my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

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Mike Sales
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby Mike Sales » 8 Sep 2019, 11:32am

Mick F wrote:I tried a bike with one once, and that was enough.

Climb on a bike and you have to get the cranks in the right place to pedal away. Foot under a pedal and lift.
With a coaster brake, you can't turn the cranks backwards. I found it annoying, so no thank you to coaster brakes!


You get used to it. Like changing from hub to derailleur gears.

Brucey
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby Brucey » 8 Sep 2019, 11:43am

brynpoeth wrote:I have no trouble modulating my back-pedal brake, or even switching to fixed


and you probably won't, not when you are thinking about it consciously. The problem is that in a real emergency (eg dog/child runs out in front of you) it isn't the conscious mind that you have to worry about; it is the unconscious mind. Whatever your 'training' has been, that is when it can either help you or hinder you. A completely different part of the brain is used and this has advantages; it is far quicker than the conscious mind could ever be and it is pretty reliable too. In tests, skilled/trained subjects could be seen to react to new hazards in about half the time required by people who hadn't been trained and had to use the conscious mind to process the information accordingly.

This processing and action via the unconscious mind is reliable, that is, provided your training matches your current situation. It takes far longer than you might expect to 'get used to it' such that you will react instinctively and swiftly in the right way. If your 'training' doesn't match your current situation, you can have a worse accident than you might have if you had no prior experience at all. I've related one such incident in a thread (I think) titled 'the lunge of WUM', but there are plenty of other examples.

Brakes are particularly subject to problems of this kind, because in a real emergency you don't really have time to modulate the brake; you are initially braking with your 'best guess' at what is the maximum safe retardation. Not enough braking effort (for even half a second) and you are going to have an accident for sure. Too much and you will have a different one.

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kylecycler
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby kylecycler » 8 Sep 2019, 11:45am

Butch couldn't have stopped without one.

Image

Brucey
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby Brucey » 8 Sep 2019, 11:58am

kylecycler wrote:Butch couldn't have stopped without one.


didn't he fall off anyway...?

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Mick F
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby Mick F » 8 Sep 2019, 3:11pm

Mike Sales wrote:You get used to it. Like changing from hub to derailleur gears.
How?
How can you turn the cranks to get away?

What I found, was to lift the back wheel, or move forwards a tad.
Either way, it was a faff that I could well do without.
Mick F. Cornwall

Mike Sales
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby Mike Sales » 8 Sep 2019, 3:15pm

Mick F wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:You get used to it. Like changing from hub to derailleur gears.
How?
How can you turn the cranks to get away?

What I found, was to lift the back wheel, or move forwards a tad.
Either way, it was a faff that I could well do without.


Ever used a fixed? When you have to lift the rear wheel and udge it round to the handy spot for starting. You clearly have the idea, but need to persist enough for it to become automatic.

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Mick F
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby Mick F » 8 Sep 2019, 3:20pm

I rode a fixed back in the 60's when a mate lent me one.
I was maybe 14 at the time, and it was great fun. :D

The analogy of fixed vs coaster brake doesn't work too well though.
With a fixed - it's fixed and "solid".

With a coaster brake, it's not, it's just a disadvantage. It freewheels, but won't allow a backwards crank rotation.
Mick F. Cornwall

Mike Sales
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby Mike Sales » 8 Sep 2019, 3:26pm

Mick F wrote:I rode a fixed back in the 60's when a mate lent me one.
I was maybe 14 at the time, and it was great fun. :D
The analogy of fixed vs coaster brake doesn't work too well though.
With a fixed - it's fixed and "solid".

With a coaster brake, it's not, it's just a disadvantage. It freewheels, but won't allow a backwards crank rotation.


I am not saying it is the same, just that it needs an adjustment in technique, as fixed does. It may be a bit of a faff, but not a big deal really.
Here is a suggestion!

What I found, was to lift the back wheel, or move forwards a tad.

Brucey
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby Brucey » 8 Sep 2019, 3:28pm

part of the habituation to using such a brake is to use the less favoured leg for routine braking to a halt. Suppose you always start with the right foot on the right pedal; all that is required is to come to a halt whilst using the left leg on the brake, with the left pedal fairly well down. This will place the right pedal in the appropriate place to start. If you slow down but don't quite pull up short of the mark, you can move forwards and get the pedal set that way. You soon get used to this sort of thing, even if it takes longer to develop different habits in a real emergency.

On a utility bike, picking up the rear wheel isn't always practical; often there is a heavy load to contend with.

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mjr
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby mjr » 8 Sep 2019, 9:03pm

Mick F wrote:I tried a bike with one once, and that was enough.

Climb on a bike and you have to get the cranks in the right place to pedal away. Foot under a pedal and lift.
With a coaster brake, you can't turn the cranks backwards. I found it annoying, so no thank you to coaster brakes!

You should never lift a pedal with the top of the shoe unless you hate your shoes. If I ran bikeability, doing that would be a flogging offence! Civilised people scoot forwards, the pedals start turning and you start pedalling. ;)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Mick F
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby Mick F » 9 Sep 2019, 9:03am

Sorry, but I've been lifting pedals with the top of my right foot since I first learned to ride a tricycle at the age of three.

Rarely need to lift a pedal like that any more. Clipped in! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

pliptrot
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby pliptrot » 9 Sep 2019, 10:44am

Interesting views. I have two bikes with coaster brakes, and (probably as I have always ridden fixed a lot (at least in the winter)), I like them very much, and have none of the problems of use mentioned here. Actually, I take my 3 year old to kindergarden on one of these machines, (5km either way) and on returning home move to a derailleur machine for the ride to work (15km either way). A few times I have pedalled backwards on said derailleur machine and been surprised to have no retardation in my trajectory through traffic lights.......... One of the coaster brake machines is a 3-wheel cargo bike with some -truly dreadful- drum brakes on the front wheels. I would not like to use this bike without a coaster brake, particularly with child and associated paraphernalia on board, as you rarely get the distance a small aircraft needs to stop.

brynpoeth
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Sep 2019, 8:36pm

Used to have Weinmann centre-pulls, braking was a lot of trouble, the front brake retarded better but I tried to use the back as much as possible
I think I had a lot of trouble with cables, adjustment etc, almost forgotten fortunately
Now I brake with the back wheel only, what has changed? I am careful and slow, I do not do emergency stops :?
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tmac100
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Re: my take on back-pedal (coaster) brakes

Postby tmac100 » 13 Sep 2019, 6:13pm

I am looking forward to putting together my BW Industries India-made bicycle. I bought extra 28" rims and spokes (and a spare chain) so that I can build a single-speed rear wheel and also a 3 speed rear wheel ... I have a SA 3 speed hub with coaster brake and all the shifter/cable/etc parts to make an Indian 3-speed.

Nice sprung Brooks-copy heavy leather seats too! The rod-actuated front and rear brakes will be installed as usual. BUT, I will use better brake shoes than the Indian ones. I won't change the plated steel rims. That would be "cheating". :roll: