Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   Classic & Vintage (
-   -   More Shimano 3 speed hub dating... (

Mos6502 07-02-06 04:24 PM

More Shimano 3 speed hub dating...
Recently I've found a huge ammount of 3 speed bicycles around the area, so I eventually came across three different Shimano 3 speed hubs on 3 different Huffy bicycles.

This hub came off a 1983 Huffy Sea Point:
It has a stylized "3 S" logo, is stamped "Shimano Japan" and has no cap for oiling the hub. (note, research indicates the capless 3 speed hub was introduced in the late 70s, and apparently the old style with the regular oil cap continued in production)

This hub came off of a 1975 Huffy Sea Trails:
It's got lots of logo work going on, as is plainly visible. It has a plastic cap for oiling the hub.

The serial number on this huffy was illegible, but it was obviously older than the other two bikes:
No fancy logos on this one. This also has cap for oiling.

So 1980's shimano 3 speed hubs have a "3 S" logo - 70's ones have a "3 speed hub" logo, and even earlier hubs will have "THREE SPEED HUB" simply stamped into them - newer hubs don't have an oiling cap, older ones do. The U.S. patent number on the 1975 and earlier hub dates from 1962 (I think). There is no patent number stamped on the 80's "3 S" hub.

Just a little history I looked up, the first Shimano 3 speed hubs were built in Japan in 1957 - they first showed up in the U.S. in 1961.

FlatTop 07-02-06 05:18 PM

Very useful info, thanks. My Fuji Bedford has the first hub pictured (stylized 3S logo) and my impression of the age from the remainder of the bike was late '70s. Now I'll have to run down the serial number to learn the truth.

Do you happen to know if any of the newest series Shimano hubs had an oiling cap? Just wondering if there might have been a transitional period. Or perhaps the housing of the newest hub was designed to never lose oil, and therefore never need replenishing?

roughrider504 07-02-06 05:42 PM

My 3 speed has the hub like in the first picture, and I dont get either how it could not have a oil cap.

YoKev 07-02-06 06:22 PM

I have the 3rd hub pictured. I found nice exploded diagrams for it at the US Patent website.

cudak888 07-02-06 07:17 PM

I have an example of the first from a spare wheel, and have had one on an '85 Free Spirit.

I've never seen an example of the second in person, in fact, it's the first time I've seen one.

As for the third, a few of the local bike shops have some of these sitting around in the back rooms. I believe these are '70s variants.


Pompiere 07-02-06 08:37 PM

Does any one know the ratios inside the Shimano hubs? I have a Huffy that I think has yet another shimano logo. I'll check tomorrow in daylight.

edit: It actually has the same logo as the second picture, including the oil cap.

divineAndbright 07-02-06 09:04 PM

wow, I didnt know shimano was even around that long.. I always thought they kinda came into existance around the '70s, cause i've never seen a bicycle before that that had shimano anything on it (I being in Canada).

I have one like in the last photo, never got to try it out though as I lost the piece that "connects" the cable to the hub; the lil one that threads on. I accidently hucked it outside, when I was supposed to huck whatever was in my other hand haha. A sturmey archer one wouldnt work with it, then I harvested the 18 tooth sprocket for another bicycle.

Mos6502 07-02-06 09:46 PM

I remember reading in a book from the 70's that Shimano was developing a 3 speed hub that was supposed to be lubricated for life at the factory - probably the ones without the oil cap are supposed to be those. You can however, remove the indicator from the end of the axel and put a few drops in that way if you're worried about it (I'm not sure how long shimano expected the "life" of the hub to be...)
I don't know what years they switched from which style to which, just that I found these three variations of shimano 3 speed hubs, on bicycles made in the years noted. I just know that by the 80s, the "3 S" cap-less hub was in use, that in the mid 70's the "3 speed hub" variation was in use (I also found this hub on a 70's AMF), and prior to that the hubs just had "THREE SPEED HUB" printed on them (this picture being of a "F" hub - anybody know what other letters there were, or what they meant?).

meatwad 07-04-06 02:16 AM

Do you happen to know if any of the newest series Shimano hubs had an oiling cap?

All the shimanos I've come across use grease includeing the coaster version. Mid seventies on I would guess.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:13 AM.

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.