Retro-direct bicycle transmission system

Transmission with 2 speeds but without change

At the beginning of the twentieth century, French inventor Paul de Martin de Viviés patented a transmission system that allowed two speeds and one pedaling that could be performed both to the right and to the reverse (back and forth). He put the name retro-direct, or what is the same, back and forth.

A first version of two chains was patented in 1869 by Barberon and Meunier, while in 1903 came a new model with a single chain by the bicycle manufacturer Hirondelle.

Retro-direct bicycle transmission system

There are different variants when running the Retro-direct system, but the most common is that consisting of two sprockets, one larger than the other that are connected to the plate through a path that allows the first pinion (the most Boy) when we pedal in a natural sense (to the right), the largest sprocket being in charge of performing the transmission of the rider when he pedals in reverse.

At the rear, the chain runs through a small pulley that is responsible for joining both chain sections, the upper (pedaling to the right), and the lower (reverse pedaling).

In this way we have the option of having two gears but without having to install any type of change, either the internal in the bushing or the external one used modernly in the systems of cassette.

With this chain system, the rider pedals right on the stretches on plain, while pedaling in reverse when facing any uphill slope.

With this configuration the cyclist should only pedal right or reverse to handle both gears. There is no need for any kind of shift system that selects one or the other gear.

Some amateurs modify the route of the chain so that the system works the other way around, that is to say, to pedal to the right when we face some rise, since that is this way with which the cyclist can develop more force on the bicycle.

By means of a pivoting spring sheave, the system allows the use of a change of plates within certain margins.

Advantages of the Retro-direct system

First, there are some clear advantages to the pure retro-direct bicycle (ie, without front derailleur that some aficionados implement as an additional gearshift system): it does not allow the chain to have any clearances or paths that allow it to exit or to hook.

The pinions mounted on the rear hub do not need any type of auxiliary system that produces the change of the transmission between one or another pinion. The rider only needs to change the direction of rotation to choose between one or the other.
It is therefore an elegant system of selection of gear in a very simple and simple.

But above all, the retro-direct bicycle is different: pedaling back to select the second gear produces a pedaling a bit rare and unusual. The musculature of the rider manages muscles different from those used in conventional pedaling.
If you decide to install a retro-direct system on your bike, you will notice that the reverse-pedaling sensations are quite different from those experienced in conventional pedaling.
We use different muscles and we use them differently in both form and form.

Disadvantages of Retro-direct system

When we pedal forward or reverse, there is always a free-wheeling pion (which does not use traction), so we always hear the ratchet noise from the drive that we do not use. It is a sensation somewhat different from that of a conventional gearshift, but it is easy to get used to.

Some people feel very strange when performing reverse pedaling. The system requires a certain learning curve, since many people have a tendency to pedal in reverse mode when what they really want is to use the freewheel, just as they would with a conventional bicycle.

It is not possible to place the pedals in a certain position to support the bicycle and prevent it from falling when we decide to leave it. However, it is a matter of becoming accustomed to a somewhat peculiar type of transmission.

Retro-direct mounting kits

There are many enthusiasts and fans of the world of the bike who choose to install for themselves this great unknown transmission system. The good news is, this is not a task too difficult or complicated to perform by any fan of the mechanics and DIY of the bicycle.

These are some of the tasks that we must carry out in a conventional bicycle with external change:

  • We must install a double pinion in the hub of the rear wheel.
  • Installation of a crazy wheel (pulley) on the right strap of the frame.
  • We need an extra long chain. Two new chain sections are recommended to avoid asymmetries.

Apart from that, the work involves removing the devices, cables and shirts involved in the rear and forward shift for a pure Retro-direct.

My big concern was to have to modify the frame in order to install the idler pulley. I have found another solution that does not imply having to solder on the frame any type of device.
The installation of two free wheels (pinions) on the bushing is not complicated. We need the bushing to be screwed, that is, it does not carry the traditional core system for the cassette.
Screwing two free wheels into a hub is not very difficult: as it happens, free wheels and lower brackets share the same thread (1,370 “x 24 TPI, with 60-degree threads It is an ISO thread, you know …) Ross. Harrop is simply screwed to the big free wheel in the bucket, bowl on the leftover threads of the big free wheel, and the small free wheel in the BB cup. Personally, I do not feel that bowl confidence would be enough to withstand the lateral pressure free wheels have to endure, so they resorted to a special adapter on the winch with a BB wire in the shop, but made of steel and much Thicker than the bowl. But in essence it is the idea itself. If you are lighter than I am, the bowl solution will probably work fine.

Finally, installing a crazy wheel (or two crazy wheels, if you choose my retro-direct variant) is left to your imagination. If it can be soldered, it will be easy to do. If you can not do it, creative reuse of collars, composite metal rods and bicycle parts will probably lead to a solution. I did this last about a Sunday in my garage, away from the shop, without even a thumbscrew, with only things from the home improvement store location, bow saw, drill and other basic tools, so it is definitely possible.

Topeak Alien III Bike Tool Set

The best multitool for fixing common faults

In this article we are going to talk about the multitool Topeak Alien III, excellent to fix eventual problems of mechanics of the bicycle. There is no doubt that the most frequent fault in a departure by bike is a puncture or a blowout of the tire.

However the most common breakdown is a puncture. On the road bike is quite frequent to have a puncture, usually due to small chinitas, pieces of crystals or wire.
Any object with a sharp or penetrating area is likely to pierce the wheel cover.
That is why the typical route runner should always carry a thousand eyes when making the road maps. We can not rely on the shoulders, where the road traffic is throwing all the remains of objects that are in the zone of rolling of the highway.

Topeak Alien III

Mountain bike (mtb) is somewhat less prone to punctures, but that does not mean it is totally immune to punctures. It is true that the tires usually carry more reinforced the tread of the tire, but that does not mean at all that it is totally immune to punctures.
While it is true that the tires are more reinforced, it is also true that the terrain where it is usually circular is in worse condition.

But do not lose sight of the purpose of this article. We are here to talk about the multi-tools that swarm around the cyclist universe, and whose main function is to fix that other universe of breakdowns that usually occur on our bike outside the famous punctures.

The multi-tools are usually classified according to the number of different tools that are at our service, and therefore, the different number of failures that we can tackle by getting out of them.

These are some of the different tools that we can find in a good multi-tool typical and well stocked gadgets.
For this occasion we will try the Topeak Alien III, predecessor of the Alien II that has been awarded several awards. They carry the same number of tools, the main difference being that the more modern weighs a little less and is more compact.

Description and advantages of various tools

Both the “Topeak Alien II” version and the “Alien II” version incorporate the mimo tool number, which is why for this article we will use the specifications of the latter.

It is a multi-tool with each of the utensils made of chrome vanadium stainless steel, high quality alloy and resistance.

It is considered as the best multi-tool of the market, both in quantity of utensils as by the quality of its gadgets (cachivaches).
If you’re after buying an excellent multi-tool to ride on the bike more quiet and safe, the benchmark is without doubt the multitool for the Topeak Alien III bike

It has 26 different functions, which I show below:

  • Phillips screwdrivers, which do not need presentation. The star key is used on a large number of devices on our bikes.
  • The keys for radios of two measures (14 and 15g), in case we need to center our wheels or we have to remove a broken radius that makes the camera of our wheels hairy.
  • To disassemble the wheel, we have the anodized demonstrable.
  • A T25 Torx wrench, which can be used, among other things, to remove the rear shift toe.
  • A flat screwdriver. Need comments?
  • An assortment of Allen wrenches in sizes 2, 2,5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 mm. Undoubtedly Allen or hex keys are the most used on our bikes with much difference with the second.
  • Stainless steel penknife and two compartments for two drawers. A sharp tool can be used for anything. To cut the excess of something to give an example.
  • It’s very clear, if you have a problem in the chain and you have the stump, then you’re definitely dead.
  • Commonly steel chrome shell (molybdenum chromium). Steel wire for easy handling of the chain.
  • Flat wrenches 8, 9 and 10 mm. Undoubtedly, fixed wrenches are always useful for tightening the pedals, the axle of the brakes or the axis of the bushings.
  • External size of the multiple tool: 8 × 4.5 × 4.5 cm. With a weight of 270 g.

To expand your knowledge of bicycle tools, take a look at the 8 most incredible tools for your bike and what to wear on a bike outing, as well as sixteen essential bicycle tools.

The Most Effective Core Exercises for Cyclists

Exercises for Cyclists

Cyclists rely much more on their equipment than runners or swimmers. However, in a sense, cycling is the most free and versatile exercise.

It allows to move outdoors, fast, on a machine that not only transports but the cyclist himself is the engine; You can cover great distances and varied terrain as well as a car and it is possible to enjoy this combination between body and machine in various circumstances, for example, take a bike ride alone or in a group, go to work, relax when the Day or competing in races.

If you are an experienced rider, you will probably know some of the benefits offered by this sport. Bicycling not only tones and strengthens the legs and shoulders, but also helps stretch the lower back, preparing it to swim and run.

Cycling is ideal for injured runners as it exercises the muscles of the legs, but the effort to do is much less. As for the development of aerobic capacity, cycling can be as effective as races.

In recent years, the introduction of “mountain bikes” – also known as off-road bikes (MTBs) – has broadened the enjoyment of cycling by allowing cyclists to cross paths and slopes that once were inaccessible. As these bikes allow for better maneuverability and a more upright position than race or ride bikes, many cyclists have adopted mountain bikes to ride in the city.

Choosing a bicycle is as important as adapting it to one’s own dimensions. In a study conducted by the US Olympic Training Center, race cyclists increased their cardiovascular efficiency by 8% to 14% by simply adapting their bikes properly, an effect equivalent to losing 5 kilos of body weight.

Exercises to practice cycling

The first step to becoming comfortable on a bicycle is to properly adjust; The second is to learn to handle it safely. In elect, the cyclists that are trained for an Olympic competition are so relaxed that they can rub without falling when they are in the middle of a platoon that moves at 40 kilometers per hour. The purpose of this domain is not only to avoid falls, but also to feel comfortable to conserve energy for forward propulsion. The riding techniques that appear on the following pages are designed so that the torso movements are minimized and the legs can do the work.

As the bicycle is such an efficient machine, it is possible to take a walk without ever reaching the desired heart rate. If the cardiovascular system is already in good shape thanks to other aerobic activity, you should familiarize yourself with the bike by walking a relatively flat terrain of 20 to 30 minutes three times a week for at least two weeks. Start each ride by pedaling first to 55 or 60 revolutions per minute to warm up; After 10 minutes, increase the cadence to 70 or 80 rpm and switch to a low or medium gear, which will raise the heart rate until reaching the desired range. Perhaps the most common mistake made by novice cyclists is to pedal in a too high gear, which will not only cause rapid fatigue but overload the knees. Use this initial period to concentrate on riding many revolutions per minute in low gear to improve handling skills.

Over the next two to four weeks, add a fourth day of cycling a week and go up some modest slopes twice a week. Try to do three tours for 45 to 60 minutes; At weekends you have to make at least one longer and relatively easy of about 30 to 45 kilometers. After 4 or 5 weeks, the technique should have improved greatly, and the cadence should be uniformly 75-90 rpm.

With this physical preparation as a base, in the third month of training you should have reached the point where you can ride for 45 to 65 kilometers at a time and increase the weekly distance by 8% or 10%. Add variety to the cycling program by climbing steeper slopes or with interval training. The goal should be to increase the heart rate by up to 80% of the peak during 3 to 5 minutes, followed by rest periods in which you can easily pedal in low gear for 5 minutes. Repeat this sequence three or four times. Vary the extent and intensity of the pedaling intervals, depending on how one sits, but do not exaggerate them; In general, experienced cyclists are limited to practicing interval training twice a week. Mountain biking also provides an ideal opportunity to perform intense pedaling intervals, since to cross rugged trails requires more effort than riding on asphalt.

After three months of increasing overall endurance, you will be prepared to train for specific events, with different demands. Riding for 100 kilometers involves increasing weekly training to at least 225 kilometers and being able to ride for two periods of 5 or 6 weights on successive days. For bicycle tourism it will be useful to spend at least two days a week to climb hills and also prepare the trunk to handle a bicycle loaded with equipment that can weigh between 15 and 20 kilos. Whatever your bike goals are, learning bicycle riding techniques and physical training exercises in this chapter will be helpful.

Best Position For Cycling

Best Position For Cycling

To ensure good posture, you have to choose a bicycle that fits with you. If the size of the frame is too large or too small, the bicycle will be uncomfortable to drive and you will not experience muscle pain in the neck and lower back. The standard sizes of the frames are aligned from 38 to 64 centimeters. To determine the correct size, measure the inside seam of your pants and subtract 23 to 25 centimeters. When straddling the bicycle, the top tube of the frame should be about 2.5 centimeters below your crotch.

Two other critical measures are the position of the saddle and the handlebar. Set the height of the saddle by having a friend hold the bike still while you sit on it. Place the heels on the pedals and pedal back.

A correct posture for cycling

If the height of the saddle is correct, you can pedal back with your knees only slightly bent to the bottom of each pedaling. If they are too bent it means that the saddle is too low, and will wobble and lose strength in pedaling when riding. If the knees do not bend, or if you have to stretch to reach the pedal, then the saddle is too high and you will force the knee joint.

Keep the horizontal level of the saddle or incline it slightly upwards. Adjust the handlebars 4 to 6 centimeters below the saddle. To check the correct height of the handlebar, mount with your elbows bent and your hands just below the brake levers. Look down at the front wheel axle. If you can not see the shaft because the handlebar is in the middle, then the handlebar position is correct.

When you pedal, bend at the waist. Do not shrink; Your back has to stay relatively straight. This position will allow you to adopt a relaxed and aerodynamic posture without restricting your lung capacity. Make sure you also keep your elbows bent to help absorb road shakes.

Tips for Beginners Cyclists

Tips for Beginners Cyclists

There are millions of people who ride bikes and the numbers are increasing. With more and more runners on trails and paths, these tips for beginner cyclists will help you ride better and be safer.

  • Protect your head. Head injuries are the cause of 60 percent of all bike deaths each year. Many of these deaths could be avoided if everyone wore a helmet when riding a bicycle. Always wear a helmet when riding and make sure your kids do too. Many states have bike helmet laws, but they should always be used, even if you are not going to pedal too.
  • Do not pedal at full speed for long periods of time. You want to try to keep the cadence between 70 and 90 rpm (revolution per minute). When pedaling in a long gait that puts additional pressure on the knees, it can trigger injuries.
  • Use your gears. When on the climbs they move at a speed that will keep their cadence in the correct rpm range, so you can do it up the hill without putting excessive strain on the knees.
  • Get an appropriate fit for your bike. Having your bike created to fit your body will make riding it much easier, more efficient, and will make you feel a lot less painful during and after the trip.
  • Get the perfect seat. Getting the right mount will make a big difference when driving. Do not think that the thicker padding will give you the most comfortable ride. A longer seat with a cutout will generally be the best type of saddle.
  • Change position while driving. Move your hands around the bars, and move your butt around the saddle. This will ensure that your hands, arms and back are kept active to prevent them from falling asleep due to the prolonged time in a given position.
  • Do not drive with headphones on. It can be extremely dangerous if you do not hear an emergency vehicle or other shocks behind you or out side. If you have to have music, get a small clipped radio with a speaker that can be attached to your jersey.
  • Know the rules. Circulate with the traffic and obey all traffic signs, as it is now part of it. Closely watch all the cars ahead of you so you can try to anticipate what they are going to do.
  • Keep your head up. Look ahead sufficiently in advance so that you can react to any obstacles along the way that may be in front of you. Things like storm drain grilles are very bad for road bike tires.

If you follow these tips you will have a better, safer and more enjoyable time on your bike.