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Old 12-05-21, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gster View Post
Years ago, I gave an old 3 speed to a young friend. A 1969 CCM Galaxie. I didn't know much about SA hubs at the time and thought he could figure it out.
He complained that it just wouldn't shift so I took it back and swapped him another bike (5 speed deraileur).
Eventually I got around to taking the hub apart to have a look.
The pin was loose and half way out and the axle was quite badly warped.
In any case, the hub was fixed and they bike found a new home.
I might add that the person i originally got the bike from was also quite heavy.....
I'm no lightweight myself, at 6ft 3in tall and just over 325 lbs, I've done my share of damage to bikes but in most cases it wasn't the weight that caused the failure.
On my personal bikes, those that I've either bought new or gone over myself, I've never had a broken axle or any sort of wheel failure. I have however broken a few cranks and crank axles, but never on an English bike.
There are things I don't do, especially on an unknown or cheaper bike. One is stand up and pedal, another is pedal too hard in a too high a gear. Riding over even slight curbs is another thing to avoid, as is being sure the tires are fully inflated.

Most bent axles started out as loose bearings.

Most pinion pins that I've seen are pretty tight, they don't fall out easily but if the axle is stressed or bent, all bets are off. A loose fitting pin could easily be set in place with a hard shot with a center punch.
I think the worst case I saw with an AW hub was one with a broken right bearing cup. The bearings were ground to half their size, the left bearing cone was chipped up and the left bearing race has been pushed through letting the ball bearings to escape inside the hub. It was on a junk wheel from a cleanout I did a while back, there were basically no salvageable parts inside. All bearing surfaces were chewed up, the pinion gears and planet gears were chipped up and worn, and the cage pin holes were wallowed out so bad that even new gears would just lock up. The axle slot was worn unevenly and someone had hammered a large nail into the end of the axle in place of the skewer.
I always figured that if kept properly lubed and adjusted an AW hub should last indefinitely.
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