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  1. #1
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    I want to pedal backwards!

    Well, my wife does anyway. I bought her a Dahon Boardwalk S1 and she loves it. The gearing is just right for our area and we have installed a Bell child seat on the back (took 3 trips to the hardware store, two hours and ten bucks). We have ridden around our town and park area and she wants to be able to pedal backwards. How can I achieve this?
    Why buy 10 cheap bikes when one nice one will last longer!

  2. #2
    Female Member KitN's Avatar
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    The S1 has a coaster brake so if she pedals backwards she engages the brake.

    The only way to be able to pedal backward without engaging the coaster brake is to get a new wheel without a coaster brake or hub without a coaster brake and build your wheel around it, to my knowledge.

    BUT know that doing so will leave you with only a FRONT brake which can be very dangerous especially with a child in a child seat involved. She, and the child, could do an "endo" over the handlebars in a sudden stop!

    I think she needs to just either deal with not being able to pedal backward or invest in a new bike that can.
    Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.

  3. #3
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    There have been many discussions on removing coaster brakes, both on this and other forums.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=disable+coaster+brakes

    Some contend that you need only remove the reaction arm, others argue you have to take the hub apart and remove the brake shoes, especially if you have hub gears.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    There was an elderly chap with a back-pedal bike outside this year's Spezi show. He said that it put less strain on a knee injury.
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  5. #5
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    The fastest she goes is 7 mph so I don't think she is really worried about going over the front. I don't think she would do an endo either because the child seat is fitting on the back where the rear bike rack use to be.
    I read the link forums and it does seem like there is no definite answer. I would rather not try cutting things off/out if it doesn't do anything.....
    Why buy 10 cheap bikes when one nice one will last longer!

  6. #6
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folder4life View Post
    ..she wants to be able to pedal backwards. How can I achieve this?
    How about removing the chain ;-)

    Kam

  7. #7
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    How about getting her to sit on the bike facing backwards?

  8. #8
    lube addict
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    Mount a long enough chain to cross-loop it (figure eight layout) using an idler wheel like used those used on some recumbent bikes. TerraCycle.com offers a full line of idlers. Their over-under configuration would work. You'd need to braze on a mount somewhere, though - probably along the chain stay.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folder4life View Post
    The fastest she goes is 7 mph so I don't think she is really worried about going over the front. I don't think she would do an endo either because the child seat is fitting on the back where the rear bike rack use to be.
    I read the link forums and it does seem like there is no definite answer. I would rather not try cutting things off/out if it doesn't do anything.....
    I generally do not approve of getting a child on a bike as passenger except some rare favourable conditions. And any speed is dangerous on a front-brake-only bike. If she unintentionally pedals backwards out of habit and surprised by the coaster brake, I am sure she will get used to it soon. Other than that, why she would want to pedal backwards?

  10. #10
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    Would it be hard to add a rear brake?
    Why buy 10 cheap bikes when one nice one will last longer!

  11. #11
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folder4life View Post
    Well, my wife does anyway. I bought her a Dahon Boardwalk S1 and she loves it. The gearing is just right for our area and we have installed a Bell child seat on the back (took 3 trips to the hardware store, two hours and ten bucks). We have ridden around our town and park area and she wants to be able to pedal backwards. How can I achieve this?
    Perhaps you could check various BMX websites that sell parts and see if you can get a rear wheel already built up with a freewheel hub. Of course you need to be sure that the hub's width is compatible with the rear spacing between the dropouts. Also does the S1's frame have either V-brake mounts brazed on the frame, or is there a way to mount a side pull caliper brake?

    Just some "food" for thought.

    Edward Wong III
    Qile Duo 5 Speed 20" Folder

  12. #12
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    for sure adding a brake (sidepull at least) should be possible? remember the one sixty posted here some weeks ago?

    Not sure what you mean about the back pedaling. Does she want to mowe the bike forwards by pedaling backwards or does she just want to backpedal when coasting as you can do on a der bike?

    Guess the drivetrain can be put on the oposit side if there is good reasons, but be sure there is. Unless there are some physical reasons for it just put on your headphones ', turn up the volume and wait for her to get used to it.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  13. #13
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    Haha, she wants to be able to pedal backwards freely because that is what she is use to. But it seems like it is not an easy process.
    Why buy 10 cheap bikes when one nice one will last longer!

  14. #14
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Ok. then she wil get used or if not get a der bike.

    I find the two hubs I use are different. The Nexus7 wants the pedals in just the right spot when I start riding. If the bottom one is slighthly behind the center of the BB then I end up braking instead of starting the ride.

    The Sachs Spectro S7 isdifferent . This one also has got a coaster brake, but if the low pedal is just behind the BB centerline on this one it doesnot brake.The pedal just goes slowly back to the "straight down" position and I take it from there.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folder4life View Post
    ... I bought her a Dahon Boardwalk S1 and she loves it. ... she wants to be able to pedal backwards. How can I achieve this?
    Trade it for a used Boardwalk D7 or Eco 3.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainstrainer View Post
    mount a long enough chain to cross-loop it (figure eight layout) using an idler wheel like used those used on some recumbent bikes. Terracycle.com offers a full line of idlers. Their over-under configuration would work. You'd need to braze on a mount somewhere, though - probably along the chain stay.
    +1
    Ride lots, have fun, skid often!

  17. #17
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Front brake should be enough. I ride regularly at speeds of 25+ with just a front brake.

  18. #18
    Female Member KitN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biont View Post
    And any speed is dangerous on a front-brake-only bike.
    +1

    In inexperienced hands and a front brake only situation can be deadly. I wouldn't ever trust the life of my child to just a front brake!


    Quote Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
    Front brake should be enough. I ride regularly at speeds of 25+ with just a front brake.
    Have you tired this with a child on board?

    I take NO CHANCES with kids. Safety, THEIR SAFETY, is always first. If it was just your wife riding, I'd say let her have at it with only the front brake but with a child?? No sir, that changes everything.

    She either needs to learn to deal with the coaster brake or get another bike if you're not willing to buy or build a new wheel and install a rear brake.

    You can find a solid, quality used bike on Craigslist, eBay or your local yard sale. Test ride it and check it over good before putting your child in the back seat.
    Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.

  19. #19
    Senior Member GeorgePaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folder4life View Post
    Would it be hard to add a rear brake?
    My Performance Bike shop quoted me $65 to add a rear brake, IIRC.

  20. #20
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    I reckon it would be cheaper to sell the Dahon and buy another model. The modifications can be done, but the cost involved will be higher than the difference in prices between the bikes.

    Have you asked at your local bike shop?

  21. #21
    Senior Member rbrian's Avatar
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    Be the change you want to see in the world - Mahatma Ghandi

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  22. #22
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    I don't trust my LBS and they price high. That is why I was asking you guys to see if it was possible for me to try and do it by myself. She doesn't mind it to the point of buying another bike. I had to drill some holes in the frame to get the child seat on nicely so it wouldn't be ideal for me to trade it in anyway. Thanks for the advice.
    Why buy 10 cheap bikes when one nice one will last longer!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folder4life View Post
    ...I had to drill some holes in the frame to get the child seat on nicely so it wouldn't be ideal for me to trade it in anyway...
    That alarmed me Where about did you drill the holes? - hopefully not in the tubes.

  24. #24
    Senior Member echotraveler's Avatar
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    pics plz!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Folder Fanatic has a Dahon S1 with a rear brake installed (and a three-speed hub).

    Here are the links to her pics:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-o...7594461421431/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-o...7594461421431/
    Last edited by Foldable Two; 08-19-09 at 10:45 AM.

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