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Disc brake on a Montgomery Ward 10 speed Open Road bike

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Disc brake on a Montgomery Ward 10 speed Open Road bike

Old 11-06-10, 05:07 PM
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saabtour
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Disc brake on a Montgomery Ward 10 speed Open Road bike

Hi to all, this is my first post. Just bought this bike, it's kinda beat up but I bought it because I'm fascinated by one feature. It has a monster rear disc brake that looks big and thick enough to stop a Volkswagen. The bike looks like it could be from the 60's or 70's (don't think from the 80's or 90's) but I'm not sure, and I'm very impressed about a disc brake on a bike that old. It still works. I haven't been able to find any information on the bike or the disc brake system, but would sure appreciate anyone directing me to some or providing some information here as I'd like to get the bike road worthy again. Please accept my thanks in advance of any assistance. All the best. John.
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Old 11-06-10, 05:59 PM
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I've seen pictures of those but never seen the real thing. A lot of kids sized Schwinns had a similar thing back in the 60s and 70s. Try looking at some Stingrays or maybe over at the Schwinn Forum.
Is there a brand name on any of the brake parts?
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Old 11-06-10, 06:03 PM
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Here's what Sheldon has to say;
Disc Brake

A hub brake, similar to an automotive disc brake, consisting of a disc which screws onto the hub and a caliper attached to the frame or fork which squeezes on the disc. disc brakes are better able to dissipate heat than rim brakes, making them popular for downhill events and for tandems.
Some early disc brakes had a reliability problem, in that outer part of the disc could break away from the part that attached to the hub, causing complete failure with no warning whatever. When the rider would squeeze the brake lever, it would feel solid, as the caliper was gripping the disc securely...unfortunately, it would do nothing to stop the bicycle!

Disc brakes are becoming increasingly common, partly because they work in wet conditions when rim brakes don't, partly because they don't cause wear to rims, and partly because of fashion.

There have been concerns about the safety of front disc brakes, in conjunction with lightweight quick-release skewers. See James Annan's article on this topic.
And here's what James Annan has to say;
https://www.ne.jp/asahi/julesandjames...ase/index.html
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Old 11-06-10, 06:04 PM
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PS, the folks around here really like pictures.
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Old 11-06-10, 06:08 PM
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Here's a disc brake caliper that I obtained with a huge parts lot. It is a Shimano unit and I would guess early to mid 70's era. Tried to give it away in the PIF thread, but no one needed a boat anchor.
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Parts 014..jpg (100.7 KB, 150 views)
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Old 11-06-10, 09:29 PM
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Thanks. Don't know how to upload photos on this but I'll get my 15 year old to give me a tutorial. Always willing to learn.
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Old 11-06-10, 09:39 PM
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BINGO! That's exactly what it is, same Shimano boat anchor model. It looks like life's been kinder to the one in your photo, but it's definitely it. I still haven't found the exact bike model on the internet, but found a model by JC Penny from 1977 that had a similar if not the exact rear disc brake; saw only a copy of a newspaper ad from 1977 with very poor graphics, so I can't tell for sure, but the year seems right, and the model looked about the same. I still think it's cool. Any ideas on how to refurbish?
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Old 11-07-10, 03:43 AM
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Shimano gave me one of those brakes in 1989 or so to play with . The rotor had the same thread as a freewheel (1.370X24) it was cool but pretty useless in the braking dept. They are available in Japan
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Old 11-07-10, 06:20 AM
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The disc caliper in question is the Shimano BC-100 which was introduced in 1974 and only produced for 2-3 years. However, it wouldn't surpise me if it took Shimano a few extra years to deplete excess stock.
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Old 11-07-10, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
PS, the folks around here really like pictures.
i dont agree with you
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Old 11-07-10, 06:32 AM
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Huffy sold a road bike with a rear disk brake in the 1970s. Totally useless.
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Old 11-07-10, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
The rotor had the same thread as a freewheel (1.370X24)
Was is right hand thread? Wouldn't it just unscrew itself?
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Old 11-07-10, 09:25 AM
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I saw a cheap 70's road bike at a Church rummage this past summer with the Shimano rear disc. My wife did you see the old road bike and it was one five bucks. I told her I would get more use and enjoyment out of ten apple pies from McD's. lol. I have to train her a little better I guess because she said if I didn't come with she would of surprised me with it and brought it home for me. That would of been a hard smile to give even for the thought. lol.
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Old 11-07-10, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
Was is right hand thread? Wouldn't it just unscrew itself?
The stopping force is to the right (the wheel's spinning to the" left" when it's going forward), so it would have the affect of tightening it if it's right threaded.
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Old 11-07-10, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
I saw a cheap 70's road bike at a Church rummage this past summer with the Shimano rear disc. My wife did you see the old road bike and it was one five bucks. I told her I would get more use and enjoyment out of ten apple pies from McD's. lol. I have to train her a little better I guess because she said if I didn't come with she would of surprised me with it and brought it home for me. That would of been a hard smile to give even for the thought. lol.
I have my wife well trained...she has a camera phone and knows how to send pictures. If I like what she sends the usual return text message is "take it out of my allowance"...I hope she isn't keeping track because I am probably overspent for the next 4 years

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Old 05-13-19, 08:28 PM
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I actually had one of those Wards ten speeds with rear mechanical disc.
For its time it was awesome. I got mine in 1977 or 1978. These had thru-the-frame cabling and a direct drive cassette which meant the front CR never stopped spinning. There were some type of dual bearings so the crank could be pedaled or not.. it took some getting used to but you could wind up the R's, stop pedalling, shift and it would derail on its own to the selected gear.. It was like semi automatic. I loved this bike and rode it 105 miles in 5 hours once. The head tube eventually let go downhilling in washington park near the Portland Oregon Zoo. Thankfully, this rare beast even had a tack-welded, BMX style gusset up front which nearly prevented me from going over a retaining wall and did get me home (though sagging a tad).

Last edited by AudioFreq; 05-13-19 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Typonese
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Old 05-14-19, 03:45 AM
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This early seventies Skyway sported the mechanical disc brake that worked as an anchor, in my opinion. The bike also featured cottered elliptical crank rings, some stainless steel tubes,..



Appropriately named...
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Old 05-14-19, 07:10 AM
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Dayum. The 1978 catalog is 15.00 less than I paid for the bike. :/
"1978 Montgomery Ward Spring and Summer Catalog 1978" $125

It was an AAU Amateur Athletic Union 10 Speed Bicycle Montgomery Ward with Positron and a rear disc.
I have a pic of one (less disc) but I need 7 more posts to share it. :/

Last edited by AudioFreq; 05-14-19 at 07:29 AM. Reason: oddity
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Old 05-14-19, 07:56 AM
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Yep, in '77 or '78 I had a western auto bike with 12 speed and disc brake and I think click shifting. So, everything thing old is new again.
Also The Walking Thread.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
Yep, in '77 or '78 I had a western auto bike with 12 speed and disc brake and I think click shifting. So, everything thing old is new again.
Also The Walking Thread.
Tbh it may have been a 12 speed. was quite a unique piece.
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