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Old 03-02-09, 11:55 AM   #1
ken_matthews
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Mayday, Mayday - 1st Gear Going Fast

It could have been the added load from the snow buildup under the fenders. But my Dreigang 3-speed hub is giving me problems in first gear. When applying a not-so-intense but fair amount of pressure (going uphill or from dead start), I get a skip in the pedal stroke where the hub seems to give then catches again to give me torque. I also notice the skip in second gear. Can't comment on third gear since I never really used it under any fair amount of torque today on account of the snow.

I ride this bike everyday and know it well - this has never happened before. I oil the hub on a regular basis (using Three-in-One). Any ideas if this is easily fixed? Being the throw-away society we are, I'm expecting the answer of get a new one. But I'd like to salvage this one sine it has been so loyal (on a 72 Peugeot). Appreciate any thought in case you've "been there, done that."

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Old 03-02-09, 12:01 PM   #2
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I don't know anything about Dreigang but it sounds like an internal hub. Have you tried adjusting the cable? On my Sturmey Archer AW there can be problems if the cable isn't adjusted right and it can slip "in between" gears (for my hub, especially from 2nd to 3rd). I would liberally lube the cable (where it goes into the hub) and try adjusting it.
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Old 03-02-09, 12:34 PM   #3
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Hey DOOHICKIE,

Actually it doesn't slip between gears, but it slips while in a gear. For example, I'm in first gear and before I get through a full pedal stroke it jumps or loses force. I just noticed my chain is loose and this could (???) affect it. I'll tighten and see if anything improves on the ride home this evening. Otherwise it'll be slow and steady to not give it too much force. I'm sure the slipping under force is not good for the hub.

Yes internal Dreigang/SACHS 3-speed hub.
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Old 03-02-09, 01:19 PM   #4
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I think his point was that if the cable is not properly adjusted, it may appear to be in gear but the internal mechanism may actually be on the verge of being out of gear and the load causes it to pop out of gear.

Lubricating the cable will ensure that it moves freely. such that when you change gears the cable moves the full amount and is not hung up due to friction.
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Old 03-02-09, 01:20 PM   #5
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Ken, I also don't know Sachs hubs, but on a Sturmey-Archer hub, that kind of slippage is usually the sign of a worn clutch. Fwiw.

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Old 03-02-09, 02:01 PM   #6
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NEAL, worn clutch is my gut feeling on this too also (FWIW...haha). I just finished adjusting the play out of the chain and will have to wait until home to lube it. Should I just lube inside the hole on face of the hub in btwn the spokes? This is what I normally do, or should I also turn bike on side and lube down the small chain entry point?
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Old 03-02-09, 02:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ken_matthews View Post
NEAL, worn clutch is my gut feeling on this too also (FWIW...haha). I just finished adjusting the play out of the chain and will have to wait until home to lube it. Should I just lube inside the hole on face of the hub in btwn the spokes? This is what I normally do, or should I also turn bike on side and lube down the small chain entry point?
Lubing the indicator chain or at least checking it for wear is a good idea. It could be hanging up slightly on your shifts if it's worn or has too much play.

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Old 03-02-09, 03:45 PM   #8
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Sounds like an OLD Sachs hub if it has the oil hole. How many miles on it?

3 in 1 oil is a poor choice for gear hub lubing as it has a tendency to oxidize and gum up the internals. That could be at least part of your problem. The old SA hubs were notorious for gumming up solid if fed 3 in 1 oil for a long time. 3 in 1 oil is primarily a vegetable based oil a I recall and they are well known for oxidizing compared to mineral oils. Better to use sewing machine oil, engine oil or even automatic transmission fluid for oiling.

I believe that the SRAM T3 hub is basicallly the same as your Torpedo hub other than the oiling hole and disassembly/reassembly instructions are available on the SRAM web site. It could just need a good internal cleaning after so many years.
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Old 03-02-09, 07:18 PM   #9
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It's fixed!! Apparently it was a combination of too much slack in the chain and messing with barrel adjuster until I found the 'sweet spot' for shifting into all 3 gears.

TATFIEND, thanks for the info although 3-in-1 is not a viscous oil as your description. Certainly nowhere near as thick as say Phil Woods oil. I've tried that once, and the BF guys said switch to 3-in-1. It seems to lube well and no problems thus far. Thanks for the advice! Back in the saddle again....
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Old 03-02-09, 08:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ken_matthews View Post
It's fixed!! Apparently it was a combination of too much slack in the chain and messing with barrel adjuster until I found the 'sweet spot' for shifting into all 3 gears.

TATFIEND, thanks for the info although 3-in-1 is not a viscous oil as your description. Certainly nowhere near as thick as say Phil Woods oil. I've tried that once, and the BF guys said switch to 3-in-1. It seems to lube well and no problems thus far. Thanks for the advice! Back in the saddle again....
Not viscous out of the can, I agree. Inside a hub it tends to oxidize and get gummy however over a period of time. Use of it long term has caused a large number of gear hubs to require opening up and full disassembly for cleaning eventually.

Here is a link to some lubrication advice for SA hubs. Read the last entry.

http://stein.dommel.be/brompton/chapters/Gears.html#254

Also Sheldon Brown recommended Phil Wood Tenacious Oil for oiling gear hubs while others recommend 20 or 30 weight automotive oil including Bikesmith Design here:

http://bikesmithdesign.com/SA/SA-Tips.doc

I would expect all oiled geqar hubs to have similar oiling requirements except the Rohloff, the only true oil bath lubricated gear hub I am aware of.
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Old 03-02-09, 09:17 PM   #11
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A good oil I used to stock was ATF - automatic transmission fluid. The pink stuff. Worked great on 3-spds and cost zilch. A quart for a dollar.
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Old 03-03-09, 05:39 AM   #12
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TATFIEND (aka Rich??) - I just joined the geared-hub yahoo group and noticed a very similar post. I'll pick up some ATF in a bottle and transfer to something more portable for the road. I guess it's back to the Phil Woods tenacious oil for now too!
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Old 03-03-09, 05:53 AM   #13
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Thanks for an interesting thread, and I'm glad it wasn't at someone's expense.
It's got me interested in getting a 3-speed now, kind of a phantom; ss look, a range of options.
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Old 03-03-09, 08:41 AM   #14
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Phantom SS...interesting - never thought of it that way. Can tell you it's rock solid and will hold up against the elements
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Old 03-05-09, 10:25 PM   #15
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Thanks for an interesting thread, and I'm glad it wasn't at someone's expense.
It's got me interested in getting a 3-speed now, kind of a phantom; ss look, a range of options.
You mean like this?



I'll let ya know when I've got it cleaned up...
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Old 03-05-09, 10:59 PM   #16
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Thanks for an interesting thread, and I'm glad it wasn't at someone's expense.
It's got me interested in getting a 3-speed now, kind of a phantom; ss look, a range of options.
I have a FG bike that I have made up a SRAM P5 five speed gear hub rear wheel for. Working very well and the P5 is narrow enough so I did not need to cold set the frame so I can still use the FG wheel or the SA S3X fixed gear 3 speed hub when it becomes available.
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Old 03-05-09, 11:04 PM   #17
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TATFIEND (aka Rich??) - I just joined the geared-hub yahoo group and noticed a very similar post. I'll pick up some ATF in a bottle and transfer to something more portable for the road. I guess it's back to the Phil Woods tenacious oil for now too!
Guilty as charged

I started the Yahoo group to share expertise on IGH questions.
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Old 03-07-09, 05:47 PM   #18
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So, um, how do ya know you have enough oil? (or too much?) I know I posted earlier with advice, but apparently I'm no expert. Since I was putting new tires on my Raleigh DL-1 I decided to clean things up a bit and get that nasty ol' 3-in-1 oil out of there (the stuff I put in last fall when I bought the bike last fall). After draining it out, I put some motor oil in there, but now it's drip-drip-dripping everywhere. I'm assuming I put too much in and it's not meant to be above the level of the hub. Is there any secret to getting it back to the proper amount of oil?
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Old 03-07-09, 06:59 PM   #19
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So, um, how do ya know you have enough oil? (or too much?) I know I posted earlier with advice, but apparently I'm no expert. Since I was putting new tires on my Raleigh DL-1 I decided to clean things up a bit and get that nasty ol' 3-in-1 oil out of there (the stuff I put in last fall when I bought the bike last fall). After draining it out, I put some motor oil in there, but now it's drip-drip-dripping everywhere. I'm assuming I put too much in and it's not meant to be above the level of the hub. Is there any secret to getting it back to the proper amount of oil?
Sturmeys and Sachs oiled hubs are not oil bath and do not have seals on the bearings. If overoiled it WILL find it's way out the ends or at the oiler cap. Recommendations I have seen are a couple of teaspoons of oil after a rebuild and degreasing and then a few drops every month or so depending on mileage used. Ride some after oiling to distribute the oil.

If overfilled so excessive oil is leaking out then turn the hub so the oiler is down and open it with a rag underneath to allow the excess oil to drain onto the rag.

Properly oiled a small amount may find it's way out the bearings. Just wipe the ends clean occasionally. Excess oil leakage is a sign of overoiling.
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Old 03-07-09, 08:51 PM   #20
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I'd add the oil (ATF) using a laboratory pipette. Like a fancy eyedropper - which also works and can help prevent over-oiling the 3-speed gears.
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