Here’s an interesting little gadget from many years ago – the Eadie Coaster hub. It’s of a different style to the familiar coasters of the 1960s and later, in that the brake part resembles a drum brake of fairly large diameter, but it’s initially operated by the typical drive screw it shares with the modern coaster brake family.
The later replacement for it was called the “BSA New Eadie” and came with the now familiar smaller diameter central expanding shoe.
I can remember riding a ladies’ bike as a child in the 60s that used one of these Eadie coasters, along with a ‘Hercules’ chain set. I can clearly remember the sliding oiler cover on the brake housing – and I think it was a fairly old bike even then !
Because of the narrow but large diameter shoe, the hub flanges are unequal sizes, and you’ll notice the unusual slotted spoke holes in the drive side flange. These slots allow a wheel to be built, or a drive-side spoke replaced, without either having to bend the spoke past the large flange or to remove the drive sprocket – clever, but necessary.
This also means that two fairly different lengths of spoke will have to be used to build up a wheel. Such oddities are where ‘Spokecalc’ comes in handy, as this hub wasn’t fitted to a wheel when I got it, so I have no idea of the spoke lengths required.
Eadie coasters were made between the early 20th century and the 1940s or so. The Eadie company was taken over by BSA in 1907, though the hub does not have any BSA logos on it at all. I’m almost certain the hub isn’t pre-1907 though. There is a reasonable amount of related literature for Eadie coasters on the web.
The tiny oiler cap in the hub centre is stamped “Abingdon Works” which was in Birmingham. Missing from the parts picture above are the 13 x 1/4″ loose ball bearings from the inner sprocket drive side. I was unable to remove the bearing cover from the sprocket outer ball cage, so I had to try and clean it in situ.
Although I haven’t actually used it yet, I’ve noticed that the design has a free-spinning quality to it, without the noticeable drag one gets when spinning a modern coaster hub.
Also, there is quite a strong spring-back when braking pressure is released, which may help account for this lack of friction.
This one is a 40-hole model so I need to find an appropriate rim, but I would like to use it on one of my loop-frame ladies’ models. It’s to be hoped that it works well enough on its own, but one never knows with a re-built coaster, at least not until one tries it out !
On an unrelated topic, here’s a pic of my 1984 Dahon 3-speed taken on a recent outing. It cost me around $30AUD several years ago at a garage sale, and following a complete rebuild it became perhaps my most attention grabbing bike, at least as far as the non-cycling public is concerned.
It’s altogether Flexy, Frivolous and Fun !
Happy Re-Cycling !