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Equipment/Product Review (1974) Tokheim Gear System (Eugene Sloane)

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Equipment/Product Review (1974) Tokheim Gear System (Eugene Sloane)

Old 08-06-19, 06:35 PM
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Equipment/Product Review (1974) Tokheim Gear System (Eugene Sloane)

Bicycling introduced the Tokheim transmission to its readership in Aug 1972. An author wasn't credited for writing that article, and I suspect it was written by the company. It had a corporate marketing tone to it.
This report, written by Eugene Sloane and published Feb 1974 issue of Bicycling!, presents the system in the same positive light as the previous article stating several advantages over conventional derailleurs at the time.
Yet, he concludes the Tokheim system belongs on bikes in the low-medium price category. I wonder why, maybe weight?

I've never seen one in person or even heard of this system until recently, so I guess it just never took off, not even at the low-medium price range.
Was it scary good, and Tokheim got squashed by the big players in the low end market?








And if you read that article, and you still haven't had enough Tokheim, Calvin's Corner blog at the Park Tool site has a mechanic's take on it with some nice color photos.
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Old 08-07-19, 01:44 PM
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This looks like one of those, "Can it be done?" exercises in mechanical engineering or mechanisms design.

Is all that clap trap and the chain tensioner any simpler or more reliable than a few stacked sprockets and a swinging parallelogram derailleur?

No, it is not.
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Old 08-07-19, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
This looks like one of those, "Can it be done?" exercises in mechanical engineering or mechanisms design.

Is all that clap trap and the chain tensioner any simpler or more reliable than a few stacked sprockets and a swinging parallelogram derailleur?

No, it is not.
+1. But a laudable effort, nonetheless. Thanks for posting this article, @SpeedofLite!
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Old 08-07-19, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
But a laudable effort, nonetheless.
The part of it that most intrigued me was it use in combination with an internally geared hub. At the time, IGH were largely restricted to 3 speeds, helpful but not much.

Adding one of these mechanisms to a 3 speed IGH would be an improvement (15 gear ratios) but might it not have been replaced with a 5 speed derailleur system, instead?

Last edited by Bad Lag; 08-07-19 at 11:30 PM.
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