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Old 08-09-10, 10:16 AM   #1
greengage
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'65 Raleigh DL-1--before I head into my LBS again...

So--my bike is finally assembled, the brakes are adjusted and working beautifully, all ready to go...almost. I went out yesterday for my first real ride and found that every five minutes or so, it would pop out of gear--ga-chunk--and leave me spinning my pedals until I switched gears and then it would go back to normal. I know this is probably a common issue of some kind with bikes this age, but I've never had it happen--I have bikes that pop out of third into second, etc. when I'm pedaling hard, but this just goes completely and when I'm just pedaling easily along. Can someone give me a clue before I trudge back to my LBS with more of my hard-earned?
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Old 08-09-10, 10:20 AM   #2
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Adjusting the Sturmey-Archer AW - everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask: http://www.google.com/search?q=adjus...ient=firefox-a

-Kurt
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Old 08-09-10, 10:26 AM   #3
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Exactly. Sheldon's article should tell all. A few drops of oil (on the indicator chain and into the hub workings) wouldn't hurt either.
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Old 08-09-10, 10:28 AM   #4
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The single best piece of knowledge I've learned about adjusting them is this... If it slips into neutral while in 2nd gear you need to tighten the adjustment. 99% of the time, needing tightened is the problem and I just hop off and tighten about a 1/4 turn and I'm good to go. Definitely not something worth going to the shop for.
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Old 08-09-10, 10:33 AM   #5
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thank you all--this sounds like what's going on, and it's happening from 2nd and 3rd gear. Still not sure of my ability to solve it on my own, but at least I'll have a go--those are good instructions on the Old Bike Blog. And freewheeling, yes--not nearly as fun as it sounds. I was biking down some busy streets in town and unfortunately let loose with some choice language a couple of times...
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Old 08-09-10, 10:35 AM   #6
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thank you all--this sounds like what's going on, and it's happening from 2nd and 3rd gear. Still not sure of my ability to solve it on my own, but at least I'll have a go--those are good instructions on the Old Bike Blog. And freewheeling, yes--not nearly as fun as it sounds. I was biking down some busy streets in town and unfortunately let loose with some choice language a couple of times...
I believe in you! It really is pretty simple. Just takes a little trial and error while riding around the block a few times. Keep it in second gear and make small adjustments each time it slips.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:07 AM   #7
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+1 it's pretty simple. A couple tips that might help: When it's in 1st the indicator chain should have a tiny amount of movement left, Also you should be able to find a neutral by holding the trigger right in between 2nd and 3rd.

How about some pics to go along with the thread?
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Old 08-09-10, 11:15 AM   #8
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When it's in 1st the indicator chain should have a tiny amount of movement left
I've found some hubs that prefer quite a bit of slack in the cable. Enough that any curves in an NOS cable from storage will be present when the cable is in 3rd or 4th.

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Old 08-09-10, 11:41 AM   #9
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Yep, neutral should drop in between 2 and 3. I usually briefly stop pedaling between gears and then start up again rather than just pedaling the whole time. It works for me.

My method of adjusting the cable is to seek out the neutral setting, and then adjust until that is half way between 2 and 3. This method has worked fine for me over the years too. Adjusting based on the SA manual is ok for new stuff, but often older or used parts come out a little bit differently.
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Old 08-09-10, 11:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I've found some hubs that prefer quite a bit of slack in the cable. Enough that any curves in an NOS cable from storage will be present when the cable is in 3rd or 4th.

-Kurt
+1 This can be surprising to discover. ... really? just hanging there drooping like that?! Then it shifts perfectly.
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Old 08-09-10, 04:23 PM   #11
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Another thing to check is bent or twisted links on the indicator, particularly if your bike has fallen over on its drive side. Those will tend to catch on the axle nut and make for lousy shifting and difficult adjustment. Best solution in that case is a new indicator.

Neal
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Old 08-09-10, 06:35 PM   #12
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Another thing to check is bent or twisted links on the indicator, particularly if your bike has fallen over on its drive side. Those will tend to catch on the axle nut and make for lousy shifting and difficult adjustment. Best solution in that case is a new indicator.

Neal
And one of those fancy little plastic covers that came on the axle nut new. They are a PITA sometimes but I have started putting them back on many of my bikes to protect the indicator chains in case the bike falls over. Not sure when they were introduced but I know they were very common in the 70's.

Adjusting the indicator chain is not hard, after you do it a few times it becomes second nature, also once dialed in, will usually stay that way for quite a while unless something slips.

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Old 08-11-10, 11:31 AM   #13
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pics

Haven't had time to tinker with this yet, but here's a pic. It's in nice shape, except for the hideous vinyl seat and the decals look like someone took a chisel to them--haven't decided whether or not I should touch them up or leave as is--there's really no charming patina on the rest of the paint so the sketchy decals look a little odd.
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Old 08-11-10, 01:43 PM   #14
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Good lookin bike! Even has the light that attaches to the mount. I'd love to find one of those to convert to led.
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Old 08-11-10, 02:53 PM   #15
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Haven't had time to tinker with this yet, but here's a pic. It's in nice shape, except for the hideous vinyl seat and the decals look like someone took a chisel to them--haven't decided whether or not I should touch them up or leave as is--there's really no charming patina on the rest of the paint so the sketchy decals look a little odd.

Sarah!! Bike looks great
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Old 08-11-10, 03:05 PM   #16
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flammenwurfer has it: Adjust the cable the way he says. When I got my own DL-1 (with a 1965 hub date), I had the exact same issue. In the end I put a new cable on it. It shifts smoothly now.
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Old 08-12-10, 08:28 AM   #17
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I'll try it! The shifting itself seems fine, very smooth--it's just the free-wheeling...And yes, I do love those lights, worth sacrificing the convenience of a basket to have one, even if it's not up and running. Will keep you posted on my progress...
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Old 08-14-10, 11:16 AM   #18
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hey--I think it worked--taking it out for a test-run now. Thank you all for the de-mystifying--and what nicer way to spend a sunny afternoon than sitting on the grass tinkering with an indicator? Well...maybe riding the bike!
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