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Old 02-16-11, 02:44 PM
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Well short answer is no. The detailed one is as follows. The 5 speed internals will not fit your shell, they will screw in but the low gear pawls (the ones on the side opposite to the sprocket) will not engage the ratchet that is in the shell. Basically the mechanism is too narrow.

What Sheldon might have done (i recall reading smt like that) is put S5, S5/1 or S5/2 internals into the AW shell, those will fit, however, they are all the 2 cable version.

Also to answer your second question, the axles are not interchangeable between a 3 speed and 5 Speed. Google "sturmey archer+hadland." Tony Hadland's excellent site has original detailed information of all Sturmey hubs, there you can find the part numbers. St. John's Cycles ( has a huge array of sturmey spare parts)

So to summarize:

AW shell would fit: AM, FW (four speed), S5, S5/1, S5/2 internals.
FM shell would fit: FC, AF, AC internals (those are overall rare to find but in my opinion have the nicest ratios)

Depending on the reason why you are upgrading you can go couple of separate ways. If you find the gear steps of the AW too big (I did), you can just get AM (3 speed medium ratio) hub or internals and screw them in. Same shifter, cable, steps are about half of AW. Rogerzilla has done that and I have been riding for about 10 months with an AM in my Brompton.

If you need more range, you can buy a 4 speed FW. Fits your AW shell like a glove, however, you need a 4 speed shifter AND a 4 speed indicator (the thing that goes in and out of the axle to switch the gears). The latter two are quite rare and cost more. The gear steps are a little bit smaller than AW but overall the same, you have one more gear on the lower end.

Derek at Oldbiketrader has a lot of the stuff in stock and is a really nice guy to do business with; always worth a shot:

Personally the AM is all I need and my own opinion as well as that of others is that the AM is an excellent hub, although I do miss a gear on the low end sometimes. The tinkerer in me though is considering the 4 speed conversion just for the sake of it...

I hope that helps.


P.S. I wanted to do the same upgrade as you. I learned (a lot actually) the hard way, and now I have 5 speed trigger and internals in my parts bin =P

Last edited by Carcinogent; 02-16-11 at 02:50 PM.
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