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Old 09-22-11, 07:53 PM   #1
fusilierdan
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Coaster brake on MTB frame

In an effort to lessen the maintence on my commuter I'm thinking of replacing the 6 speed rear wheel with a coaster brake wheel. Can this be done. It looks like the spacing on the frame is 130 mm. Most of the wheels I've seen on line have been 110 mm can they be made to fit with spacers? Also what else will I need? I may go thruogh my LBS but I want to be sure of most of the costs before so I don't put too much money into an older bike. Thanks
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Old 09-22-11, 08:12 PM   #2
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How much is too much? Sram imotion 3-speed is $75 (dunno how much the shifter is). Might need new spokes too. Maybe $27-36. Assuming you can build wheels and you have 36 hole rims.

What kind of maintenance issues are you having? 6-speed stuff is really cheap to take care of and if you've friction shifters on it it's incredibly easy also.
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Old 09-22-11, 08:23 PM   #3
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If the coaster wheel has a long enough axle, you can add 10mm in spacers on either side. If not you can replace the axle for small dollars then add the spacers, so it's fairly straightforward. A minor problem may be attaching the brake arm to the left chainstay since they'll be misaligned by about 10mm.

The biggest issue will be your frame. If you have vertical dropouts you have to seek a so-called magic gear combination, because you can't use a chain tensioner with a coaster brake wheel.

The bright side is that prebuilt 26x1.75 coaster brake wheels are relatively cheap, so it's just a matter of possibly a new axle, and some creative thinking.
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Old 09-23-11, 05:51 AM   #4
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I stuck a coaster brake wheel in a frame not intended for that purpose once, and promptly bent the chainstay at the reaction arm bracket when braking. YMMV though.
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Old 09-23-11, 06:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
How much is too much? Sram imotion 3-speed is $75 (dunno how much the shifter is). Might need new spokes too. Maybe $27-36. Assuming you can build wheels and you have 36 hole rims.

What kind of maintenance issues are you having? 6-speed stuff is really cheap to take care of and if you've friction shifters on it it's incredibly easy also.
I was hoping to keep it around $50.00. I can't build wheels. No major issues on maintenance it's more that I don't feel like doing it. I always seem to put it off and am reminded twice a day it needs to be done:-)

FBinNY
I have semi horizontal dropouts so that's not an issue. I'm running 1.5" tires w/100# pressure and am concerned that they won' fit on a 1.75 rim.
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Old 09-23-11, 06:39 AM   #6
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If the coaster wheel has a long enough axle, you can add 10mm in spacers on either side. If not you can replace the axle for small dollars then add the spacers, so it's fairly straightforward. A minor problem may be attaching the brake arm to the left chainstay since they'll be misaligned by about 10mm.

The biggest issue will be your frame. If you have vertical dropouts you have to seek a so-called magic gear combination, because you can't use a chain tensioner with a coaster brake wheel.

The bright side is that prebuilt 26x1.75 coaster brake wheels are relatively cheap, so it's just a matter of possibly a new axle, and some creative thinking.
Many, (most?) single speed coaster hubs use 3/8x24 tpi axles rather than the bicycle standard of 3/8x26.
Standard threaded rod (3/8 UNF) is 3/8x24. You could make an axle with that, but I think you'd need to look for one with higher grade steel than you'd find at the hardware store.
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Old 09-23-11, 09:19 AM   #7
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Threaded rod from the hardware stores is soft. Bicycle axles are fully hardened then spring tempered and made from steel which allows it to be heat treated. Nothing you'll find at a hardware store will be of the same strength as a bike axle. And since the threaded rod stock is mild steel you can't harden and temper it like with tool grade steels. So that's a non starter on using threaded rod I'm afraid.
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Old 09-23-11, 09:32 AM   #8
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Many, (most?) single speed coaster hubs use 3/8x24 tpi axles rather than the bicycle standard of 3/8x26.
Standard threaded rod (3/8 UNF) is 3/8x24. You could make an axle with that, but I think you'd need to look for one with higher grade steel than you'd find at the hardware store.
The 3/8" x 24tpi coaster brake axle is readily available, so there's no need to scrounge a non-suitable replacement. A non heat treated axle won't survive 10 minutes, and the odds of finding suitable bar stock in the right grade and thread are near zero.

If you're searching for a 3/8" x 24 axle and don't find one, search instead for 9.5mm x 24 which is the same under a different name (a roose by any other name...)
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Old 09-23-11, 11:22 AM   #9
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Re-space the frame? Assuming it is steel. That would be a cheap way of getting the job done.
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Old 09-23-11, 11:31 AM   #10
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look into a combination 3 speed hub and coaster brake,
the beach cruiser bikes are downgrading the coaster hub to near tur* quality
these days.
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Old 09-23-11, 02:19 PM   #11
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You can get a Velosteel hub in a 130mm spacing. Elegant wheels also has wheels. I've never dealt with Elegant Wheels, just noticed that they sell velosteel hubs. I've never used a Velosteel hub either, but supposedly they are an old Sachs design made in the Czech Republic.
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