Skip-Tooth Chain Timeline

Discussion in 'BIKE TALK' started by 55ColumbiaBuilt, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. 55ColumbiaBuilt

    55ColumbiaBuilt

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    As I've stated in so many other posts, I'm new to all this stuff. I think I have made the realization that there is no real rhyme or reason as to when Skip Tooth chan use saw it's end. Is it safe to say that manufacturers built bikes with EITHER type of chain configuration over a period of years? That is, "So-And-So Bike Co." did/did not stop using skip tooth hardware on this particular date? I'm beginning to assume that drive-train parts were used up until inventory was gone, all the while 1/2 inch stuff was being put out there at the same time, by the same builder, in the same production year. Is that a safe statement?
     
  2. scrumblero

    scrumblero

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    the oldest 1/2" pitch chainring I've seen was just after the turn of the century, so who knows why they went with skip tooth for another 40+ years.. I think it probably started with one manufacturer moving too the better technology and the others following suit to be competitive, just like change in any other industry . when that actually happened?? :roll:
     
  3. JuggyWuggy

    JuggyWuggy

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    This reminds me, Ive finally seen a skiptooth in person at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. Next to it was a bike kit. pretty cool stuff.
     
  4. 55ColumbiaBuilt

    55ColumbiaBuilt

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    That's funny. My first vintage bike is a women's 1955 Columbia Built (hence my username) that my wife rides. I set out to find a men's bike for myself, and lo and behold, when I found it, a Rollfast, it was a skiptooth. Dating my Rollfast prompted this forum thread.
     
  5. texasbigjon

    texasbigjon

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    my 1957 murray fleetline was still manufatured with a skip tooth driveline,even though most bike makers had switched to the standard 1/2" drive by then! :shock: [​IMG]
     
  6. SSG

    SSG

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    There was no real standard. Some bikes started using 1/2" pitch around the turn of the century, and some kept 1" pitch well into the 1950's. Another interesting thing is that it seems that the fascination with 1" pitch chain was mostly American. A few European bikes had 1" pitch (mostly track bikes), but for the most part they stuck with 1/2" even from an early date. Supposedly (or so it was thought) 1" pitch was stronger, which is probably why it was used on track bikes even after good quality 1/2 was available. It seems that American made light weights went to 1/2 pitch first and then cruisers followed. I think some of the high end cruisers (black phantom for example) got 1/2 chain before the cheaper models. If you want to see something interesting check this out. Lets see if I can do it right. http://books.google.com/books?id=1CRyfR7JclIC&dq=bicycle chain&pg=PA58#v=onepage&q&f=false
     
  7. Rustinkerer

    Rustinkerer

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    A lot of companies like Westfield/Columbia, Colson, Schwinn, and Shelby tended to use skip tooth on their lower end bikes, and saved the 1/2" for the deluxe models, as an added feature. Most retired skip tooth drive in 1954, though Murray had it on some 55's. Texasbigjon's Murray looks to have a 30s Shelby chainring and chainguard swapped on at some point. -Adam
     
  8. DougC

    DougC

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    I would bet that the skip-tooth chain was just cheaper, as the machinery was old.

    It would not surprise me if the bicycle companies just kept using skip-tooth chains until the machinery to make it wore out--I know that there is food-canning equipment built before WW II that is still in use today, even in first-world countries.
     
  9. frameteam2003

    frameteam2003

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    The machinary never wore out--Diamond still can make skiptooth chain,and did a few years back for a short time---cost for a new skiptooth diamond bicycle chain at that time was about $45--same NOS goes for $75 to $100 today.
    The big advance in chains was not the pitch(1/2" or skiptooth)but in rollers.Those small parts between the plates---originally bicycles used Block chain--or solid blocks pinned between the plates--it wore out faster.Good skiptooth roller chain well oiled last forever.
     

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