Don't like coaster brakes?

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by Tim_B_172, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    wayne, you're not kidding about that sprocket. mine was an old Bendix, the kind that look like cheap grey metal. i started out with a brand new pilot bit, went right through it. then wouldn't dent the other hole. kept changing out bits, wore out at least 5, and it took me about an hour to drill two stupid holes. that's some crazy strong steel.

    funny thing though, if you notice, it's a skip tooth sprocket i made myself. snapped off every other tooth with a crescent wrench, then grinded it smooth. the teeth came off with very little force.

    so it's impossible to drill, but brittle enough to snap.

    and you're right about the shimano's. i sat there studying that old thread, and looking at my hub, and realized i didn't need to do anything but make the levers.
     
  2. jbcruisin

    jbcruisin Active Member

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    You guys have really great ideas here. The bigger sprocket on the rear wheel was interesting. It gears the bike ratio lower, so does that make braking easier? Like I wouldn't have to back pedal so hard to stop the bike?? All 3 of my bikes have coaster brakes on the rear..
    Jay
     
  3. azbill

    azbill Active Member

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    Jay, my stretch stops easier since I changed the pedal sprocket to a 36 from the stock 44, if that helps you ;)
     
  4. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    yeah, the smaller the front sprocket, the better the coaster works. most antique bikes come with these giant sprockets, like 52 teeth (except it's a skiptooth, so it's 26) and the brakes never work. slap a 36 on there, and it'll lock right up.

    by the way, the coaster conversion blows. not happy with it at all. can't get enough pull out of a normal brake lever to make it activate, and i don't want some giant, ugly motorcycle lever. i'm gonna mess with a few ideas before i give up, though. don't feel like unlacing from the wheel and relacing a drum into it...

    wasn't this thread about v brake adapters or something?
     
    #24 bairdco, Jul 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  5. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    I'm running a 36/16.....not sure of the ratio, but who care's? And for the coaster brake front wheels, how's your Dentist bill? I see faceplant written all over that set-up....seriously! Just sayin', of course.

    Coaster brakes just don't modulate smoothly or predictably....why bother?
     
    #25 scotto-, Jul 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  6. Kevlarr

    Kevlarr New Member

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    If anyone feels the need to drill a sprocket again, heat it up red hot then let it cool (don't quench it!) to take the temper out of it. If you're using it for a front brake who cares if it's hardened.
     
  7. KCvale

    KCvale Well-Known Member

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    Clever innovations. I love that. And the topic name is 'Don't like coaster brakes?'

    Just for clarity, a 'coaster brake' to me always has, and will always remain referenced by me, to a 'back pedal' brake hub brake.
    Hence my comment about chain matching for a front one ;-}

    More leverage my friend, so yes ;-}
    As mentioned earlier no fun to have to pedal a long way, but it makes the bike much easier to start AND makes the coaster brake good enough to lay a skid.

    As far as my definition of a 'coaster brake' goes, I haven't seen anything or know of anything cheaper and easier to swap out than the rear hub 18 tooth sprocket with a 20 tooth for $5 and five minutes not counting chain matching.
    It is just that easy on a typical coaster brake beach cruiser bike.

    Sure, you can put a smaller front sprocket on it to reduce the gear ratio too, but to pull a typical one piece crank out, change it's sprocket size, and then put it back together is more like 50 minutes and more than $5, and you still need to mess with the pedal chain.

    But back to the front coaster brake hub mods...

    All I can ask is why?
    Even a cheap front 'side pull' brake will stand my bikes up on the front wheel with a little speed.
    For a back pedal back coaster brake using you leg and body weight as force and a little gear reduction makes them pretty good, but how are you guys getting that kind of force from a hand grip lever?

    Logic tells me you must be getting leverage somewhere to do that with a single hand lever, can you share how?
    Thanks ;-}
     
  8. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    i wanted to do the front coaster because i build old timey cruisers, and i hate rim brakes. drum brakes are what i like best, but the good ones are about 90 bucks. i was also going for the "cool factor," because only a handful of people have done it.

    and how am i getting that kind of force from a hand lever, you ask?

    i'm not.

    it's not the force i need, it's the leverage. a coaster brake has too much travel for the average lever to handle, so i'm either thinking linkages to step it up, or junk the whole idea.
     
  9. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Bairdco,
    Sorry to hear of the setbacks with the coaster brake conversion. I'm hoping it will work out for you and down the line for myself. And I share your enthusiasm for both saving some money and re-using old well made coaster brakes on an old timey build.
    Old cruisers did not have front brakes. Most had no place to mount a later caliper brake, although front brake adapters were and still are available for the old Schwinns. V brakes would require some welding or a different fork... no longer vintage looking. A drum brake is often the answer, but for those of us on a budget it is an expensive one. A front disc brake gets even more complicated and expensive. For old non-Schwinns the only option reasonably priced is a drum brake. So that's the how come for me at least on being excited at the idea of this conversion.
    As for the face plant, I don't see that happening. I don't do wild skids with my rear coaster brake and have no problem applying the force for a controlled stop. Clamp down hard on a disc brake up front and it has a lot of stopping power right now. So I don't buy that one.
    And there's yet another reason. Making something out of nothing is fun.
    Kevlar, thanks for the tip on heating up the hub. Good to know.
    SB
     
  10. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    Drilling hard steel you need a carbide drill bit, and spin it at least 2,500 rpm's with a lub like WD40. I built some break-away lawn mower blades and just used cement drills. Find good ones liks Bosh. They drill a hole that is just slitly larger the size it says on the bit so like a 3/8 bolt was a little slopy but not bad. Give it a try next time you invent.....Curt
     
  11. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    This is cool. I did this back in the 50's on the rear when I built a motor bike I didn't have room to turn the pedels but just used it for brakes. Never thought of useing it on the front.
    Wayne how is yours working?......Curt
     
  12. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    Why doesn't someone come up with an anti-lock brake system for bikes? Cost! Locking up brakes, no matter what type, can put you down on the asphalt so fast, it'll make your head spin. A cheap Chinese coaster brake will fail shortly after installing a motor to the bike. Just beware.

    Older quality coaster brakes are better, but they are still just coaster brakes. Disc or drum for speed, v-brakes or the old u-brakes are pretty good stoppers also.

    Brakes are important, treat them as such.

    End of rant...
     
  13. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    skidding is cool, though! that's the first cool thing you learn after learning how to ride a bike. you come haulin'a$$ up to the little girl you have a crush on and throw the bike sideways...

    man, she sure was impressed...
     
  14. chainmaker

    chainmaker New Member

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    No Fancy Pick-Up Line Needed
     
  15. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    I agree...100%!!!


    And yes chainmaker...the beauty of the Brodie! And then came the doughnut...on a taco44! Or 22, or 99.

    Wait a minute, wasn't cards with a clothespin in the spokes the first cool thing?....I guess that came later hahaha!

    The Brodie was a powerslide back then if you had no engine! Really just a skid...
     
    #35 scotto-, Jul 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  16. jbcruisin

    jbcruisin Active Member

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    you guys must be as old as me rotfl
     
  17. scotto-

    scotto- Custom 4-Stroke Bike Builder

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    fold arts are we?
     
  18. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    LOL Scotto, that would make a good name. "Fold Arts Motor bike club" or some thing
     
  19. KCvale

    KCvale Well-Known Member

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    Hehehe ;-}
    Banana seat, tall sissy bar, cards on the wheels, and the always impressive 'Fat J" skid.
    You had to have a knobby tire for the cool spread-out look and lay it on the cement sidewalk or driveway for the right effect. haha, I can still remember what our driveway looked like them pretty much everywhere.

    I didn't give them up until my early teen years and got a 125cc Honda dirt bike, came tearing to the garage intending to lay a fat J right up against the back wall of the garage and pack it right there on top of the skid and misjudged my speed.

    I didn't go all the way through the drywall into the dining room, but it shattered a big part of the floor to ceiling mirrored wall on the other side.
    My folks were none to pleased with me about that one.

    But back to topic...

    A smaller front or larger rear sprocket both do the same thing, reduce the gear ratio thus giving you more leverage on the coaster brake.
    Which is easier to do is up to you.
     
  20. jbcruisin

    jbcruisin Active Member

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    I just bought a 36 T front sprocket on Ebay. I figured that way I take out links from the chain instead of adding them if I would have put a larger sprocket on the rear.
     

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