Vive memor quam sis aevi brevis.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Journeyman's Test

It was the second day of the Lake Pepin 3 Speed Tour. i was about half an hour down Route 61 on the way to Lake City and the brew-up. Somewhere near Camp Lacupolis, i heard and then felt a crunch from my rear wheel. The pedals seized up and i dismounted before any further damage was done. My Sturmey Archer AW hub, production date 3/71, had gone duff.

Jon, the "Shirt-Tail-Organiser" of the tour, rode on to the next overlook and was able to find someone to come  rescue me. A very kind lady, who was following her Harley rider husband in her pickup, volunteered for the mission and ferried me Lake City. A further ride in the Lorry back to Red Wing got me back to my car. i was (and am!) very grateful for the kindness of strangers and Minnesota Nice, although it was disappointing to miss riding the back roads and taking in the beautiful scenery on the way back to Red Wing.

So my trusty Raleigh steed sat idle for the rest of the summer. i pulled the guts from the hub and found that one of the planet gears had chipped. Fortunately, the damage was confined to the one gear. i proceeded to acquire the necessary replacement gear and a few other spare bits. The inner works then sat collecting dust on the workbench from May to late August.

"For the want of a nail..."

i studied RJ The Bike Guy's You Tube video of rebuilding AW hubs. i'm also indebted to Mark Stonich of Bikesmith Design as well as the late great Sheldon Brown for S/A information.

Finally i got around to finishing the task, replacing the planet gears, as well as the axle/sun gear assembly, clutch, and low gear pawls. The old sun gear showed some minor damage, and the clutch and pawls were worn, and although they were serviceable, i felt that their replacement was probably a good idea.

Bits and spares.

While i was at it, i took the time to overhaul a unit from a '68 vintage hub with a trashed shell that i'd gotten for spares some years back.

i like to think of this project as my "journeyman's test" to qualify as a genuine bike mechanic. Back when i was a shop rat, i dodged 3-speed repairs as i was intimidated by the clockwork innards of the Sturmey Archer hub. Now i feel confident that i can keep our fleet of three speeds on the road for years to come.

 Blessing of the Bikes, 3-speed Tour, 2012.

Jocasta, back on the road.             

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