Still having trouble with a 1899 Columbia Chainless.


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Ed Minas

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 25, 2016
414
242
66
Farmington, United States
#1
Good evening fellow Cabers. A while back I posted about problems with my wife's 1899 Columbia Chainless. It lost the drive between pedals and the rear wheel. After some suggestions by folks here I took the rear assembly apart. What I discovered is that the bevel gear on the hub backs off and unthreads itself. Does anyone here know how to keep the gear from unthreading itself?
Thanks in advance.

Us a side note I am amazed how different the 1899 Chainless is from the 1897 and 1899
 

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,737
703
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
#2
From memory, there should be a reverse thread lock ring on the bevel gear. Can you see a threaded area past the bevel gear?If it is missing, you could secure the gear with some 21st century Loctite product. I suspect that Columbia used the same threads for all of their lockrings, but I don't know what the specs were. Pretty much nothing was the same in the 1898,1899, 1900, and 1901 models as I found out when i bought a bunch of parts bikes from someone else's abandoned project. this was not planned obsolescence, there were some fragile parts that needed to be fixed. Unfortunately as time went on the quality of the bikes and parts declined too.
 

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,737
703
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
#3
From memory, there should be a reverse thread lock ring on the bevel gear. Can you see a threaded area past the bevel gear?If it is missing, you could secure the gear with some 21st century Loctite product. I suspect that Columbia used the same threads for all of their lockrings, but I don't know what the specs were. Pretty much nothing was the same in the 1898,1899, 1900, and 1901 models as I found out when i bought a bunch of parts bikes from someone else's abandoned project. this was not planned obsolescence, there were some fragile parts that needed to be fixed. Unfortunately as time went on the quality of the bikes and parts declined too.
I
 

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,737
703
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
#4
I took a look at the Columbia manual- not the bike parts since they are 3000 miles away and in Fibber McGee's closet- and it looks like there is no lock ring on at least the post 1906 models- take a look at p, 14, but the tight engagement of the bevel gears and the "case check nut" (p. 10 and 11)might have done the same thing. I'd take the hub apart and see if it does take a lock ring. If not it is 118 years old and is entitled to some wear. Loctite Bearing Mount or "retaining product" should help if the threads have worn loose. These will break down if you play a torch over them, so you are not doing something irreversible.
 
Likes: Ed Minas

Marty Potts

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Jul 26, 2014
15
9
#7
View attachment 651551

Crap. If I had known, I would have taken a better picture of this on Wednesday...

-Lester
Dear Lester, Any chance you could photocopy the brochure you posted this pic of July 28, 2017 (maybe 2 separate photocopies of the pic itself so I'm able to read the labeling)? I'm stuck trying to re-assemble my 1899 model 59. Certainly I will pay for postage. Thanks in advance, Marty Potts. 1113 Oakwood Rd, East Peoria, IL 61611.
 
Likes: dnc1

Rambler

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Nov 1, 2011
753
675
Auburn Hills, United States
#8
Dear Lester, Any chance you could photocopy the brochure you posted this pic of July 28, 2017 (maybe 2 separate photocopies of the pic itself so I'm able to read the labeling)? I'm stuck trying to re-assemble my 1899 model 59. Certainly I will pay for postage. Thanks in advance, Marty Potts. 1113 Oakwood Rd, East Peoria, IL 61611.
Marty, According to the Wheelmen directory it appears that you are already a member of the Wheelmen. I have a suggestion for you. Contact The Wheelmen Librarian/Resource Coordinator https://www.thewheelmen.com/sections/officers/officers.php?s=c01 and if you don't have one already, request a copy of Columbia Bevel Gear Chainless Care and Adjustment booklet. It is approximately 16 pages of helpful information published by Columbia on how to service Columbia bevel gear bicycles.

For anyone that is not a Wheelmen member and would like a copy of the booklet, there is no better time to join the Wheelmen then right now! https://www.thewheelmen.com/sections/membership/membership.php
 

lgrinnings

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 31, 2010
301
941
Newburyport, MA
#9
As a Wheelmen member myself, I couldn’t agree more about the benefits of joining for those who have yet to do so. In the event you run into trouble Marty, I can get you some high resolution images of the posted illustration (the booklet in question is a couple hours away at my parents house though, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do it).

-Lester
 

Marty Potts

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Jul 26, 2014
15
9
#10
Marty, According to the Wheelmen directory it appears that you are already a member of the Wheelmen. I have a suggestion for you. Contact The Wheelmen Librarian/Resource Coordinator https://www.thewheelmen.com/sections/officers/officers.php?s=c01 and if you don't have one already, request a copy of Columbia Bevel Gear Chainless Care and Adjustment booklet. It is approximately 16 pages of helpful information published by Columbia on how to service Columbia bevel gear bicycles.

For anyone that is not a Wheelmen member and would like a copy of the booklet, there is no better time to join the Wheelmen then right now! https://www.thewheelmen.com/sections/membership/membership.php
Yes, I've already contacted Bill Smith (librarian) and he said the club does not have the 1899 booklet. That's when I thot I'd try CABE. lgrinnings said it might take time because his booklet is at his parents house several hrs away, but he could provide me w/a copy.
 

Marty Potts

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Jul 26, 2014
15
9
#11
As a Wheelmen member myself, I couldn’t agree more about the benefits of joining for those who have yet to do so. In the event you run into trouble Marty, I can get you some high resolution images of the posted illustration (the booklet in question is a couple hours away at my parents house though, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do it).

-Lester
Hey thanks. Yes please when you have an opportunity I'd appreciate images and photocopies of all the booklet pages. I will reimburse you. Marty Potts
 

Ed Minas

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 25, 2016
414
242
66
Farmington, United States
#12
Hi Marty, as the originator of this thread I wanted to chime in.
First I must say that I could not agree more the Wheelmen is a great club and I think you will enjoy being a member as we have.
Second you are on the right track talking to Bill, he and the library are great sources of information.
Now for the bad news when I posted this thread I had a matching pair or restored Columbia 59 s. One men’s one woman’s. I did not restore them but I did work on them when they gave us trouble. In fact many people looked at them when they gave us trouble. After numerous attempts to make the drive system actually work as designed we finally gave up. As I mentioned in the original post the rear gear kept backing off when applying back pedal pressure. I reviewed the diagram and assembled the rear hubs accordingly. There were no broken or missing pieces and yet the gear on the hub backed off on both bikes nurmous times. I wish you better luck on your project, but as for me and my wife we have sworn off riding chainless models.
 

Marty Potts

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Jul 26, 2014
15
9
#13
Dear Ed, I finally got my 1899 Columbia assembled. I have not had any trouble with the rear wheel hub gear un-threading on any of the 4 chainless bikes I have. It's been several years since I assembled that part of this bike I can't remember anything special I did. I've attached a copy of the original page from Columbia's "adjustment" brochure. The only thing I can suggest is to use red "lock-tite" on the threads. Sorry I didn't see your post until today 4/1/2019. Marty Potts
1554140831976.png
 

Marty Potts

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Jul 26, 2014
15
9
#15
Dear Ed, I finally got my 1899 Columbia assembled. I have not had any trouble with the rear wheel hub gear un-threading on any of the 4 chainless bikes I have. It's been several years since I assembled that part of this bike I can't remember anything special I did. I've attached a copy of the original page from Columbia's "adjustment" brochure. The only thing I can suggest is to use red "lock-tite" on the threads. Sorry I didn't see your post until today 4/1/2019. Marty Potts
View attachment 973992
Ed, Guess I'll have to follow my own suggestion about red lock-tite on the hub gear. Mine came loose today!! Marty
 

Ed Minas

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 25, 2016
414
242
66
Farmington, United States
#16
I am so sorry you are struggling with the same issue. Some one suggested to me to drill a hole and drive a pin in but I wasn’t willing to change the design to make it work. You could try that.
 

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