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  1. #1
    alr
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    coaster brake or no coaster brake? Please help me decide

    Background:
    I am in the process of spending ungodly sums of money to make my Raleigh DL-1 lady tourist a year round rider. To this aim, I have purchased alloy westwood rims, with which I plan to build with a front dynamo and a rear new S-A 5 speed wheels.

    I am working on the assumption that the rod brakes + alloy rims will stop okay in the rain-- I am not looking for the ability to stop on a dime, but I would like to do more than merely sort of slow down going downhill in the rain while holding on for dear life. However, I am also worried that maybe changing the rim material won't be enough, and having a coaster brake might be nice for emergencies.

    Problem:
    The 5 speed coaster brake hub is 127mm OLD, which I am pretty sure is wider than what I have now (the plain 5 speed hub is available in 110mm OLD). I also don't know if I am going to hate having a coaster brake as I am used to being able to move the pedals backward to get in a good position to start moving after being stopped.

    I don't think I have used a coaster brake since I was 5 years old-- maybe I need to go try one out before I decide? Or, perhaps, I build the front wheel first and take it out in the rain a few times to get a sense whether the braking is improved substantially with the rims? The slow and steady route perhaps is safest, but I am kind of impatient about this project right now and I would like to get it done more quickly than that.

    What would you do in my shoes?

  2. #2
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I wouldn't count on rod brakes working well even with the aluminum, but by the same token I think I would hate having a coaster brake (I tend to idly pedal backwards while coasting). If the backpedal isn't an issue for you, the coaster brake would help.

    By the way, what kind of shape are the old rims in? Are they still radially round? (I might be interested in them as my DL-1 rims are kind of out of round.) Also- where did you get your alloy rims from?
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  3. #3
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Don't use a coaster brake, and I'll tell you why:

    The moment you make your first panic stop, you'll flat your cotters - even if they're a set of NOS, original, Raleigh cotters. I'm presently going through this nonsense with one of my Twentys - I'm hoping Mark Stonich's cotters will do the trick.

    -Kurt

  4. #4
    Bicycle Repairman kingsting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Don't use a coaster brake, and I'll tell you why:

    The moment you make your first panic stop, you'll flat your cotters - even if they're a set of NOS, original, Raleigh cotters. I'm presently going through this nonsense with one of my Twentys - I'm hoping Mark Stonich's cotters will do the trick.

    -Kurt
    I don't think this would be a problem if the OP went with an S3C hub. The brakes on them have a springy feel to them which would "cushion" a panic stop.
    There's always room for one more bike!

  5. #5
    alr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    By the way, what kind of shape are the old rims in? Are they still radially round? (I might be interested in them as my DL-1 rims are kind of out of round.) Also- where did you get your alloy rims from?
    The original front rim is actually in pretty good shape, radially speaking, though it needs some truing side to side, which cannot be done till the spoke nipples are freed from a little bit of rust--the chrome itself is not rusted at all though. The original rear wheel though has a problem-- it is a little dented in one spot, which is a bit annoying for braking as you might imagine, and I am not sure if it is fixable. Otherwise it is pretty true in all directions. When I do finish with the new wheel build, I will likely be interested in giving up the whole wheels to someone who could use them.

    For the new alloy rims, Freemans cycles in UK graciously agreed to ship to me.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Why have you not considered drum brakes?

    The new wide-range 5 speed hub is available in a drum brake, highly polished version. Actually, it is available in two versions, 70mm or 90mm drum brake. SA also offers front hubs with a 70 or 90mm drum brakes AND dynamo (output of 2.4 or 3.0w). Why would someone choose a 2.4w dynamo (limiting themselves to a front light only) when they could simply put a 3w bulb in their headlight if they weren't using a dynamo powered headlight?
    Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 11-08-10 at 01:51 PM.

  7. #7
    alr
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsting View Post
    I don't think this would be a problem if the OP went with an S3C hub. The brakes on them have a springy feel to them which would "cushion" a panic stop.
    I have in mind using the S-RC5 which is the new low flange coaster brake equipped 5 speed hub. Does this too have a "springy" feel?

  8. #8
    alr
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    I understand you want a dynamo, but I thought most people who went to the trouble of upgrading a DL-1's wheelset went with drum brakes for obvious reasons.
    I would do drum brakes if I could find or easily have made the rod to drum brake stirrup thingie. I like the handle bars all the rods-- I want to keep em.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alr View Post
    I would do drum brakes if I could find or easily have made the rod to drum brake stirrup thingie. I like the handle bars all the rods-- I want to keep em.
    I understand. High quality pads (are they available for your application?) and aluminum rims will only be an improvement to your current braking.

  10. #10
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingsting View Post
    I don't think this would be a problem if the OP went with an S3C hub. The brakes on them have a springy feel to them which would "cushion" a panic stop.
    That's exactly the hub I've been testing. If you do a panic stop wherein you raise yourself off the saddle for additional leverage against the springy, so-so brake action; you're definitely going to flat the cotters.

    Quote Originally Posted by alr View Post
    I would do drum brakes if I could find or easily have made the rod to drum brake stirrup thingie. I like the handle bars all the rods-- I want to keep em.
    This is the setup on my drum-brake, rod-operated Urania. Though the bike is not a Raleigh product, the linkage is Sturmey-Archer. Mind you, the rod to the rear drum is missing, hence why a cable is sitting on the back of the linkage with a pinch bolt:



    -Kurt
    Last edited by cudak888; 11-08-10 at 02:32 PM.

  11. #11
    alr
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    this is the thingie that would do the trick:
    rod_brake-to-hub-&.jpg (I have reposted this photo from a previous BF thread-- I don't know who took it)
    And you can see on this picture from Flickr, how it would work on the bike:
    3755763267_3427e701.jpg
    I think these parts would be rarer than hen's teeth, so I don't have much hope of going in this direction, though I would like to.

  12. #12
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    Please tell me where to get alloy westwood rims. I'll try them and let you know all about it! I see the Rigida V38s online but would have to try ordering from Europe. Also, they are painted black so the brakes would soon create an unsightly light colored streak on the rim.

  13. #13
    alr
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    Please tell me where to get alloy westwood rims. I'll try them and let you know all about it! I see the Rigida V38s online but would have to try ordering from Europe. Also, they are painted black so the brakes would soon create an unsightly light colored streak on the rim.
    I pm'ed you with more info about the rims and where I sourced them. I am afraid though I am going to hang on to mine for now...

  14. #14
    Lug Princess Veloria's Avatar
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    I vote coaster brake. I did this to my DL-1 and it worked out very well.
    As for rims, you can get those from Yellow Jersey. They can also build you the wheel if you send them the hub.

  15. #15
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    Flying Pigeon LA has 28" rims in 32, 36 +40 hole reasonably priced. Tim
    Last edited by choteau; 11-09-10 at 08:54 PM. Reason: info

  16. #16
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    I'm on a DL-1 build, and will use alloy 27" rims.

    I live in a flat town, and think a SA front drum only will stop me fine. Single speed free-wheel rear. Testing will tell, I suppose.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

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