Sunday, February 08, 2009

Peter Meilstrup's 4-speed Retro-Direct Bicycle

Peter Meilstrup stopped by Bike Works yesterday with still more evidence that the Retro-Direct Revolution is well underway. Peter's bike features dual freewheels, a KORE chain tensioner and a front derailleur to give him a total of four unique gear ratios. It's a very sweet bike.


beth h said...

Velocio would be so proud!

Karl McCracken (twitter: @karlonsea) said...


I'm fairly mechanically minded, but I don't understand that drive train at all. Anyone got a simple explanation?

gob said...

How do you figure there's 4 gears? Isn't the second freewheel essentially the top pulley of his "rear derailer"/ chain tensioner?

The whole mess is a solution in search of a problem. If he really wanted a bike with limited gear ratios, there are far cleaner, simpler, and lighter solutions than this ugly heavy mess. Why do people insist upon reinventing the bicycle? If you want a 2 speed that bad, wouldn't it have been easiest to use a standard rear rederailer on a single cog as the chain tensioner?

Kent Peterson said...

Karl and gob,

You must be new around here! Use the search function on this blog or Google for the phrase "Retro-direct" and you'll see what's going on.

Previous posts here show how to build a two-speed retro-direct, Peter's bike adds a front derailleur. Don't knock a bike that you can make go forward by pedaling backwards until you've tried one.


Karl McCracken (twitter: @karlonsea) said...

Thanks - all is sort-of clear now, though my brain is still hurting a little!

I'm fairly sure I'd never want to . . . but what are Retro Direct drives like to ride?

Kent Peterson said...

Retro-direct bikes are pretty darn fun to ride. You have to keep an eye on the left pedal, it has a tendency to unscrew when you do a lot of backwards pedaling.

It feels different and you are working muscles a bit differently. I feel it more in my butt. I was telling my wife if we made an infomercial and called it the "bun-sculpter" we'd make a fortune!