Eclat is a bmx parts company that is either owned by the same people, or has major ties to the guys at We The People. Eclat released news that they would be designing a freecoaster about the time that Shane Weston joined up with the team. Funny enough, the Eclat coaster is being called the “Blind” coaster. Some people have already recognized that this is the same name as a prototype coaster that We The People did years ago.
Interbike Update -
While going through Interbike today I was able to swing by the Eclat booth and take a first hand look at the new Blind coaster. The guys there were nice enough to let me take the hub apart and look at the internals, which I’m sure isn’t something they let everybody do.
The hub pretty much works as I had speculated about a week ago (see below) and I think it’s cool that more companies are bringing out radially engaging freecoaster hubs. The hub uses a pawl system that gets engaged when the driver moves forward and the disc on the left puts resistance on the pawl retainers causing the pawls to be pulled up by the driver. The disc on the left acts as a resistance mechanism and has a sleeve inside it that is held in place by the small allen screws you see. Each pawl has an individual spring that is held in place by a screw head.
I know a lot of people are going to be excited about this coaster because of the drive side hubguard that will work with it:
The hubguards they had on hand were labelled 7075, so they should be pretty durable for you street kids out there.
This is what the first prototype looked like:
Shane posted a picture of this version all built up on his Twitter:
Since then, the shell shape has changed a bit to a smoother look. Someone with Eclat recently let out pictures of the internals, which look very similar to a freecoaster patent that I posted up on Bikeguide a long time ago. Some things have changed a little bit, but I think the Eclat Blind coaster still functions in the same way.
Here is the picture that was posted of the internals:
And here are some pictures from the patent I mentioned:
So, let me try and break it down for you. The driver part with the cog has some grooves in it that angle outward. The pawls sit in a separate section to the driver. The pawls have some little “posts” sticking out of the sides of them that fit into the slots on the driver/cog. The clutch sits on the opposite side of the pawl retainer and catches on the edge next to the screw heads to give the pawl retainer friction. When the driver is pedaled forward the grooves push the pawls out so that they can engage on the ratchet ring inside of the hub, like a traditional cassette hub. When the rider back pedals a little bit, the drive pulls the “posts” on the pawls down into the grooves making them retract and no longer engage the ratchet ring on the hub. The amount of slack is determined by the amount of space between the interior edge of the pawl retainer and the edge of the clutch.
In the case of the Eclat Blind coaster, it seems that since the above patent they have changed to a different type of pawl spring which is held in by the screw heads you see in the picture. It also looks like the clutch is held in by some allen set screws. I didn’t label it in the picture above because I was running out of space, but you can see the pawl “post” sticking out of the right side on the pawls above.
Other pictures of the hub show it being tested with a hubguard:
I don’t know what material, or how the hubguard is connected to the hub, but hopefully we will find out more at Interbike this year.