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Let's chat about coaster brakes

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Let's chat about coaster brakes

Old 01-19-23, 08:23 AM
  #26  
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A Sturmey S1C:



Fun fact: In July 1908, Harry Green set a new Lands End to John O'Groats record of 2 day, 19 hours and 50 minutes using a Sturmey-Archer "Tricoaster" hub. This is the only time the prestigious record was set using a coaster brake hub.

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Old 01-19-23, 09:11 AM
  #27  
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(Ride With GPS sez the hill runs between 5% and 9% grade, not that a cyclist would ever fudge about steepness.)




On the subject of 'testing to failure', back in 1974, John Forester tested coaster brakes to the US government's caliper brake test parameters:"The coaster brake was destroyed in one run. It started smoking a short distance down the hill. At 700 feet down the smoke was streaming behind. Several times during the run its effectiveness changed, sometimes more, sometimes less. About 1500 feet down the brake refused to release fully, and it dragged for the remainder of the run. At the bottom I found my heat-measuring instrumentation had been burned off and the chrome plate was a white powder. On examining the inside afterwards I had to pry apart the stack of brake discs because the steel discs had softened and jammed onto the stationary mandrel.

"The bronze discs that engage the hub shell had softened also and their engaging lugs were half torn off. If those had gone I would have had no brake at all.

"No grease was left anywhere except a thin film inside the sprocket cone bearing-the rest was either melted out or burned into a hard carbonized coating over the other parts. Laboratory examination of the used parts and comparison with new parts showed that the outside bearing balls had reached 600 F, the outer brake discs 800-900 F, the inner brake discs 900 F.

"There is every indication that the coaster brake was still getting hotter at the end of the run. In other words, even at that temperature it was not able to dissipate the heat produced by 1.09HP. Another 500 feet or so and the brake lugs would have been all torn off, resulting either in complete freewheeling or complete lock-up, depending where the pieces went." - Bike World, March 1974
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Old 01-19-23, 09:27 AM
  #28  
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there used to be or still is a downhill klunker race called Repack. It's for coaster brakes only. It's called that cuz back in the day, they had to repack the grease after every run.
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Old 01-19-23, 09:43 AM
  #29  
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Many excellent posts above. I love coaster brake cruisers, they are my favorite commuting/out and about town bikes. My favorites over the years are the Bendix RB-2 or 70 (the 76 uses 4 shoes instead of 2 and just seems to not brake as well, is kind of excessively smooth) and the Shimano CB 110. The Shimano is just a workhorse, once in a while I will have to replace a Bendix component but nothing ever seems to wear out on the Shimano (we are talking multidecade use). Only bad thing is the CB 110 lets you know it is service time by overheating and locking up on a decent...

I've never bothered with cable back up brakes. An underrated thing about acquiring your bike chops on these machines is that you learn to get out of trouble by maneuvering rather than braking, usually the best strategy even if you have great brakes.
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Old 01-19-23, 09:53 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
I built this up a couple of years ago, no stopping issues whatsoever, actually find the braking quite impressive. Lots of fun to skid too, if you don’t mind flat spotting the tires a bit.
Tim



1971 Schwinn Sports Tourer

SA 2 speed kickback hub with coaster brake
That is similar to what I was envisioning building up someday. It is lean, clean and a pretty machine!
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Old 01-19-23, 01:44 PM
  #31  
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Thanks @TugaDude!
Tim
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Old 01-19-23, 01:51 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
DIg the brake arm tab. Handsome and minimalist with stance!
Thanks, that was Yellow Jerseys doing, They removed all the braze-ons, and repainted the frame, then added the tab, I specified that I didn’t want a clamp for the coaster brake pivot arm. I’m very happy with their solution, and the paint job. Here is a pic of the frame as I got it, Nov of 71 serial number, in Opaque green.
Tim



Last edited by tkamd73; 01-19-23 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 01-19-23, 02:25 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
I built this up a couple of years ago
1971 Schwinn Sports Tourer
I keep seeing bikes on the forum that makes me wish there was a pub no more than, eh, 1/2 mile from home. Something like this would be perfect.
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Old 01-19-23, 02:42 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
I keep seeing bikes on the forum that makes me wish there was a pub no more than, eh, 1/2 mile from home. Something like this would be perfect.
Thats kind of what I built mine for, no gear required, just hop on and go. A local pub and a good breakfast place, within a mile of my home. Owner is an avid cyclist, thus no problem parking inside the gated patio.
Tim
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Old 01-19-23, 02:55 PM
  #35  
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Got a 1926 F&S Torpedo on my 1936 Dürkopp, braking performance sucks compared to modern copies, but still works pretty well. Build quality is way above modern ones.


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Old 01-19-23, 03:02 PM
  #36  
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About a year or so ago, there was an eBay seller offering single-speed coaster-brake hubs for around $10. I think it's this one, now $25 shipped:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/115660848639

I bought one and built it into a wheel for one of the clunker challenge projects. It had a bit of a problem of the circlip jumping off the hub, but I figured it out with some creative use of spacers. Can't say I put it through an intense test, but certainly not a lot of funds invested.

I've also had and killed one of the Sturmey-Archer two-speed kickbacks. It didn't survive a Boston winter commuting season in that it stopped shifting. I opened it up and cleaned it out, but didn't fix the problem. Eventually sent it along to a BFer for the cost of shipping.

I still have one of the Czech-made VeloSteel single-speed, coaster-brake hubs (though it might be under a different brand name; I likely bought it 20 years ago). I built it into an EA1/597mm rim for some reason, which limits its use! Seems pretty reliable, however, so I should probably unlace that wheel and build it into a rim that's a more useful size.
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Old 01-19-23, 03:11 PM
  #37  
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This might be the wrong way of thinking about how these brakes work, but has anyone ever scuffed up the braking surface with something like 180 emery cloth or sandpaper? How would that change things?

Thank you.
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Old 01-19-23, 03:13 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by geeteeiii View Post
Got a 1926 F&S Torpedo on my 1936 Dürkopp, braking performance sucks compared to modern copies, but still works pretty well. Build quality is way above modern ones.


So that’s how rod brakes work? We had a B&S powered mini bike with a foot brake that pushed a steel plate against the back tire when I was around 10 or 11.


BTW, really cool bike. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-19-23, 03:58 PM
  #39  
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Durkopp of Germany designed and manufactured their own coaster called the Atlas for use with their chainless cycles of the 1906-08 time

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[images courtesy of Tonton forum]

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Old 01-19-23, 04:45 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
I keep seeing bikes on the forum that makes me wish there was a pub no more than, eh, 1/2 mile from home. Something like this would be perfect.
How about 5 pubs and a brewery in less than a kilometer.......and the brewery is called Fixed Gear......
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Old 01-19-23, 04:58 PM
  #41  
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Geez I haven't had a coaster brake since my generic "Stingray" in the.. well when I was a kid. I knew a few guys when I lived in Boston that used them for commuters, winter beaters, early season trainers and that kind of stuff.
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Old 01-19-23, 05:36 PM
  #42  
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I like coaster brakes. I loved them as a kid. My parents must have hated them. Or me. I could lay down the best skids in the neighborhood. My tires would be new in some places and through the cotton cord to where I flatted the tube in others. I remember my mom asking "Uncle Sam the Bicycle Man" why the they need to keep buying tires. After that I had to limit my big showy skids.

Nowaday, I think coaster brakes have a place. They are simple solution that work well on fat tire bikes that don't go particularly fast or if they do go fast are supplemented by a front brake. It still seems simple to me since the front brake cable is so short. I like the look of simple skinny tired bikes like @tkamd73 's Sports Tourer above. And it is better to have a coaster brake than no brake at all for a simple bike.

I'm a Bendix guy. I started off on a 24" wheel Schwinn Typhoon with a Bendix and continue to like the brand. The Shimano is good and at least you can get parts for it. One problem is that I am not seeing new CB-110's available. Edit: They are available (again).

I have an old 1950"s Huffy cantilever frame project that I don't want to use one of my beloved red stripes Bendix's for. I do have a SunTour. Man, I love SunTour but this was not where they shine.

Someday I will get around to completing my Schwinn American and will be using this old Bendix.



It is an earlier style with a jam ring instead of the later snap ring or retaining ring. The shoes are brass.



One thing nice about greasy Bendix hubs and oily Sturmey Archer hubs is that it keep the steel looking good.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 01-19-23 at 05:43 PM. Reason: CB-100's are available.
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Old 01-19-23, 05:36 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Thanks, that was Yellow Jerseys doing, They removed all the braze-ons, and repainted the frame, then added the tab, I specified that I didn’t want a clamp for the coaster brake pivot arm. I’m very happy with their solution, and the paint job. Here is a pic of the frame as I got it, Nov of 71 serial number, in Opaque green.
Tim


Did you do a separate thread about this? I'd like more photos and info. They did an awesome job. Good on you for bringing it back to new life.
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Old 01-19-23, 06:08 PM
  #44  
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An interesting discussion and a good one. The single speed coaster brake is the wheel of choice for the Little 500 race that been held for over fifty years. As a chief steward for the race for a few years I must have seen hundreds of these up close and personal.
The design is fairly simple and works quite well. (I had a young man at my co-op impressed that I could take all of the parts loose on the bench and assemble his hub in minutes.) Out of my twenty plus years of riding and working the race I found that all of the teams could lock up the rear wheel on demand during rider exchanges. The race is broadcast every spring on the IU Student Foundation link and it was watched here during the covid era. The same bikes were featured in the Breaking Away movie and I was able to work on some of the bikes featured in the movie. Our bike shop had a running joke about the pedal installation scene from the race. You gotta watch the movie to find it. But those single speed bikes abound here in Bloomington, IN ,and they are great beater bikes. Just hop on and go. I personally find the coaster brake bikes to be very reliable and easy to use. Smiles, MH
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Old 01-19-23, 06:59 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
An interesting discussion and a good one. The single speed coaster brake is the wheel of choice for the Little 500 race that been held for over fifty years. As a chief steward for the race for a few years I must have seen hundreds of these up close and personal.
The design is fairly simple and works quite well. (I had a young man at my co-op impressed that I could take all of the parts loose on the bench and assemble his hub in minutes.) Out of my twenty plus years of riding and working the race I found that all of the teams could lock up the rear wheel on demand during rider exchanges. The race is broadcast every spring on the IU Student Foundation link and it was watched here during the covid era. The same bikes were featured in the Breaking Away movie and I was able to work on some of the bikes featured in the movie. Our bike shop had a running joke about the pedal installation scene from the race. You gotta watch the movie to find it. But those single speed bikes abound here in Bloomington, IN ,and they are great beater bikes. Just hop on and go. I personally find the coaster brake bikes to be very reliable and easy to use. Smiles, MH
I’ve looked into buying a little 500 bike. I don’t know who to go through or if I have to be alumni or a student to get one.

The features look appealing. 1 1/8 headset. Aluminum frame. Ashtabula cranks, Coaster brakes.

Good mix of simplicity and performance.
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Old 01-20-23, 08:01 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by markk900 View Post
How about 5 pubs and a brewery in less than a kilometer.......and the brewery is called Fixed Gear......
How about ? We have no sit-down restaurants, no pubs, just half-a-dozen pizza carry-outs. Closest place where I could sit at the bar and order a beer is perhaps 3.5 miles, all on a numbered highway.-

I may have posted it before, but my 1st close up coaster-brake experience was at age 12, visiting a childhood friend (amazingly, STILL a friend) and his 24"-wheel single speed's rear wheel seemed bound up. Overconfidently, I said I could rebuild the hub; my toolkit then was a Crescent wrench, pliers and two screwdrivers. I got the wheel off, unscrewed everything, pulled the guts out, wiped it clean and shoved grease in and reassembled. And then he said "but what about these?" holding out... the brake shoes. Eh, he got a new English 3-speed out of it, on the condition I was never allowed near it.
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Old 01-20-23, 08:47 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
Did you do a separate thread about this? I'd like more photos and info. They did an awesome job. Good on you for bringing it back to new life.
Thanks, I think I did, but its buried in someone else’s build thread, I’ll see if I can find it, or I’ll post some details and pics in this thread.
Tim
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Old 01-20-23, 02:19 PM
  #48  
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I have 2 coaster brake bikes and both are modified hybrids. One I call my 29r BMX. It was a COVID build. 700c wheels, Shimano CB-110 hub, wide bars, short stem, Brooks cambium saddle, Vans grips, some tan wall tires. Stripped the frame and had a local auto body shop paint it.

My other one is a semi-step thru frame that has a SRAM automatic 2 speed hub laced to a huge 635 ERTO SS rim and Schwalbe delta crusier tires. It has a Dia-comp center pull front brake.
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Old 01-20-23, 02:24 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
I’ve looked into buying a little 500 bike. I don’t know who to go through or if I have to be alumni or a student to get one.

The features look appealing. 1 1/8 headset. Aluminum frame. Ashtabula cranks, Coaster brakes.

Good mix of simplicity and performance.
here you go…..
https://www.ebay.com/itm/155110917214
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Old 01-20-23, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
Thanks.
I saw it but one of the things I like about it is it should be a 150$ bike.
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