Monday, January 16, 2012

Raleigh Project One, The Sturmey Archer AW Rear Hub

The Sturmey Archer AW Three Speed Hub is an amazing machine. No matter how it looks on the outside, as long as its oiled, it will work well for years!

I always like to remove the hub core and inspect the parts while doing a Raleigh Restoration. In this case, it was a good thing I did. Inspecting for wear on the clutch ,Planet Gear Pin contact points, Pawls and Driver are important for smooth shifting.

First lets start with an exploded view of the AW Hub. Remember, you can click on the image to see them larger.

And a list of their names:

To remove the hub core first start by clamping the axle with nuts and spacers on both sides of the hub removed, in a vise.

Now turn the hub over and remove the Sprocket Cir-clip, Sprocket spacing washers and dust cover, (The dust cover is not pictured in the exploded view) Its a good idea to remove these parts so dirt from the parts doesn't fall into the hub., Now wipe down the parts.

Place Sprocket parts aside

Now with a flat bladed screw driver as a drift pin, with a hammer, loosen the right hand ball ring and unscrew counter clockwise.

Now remove the Hub Core and place back in the vise.

Now remove the locknut, cone lockwasher and cone from the right side.

Now the Driver,

The Right Hand Ball Ring, The Gear Ring,

And now the Clutch Spring, cap, Axle Key,Thrust Ring and the Clutch Sleeve,

Now remove the Planet Cage. This will give you a total view for inspection and replacement if necessary. In this case, it was a good thing I dismantled the hub. The Hub Gear was missing a Planet Pinion and Pinion Pin and looked as if it never had one. I don't see why it would not work with only 3, but 4 is part of the design.

After inspecting the Sun Pinion, Planet Pinions, Pawl surfaces, Clutch surfaces, Driver. Clutch contact points, replace the parts, using a little 30 weight oil and grease at the 1/4" bearings at the Driver, Make sure, all surfaces are clean. Hand tighten the Cone at the right side, and back off 1/2 turn and replace the Cone Lock Washer and Lock Nut. The Hub Core is now ready to place back into the hub shell. Turn the Core counter clock wise until you feel the threads engage. and then tighten by hand and finish with the drift pin, (screwdriver) and hammer.

Taking the time to inspect the internals of your hub will give you a better feeling of the total bicycle restoration experience. It may be best ifor you to have someone near by that has done the job before. Please feel free to email me at the address to the right if you have any questions. Have fun with this step. It is really worth the time. One last thing, You don't have to understand how the hub works to service it, Most mechanics I have worked with cant explain how they work, but they can fix them perfectly!


  1. It's great to watch your progress and process in restoring this bike... it's my dad's old bike. I hope we can get him to take a spin on it when you're done!

  2. Or at least a Photograph when I wheel it out!

  3. Again great stuff. When I started working on Raleigh bicycles I could not find information anywhere.

  4. Here' a nice video of someone doing a overhaul.

  5. And here's a video from Japan that's just too good!