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  1. #1
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    Sturmey Archer 4 speed shifting woes.

    Has anyone come up with a cure for difficulty shifting FWs and FMs into "Bottom" gear? It seems the planet gear is fully bottomed onto the axle splines before enough cable is pulled to allow the trigger to click into the last position. When I do get the trigger to click, the cable is scarry tight.

    I've thought of some possibilities, but none seem like "Plan A";

    1. Adjusting the cable such that the left indicator is protruding slightly past the axle end when the trigger is in low. Unfortunately this will throw off adjustment in low and direct.

    2. Install a stiff spring between the cable and the indicator chain.

    3. Take the trigger apart and remove some metal from the last notch. I really don't want to do this, but if it's worked for someone else.....

    4. Shortening the compensator spring. Again, no "undo" button on this option.

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    4 speeds always have the cable really tight but it sounds like yours is really, really tight. Have you dismantled it and possibly changed the cone locations? This can cause problems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I think the spring option may work too. IIRC at least some of the Raleighs I have seen came with a small spring in the cable already. The only bike I have with feature happens to be my 1968 Compact RSW with an 3 speed hub, twist grip shifter. It is also one of the ones that has the cable housing run all the way down to the chain stay.

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    hunter, gatherer coelcanth's Avatar
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    yes that's a good point,

    i guess you already know but there were some official s-a indicators offered this way to prevent cable breakage problems.. i think they were mostly found on sting rays and muscle bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by MnHPVA Guy View Post

    2. Install a stiff spring between the cable and the indicator chain.

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    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Had similar issues when setting up an FG 4 speed and cured it by adjusting the fulcrum clip to allow more cable movement.

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    The main issue I've found with FM and FW hubs is that the triggers need to be in excellent shape to have the leverage/spring power to pull that lowest gear. But it sounds like the performance of yours has gotten worse over time, Mark?

    Neal

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    I have some of those, and know where there are a few thousand more. I also have a set of 4 speed shifter rods missing the chain. Time to figure out a really tiny rivet to splice them together. Can't imagine needing the spring on a 3 speed. Might be useful on the left side of an S5/1 or S5/2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    But it sounds like the performance of yours has gotten worse over time, Mark?
    Neal
    Both hubs are fairly new to me, but are in excellent condition internally. The problem showed up right away. Some shifters work better than others with them. I have a few more FWs but unless I can make them more user friendly I'll stick with my S5s on newer bikes. The hubs in question are on a 1950 Norman and a 1957 RRA. Too old to look right with dual cables.

    I've thought about assembling just everything that goes on the axle and installing the result on a bike without the planet cage, driver and shell. Then I could see if the sun gear is bottoming too soon and see what the effect running the cable a couple of turns loose would have on low and direct.

  10. #10
    rhm
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    Bump, because my 1950 Norman may have the same problem.

    Mark, what kind of success have you had with fixing the tiny rivets on the indicator chains? I believe I will be learning to do this myself in the near future, and would appreciate the opportunity to benefit from your advice.

    Rudi

  11. #11
    waverley610 waverley610's Avatar
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    Hello, my first time using the forums.
    So I have a Sturmey Archer FG 4speed dynohub and now a matching 4 speed trigger;
    to connect the two, what sort of cable will I need?

    i.e. Is there a common cable for 3 & 4 speed hubs or will I need to find a 4speed cable?
    Do I need a correct length with nipples on the end, or just buy and cut to size?

    Thanks for looking, all help and advice welcome.

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    rhm
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    The cable, I think, is standard. The end at the hub is a adjusting long barrel that screws onto the indicator. You can also get an adapter that is basically the adjusting barrel with a cable clamp so you can use a different cable.

    Equally important, and perhaps more difficult: do you have the correct indicator for the hub? The indicator for the four-speed hub can be hard to find.

    I can't find a photo of the four speed indicator, but the three speed one, which is common, looks like this:
    Do you have something that looks more or less like that?

  13. #13
    waverley610 waverley610's Avatar
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    Thanks. Yes, I have.. it's protruding from the hub

  14. #14
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by waverley610 View Post
    Thanks. Yes, I have.. it's protruding from the hub
    Oh, good. That's the hard-to-find part. The barrel on the standard cable screws onto that. Once you have that, you just need to know how to adjust it. Someone posted the directions, let me see if I can find them.

    _____________________________________________________________________
    Edit:
    Yes! See if this isn't a big help to you:

    Quote Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
    ...
    In the following Set on Flickr you will find the last 6 images are about the 4-speed hub. It seems the "FW" was a very useful wide ratio gear, first introduced on 1939, it immediately won an award from the CTC - the famous British cycle touring club (who's members number in the tens of thousands) for being the best cycling innovation of that year. The pages here are from my 1956 Sturmey Archer Master Catalogue, but I'm sure the design would not have changed much at all since 1949. So, the parts illustration may be useful should you ever need to disassemble or repair the hub. Just click on an image and when it opens in a new window select the "All Sizes" button above the picture to pull up a large size suitable for printing or downloading to your PC for future reference.

    Here is another handy link to play with if you are curious about the actual gearing in use on your bike, as set up with that specific chainring and rear sprocket combination. By changing one or the other you can alter the entire gearing for the bike, so this is both fun trivia and a potentially useful tool. Gear Calculator To use this gear calculator you can use the drop-down selections or manually key in your data for each option in the chart at the top of the page. Under "Custom Cassette" just enter the number of teeth on the single rear cog in the first box... then select your FW hub in the last box under "Internal Hub" and then click "Calculate" The window which pops up will show you the exact gear for each click of the trigger selector. You can figure your gear inches for each pedal rotation, or see how fast in MPH you are traveling at a given pedaling cadence. Big Fun!
    ...
    Last edited by rhm; 08-11-09 at 09:00 AM.

  15. #15
    waverley610 waverley610's Avatar
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    Wow, this forum is a great resource, thanks for sharing rhm, also plenty of useful stuff on the SA website archive section if anyone is looking for help.

    I'm looking forward to getting all geared up in the near future!

    Chas

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    This page from that 1956 S-A catalog on "Fitting and Adjustment" contains setup instructions that have worked for me:

    http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ha...a/safitadj.pdf

    Neal

  17. #17
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    The cable, I think, is standard. The end at the hub is a adjusting long barrel that screws onto the indicator. You can also get an adapter that is basically the adjusting barrel with a cable clamp so you can use a different cable.

    Equally important, and perhaps more difficult: do you have the correct indicator for the hub? The indicator for the four-speed hub can be hard to find.

    I can't find a photo of the four speed indicator, but the three speed one, which is common, looks like this:
    Do you have something that looks more or less like that?
    Maybe this?


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