How to confuse a Millenial

I’m sure Professor @Triedaq is correct in his memory of the automatic transmission. I guess for me it was mainly around 1956 when I saw a few, even though there was a Buick and Caddy with one in the neighborhood. So really that would mean people born in 1940 would have been the first ones to drive one. But they weren’t old enough to buy them. That would have been older people or the “greatest generation” back from the war. But automatics like air conditioning and power steering and brakes were at extra cost and a lot of people didn’t want to pay the extra $400 or so for an automatic. So it really wasn’t until the 60’s or later that these features became more standard and pretty much what was on the lot. My first two cars were manuals and my first automatic was about 1969.

I really don’t think it had anything to do with how people were raised. It was just what became popular and standard, like TVs. Farm kids were exposed to manuals and many city kids also if that was what was around. After watching a video though of a kid trying to open a can for Thanksgiving dinner with a manual can opener and couldn’t figure it out, I’m going to make sure my grand kids at least know how to open a can without a pop top. I mean what do you do if the power goes out and the electric can opener doesn’t work? Can result in death or severe discomfort.


Good grief! Automatics vs. Standard transmissions… upbringing, laziness, blaming??

I own automatic transmission cars and a standard transmission car. I am an old guy, not a lazy person, and drive both types. Much of the time I prefer a bicycle over either type (It’s got a manual transmission).

From my experience driving a manual transmission car becomes “automatic” and a driver clutches and shifts without effort or even being conscious of the operation.

Manual transmission cars made more sense when they delivered better fuel economy, but now I just look at it being a personal preference, like which beer one likes.


@common_sense_answer There actually was an automatic two speed transmission for bicycles. It was made by Bendix. It had two speeds and you back pedaled to change speeds. If you back pedaled further, the brake was applied. I think this two speed coaster brake came along in the late 1950s and was available through the mid 1960s.

Why bother with just 2 gears when you can get a CVT

Oh stop me. I had a 3 speed English type bike. If I shifted to low and started pedaling, I’d shift to 2nd but it would still stay in low for a while and then automatically shift to 2nd. Cool I thought. 3rd was only good for cruising at high speed. Then as an adult, I got a 10 speed and had to shift the thing all the time. Still got it hanging in the garage in case of the apocalypses.

My Moped was a CVT but it had a V belt and the engine would move back and forth to change speeds, like a snow mobile and lawn mower actually. The variable pulley just gets wider or narrower to force the belt to change ratios. Pretty simple really.

@Bing I had an English lightweight bicycle with the feature you describe. The make of the bicycle was Newton. The rear hub where the gears were located was made by Sturney-Archer. The rider could preselect the gear ratio, backpedal, and the hub would shift to that gear.
The Bendix hub was only available on balloon tire bicycles. There was no.lever on the handlebar to shift the gear ratio. One merely started pedalling, then back pedalled slightly to get into the higher gear. It was analogous to the old "lift and clunk semi-automatic transmission available on Chrysler products where you put the transmission in Drive, accelerated above 15 mph and released the accelerator. There was a “clunk” as the transmission dropped into direct drive.
I do own a Raleigh 10 speed bicycle and I do like having multiple gear ranges that can be chosen for different terrains.

The millinial vs Boomer battle hasn’t arrived in Mayberry II yet. This part of the country is somewhat SLOOOOW to come on board with new ideas. Down here Johhny Cash’s ‘A Boy Named Sue’ was a big hit that made a lot of sense.

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