The iconic bicycle chain is but one variant of the many ways of propelling your steed. Having experienced quite a few of these alternatives, Re-Cycle Engineering (RCE) we weren’t surprised (nor perturbed) when asked to carry out a repair this bike:
Note (1) the electric motor operating the front wheel. Present British law only allows for pedal-assist bikes (i.e. you must be pedaling for the electric motor to be operational). Note (2) the lack of a chain. So, how does it work?
Let’s have a look at the chain-set:
Back story: RCE helped out the owner a few weeks earlier. The cyclist had accidentally damaged the right-hand pedal crank and needed it to be replaced. For those of you unknowledged, a right pedal has a right-handed thread on it (clockwise to tighten) and the left on has a left-handed thread on it (anti-clockwise to tighten). Of course we could have sold him a expensive crank arm for a right pedal which would have delayed his return to cycling. Alternatively we could have fitted a left-hand crank with a left pedal (not ideal – meaning that he would be permanently having to buy 2 sets of pedals at a time). To get the cyclist back on his saddle the same day, we agreed upon fitting a spare, pre-used right-hand crank (quick and cheap).
Still, we haven’t answered the question of how the bike is propelled? Let’s take a gander at the rear of the bike:
Looks a bit weird. Let’s take of the hub’s gear-changing ‘click-box’ and the cover off where the chain should be:
Now we see a strange-looking gear on the wheel’s hub. Let’s take off the rear wheel and look at what that gear interacts with:
Maybe these to pictures will help:
The wonderful 1898 book, “The Modern Bicycle and Its Accessories by Alex Schwalbach and Julius Wilcox” devotes the second chapter to shaft-driven bevel-geared bikes (and other alternatives).
Back to the repairing the rear wheel:
OFF TOPIC STUFF:
Brought a tear to our eyes: ‘Sea You’, A Touching Animated Short That Tells the Story of Profound Loss Told In Reverse Order.
Best Friends and puddles.
A journey through the fragmented unconscious of our modern times:
… and, to finish with, bit of young blues:
See you all soon and be well.