Sturmey-Archer S5.2 hub from 1985

An interesting hub in this week for a service and check-over. A Sturmey-Archer S5.2 five speed hub from January 1985. I’ve had a few S5 hubs through the workshop but it’s not that common so always a joy when one arrives. If you’re not familiar with this model it uses two indicator rods, one in either side with single or dual shifters. The dual shifter is a particular oddity and take a while to get your head around the shift pattern. One way to think about this hub is two three-speed hubs in one; a standard range 3-speed and a wide range 3-speed (the middle gears being the same ratio). I have a racing bike with this exact hub fitted and once you get use to the shifting its a joy to ride.

The original S5, marked “S5” on the shell was manufactured for ten years between 1966 and 1976. It used a bell-crank on the left hand side to shift between the wide and standard ranges. For 1977 they updated a few things and produced the S5.1 (sometimes written as S5/1). This has a few issues and was updated four years later to the Sturmey-Archer S5.2.

The customer reported it was a bit of an unknown, just said it felt a bit rough, so always a surprise to see what it’s like once stripped down. This one turned out to be in excellent shape, just bearings surfaces and cones needed replacing.

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