Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Having Flashbacks

I was reading Dave Moulton's Bike Blog the other day when I was hit smack in the forehead by a hazy memory which I thought was gone for good. In his post "Is it time to re-think the derailleur?" he throws out a few different concepts at the end, including "fixed rear sprockets, and a chainwheel that freewheels, gears could be shifted while coasting." To which I said to myself "hey, thats how my old Schwinn Varsity worked." I remember very little about the specifics of this bike, as I was content to just ride it and in the time period in which I did ride it, I never had any problems with it. At least non that I, a tween ager at the time really cared to tackle. I knew that one lever made the front go "rattlerattlerattlerattlerattle" until I pushed it far enough, at which time it was harder to pedal but I went faster. The other lever made the back go "ticketa-ticketa-ticketa-ticketa-clack" four times with a similar result- and the chain always moved when the bike was moving.

Back to Mr Moulton's blog, the ensuing comments suggested that I hadn't just made that last detail about the constant motion of the chain up. In fact it had an oddball system called "front freewheel system" which guaranteed a new bike purchase or ex(t/p)ensive upgrades if anything ever broke. I did a little digging out of curoiusity and found that the system was also quite heavy, which confirms what I remember about the old bike. Isn't technology great.


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