it's a reasonably cheap hub so shimano's oil seems to expensive for this purpose. As in my post above I am using mine for commuting 10km a day too and once a month or so I put 5ml of heavy oil (i'm using 30w redline suspension which has similar viscosity to gearbox oil) down the hole where the shift pin goes and let it drain out until I top it up again as these aren't sealed as well as, say an alfine8, as the original poster found out. I think this will give it a regular flush and ensure constant lubrication.
Originally Posted by z-warfare
6 months and no issues but that's hardly a long enough test. I'd expect 3 years minimum with no issues before I'd swear by it but have to try something in the mean time.
If you used a thinner oil or ATF you may want to fill it up more often as I would expect a thinner oil to seep out quicker. Also hot/cold climates would affect the oil drain rate. I'm in NZ and we don't salt our roads in winter so don't have that problem either but we do get 1.5-2m of rain over the year for reference.
Cyclists were reporting tens of thousands of miles of trouble-free service out of their hub gears if they only provided proper lubrication - a century ago! There's every reason to think we can do the same, and some reason to think we could do even better today.
Originally Posted by z-warfare
Current manufacturer's recommended IGH greases:
Shimano: hub and coaster brake, Y-041 20600
SRAM: gear and coaster brake, 0369 135 200 – 200gm container
gear and coaster brake, 0369 135 201 – 35gm container
pinions, "quality cycle oil"
Sturmey: gear, SA103A
SunRace Sturmey-Archer has published in various official factory documents that their SA103A gear grease is an NLGI #00 and suggested Castrol Impervia TR Light as a commercial equivalent. Many American lawnmower repair shops carry NLGI #00 in 4 oz tubes as Snapper 7061017 or Stens 770-123. Sturmey says their SA103B bearing grease is an NLGI #2 and one commercial equivalent is Castrol LMX.
Aarons Bicycle Repair, an IGH specialist in the Pacific Northwest, relubricates IGHs using Sta-Lube blue marine grease (a hydrophobic NLGI #2 grease) throughout. One might think this could be too heavy, especially in cold weather, but his customers' experiences are favorable.
So how about oil? IGHs were traditionally lubricated with oils and have a history of giving excellent service used that way. The Kyle/Berto drivetrain tests suggested that oil lubrication was more efficient than grease lubrication by a small amount.
Sturmey-Archer no longer offers their private branded Cycle Oil. 3-in-One's Motor Oil with the blue label (NOT 3-in-One's Multi-Purpose Oil with the black label) is probably our closest modern equivalent to those little bottles of Cycle Oil of yore.
Shimano now offers an IGH oil, their Y00298010 Maintenance Oil (in a rather expensive "kit") and their SG-700 oil in 50ml and 1L quantities.
In commercially available oils, I've seen the following lubricants recommended, all of which seem reasonable:
· 20wt motor oil
· 30wt motor oil
· 10W-30 (& synthetic) motor oil
· 75W-90 (& synthetic) gear oil (Note: the viscosity of gear oils is measured differently than motor oil - this is NOT "three times as thick" as 30wt motor oil. At the same temperature, it runs through a viscometer about like10W-30 motor oil.)
If the IGH uses oil lubrication, some recommend a soap-based grease (Sta-lube blue marine grease or Park Poly-Lube or tan automotive grease have all received votes) on the labyrinth seals/grease channels to minimize weeping and water ingress. Others have suggested the use of this grease on the hub's main axle bearings as well.
Some feel that Phil's Tenacious Oil is too heavy for IGH pawl springs, especially in colder weather. Others have used it with no problems and swear by it.
There have been many recommendations for IGH oil lubrication with automotive automatic transmission fluid, a high quality oil common in America. It’s not all the same stuff, and some automatic transmission fluid can be very light weight, running through a viscometer like 3wt motor oil. Numerous reports on the `net say automatic transmission fluid improves shifting and cold weather performance. I am not aware of any reports to confirm this light weight lubricant adequately protects against wear in high mileage, long term use IGHs, nor of any complaints of unusual wear.
BTW, after the war when times were hard and there were shortages of everything, Sturmey-Archer officially told their customers that if they'd stay on top of their maintenance, they could keep their IGHs going with sewing machine oil, using Vaseline (!) in the labyrinth seals. I guess it worked; many of those 60+ year-old AWs and FWs are still giving good service today.
Coaster brakes used to control speed down long/steep hills can get very hot. (Google 'repack hill' for some interesting bicycle history.) Coaster brakes used in this service should be lubricated with grease that does not break down at high temperatures. Shimano, SRAM and Sturmey all offer greases suitable for use with coaster brakes, and many brands of high temperature brake greases are common at auto parts stores.
And lastly, everybody's favorite: that little bottle of 3-in-One you probably have out in the garage. "3-in-One" debuted during the first great bike boom in 1894, making it one of the oldest cycling products you can still buy. The oil was originally intended for bicycle chains, and the name indicated it "1) cleaned, 2) lubricated and 3) rust proofed", hence, 3-in-One. After 115 years, it's still not a bad choice for chain lubrication.
3-in-One (original formulation, now marketed under the descriptor Multipurpose Oil, with the black label) contains a vegetable based component, citronella oil (ever notice the way 3-in-One smells?), which will go rancid, break down and turn into very much a non-lubricant. This residue would get cleaned off a chain in the next application, but when enclosed in a small metal shell it has nowhere to go. Probably more Sturmeys in the USA have been rendered inoperable by 3-in-One residue than for any other reason. The 3-in-One folks themselves do not list hub gears as a potential use for their Multipurpose Oil, which remains widely available.
These days the company also makes several other lubrication products: their 3-in-One (electric) Motor Oil with the blue label is SAE 20wt non-detergent oil and should be just dandy for IGHs.
Fun fact: In the 1920s, pioneer American Birth control advocate Margaret Sanger was married to then president of the 3-in-One Oil company, J. Noah Slee. She smuggled illegal European-made diaphragms into the USA in secretly coded barrels of the citronella oil imported by 3-in-One.
all you really need to lubricate anything is
white Lithium grease
more advanced non lithium grease, with higher viscosity
any light oil. be it hydraulic oil, motor oil or whatever.
thats what i use, because all of those I can/could steal from work for free. and it has been working out good so far. I also do custom mixtures. like 50/50 moly/hydraulic oil. That particular combo sounds just right for ighs btw. No wait, 30% moly, 30% light motor oil and 30% non lithium grease, and 10% hydraulic oil, like 10wt. Shaken, not stirred. No olive.
I maintain my bike like 2 times a year, and it just needs to work, and this is the best I can come up with for an igh. Nothing has ever broken down on me. or rusted
Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass
Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
Could we see the complete bike? :-)
More pics of the bike are in the link I posted above, but here's the complete bike:
Originally Posted by selin
Ugh, i finally got around to opening up my SG-3D55 after 8 months of daily riding. There were a few problems, maybe my fault, maybe not.
The drive-side dust cover that surrounds the cone had slid off.
The drive-side bearing cage was distorted and lumpy-looking.
It looked like it was almost ready to break apart into pieces.
Luckily, I can't see any pitting on the cone or bearing race, so I guess I can repack it with new BBs, grease, and NO bearing cage.
A dozen little fragments of steel fell out of the internals as I cleaned them off.
At first I thought that 2 pawls had broken apart from the driver unit, but it appears that all 4 pawls there are intact (my first guess was that there were originally 6 pawls and 2 had broken, but it looks like there are supposed to be 4).
In fact, the inboard edge of the driver unit looks really chewed up, I guess the pieces came from there.
I guess it's impressive that it worked more or less fine with all that flying around inside, but man, how did that happen? Maybe it's related to using a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed bar-end shifter with this hub?
I hope I can replace the whole driver unit with one from an SG-3C41 that I happen to have.
Non-drive-side bearings and the large ring of bearings on the drive side are fine, grease is still white.
I think I will clean the hub out and fill it with wet lube, with grease on the bearings themselves.
I'm not really impressed with this hub but I have no choice but to work with what I have, I don't want to build another wheel right now.
Originally Posted by smokey_z
I would like to do the same with my road bike with an Inter-7 hub. I do not know if I can use the same shifter for my 7 speed nexus.
I don't want to change for a modern shifter but I don't know what could not work correctly with this.
Thanks for your help.
Looks like at one time there was a trigger shifter with a steel clamp, so you could jam it on drop bars...
Originally Posted by JiPo
Thought i'd update this for the benefit of anyone thinking about one of these.
Originally Posted by z-warfare
I put in new internals and it's been great ever since, have been using a Sturmey barend shifter.
Opened it up and had a look today, races are fine for all the bearings.
It might have helped that I stuck a bunch of grease and an LX hub's rubber dust cap on the drive side, over the cone and locknut.
In any case, my feelings about the hub are now much more postive.
Just remember to get rid of the caged bearings, and add grease and whatever improved drive-side seal you can scrounge!