New Depature Hub 3 Sprockets, 1940 Colson Firestone Flying Ace

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Pedal Metal

'Lil Knee Scuffer
I set up an account a while back but believe this to be my first post. Well, I recently came across what I believe to be a 1940 Colson Firestone Flying Ace which has a strange 3 sprocket setup on the New Departure coaster brake hub. I mainly collect Schwinns and just recently came across this. So, I reached out to several collector friends and acquaintances, but nobody has ever heard of this before. So far, I / we’ve come up with the following possibilities:
  • possibly a 1 off custom fabrication
  • a manufacturer or dealer option to give someone the ability to re-gear their bike by adding or removing links
  • extra sprockets for a motor
  • a prototype that somehow made it into the wild
I haven't had this apart yet, but wondered if someone had ever seen or heard of this setup?

Also, has anyone ever seen stirrups mounted on a bike like this before? I'm also wondering if this were a custom creation or if they were a marketed accessory.

Thanks!

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mike j

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Pretty interesting, you got me. The only opinion that I can offer is that the chainring & rack don't look original to the bike. Rack seems like a Roadmaster & the chainring should be, what I call the Colson triple sperm. They put a few options on those New Departure hubs, haven't seen this one though.
 

frankster41

I live for the CABE
There would have had to be a derailluer(don't know about spelling) to change the gearing. Looks like someones experiment.
 

bairdco

I live for the CABE
Looks like someone somehow threaded a freewheel onto the hub. Is it three seperate cogs or a cluster?

Rack looks bent so maybe the stirrups were for riding someone around on it.
 

bike

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
In Memoriam
simplex of france made a 3 speed bolt on conversion for nd that is what you appear to have the gears from
 

Pedal Metal

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Thank you for your posts to date. I'm away from it for the time being, but I did have a better picture of the stirrups to share. You notice that it is not bolted through the stays, but bolted on each side of each stay. This extra care to detail in fabrication would have taken more time to make and made them universal which is way I thought that they may have been a bono fife accessory.
I was pleased to learn about the simplex cog and will look for a makers mark when I can.

image.jpeg
 

Pedal Metal

'Lil Knee Scuffer
simplex of france made a 3 speed bolt on conversion for nd that is what you appear to have the gears from
Thanks again. Do you know what era the simplex 3 was sold and what derailors would have like been mated to it. I'm guessing a simplex. Also, were they intended for a certain brand, model or application. Thanks!
 

bikiba

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Thanks again. Do you know what era the simplex 3 was sold and what derailors would have like been mated to it. I'm guessing a simplex. Also, were they intended for a certain brand, model or application. Thanks!

:) Derailleur
 
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