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Old 11-26-07, 07:59 AM   #1
Sammyboy
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Shimano Nexus Rollerbrake. Worth it?

I have a Nexus 7 ready for the wheelbuild for my R20 (yes, I'm taking my time, thankyou!), and I may have the chance to get a rollerbrake for it cheaply. How good are they, and do they change the OLN of the hub?

This is looking doubly appealing since I've learned that the long reach dual pivot brakes I was going to buy are no longer available. Damn my slowness with ordering.....
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Old 11-26-07, 08:57 AM   #2
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I have a Nexus Inter-4 hub which I used on an MTB frame that I set up as a commuter for several years, with the roller brake on the rear wheel. I liked the brake, but that hub was a poor choice for that particular frame (vertical dropouts; and the frame had brazeons for V-brakes, so the roller was unnecessary).

But Sammyboy, it turns out I'm doing exactly what you're thinking about. I've picked up some 20" 36H rims and a Nexus front hub for rollerbrake, and I'm going to build up a Raleigh Twenty with rollerbrakes on both wheels.

I assume your hub is made for the rollerbrake; if it isn't, you can't use one. The rollerbrake itself adds about 1mm to the effective width of the axle, and is held on by an additional locknut --which should be on your axle already, if you have the right hub. Take off the locknut, install the rollerbrake, and replace the locknut, and you're good to go. I'm not 100% sure the locknut is necessary; its main purpose, I suspect, is to put some space between the frame and the brake.
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Old 11-26-07, 09:28 AM   #3
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Here's my hub. I think that splined ring is for the brake, and the chrome nut is the locknut in question. Am I right? I'm not going to go that route on the front at the moment, so I've got to have a bright idea for that. Maybe an old centrepull will be the answer.

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Old 11-26-07, 09:31 AM   #4
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I have a Nexus 8/ roller brake combination on my Tour Easy recumbent and I like it very much. The downside is the roller brake does add drag to the hub. I have been able to lock up the wheel when needed which I have heard is hard with the roller brake. I was not aware that you had to order a special roller brake version of the hub. I was under the impression that any Nexus 8 can be equipped with the roller brake? I thought you just needed to remove the dust cap on the non drive side?
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Old 11-26-07, 09:36 AM   #5
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... Am I right?
Yes!
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I'm not going to go that route on the front at the moment, so I've got to have a bright idea for that. Maybe an old centrepull will be the answer.
Maybe; good luck!
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Old 11-26-07, 09:48 AM   #6
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I'll find something for the front. The trouble with the drop bolt solution is that it still needs to clear a Big Apple and a fender. I'm sure the BMX world can provide something. I have on Alesa long reach dual pivot caliper on a chopper I built for my kid. There must be more out there.
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Old 11-26-07, 09:52 AM   #7
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I was not aware that you had to order a special roller brake version of the hub. I was under the impression that any Nexus 8 can be equipped with the roller brake? I thought you just needed to remove the dust cap on the non drive side?
Some come with a coaster.
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Old 11-26-07, 10:03 AM   #8
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Is there an alternate way of mounting a disc brake, if you don't have tabs on the frame? I could see my way to a disc friendly front rim, I suppose, but I'm not springing to have anything brazed onto my forks.
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Old 11-26-07, 10:23 AM   #9
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Never mind! Found the 75mm reach dual pivots somewhere else. Ordering now....
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Old 11-26-07, 12:11 PM   #10
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I have roller brakes with a shimano 3spd hub and I think that they are the best brakes available.
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Old 11-26-07, 01:03 PM   #11
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I've seen the term "rollerbrake" used here and elsewhere and don't know what it means. Is it one of those coasting brakes that require an arm to be stuck to the frame? Do you need to reverse pedal to engage? Or do you use it when the brake levers on the handlebars?

Sorry to hijack this thread OP, but wanted to know what a rollerbrake is. Thanks.
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Old 11-26-07, 01:23 PM   #12
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It's a type of hub brake. Some hub brakes have shoes that are pushed out against the lining, like in a car brake. A roller brake has rollers which are pushed out against a surface. The reverse pedal brakes are normally referred to as "coaster brakes", so the brake we're talking about is not one of those, but is activated with a lever. Hope that helps.
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Old 11-26-07, 03:43 PM   #13
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It's a type of hub brake. Some hub brakes have shoes that are pushed out against the lining, like in a car brake. A roller brake has rollers which are pushed out against a surface. The reverse pedal brakes are normally referred to as "coaster brakes", so the brake we're talking about is not one of those, but is activated with a lever. Hope that helps.
Thanks!
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Old 12-03-07, 09:32 PM   #14
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I like the Nexus roller brake. In fact, that was the only thing I liked about my Bianchi Milano. I like the fact the roller brake was all I needed to stop about 95% of the time. It preserved the front brake.
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Old 12-03-07, 11:10 PM   #15
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First Long recumbent I made I put a Nexus8 with roller brake on
Now this bike is heavy.... like 30+ Ks and then add my lard arsss
The roller brake will stop it without help from the front disk even on a steep hill
First day I didn't like it but by day 2 I loved it and still do
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Old 12-04-07, 04:46 AM   #16
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I'm torn on this now, a little. I have a pair of dual pivot brakes with the reach I need, but I also am watching a rollerbrake which looks likely to come up very cheap. Part of me is tempted to buy it, and stick it on there.
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Old 12-04-07, 07:48 AM   #17
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I'm torn on this now, a little. I have a pair of dual pivot brakes with the reach I need, but I also am watching a rollerbrake which looks likely to come up very cheap. Part of me is tempted to buy it, and stick it on there.
I think you'll like the stopping power of roller brake. What you won't like is that it's a pain in the neck to take the back wheel off the bike; you have to loosen or undo a bolt to a strap around the left chain stay, and pull the cable off the brake, which is never as easy as you'd think it would be -- hard to get the right leverage on it. And all this on poorly finished parts that are prone to rust and hard to replace.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:38 AM   #18
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This is making me question the idea. I dunno - the brake I'm watching is sitting on 10p, if I can get it for a fiver, I'll do so, and make the decision then. I've bought a NOS Nexus 4 from a list member which includes a shifter and, if memory serves, a roller brake, so whenever that arrives I can have a look, and theoretically, I could move that one to the Nexus 7, and build the Moulton Mini with conventional brakes.
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Old 12-05-07, 02:38 PM   #19
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Well, I scooped that rollerbrake for 5:11, brand new. Even with the shipping, it's considerably less than half the usual price, and if I decide not to use it, I'm sure I can resell it for a small profit. I guess I'll take a good look at it.
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Old 09-08-08, 10:41 PM   #20
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Will this fit in a Dahon Curve? Is it necessary to have a chainstay in order to install it? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-09-08, 07:17 AM   #21
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I had a Van Dessel SuperFly (non-folder, city/commuter bike) with Nexus 7 + roller brake out back, disk brake up front. Brilliant combo. Supposedly, the Nexus front roller brake is designed not to lock up and toss a newbie over the bars, but the back is not limited with a non lockup feature, good to go. I've read somewhere that with a nexus hub, spaced at about 132-133mm without the roller brake, ends up at 135mm with the roller brake.

I'll second what previous poster said--getting a nexus hubbed wheel off a bike is not at all more difficult than a wheel set up for derailleur shifting, but add the roller brake and there's just one more thing to unbolt. If I was to do it again, I'd use a thumb screw or wingnut on the fixing arm bolt to make it just a bit easier.
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Old 09-09-08, 07:30 AM   #22
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I've had a bike with fore and aft roller brakes. I liked them. A little noisy at first but seems like it smoothed out after a while or I got used to it. I think for a folder this system would be ideal. No rotor to get damaged while getting tossed into the trunk. But I know we are all too careful to do that!
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Old 09-09-08, 07:19 PM   #23
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The rear roller brake is fine, but heavy. The front is much worse due to its power modulator.
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Old 09-09-08, 07:23 PM   #24
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The rear roller brake is fine, but heavy. The front is much worse due to its power modulator.
My front brake would stand me on my ear if I applied the oomph. It was just as solid as the rear.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:39 AM   #25
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You don't have to use the modulator. That's just for people who don't understand how to use a front brake.
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