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    • CommentAuthoralexbet813
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2009
     
    so today driving home from work i saw a guy riding leader LD 737R. with deep v's total fixie style but noticed that he had a coaster brake. since i ride a 10sp, fixie, and beach cruiser i felt very confused an conflicted. on one hand im like ah thats kinda smart, super clean look no clutter at all, but then i thought about my experience working at a lbs that sells almost exclusivly beach cruisers. even upper end models, coaster brake hubs are not very performence oriented and dont have very long lifespans. is there a road/performance oriented coaster brake hub? i dont think i would ever change my fixed to a coaster brake it takes something away... any one else have an opinion?
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2009 edited
     
    The Chinese ones are absolute crap to the point of being dangerous.

    Shimano makes a decent one.

    Sturmey Archer makes one but I have no experience with it.

    As far as long lifespan goes, my 1952 Schwinn has a Bendix coasterbrake that is as old if not older. The old Bendix stuff is sturdy but by no means performance oriented.

    They need to be adjusted correctly, some require a little freeplay. If they are too tight they overheat. I don't know what crap grease the manufacturers use but I use automotive hi-temp disc brake bearing grease. My coasterbrake bikes regular see speeds of 35mph+ bombing hills and get hot enough to sizzle if you spit on them.
  1.  
    I have been considering just such an experiment. I made the mistake of explaining to my wife about how the fixed gear bike I am building works and she keeps threatening to leave me if I ride it anywhere. Oops. She's being pretty hypocritical, as she rides her bike (a cruiser with a coaster), with our two-year-old in tow, without a damn helmet, but I digress..
    What you will lose with the coaster is pretty much every trick in your fixed gear book. Personally, I don't have a book to lose, so whatever. What's nice about the coaster hub idea is that they (most) are already 120mm and (some) use standard 1.29" x 24 TPI track cogs and lockrings. My wife's is pretty much nothing to maintain and has never let her down. The only annoying thing about riding one is that you can't move the crank backward to get to a better starting position. As far as braking goes, the higher the tooth count, the further back one has to pedal to engage the brake. Not a big deal but something to think about.
    Atomic Cycles has some good info, and links to Sheldon Brown's also very useful article. Atomic mentions Velosteel hubs from the Czech Republic, how they may be the best currently made but are hard to find.. Thankfully, a guy from Oregon is selling them on eBay for $45 +10 S/H. Also, Kogswell has a nice little guide for them. What I have heard about Velosteel has been good so far -- the best around if you're buying new. Plus, they make a hub for ISO threads in addition to the standard snap ring.
    Also, if you're familiar with the OSO bike, it's pretty much what you're talking about: a fixed gear but with a coaster brake. The bike itself isn't particularly nice looking, well equipped, or well dimensioned, but it has a braze-on specifically designed for a coaster hub:


    On a track bike (or any bike without said braze-on) the hub would have the reaction arm attached to the chain stay with a metal band.
    • CommentAuthorM1K3
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2009
     
    I love them. I realise it's somewhat of a faux-fixie sort of look but who cares? You can't do anything in the fixed gear/singlespeed "community" without offending someone. The whole things a joke. Do whatever you want I say!

    Check this one out https://velospace.org/node/21618 I think you'll all agree that it's pretty sexy.

    I just picked up a junk bike off ebay I plan to convert to a 3 speed coaster with a rack for general beater usage. Was wondering if any of you more educated cyclists could recommend a good quality 3 speed coaster hub? I've heard the sturmey archer is to be avoided. ALSO, while I'm at it, do you think I'll encounter any problems hooking the hub up to the bike's existing downtube shifter?
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2009
     
    Beside pedaling backwards in circles, I don't think you lose any tricks with a coasterbrake considering that most of the tricks are old school BMX freestyle tricks, and most of the those guys (Bob Haro, Mike Buff, R.L. Osborn, Woody Itson) rode coasterbrake. The coasterbrake is the precursor to the freecoaster.
  2.  
    Posted By: suicide_doors(some) use standard 1.29" x 24 TPI track cogs and lockrings.

    Oops, I meant 1.37 x 24 TPI (ISO) cogs and 1.29" lockrings.
  3.  
    The Chinese ones are absolute crap to the point of being dangerous.

    Shimano makes a decent one.

    Sturmey Archer makes one but I have no experience with it.


    Sturmey Archer seems to make the best ones. And they're Chinese.
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2009 edited
     
    Posted By: Joshua A.C. Newman
    Sturmey Archer seems to make the best ones. And they're Chinese.

    At any rate, they are now. Depending on the date, SA-branded stuff was made in England and Taiwan.
  4.  
    Indeed. I find it tediously ignorant when people associate Taiwanese manufacture with low quality, given that they can and do make some of the best bikes in the world. It seems to have more to do with some sort of misplaced nationalistic pride more than anything else.
  5.  
    Personally I have no problem with who makes a certain anything, as long as I get quality for my money. That said, I’ll stick with an old Bendix from the 60’s given the choice…
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2009 edited
     
    There is a BIG difference in quality between mainland China and Taiwan. Funny to get accused of being ignorant by someone that is unaware of the distinction.

    By Chinese coasterbrake I mean blatant copies of the Shimano coasterbrake, like Hi-Stop and Joytech. They are made from inferior materials, After they fail and you take them apart you are often greeted with metal shavings and actual broken parts, something that never used to happen when I was riding street and ramps with a Bendix or a SunTour coasterbrake.

    I am well aware of the quality of Taiwan stuff, my modern BMX is probably all Taiwanese, and overall it's much stronger than almost anything made BITD in the US, but that has more to do with advances in design, like threadless and thicker dropouts and axles. Still the Taiwan stuff is a step down in material quality from Japan, which is why Taiwan BMX frames are made with Sanko CrMo tubing shipped in from Japan. But I'm getting off on a tangent.

    I don't know if Sturmey is better than SRAM, as the planetery hubs and coasterbrakes I deal with are 30+ years old or older. I'm not even sure who you'd ask. Often bike mechanic opinions are tainted by one bad personal experience with a component or the dealing with the manufacturer, and some of them don't know their shit from Shinola anyways.
  6.  
    I've been on the lookout for a Bendix kickback for a long time now. Their reputation is extremely strong. I've never had one, though. I had a Bianchi one when I was a kid, but that bike is long gone and in another country.

    There is a BIG difference in quality between mainland China and Taiwan. Funny to get accused of being ignorant by someone that is unaware of the distinction.


    It turns out I am. You weren't making that distinction.
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2009 edited
     
    That's because I don't think the distinction needs to be explained. If someone says "made in China" they mean mainland China, not Taiwan, at least in the bike industry. Sorry, I'm in kind of a snotty mood today.

    The Bendix cable operated two-speed coasterbrake is way better than the Kickback one, and probably even more rare. Good luck finding either, if I find two I'll let you know, cuz I want one too!
    • CommentAuthoreaglerock
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2009
     
    Posted By: SkidMarkThat's because I don't think the distinction needs to be explained. If someone says "made in China" they mean mainland China, not Taiwan, at least in the bike industry.

    Considering that the overwhelming number of bikes are made in either China or Taiwan (notwithstanding the miniscule fraction made in Italy, US, France, Japan or by the scattering of custom framebuilders in many countries), the distinctions are available to all observers. Within the product line of every major bike manufacturer, the less-expensive bikes are made in China, and the more-expensive ones are made in Taiwan - and are labeled as such.

    Sorry, I'm in knd of a snotty mood today.

    I didn't want to mention it; but I'm glad you're aware...
  7.  
    Yeah, but the kickback gives you the clean lines with the benefits of two speeds and a rear brake.

    They show up on Ebay every so often for more money than I own.
    • CommentAuthorSkidMark
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2009
     
    The two-speed manual is available coasterbrake, I know someone in town with one, and last weekend I rode one in Seattle. The thing about the kickback is that every time you apply the brake, it downshifts to first. Kinda sucks when you are going downhill.
  8.  
    But I'm certainly willing to do that awkward double-kick for the sake of not having a cable!
  9.  
    Posted By: SkidMarkThe thing about the kickback is that every time you apply the brake, it downshifts to first. Kinda sucks when you are going downhill.


    So true, they take some getting used to before you re-train yourself.
  10.  
    Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanBut I'm certainly willing to do that awkward double-kick for the sake of not having a cable!


    I used the 3 speed off a townie on another bike I built up. It had a coaster brake. I really liked it. But yea, it’s got a cable…
  11.  
    Yeah, I've got a Sturmey Archer I built into a Weinmann rim that I'll probably put on an old Raleigh frame. That could come out a pretty nice bike. But it'll have to have a cable, both for shifting and for brakes.
 
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