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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-25-07, 06:29 AM   #1
tedi k wardhana
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coaster brakes, how safe?

I have a 1980 soviet (they say it's ukranian) racer, (still has the 1980 moscow olympiad stickers!)
which I have converted into single speed, not fixed gear.
Though I admire the strong frame which seems to be ok,(they say it's cro-mo) even it has rusts here and there, it is the caliper brakes that is unreliable.
I was thinking of replacing it with cheap tektro brakes (20 dolars/rear and front.)
But suddenly it crosses my mind to make my bike look like a fixie (I haven't tried, dare not try fixie!)
by substituting the rear hub with a coaster hub.
(correct me if I am wrong, a coaster brake is the one that brakes when you backpedal, right?)
by doing so, my handlebar will then be clean, no cables, no brake levers, no front brakes.
just like a beachcruiser.
the question is, how safe is it to ride the bike to commute in busy traffic?
Thanks for advices...
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Old 01-25-07, 06:37 AM   #2
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It's about as stupid as a brakeless fixie and a bit more pointless. Just get some new brakes.
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Old 01-25-07, 08:02 AM   #3
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But suddenly it crosses my mind to make my bike look like a fixie
There is nowt wrong with how a single speed looks, if you want a bike to look like a fixie build a fixie, It's like saying" I wanted to look like a girl so I put on a short skirt", you an't fooling no one, we can all see your ball bag bounce to the beat of your feet. There same amount of work to build a fixed gear as fitting a coaster brake as you need to rebuild the wheel. Buy brakes if you don't want fixie. Build a coster brake wheel if you like coaster brakes, just don't expect it to be a good brake on it's own.
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Old 01-25-07, 08:15 AM   #4
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Coaster brakes are not that much fun I think. Not too effective or practical. If you want to ride fast in traffic, use a front brake. A front caliper and a coaster rear would work fine (As would a front caliper and anything else in the back: fixed, another caliper).
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Old 01-25-07, 09:25 AM   #5
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Coaster brakes are a lot of fun. Use them if you like them, not because you want to pose as fixed. That will make your coaster cry. (and possibly run off with carnies while you sleep)

They are just as safe/unsafe as any other rear-only brake, with the added bonus of burning out on long downhills.
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Old 01-25-07, 09:38 AM   #6
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Coaster brakes are a gas.
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Old 01-25-07, 10:56 AM   #7
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i roll on a coaster. do it! it's very safe in traffic & a lot of fun. remember being a kid & trying to show off & compete with your buddies who could do the longest skid on your bmx? awww yeeeeaaaah!
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Old 01-25-07, 11:16 AM   #8
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The main problem with coasters are stopping quickly when going fast and regular maintenance.

Rode one around SF for a year and it was a pain. Nice ol Stumery Archer hub but it had to be serviced about 4 times in the year which was a huge pain. Not the easiest of hubs to work upoin.

If you live somewhere flat, it may be a possibility. But if you have hills, forget about it.
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Old 01-25-07, 11:33 AM   #9
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i rolled on mine in college in a hilly area & had zero problems.
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Old 01-25-07, 11:36 AM   #10
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Get the tektros; it's cheaper, safer, and easier.
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Old 01-25-07, 01:13 PM   #11
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Coasters are not all the same---Dump the english versions---The english didn't know how to build a coaster---get an American made one---I like bendix best.Very easy to overhaul.
But then a fixed gear with front brake on a l/w racer is classy---coasters are better left to cruzers.
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Old 01-25-07, 03:56 PM   #12
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Fuuuuuuuu** the haterzzzz
Rock that coaster brake!
They're a blast. If worst comes to worst, jam your foot into the rear tri...I rode a burnt out coaster like that for almost 8 months
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Old 01-25-07, 06:48 PM   #13
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I think it's lots of fun. I just converted an old Rockhopper to coaster and it's a blast.
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Old 01-25-07, 07:00 PM   #14
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Bendix two-speed coaster brake.

I'd love to have one on my winter ice bike.

They stopped making them.
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Old 01-26-07, 11:36 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by iamarapgod
If worst comes to worst, jam your foot into the rear tri...I rode a burnt out coaster like that for almost 8 months

Did you get the tire groove in the sole of your shoe? That takes me back. I need a beer and a phone.
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Old 01-26-07, 10:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
It's about as stupid as a brakeless fixie and a bit more pointless. Just get some new brakes.
Please explain. Coaster brakes are about as safe and efficient as caliper brakes.
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Old 01-26-07, 10:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paule
Please explain. Coaster brakes are about as safe and efficient as caliper brakes.
i don't know about that. i can stop quicker on my caliper brake bikes than i can on my coaster bike. that being said, i think i ride my coaster commuter more than i do my expensive other bikes.
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Old 01-26-07, 10:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by paule
Please explain. Coaster brakes are about as safe and efficient as caliper brakes.
Not my argument, but I was never able to modulate the stopping power on coaster as well as I can on calipers. I always respond better to unintentional skidding with calipers than I do with coasters due to this disparity.
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Old 01-27-07, 09:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paule
Please explain. Coaster brakes are about as safe and efficient as caliper brakes.
Perhaps, but you can't fit one on the front wheel. When it comes to stopping a bike a front brake does it much quicker than a rear.
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Old 01-27-07, 10:17 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paule
Please explain. Coaster brakes are about as safe and efficient as caliper brakes.
As was already pointed out:
1. They are harder to modulate
-you have much better fine muscle control over your fingers
-they usually don't apply friction evenly though out the wheels rotation
-You body bounces and shifts a lot more then a hand on a lever

2. A coaster is only braking the rear wheel.

These are the exact same reasons why riding brakeless is less safe then braked.
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Old 01-27-07, 11:14 AM   #21
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if you do decide on a coaster brake, i would suggest getting a bmx freestyle or flatland coaster brake as the are usually higher quality and stand up to more abuse......only problem would be getting a rim to match a 48h hub.
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Old 01-27-07, 11:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by BoozyMcliverRot
if you do decide on a coaster brake, i would suggest getting a bmx freestyle or flatland coaster brake as the are usually higher quality and stand up to more abuse......only problem would be getting a rim to match a 48h hub.
Um, what? Freecoaster <> coaster brake
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Old 01-27-07, 11:29 AM   #23
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old school flatland coaster brake
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Old 01-27-07, 11:40 AM   #24
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oh, ok

Also, SA and others make new coaster brakes that don't entirely suck.
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Old 01-27-07, 12:29 PM   #25
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Hey tedi k wardhana, if what you really want is to ride fixed, it seriously isn't that big of a deal. Just pick a good gear ratio and roll with a front brake at first. All of us on this forum who ride fixed love it.
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