Brompton Sprinter Hub Service and Rim Replacement

Just in; another Brompton Sprinter hub in for a service, rim replacement and a few new parts. The owner admits very little maintenance has been done for the last few years. So now is as good a time as any to show it some love. He also reports a possible issue with sipping in first gear a one inch long crack in the rim. Last year I wrote a blog post on another Sprinter repair which you can find here. So the plan of action will be a hub service, sprocket change, and replace the broken rim.

The five speed Brompton was available throughout the 1990’s and used Surmey Archer’s five-speed Sprinter hub. This differed from the earlier S5 hubs as shifting is actuated via one right-side indicator rather than the dual indicator set-up. Brompton was forced to switch to the German manufacturer Sachs in the early 2000’s after Sturmey Archer UK went bust. They then collaborated with the new Taiwanese based Sturmey Archer to come up with their current BSR/BWR offering. This particular one dates from March 2000 and must have been one of the very last off the production line.

As usual, I always bench test each hub before any work commences. This helps to confirm possible issues and also allows me to listen for any abnormal noises. This one passes the test I therefore deduce that major internal damage is unlikely.

Upon disassembly I find that things are not too bad overall. There’s an abundance of well used dirty grease but wear is minimal. The left side bearings and cone are worn but this is not uncommon for un-serviced hubs. Brompton Sprinter hub services seems to be a regular in the workshop at the moment. This version is the key-lock axle type and the key is in good serviceable condition. There is a Sprinter hub with very different internals. I differentiate them by key and ball lock (I’ve written another block post on this here). After a good clean and inspection, I find most parts can be put back into service. The left hand cone and bearings are replaced and a new clutch washer fitted.

The next job is to replace the original rim which has a crack running around the braking surface. Modern Brompton rear rims are double walled and made a far superior materials than what was available twenty years ago. 146mm spoke and new nipples are used. With the spokes evenly tensioned, the wheel dished and rim trued. There’s only the Schwalbe cloth rim tape to be applied and it’s ready to be boxed up and shipped back to the owner.

If found this article on the Brompton Sprinter hub service useful and are in a similar situation with your classic Brompton drop me an email.