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The Remondini

The Remondini was a French design of cyclemotor which was first described in the journal of the Société des Ingenieurs de l'Automobile in December 1943.

To fit the unit to a cycle it was necessary to change the pedal spindle and chain-wheel.  The special replacement chain-wheel was dished and took the drive from the engine.  It also contained a clutch.  The replacement spindle was longer than normal to allow for the dishing of the chain-wheel, and also to provide enough width between the pedal cranks to accommodate the engine below the bottom bracket.

Remondini engine unit
The Remondini engine unit

The engine was a 34cc two-stroke with 'square' dimensions of 35×35mm. It developed 0.6hp at 5,000rpm.  A flywheel magneto supplied the ignition to a 10mm sparking plug and a vertical choke carburettor was mounted alongside the cycle's seat tube. Petroil mixture was contained in a wedge-shaped tank inside the frame triangle, and clamped to the down tube and seat tube.

Because the engine drove the chain-wheel, and thence the rear wheel via the normal pedalling chain, it could be used in conjunction with a hub or derailleur gear.

Remondini on cycle
The Remondini on a cycle

At the end of World War II the Remondini was cited as an example of the direction in which the autocycles of the time should be developed.  It can, therefore, be regarded as one of the forerunners of the 1950's cyclemotor boom.

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First published in Buzzing, the Magazine of the East Anglian Cyclemotor Club, in October 1983

Remondini post-script

The Remondini was not only used as an example of good cyclemotor practice after World War II, it was also put into production.  This picture shows the Monet Goyon Motorox of 1947.  Comparing it with the picture of the Remondini above reveals a few detail differences but, nevertheless, it is obviously the same design.

1947 Monet Goyon cyclemotor unit
1947 Monet Goyon cyclemotor unit

In a letter to The Motor Cycle, published on 13th June 1946, a correspondent signing himself as "Ubique" commented on the Remondini design:

...I would like to know what is in that "dished sprocket" on the bottom bracket, for therein, I feel sure, lies the secret of the success or otherwise of the Remondini design.

Given a total gear reduction of 16 to 1 - a high gear for so small an engine - and a normal pedal drive multiplication of about 2.7 to 1, there would have to be a reduction gear of over 43 to 1 between the engine shaft and the front pedal sprocket and, believe me, that is some job to achieve both as regards weight and cost.

Well, now all can be revealed.  This picture is of another version of the Remondini: the MT34, produced in Milan, Italy.

1952 MT34 cyclemotor unit
1952 MT34 cyclemotor unit

As the picture clearly shows, the bulk of the reduction (about 10 to 1) was achieved by a small gear protuding from the engine unit engaging with a large internally toothed gear ring on the chain wheel.  A lesser reduction primary drive within the engine unit provided the rest.

First published in the Moped Archive in January 2004

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