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Old Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub. Is this a fault?

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Old Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub. Is this a fault?

Old 05-09-18, 04:32 PM
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Old Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub. Is this a fault?

Hi

I picked up a Raleigh Stowaway as a project. It has a 3-speed hub (freewheel, not coaster).

It changes gears fine but when starting up or when pedalling again after freewheeling, there's a few degrees of 'travel' in the hub before it 'engages'. It's a little jarring and I'm guessing it shouldn't be happening. I thought it was a slack chain at first but it's not that.

Any ideas anyone?
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Old 05-09-18, 05:14 PM
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Perfectly normal. Just fewer points of engagement than you're probably used to.
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Old 05-09-18, 05:31 PM
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Agreed. Don't forget to drip a few drops of oil (10-20W) into the hub before much use. Andy
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Old 05-09-18, 05:56 PM
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Yes, this behaviour irritates my wife as well. You get used to it.
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Old 05-09-18, 06:08 PM
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Which model hub do you have? The ubiquitous AW hub has some travel before the pawls engage simply because there are only nine stops for the pawls to catch through the circumference of the hub. The SW hub can take even longer, as its springless pawls sometimes fail to engage at the first opportunity. This effect is also temperature dependent, and in cold temperatures causing more viscous oil inside the hub, I find one or two complete crank revolutions may be needed before the pawls finally engage.
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Old 05-09-18, 06:15 PM
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Thanks Dan. Much appreciated.
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Old 05-09-18, 06:15 PM
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Thanks Andrew. Much appreciated.
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Old 05-09-18, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
Which model hub do you have? The ubiquitous AW hub has some travel before the pawls engage simply because there are only nine stops for the pawls to catch through the circumference of the hub. The SW hub can take even longer, as its springless pawls sometimes fail to engage at the first opportunity. This effect is also temperature dependent, and in cold temperatures causing more viscous oil inside the hub, I find one or two complete crank revolutions may be needed before the pawls finally engage.
Hi John

It's the AW. Sounds fine and seems to run smoothy, just that engagement thing was a surprise. I'm not really used to hub gears and certainly not ones as old as this (judging by comments I've seen onine about decals, it looks to be 1980)
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Old 05-10-18, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by elfneedsfoodbad
Hi John

It's the AW. Sounds fine and seems to run smoothy, just that engagement thing was a surprise. I'm not really used to hub gears and certainly not ones as old as this (judging by comments I've seen onine about decals, it looks to be 1980)
1980 is just a baby!
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Old 05-10-18, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by elfneedsfoodbad
Hi John

It's the AW. Sounds fine and seems to run smoothy, just that engagement thing was a surprise. I'm not really used to hub gears and certainly not ones as old as this (judging by comments I've seen onine about decals, it looks to be 1980)
The new Sturmey 3 speed hubs have this behaviour to some extent as well.
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Old 05-10-18, 01:36 PM
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Like most mechanical things British, rather than a fault, they consider it a feature.
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Old 05-12-18, 04:23 AM
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I can't say I notice much on my 1968 AW hub, neither on newer hubs like Nexus 7 speeds. Nothing is as firm and precise as the best freewheels for BMX and trial bikes, but they are sort of in a different league. How much play or travel is there? I mostly use my 3 speeds for easy going medium speed rides.

Last edited by Mickey2; 05-12-18 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 05-12-18, 07:46 AM
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For me, the only downside of having a relatively coarse ratchet in my SA-AW hubs is finding the best pedal angle so I can go zooming out of a stoplight when it turns.
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