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3 speed, not Sturmey?

Old 01-23-23, 03:18 PM
  #1  
louky
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3 speed, not Sturmey?

I received this bike as a donation to fix and pass along to an organization that does homeless outreach. I had to do some brake adjustment and it will get some replacement tires. The gears weren't working properly when I got it. I did do some reading on the forum but a lot of it is going over my head. I found one post that suggested adjusting this in 2nd gear and centering the symbol in the shifting arm. When I do this it doesn't shift at all. Another post suggested putting it into 3rd, and adjusting where there is just a small amount of slack in the cable. When I do this, it works properly and shifts to all gears. The issue with this is that there is only about 6mm of thread in the adjusting barrel.

Is this an issue? It seems like they would have designed this so the adjusting barrel and screw would be around midpoint when it was new. I was wondering if there was a way to get more of the thread extended by adjusting on the nut that holds the shifting mechanism to the axle but I am leery to tamper with this since it is actually working right now. The shifter itself is labeled Shimano. TIA!
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Old 01-23-23, 04:13 PM
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Shimano has been fiddling around with their manual and technical document repository and made it harder to navigate. I guess I'll go learn.

This is a Shimano 333 hub. Ensure the shifter knuckle is snug on the axle. You will want your shifter to be in 2, and then set the cable tension so you get the N centered in the window, more or less. Sturmey Archer AW hubs also have the tension set in 2, or Neutral.

Use the locknut on the cable adjuster to lock the adjuster once you have it shifting reliably.
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Old 01-23-23, 04:57 PM
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You are close. That "N" just needs to move a little more toward the center of the hole. It may help to use a cotton swab (Q-Tip) to clean the indication "N" so you can see it better.

By the way, that is all assuming that the shifter is in second.

Then find the oil port on the hub. It is probably plastic and give it some squirts of a light oil. 30 weight is preferred, but if things are bound up a lighter oil may work better to get things moving again. If it is missing the plastic oil port, then it will need another one.
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Old 01-23-23, 05:19 PM
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Maybe a Shimano 333?
It's my understanding the internals are somewhat fragile and can break if the shift isn't spot on.
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Old 01-23-23, 05:40 PM
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This bell crank (the part between the axle end and the cable end with the pivoting arm) has been used on a few Shimano 3 spd hubs over the years. Like the SA indicator chain needs to be fully threaded in and then backed off to align with the cable route (to insure the adjustment point on the indicator chain is properly located) the Shimano bell crank also needs to be fully threaded on the axle till the little stub (with the tiny domed head) contacts the axle. Then back off to have the pivoting arm align with the cable. I have seen quite a few of these bell cranks where that stub has been damaged from forcing it against the axle end (and that the image shows a slightly cocked stub I suspect this over threading has already been done at least once). The bell crank's position is meant to be locked in place with that thin lock nut.

I agree with Bill's comments about the early 333 hubs (1970s) were not very robust. While the design eliminated the "neutral" spot between gears that SA AW has it did wear/break when shifting under pressure or riding with a bad cable adjustment. Later versions (that also eliminated the oil port) were better in this respect.

I would drip oil into the axle after removing the shifter "nail". Usually I would just use 20wt machine oil. BTW the shift lever will work more smoothly if its detent ball gets a dab of oil on it too. Andy
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Old 01-24-23, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
While the design eliminated the "neutral" spot between gears that SA AW has...
For the uninitiated or if you're new to hub gears: Sturmey-Archer began making a model of the AW without the "neutral" between gears 2 & 3 in 1984. They haven't made any AWs with the neutral since 2000. Back when they built both models they designated the no neutral as NIG ("No Intermediate Gear or No In-between Gear") but they've pretty much dropped that designation since.
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Old 01-24-23, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
For the uninitiated or if you're new to hub gears: Sturmey-Archer began making a model of the AW without the "neutral" between gears 2 & 3 in 1984. They haven't made any AWs with the neutral since 2000. Back when they built both models they designated the no neutral as NIG ("No Intermediate Gear or No In-between Gear") but they've pretty much dropped that designation since.
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Old 01-24-23, 09:41 AM
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picture of the hub will help, but sure looks like Shimano. (my first geared bike had one of those..... as noted second gear and adjust to see the N in the window IIRC)
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Old 01-24-23, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by louky View Post
I found one post that suggested adjusting this in 2nd gear and centering the symbol in the shifting arm.
That's correct, but before trying to adjust the bell crank I'd take it off and make sure you actually have three gears by manipulating the shifter rod. If the hub isn't shifting the shifter can't make it work no matter how you adjust it. This should help.
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Old 01-24-23, 11:17 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. I am amazed at the expertise on this forum, and how so many people will take the time to share.

My initial problem was that the only way I could get this to adjust was to have the barrel adjuster backed out to where there was just about 6mm of the threads in the adjuster. I think it would have worked ok this way but it was bothering me. I had to take the RW off anyway to change the tire so I took the time to clean the bell crank and placed a few drops of oil where the rod came out. I started wondering if someone had replaced the rod or the cable in the past with the wrong part. I also surmised that the wheel placement in the dropouts could affect this adjustment. I put it back together placed it where it had proper tension on the chain and ended up with the exact same situation; it would only center properly in 2nd with a few threads in the barrel. After scratching my head, I realized that the placement of the pulley at the seat tube was part of this. I raised the clamp on the pulley a little and it created enough slack so that the "N" lines up properly in 2nd, and the barrel is about halfway on the threads.
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Old 01-24-23, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by grumpus View Post
That's correct, but before trying to adjust the bell crank I'd take it off and make sure you actually have three gears by manipulating the shifter rod. If the hub isn't shifting the shifter can't make it work no matter how you adjust it. This should help.
Good contribution to this thread. I'll just add that you should first disconnect the cable and then back off the locking axle nut (the thin nut that's inboard of the bell crank) and then screw in the bell crank until it's firmly tightened on end of the the axle. Then back it off only until the articulating arm and cable nut are in line with the cable travel along the chain stay. Finally, snug the thin locking nut against the bell crank. Then proceed to the gear adjustment.
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Old 01-24-23, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
Good contribution to this thread. I'll just add that you should first disconnect the cable and then back off the locking axle nut (the thin nut that's inboard of the bell crank) and then screw in the bell crank until it's firmly tightened on end of the the axle. Then back it off only until the articulating arm and cable nut are in line with the cable travel along the chain stay. Finally, snug the thin locking nut against the bell crank. Then proceed to the gear adjustment.
That was covered in the Shimano document that I linked to.
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Old 01-24-23, 03:42 PM
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Sliding a cable pulley along its mounted on tube also will adjust how much threaded barrel adjuster is used. Andy
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Old 01-24-23, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Sliding a cable pulley along its mounted on tube also will adjust how much threaded barrel adjuster is used. Andy
This appears to cover it-
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