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Old 12-31-2013, 07:30 PM
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MysterySandwich MysterySandwich is offline
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Default "Rod Brakes"

Got a 4-stroke friction drive kit, looking for a bike to mount it on.

Found this one on craigslist

Screenshot image for when the CL ad goes down:

Looks awesome, and would be a good bike to convert to a china-girl bike at some point, but I never heard of these "rare rod brakes".
The seller says they stop great, but I don't trust those vintage brakes for a motorized bicycle, anybody know about these things? Easy to convert to more modern brakes?
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:50 PM
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BigBlue BigBlue is offline
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Default Re: "Rod Brakes"

That is a good looking bike, but...

Those rod brakes aren't the best.

The Benotto looks like a Flying Pigeon PA06 all dressed up:

I've never owned a Benotto or a Flying Pigeon. What I know about the Flying Pigeon is what I've researched on the Internet.

If the Benotto is like the Flying Pigeon then I'd save my money.

Here's some specifications on the Fying Pigeon:

Good Luck,

AKA: BigBlue
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:54 PM
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bairdco bairdco is offline
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Default Re: "Rod Brakes"

rod brakes are pretty cool. i've got a vintage phillips bike made in england and a japanese bike that have them. both are in pieces in my junk pile right now, though.

if the brake pads are in good shape they stop as well as any caliper, and all the rods and linkage look cool.

they work by pulling up onto the underside of the rim instead of the sides and might be a bit sketchy if the pad comes loose, since it could go into the spokes, but there's a lot of old antique motorbikes that used them.

pads can be hard to find.

if there's mounting holes in the fork and int the rear for a fender brace you could convert to calipers, but you'll need new handlebars and a gooseneck too, since the rod system is all integrated into it.

i'd keep the rods if i was building it.

also, they have skinny tires. not many (if any) options to go wider.

it would be a cool slow cruiser if you keep everything stock.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:35 PM
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Intrepid Wheelwoman Intrepid Wheelwoman is offline
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Default 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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Old 01-01-2014, 06:54 PM
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placidscene placidscene is offline
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Default Re: "Rod Brakes"

Originally Posted by bairdco View Post
also, they have skinny tires. not many (if any) options to go wider.
I ride an old 27" steel road bike from the 70s. It is probably not as smooth as a cruiser with balloon tires, but if you have good roads where you live like I do, It is a great bike because it is very fast.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:52 AM
Scootmeister Scootmeister is offline
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Default Re: "Rod Brakes"

Two of my motorcycles have rod actuated rear brakes. Number one, they ares stronger than bicycle cables, and two, they don't stretch like bicycle cables. What they give up in strength is flexibility. Obviously they cannot be bent around the frame or operated from a curve the way cables can. I have fabricated them from 3/16" or 1/4" rod with good results.
"If bulls didn't have horns, everyone would be a Matador".
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