HUBS & GEARS

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This group informs about the first mass-produced bicycle hubs and gears, and also the early styles of brakes, including plunger brakes, band brakes, Bowden brakes, coaster brakes and rim brakes.

The freewheel was introduced in 1898 and revolutionised cycling. Coaster hub brakes and two speed hubs followed soon after, and within just a few years the bicycle had evolved into the form which still remains today: diamond frame; freewheel; front & rear brakes; gears.

Gears are considered one of the oldest piece of equipment known to mankind, their origin apparently traced back to The Chinese South-Pointing Chariot in the 27th century B.C – a vehicle built on two wheels with a movable indicator that always pointed South no matter how the chariot turned. The chariot, allegedly designed by mechanical engineer Ma Jun, possessed rotating wheels that were mechanically geared to keep the indicator pointing in a southern direction without the use of magnets.