Saturday, 27 February 2010

Today, I carried out some maintenance.

First thing I did was to adjust the 3sp cable, as the 3sp hub jumped a bit now and again during my ride the other day. It was a little loose, so tightened the screw on the toggle. From experience, I know that these cables have to be very tight in 1st gear, so hopefully all will be well next time out.

Next, I fitted some new leather-faced brake blocks to the rear brakes. Basic rubber brakes aren't too good on chrome wheels, so hopefully these will be better. I bought two pairs, so have a pair spare. The front rollerbrake will take the strain, but better brakes on the rear will help of course.

I fitted a rear view mirror! It clamps on the handle bars and seems ok for a bit of checking behind. I've found that by looking over my shoulder, especially at low speed, I wobble a bit, so a mirror could be a good thing.

Then I looked at the chain.

Oh dear.

It was a bit mucky - fair enough - and I'm a stickler for transmission cleanliness, so took the chain off and gave it a good cleaning by immersing it in a tub of Gunk (engine degreaser) and shaking it vigorously, then washing in clean soapy water. I've only ridden Chopper about 200 miles in it's present guise, and found that the chain I'd fitted was starting to wear. If you lay a chain out straight and measure it over a couple of feet, it shouldn't be elongated by more than 1/16th inch per foot. This measurement is the extreme. If it gets that far, the whole transmission could be damaged. I found that my chain was 1/16th inch over 36 inches, so it was on it's way! This chain is a cheap one that I installed at the beginning as a test to see if my derailleur system on a Sturmey Archer would work. It obviously does, and the chain is obviously rubbish! I've just ordered a Campagnolo chain - one that I know is a good chain. Chains should last a few thousand miles - not just a few hundred!

Meanwhile, I made a bracket to mount the Carry Freedom trailer hitch a little further back. The hitch is designed to bolt onto the rear wheel nut, but I found that sometimes, the heel of my shoe would catch on the hitch. I made a clamp thingy that fitted under the wheel nut and that was long enough to mount the trailer hitch a couple of inches further back. Hopefully it will be ok, but in the meanwhile, I noticed tht the wheel nut was stripping it's threads. These Sturmey Archer wheel nuts are a special thread and need the specific nut, so today I bought a couple - one to fit, and one as a spare. As one has stripped, the other may not be far off stripping too.

As I said in my previous post, I'm busy next week, so I'll have to wait before I can test out my mirror, new brake blocks, chain, wheel nut, and hitch.

Stay tuned to this channel.


  1. Don't worry about the tension of the 3-speed cable, just make sure that in 2nd gear the shoulder of the indicator is flush with the axle end. That is the correct adjustment. If you get problems with that adjustment, you have the wrong indicator. Apologies if I'm teaching my gran to suck eggs!

  2. Thanks Graham, I was aware that there was some sort of "indicator", but I've never really paid much attention, just making sure the cable was taut in 1st gear.

    I've played about with spacers and the axle to get the right amount of clearance on the sprocket side, so I wonder if that makes a difference?

    I'll check tomorrow on where the rod is in 2nd.


  3. Indicator spot on in 2nd!