I would like to replace the cable of a Sturmey Archer hub, but can't find a way to disassemble the old cable without destroying it, and it puzzles me how to insert the new cable.

To better explain, I have five elements:

  1. The cable
  2. The cable tip 1 (top)
  3. The cable tip 2 (bottom)
  4. The adjusting part (for the lack of the proper term, I'm refering to the cylindric piece that screws into the hub's cable)
  5. The housing of the cable

I haven't found a way to remove the cable (1) because tip 1 and 2 (2, 3) are attached to the cable, and the adjusting part (4) also is attached and doesn't pass through tip 2 (3). The housing is also too small for the rest to pass through.

I wouldn't mind keeping the current cable, but would really like to know how to replace it.

Here's a photo to document this:

Sturmey Archer cable removal

Another one showing the "adjusting part":

Adjusting part

  • I don't understand how "the adjusting part" can be on the cable. Usually it screws onto a bit you haven't shown that has a little chain then a rod that screws into the hub, and it's attached to a cable clamp: theoldbicycleshowroom.co.uk/… But yours doesn't look quite like that....
    – armb
    Apr 16, 2013 at 15:47
  • @armb The hub still has that cable clamp that can be screwed into the adjusting part shown here. I have no idea how to take it out without destroying the cable, which in turn will make it impossible to place into a new cable! if it had a slot, I would pass it through, but it is a cylinder all the way.
    – jackJoe
    Apr 16, 2013 at 15:55
  • @armb I updated the question with an aditional image showing the adjusting part connected to the cable in the hub (not the same as your picture). This image was taken from this video: youtube.com/watch?v=9Bma6jVvUb8
    – jackJoe
    Apr 16, 2013 at 16:03
  • Interesting. Yesterday I recieved a replacement cable for my 1957 SA gear mech, purchased from a leading old bike company. It's wrong, it has the clamp you speak of instead of the lead type end with captive knurled adjuster barrel. i was assured the correct part was being sent, turns out that the original type cannot be sourced, allegedly! Dissapointed, it just doesn't look correct!
    – user18791
    Mar 21, 2015 at 11:11

3 Answers 3


You are correct. This is different than "regular" cables. On regular cables you pick the end you want and cut off the other. Thats because the connection on the cut-off end is usually a clamp. You run the cable under a screw/nut and tighten it down. cable clamp

Then you just put a cable crimp on the end to protect the cut cable cable crimp

However, your internal hub cable is differnet. The cable and housing is really one piece. You have to replace it all together. I have a similar issue on my Shimano internal 3 speed hub. Luckily you can get an entire replacement set (cable and housing).You can get something like this from Harris Cyclery (I only hype them because a Sheldon Brown article was helpful to this post.)

sturmer archer cable

You'll have to make sure that the barrel is the same threading as your "adjusting part" and that you get the length you need. A sales person (or phone call) should get you the exact part. It would probably help to know the model of your hub. It should be engraved or stamped somewhere visible.

  • 1
    Nice one! that makes sense and I think "solves" this "mystery". Upvote and accept for you.
    – jackJoe
    Apr 18, 2013 at 7:50

My 1st suggestion is if what you have still works, don't change it. SA experts tell you any SA cable replaces easily. Bull. Some shifters require a different type of cable end and different ferrel. You have to get a matching type. There are at least two different diameters of indicator spindle and barrel adjusters, with the larger diameter barrel being mostly what is sold. Good luck if you have the thin spindle, but cable with the thin barrel adjuster can be found if you scour all the sources. I'm fixing up a very old Raleigh and finally decided I must get a newer trigger shifter because I will never find cable with the correct end that fits this shifter.


Not familiar with sturmey archers, but on regular gear/brake cables you can just cut off that small top near the bottom of the picture. It's really just there to keep the cable from fraying and you can get replacements from your local bike store for about $0.02. If you grip it with a pair of pliers and pull hard enough you can sometimes just pull them off so the cable doesn't get shortened. I'm not sure how would remove the "adjusting part" or if it would just slide off when you removed the tip off the same end.

  • 4
    I think that can't be that simple, because in the case of a SA cable, the tips are really important, and need to have a lot of resistance, not like the "normal" cable tips where you can replace them. In this case, both tips are subject to a lot of stress, tip 1 is the one connected to the switcher, and tip 2 is keeping the adjusting part connected to the hub and that can't be replaced in the "normal" way (at least not as with the brass tips).
    – jackJoe
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:41

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