I have struggled and struggled to get the Sturmey Archer 3 Speed AW Hub to shift properly. No matter what I did I ended up shifting the bike to normal then having too much slack in the indicator chain to actually return to the indexed gear position. And as for “low” or 1 – forgeddaboudit! I made an appointment to see my LBS (local bike shop) next week. I had been defeated by stubborn drive train.

Then I stumbled upon a website selling parts called Gentleman Cyclist – which included a wonderful component called a “Fulcrum Sleeve”. What pray tell is this wondrous component?

A fulcrum sleeve looks like this:

What it does is help keep the cable housing from sliding around. Ah ha! So what I assumed was just a clip for the shifter cable, it turns out is called lovingly a “Fulcrum Clip” by cognoscenti.

The sleeve fits over the cable and housing and lodges itself firmly between clip and frame. The result is a fit that snugly prevents the cable housing from shifting along with the cable.

Something like this:

Well the Raleigh has a top tube clip but no down-tube clip (like the photo above). “This is not a problem,” I thought, “just strip the cable housing up the frame.” But it occurs to me that I am living in Canada. The climate sucks. The air, when not wet or hot, is wet and cold with a fine mist of road salt. This would be bad. So I decided that the stripping of precious protection would be problematic. My solution: move the fulcrum sleeve to the down-tube where the cable is already exposed where it meets the indicator chain.

Lacking the right hardware has been a continuous trend in my life (no jokes please). So I took a look in my tool bag and pulled out that old stand-by – the cable tie. A few minutes later some more cable tightening, several shake-down rides and then presto! The final shake down ride produced a steady, reliable 3, 2 (normal), 1 and back up the ratcheting shifter to 3.

So the Superbe is running now, road worthy.

I’ll have to acquire a down-tube clip. No the plastic clip is not a permanent feature. Temporary fix aside, the project is coming to an end. I have small nagging bits of detail work to do, but this is now a mechanically functioning bicycle.

I would like to offer my thanks and gratitude to the online resources provided by the late Sheldon Brown. I would also like to thank his friends and family for maintaining his wonderful collection of cycling lore and resources. Also the wonderful folks at Harris Cyclery for keeping up their ties to the Sheldon Brown material.

My LBS (2 actually) for this project were the wonderfully patient folks at Bikes on Wheels in Kensington Market in Toronto. And when BoW didn’t have what I needed they sent me down to another fine collective on John Street – Urbane Cyclist.

I also found a number of other useful resources which have proven invaluable learning tools:

Gentleman Cyclist

Sturmey Archer Heritage Site

And a host of other material that I’ll have to post as I go.

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