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Installing and Adjusting 3-Speed Wheels


Install 3-speed rear wheels just like coaster brake wheels. Many have a "non-turn" washer on the axle that sticks into the slot of the frame to keep the axle from rotating. Avoid squishing it.

Sturmey-Archer and Suntour 3-Speed Hub:

Hold the shifter exactly between third and second gear. Turn the connection between the cable and the little chain, called the "indicator chain," until you can turn the pedals forward without turning the rear wheel. When this "neutral" is directly between third and second, the adjustment is correct. Tighten the little knurled nut on the indicator chain. This adjustment must be done carefully, because if not correct, the rider may be in for a serious letdown if the bike slips into neutral when not expected.

Shimano 3-Speed Hub:

Slide the pushrod into the axle. Screw the lever assembly onto the axle approximately seven turns. Generally, at just a bit more than seven turns, the lever will not screw on by hand any more. Back it up until the cable connection aligns with the cable.

Put the shifter into second gear and connect the cable to the lever assembly. Turn this connection until the line and circle on the lever itself align with the slot in the lever housing.

All 3-Speeds:

If the cable seems too long or short, reposition the cable housing stop band on the bike frame. If there is a small pulley, make sure the cable is in its grove.

If the adjustment 'floats,' or is hard to maintain, the cable may be rusty or kinked, and should be replaced.


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