[CR]RE: Retrodirect


Example: Production Builders:Cinelli:Laser

In-Reply-To: <op.tyn1lpvy1jsc24@jeff-wybrows-computer.local>
References: <MONKEYFOODc5RV2MgAj00004500@monkeyfood.nt.phred.org>
Date: Sun, 25 May 2008 07:44:57 -0700
To: Jeff <sirkevinwulf@ozemail.com.au>, classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
From: Jan Heine <heine94@earthlink.net>
Subject: [CR]RE: Retrodirect


I have ridden the 4-speed Hirondelle Retrodirect shown in our book "The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles." It included a front derailleur to make it four speeds. The shifting was remarkably simple - the front derailleur was the smoothest I have seen. Pedaling backwards would take some getting used to, though. However, the system was used successfully in some early 1920s races, so it cannot have been that bad.

A full report on the system was in Bicycle Quarterly Winter 2005 (Vol. 4, No. 2), where we reported on riding with historic shifting systems.

Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122 http://www.bikequarterly.com

At 7:01 PM +1000 5/24/08, Jeff wrote:
>With the wonders of modern technology you can see one in action, albeit
>
>briefly and on an OT bike:
>
>http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=retrodirect&search=Searc
>h
>
>This page: http://www.frankb.us/gears/ seems to be the best resourc
>e
>for retrodirect. It has links at the bottom.
>
>Jeff Wybrow
>Melbourne, AUS
>
>
>
>
>
>On Mon, 10 Sep 2007 23:02:55 +1000,
><classicrendezvous-request@bikelist.org> wrote:
>
>>It was something called a "retro-direct" system and many Hirondelle bi
>kes
>>used it from 1924 to just before WWII. A couple other French
>
>>manufacturers
>>produced similar derailleur and chain systems including one named "Le
>
>
>>Crack"
>>(yes, really). They are mentioned only very briefly in "The Dancing
>
>
>>Chain", but
>>I can't figure out how they work. In the book it shows a double pull
>ey
>>device mounted just behind a crankset which had TWO chainrings - thou
>gh
>>I see
>>only one on the PBP bike. So, I guess you'd have two speeds in the
>
>>back and two
>>more up front... that is, unless the chain routing somehow multiplied
>
>>the
>>possible number of different gears you might achieve?
>>I'd sure love to see that Rube Goldberg chain routing in action!
>
>
>
>--
>
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