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  1. #1
    Senior Member dave80909's Avatar
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    automatic transmission...aka "Autobike"

    Ok, I got another donation bike, and this has GOT to be the
    dumbest gimmick I have yet seen on a bike...an automatic transmision.
    the thing is bizarre !!

    It's a CMA "Autobike" 6 sp. "classic"

    I got the bike yesterday and started working on it, the crank arm fell off,
    so I found a nut for it and put air in the tires and took it for a spin...

    guess what ?? It doesn't work

    It didn't shift..It sorta acted like it wanted too when I coasted but it
    seems quite happy to stay in 1st gear.

    It appears it has some sort of weird sensor on 3 of the spokes, perhaps its
    suppossed to work off spoke tension but I don't know.

    Anyone ever delt with one of theis contraptions ??






  2. #2
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    I think those are just wheel weights, so when the wheel spins really fast it tell the derailer to shift higher.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


  3. #3
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    I suppose if I were designing such a thing, I would have it key off pedal cadence. Those sensors maybe imply it is keying off wheel speed, i.e. that faster the wheel is spinning the higher the gear.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dave80909's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wethepeople
    I think those are just wheel weights, so when the wheel spins really fast it tell the derailer to shift higher.
    heh..dang , your right...
    appears to work off of centrifical force of those weights.

  5. #5
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Like the fendered marathon lateral 80s tandem in the background of your first photo better than that Autobike!
    Did ride A'bike one once . . . not impressed, but the TV ads are impressive!
    Suggest you re-donate the A'bike to someone!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ornery's Avatar
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    My brother bought a couple of those things from a TV infomercial, and paid good money for them. I didn't tell him how badly he had wasted his money. The derailleur is crude enough, but that takes crude to a whole new level! Take a better picture of where the derailleur interacts with that black disc behind the cog. The weights are supposed to flex that outward, which will cause the derailleur to shift... in theory.



    I can't find a better image anywhere. BTW, your crank arm is probably toast.
    Last edited by Ornery; 10-29-06 at 01:26 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dave80909's Avatar
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    ^^^^^ spot on ^^

    LOL I straightened the weight spokes up and took it for a spin,
    I had to really get going (20mph) before the thing started to
    goofly down shift...

    How much did they sell those things for ??

    (Yeah, I gotta work on that columbia tandem someday)

    I'm not sure what to do with it (autobike)...not a great bike to give away
    to someone either, it's really the dumbest thing on two wheels I've
    seen in quite awhile.

    I'm thinking of just turning it into a good ol "not insane" bike with
    normal shifting, then it would be a sorta half-decent, ridable bike.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave80909)
    I'm not sure what to do with it (autobike)...not a great bike to give away
    to someone either, it's really the dumbest thing on two wheels I've
    seen in quite awhile.
    What day is your neighborhood rubbish pickup?

  9. #9
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave80909
    ^^^^^ spot on ^^

    LOL I straightened the weight spokes up and took it for a spin,
    I had to really get going (20mph) before the thing started to
    goofly down shift...

    How much did they sell those things for ??

    (Yeah, I gotta work on that columbia tandem someday)

    I'm not sure what to do with it (autobike)...not a great bike to give away
    to someone either, it's really the dumbest thing on two wheels I've
    seen in quite awhile.

    I'm thinking of just turning it into a good ol "not insane" bike with
    normal shifting, then it would be a sorta half-decent, ridable bike.
    You can remove the masses and the remainder of the shifting apparatus and then run full cable housing and a cheap thumb shifter. I don't recall if that derailleur was actually set up to take a cable or if we had to replace it with a similar conventional derailleur. It can be done, but I don't know that it's worth much time.

  10. #10
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waldo
    You can remove the masses and the remainder of the shifting apparatus and then run full cable housing and a cheap thumb shifter. I don't recall if that derailleur was actually set up to take a cable or if we had to replace it with a similar conventional derailleur. It can be done, but I don't know that it's worth much time.
    You will still have a fixed gear cog set and a freewheeling chain ring. That is how this bike manages to downshift while coasting. Can't see why this would not work, but you sure want to stay on top of keeping that bottom bracket maintained. I have no idea where you would ever get parts for it short of fully converting to a conventional drive train.
    Dan Burkhart
    www.boomerbicycle.ca

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    If you need parts I can get you a whole bike for $30. It seemed to work pretty well, lol. Too bad it makes a 1960 balloon tired schwinn seem like a lightweight. The TV commercial does it NO justice to how crappy/cheap they are. I guess they leave that for when you get it.,,,,BD

    I think they sold them for about $250 or a little higher. I just saw them again a year or so ago. They're not quite done selling them yet, haha.
    "Whale. Oil. Beef. Hooked!" The Rumjacks

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    Oh, and read this before you go any further trying to fix the crank, lol. It's a well known problem. This guy is pissed, lol.,,,,BD

    http://www.theorem.com/bicycle/autobike.htm
    "Whale. Oil. Beef. Hooked!" The Rumjacks

  13. #13
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    What day is your neighborhood rubbish pickup?

    Don't wait that long put it out there now!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  14. #14
    Senior Member dave80909's Avatar
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    I am truely ROFLMAO at this bike !!!

    How much does this bike suck ? let me say on closer inspection it
    makes a Huffy look good

    Sure enough, the handlebar is held on with a 3" makeshift bolt, beacause
    the handle bars don't fit the stem. The welds make my welding look good (holy crap !!)
    The left crank arm is malformed...There is about an 1/8" of play in the BB.

    I got my answer of what to do w/ this thing...the tires are comming off, and any
    viable parts are comming off and it's going to the scrap yard. This thing doesn't
    even qualify for a "beater" bike. The "autojoke" LOL...

    If anything it's a great novelty item for the "museum of stupid"

  15. #15
    Broom Wagon Fodder reverborama's Avatar
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    I knew someone who had one he was very enthusiastic about it. I took it for a spin and found that while it worked better than I thought it would, I couldn't really get into it because the frame was far too small for me. I bet once they get a little out of adjustment, they are really terrible.

    I think the idea of any automatic transmission was much more attractive before indexed shifting and hub gears with 7 or 8 speeds came out. Some people could just NEVER get the hang of shifting a cheap 10-speed. Now even a bike with Sora components shifts perfectly just about every time.

    If I found one of those, I'd fix it all up and keep it as an oddity. I think just about anyone would like to try one that was set up properly.

  16. #16
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I found one of those auto-bikes at a garage sale and bought it for cheap. It was in like-new condition. The auto-shift feature worked VERY well on my bike. When working correctly, the bike will initially shift at about 5-7MPH and consistantly shift until it hits the top gear. On my bike, there were seven gears. I managed to get it to shift into all of them. But at top speed, this bike does NOT handle well at all.
    I re-sold the bike since I lost all interest in an auto bike after one ride. As for the weight, these bikes are WAY beyond boat anchor, they could be resold to the Navy to be used as a Cruiser anchor. As was said before these things make old Schwinn Varsity's really feel like lightweights.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  17. #17
    Senior Member dave80909's Avatar
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    I have plenty of parts I could make it into a "normal" bike, but
    that crank IS probably shot...and the BB had a good 2 mm of
    play in it. According to the article posted above, they put on defective
    left cranks on em- Amazing.

    I get 3 cents a pound for scrap, so it will help buy a 12 pack in the
    near future

    I have a lot of other bikes to give away to the poor etc, so the tires, parts, etc.
    will be useful to give new life to other bikes that arn't as ill contrived.

  18. #18
    da lil hipster that could
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    the newer versions (with the belt driven centrifigal weight on the derailuer) seem to work better... and are built nicer... just incase anyone was wondering...

    oh yeah... but i almost forgot to mention they are still crap and are only apropriatly labled as "bikes for people who dont like biking"
    -pete

  19. #19
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    does yous come with manual, i have an autobike. my front cog is starting to slip

  20. #20
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    ummmm........this thread has been sleeping for almost 4 years. The OP hasn't posted since last August.

    maybe someone has a manual....................
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  21. #21
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbharper View Post
    does yous come with manual, i have an autobike. my front cog is starting to slip
    Holy smoke, how many pages back did you dig to find this thread.
    If by slipping, you mean it's freewheeling, it's supposed to.

  22. #22
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    i have one but my front sprocket is messed up did you get a manual with yours

  23. #23
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    Just got one

    I bought an Autobike tonight and I think the novelty of it is just great! I dont care how much everyone talks crap about it. Sure it has low quality welds and weighs a ton but its a freakin automatic bike!

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    dave80909, About ten years ago a friend of a friend brought two over to my house because neither were working. I managed to get one working using parts from the other. At the time, and maybe still, there wasn't a venue for it's unique replacement parts. Another friend still has one (groan).

    Brad

  25. #25
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Then there's Landrider. From what I've read about them in BF threads, they're crap too. And the few positive comments seem to come from newly registered members, never to be heard from again.

    Seriously, if fiddling with sprockets and cogs is not your cup of tea, consider the NuVinci CVT. Or an internal gear hub.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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