Accessories Bicycles Parts Specials Tools

Sturmey-Archer Indicator Spindle Compatibility
find us on FB

Sheldon Brown photo
by Sheldon "Indicator" Brown
and John Allen
Spoke Divider

On-line Gear Calculator for Internally-Geared Hubs

Hubs covered

Old English T his article gives the lengths of indicator spindles for Sturmey-Archer internal-gear hubs. There is much more compatibility than you might think. Though a shorter spindle may be more difficult to install and adjust, it will work unless its chain sinks all the way in when the cable is loosest. A longer spindle will work unless its chain pulls it sideways when the cable is tightest. Please read this article in connection with the article on tech tips for Sturmey-Archer hubs, which gives advice on how to install and adjust indicator spindles.

The table at the end of this article lists the various indicator spindles, along with the hubs with which they are meant to be used. A companion article describes how to determine the correct length of an indicator spindle by measuring hub parts. That can be useful if you can't identify the hub, or it is not on our list.

We still need measurements for a few spindles. Please feel free to send measurements in. We will credit you for your contribution.

Measurements and markings

Some spindles are thick, and are identified by through hash marks or Roman numerals. The effective length is from the base of the threads to the shoulder before the first link of chain (points of the green arrow in the image below).

Indicator spindle measurement

Spindles for most newer hubs are thinner, as shown in the image below. Some hubs accept only thin spindles. Each model of these newer spindles has a different-colored painted mark, which may be on the rod, or on the chain. Check the color of the mark under sunlight, because the blue and purple colors can easily be confused under indoor lighting. The red arrow in the image indicates the length from the base of the threads to the mark. No matter where the mark is, the length which most affects compatibility is from the base of the threads to the shoulder, indicated by the green arrow.

Thin indicator spindle

When using an indicator with paint marks on the chain, it is a good idae to make a mechanical markon the chain and/or to photograph the indicator: the paint is often obscured by dirt or simply falls off.

 

If you are using a spindle which is not standard for the hub, you will have to adjust it by testing operation of the gears, rather than by aligning the mark. That is a good idea anyway. Generally, the cable should be just short of taut in the tightest position. Exception: the S5 with bellcrank: the cable should be taut.

The hole in the end of the axle is large enough for a thick spindle, but there is an internal part with a smaller-diameter opening. The red arrow in the image below points to that part in a cross-sectional drawing of the axle. The part presses against a compression spring. The spring, in turn, pushes the clutch inwards against the outwards pull of the indicator spindle.

S-A sxle with Bissell spring pin.

Spoke Divider

Spoke Divider

Table of indicator spindle measurements

Spindle lengths are rounded to the nearest millimeter. Thanks go to Jan Blaha, Dan Burkhart, Tony Hadland, Elton Pope-Lance, Howard Sutherland, eBay vendor cyclingcolors_france and David Prosser of Sturmey-Archer for some of these measurements. Special thanks go to Bruce Dance for his many suggestions and corrections.

Click on the link below to switch the order in the table between part number and spindle length. You may have to double-click the first time.

Click here to switch table ordering

Table sorted by part number -- click on link above to sort by spindle length.
Thick indicator spindles are listed first, then thin ones.
Thick ones will not work in some hubs.
Thin ones will work in any hub if the length is OK.

Part number Hub type Hub - R: right; L left: Axle length Base of threads to shoulder, mm Mark Base of threads  to mark, mm
HSA125,
K.504
Older hubs, short axle AW 5¾" 47-49 I 47-49
AG, AB  
AT3 162.7mm
AT5 R 155.6mm
TCW 146mm
SAB 146mm
S5 5¾ "
S5.1 R 5 13/16"
S5/2 R 5 7/8"
HSA126,
K.504A
Older hubs, longer axle AT5 R 161.9mm 56 II 56
AW old 6¼"
AWC 152mm
S3C 152mm
SAB 159mm
TCW 159mm
S5 6", 6¼"
S5.1 R 6 1/16, 6 5/16"
S5.1 L., SRF3

5 13/16, 6 1/16"

S5/2 R 6 1/8", 6 3/8"
S5/2 L early 5 7/8", 6 1/8"
HSA315 Newer 3-speeds AW new, SRF3 6¼" 59 III 59
AWC 159mm
S3C 159mm
X-RD3, AB3, SAB3, S-RF3 163mm
SX-RK3 215mm
SX-RB3 215mm
TS-RF3 163mm
HSA316,
K.504B
Newer 3-speed coasters, 5-speed left, 5-Star AT5 L all 62 IIII, IV 62
AWC 163mm, 6.4"
AWC(II) 163mm
S-RC3(II) 163mm
XL-RD3 177mm
TS-RC3 163mm
S5.1 L 6 5/16"
S5/2 L early 6 3/8"
5-Star  
5-Star Elite  
HSA420 Newer 3-speed coasters with longer axle, 5-speed left S5/2 L late 6 1/8" 66 V 66
AWC, new AW, S-RF3 175mm,
7"
S-RC3, S-RC3(II) 175mm
QS-RC3 175mm
AWC(II), 175mm
S-RB3, AWB 185mm
HSA 421 5-speed left S5/2 L late 6 3/8" 72 VII 72
HSA453 5-Speed 5-Star left 161.9mm 89   89
HSA615 ? ? ? 40 VI 40
HSA715 Disk brake 3-speeds S-RK3, S-RK3(N) Not stated 69 IX 69
HSA716 F30 series, hybrid gearing CS-RF3 179mm 75 VIII ? (Mark is on chain.)
CS-RK3 179mm
Part number Hub type Hub - R: right; L left: Axle length Base of threads to shoulder, mm Mark Base of threads  to mark, mm
HSA317 Ball-locking
5-speeds
X-RD5, AB5 185mm 59 Light Blue 59
HSA490 1990s dog-locking 5-speeds Sprinter S5.   67 Red 64
Sprinter Elite/AT5
Sprinter S5C
SAB-5
Not AB5
HSA585 Dog-locking 5-speeds X-RC5(W) 175mm 71 Yellow 68
S-RC5(W)
SRC5(N)
XL-RD5(W)
X-RD5(W)
X-RF5
S-RF5(W)
HSA651 Dog-locking 5-speeds S-RF5(W) 148mm 57 Green 63
S-RF5(N)
HSA652 Fixed gear S3X with short guide nut 165mm 62 Orange after 1/2 link 68
HSA653 Fixed gear S3X with short or long guide nut 174mm 62 White after full link 76 
HSA712   AB (new) 175mm 61 Navy Blue 67
HSA713 Fixed gear S3X - use long guide nut 165mm 61 Orange after full link 71
HSA714 Fixed gear S3X - use long guide nut 174mm 71.5 White after 1/2 link 75.9
HSA717 Newer 5-speeds X-RF5(W) 185mm 71 Purple 76
S-RF5(W) w/HMN420 short guide nut;
X-RK5(W),
X-RK5(N)
S-RK5(N)
S-RK5(N)
Part number Hub type Hub - R: right; L left: Axle length Base of threads to shoulder, mm Mark Base of threads  to mark, mm

Table sorted by spindle length -- click on link above to sort by part number
Indicator spindles identified by Roman numerals are fat and will not work in some hubs.
Thin indicator spindles will work in any hub if the length is OK.

Part number Hub type Hub - R: right; L left: Axle length Base of threads to shoulder, mm Mark Base of threads  to mark, mm
HSA615 ? ? ? 40 VI 40
K.504, HSA125 Older hubs, short axle AW 5¾" 49 I 49
AG, AB  
AT3 162.7mm
AT5 R 155.6mm
TCW 146mm
SAB 146mm
S5 5¾ "
S5.1 R 5 13/16"
S5/2 R 5 7/8"
K.504A, HSA126 Older hubs, longer axle AT5 R 161.9mm 56 II 56
AW old 6¼"
AWC 152mm
S3C 152mm
SAB 159mm
TCW 159mm
S5 6", 6¼"
S5.1 R 6 1/16, 6 5/16"
S5.1 L., SRF3

5 13/16, 6 1/16"

S5/2 R 6 1/8", 6 3/8"
S5/2 L early 5 7/8", 6 1/8"
HSA651 Newer 5-speeds S-RF5(W) 148mm 57 Green 63
S-RF5(N)
HSA315 Newer 3-speeds AW new, SRF3 6¼" 59 III 59
AWC 159mm
S3C 159mm
X-RD3, AB3, SAB3, S-RF3 163mm
SX-RK3 215mm
SX-RB3 215mm
TS-RF3 163mm
Part number Hub type Hub - R: right; L left: Axle length Base of threads to shoulder, mm Mark Base of threads  to mark, mm
HSA317 Ball-locking
5-speeds
X-RD5, AB5
185mm 59 Light Blue 59
HSA712   AB (new) 175mm 61 Navy Blue 67
HSA713 Fixed gear S3X - use long guide nut 165mm 61 Orange after full link 71
K.504B, HSA316 Newer 3-speed coasters, 5-speed left, 5-Star right AT5 L all 62 IIII, IV 62
AWC 163mm, 6.4"
AWC(II) 163mm
S-RC3(II) 163mm
XL-RD3 177mm
TS-RC3 163mm
S5.1 L 6 5/16"
S5/2 L early 6 3/8"
5-Star  
5-Star Elite  
HSA652 Fixed gear S3X with short guide nut 165mm 62 Orange after 1/2 link 68
HSA653 Fixed gear S3X with short or long guide nut 174mm 62 White after full link 76 
HSA420 Newer 3-speed coasters with longer axle, 5-speed left S5/2 L late 6 1/8" 66 V 66
AWC, new AW, S-RF3 175mm,
7" (178mm)
S-RC3, S-RC3(II) 175mm
QS-RC3 175mm
AWC(II), 175mm
S-RB3, AWB 185mm
Part number Hub type Hub - R: right; L left: Axle length Base of threads to shoulder, mm Mark Base of threads  to mark, mm
HSA490 1990s dog-locking 5-speeds Sprinter S5   67 Red 64
Sprinter Elite/AT5
Sprinter S5C
SAB-5
Not AB5
HSA715 Disk brake 3-speeds S-RK3, S-RK3(N) Not stated 69 IX 69
HSA585 Dog-locking 5-speeds X-RC5(W) 175mm 71 Yellow 68
S-RC5(W)
SRC5(N)
XL-RD5(W)
X-RD5(W)
X-RF5
S-RF5(W)
HSA717 Newer 5-speeds X-RF5(W) 185mm 71 Purple 76
S-RF5(W) w/HMN420 short guide nut;
X-RK5(W),
X-RK5(N)
S-RK5(N)
S-RK5(N)
HSA714 Fixed gear S3X - use long guide nut 174mm 71 White after 1/2 link 76
HSA 421 5-speed left S5/2 L late 162mm
(6 3/8")
72 VII 72
HSA716 F30 series, hybrid gearing CS-RF3 179mm 75 VIII ? (Mark is on chain.)
CS-RK3 179mm
HSA453 5-Speed 5-Star left 161.9mm 89   89
Part number Hub type Hub - R: right; L left: Axle length Base of threads to shoulder, mm Mark Base of threads  to mark, mm

The parts list for the AB5 on the Sturmey-Archer Heritage site gives HSA490 for the indicator spindle. This is almost certainly incorrect; several other part numbers also. Except for the 90mm brake assembly and steel shell, the parts shown in the drawing for the AB5 are identical to those for the X-RD5. These are both ball-locking hubs and the correct indicator spindle is HSA317.

Spoke Divider

Spoke Divider

Links

Sturmey-Archer logo
Official Site
old Sturmey-Archer logo Heritage site
Three-Speed Parts from Harris Cyclery
English Three Speeds, Care and Feeding
Internal-Gear Hubs
Sturmey-Archer Hubs, General Information
Sturmey-Archer 1902-1952
Sturmey-Archer 1935-38 Catalogues
Evolution of the Raleigh Sports
My old Robin Hood
Sheldon's old Robin Hood
Martin Hanczyc's roadster pages.
Tony Hadland's Sturmey-Archer Pages
including the 1956 master catalogue with
rebuilding information for SWs
and others.
Sturmey-Archer documents at the Veteran Cycle Club Library.
Hubstripping web site
John Allen's spreadsheets of internal-hub gear ratios
Retro Raleighs
SW Hubs by Brian Hayes
Jane Thomas's site with
Sturmey-Archer service manuals.
Menotomy Vintage Bicycles
Chat forum on English bikes.

Spoke Divider

Spoke Divider

Articles by Sheldon Brown and Others


Accessories Bicycles Parts Specials Tools

Copyright © 1998, 2008 Sheldon Brown

Harris Cyclery Home Page

If you would like to make a link or bookmark to this page, the URL is:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/sturmey-archer_indicators.html

Last Updated: by John Allen