In 1964, in my freshman year at Middlebury College, I was riding up the steep hill in front of the college chapel on my Columbia 3-speed -- which I had purchased new 5 months earlier. Something went "crack!" inside the 333 hub, and I felt odd, uneven resistance when pedaling. During the Thanksgiving break, I made my first visit to the Bicycle Exchange (hallowed be its memory) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, returning with a Raleigh-pattern rim and 40 spokes to lace to a Sturmey-Archer AW hub which I had salvaged from a trash pile. (The Columbia's original rim had 36 spokes). The AW hub never gave me any trouble,. The failure of a 333 hub launched my wheelbuilding career. I suppose that could be called a blessing in disguise.Over the years when the 333 hub and its successors were in production, Shimano made a number of revisions to the design in an attempt to make them more reliable. Newer, similar models are the F, FA and G type and the cartridge type, which had a pressed-in right-side ball cup instead of a threaded ball cup. Coaster-brake models were the 3SC TC-100, 3SC TC 200 and the cartridge model 3CC. The cartridge design made it easier to replace the entire internal mechanism at once -- the usual repair.