I am trying to change from a derailleur system to an internally geared hub (Sturmey Archer S-RF3 3). However, it turns out that the dropouts of my frame are too short for the anti-rotation washers which were delivered with the internally geared hub.

The original anti-rotation washers:

Image showing the anti-rotation washer against a scale; the plate is roughly circular, about 20mm across with a toothed rim, and an opening about 10mm wide

The dropouts with the internal gearhub and without the anti-rotation washers:

Image of the rear dropout showing where the axle sits with the anti-rotation washer in place

I already got new anti-rotation washers which are much shorter but even they don't really seem to fit:

Image of new anti-rotation washer; there is no scale provided

attached to the gear hub and in the dropouts:

Image of the rear dropout showing the new anti-rotation washer protruding beyond the end of the dropout

It's hard to see but unfortunately the dropouts are super short:

A scale held up to the axle at the dropout shows the dropout has a depth of around 14mm

Is there a way how I can safely attach the internal gear hub to my bike?

  • 1
    The plates prevent the axle turning in certain gears. Usually we put them on the outside of the frame!
    – Noise
    Jun 9, 2021 at 19:50
  • 1
    Another name for those is "anti-rotation washer" (adding for the search engines)
    – Criggie
    Jun 10, 2021 at 2:58

2 Answers 2


The black spacer in the right and left dropout should be removable.

Close-up of dropout from question, with added arrow showing the location of the spacer block at the back of the dropout.

If you remove the spacer (it is usually a press fit) you will have plenty of room in the dropout slot. The spacer is a nice to have to aid in aligning the wheel and not an absolute requirement.

If you like having the spacers a little filing on the axle side would shorten them to an appropriate size for your situation.

  • 1
    There may be a possibility to use a 3 or 4mm screw from the rear end of the drop-out to push that black spacer out. Usually there is a tapered hole to align the rear axle.
    – Carel
    Jun 9, 2021 at 19:29
  • Excellent spotting - could be OP might need a few more links in the chain as the wheel has moved back a bit.
    – Criggie
    Jun 10, 2021 at 3:00
  • 1
    That's was it! :D ... the spacers lay in the dropouts for more than twenty years and were so dirty, I didn't realise they were a separate part from the frame. Removing them was easy and now there is plenty of space! The movement of the wheel to the back is not a problem at all. My mudguards are adjustable. Thank you everyone!
    – Stücke
    Jun 10, 2021 at 9:19
  • 1
    @Stücke if this answer was most helpful, remember to mark it as "Accepted" with the green tick/check box to the left.
    – Criggie
    Jun 10, 2021 at 12:00

If all else fails you can get an "arm" that extends and attaches to your chainstay.

You could just grind off one side of your second adapter and leave the one that extends to the "mouth" of the dropout. Unless if the hub has a hub brake, this should not be all that critical. Torqueing the wheel screws up properly should prevent spinning.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.