Sturmey-Archer 5 Speed Hub Problems And Solutions

Using a Sturmey-Archer hub is a great choice. They are the most reliable piece of mechanism you can have within your bicycle. 

But even with the best parts, you can face issues with it while using. This statement can also go with the Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hubs as well.

So, what are the Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hub problems?

There are some common problems you can face with 5-speed Sturmey-Archer hubs. Jumping gears, stiff or draggy hub movement, or the gears changing automatically are prominent. These problems can be fixed by following some steps and maintenance. Change the faulty parts to make your hubs good as new.

So, do you want to learn the detailed information about these? Then let’s get into the analysis of it all.

Common Problems With Sturmey Archer 5 Speed Hub

Sturmey-Archer hubs do face issues with usage. As it is a mechanical contraption, problems are bound to happen. But there are solutions to fix these problems as well. 

Sturmey-Archer 5 Speed Hub Problems And Solutions


The most common problems are easy to fix. You can do it by yourself by learning some instructions. Let’s go through the most common problems and their solutions.

Jumping Gears:

With internal gear hubs, this is a common problem. While changing gears, the hub might jump more or fewer gears. This can lead to a sudden heavy or light load on the gear.

It is also very dangerous while on the move. You can fall off-balance if there’s a spontaneous gear jump. It is a very uncanny problem that occurs with 11-speed derailleur and 9-speed shifters as well.

The reason behind jumping gears can be related to the parts. The gear cable may be kinked or stiff. The gear shifter can be faulty as well. 

The clutch washer and gear ring pawls can get worn out. Creating this issue.

Also, the Sturmey-Archer 5 speed gear adjustment might not be done properly. That leads to jumping gears as well. In the case of Sturmey-Archer gear hubs, these things cause the gear jumping. 


Gear jumping is a problem that has a slow effect on the hub. If not fixed, the strain it puts on the hub bearings and Sturmey-Archer 5 speed cable can lead to permanent damage. So fixing this issue is important.

The best way to fix it is by adjusting the gear. The gear hub adjustment is a very simple process. Firstly, you have to open the gear hub and then align the two yellow dot indicators on the gear plates. 

After aligning the dots, you need to shift the gears to see if the alignment needs adjustment. If it doesn’t need it, then you are done with Sturmey-Archer 5 speed adjustment.

Your gear hub can have a damaged or bent part. In that case, the best way to fix it is to replace the part. By replacing and then adjusting the gear hub, you will solve the issue.

You can get the Sturmey Archer RXL-RD5 5 Speed Hub as a replacement. 

Self Changing Between Gears:

Another problem that can occur with internal hubs is gears getting changed automatically. This is an issue when without changing the gear, the hub misses or drops a gear. 

It usually indicates that the gear is not lubricated well. Or a part might have got bent. Similar to the issues with a derailleur. Like, shifting problems of di2 rear derailleur.

Sturmey-Archer 5 Speed Hub Problems And Solutions


Normally the gear indicator on the shifter might get misaligned. Or the gear shifter cable gets damaged or worn out. Spontaneous gear shifts can be dangerous while on the road. So it is better to fix the issue when it happens with your Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hub.


If the gear and shifting Sturmey-Archer 5 speed cables are damaged, then it is better to change the cables. New cables can mitigate the issues and you will have a better ride experience.

The issue can also be with the parts being worn out. In that case, it will require you to replace the parts. Like, a deformed selector pulley, or rain shield. 

If the gear indicator is misaligned, then just pull out the shifter. Then adjust the gear indicator ring with the display arrow.

Hub Running Stiffy Or Draggy While Free Wheeling:

Not running your pedal while on the move is called freewheeling. If your hub feels draggy while doing this, that can indicate a problem within your hub. This issue will slow down your bike at a rapid pace.

Draggy Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hub issues happen when there is a buildup of dirt and oil inside the internal gear hub. This is an issue mostly faced in the monsoon weather. Or during the rainy season. This can damage your hub and the gear inside it.

It can also happen due to bent gear spokes or tight seals within the gears. And even the chainstay ends not being parallel inside. Also, a lack of lubrication within the gear hubs can cause this issue. This can damage the gear hub and its bearings. Causing it to be undrivable.


To fix the draggy Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hub issues, the first thing to do is to open the hub and clean it. You have to clean the inside of the hub properly with a degreaser. That will make sure no dirt or oil residue will hamper its running.

Here are some of our top picks for degreasers: 

If the cause is due to bent or broken parts, then you can replace them with newer ones. 

But if the damage is more than what you can repair, then it is better to replace the entire hub with a new one. You may also need to readjust the brakes.

The chainstay within the hub can get misaligned. Causing this problem. To align the chainstay, you will need to use a wrench and turn the chainstay clockwise or counterclockwise. 

You will need to turn it until the chainstay divet is horizontally facing upwards. 

Thus completing the alignment. And the most important part is to lubricate the hub well. If there is not enough lubrication within the gears, then the hub will not move freely.

By going through these fixes, your hub will be good as new.

That is all we have to say about this issue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Sturmey-Archer Hubs Any Good?

Sturmey-Archer hubs are one of the most reliable gear shifters. They are well known for their rugged design. Needing less Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hub maintenance and having a very long service life. Even though nowadays these hubs aren’t that much used. But for a good reliable aftermarket buy, it is a must-grab.

How Does An Internal Gear Hub Work?

The internal gear hub works by moving the hub axle backward in dropout slots. This lets the gear hub connect with the chain and change gears. Internal hubs use a single sprocket and single-chain wheel. Making it more reliable and effective in power delivery. A far better option than the cassette hubs.

How Do You Shift Internal Gear Hubs?

Shifting internal gear hubs is very easy. You just have to change the shifter on your handlebar. Normally the internal hub shifters are rotating shifters. These let you shift the gears without having to change your hand position on your handlebar. This lets you change gears smoothly.


That’s all we have to discuss Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hub problems. These common causes are the general reasons for having these kinds of issues. But knowing the solutions, you can fix it easily by yourself.

But if you find the problem is still there, then you will need help from a professional.

Happy cycling!

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