7th Street/Clouds/Mysterious Chain Ring

Raleigh on 7th street headed to JR’s

Darker area to the south is more clouds moving in

Interesting development involving a very different chain ring on a adult tricycle at JR’s — (as we know, you never know what might show up there)

After some research, it turns out that is a Hagen All Speed Expandable chain ring.

The small sprockets could be moved inward or outward to change gearing from a low gear to a high gear

The mechanism to do that is missing

 The sprockets rode on a plate with a spiral channel machined into it outboard of the ring they are on

Spiral plate can be seen behind the red spider

 To go to a higher gear there was a lever to pull as you pedaled and the sprockets rode up the spiral, and to go to a lower gear you back pedaled and operated the lever and the sprockets rode down the spiral

More info if anyone is interested Here.

Looks as though it (the chain ring) might wind up in California, someone from Eureka would like to try to restore it

When Spring clean-up gets closer, a new flood of interesting stuff may show up

Nice shot of Ray’s foot BTW  🙂

Very much enjoy all the entries you all have provided -- great to see the everyday cycling venues. Being in eastern Illinois, scenery certainly isn't our forte, but oh well, the roads are normally quiet. Look forward to more and more entries from all of you, I do have a few over on BL -- in Bill's Day Rides, and one journal.

11 response to "7th Street/Clouds/Mysterious Chain Ring"

  1. By: Bikerdockeith Posted: January 4, 2019

    Hi Rich,
    Oh wow am I jealous! The bicycle collector in me would love to get his hands on that bike with its Hagen chainring. I hope the new owner does a bang up job on the restoration.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: January 4, 2019

      I do too — its going to be a project, that is for sure.

  2. By: Tony Cullimore Posted: January 4, 2019

    It would be interesting what it was like to ride with. As we don’t see them around we know “Mr Hagen’s” brainwave and investment didn’t pay off. Was it tricky or annoying to ride with? Did it fail after a while in use? Did it appear just as the third ring on a standard crank became popular?

    Interesting find Rich.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: January 4, 2019

      From what I understand, the Hagen ring was among the later of literally dozens and dozens of multi-speed inventions over the years — very few of which ever succeeded. Frank Berto’s book “The Dancing Chain” goes into extreme detail on this.

      One comment was “it had infinite speeds, and was infinitely heavy.” Maybe a little (or a lot) more gimmicky than cyclists wanted. The weight may have been a large factor.

      I had never seen anything like it which is what piqued my curiosity.
      Now that Ive seen it, learned some about it, Im not sure I would necessarily want to fit my bicycles with it.

      One source quoted 1974 as the year it came out.

      The Tokheim Gear Maker system is another idea that failed to catch on.

  3. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: January 5, 2019

    Very interesting, I can’t quite imagine how it functioned but I Imagine the modern bike evolved from many failed ideas. Still waiting to see a cloud.

  4. By: NancyG Posted: January 5, 2019

    Like ‘Lednar’, I cannot envision how this thing worked, but know there had to be many tries at getting SOMEthing that would work. Seems like a good find Rich, as there cannot be too many of these around!

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: January 5, 2019

      It is kind of hard to visualize — the spiral is the key to it — the little sprockets have an extension that fits into the spiral and go up the spiral to a higher gear or down the spiral to a lower gear.

      The concept was to replicate a variety of gears without all the levers, cables, and derailleurs.
      Ingenious but obviously never caught on.

      And, in todays dollars the device would be around $250 — priced at around $50 back then, it was a fairly steep price to pay on top of the cost of the bicycle to get what essentially you already had — just a different way of doing it. (It would convert a single speed bicycle to a geared system.)

      The attempts at bicycle gearing are incredible — going back to the 1800’s

      Frank Berto mentioned in his book “The Dancing Chain” (the history of the derailleur bicycle) in the late 1800’s the US Patent Office had two buildings — the larger one for bicycle patents, and the smaller one for everything else!

  5. By: The Navigator Posted: January 6, 2019

    Hey, you found some sun! And some contrails. Yippee! Glad you had a decent day to ride. As far as the chain ring thing… I am sooooo not into the technical aspects of bikes. Just teach me how to fix each bit so I can keep myself from being stranded on the road, and I’m fine. I am so glad there are people like you that enjoy these things, so you can engineer it and then I can just use it 🙂

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: January 6, 2019

      We have had some decent days lately, unusual for January, the other shoe will drop at some point.
      Well, if you call By Guess and By Gosh ‘engineering’ then I might qualify. 😉
      Chatted with a friend in Melbourne, sounds like things have cooled somewhat.

      • By: The Navigator Posted: January 7, 2019

        I hope you continue to get some good days to ride. January could be pretty bleak in the Midwest. Yes, we had cooler weather (highs of 29 and 31C) for two days which was a relief after 14 days of 39-44.

        Melbourne has very different weather to us. They do not get the prolonged heat that we do. We also get much hotter through the day in summer in general and much colder at night in winter than they do. Today our high was 35C; theirs was 24C. They are coastal – we are 4 hours inland and that makes a big difference! Tony in Tasmania has more similar weather to Melbourne than where I live. Summers are just endured here!

  6. By: Bill Stone Posted: January 7, 2019

    RJ tells me he has been out for three rides so far this year, which is unheard of for January in Bloomington-Normal. He also warned me not to head for Blue Mound Township in search of good riding conditions, because he says real winter weather is forecast to arrive in a day or two. Throw another log on the fire!

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