into 2nd or 3rd (10-15 sec.)
What could be wrong ?
Are you pedaling while you shift gears? If so, try easing off on the pedals when you make the shift. Shifting under load will prevent disengagement/re-engagement needed to make the shift.
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Old 03-23-09, 07:04 AM   #3
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"Older". I suspect it's gummed up and needs to have the internals pulled, cleaned and relubricated.

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Old 03-23-09, 07:18 AM   #4
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Or maybe just lubricated.
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Old 03-23-09, 07:30 AM   #5
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If its a Sturmey Archer hub, it wil have an oil port. Put some thin oil in it, I use transmission fluid. Also oil the trigger and also check that the shifter cable is not binding in the housing.
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Old 03-23-09, 08:40 AM   #6
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+1 San Rensho. I have used WD40 to "flush" out the hub. It can get messy, but it works.
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Old 03-23-09, 12:16 PM   #7
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SA hubs (I'm assuming you have one) don't shift while you're pedaling. I'm assuming that's not the problem. Check and make sure there's no friction somewhere in the cabling, and put some oil in the port. If I'm too lazy to disassemble to clean, I'll fill up the hub with oil and ride it clean. You'll be wiping your rims for a while and probably will need new brake pads at the end, but it works.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:36 PM   #8
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I'd advise against flushing the hub with WD - 40 as it may wash out the hub bearings as well. Best bet, I've found is 3 in 1 oil but the NON detergent kind. (says "special blend" on the label).
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Old 03-28-09, 04:28 AM   #9
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Another vote for 3-in-1 or Boeshield and ease off pedaling when shifting.
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Old 03-28-09, 07:49 AM   #10
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"3-in-One" debuted during the first great bike boom in 1894, making it one of the oldest cycling products you can still buy. The oil was originally intended for bicycle chains, and the name indicated it "1) cleaned, 2) lubrcated and 3) rust proofed", hence, 3-in-One. After 115 years, it's still not a bad choice for chain lubration.

3-in-One contains a vegetable based component, citronella oil (ever notice the way 3-in-One smells?), which will go rancid, break down and turn into very much a non-lubricant. This residue would just fall off a chain, but when enclosed in a small metal shell it has no where to go. Probably more American Sturmeys have been rendered inoperable by 3-in-One residue than for any other reason. The 3-in-One folks themselves do not list hub gears as a potential use for their product.

Cyclists were reporting tens of thousands of miles of trouble-free service out of their hub gear if they only provided proper lubrication - a century ago! There's every reason to think we can do the same, and some reason to think we could do even better today.

Let's start out by assuming that if you ponied up the considerable sum for a Rolhoff or NuVinci, you'll use the manufacturer's lubricant and no go experimenting yourself.

Now, with Shimano, SRAM or Sturmey hubs, how about using the manufacturer's recomended lubricant as well? Current manufactured hubs use greases:

Shimano: hub, Y-041 20600

SRAM: gear, 0369 135 200/...201
bearing, 0369.001.015
pinions, "quality cycle oil"

Sturmey: gear, SA103A
bearing, SA103B

Harris carries the Shimano lubricants and Permaco has the Sturmey greases.

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 (note: the viscosity of gear oils is measured differently - this is NOT "three times as thick" as 30wt motor 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.

All bets are off if you go adding some unknown oil to some unknown grease. Probably be OK, might turn into a gummy tar.

tcs
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Old 03-28-09, 08:00 AM   #11
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Is it really a good idea to oil the shifter? It seems like it would attract dirt.
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Old 03-28-09, 10:54 AM   #12
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Just a drop or two won't - unless you crash and the shifter hits the ground.

I use ATF - automatic transmission fluid (the Pink Stuff).
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Old 03-28-09, 11:07 AM   #13
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If this is a Sturmey Archer, it may be that the indicator chain has gotten stiff (either with rust or grime or both).

If it hasn't been serviced in a while, while you're doing everything else, take the indicator chain out of the hub (it screws out) and clean it with WD 40 or penetrating oil, then lubricate with regular oil before re-installing.

Be sure to see that the chain does not have a bend in it (e.g., on an axis on which it was not intended to bend)--I've often seen this on old bikes that were misadjusted. This can cause slowness or failure to shift. In some cases, they can be straightened at least once before they fail.

You can find instructions for reinstalling the indicator chain on sheldonbrown.com
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Old 03-29-09, 04:46 PM   #14
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I agree with TCS, that 3 in 1 Oil in its original formulation is not suited for SA hubs. The type I was indicating is non-detergent "special blend". It is specifically for small motors and works well. I use it on a couple of Raleigh Superbes from the early '70s and a CCM Imperial Mark IV from 1964 (whikch, besides having THE coolest name for a bike ever, still runs like a dream).
Cheers
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Old 03-29-09, 05:03 PM   #15
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"Older". I suspect it's gummed up and needs to have the internals pulled, cleaned and relubricated.

tcs
I have rarely had to disassemble an SA 3 speed hub to make it work as new... some would suggest kerosene to flush things out but in most cases lubing it up with a proper weight oil, lubing the indicator spindle and shifter, and making sure the cables are in good working order and properly adjusted is all one needs to do.

After as little as a few miles one should notice that the hub will be running smoother and shifting better.

If the hub has been contaminated with improper lubricant (like 3 in 1) it may require more aggressive treatment but they are usually just dry from lack of oil.

SA 3 speeds were made to run 50,000 miles with little to no servicing of anything but the bearings.

When I acquired my 1948 Rudge I replaced the broken shifter cable and the corroded spindle, made adjustments, lubed it up, and went for a ride... this is the smoothest runing SA hub I have ever used as it was produced in SA's heyday when their quality standards were second to none.
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