So, following this question
, I bought myself what I hope will be my first flipper bike. It's an unpretentious but rather handsome three-speed from the '70s, a nice, comfortable, practical ride of the sort that I see all over New Orleans every day. Minor rust, needed some re-lubing and adjusting and general cleaning up, no big deal. Excited to turn it around and get it into top shape, I set to work immediately.
Everything went well with the servicing except for one teeny little thing. While working on the back wheel, I decided (perhaps foolishly?) to open up the three-speed hub bear and see how things were doing in there. I started disassembly (which was straightforward enough) and as I was separating the two halves of the hub, I heard the dreaded *clink* of a small piece of metal falling out of the inside of the hub and hitting the ground.
It didn't look like it had broken off of anything, but it was a mysterious object. The piece that came out was about a centimeter long, perhaps three millimeters in cross-section, and had a D-shaped cross-section with one flat side and one round side. I was unable to find a definitive location for where it ought to have come from – the axle has a cut-out in it that seems like it *might* be the place that it came from, but what it might have been doing there and what its purpose was I do not know. I stuck it back into where I thought it most likely belonged with a bit of grease, reassembled the hub, and finished working on the bike.
Except I didn't get it right, because now the darn thing won't shift gears. I'm not 100% sure that this is down to the piece that fell out, but it may be. There's a pin that is supposed to be actuated inside the axle by a mechanism attached to the shifter cable, but that pin won't move anymore. I may have blocked it or gotten something wedged somehow, I'm not sure. I intend to have another look inside there at the earliest opportunity, and I've been looking online for any how-tos on the dis- and re-assembly of old bicycle hub gears, but I'm not finding much. I could use some advice on how best to proceed. Help me out, MeFites! How do I undo this and salvage the bike from the ignominy of becoming an accidental single-speed?