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Bendix 2-spd coaster repro (not April 1st)

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Bendix 2-spd coaster repro (not April 1st)

Old 03-24-21, 11:31 AM
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Bendix 2-spd coaster repro (not April 1st)




Seriously. Merry Sales is working with ICG to return the Bendix 2-speed coaster hub design to production as the Eagle Automatic. If you're interested in this news, you'll know what 'both blue and yellow versions' means. Parts are said to interchange for repair/restoring old Bendi.

https://www.bicycleretailer.com/prod...b#.YFt1iK9KiUk

For those of you who weren't there back in the day, they refer to these as 'automatic' but they're really kick-back shift.

Two speed. Gotta be twice as cool as a Velosteel, right?

Last edited by tcs; 03-28-21 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 03-24-21, 11:36 AM
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OMG, Worksman died? I guess it makes sense, but that's sad.
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Old 03-24-21, 11:48 AM
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I had a Schwinn delivery bike with one when I was a kid and I sold the bike to a school friend who really appreciated the 2 speed hub and also generally took care of the bike as well.

I have a replacement Schwinn Typhoon out in the garage with a regular coaster brake rear wheel that I would love to convert to one of these.
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Old 03-24-21, 12:13 PM
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I remember the 2-speed kickbacks, and my first bike was had a Bendix two-speed coaster hub with a shifter that looked like a brake lever. I moved on to 10-speed derailleur gearing and never looked back.
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Old 03-28-21, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I remember the 2-speed kickbacks, and my first bike was had a Bendix two-speed coaster hub with a shifter that looked like a brake lever. I moved on to 10-speed derailleur gearing and never looked back.
I have an old Bendix 2-speed hub from the 50's or early 60's that is not a kickback; rather it's shifted via cable and a knuckle mechanism on the hub. It originally had a coaster brake, but the prev owner removed the brake shoes and had the "freewheel" welded, essential turning it into a 2-speed fixie (I added a friction thumb shifter to it). Heavy and bomb-proof, the Bendix hubs were built to last.
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Old 03-28-21, 08:11 PM
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Aaron Goss posted a photo of one of these on the World Professional Bicycle Mechanic forum on facebook last month and said they would be coming to Merry Sales. I've been waiting with bated breath for them to arrive, finally saw them available today. Disappointed they're not truly automatic though, SA kickback hubs are readily available and SRAM Automatix hubs are going for absurd money on ebay right now.
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Old 03-28-21, 08:28 PM
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First, thanks for announcing that news. The Bendix 2 speed hub is legendary. When I worked in a Schwinn dealership in the early '80's I would hear about these hubs, but never got a bike with one of these hubs in to try out for myself and by that time they were no longer available. Since then, I've read about it, even looked it up on Ebay.

Second, thank you for the article. From a small handful of paragraphs I learned so much. I had no idea that the guy that was president of Bendix, would work to recreate one of Benidix's hubs. And that this project is so important that even after Mr. Worksman's death, the project went on. I am also surprised that they did not start with a single speed Bendix coaster brake hub. These are also legendary. The article also included a picture which looks a lot like the old Bendix.

I would like to try out this hub after all I have heard. Sram came out with a 2-speed kickback a few years ago, but it didn't seem to be in stock when I looking for it and seems to be no longer offered.

I have a Schwinn American to put together, but an non-American hub sort of goes against the idea of the bike.

Thanks for posting. This will also be of interest for the likes of RatRodBikes members.
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Old 03-28-21, 09:38 PM
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I read inventor Vincent Bendix got involved with bicycle brakes when he entered into an agreement with the Eclipse Machine Company in 1914.

Fred DeLong related:



I think this is probably highway 55 on the west side of Harris Hill, just west of Elmira, NY. Like any good cyclist, the steepness of the hill is overstated, but RideWithGPS indicates 55 is a mile and a half never under 5% and flirts with 11% at its steepest.



Pretty fly for a coaster!



PS - I wonder how much you have to pay a rider to torture test a coaster brake...to failure???

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Old 03-29-21, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
Sram came out with a 2-speed kickback a few years ago, but it didn't seem to be in stock when I looking for it and seems to be no longer offered.
The SRAM Automatix was/is a 2 speed centrifugal hub, it automatically shifts when it gets to a certain speed, it is not a kickback hub.
SRAM dropped them from the line up a few years ago.

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Old 03-29-21, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
The SRAM Automatix was/is a 2 speed centrifugal hub, it automatically shifts when it gets to a certain speed.
SRAM dropped them from the line up a few years ago.
I have one on my Ted Williams Sears Free Spirit (though the wheel has seen action on other frames, too):

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Old 03-29-21, 08:24 AM
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This is mine, I like 2 speed bikes. original Covid build




I have another Automatix waiting a build when I get back to the States that I just got off Ebay for $79, much less than the stupid prices people are asking.

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Old 03-29-21, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
The SRAM Automatix was/is a 2 speed centrifugal hub, it automatically shifts when it gets to a certain speed.
SRAM dropped them from the line up a few years ago.
Thanks for reminding me of that detail. Yes, that is right the Sram is a centrifugal guided shift. Somewhere I heard/read that Sram discontinued this hub because they were being used on electric motor conversions and they were concerned about liability issues or failing under the load of an electric motor.

Perhaps with a kick-back shift, it would be difficult to convert electric motor drive?
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Old 03-29-21, 10:15 AM
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This is good news, might revise my plans for getting my NOS Diamant track frameset built up (currently it lacks proper wheels).

My first bike had a blue-band (1:1 and overdrive) Bendix kickback hub that lent my Stingray spirited performance. I rode that thing for many years, rebuilt the hub a few times. Shown here, near to when I finally repainted and sold it to a neighbor:
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Old 03-29-21, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
Somewhere I heard/read that Sram discontinued this hub because they were being used on electric motor conversions and they were concerned about liability issues or failing under the load of an electric motor.
Possibly.

GripShift bought Sach-Huret for the derailleur business and never seemed to know quite what to do with the old Fitchel&Sachs hub gear business. It didn't help when the Schweinfurt staff produced the i9, G8 & G9 hubs, all of which had issues. SRAM pulled lifesupport for the IGH business in early 2017, discontinuing all models and not even selling the intellectual property or tooling to somebody in China.
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Old 03-29-21, 12:26 PM
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The Bendix two-speed coaster from 'Glenn's Complete Bicycle Manual (1973)':

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Old 03-29-21, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Possibly.

GripShift bought Sach-Huret for the derailleur business and never seemed to know quite what to do with the old Fitchel&Sachs hub gear business. It didn't help when the Schweinfurt staff produced the i9, G8 & G9 hubs, all of which had issues. SRAM pulled lifesupport for the IGH business in early 2017, discontinuing all models and not even selling the intellectual property or tooling to somebody in China.
What I've heard, but have no source for, is that the Automatix hubs were discontinued as part of SRAM discontinuing all IGHs. They've since recalled all coaster-brake equipped IGHs due to issues with the stock grease congealing and causing possible brake failure. I wouldn't hesitate to ride one that's been overhauled with different grease.
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Old 04-05-21, 04:45 PM
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1687g all up. 18T steel cog for 1/8 chain, 36º, 120mm OLD. Horribly packaged in delightfully kitsch box (the hub had broken through four of the six faces) but seems to have survived unscathed. Cones seem overly tight out of the box. Lubrication, metallurgy, operation unknown.

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Old 04-05-21, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
1687g all up. 18T steel cog for 1/8 chain, 36º, 120mm OLD. Horribly packaged in delightfully kitsch box (the hub had broken through four of the six faces) but seems to have survived unscathed. Cones seem overly tight out of the box. Lubrication, metallurgy, operation unknown.

Thanks for the thread!
I looked on Merry Sales website but couldn't find anything except their S-A unit. EDIT: I finally found it. Also see that Soma Fabs has it listed.
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Old 04-05-21, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I read inventor Vincent Bendix got involved with bicycle brakes when he entered into an agreement with the Eclipse Machine Company in 1914.

Fred DeLong related:



I think this is probably highway 55 on the west side of Harris Hill, just west of Elmira, NY. Like any good cyclist, the steepness of the hill is overstated, but RideWithGPS indicates 55 is a mile and a half never under 5% and flirts with 11% at its steepest.



Pretty fly for a coaster!



PS - I wonder how much you have to pay a rider to torture test a coaster brake...to failure???
Not much if they can have a front caliper brake also.
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Old 04-06-21, 05:14 AM
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I bought one from SomaFab as well. Box was similarly effed up but hub seems intact. Now I need to figure out what size rim to lace it to. And what frame to hang it on. Hmm.
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Old 04-06-21, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
1687g all up. 18T steel cog for 1/8 chain, 36º, 120mm OLD. Horribly packaged in delightfully kitsch box (the hub had broken through four of the six faces) but seems to have survived unscathed. Cones seem overly tight out of the box. Lubrication, metallurgy, operation unknown.
If you are going to tear it down for an internal inspection, I'd really like to see pictures.
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Old 04-06-21, 05:51 PM
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John Forester (yes, the John Forester) tests a coaster brake (BikeWorld, 1974):

I used a local hill of 2040 feet drop, and the fastest I could descend was 211 FPM. (That's a 4.0 mile run, 9.6% average grade, run in 9.7 minutes at 24.8 mph.)

The coaster brake was destroyed in one run. It started smoking a short distance down the hill. At 700 feet down the smoke was streaming behind. Several times during the run its effectiveness changed, sometimes more, sometimes less. About 1500 feet down the brake refused to release fully, and it dragged for the remainder of the run. At the bottom I found my heat-measuring instrumentation had been burned off and the chrome plate was a white powder. On examining the inside afterwards I had to pry apart the stack of brake discs because the steel discs had softened and jammed onto the stationary mandrel. The bronze discs that engage the hub shell had softened also and their engaging lugs were half torn off. If those had gone I would have had no brake at all. No grease was left anywhere except a thin film inside the sprocket cone bearing-the rest was either melted out or burned into a hard carbonized coating over the other parts. Laboratory examination of the used parts and comparison with new parts showed that the outside bearing balls had reached 600 F, the outer brake discs 800-900 F, the inner brake discs 900 F.
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Old 04-06-21, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
John Forester (yes, the John Forester) tests a coaster brake (BikeWorld, 1974)
The irony of Forester trying to argue in favor of better brakes for "beginners and those using bicycles bought for them by unknowing parents."

Grumbling about Forester aside, the first (and last) time I've ever had an opportunity to ride a 2-speed Bendix kickback was on an 1957 Schwinn Corvette; one of the bikes I tuned up for Starz' Magic City back in 2011. I took it out for a spin in the middle of the boatyard that was being used as a studio. It worked surprisingly well, even with the coasterbrake. I couldn't see it's appeal over a Sturmey hub other than to save the bike a cable run though, but I can see that being a benefit for adding an extra gear to an older ballooner.

EDIT: I forgot that I captured a screenshot of that '57 'Vette from the show:



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Old 04-08-21, 11:47 AM
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Kurt, it's cool that you've worked on bikes that have been on TV.

I once got to touch Kermit the Frog's bike. The studio came into the bike shop I was working in. This was in 1979.
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Old 04-08-21, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Kurt, it's cool that you've worked on bikes that have been on TV.

I once got to touch Kermit the Frog's bike. The studio came into the bike shop I was working in. This was in 1979.
Was it the one from the '81 film?




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