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:

1. Koogswell Blog

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.

See more…

2. Moulton Buzz

DUOMATIC on my mark III

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??

Read more…


Stuff I Like and Stuff I Have Done

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:

Matthew McGregor-Mento (14:50:26) : edit


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!


  1. Clancy

    More information about the NEW kickbacks.

    Hi Clancy,

    thanks for the link. A very interesting statment from Matthew Grimm of Kogswell.

    I tried to catch some details about the kick back hub on this bicycle.

    With this kick back hub:

    Hubs Schwinn approved 2-speed kick back Coaster Brake rear and alloy front

    What means Schwinn approved?
    The prooved the quality and accepted it? Sounds like China!

    Here is a feedback mail from the Schwinn support:

    The hub is our own production, so it doesn’t have an aftermarket brand name. To shift, you simply need to quickly pedal backward (the kick-back), then resume pedaling forwards. Unfortunately, I don’t have any detailed close-ups of it at this time.


    Jason Brozek
    IBD Service and FAQ Support

    In my eyes it makes no sense to produce a hub just for a bicycle model. On the other hand SCHWINN is a bicycle producer and no hub vendor.

    I´am still in contact with Jason to get more informations on the hub.

    Maybe Matthew Grimm of Kogswell has a better contact to Schwinn according his statment.

    Gruß Marco

  2. Larry Webber

    I agree that it would not make a lot of business sense to produce a 2-speed hub for just one or two Schwinn models. I am very eager to see if the hub is available at some point – and it would be great if it were the F & S hub reincarnated. I currently have several single speeds that could benefit from this hub. I will definitely follow this thread.


  3. Hi,

    I was so excited about the news I called Schwinn myself. I spoke to Greg Blake who is the designer of the NEW Schwinn 2 speed kickback hub. He said that they looked at all the available designs and decided to make there own. They worked with a Taiwanese hub maker called Ken Tung that supplies some of their coaster brake hubs. He described the mechanism of the hub as a dual ratchet system where in one ratchet overrides the other. He also said that the hub body spins faster in low gear than in high gear making it basically a down shifting mechanism instead of an up shifting one that would put more force on the mechanism. I inquired as to the longevity of the hub compared to the Sachs and he said longevity was one of the main design considerations. I asked also about market availability and he said that at first they would only be available on Schwinns but may be available as an aftermarket part or to OEMs in the future. The axle spacing will be 135 but he said it could probably be set up for 130 also. He also mentioned a high end kickback in development that would have no coaster, be disc compatible, and would have an alloy shell.

  4. Hi Matthew,

    these are great news. I´am looking forward to get on of these hubs. But I´am not willing to by a Schwinn Crusier to own the kick back hub. I also surfed to the ktgroup but found nothing according a kickback hub. The longlife issue has to be proofed because I ride a Sachs Duomatic since 4 years / 8.000 – 10.000km and had no problems until now. When the hub is available as a spare part / component I will buy one, hubstrip and test it!

    I got a lot of contact over the last weeks via the hubstripping page. There is unbelivable amount of persons who are interested in hubs! I got in contact with a hub freak in Germany. He offered me a few dozen Fichtel & Sachs Torpedo Duomatic and Automatic hubs with 36 spoke holes. He got them by a german bicycle maufacturer who stored them in his cellar stock since 1981.
    There were two aspects who influenced me:
    – Diversifing my retirement arrangement
    – Hub fetish

    Since one week I´am the owner of 100 Sachs Duomatic and 50 Sachs Automatic (red version) hubs 36 holes!

    Details will follow in a seperate post. My idea is to sell them via!

    Gruß Marco

    • Brian

      Are you selling these hubs, or is this a really old post that I am responding to?

      How much are they if you still have them?


      • Hi Brian,

        you are a lucky guy. There are 7 hubs left. Your E-Mail seems not to be correct. Please post your address again!


    • bruce gilmore

      i dont suppose you have any of the automatic sachs hubs left ,or know of any that might be for sale now?


  5. I’m following this thread avidly, and am extremely interested in helping to fund your retirement. I’d love one of these for my own bike, and I have a good friend whose favorite road bike is built around a Bendix blue band that sadly needs a complete overhaul and some small parts to get going again.

    I think dropping a small word over on the Kogswell KOG list would start a riot to get these.
    Unless Matthew can buy some of those Kun Teng hubs… and even then, these are the real, proven, beauties.


  6. Larry Webber

    It appears that Schiwnn is now offering a “2009 Classic AL” cruiser bike with their kickback 2-speed hub. I have found no reviews and wonder if anyone on this group has heard anything about this hub?

  7. Karl Wooldridge

    The F&S Duomatic is featured on the new Limited Edition “Moulton50″ – built to celebrate 50 years of Moulton bikes.They are partnered on this bike with a Schlumpf Speed Drive (heel-operated epicyclic bottom bracket) giving a total of 4 gears (39-52-64-86”) with no need for cabling to the rear of the bike. The bikes, which appear to be based on the Pashley-built TSR range of ‘spaceframe’ Moultons look very nice I think. The link is here:

    I don’t know where Moulton are getting their hubs from, although as I suppose they may only be producing 50 of these bikes (?) perhaps they had a box of these hubs and decided to build bikes around them 😉

  8. Excellent site, keep up the good work

  9. Brian

    Sorry about that.Damn fingers.


  10. Brian

    Just checking on the hub email again.


  11. Glenn V. Ballard

    I don’t think the interest in 2 speed kick shift hubs is “campy” at all! I got one in 1966. They were durable as hell compared to the 5 and 10 speed geared bikes of the day. Perfect for the kid with a paper route. I understand these Bendix units were expensive to manufacture. Showing my usual lack of business acmen, I sold my bike to a relative for $10 when I got my drivers license in 1969. A pristine model for sale on line now is asking $1995. Any help in acquiring one or in new production units would be greatly appreciated. – Thanks.

  12. Haystack

    Folks, I have a Columbia Tandem with a Sachs Torpedo Duomatic rear hub. One of the axle nuts is stripped. I have been to many bicycle shops and ‘specialty’ fastener shops, trying to get a new one. I have not been successful, as this model has a very unique diameter/thead-pitch combination (at least in the US). Do any of you know where I can find new axle nuts for the Sachs Torpedo Duomatic hub? Thanks. Haystack

  13. Hugo


    You need Jens! He has thousands of Fichtel Sachs hub parts and is a great guy to deal with:

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