Author Topic: Hub gear slippage  (Read 1922 times)

Hub gear slippage
« on: December 19, 2019, 09:28:42 am »
Own a Pashley Sonnet. Mileage as of recent 4,500? Just cant get set 1st and/or 2nd gear to remain settled under  load,as say going up a hill(and I have no Chris Hoy thighs as muscle). What to do? What to try? Have replaced  gear cable;problem still present. Set the yellow tog chain as recommended: still slippage. Change the trigger system? Change the toggle? Move onto the hub? I'm sorta getting tired of going out to my garage and/or dismounting on journeys trying to get this thing right. My back and age prescribe rest.

Given the weight of the Pashley,I'm thinking of getting rid of it.(How?) It seems a shame,but I think I'd pick up a Dawes Cambridge or Duchess(lighter/derailleur gears)for £300. If I were to go into a complete overhaul of the working mechanism I guess I would be saying goodbye to £150 maybe... with no guarantee this would work after a while/under useage(think Halfords)

Seems a shame to get rid of the bike,but I'm getting a bit fed up here. Also,cannot see any market for resale,as the bike needs to be fixed and I don't see any cyclists interest in this market in the city where I live.

I liken this problem to a tv repair. There's no point in repairing it - too costly - in place of repair you just get rid of the whole thing! Sorry Greta! It could be just too much faff.

What do others here think? Bikes age is about 5 years young...but used

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2019, 11:45:20 am »
Three speed or five speed hub? Shimano or Sturmey Archer?


  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2019, 11:58:00 am »
Almost certainly a SA hub but could be 3sp or 5sp. I’d hand it to a nearby hub gear mechanic to open up the hub and replace any worn components. It shouldn’t cost too much, they are pretty simple. They aren’t that tough to work on but the OP sounds like somebody who prefers to avoid oily hands.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 08:22:23 am »
First,thanks for the replies. Appreciated.

Mybike is 5 speed.

Riding back from town yesterday it felt as the slippage was due to the chain not engaging with the sprocket,if this makes sense. It just slips,somehow. Its not as if this is a big thing,but going uphill with a car or a lorry behind,and with a dicky back and arthritis,it makes me  uncomfortable(once over 65 you sort of realize you'e not immortal!). Also(the slippage),isn't happening all the time. All said,I just like my ride 'just so',so that I don't have to think about 'is my back about to go,foot slip,as I go up this incline'.

I don't have it in me to go out to the garage to go thru things at this time of year. As the matter seems(at present)undefineable,I wonder if any bike shop can resolve it,given that it would take  a ride out and some hills,to test it under load. 'Yes,fixed it' says the mechanic in the shop. I take it out,it slips,no,its still there,says me. I know this stuff can happen.

Further comments welcome. Ta for advice


  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2019, 10:50:33 pm »
Which part of the world are you in? Find a hub gear specialist near you, rather than a random local bike shop.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2019, 08:12:46 am »
Wheel do(get it!) Sorry.

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2019, 10:18:17 am »
Do you need all five gears? The three speed SA hubs are simpler and more reliable.

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2019, 12:10:20 am »
In your second post you say it felt as if the slippage was due to the chain not engaging with the sprocket.
This suggests to me that the problem might be chain / sprocket related rather than the usually reliable hub.
Has this chain been changed during the 4500 miles you mentioned? If not, try a new one; it will be well worn after that mileage and is likely to have damaged the sprocket to the extent that it will also need replacement - an opportunity to lower the gearing with a slightly larger sprocket if you want.

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2019, 05:29:06 pm »
Thanks Poacher.

Embarrassed to admit that the problem is still there: 31st December 1705 hrs. I cant go to the garage again: I think the wife would kill me...or I will killmyself. This morn changed the gear cable(again!) T'old one had frayed,and I that nut tightened,or wot?

I changed the set-up sprocket sometime back for another + 2 teeth(?)sometime back. I gotta hill that I like to go up with one gear spare. My knees and age + arthritis have impeded my valor.

This I know: to work things out to get to the route cause o this torture could take several trips to a bicycle store or cycle specialist. Have I got the time or patience to go with it? Then,would any bicycle shop or specialist guarantee the work as in,ride my machine out to a hill to ride up and change gear? S/he could say the work is done only for me to find it isn't. The thing is,you have to ride the machine under load to find the fault. And working through each department of the machine to find the said fault could men many visits to the shop and many parts needing to be cost. Maybe its not the douch,but the wasted hours going back and forth sorting stuff out. Right now I have 4 gears that work whilst the fifth is intermittent: to obtain 2 lowest gear go into lowest gear,come back to secure second lowest gear. To try to go into second lowest gear from third involves the pedals not engaging.

I'm not liking it as it is,but feel some attachment to the bike. For £300 I can get a new Dawes Duchess. It does seem a bit OTT to swop my present Pashley for a Dawes,but hey!,fellas just chuck in an old(e) bride for new theseadays! (Sorry,PC alert,yeh girls do it too)

I sorta grow attached to the bikes I have. Don't like to dismiss 'em in any way. But this is sorta fuddy-duddy nowadays,yes? Maybe Gret excepted!

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2020, 10:11:53 am »
Need to know the make and model of the hub gear.  if it's a Sachs or SRAM, they don't make spares for them any more but German suppliers still have some in stock.  Your biggest problem may be finding someone who can work on hub gears.  I've overhauled almost every Sturmey-Archer 3-speed, including the ASC, and I know about Sachs Duomatics and 3-speeds, but nothing else.  Problems can usually be solved by adjustment and/or lubrication but internal parts do sometimes break or wear out, such as axle keys on Sachs 3-speeds and planet pinion pins on the Sturmey-Archer AW.

If the gear ratio has been made lower than recommended, it can do internal damage as they are designed with a maximum torque in mind*.

The best option, if something is broken, is a new rear wheel, or a rear wheel rebuilt around a new hub of the same type.  Any decent bike shop can do this, whether they understand hub gears or not.

*a local CTC rider once used a normal Sturmey-Archer AW on a tandem ridden by a strong couple, and it didn't last long - half the teeth were stripped off the planets.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2020, 03:08:27 pm »
Rogerzilla(or other interested parties): Thanks. I wonder how much a new wheel rebuild would be. And one with a new 5 speed hub?

Would that I was a strong ride able to strip hubs by my strong torque! Alas,I count myself in the Joe Normal range of cycling abilities. :-\

Remember I can have a new Dawes Duchess or similar for £300. ;)

Better knowledgeable folk who can better argue then myself often say how good hub-geared bikes are. Mmmmm. My jury is out. The bog standard derailleur seems A OK by me: easily replaceable,low cost...and I haven't lost one to kerbs or wotnot yet. Howsoever,I am always open to be corrected.

On techo-matters where I have been mis-sold stuff: Goretex sheds water and is guaranteed a lifetime. Eh? My jackets use and guarantee only lasted 2 years max before wetting out. Waxed jackets: keep you dry. Yeh,but cycling in them can make you a human sauna. I can be my own fool: Some Costa coffee joint opens in a retail shopping care park. Me: Who would want a coffee there! That place will be shut in 4 months. On asking staff later,the coffee joint that would shut in six months,is the coffee hut that is most profitable in the the chains 15 area.

The vagaries of life. Its all debatable. Ta for reply


  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2020, 03:19:01 pm » suggests £53 + parts for a hub gear strip and rebuild.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2020, 03:31:10 pm »
Thank you Littlewheel. Kind of you. :)

What I can say is it is a 5 speed Sturmey Archer hub(XRD-5W)

If what Littlewheel says holds true I am happy to place it into my local bike specialist shop. Things should be okay...and I keep the bike. What I dread is that the problem is not fixed,and that this problems returns or other malfunctions begin to manifest. (Yes,I know these things happen)Just as with being a human,more interventions are required and the cost creeps upward.

It's a hard call. I think 'I'll find me a decent cycle shop and go in to discuss.

I am sorta loyal to my bikes and dot like discarding them(which must please Greta). But at other times(at this stage of my life),no use faffing around,buy a new job,give someone some employment,no use saving stuff for the nursing home!

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2020, 07:26:35 pm »
You can get parts for those.  The European distributor isn't the best and some parts are available in the USA but not here.  It will almost certainly be repairable once someone has taken it apart and identified the problem.  Given the difficulty and expense of posting a whole wheel for service, and the time you'll be without it, price up a new hub and a wheel rebuild by a local bike shop.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2020, 02:25:35 pm »
The solution seems to have been found. Went cycle shop. On inspection it could be seen that 2nd gear could be engaged only by going to first,then back to second. Thus I could cycle 5,4,3,but to get to 2 I had to go to 1 then back down to 2. Whyso? The 2nd gear on the trigger mechanism had some slippage. I could thus go 5,4,3,2 but then had to slightly pull back the slack on the 2nd to engage the gear. Altho I now know the fault and its no big deal,I've placed an order for a new trigger for the bike.

All replies appreciated.

Looking at no replacement bike now.

Re: Hub gear slippage
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2020, 07:28:13 pm »
Glad you found what it was. There are other learned (pedantic) threads in here about how to care and keep one's Sturmey-Archer 5-speed, about what gear to store it in and the runic chants that must be followed with each gear change. I'm sure someone made a very earnest point about different oils and greases for each gear!

I have their 8-speed and once it was set up, it's been golden.
Cruzbike V2k, S40