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What's the deal with coaster brakes?

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What's the deal with coaster brakes?

Old 10-06-11, 08:31 PM
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VolpeRider541
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What's the deal with coaster brakes?

I have a Volume Cutter fixed gear freestyle bike that I need to get a new wheel-set for. Im looking to get out of the fixed scene all together and saw a 700c wheel-set with a coaster break hub. Im interested in the idea of it but would I still be able to do tricks and is there anything I should know about coaster breaks. Im thinking It will make a good commuter/trick bike. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-06-11, 09:23 PM
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garage sale GT
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coaster brake hubs have a bit more drag than other hubs because there are a lot of closely fitting cylindrical parts turning in grease. Except for the ball bearings and seals, most other hubs have plenty of clearance between parts that rotate relative to one another.

I commuted on a coaster brake hub and a 3-speed coaster brake hub. One of the drawbacks is that in the winter the grease can tend to get a bit thicker and give even more drag.

I don't know whether anyone makes a sealed c/b hub so you'd need to repack them every so often to keep road grit from working its way in and destroying the bearings.
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Old 10-07-11, 11:35 AM
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I haven't riden one in years but used to do some trick riding on a BMX's and used, freewheels, fixed and coaster brake hubs at different times. You can still do tricks with a coaster brake but there will be limits because you can't back pedal or back coast.
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Old 10-09-11, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
I haven't riden one in years but used to do some trick riding on a BMX's and used, freewheels, fixed and coaster brake hubs at different times. You can still do tricks with a coaster brake but there will be limits because you can't back pedal or back coast.

I thought you could back-coast on a coaster brake without the pedals going round? I remember trying it once on a beach cruiser with one, and it working (at least for the few feet I got before I fell off)
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Old 10-09-11, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Airburst View Post
I thought you could back-coast on a coaster brake without the pedals going round? I remember trying it once on a beach cruiser with one, and it working (at least for the few feet I got before I fell off)
You are correct. Any single speed coaster brake hubs I've dealt with do not use drive pawls, therefore the pedals do not turn when turning the wheel backwards.
I qualified my statement because I believe there have been some designs in the past that did use ratcheting pawls.
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Old 10-09-11, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by VolpeRider541 View Post
What's the deal with coaster brakes?
They suck.
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Old 10-09-11, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
They suck.
Somewhat true, the cheap variety that came on a most kids bikes back in the 70's and 80's did suck. The higher end ones that came on most cruisers and better BMX bikes where OK. As for the newer ones the high end ones are OK.

As for back coasting it can technically be done on a lot of coaster brakes. But you have to keep the crank in a fixed postion so as not engage the coaster brake you can't back pedal at all to maintain balance which makes it difficult to do.
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Old 10-09-11, 12:27 PM
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Back in the dawn of MTB's they downhill time trial-ed on coaster braked cruisers.
they rebuilt the Bendix Coaster brakes so frequently, to replace the burned grease ,
the hill got named 'Repack'.

new cheap Coaster Brakes are low quality, so not worth the effort.


now for the Commuter , rather than the stunt bike , there are 2 speed hubs
with coaster brakes. to offer you a low stop-light getaway gear,
then a higher cruising speed gear.
and easy to switch back for the next red light.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-09-11 at 12:33 PM.
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