Re: [CR]Maxi Car Bivalents?

Example: Framebuilding:Tony Beek

In-Reply-To: <>
References: <> <000301c95403$5d782600$6401a8c0@acerad993ba82b>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2008 16:56:22 -0800
To: Dmitry Yaitskov <>, "Eric Elman" <>
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Maxi Car Bivalents?

At 6:00 PM -0500 12/1/08, Dmitry Yaitskov wrote:
>Monday, December 1, 2008, 5:22:57 PM, Eric Elman wrote:
>> Check'em out on eBay item # 370122540348
>> What are these? To me, the front hub looks like a grande flange Maxi Car,
>> rare but not unseen; the rear is unusual, grande flange but with what
>> appears to be a freewheel portion made to remain engaged to the frame
>> drop-out while the hub/wheel itself can be removed. Is this a home brewed
>> hub or am I just unaware of this Maxi Car hub variation? Obviously reminds
>> me of the rear hub of the rare Cinelli Bivalents.
>The rear hub looks like the one on Alex Singer bikes as described in
>the very first issue of VBQ (pgs. 11, 12) - the idea being, as far as
>I understand, to allow removing/reinstalling the rear wheel (e.g. to
>fix a flat) without as much as touching the chain (the frame has an
>extra "stationary" cog attached to the dropout, you switch to it, then
>unscrew the "wing-bolt", and voila!). Pretty cool... I would trade an
>11 speed drivetrain for such a feature any day (not that I have any
>bikes with 11 speeds), esp. for a touring bike.

The system was made by RAS, and marketed by Herse in the late 1940s and 1950s. The whole freewheel stayed in the frame - Bivalent-style - so you didn't have to mess with the chain. Since Herse used Cyclo derailleurs that wrap around the freewheel on three sides, it really is a mess when you try to remove the wheel without a chainrest.

The bike on the cover of "The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles" has these hubs, which were a special feature offered by Herse. (The cover bike was one of Herse's 1952 show bikes, so it had all the options.)

The hubs are quite rare. I don't think the rear hub is a Maxi-Car... even though the front one certainly is one. Herse also removed the stock flanges and riveted on his extra-large ones.

Jan Heine Editor Bicycle Quarterly 140 Lakeside Ave #C Seattle WA 98122