[CR]Now: Six-speed freewheels Was: catalogue #3

(Example: Framebuilding:Tubing:Falck)

Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 23:40:42 -0800
From: "Chuck Schmidt" <chuckschmidt@earthlink.net>
To: RALEIGH531@aol.com
Cc: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
References: <e4.115c5a87.27c6993e@aol.com>
Subject: [CR]Now: Six-speed freewheels Was: catalogue #3

RALEIGH531@aol.com wrote:
> Thanks for the catalog pages.
> I was surprised to see a 13-26 six speed Regina freewheel in 1964(?)
> Was this intended for touring and would it have required 126 spacing?
> Pete Geurds
> Douglassville, Pa

Good question!!! This always puzzled me. In the mid-1950s the racing bikes came with 4-speed freewheels, even though there were 5-speed freewheels available. In the mid-1960s the bikes came with 5-speed freewheels even though there were 6-speed freewheels available.

I have heard that the early 70s Raleigh Professional was the first production bike that came with a 6-speed freewheel (Atom) and I don't think 6-speed freewheels were generally in use until the mid-1970s.

Seems like there was a ten year lag each time before anyone decided they really needed another gear. Quite a contrast to today's drivetrains with the number of speeds in the rear increasing every couple of years.

Chuck Schmidt
South Pasadena, California
http://www.velo-retro.com (NEW list of reprints and T-shirts)