Re: "Rod Brakes"
I ride bicycles with rod brakes on a regular basis and I've always liked them. The secret lies in properly setting the brakes up which is a bit of a lost art these days. Years ago when I was studying to become a social worker I bought a brand new Chinese 'Wu Yang' (Five Rams) 28inch wheeled ladies bicycle with rod brakes which is very similar to a Flying Pigeon and I only have good things to say about it. It's a great bicycle and a joy to ride. Those chainguards are very good for long chain life too and I'm a big fan of them.
In addition to the Wu Yang I own an English 1950 Hercules ladies heavyweight roadster bicycle that has rod brakes as well as my Hercules tricycle which was converted from a heavyweight bicycle and that still retains its rod brakes. My tricycle is powered by an electric hub motor btw. I own a Chinese gents Phoenix bicycle as well fitted with a sidecar rickshaw (awaiting a rebuild) and that has rod brakes too. With so many rod brakes bikes in use in China, India and Asia brake blocks and rod brake parts are readily available and aren't difficult to find, so they're not that rare afterall. Just don't expect to see them on the shelves of your local bike shop.
Big 28inch wheels are wonderful in my opinion and roll beautifully over rough road surfaces. In practice the 28 x 1 1/2 tyres work just fine despite their narrow profile and they wear well too.
I'd buy that Benotto and gladly. Later this year I'm planning on importing a new rod braked 28inch wheeled bicycle from China simply because I like this older design of bicycle so much and can't be bothered with what is considered to be a bicycle that is being offered for sale in the shops these days.
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