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Old 10-29-06, 01:38 PM   #1
dave80909
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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 ??





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Old 10-29-06, 01:57 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 10-29-06, 01:58 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-29-06, 01:59 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 10-29-06, 02:06 PM   #5
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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!
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Old 10-29-06, 02:06 PM   #6
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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.

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Old 10-29-06, 06:44 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 10-29-06, 07:07 PM   #8
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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?
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Old 10-29-06, 08:27 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 10-30-06, 07:37 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 10-30-06, 07:50 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 10-30-06, 08:10 AM   #12
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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
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Old 10-30-06, 08:56 AM   #13
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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!
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Old 10-30-06, 10:41 AM   #14
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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"
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Old 10-30-06, 11:32 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 10-30-06, 06:20 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 10-30-06, 06:45 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 10-30-06, 10:34 PM   #18
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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
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Old 04-24-10, 04:46 PM   #19
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does yous come with manual, i have an autobike. my front cog is starting to slip
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Old 04-24-10, 06:20 PM   #20
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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....................
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Old 04-24-10, 06:38 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 04-29-10, 01:19 PM   #22
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i have one but my front sprocket is messed up did you get a manual with yours
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Old 05-11-11, 11:51 PM   #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!
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Old 05-12-11, 04:22 AM   #24
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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).

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Old 05-12-11, 04:48 AM   #25
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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
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