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  1. #1
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    rear bearing service fro my sturmey 3spd hub

    I am going to be repacking all the bearings in my Twenty.
    Since I've never had a rear 3spd hub apart I have some questions.
    Can I repack the bearings without taking the hub apart? The hub works great and I dont really want to mess with it as this bike has had very little use since new.


  2. #2
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Stop!

    Do not take it apart. All the pre-1990 SA hubs were oil lubricated. No grease needed. Ordinary bearing rease put inside the hub will bring significant problems. Open the little oil port, put in a squirt of light oil (SAE 10/30 is ideal) - no more than a teaspoonful, and flip the oil port shut again. If it works great as you say, that is all you need to do. If you do this about every 100 - 200 miles, it will last forever and work just like it does now.

    Only take the hub apart of you have GOOD reason to suspect that something is wrong, and before you do anything, make sure that the supposed problem is not with the cables, adjustment, or shifter on the handlebar. These hubs are usually bomb proof (I'm assuming that it is a 1970s AW hub).

    Enjoy it. There are few better things on a bike that an AW hub that hasn't been abused. SW hubs were terrible - they never worked properly. You can see what model and year the hub was made by looking at the engraved information on the drum of the hub. It might say something like AW 69, meaning an AW hub made in 1969.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    Thank you for the advice. I will do the bottom bracket, front bearings and headset.
    The hub is AW 77 or 78, and that would be correct as the bike is a 1978.
    Good thing I asked first!

  4. #4
    jur
    jur is offline
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    +1

    If you take the wheel out, test-spin the cog and the wheel by hand; if the bearings feel smooth, leave them. You could check the pre-load if that is OK. SA hubs should have a small amount of play when pushing the rim from side to side.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  5. #5
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    +1

    If you take the wheel out, test-spin the cog and the wheel by hand; if the bearings feel smooth, leave them. You could check the pre-load if that is OK. SA hubs should have a small amount of play when pushing the rim from side to side.
    I know that you know this stuff Jur, but I'm posting it for ricohman so if he does adjust the pre-load bearing play, he does it the right way.

    This is a quote from Sheldon Brown's AW pages:
    "The hub bearings are adjusted by means of the cone on the left-hand side (opposite side to the sprocket) which automatically adjusts all the hub bearings. It should be adjusted so that there is a barely perceptible sideways movement of the wheel rim."
    If every Richoman needs to strip the hub (very unlikely indeed, because he said it was barely used) this is important information about how to do it and what he will find inside it:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer/aw.html
    Last edited by EvilV; 07-09-07 at 03:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    I have printed this page and I will check the pre-load. Then add some oil!
    I bought my folder off the original owner. She bought it and never road it. I would think less than 300km total.
    The original Raleigh tires still have the little bits of rubber on the sidewalls. But they are aged.
    So I am taking it as my bike when we go camping tomorrow, and leave my Caldera behind.
    I will repack the bearings in camp. This should make the wife happy!

  7. #7
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricohman
    I have printed this page and I will check the pre-load. Then add some oil!
    I bought my folder off the original owner. She bought it and never road it. I would think less than 300km total.
    The original Raleigh tires still have the little bits of rubber on the sidewalls. But they are aged.
    So I am taking it as my bike when we go camping tomorrow, and leave my Caldera behind.
    I will repack the bearings in camp. This should make the wife happy!
    In that case it is brand new as far as pre-load is concerned. This would only alter after high mileage wearing away the bearings, or ham-fisted 'servicing' by someone who didn't know how to set it up. Leave the hub alone except for the oil would be my advice. It won't even be run in yet. A teaspoonful of oil every month of regular use, or about every 200 miles, will be plenty of attention for such a hub.

    The bike looks great by the way. Don't lose the balls in the woods if you are servicing it there. Other than lubing the hub with a squirt from an oil can, I doubt it will need any attention at all. I'd just ride the thing if I were you.

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