Coaster Brake

Lay out all parts in a row with utmost care as you remove them, noting not only the order of removal but also the way each faces, for a mistake can prove costly.

The 200-mile check should include adjusting and tightening the saddle, all nuts and bolts, and the handle bars. The tip of the saddle should be on or slightly behind a perpendicular line through the center of the crankshaft, and the seat post clamped at a height that allows the heel to touch the pedal at its lowest point. Handle bars should be of the standard flat-top type and as wide as the rider's shoulders, and the rubber grips must be cemented firmly. Adjust the handle bars to bring the grips level with the saddle. The rider will then lean forward at a slight angle, most of his weight being on the pedals and saddle.

To help keep dirt out of the bearings, the frame should also be cleaned at the 200-mile mark. A coat of automobile wax will aid in keeping it clean. Wipe plated parts with an oiled rag, or use metal polish.


Once a year your bike should be taken apart completely. If used daily, for long trips, in rain, or on dusty or muddy roads, a semiannual overhaul is advisable.

Every shaft, cone, and bearing should be thoroughly cleaned in kerosene, repacked with light grease or petroleum jelly, reassembled, and adjusted. Lay out in order or label all parts as you remove them so that each can be put back in its original position. Replace any badly worn parts.

Coaster brakes must be taken apart with utmost care. Lay out all parts in a row as you remove them, noting not only the order of removal but also the way each faces. Replacing any part incorrectly will result in faulty operation and bad wear.

Tire inflation should be checked every few days. The narrow shoe-and-tube tires on modern bikes carry 50 to 60 lbs. pressure. If it is not marked on the sidewalls, consult your dealer. Nothing wears like underinfla-tion. Examine tires daily for nails or bits of stone or glass in the tread. Inner tubes can be patched like automobile tubes, but be careful not to pinch beading or tubes when removing. Single-tube tires can be "puncture-proofed" with 6 oz. of molasses or a commercial compound. They should be shellacked to the rims.

Never leave your bike outside in rain or heavy dew. Don't ride another person on it. Jumping curbs may break the tire walls. Don't depend on your coaster brake alone if you descend long hills often, but install an extra front-wheel caliper brake. Friction develops terrific heat in the brake if you use it for prolonged periods. Avoid "jamming on" the brake and save tire wear.

If you buy a bike, get a "lightweight" for easy pedaling. There are, on the market, lightweights, about 35 lbs. fully equipped. To select the proper frame size, take your inside leg measurement from crotch to heel and subtract 9". This should correspond to the length of the seat-post mast, from crank hanger to top bar.

Care should be exercised in determining the gear ratio for your size, weight, and strength. Men take gearing from "64" to "74," women from "54" to "64." This number is the diameter in inches of a wheel traveling in one revolution the distance the bike would travel with one revolution of the pedals. The expression dates from the days when the pedals were on a large front wheel. A high gear means, therefore, less pedaling, but greater effort; low gear desirable in hilly country, greater leverage and more effective power. Since any will be a compromise, a two-speed gearshift mechanism inside the coaster brake is worth while. This usually costs only a few dollars extra.

To calculate the gear, multiply the number of teeth in the large sprocket by the diameter, in inches, of the rear wheel, and divide the product by the number of teeth in the small sprocket. You can change the gear ratio by using a different size rear sprocket and adding or removing links to make the chain fit.

And now you know how to select a good bike and take care of it; but do you know how to use it to get the greatest pleasure with the least effort? There is only one trick-pedaling. Take a tip from the experts : Keep the ball of the foot squarely on the tread; exert power through more than half of each revolution by tilting each foot up near the top of the stroke, down near the bottom, thus pushing the pedals past dead center instead of merely letting them coast over. Keep the knees in, parallel to the top bar. The resulting smoothness, speed, and power will surprise you.


All the above paraphernalia will actually fit into the bicycle pack. Included are a pup tent, raincoat, shaving kit, camera, blanket, and change of linen. Left, the completed pack in place on the carrier.


Bicycle Pack

Bicycle Pack

I IGHTWEIGHT, compact, and waterproof, I this pack holds all the essentials for a bicycle trip and can be securely fastened to the seat and luggage carrier of any wheel.

Waterproof artificial leather was used for the pack shown, but canvas, which you can waterproof yourself, may be substituted. A piece of fabric 43 1/2" by 511/2" is necessary. Lay out the full pattern from the half pattern shown in the drawing. Inserts for pockets should be cut from the waste material after the pattern has been formed. Before shaping the bag, the top front edge is seamed and a cord stiffener is pulled through the seam. The inserts for all the pockets are corded in like manner and stitched into the flaps on the flat material. After the pockets are stitched, the bag is French seamed with strong thread.

A plywood floor 1/4" by 83/4" by 15" is fitted into the bottom of the bag and fastened with four roundheaded upholsterer's spread fasteners. The latter serve as casters when the bag is off the bicycle.

Two 3/16" holes are drilled through the plywood floor and fabric for the bolts, which rest on 3/4" washers and are lined up with the screw eyes bolted to the luggage carrier. Wing nuts are used to adjust the bag and prevent side sway. The seat straps hold some weight, but the bag rests mainly on the carrier.