New Worksman Drum Brake Hub - No Stopping Power

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by benmot, Jul 3, 2015.

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  1. benmot

    benmot New Member

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    I just installed a new front drum brake wheel on my bike, took it for a spin, hit the brake, and was VERY disappointed in the way it did not stop me at all. If I yank hard on the brake, I can go from 7mph to stop in about 20 feet.

    Is this normal for a drum brake? I've never had one before.

    Note this is NEW. Does it take a break in period?
     
  2. Tony01

    Tony01 Active Member

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    It sounds like your brake is incorrectly adjusted. You need a brake lever with longer reach than a road style handle, so that you may pull the lever far enough to lock up your brake.

    Adjust your lever to the maximum tension allowed where it does not slow down the wheel. I built a 700c bike with this brake (90mm) and used a reverse lever made for road bikes. With a bit of adjustment I had it *almost* locking with the short throw, and later just added a hole up on the arm to get the full range.
     

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  3. Tony01

    Tony01 Active Member

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    ah crap.. I just realized you were talkin about the WM brake.. not the SA. My bad. Might be that the same stuff applies... also could be the brake just sucks.
     
  4. toker_ace

    toker_ace Member

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    did you ever get your drum brake to work? Mine sucks too!
     
  5. benmot

    benmot New Member

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    I think beginner is onto something. I have a half size puller - but still, if I squeeze my hardest, it still doesn't touch the bar, and it just slows down.
     
  6. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

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    never seen one of these, so don't know if leading/trailing shoes are important with the installation of them, but in motorcycle brakes the most important thing is to get all cable pull mechanisms square to the force - this means that the lever at the brake should be adjusted on the splines to be just before 90 degrees at time shoes hit the drum to give maximum force on shortest pull - I've seen getting this right make 5 times greater force applied to the shoes
     
  7. dtv5403

    dtv5403 New Member

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    I used to have a worksman drum, and there were no splines on the cam, in fact near as I could tell the cam and arm were one piece. However, your info is still helpful for drums that do have adjustable arms, such as the Yamaha drum I'm using on my current front wheel. My best suggestions for the op are to lightly sand the drum and shoes and wipe with rubbing alcohol after sanding. This helps speed up the break-in process and also helps prevent glazing. Also, those short levers do no give enough pull for drums no matter how hard you pull. How far the lever sticks out from the handlebar is important, but the length is also important as a longer lever gives more leverage and thus better pull. Trust me, I tried to use short levers on my worksman drum at first and went through the same thing as the op. I switched to a longer lever with more angle and the brake worked much better. But sanding the shoes and drum lightly also helps.
     
  8. benmot

    benmot New Member

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    Thanks, dtv. I'll try a new lever first before digging into the hub and let y'all know how it works out.
     
  9. dtv5403

    dtv5403 New Member

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    Not a problem, hope it works out for you.
     
  10. toker_ace

    toker_ace Member

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    I'm gonna call them in the morning and see if they have any suggestions. Also my tire dosen't fit good either. Its like the wheel is a little smaller in circumference than normal. To be honest I am totally unhappy with this heavy wheel with a brake that sucks!
     
  11. benmot

    benmot New Member

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    I'm curious what they will say. I expect they will say the same as what has been suggested here - different levers, cleaning/scoring the pads. I have Schwalbe Fat Frank tires on my aluminum Worksman rims, and they fit fine.
     
  12. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    All drums take a little while to break in. The shoes need to seat, the glaze needs to wear off, etc.

    Sanding the shoes and the breaking surface of the drum will help.

    Also, adjust it by turning the barrel adjuster so it just barely rubs when you free spin the wheel.

    Another thing that affects braking is the cable. If you have a crappy, mushy cable it squishes when you pull the brake. Get a compressionless cable like Jagwire, and that'll help.

    Make sure the brake arm is solidly mounted to the fork. If it comes loose, the drum will spin, lock up, and hurt you. Badly. Trust me. I know...
     
  13. kevyleven007

    kevyleven007 Active Member

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    If I were you I would see if you can send it back and get a refund. I bought a drum brake wheel from husky that worked great right out the box. brake arm on the left. and used an old steel brake lever. its a sturmey. Its a good thing too because I haven't got a clue how to work on them.
     
  14. BOYGOFAST

    BOYGOFAST New Member

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    If you are interested,take it apart clean it completely reassemble it with new grease ..
     
  15. wret

    wret Member

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    Make sure you have enough cable pull length. If you need more make sure the adjuster on your lever is all the way in and take up slack at the brake pull arm adjuster.
     
  16. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    All great advice.

    I've had a Worksman front drum brake for years and have always considered it a sort of anti-lock braking system. I have never gotten it to stop any where close to what is needed with our speeds.

    Is such a great looking wheel, I use pull brakes in conjunction with it.
     
  17. toker_ace

    toker_ace Member

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    I called them and all they could do is brag about how great their hubs are!!! I disagree!!!! I took it apart sanded and cleaned with alcohol. Still sucks!!! Its not that complicated. Totally disgusted with these wheels.
     
  18. Tony01

    Tony01 Active Member

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    As far as the problem of the tire too big... Ya might have to go slow seating it. Put tire and tube on, pump it till it balloons, adjust tire on rim, pump some more, adjust, repeat until there is enough pressure that the tire is seated, then increase pressure to the desired setting. I do this for any tire/rim though it's usually not required past one adjustment.

    I could be wrong though-- maybe get some other tires. From what I have seen the most popular tire on that wheel is the maxxis hookworm-- should fit well.
     
  19. culvercityclassic

    culvercityclassic Well-Known Member

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    I have run that drum on a few bikes and have even run the rear moped drum hub and they flat out dont stop good at all.

    They do look nice on a vintage build tho.
     
  20. dtv5403

    dtv5403 New Member

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    When I had my worksman drum, I had to adjust it to where the shoes stopped just short of contacting the drum without pulling the lever. But it stopped me plenty good. It was an older hub, when I got it it had been sitting in some guys shed for quite a few years. It would lock the wheel so hard, I ended up taking a couple spills in the rain while making sudden stops. I traded that wheel and the rear wheel I was using to a buddy, he is using the drum wheel on another bike and says it still stops plenty good for him too. Maybe the newer worksman drums just suck. I'm using a monster 130mm front drum for my current project, on a 24" heel and I'm expecting it to have stopping power comparable to discs. One thing I don't care for about bicycle drums is how the brake arm and cam are one piece, making it impossible to adjust the position of the brake arm. My rear moped drum is the same way, but I figure it's not that big of a deal because it's the rear brake and most of your stopping power comes from your front brake anyway. The motorcycle drum has a splined brake arm, so you can adjust it, another member here recently advised that the brake arm should be just before 90 degrees when the shoes make contact with the drum, and I have adjusted my front brake arm to this position. Unfortunately, this cannot be done with bicycle drums or some moped drums. But once broken in and properly adjusted, a bicycle drum should stop reasonably well up to 30mph. My top speed on my last bike was 32 and I only had trouble stopping when my brake needed adjusting. And I didn't have a rear brake on that bike. It was a shimano cb110 hub (genuine, not a clone), and I had it properly adjusted and well lubricated using red and tacky grease, but the shoes would grab so hard I would fishtail down the the road with even a slight backwards push on the pedals. So I converted the rear hub to freewheel and never did add another brake.
     

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