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Old 05-31-08, 10:45 AM   #1
Monsieur Vic
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Converting brake system on a Raleigh Tourist DL1

Hello,

For a weeks now. I've been the proud owner of a beautiful Raleigh Tourist DL1. Great bike, but as usual you know the rant: THE ROD BRAKES. Ok I know I can maybe get newer pads and get them closer to the rim but that doesn't change the fact they would still be a bit dangerous. I live in Montreal. Althou not a super hilly city, you still have different levels of "plateau" that offer a small breaking challenge. Mostly I fear the open car doors and absent minded pedestrians. Nothing new you'll say.

Anyhow. I would like to know if anyone has ever gone thru the process of changing the back wheel hub and rod brakes for a coaster brake hub? 3speeds, 5 I don't care. I just wanna enjoy this bike to the fullest. I don't think I'll buy a Pashley yet althou those Batavus are quite nifty, I'd prefer sticking to this gem!

Thanks!

Monsieur Vic

Last edited by Monsieur Vic; 05-31-08 at 10:47 AM. Reason: mistakes
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Old 05-31-08, 07:05 PM   #2
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My Apollo by Phillips has rod brakes and a Sturmey Archer 3 speed coaster brake hub, nice to have all three. Rod brake performance can be improved by new pads/holders, a trick to locate but still made in India and China. Also, making sure the wheels are true concentrically as well as side to side. Then they can be set close and stop well, except in the wet.

There was a drum brake front hub in period looking steel that could work, another needle in a haystack.
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Old 05-31-08, 08:52 PM   #3
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While you're upgrading to coaster brake, may as well get more gears too. I'm thinking about that for mine.
I'm also thiking about an ASC three speed fixed gear hub but i'll be thinking about that for a long time.
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Old 05-31-08, 08:56 PM   #4
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Drum brakes laced to the original 28" rims would suit it quite well, although the reliability of Sturmey drum/3-speed combination hubs (pre-'80s, that is - not current production) leave a lot to be desired, or so I hear.

-Kurt
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Old 05-31-08, 09:04 PM   #5
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Oh, man you can't get rid of the rod brakes. That's one of the coolest things about the bike!

Karl
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Old 05-31-08, 09:13 PM   #6
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Wouldn't it be nice if sheets of generic brake pad rubber could be purchased, and filed or run through a jerry-rigged dremel mill to fit the DL1 holders?

Ah, to dream...

-Kurt
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Old 05-31-08, 10:46 PM   #7
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ouch. i'd never get rid of the brakes either. that bike will never be a commuter, she's too heavy. leave her as is please!
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Old 06-01-08, 12:39 AM   #8
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I just picked up an old Pashley with rod brakes. After new pads and some adjusting, they seem to work pretty well. I never would have thought it possible, but I can even lock up the front wheel. Don't get rid of them!
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Old 11-12-08, 11:41 AM   #9
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New good quality pads specifically for the rod brakes can be had through Harris Cyclery. That is where I got my set from. With the new pads and properly adjusted, the brakes do fairly well on my DL1...until they get wet...
I had thought of lacing a drum/roller brake to the front rim since the old style was still rod activated and leave the rear original. It would be nice to be able to stop in wet conditions.
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Old 11-12-08, 01:16 PM   #10
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Changing out the rear brake for a coaster leaves you with a free brake lever. Provided that this is the left one (like it was on mine, but I think this varies), it's quite simple to get it to control a modern front drum brake like the sturmey archer X-FDD.

The two wheels worth of stopping power in the wet is really nice.
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Old 11-12-08, 01:36 PM   #11
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Seems a strange thing to want to do, but it is your bicycle. You could do what the old timers did in the rain, get off and walk her down the hill. The brakes are entirely adequate for that.
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Old 11-12-08, 01:54 PM   #12
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You're saying rod brakes on steel wheels are adequate as long as you're not going down hill? No way. What if some car cuts you off?

I only rode my roadster once in the rain before putting on the rear coaster (on the way to pick up the new rear wheel with a SRAM T-3 coaster, actually) and it was not an experience I would care to repeat.

Without some other sort of brake, rod brakes on wet steel wheels are not safe above walking speeds.
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Old 11-12-08, 01:59 PM   #13
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Can anyone suggest a good place to pick up some Westwood (is that the right term?) rims for a rod brake bike? I don't care if they're new or NOS. It's not urgent, but at some point I'd like to be able to replace the slightly out-of-round rims on my DL-1.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 11-12-08, 02:31 PM   #14
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paul, i have slightly used westwood rims (2007 rims, used about 1 year, basically in new condition) (made by rigida in the netherlands, i think), they are steel and painted black with gold pinstriping from the factory.

and i also have vintage used chromed steel raleigh rims off of various DL1s. most are in great shape.

PM me if interested.

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Old 11-12-08, 03:33 PM   #15
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Wow, Anton, I you! PM sent.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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