Stay out of problems, don’t get your hands dirty

If it is something quite rare now, bicycle industry had its share of unusual hubs in the past.

We all know about the chain holder that Singer or Herse were putting on their bike, using either stock/redesigned Nivex rear-end or custom made “porta catena” with Nivex or Cyclo derailleur (we we will write more spefically on that in the near future). Still, before starting to do so in the 50’s, Herse used some crazy Belgium-made rear hubs. The main feature? You could remove the wheel and keep the freewheel firmly attached to the frame, spot-on swag  for the Sunday rides … the RAS hubs came into France using the front door.

Please find below some drawings presenting such a hub on a Derche frame (don’t mind the Rene Herse derailleur).

Some others of those amazing hubs were manufactured during this time, this one is supposed to be English and can be found in Le Cycliste magazine from 1949 (well that what the people from Joto Ringyo Co. wrote in their Databook #2 , I was not able to find it in my collection so I can’t give you a name. I don’t have the full 1949 year so maybe someone luckier than me could help identifying it. EDIT: I found the right Le Cycliste magazine with the explanation, no brand mentionned. To me it’s unclear if it is a Bayless-Wiley)

Later, the notorious Cinelli Bivalent was introduced. As a smart Italian bicycle brand, Cinelli copied what was already invented, making it better and nicer. Success guarantee.

We are not going to write pages about it as it has already be done before on the Internet.

And now, a more recent version, developed by Reydel, France. Definitely my favorite. First those hubs are extremely light (<430g for the pair, including quick releases). Second, there are fully aluminium made, no steel here. The results is an astonishing piece of machinery being just as nice as they are fragile. Anyway, with the correct use, those hubs were lasting for miles and they don't have a bad reputation among the few racers that used them in the 70/80's.

5 seconds to change the rear wheel? Then you need to be real quick when tightening the quick release. But, as the ads says, it has been proved under the supervision of a bailiff … so it might be true.


Better than 1000 words, an exploded view.

And now, the real deal.

To live happy, keep your fingers grease-free.



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