Got a Free Project bike! Bike-O-Matic?


Master Bike Builder & Forum Sponsor
Dec 28, 2007
Duvall, WA PNW
As if I don't have enough to work on.....I found a free bike today.

It's a five speed Columbia City Lites MTB....probably ca 1990 or so, maybe a bit older. No seat, grips, nothing works, flats, etc. Perfect for a motor!!

The odd thing about it, the bike has this Bike-O-Matic's an automatic shifter - looks to somehow shift based on chain tension. Anyone seen such a thing?

I think I won't have time to work on it until late fall....


Active Member
Mar 1, 2008
Aztlán, Arizona
I've seen some online, thier is a few....I've also seen one on TV late at night, it's like one of those hour long commercials. That one has some kinda weights that go flying off the side and use centrifical force to shift. I can just see myself the first time riding it I'll rip those weights right off rotfl


Jul 8, 2008
Wayne National Forest
I think I got one under my bed brand new in the box. What a nighbmare that thing is.

I was dating this girl who wasn't mechancially savvy and she saw it in a catelog. Gave like $80 bucks for it along time ago. Then she wanted a RED 10 speed to put it on. I told her to get a 26 or 27 inch. Well the lady at Sears tells her they don't have any that size right now.

Now get this. Some punk college kid working there as a part timer thru the Christmas Holidays says "Pisssst ..... lady" ! I know where there's a RED one back there. (understand he's just wanting to make the sale) The reason the woman clerk told her they didn't have any was they didn't have any 26 or 27 inch back there. There was a 24 back there in the back and the punk figured she wouldn't know the difference. So he sold it to her and loaded it out the delivery door so the woman wouldn't know what he did.

So, she gets home all excited and it says clearly on it "24" inch.

I told her it wouldn't she turned around and drove the 25 miles back and took it back. She lost interest before nice weather. And I wound up with the Bike-O-Matic.

It works on a pneumatic cylinder which has a roller on the bottom of it's piston which is pumped by a plastic triangle that fits over the axle opposite the sprocket cluster. As air pressure builds the cable to the rear derailer is tugged to shift thru the gears.


After that there was a system where the rear sprocket was divided into 3 or 4 parts that expanded outward. Thus an infinantly variable ratio was affected
by the outward and inward movement of the moving sprocket parts.

I mean most of the time I ride........I just use the large front sprocket and shift the rear derailer. I ain't no Lance Armstrong who splits gears like a mountain trucker....hey it's just pleasure riding. Hard can it be to shift thru 5 gears up and down and back. Jeez, if ya can't chew gum and walk at the same time stay off the ten speeds. It just makes me groan when I think of that thing.

NEW NEWS !! I lied.

It's called an Air Shifter made by Leasure Cycle Technology of Fairfield, NJ
but I'm sure it's nearly the same thing.

Anyone want a real toy ? I got a "Pop Rod" in the garage. It's a one Cylinder
Pogo Stick. The cylinder fires when you jump onto it and the glow plug touches the top of the piston. The piston has a valve in it that talkes the small amount of fuel (it's called "PoGoGo") and you can go bouncing around on a parking lot at about 24"+ with each bound. It uses C cell batteries in the handle where at the base of the handle is a ignition coil. The fuel tank only holds a few ounces. (hey ya don't wanna wind up in the next county)

Yes it is an attraction. I had a buddy in central Ahio who had a Kawasaki Dealership and lucked into a Harley dealer who was wanting to retire from it.
So, to cristen the Harly Dealership we did a day or so of teaching the girls he hired to ride the Pop Rod. Once they knew what they were doing they rode the PopRod as a Wet Tee Shirt event. He payed me well for the use of the thing too. I don't think there could have been enough Ice Cold Beer in Ahio that night.

The Pogo Stick vents front and rear between your feet so the fire blowing out of it doesn't set your socks on fire. Something to remember. And if you don't think dogs like motorcycles you ought to see them around this thing. I chased a dog half way down the street on it fore he ran under a house. He can't outflank ya cause you just twist in mid air and land with the exhaust aimed at him. Poroomph ! and Fido runs like a scared cat on alcohol & firearms night at the dew-drop-inn. :D
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HS Math Teacher
Jun 17, 2008
lol, good story eDJ.

Pablo, let us know about that shifter, it might be a great addition to the jackshaft kit

Bikeguy Joe

Godfather of Motorized Bicycles
Jan 8, 2008
up north now
Send all unwanted shifter mechanisims to me, I will surely destroy them!

I figured out why my 2 speed kickback hub won't work....there is no (very hard to find) indexing spring in it!

For now it's a one speed '59 Schwinn.


Jul 8, 2008
Wayne National Forest
Glad ya all enjoy this ol' Appalachian American boy's yarns. I got all kinds of em !

I've been trying to design a gallery of Raquimbili Tee shirts in my spare time today and I got one I'm gonna make a screen saver of that oughta be killer.

When I said that Pogostick is a "PopRod" it's actually a "HopRod".

I've had mine for some time now and use it for promotions. You can make your own fuel as it's a 2cycle system and I think it's with my Hop Rod in the box.

Check this link out: Ebay: Gas powered Pogo Stick - Hoprod | Random Good Stuff

From top to bottom on the photo:

Tee handle of special durable plastic. Screw tightened to cap the battery tube.

Tube which contains C cell batteries and ignition coil at the base.
~ Speaking about batteries~ That Ever-ready Bunny ougha ride one of these
in one of his commercials ! The ehaust will sound like he's beatin a drum.

Cast aluminum cylinder for piston housing which shows exhaust port above fuel tank and mounting collar for the foot pedals. (where two pieces of stamped metal bolt together over it and rubber foot pads are pried on over

Coil spring over piston rod with rubber snubber pad on base end.

Notice that at the bottom of the battery tube there is a black gromet and a
black wire leading down to the top fin of the cylinder. That's where the glow plug is. The piston is pointed like a pencil and the top of it is a poppet valve that lifts up as you go down on the pedals. The fuel air mixture blows up thru the valve before it closes just before the piston goes TDC where it touches the glowplug. The glow plug looks like a thin coil spring extending about 1/2 inch out from it's base with another 1/2 inch straight wire lenght sticking out from the last coil. So the pointed tip of the piston touches it and
all those C cell batteries in the battery tube charging that must make it go off like a camera flash in there to ignite the fuel and send a 174 pound eDJ hurlin down the way. But, I mean it's the most fun a po' boy can have chasing dogs on what feels like a half million dollar "FUNNY CAR". I mean one of these things will put the meanest junk yard dog in line for therapy.

These were made by Chance Manufacturing of Wichita, Kansas, under the trademark "Hop Rod". They make carnival rides etc for amusement companies. I had seen them in Hot Rod magazine where they were used for promoting the street rod events, so when I saw it in for sale I knew what it was. I dummied up and was able to get it for a fraction of it's original cost.

This is what I have now, knocked down and in the box for shown.
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New Member
Aug 3, 2008
you're right, they are very fun, I was able to see quite a bit of the roof when I tried one. But it was also a alittle scary:(


Jul 8, 2008
Wayne National Forest
LOL Roger Rabbit....I hear ya Tramp. Yeah, that ol Hop Rod's an experience for rider and audience alike. This might make a good UTube video ? I sure wish I had a helment cam back in the day I chased that dog down the street. He really thought the Devil was after him. :eek: