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How to repair old Sturmey-Archer hubs

02/07/2012

Instructions for a wide range of Sturmey-Archer hubs from 1902 to 2001. Includes the original 1902 3-speed, the type K series of the 1920s and 30s, the T and TF 2-speeds, the ever popular AW, the SW, SG, SB, AB, AG, TCW, AM, AC, ASC, FW, FG, FM, FC, BR, GH6, S3B, S3C, all 5-speeds, the Columbia 3-speed, the BSA 3-speeds (based on a Sturmey-Archer design) and the hubs in production when Sturmey-Archer ceased to be British-owned in 2001. Also included is information on the DBU and FSU accessories for use with hub dynamos. The files are in Adobe Acrobat format, making them zoomable and easily printable. (Content last added 21 June 2016)

In the beginning
1902 3-speed

BSA 3-speeds
Includes Jim Gill’s material on the rare split-axle versions

K series 3-speeds (K, KS and KSW)
An 18-page PDF file that includes Jim Gill’s analysis of the type K, design changes during its production run, cutaway drawings, Jim’s simplified instructions for dismantling and re-assembly, and S-A’s parts lists for 1925 and 1935.
K series S-A hubs

K series 3-speeds with drum or coaster brakes (KB, KC and KT)
A 13-page PDF file including Jim Gill’s description and analysis of the type KB 3-speed and drum brake, and S-A’s 1937 maintenance instructions and parts list.
Type KB 1937

A five-page PDF including Jim Gill’s description and cutaway drawing of the type KC 3-speed and coaster (back-pedal) brake, plus S-A’s 1925 parts list, Jim’s dimensioned drawing of the hub shell and his handwritten notes on (and sketches of) the type KC.
Type KC

A single page PDF showing S-A’s exploded drawing of the type KT 3-speed and drum brake for tandems. Also included are details of the special brake lever fittings.
Type KT

S-A 1930s drum brakes without gears (BF, BR, BRT and BFT)
A two-page PDF showing cutaway drawings of the 1932-36 versions of the type BF and BR brake hubs.
Type BF & BR 1932-36

A nine-page PDF including S-A’s 1937 maintenance instructions and parts list for the BF and BR hubs.
Type BF & BR 1937

A four-page PDF with cutaway drawings of early and later versions of the BRT and BFT tandem drum brakes.
Type BRT & BFT 1936-41

From the 1956 Master catalogue
Fitting and adjustment

Use and maintenance

Fault finding

General dismantling

Individual dismantling

Inspection

General re-assembling

SW wide-ratio 3-speed
(See also Brian Hayes’ paper)
SB wide-ratio 3-speed/hub brake

SG wide-ratio 3-speed/Dynohub

AW wide-ratio 3-speed (see below for later AWs)

AB wide-ratio 3-speed/hub brake

AG wide-ratio 3-speed/Dynohub

TCW wide-ratio 3-speed/coaster

AM medium-ratio 3-speed

AC ultra-close-ratio 3-speed

ASC fixed-wheel 3-speed

FW wide-ratio 4-speed
FG wide-ratio 4-speed/Dynohub
FM medium-ratio 4-speed
FC close-ratio 4-speed
BF & BR hub brakes
GH6 Dynohub
Dry Battery Unit & Dynohub wiring

Other Dynohub & Filter Switch Unit wiring information
FSU circuit diagram and notes
Wiring diagrams

Instructions from various dates, 1960s – 2001
S3B 3-speed with small-diameter hub brake
S3C 3-speed coaster
S5 5-speed
S5/1 5-speed
S5/2 and Five Speed Alloy 5-speeds
S52 1988 modifications
5 StAr and 5 StAr Elite 5-speeds
Columbia ‘no-slip’ 3-speed (Jim Gill’s documentation)
AB/C & BF/C 90mm hub brakes
AW 3-speed
AWC 3-speed coaster
AT3, VT and ST Elite hub brakes
Sprinter 5-speed hub and Sprinter 5-speed Elite 5-speed hub brake
Sprinter 5-speed coaster
Sprinter 7-speed hub & Sprinter 7 Elite 7-speed hub brake
Sprinter 7-speed coaster
Steelite SBF, SBR & SAB hub brakes

Triggers & Twistgrips, 1950s & 1960s
SA 1951 trigger instructions
SA 1956 trigger instructions
Twistgrip parts c.1966
Auto Twistgrip service instructions c. 1969


All information provided here is done so in good faith. It is as written by the original authors and has not been modified by Tony Hadland. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss, damage or injury of any kind sustained for any reason arising therefrom. Our thanks go to Sturmey-Archer Limited and Jim Gill for permission to reproduce their material.

From → Gears

37 Comments
  1. Matt B permalink

    Hi Tony,
    Thanks for putting all this information together and making it available. I am rebuilding a KT6 from a Saxo tandem, and on taking it apart, the innards are not all correct. I hadn’t been able to engage 3rd year since buying it, and I wonder if it has been bodged. Can you advise me on how to get it back to three years? Thanks

    • Hi Matt,
      Can you be more specific about what you think is not correct with the innards? For example, are certain bits missing or locked together?
      Cheers,
      Tony

      • Matt B permalink

        Hi Tony,
        Thanks for your reply. Having been through the parts, it seems that the insides are much the same as those in an AW. The axle is 6.25″ and has a pinned 20t sun gear and is blind like K751. There is no indicator, and no planet cage/spring, and the driver is 4 prong tapered, not 6 prong. The clutch is like an AW clutch. So although the shell is stamped Kt6, I wonder if it has been substantially rebuilt with AW innards.

      • Matt B permalink

        To correct myself, there is no cage support plate or spring (K45/6), and the planet cage is the same as K515 on an AT drawing as the pawls are sprung, and is not like a K15.

      • Hi Matt,
        The hub has definitely been messed about with and it sounds as if most of the innards are not type K at all. All type K hubs have 6-inch long axles and none have blind axles. (They all have an indicator rod on the left side.) Although K driver prongs vary somewhat in shape, all drivers are six prong.
        Incidentally, although the type K clutch originally had a “no intermediate gear” (NIG) feature to prevent a no-drive gap between second and third gear, this could prove problematic in use. In 1935, it was quietly dropped, so hubs from 1935 to 1937 were supplied without NIG. As Michael Caine might say, not a lot of people know that!
        The late great Jim Gill did a lot of analysis of type K hubs and, prompted by your query, I may add this to my website in the near future.
        Cheers,
        Tony

      • Remo A. Peter permalink

        “The late great Jim Gill did a lot of analysis of type K hubs and, prompted by your query, I may add this to my website in the near future.” That would be appreciated very much indeed!

      • It’s just been done!
        Tony

      • Matt B permalink

        Thanks for your reply Tony. I will clean what I have up, possibly replace the clutch spring as these must fatigue over time, reassemble, and see how I get on.
        Matt

      • Matt B permalink

        Hi Tony, have now reassembled my hub with new springs and installed in tandem and I have 3 gears, so I am winning. I had to adjust packing washers to get enough frame offset on the RH side and I’m not happy with the amount of axle that extends through the RH dropout (the RH short axle nut is not fully threaded on). Can I swap in a longer axle that will have the same LH dimensions for the hub so that I know the innards will mesh OK? If you can’t help on the specifics of this, can you point me in any direction?

      • Good going, Matt – you could consult the axle tables on my website. Here’s a direct link: https://hadland.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/3axles.pdf
        Tony

      • Matt b permalink

        The very thing. Thank you!

  2. Remo A. Peter permalink

    I have an S-2 hub, date-marked 2/68 NOS in its yellow box. But I have not found it in the list above. Can you provide any information on it? Thank you, Remo

  3. Owen permalink

    I have heard that Sturmey Archers were once fitted to motorcycles, I have a 1953 New Hudson Auto cycle that has one gear of the drive to rear at a ratio of 1:14 and so could need a lower and a higher gear. I would like to fit a ST but auto cycles have two rear sprockets, one either side .One for the pedal drive and the other for the engine. Can you offer any advice or point me towards information I can use to do this?
    Grateful if you can help

    • Hi Owen,
      In the Edwardian era, Sturmey-Archer did indeed produce hub gears specifically designed for motorcycles but they were not a success. A hub gear works so well on a pedal cycle because (almost uniquely) a pedal cycle’s primary drive gears up for speed, not down for torque. This is why hub gears can be so small and light compared to gears mounted at the bottom bracket. When hub gears were used with petrol engines, the primary drive was considerably geared down and the hub gears proved unsuitable. They just weren’t tough enough and the problem was exacerbated when the engines became smoother running, which didn’t allow such good lubrication of the meshing pinion teeth in the hubs. Sturmey-Archer then turned instead to countershaft gears and made these successfully for many motorcyle manufacturers, not just Raleigh (who owned Sturmey-Archer). You can find out more about this in Chapter 7 of my 1987 book The Sturmey-Archer Story, which is still available from the publisher and from the Veteran-Cycle Club.
      As regards using a hub gear on a lightweight autocycle, Alex Moulton did some interesting experimental work and I would strongly advise you get hold of issues 2 and 3 of volume 29 of The Buzzing Club magazine (April and June 2010). These contain an illustrated report by David Beare of an examination of Moulton’s prototypes which I arranged in 2010. David is the magazine’s editor and his email address is buzzing@abermule.com
      Tony

  4. ray storey permalink

    what year did S/A start putting the date on the hub i have a few with no date

    • Hi Ray,
      Round about 1932, they started adding a single digit to the model initials on the hub. So, for example, a hub marked K2 was a type K made in 1932 and a hub marked KS4 was a type KS made in 1934. It seems a few hubs made (or more finished) during the war also had a single digit year date, which would make one marked 0 after the model initial a 1940 hub. After World War 2, Sturmey started using two digits for the year and one or two for the month, separately from the model initials, so 53 11 was a hub made in November 1953.
      Tony

  5. Angelo Palmieri permalink

    I have a 1967 schwinn racer, it’s a three speed bicycle with a single gear system on the inside of the rear axle, I belive that’s what it’s called, after replacing the tires and reassembling the bike, the rear tire won’t stay on tight enough and the gear system has all together stopped working. It stays on the most difficult speed and I can’t figure out how to adjust it, I’m used to more modern bikes with several gears that adjust when you crank the lever to switch speeds. I’m unfamiliar with this model and I’m only seventeen lol so this particular bike is far from my day and age. I can’t find many helpful resources to aid me in fixing it. If anyone reads this i would be very thankful to have some help with this. Thank You

    • Hi Angelo,
      Can you read the name of the maker of the gear and any model numbers? This information is usually engraved or embossed on the shell of the gear hub. That information would help greatly in solving your problem. Maybe a photo, too, if you can get one or two sharp ones. My regular email address is tony.hadland@gmail.com, if you find it easier to send the information by that route.
      Cheers,
      Tony

  6. Frank permalink

    Hello Tony
    I am looking for a pair Sturmey Archer Tandem Drum Brake Hubs (rear Typ KT-40 Holes and front Typ BFT-40 Holes) from the 19930er Years. If you know anyone or you have any idea who i can find it please send me a mail.

    Many Thanks in Advance
    Frank

  7. Giuseppe permalink

    Thank you Tony for your kind words, your right the more of these
    items we restore and selvedge from the junk piles the better, i have a real passion for keeping these bikes and components going.

    if any one knows of any old bike’s that are un loved or just left to rot please let me know im in the Leeds west Yorkshire aria will be happy for any info on this thanks

  8. Giuseppe permalink

    HI my name is giuseppe and i would like to thank you for this very useful resources i have just dissembled and serviced a gh6 dynhub thanks to the info you have provided.:)

    now working well after removing all the rust cleaned and re assemble thank you , now just needs new rim and re spooking but the dynohub as good as the day manufactured.

    just dry battery unit to refurbish and wiring and lights which are in a bad way but not beyond hope , they came off a gents Rudge Whitworth single speed bicycle the frame is in a bad way needs but with a little time and elbow Greece it should look like new when done.

    i was a bike mechanic at watts & Cearns lower brigit in Leeds for some years, and loved the work and some one mentioned about servicing a Sturmey Archer 5 speed well that was my speciality aria as the other guys hated touching them, i still do the odd one now and a gain for people i got my qualification at Raleigh centre Nottingham when the original works was still there, and where i bought my brand new Raleigh Record Sprint the original black and gold one with renolds 501 tubing on completion of my training there as a treat to my self . i still have that same bike in original show room condition

    • Great feedback, Giuseppe – thank you very much. I’m delighted that you found the info useful and that you are keeping these items going. Good stuff!
      Tony

  9. James permalink

    Thanks for the K type instruction. Took a k type apart this morning and have successfully rebuilt it and it now appears to be working fine. Also got a copy of your Raleigh book, like what I have read so far.

    All the best to you for the new year.

    James

    • Thanks very much for your kind words and all the best for 2014. Glad you found the instructions useful – it’s rewarding to be able to keep these old pieces of kit going 80 or 90 years after they were first used!
      Tony

  10. Sean permalink

    Thank you for making these documents available,just rebuilt the BSA 3 speed in my old Sunbeam,running like a Swiss watch now,thanks again

    • That’s good news, Sean. It was a great design and I used to use one myself, back in the 1960s.
      Tony

  11. Jess permalink

    Thank you so much for this information. I was having trouble understanding the light set and DBU wiring on my 50s Raleigh 3 speed and now it is well on its way to be fully functional.:)

  12. Paul permalink

    Found an old Dynohub at a recycling centre (on its way to be crunched) and really appreciate the info you provide – i’ve got no excuse to revive it now! I’ll certainly recommend it to other Sturmley Archer fans – Many thanks – Surely this is what the internet was created for!

  13. “How to repair old Sturmey-Archer hubs HADLAND’S BLOG” was a wonderful read and I actually was indeed pretty content to find the blog. Thanks for the post-Maura

  14. Mike permalink

    A friend In Dorset has a Sturmey archer 5 speed, she has trouble selecting gears and i believe the unit needs a service or repair (it is not just the cable adjustor). Can you advise a competent person who could service the hub?

    • Hi Mike,
      There are a number of people around who could tackle the job. I usually do my own repairs but unfortunately cannot take on extra work. But I have used Peter Read in Milton Keynes (even on a hub that was about 100 years old) and he has been fixing hub gears for many years. His email address is firebird3101@yahoo.co.uk
      If you cannot resolve the problem via Peter, please get back to me.
      Tony

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