I am going crazy here. I have a SA SRF3 mounted on a 16 inch wheel Dahon bike I bought second hand. The bike needed some love and I managed to put it to my liking. Unfortunately I reached a dead end with the SA hub. I am on my 50th attempt of setting up the the damn thing, I looked at countless online manuals and tip and tricks. There’s no way to know I have the right tension on the chain as I pull on it to the max and never see the start of the indicator rod, is it possible it’s too short? Or is there another way to adjust it? I am willing to buy an indicator rod but how to know the right length?

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide me

2 Answers 2


It is correctly adjusted when the cable is quite taut (Plays a note when plucked) in the lowest gear and really quite slack in the highest gear. Your 1:1 middle ratio should then be in correct adjustment.

Replacement indicator rods are cheap but provided you can get your lowest gear, you shouldn’t need one.

Sturmey Archer S-RF3


  • 3 Speed internal gear hub without brake (freewheel)
  • 175mm axle length
  • Classic 3 speed gear ratio of 177%


  • Hub Shell Material: 6061 Aluminium
  • Axle Diameter: 13/32" Slotted
  • Axle Length: 175.0mm
  • Over Locknut Dimension: 127mm
  • Right Axle Protrusion Length: 24mm
  • Left Axle Protrusion Length: 24mm
  • Spoke Holes: 36H
  • Pitch Circle Diameter: 67mm
  • Center to Flange Right: 28.6mm
  • Center to Flange Left: 28.0mm
  • Flange Width: 53mm
  • Spoke Compatibility: 13g or 14g
  • Sprocket Teeth: 13T through 22T
  • Chain Line: 1/8" Flat 43.1mm
  • Chain Line: 1/8" Dished 41.5mm, 44.9mm
  • Chain Line: 3/32" Flat 42.7mm, 43.5mm
  • Chain Line: 3/32" Dished 41mm, 45mm
  • Indicator Chain: HSA420 Mark 5
  • Weight: 1060g

Gear Ratios:

  • Overall Range: 177%
  • Gear 1: 75% (-)25%
  • Gear 2: 100% Direct Drive (Gear 1 + 33%)
  • Gear 3: 133% (+)33% (Gear 2 + 33%)

Includes SL-S30 3 Speed Thumbshifter and 1/8 Inch 18T Dished Sprocket.


It sounds like your indicator chain is too short.

According to the parts list for the S-RF3 hub here is the correct part number for the indicator chain based on axle length.

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With the correct indicator chain installed the adjustment instructions provided in the manual should work.

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