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Thread: bicycle chain

  1. #1
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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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?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    we are 138 Philatio's Avatar
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    Quote 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?

  4. #4
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote 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.....

  5. #5
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    Quote 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.

  6. #6
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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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.

  7. #7
    It's an old photo Boss Moniker's Avatar
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    Right side is faster.

    Fact: no LSD has ever won the Tour de France.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret View Post
    Just because I'm not angry anymore doesn't mean I don't think bossmoniker and every other hipster **** I see riding around on aerowheels isn't a piece of **** thats only use is to be an easy target for ridicule.

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    we are 138 Philatio's Avatar
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    I'd bet 5 bucks this is on Sheldon's website somewhere.

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    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote 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?

  10. #10
    Old Fogy
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    I believe it was one of Sheldons bikes that had a left side drive. Check his site.

  11. #11
    Old Fogy
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  12. #12
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waldowales

    As usual, Sheldon's knowledge and ingenuity astounds us all.

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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.

  14. #14
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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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.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  15. #15
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote 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?
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  16. #16
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    Quote 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.

  17. #17
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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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.)

    Who decided what and why?
    Bill Gates. He know what's best for us.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  18. #18
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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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.

  19. #19
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote 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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