Bendix Automatic Rebuild

Out for a ride today on this bike and the Bendix 2 speed “kickback” started to squeak. I decided to tear it apart and re-grease it when I got back. This was my first time taking apart a Bendix Automatic. Everything looked to be in really good shape including the grease except for one set of bearings. Hopefully that was the noise problem. I cleaned, greased and reassembled everything. I had to make one tool (upper right of photo) to loosen an adjusting cone lock nut but other than that it went a lot better than I expected. With the wheel back on the bike and the bike on the repair stand it seems to be working ok. I”ll have to road test it later.

Out With The Old… In With The…

Out with the old torn Brooks saddle.

In with the other old Brooks saddle.

When I got this bike the seat that was on it was in really bad shape so I put on an old used Brooks B72 saddle that I had taken off some old Raleigh I had at some point. I recently noticed it was tearing so I replaced it today with another old used Brooks B72 I had. These Brooks models are made for the old style seat post clamps and not the newer “micro-adjust” clamps as they have smaller double rails. I shim the bottom rails with some small diameter plastic tubing slit lengthwise to make it work.

This Evening

I did some work on one of Nova”s cruiser bikes rebuilding the rear hub and cleaning it up a little. I don”t have a work stand so what I do is hang the bike from the opposite end I”m working on from the garage door rail.

Later we went for a 12 mile ride out towards the country on both pavement and gravel roads.

MacGyver Master Link

In my haste to put my American Rat Rod together I forgot to put the retainer on the master link. While riding it at the Patriotic Pub Pedal the master link fell out and the chain come off and bound up the tire and I come to a screeching halt. Luckily someone had the idea and someone else the tool and coat hanger to do this and it worked great.

Removing handlebar grips

Remove stubborn grips by using an air compressor with a nozzle on the end. Put the nozzle in the hole of the grip on one end while plugging the hole on the other grip with your thumb. Now blow while twisting the grip your thumb is over.

Other methods (if you don’t have a air compressor or a hole in the end of the grip)…

Insert something small such as an ice pick between the grip and handle bar. Spray under the grip with WD-40 using the little straw the can comes with. Work the ice pick around the handle bar to loosen and spread the WD-40.

Also slide adjustable wrench or a wrench of the right size over the handlebars and up against the grip. Tap with a hammer.

Grip removal by air compressor gone wrong…

Shifters / Shift Levers

Click or Indexed shifting: Any new bike with gears and the old shifters used on internal geared hubs were “click” shifters or indexed. Meaning there are definite, marked stopping points on the shifter where it “clicks” into gear.

Friction: Friction shifters have no definite stopping points or positions. You just keep moving the shift lever until you feel and hear the bike shift to a different gear. Friction shifters were generally used on old “10 speed” style bikes with a dérailleur.


Tires come in all different sizes and widths.
Rim sizes are typically 26″, 24″ and 20″.
Cruisers 26″, musclebikes 20″.
Widths typically used for cruisers and kustoms…
Ballooner: 2.125″
Middleweight: 1.75″ or *Schwinns 1-3/4″
Newer tires can even be 3.0″ or wider.

*Note the Schwinn 26″ x 1-3/4″ tires require a Schwinn S7 rim and will not work on a standard 26″ rim.

Rust Removal From Chrome

Some suggested methods for removing rust from chrome…
WD-40 and a blue no-scratch Scotch-Brite pad.
Copper wool (used in the kitchen to clean pans) and liquid chrome polish. The copper is softer than crome so it will not scratch.
WD-40 and aluminum foil.
Quick Glo.
Once rust is removed apply a good coat of wax to prevent re-rusting.