Fichtel & Sachs Torpedo DUOMATIC: The Kick BACK Hub is back!
Update: In the comment below you´ll find a Schwinn Cruiser with a kick back hub!
See what bicycle intrested people think about this “old fashioned ” hub tink:
July 29, 2006
Fichtel & Sachs Torpedo DUOMATIC hub
Our good friend Ray Coffey loaned us this gem.
It is a two-speed, kickback hub It shifts between high
and low gear when you back pedal it.
Bendix made two-speed hubs as well.
I had a bike with a Bendix two-speed when I was ten
and I really liked it.
This hub is so much finer.
It is light and the chrome plating is smooth and deep.
I doubt that I’ll find a way to reproduce this hub.
But if I had a lot of spare cash, this is the hub
that I would re-engineer.
Some day hubs like this will be all but extinct.
What a shame.
These were the Shimano Ultegras of their time.
2. Moulton Buzz
Monday, July 23rd, 2007If this hub was to come on the market now, I’m sure the reviews would ridicule it as primitive. But that’s it’s beauty, it’s simple, it works, it’s not black. And it requires a little bit of skill and finesse to use it most effectively.
When the fixed gear craze goes out of fashion, as it inevitably will, and cyclists search for something that is simple AND functional… these will be in high demand. Apparently Sturmey Archer are considering remaking the ASC hub, the 3 speed fixed gear hub. Any chance that SRAM would remake the DUOMATIC??
- Barrett said…
- Okay…this is coming in a tad late, but after nine years of having a NOS Sachs Torpedo hub in my possession, I’ve finally built a bike around it (pet name “FauxFix”), and, in two days of riding, I love it. The drive side is missing its protective “cover” for the bearings, but I’m hoping to find a reasonable replacement. (any ideas for a substitute?) The frame is a worn-but-loverly ’84 Dawes Atlantis road frame (all Reynolds 531, lugged, etc.). Rides like a dream, and I can fully understand the new-found niche popularity for this hub (“don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” was seldom more true). Practically all the virtues of a fixed-gear without the hair-shirt attitude. Fixie addicts look puzzled as I come to a stop at a street light with little effort and no histrionics. Propulsion, gear shifting and braking are all controlled by one’s feet – no levers or cables as intermediaries. I admit it’s taking a bit of time to adjust; I haven’t been aboard a coaster-brake-equipped bike, on a regular basis, anyway, in a little over forty years (I’m 51). I have several swoopy, go-fast bikes that I love dearly (including an ALex Moulton 14-speed that I bought new 22 years ago), but this may be the sweetest, sexiest practical bike I’ve ever owned.If I were King, I’d decree that SRAM should put this lovely hub back into production, posthaste (perhaps with a lighter alloy shell, but otherwise unchanged). But it’s probably *too* practical to see the light of day again…people like gadgets with lots of “stuff” to validate their status as consumers, so an unassuming-but-solid and sensible product gets overlooked. More’s the pity.- Barrett
4. Check also this very interesting comment on the The Fichtel & Sachs Torpedo DUOMATIC internal gear hub Story Posting:
I love your site. Sachs two speed hubs are my favorite hubs. I have about 5 of them. I have a few kickbacks and few automatics. I also bought various parts to repair them from a closed bicycle shop in Canada. I have a small bicycle company in New York City. I have actually asked SRAM (the company that now has the DUOMATIC tooling) to make these hubs again. Perhaps some day they will.
I agree on all the statments. We´ll see the hub in the future. This will not be something like the Nexus AUTO D hub with batteries & electronics. The charm is this fantastic mechanical mechanism. It´s simplicity and ease of use. Less maintenance and a functionallity which will work also at -5°C. Because there are no frozen bowden cables.
And finally the beautiful hub shell with these smooth waves on it. Please have a look. Isn´t “she” great?
Summery: The Fichtel & Sachs Torpedo DUOMATIC hub is the only former (historical) hub which has so many supporter. It´s something special. All other hubs principles are further developed and improved. But they all need a bowden cable or a battery!
Let´s start collecting money to reanimate this great hub! Or lets do it on our own!