Brompton gear service London?

Location
London
Hi chaps

I have a Brompton (circa late 90s - bought weeks before Sturmey Archer packed up from the UK and made my model obsolete) - 5 speed Sprinter gear on the Traveller Model. The one that came with a rack, 5 speed (no derailleur) and a dynamo lighting system.

It has been slipping lately and though I seem to have cured it at the mo I guess the hub gear should be looked at, serviced/greased etc.

Who would folk recommend for being good value/know what they are doing/straight-won't try to blind me with hub-science and do the sucking of teeth routine so notorious in the car trade?

Prefer replies from folk who have used said shops/outfits obviously.
 

Brommyboy

Über Member
Location
Rugby
The five speed gear is not particularly robust. The indicator rod setting is crucial: the rod shoulder should be exposed by about 1mm from the axil end, but ensure that the internal gear is engaged first. I did this by turning the wheel backwards until the rod clicked inwards. If it is still slipping then you may need to have it serviced, or the internal mechanism replaced. You might try three wheel dealers from this list (ask if they have knowledge of the SA5 maintenance):
http://brompton.com/dealers/find/l
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
I found the five-speed gear very robust if kept well-adjusted - it's what I had on my first Brompton, and it did 20,000 miles or more without maintenance and outlived the frame. The problem I had was that the chainline on newer models was slightly different from the '90s model, so spares never quite fitted. I still miss that gear.
 
OP
OP
Blue Hills
Location
London
I found the five-speed gear very robust if kept well-adjusted - it's what I had on my first Brompton, and it did 20,000 miles or more without maintenance and outlived the frame. The problem I had was that the chainline on newer models was slightly different from the '90s model, so spares never quite fitted. I still miss that gear.

Thanks for the reply srw.

In truth, being ignorant, I'm not sure I bothered about the indicator adjustment for a fair while at the beginning but since it seemed to engage all 5 separate gears with no slipping assumed that all was well - was this bad? Which spares didn't fit srw? This sounds worrying. Yes I'm generally very pleased with the gear - it can cope with a wide range of terrains and slopes - been up mountains on it and on strade bianche in Italy.

Anyone able to answer my question about a recommended London service centre?

If I don't hear anything I'll probably take it to Bicycle Workshop in Notting Hill since I know they are acknowledged experts and I maybe need an expert in view of srw's post.

What happened to your frame by the way?
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
At some stage I had to get a new chainwheel and crank, I think because the crank broke. The post-2000 chainwheel was mounted a fraction of a millimetre further out than the pre-2000 chainwheel, which meant that sometimes in folding the chain came off.

What I'd suggest you do (and bear in mind that I'm not a techie) is dismantle and clean the gear-change mechanism, then reassemble and adjust according to Brommyboy's instructions - from memory you do need to be pretty nearly millimetre perfect. I'd do all of that before splashing out on a service.

As for the frame, there's a narrow strut just behind the bottom bracket which rusted through. I didn't fancy trusting it to my (then) nearly 20 stone frame, but managed to find someone much lighter who was happy to take it on.
 
OP
OP
Blue Hills
Location
London
Many thanks for the reply srw.

Yes I have the impression that the adjustment is somewhat, er, sensitive - as the thing seems to be generally working at the moment.

I must say the adjustment system is very poor - the SRAM 3 speed on my Dahon is way way better from that point of view - you line up a mark with a little window on the DualDrive click box and away you go.

I may when I get round to it post a pic of some rust on mine which may be the same as yours.

>>What I'd suggest you do (and bear in mind that I'm not a techie) is dismantle and clean the gear-change mechanism

Sorry, can I ask for a bit of clarification? Do you mean take the innards out of the hub. Is that at all daunting?
 

Brommyboy

Über Member
Location
Rugby
What he means is the indicator rod, link chain and the outside wheel for the cable: the link chain has a locknut, free this fractionally to allow the chain part to be disengaged, but keep the position of the locknut so that on re-assembling the chain fitting screws up to the same point. The chain is attached to the indicator rod, which goes into the axil. This can be unscrewed for cleaning and then replaced. Screw up fully and then, if necessary undo slightly to allow the chain to lie in the correct direction for the cable to pull directly from the wheel.


View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_P9Z4viP_0

This video gives good instruction for the process.
 
OP
OP
Blue Hills
Location
London
I found the five-speed gear very robust if kept well-adjuste

A question srw.

Was yours the single cable 5 speed Sprinter with the blue indicator line?

If so did you ever change the sprocket?

If you did I'd be interested in some guidance.

The last time the sprocket was changed it was done by a shop.

The other day I did it myself.

The pack I bought to do the job a few years ago and dug out had the circlip and a thin spacer/washer.

I removed the old circlip, sprocket and the "aluminium pan"-like guard and couldn't see a spacer fitted anywhere.

I wasn't sure what to do so I re-installed with the thin washer/spacer.

Not sure if I've done the right thing.

Do you have any views/experience of this?
 

Brommyboy

Über Member
Location
Rugby
The spacer is supplied for the 13T sprocket, which is 3/32" while the 14T one is 1/8": the former was made by Sram, the latter by SA. If your cur-clip fitted, then it should be fine.
 
OP
OP
Blue Hills
Location
London
Thanks brommyboy.

My bike has the 13T sprocket and always has had to the best of my knowledge so the bike shop must have left the spacer out when it fitted it.

I did notice that the sprocket seemed slightly loose without the spacer though I have no idea if this is critical/if running would have been compromised in any way.
 
OP
OP
Blue Hills
Location
London
PS - you seem an expert so have just started another thread (as a different subject) on side pull single pivot brakes for my bike.
 

T4tomo

Guru
Simpson cycles in kentish town are brompton specialists and seem very knowledeable when I've bought parts through them. I would trust them to do a decent job on servicing your gears.
 
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