I'm getting close to that prestigious position of seniority; one who knows the inner workings of every component on his bike. Well, so far I've dealt with the easy bits. The other bits are scary.
Following from the chainline thread, I was hoping that the chainline adjustment would eradicate a grinding noise that comes from some part of the drivetrain periodically. It's come and gone over time and I've often thought that it disappears in rain and when my chain is super-lubed. But apparently, at this moment in time, it appears to only happen in 3rd gear on my Sturmey Archer X-RF5 hub, i.e. neutral. It doesn't coincide with any particular part of the crank rotation, it just phases in and out semi-rhythmically, i.e. seems to be connected to the rotation of some component, every so often. So I figure it's got to be the Sturmey internals.
When I first got this bike, it being my first encounter with hub gears, I wasn't impressed, I thought there was likely something mechanically wrong with the hub as the highest gear was ludicrously grindy. I had it serviced at a reputable bike shop and they told me there was nothing wrong, it just needed a little bit of TLC and that it requires fine tuning to get it to run as smoothly as possible.
Well, over the last couple of years I've gotten used to how to adjust it to get the best out of all gears. . . but now it seems that there's something unhappy in 3rd gear. I don't want to pay another 30 quid for a hub servicing when probably all that's needed is to stuff a bit of extra grease in there. At the same time the exploded diagrams of hub gears look like Op Art, i.e. a load of wiggly lines. . . scary stuff.
I'm wondering: if a gear hub uses grease and not oil does that mean it needs re-greasing every year or so? If so, surely it makes sense to covert to oil? And could I, Chagzuki, be up to this job or will I find, on attempted reassembly of the hub, that there's no way those bit could have ever fitted together in the first place?