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Sturmey Archer 5 speed

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Sturmey Archer 5 speed

Old 02-18-21, 05:14 PM
  #1  
Mickey2
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Sturmey Archer 5 speed

Is anyone familiar with the current 5 speed hubs, Sturmey Archer RXL-RD5? I need a robust gear hub and I wondered if it is easy to add a bit of oil to the new hubs. I know 3 speeds often still are easy to sneak in a bit of oil through the push rod - click box thing, and from pictures it looks like the axle on the current 5 speeds are hollow. I can`t find any info on this, and I suspect few recommend this when most hubs officially are greased. I still like to add a few drops of oil to gear hubs.
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Old 02-19-21, 09:15 AM
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No reply yet, hub gears are the hardest to get advice or feedback on. A guy on youtube said the axle on these are solid, so oil through there is not an option. The next step may be find someone who can drill a hole in the drum before any rim and spokes are on it. I am trying the new Sturmey 5 speed as an alternative to a Nexus 7 hub I have ruined.
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Old 02-19-21, 12:04 PM
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I have a monologue with my self here, but I have found another video of a guy dipping the internal axle assembly in automatic transmission fluid. the result was better shifting and parts engaging quicker. That is my personal experience too, when they run on a lighter oil they perform better than grease; less sticky, and smoother. I have to find away about this.
,
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Old 02-19-21, 01:37 PM
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Be patient Mickey, most users here don't have much appreciation for internal gear hubs. I'm sure that more will pop in soon to answer your questions.

The modern Sturmey hubs use a semi-fluid grease (NGLI 00) that does not need to be replenished. I commuted for many years on a bike with an SA 5sp (non-rotary shift) and had absolutely no issues with this heavier lube. I would pull the internals occasionally for cleaning/inspection and would then slather on some new NGLI grease. The hub shifted smoothly even on the rare mornings when temps fell below 15 deg. F.

I imagine that you could drill the hub for an oil port, but I see no reason to do it. Any performance gain would probably be insignificant.
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Old 02-19-21, 01:56 PM
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Good to hear. The last hub I added a bit of oil to was a rather new and little used Nexus 3 speed, with a push in rod or bell crank. A bit of oil in there and it ran smoother, it was about 3 days ago. Nothing expensive but I am rather happy with the bike.

I don`t know what Sturmey Archer uses, but I have seen the bottles of semi fluent grease from Shimano, either whitish lithium grease, or less often the black variant. That is what they used in my 7 gear Nexus hub. . My 7 speed felt a bit dry too, even after it had been in for a service. They reported back they noticed rust, and this time they said it was beyond repair, 2 years of use. My oiled hub gears lasted years and years, that is one of the reasons why I suspect oil can have an advantage. So maybe it is all about the right grease, or enough grease.

Last edited by Mickey2; 02-19-21 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 11-10-21, 12:59 PM
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I'll chime in as someone with interest in these hubs too. After Hurricane Katrina I salvaged a 5-speed Grey Ghost Stingray from my LBS's "destroyed" inventory and recently tried fiddling with it. Of course I managed to booger up the rear hub so hopefully I'll be able to get it back into working order. I don't fancy trying to get ahold of a replacement and ironically i have even LESS interest in trying to switch the bike to Shimano Rollerbrake equipment since it's even HARDER to come by stateside it seems. My goal is to restomod it with modern (retro) dynamo lighting and modern tires so that I can ride it more easily/reliably when I feel like it.
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Old 11-11-21, 12:19 PM
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Trigger warning: this is a 9 month old thread, if that sort of thing gets your knickers in a twist. But for anyone who might find this with the search function...

Originally Posted by Mickey2 View Post
I don`t know what Sturmey Archer uses...
Sturmey-Archer's service literature has for decades in numerous publication stated the grease they have used at the factory since 1984 is NGLI#00. Sturmey calls their's SA-103A and their part number is HMA106, but any NGLI#00 will do. I use John Deere cotton picker spindle grease, an NGLI#00 with advanced corrosion resistant additives.

Sturmey of course uses a heavier grease on the axle cones and balls and in the labyrinth seals. I use Sta-Lube (blue) Marine Grease.


20~30wt oil is fine, but it will leak out, make just a bit of a mess and need to be replenished, unlike the NGLI#00 grease. DON'T use 3inOne Multipurpose Oil, but 3inOne Motor Oil is just super for oil-lubricated Sturmeys.

There's a bit of "can you top this" game on Bike Forums suggesting all manner of things Sturmey hubs have been lubricated with. Shrug. Anyway, Sturmey hubs are surprisingly robust and this hub was returned to service with only the replacement of the pawl springs and liberal application of 'elbow grease':





So maybe it is all about the right grease, or enough grease.
FWIW, Aaron of Rat City Bikes internal gear hub service has opined that new IGHs do NOT come from the factory with enough lubrication.

Last edited by tcs; 11-11-21 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 11-11-21, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dragonspeed View Post
I'll chime in as someone with interest in these hubs too. After Hurricane Katrina I salvaged a 5-speed Grey Ghost Stingray...

The OP's hub is a current model RXL-RD5:

https://www.sturmey-archer.com/files...%20RXL-RD5.pdf

Your Grey Ghost Stingray ~probably~ has an X-RD5 hub:

https://www.sturmey-archerheritage.co...s/view-287.pdf
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Old 11-14-21, 06:51 AM
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This thing has a 5 speed Drum hub, it works very well here in dry and hot or wet and humid Cambodia.
I have not opened it up but it stilll shifts very smoothly and is a great hub.


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Old 11-14-21, 06:27 PM
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I found a perfect way to install those SA pinch bolts on the brake cables.
First thing is throw the screw in bolt it came with in the garbage. Next take an allen 5 mm bolt and cut it down a bit longer than needed.
Then I file it down a bit at a time. Turn the bolt tight with a cable cutoff and test it to see how much it cuts into the cable.
When good it holds and doesn't squish the cable too much. It'll be the same every time you take it apart. No guessing.
Can use a lock washer too if you want.
I wouldn't like the cable end so short.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 11-14-21 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 06-30-22, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Trigger warning: this is a 9 month old thread, if that sort of thing gets your knickers in a twist...
Thanks for the reply, all of you. I don't mind it being late at all. The only problem is I didn't notice until now. The subject is still on my mind.

Is the picture of the rusty gear of an old SA 3-speed? I am not surprised it easily cleaned up. It is strange how they still run after years and years of use and abuse.

Because of covid my bike shop had trouble with parts supply and hardly any bikes to sell either, mostly with electrical motors. I ended up with a Nexus 7 speed, not my first choice and it took nearly a year to get my bike back from the shop. In the meantime I went for a used bike with a 3 speed Nexus hub. With a bit of oil it runs surprisingly smooth, it has a simple bell crank shifter with a push-in rod.

I regret not buying the SA 5 speed, I still migh do it. I hesitated to order on my own, I had to order all the small bits for various types of frames and fittings separately and it was such a fuss. The bike shop pushed Shimano and rather I chose that, and with the parts supply situation I went for what they could get their hands on at the time. I got my bike back in the last week of August 2021 and it was due for a service and regrease around March this year. For various reasons it was delayed and was handed into the bike shop today. It is not a very smooth hub, shifts fine, but compared to the simple 3 speed, I feel a bit let down. There might be ways to improve it. I hope it returns in better condtion, but I suspect there are better hub models. I am thinking of tweaking a basic 5 or 7 speed hub, make a way to add a few drops of oil now and then and just go for oil in stead of grease.



Thanks for the replies to all of you, I appreciate your experiences a lot, and I still haven't found the gear hub I am entirely happy with.

Last edited by Mickey2; 06-30-22 at 05:48 PM.
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