Rear Drum Brake

H20rider

New Member
Aug 27, 2008
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After swapping out the manual clutch for an autoclutch on my Whizzer, I decided I'd be more comfortable with two hand brakes instead of the awkward coaster. I tracked down an old Atom rear drum brake (like an Arai) from a Schwinn tandem, installed it.....and......well, ....the stopping power is less than ideal. It functions, but seems mushy and weak. Since, I've juiced up the bike with various speed mods, the braking has become much more important. The shoes look adequate, the cable is taut, and I gave the shoes a light sanding to remove a glaze. I can, with effort, turn the wheel by hand when the hand lever is pulled. The front wheel is the stock drum brake and that one seems to work well.
In short, any ideas for improving this rear brakes power? Ideally, I think the brakes should be able to skid the bike.
Thanks in advance.
 

H20rider

New Member
Aug 27, 2008
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Does anyone know about getting replacement shoes for Atom drum brakes? There's a place in England that will reline brake shoes...but the turn around time is probably lengthy.
Thanks
 

2door

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 15, 2008
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Littleton, Colorado
You might be fighting a geometry problem here. Are you using the same hand lever that was designed to be used on that drum? If not it's possible that the leverage you're applying might be insufficient to get the most out of your brake shoes / drum. Some newer brake leveres are smaller and will exert less cable force than older styles due to the more effecient brakes used today. Just a thought, but I ran into a similar problem when I installed a front drum on a trike I'm working on. When I matched the brake lever to the brake it worked much better.
 

H20rider

New Member
Aug 27, 2008
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Thanks, 2Door
I'm using a a full sized handle, though it didn't come with the brake. I think you're right about the physics issue.
I appreciate the ideas.
Best, Gery
 

Hot Dog Piggy Tails

New Member
Sep 11, 2008
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Kelso Wa
Oh yeah Geometry sounds like its barely caming the pull or too high geared. But if your pads are too hard? (Ihave a 20 yr old set original and there fine but there STERMEY ARCHER)
In our town they sell the pad lining material itself. Sticky back and Its really stiff. Auto Parts store bud! cUT THE RECTANGLE AND GRIND YOURS OFF.PUT EM ON AND BINDEM FOR AN HOUR
 
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