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Old 05-11-11, 11:08 PM   #1
wsanders
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Sturmey Archer Indicator Chain Identification Q

Looking at a Sturmey Archer indicator chain I need to replace - several are listed in various online catalogs - Mark I, II, III, etc, more than one "compatible with AW". My hub in a 80s vintage AW (3-speed steel body), axle seems to be about 152 - 154 mm (? - hard to tell without removing wheel). The indicator rod itself ("spindle") is 51mm (2") total length from end of point to end of clevis, there are 6 marks on the rod. There are 4 pin (outer) links and 3 roller (inner) links in the chain. Total length of assembly is 118 mm.

Any ideas which version I need? Are all indicator spindle rods the same length? If so, the length of the chain doesn't matter if the chain is a little too long.

Thanks in advance... -w
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Old 05-12-11, 03:03 AM   #2
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Rough sizes:

Mark 1: For shorter spindle (approx 5 3/4" length)

Mark 2: medium length spindle (approx 6 1/4")

Mark 3: Long spindle (approx 6 1/2")

Mark 4: 5 Speed Long spindle - Left Hand side (approx 6 1/2")
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Old 05-12-11, 07:06 AM   #3
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Adjustment of the hub gear, in theory, involves putting the trigger in N (2nd) gear and fiddling with the adjuster barrel until the end of the indicator rod is flush with the end of the axle. This only works if your axle and indicator match one another. And even then, sometimes, that doesn't give you the optimal adjustment. I've never encountered an axle/indicator combination that didn't work at all; certain combinations are just a little trickier to adjust.
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Old 05-12-11, 01:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for the fast replies! The indicator assemblies are cheap enough (compared to shipping) I might buy 2 or 3 of the Mark I and II and compare spindle lengths.

I posted a couple weeks back about not being able to shift into low. I'm pretty sure the real reason is that my indicator chain is all beat up.
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Old 05-12-11, 02:51 PM   #5
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I'm having all sorts of problems adjusting a couple of bikes with 3 speed sturmey archer hubs - you think you have it just right, then you ride it and the whole thing is wrong again!
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Old 05-12-11, 02:59 PM   #6
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Put it in third and adjust the cable tension so there is just enough slack to let the indicator go all the way in but no more. If it will go into first you're done. That's how I've always done it and it has never failed.
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Old 05-12-11, 03:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Put it in third and adjust the cable tension so there is just enough slack to let the indicator go all the way in but no more. If it will go into first you're done. That's how I've always done it and it has never failed.
Then check to make sure it doesn't slip into neutral in Second.

If the cable isn't straight, and there are kinks it in from getting caught in the chain, no amount of adjustment will make it work right sometimes -causing false neutrals at the worst time.

Also make sure the indicator isn't screwed all the way into the hub. Turn it backwards 1/2-turn so that it isn't binding and can find it's center on where the cable is coming from. If it is tightened up all the way and is binding because it can't get centered on the cable there will be problems and the chain will get messed up getting pulled sideways.
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Old 05-12-11, 06:09 PM   #8
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It's not correct to say back it off 1/2 turn. You screw it in all the way and then back it off until it aligns with the cable.

I've never had one go into neutral and I hope I never do. Do S5-2s do that?
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Old 05-21-11, 05:41 PM   #9
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Mark I and Mark II A-S indicator spindle lengths

I had the local bike store order a Mark II - and the spindle was too long, about 2 1/4", and stuck out of the end of the axle. So I must have the 146mm axle. We recordered a Mark I and hopefully it's the one with the 2 inch spindle.

The Mark II has two | | markings on the spindle. The original equipment in my AW has six: | | | | | |

By "aligns with the cable" Grand Bois means the indicator chain does not tolerate being pulled sideways. Screw in spindle all the way in *lightly* (no torque) then back it off 1/3 to 2/3 turn until the natural direction of the chain flexing into the axle nut aligns with the cable. Pulling the chain even slightly sideways will twist the links, and you won't be able to shift anymore because the chain will hang up on the inside of the axle.

The AW will go into "neutral" between 2nd and 3rd, but only if the cable is maladjusted or the indicator chain is stuck.

Last edited by wsanders; 05-21-11 at 05:50 PM.
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