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Old 06-06-07, 05:59 AM   #1
stevegor
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bicycle chain

Here's some dumb questions.... Why is the chain on a bicycle on the right side? Is there any logical reasons?
And why is the chain on the left side on a motorcycle?


Who decided what and why?
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Old 06-06-07, 06:06 AM   #2
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Bikes used to have thread on freewheels. With the chain on the right side, a conventionally threaded freewheel tightens itself onto the hub as you pedal. If you turned it around and put the freewheel on the left side, it would unscrew itself.
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Old 06-06-07, 06:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Bikes used to have thread on freewheels. With the chain on the right side, a conventionally threaded freewheel tightens itself onto the hub as you pedal. If you turned it around and put the freewheel on the left side, it would unscrew itself.
True, but I think the freewheel was probably designed like it is to function with the chain on the right side. But maybe they couldn't figure out how to switch it. What do I know?
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Old 06-06-07, 07:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Philatio
True, but I think the freewheel was probably designed like it is to function with the chain on the right side. But maybe they couldn't figure out how to switch it. What do I know?
I just wonder if way back, 2 French guys in a small manufacturing shed were arguing which side it should go on, couldn't agree so they had a punch up and the winner got to decide.
Hey, funnier things have happened.....
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Old 06-06-07, 07:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by stevegor
Why is the chain on a bicycle on the right side? Is there any logical reasons?
I can't remember where I read this, but I think the answer might be that the chain is on the right side because most cavalry officers were right-handed. That meant swords were carried on their left hip, which means they would have to mount a horse from the left side. The convention carried over to bicycles, with the idea that you mount on the less-messy non-drive side.
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Old 06-06-07, 01:22 PM   #6
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bikes had chains on the right side long before freewheels existed, I think. Somebody tell me if I am right or wrong.
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Old 06-06-07, 02:09 PM   #7
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Right side is faster.

Fact: no LSD has ever won the Tour de France.
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Old 06-06-07, 03:18 PM   #8
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I'd bet 5 bucks this is on Sheldon's website somewhere.
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Old 06-06-07, 08:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JanMM
bikes had chains on the right side long before freewheels existed, I think. Somebody tell me if I am right or wrong.
Yeah.... that's like... "What came first, the chicken or the egg?"

I just can't imagine those 2 Frenchies inventing all these freewheels first, then sitting around wondering what to do with them.....then all of a sudden, one of them thinks outloud " Hey!!!, I'll design a cyclopedamaker so we can use these thingos"

I think the right handed cavalry officer idea is probably right, but, as per usual it discriminates against us most-hated lefties ,
Maybe someone, somewhere made a bike with a left sided chain?
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Old 06-06-07, 09:48 PM   #10
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I believe it was one of Sheldons bikes that had a left side drive. Check his site.
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Old 06-06-07, 09:53 PM   #11
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Bingo! Check this out. http://sheldonbrown.org/gunnar/index.html
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Old 06-07-07, 06:04 AM   #12
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As usual, Sheldon's knowledge and ingenuity astounds us all.
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Old 06-07-07, 09:14 AM   #13
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Chain drive bikes originated in UK, where they ride on the left, so you mount and dismount on the left side.
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Old 06-07-07, 09:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegor
I just wonder if way back, 2 French guys in a small manufacturing shed were arguing which side it should go on, couldn't agree so they had a punch up and the winner got to decide.
Hey, funnier things have happened.....
If it were two French guys they'd still be arguing about it.
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Old 06-07-07, 09:36 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
Chain drive bikes originated in UK, where they ride on the left, so you mount and dismount on the left side.
And if chain-drive bikes originated in the UK they'd leak oil and have electrical problems.

Have I missed insulting anyone?
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Old 06-07-07, 09:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rmfnla
And if chain-drive bikes originated in the UK they'd leak oil and have electrical problems.

Have I missed insulting anyone?
over their heads,not mine though, I sure ain't insulted,a fact is a fact, regardless of oppinions.
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Old 06-07-07, 10:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegor
And why is the chain on the left side on a motorcycle?
Probably so the tranmission input and output shafts are on opposite sides. (However, the drive side on a motorcycle is not always the left.)

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Who decided what and why?
Bill Gates. He know what's best for us.
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Old 06-07-07, 07:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmfnla
If it were two French guys they'd still be arguing about it.
Better that than two ITALIANS.............


UK electricals????, beware of the wrath of Mr Lucas.......Prince of Darkness.
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Old 06-07-07, 07:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Boss Moniker
Fact: no LSD has ever won the Tour de France.
Perhaps not but it makes for a wild ride.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaG0R2EjFgs

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmfnla
If it were two French guys they'd still be arguing about it.
No they'd be arguing about who surrenders first
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