I bought a Pashley bike over 20 years ago, very good bike, built like a steam locomotive. However, recently, it has developed a noise that I think is from the front brake: a Sturmey-Archer drum brake.

It seems to come on when I ride along, but not predictably, mostly when I turn slightly, and not always; it sounds sort of like something scraping lightly on a metal surface. If I squeeze the brake lever a little, it usually stops. There is no feeling of dragging or losing speed, and it brakes well enough when I need it.

Before I open it up to see what is going on, if anything:

  • Will there be a sudden shower of tiny springs spraying out all over the place?
  • If you should make a guess, what is the likeliest cause of that noise?

1 Answer 1


There will not be a sudden shower of tiny springs.
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Parts List
Service Manual

I can't even hazard a guess what the noise is. Noises are tricky to find and could come from many places.

  • +1 and accepted, not least because of the drawing and the links - this is really useful. I wouldn't even have guessed they provided this kind of information - presumably they also have the same for their 3-speed internal gear?
    – j4nd3r53n
    Feb 2 at 9:13
  • 1
    @j4nd3r53n All the hubs have this kind of documentation sturmey-archer.com/en/products/rear-hubs
    – David D
    Feb 2 at 14:05

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