Sturmey Archer AW Hub Service Intervals #poll


k3eax
 

I've been quite curious about the service-life of the venerable AW. And so, this poll has been created in the seeking of a sharing of members' experience. I am posing the question:  How many miles traveled before the hub needs to be removed from the shell for servicing operations which would include the replacement of pawls, pawls and pawl springs, dog clutch and spring, bearings and cones, and chipped or worn gears and pinions?  

Thank you for voting. Results will be available when the poll is closed.



Aaron Whaley
 

In my case, I guess it depends on the hub. I have one that is from the early 70s (un-dated shell) with somewhere north of 50,000 miles on it. I would check and grease the bearings a couple of times a year when it was being ridden regularly and add a few drops of oil once a month. I finally opened it up back in early 2000 just because. I did end up replacing the pawl springs because they seemed weak. I have another hub that is dated 1972 that has been a problem child from the first time I ever rode it. It has less than 5,000 miles on it and has been apart several times. I think the issue has been corrected, finally. There were a couple of parts in it that appeared to not have been made to tolerance and caused issues. 

I am of the opinion that if it ain't broke don't mess with it. As long as the hub is working and will more or less hold oil I will ride it.

Aaron


k3eax
 

 Hi Aaron and thanks for sharing your experience..

The "poll" template is rather restricting and doesn't allow for comments and so I'm glad that you took the time to describe, in a few sentences, your AW experience. I found your reference to a Q/C problem notable in that I am aware of others, admittedly only a very, very few, using late U.K. production to have similar experiences . I wonder if the shift of production to Taiwan has lessened or eliminated the problem.

  Al in Philadelphia


Aaron Whaley
 

I can't find the reference article at the moment, however from what I gather when SunRace moved all the hub manufacturing machinery from S-A to Taiwan after the sale they found out it was completely worn out and they could not produce any working hubs. This led to pretty much complete re-engineering of the entire S-A hub line up. I know there were some issues with the early production 5-speed hubs from the new factory, but those have since been corrected. I have a 5 speed with the 90mm drum brake laced up in a wheel, but it has yet to go on a bike.

I have several NOS AW and AWC hubs from the late 70s, none have ever been laced up. Out of the 15 + AW/TCW/AG/AWC/S3C equipped bikes I have only one has been a problem child. I only have two AW equipped bikes that have seen any real mileage, the 1970 Sports Standard with over 50k miles on it, a 1972 Raleigh Superbe with ~8,000 miles of riding. I have a 1971 Raleigh Twenty but the original AW hub was swapped out for a late 60's AG which has been trouble-free for over 3,000 miles. When I acquired that hub it was full of crud and dried oil. I filled it with kerosene and rode it for a bit, then flushed it again with kerosene. Pulled the insides out checked for issues, rinsed it in lacquer thinner to clean out anything the kerosene had missed. Greased the bearings with cheap brown grease and use non-detergent motor oil in it.

All of the newer hubs supposedly don't require lubrication between servicing and I have no clue what the service intervals are supposed to be, however according to Shimano they should be done every 3,000 miles or once a year if used for daily commuting. I would suspect that the new SA hubs are similar.

Aaron


k3eax
 

Aaron, 'very impressed with your SA experience. There seem not to be many other SA enthusiasts, or if not enthusiasts at least users, online. Do you know of any other groups/websites where SA- user types cluster?

  Al in Philadelphia