My bike recently got stolen :( therefore I have borrowed a bike with an internal gear hub from my stepdad, which was working fine until recently when the pedals just wouldn't turn whenever I switched to 5th gear or higher (it has 7 in total). I seem to have inadvertently changed up to the 5th gear at some point, and from what I can feel and know I'm pretty sure the gear hub is half stuck at the entrance to the 5th gear.

It's kinda hard to explain, but the bike seems to have gotten stuck while going into the 5th gear and now when I turn it back down it only partly works. When I'm going slow with the pedals, it seems to be in 5th gear, but when I go hard on the pedals, it goes to my chosen gear, although it still does seem a bit sketchy. When I turn the pedals backwards, it seems to scratch something in the gear hub. When I go to 5th gear or higher, the pedals simply get stuck and I can't turn them.

As said, I believe the gear is simply stuck partly into the 5th one, but I would like to know if I am able to fix this by myself or with a helping hand? Me and my stepdad know a thing or two about practical stuff, but none of us have ever done anything to a gear hub before, although after googling around I think I get the concept.

It says MicroShift at the shifter, neither the hub nor the shifter have ever been taken apart, the gears were working just fine yesterday until the afternoon when I rode it to badminton.

  • More info please - its a Shimano Nexus or Alfine 7 speed hub? Has it ever had an oil change? Have you checked the indicator for the change wire? Should be between two marks on a window, when in the lowest (hardest) gear.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 2:32
  • I clarified the title and tags a bit more. I also removed "road bike" from the tags as I doubt you have an IGH road bike. If you do, feel free to add it back in.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 6:49
  • @RoboKaren Depends how one interprets road bike.
    – andy256
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 7:11
  • 1
    Our tag definition clarifies that it mainly means racing style bikes, not the usual utility-bikes that often have IGHs.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 7:15
  • Could you please post a photo of the hub, clickbox and shifter?
    – krzyski
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 15:08

2 Answers 2


Internal gear hubs are full of sproingy bits. This is what a Shimano gear hub looks like inside:

Shimano Gear Hub

If that doesn't dissuade you, then you should know that Shimano doesn't generally sell replacement parts**. About the only thing that Shimano lets you do is change the oil and the bearings. If the hub is still under warranty, then Shimano will replace it in its entirety rather than trying to fix it. If it's broke out of warranty, then Shimano says: "Sorry, you should have bought a Rohloff."

** Your mileage may vary. As krzski notes, some Shimano dealers in some countries may have spare parts.

Rohloff does have replacement parts but Rohloffs rarely break. Here's one person's take-apart of a Rohloff hub:

Rohloff take-apart

The three-speed Sturmey Archer internal gear hubs are a bit less complex, but still I wouldn't take one apart for the lulz.

Sturmey Archer

But before you give up hope, take your bike to a bike shop. It may be as simple a matter that your indicator spindle or shifter cable needs adjusting. Sheldon Brown has very good instructions on how to adjust this (e.g., for Shimano Nexus) but we'd need to know which unit you had for us to give you details here.

Update: You've clarified you have a Microshift shifter, which is commonly used on Shimano IGHs. Follow Sheldon's instructions on adjustment first before attempting repair. Another valid option is to pretend that your bike just doesn't have those gears and to live with it.

  • 1
    +1 Nah, SA hubs are fun. Just don't loose any of the sproingy bits :-)
    – andy256
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 7:13
  • I marked this as the best answer, i dont think i will mess a whole lot with it unless we at some point dont need it anymore anyway. Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 21:28

At first: tell us what is the brand and model.

Secondly: was this hub ever disassembled, serviced? Was it ever working properly?

What @RoboKaren and others stated, first thing to go is to check adjustment. Check if you have right model of shifter for your hub. For example, Sram T3 shifter and Sram I3 shifter looks similar, but they are not interchangeable.

Statement that Shimano does not sell spare parts for its IGHs is not generally true. At least in my area some parts are available online: Nexus 7 parts. What is not available for sale, can be available for authorised bicycle service. (question is if this is profitable to fix such hub).

My advice is to try adjust hub on your own, making use of web tutorials. On failure, contact lbs to do adjustment for you (check opinions online which of lbs specialize in ighs). From my experience, having such hub fixed by lbs is usually too expensive, comparing to cost of second hand wheel or even new hub.

If above procedure will not bring it back to work, just treat it as broken. Then, if you're familiar with practical stuff, make use of web (dis)assembly instructions and with no fear open it and try to figure out what is different than schema shows. Here you have manual for Nexus 7. Check page 8 and see how important are small things, easy to overlook.

And, before you try to fix it. Now you have partly working bike. You can end up with bicycle that cannot be ridden. Weigh it up. You can first search for second hand wheel with working hub, even lower model (ie T3, SG-3c, etc).

  • I added some information in my original post Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 15:01

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