Friday, November 06, 2009
Thanks for stopping by our Unbreakable-Bonds blog. We're currently closed for renovations...what, is that a collective mumble about it being about time???
You deserve to see something cool and worth the read here, so off we go to do our project. Stop by again soon and look for a new coat of paint, a couple new pictures on the wall, etc. Cheers!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
A lone surviving copy of a bicycle from another era, a chainless 3-speed relic manufactured in early 1900, has been recovered and is being restored; called "The Hill-Climber," it was the first multi-speed bicycle to be produced in America. A bicycle believed to be the first production model in America to employ multiple-speed gear ratios has been found and is being restored to original condition. When found, only the patented gear-changing mechanism was still attached to the rusty frame. A nationwide search for replacement parts and information about the company that produced it has been undertaken.
Before this discovery, the first-known production multi-speed bicycle was marketed under the Columbia brand in 1903. It featured a two-speed "kickback" hub, and was also a chainless bicycle. The story of "The Hill-Climber" has recently been published in a book titled "Restoration." It is available on the Amazon-affiliate website Createspace at https://www.createspace.com/3382245
The inventor of this 3-speed bicycle, Peter J. Scharbach, called it "The Hill-Climber." It was originally produced by Scharbach/Hoerth and Company in San Francisco in 1902. Research shows that the company also tried to produce an early automobile. It is not known how many of these bicycles were sold during its production years from 1902-1904. Chainless bicycles are manufactured today by a few companies, but the product form is not widely known to bicyclists.
The surviving Hill-Climber, a frame with a shaft-drive (like an automobile) instead of a chain, has three bevel gears at the rear wheel, and shift linkage to change speed ratios. It was stored in the basement of a retired dairy farmer outside of Pe Ell, WA, after spending most of its life on his farm junk pile. His father, John K. Muller, and many residents of the area invested in a manufacturing company formed with the inventor in late 1903. Assembly operations were moved from San Francisco to Chicago in early 1904. Mysteriously, all their investment was gone by the end of the year, and the company folded.
A descendant of the inventor was found living in Arizona. His great-grandfather was a blacksmith, inventor and entrepreneur whose patent for the chainless bicycle is still being referenced today. Remnants of the bicycle business are a few surviving photographs taken at a product roll-out event in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, c.1902. An advertising flyer, and other surviving documentation, was found in the possession of relatives of John K. Muller.
The bicycle is scheduled to be on display at the 32nd Annual LeMay Auto Collection show August 29, 2009, near Tacoma, WA. For details go to http://www.lemaymuseum.org
More information about the bicycle, its restoration, and its place in history can be found at http://www.fusionstudios.com/hill-climber.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Lesson learned about talking to our Kryptonite lock friends...it can be hard work to come up with pearls of wisdom each day. Sorry if you've been disappointed when you haven't found anything new here, but thanks for being patient until we got back on track.
If you are like us, you are really happy that we've had so much wonderful rain this season, but enough is enough already. The weather has certainly put a damper on cycling activities in many parts of the country, but not so in New York. Eric, our National Sales Manager for bike spent a soggy weekend at the Bicycle Film Festival and was happy to chat with the stalwart souls who weren't going to be put off by a little water. Some of them brought out their most colorful rides to try to chase away the funk.