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What I learned today #3: Three-speed gear hubs

Actually I learned this yesterday. But I don’t care.

My bike started having a problem with the gears early last week – they’d suddenly disengage from the pedals. It’s really frustrating when that happens mid-ride, you know, because I end up walking all the way back to wherever I started from. Fortunately I was able to keep the bike engaged in first gear by constantly squeezing the gearshifter, but that’s all I could do. No second gear for me.

So I was bereft of the bike for about a week. Sunday morning, I asked the bike repairman who goes to my church what he knew about that sort of problem. And he was able to tell me just what to do.

Apparently, on an old bike with all the gears inside this little hub, there’s a special point at which the bike’s gears will catch the pedals. And that’s where the gear cable’s supposed to be aligned. But sometimes, the cable gets stretched – or I mess it all up as I change the inner tube, not sure which – and suddenly, it’s not pulling hard enough on the little chain going into the gear hub to keep everything aligned right.

Fortunately, the little chain hooks to the gear cable by way of a long screw-like thing that’s made to adjust for these kinds of situations.

I loosened the lock-nut on the screw thing and screwed the screw-thing farther into the connector for the gear cable – kind of guesstimating how much tightening it needed – and took the bike for a spin. It’s much improved now, but I think it needs another go-round on the adjustment before it’s ideal.

And here’s a website that describes basically the procedure for this.

I had no idea that that was even the problem, much less that it would be so easy to fix. I’ve had this issue at least twice before and always had to take it over to the bike shop…. no more of that!


mafia said…
Yay! Your bike works now!
Sarah said…
Exactly!! Except that it's rained or been way too hot to bike... ah well, sometime it will be nice out.
mafia said…
Well, you can still bike when it's way to hot, I rode mine when it was 80 something...:-D

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