Drum brake vs Coaster brake

Discussion in 'Whizzer Motorized Bicycles' started by RdKryton, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. RdKryton

    RdKryton Active Member

    I just ordered a rear drum brake setup for my Whizzer. I am now using the auto clutch so I have a brake lever to use. I guess my question is how does the rear drum compare to the coaster brake? I am not comfortable going over 30mph on this thing because of the marginal brakes. I am hoping the drum brake is better. At the very least the new hub and bearings will give me a little piece of mind. Any thoughts?


  2. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    hi rd; i always thought they were the same. go to search and let us know. mitch
  3. Quenton Guenther

    Quenton Guenther Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Hi Jim,
    "Night and day" would be a good term to use. It will take a while to adjust to the difference, but you will stop much quicker than before. But always remember a good ratio of 75% front and 25% rear is the ideal setup when stopping quickly on dry pavement.

    Have fun,
    Whizzer OuterBanks LTD
    A North Carolina Corporation
    Quenton "Lee" Guenther
  4. augidog

    augidog Banned

    hi guys

    i like to look around in here, just content to watch usually, this topic caught my eye. an aspect of the whizzer that's impressed and inspired me from day one is the time-tested chassis, i've made a lot of choices on my own builds with the same quality as a target. i was happy whizzer folks were using coasters as an accepted option, it confirmed my own opinion. coaster is how i like to ride, i've had enuff levers for a while, thank you. but, doggone if i ain't envious of that rear drum! i want real shoes.

    i can see how this could be a tough choice for some of you, both are entirely suitable to the overall image :)

    that's all :cool:
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  5. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    I have noticed a difference in their coaster brakes, even in one just three years old. My '05 NE5 must have had the old band brake on it, because the stopping power of the newer two-shoe (Bendix-style) coaster brake is astonishing in comparison. My old rear hub had a spoke flange break, so Whizzer handled it under warranty (it only had 168 miles on it - thanks Dave for taking care of this) and sent me a new wheel as a replacement. Whoa, what a difference in stopping power! The first time I used it I almost went over the handlebars! Yet it didn't lock up. It was just a very healthy increase in stopping power, more than I was used to. I can only imagine what the rear drum is like. Coupled with the front drum, I have more than enough stopping power (and I'm a heavyweight rider as well).
  6. fsprandy

    fsprandy Member

    The brakes on mine are by far the weakest of anything with a motor that I've ever owned. I grooved the front brake shoes and it did help. Though the screeching, which was initially calmed by the grooves, has come back. They work fine as long as all stops are planned well in advance.
  7. echotraveler

    echotraveler Member

    ok guys im getting confused here!

    correct me if im wrong....there are coaster breaks for the rear and Drum breaks for the front wheel...

    never heard of rear drum break! plz enlighten me....i would think they are the same but the coaster has added speeds...

  8. Quenton Guenther

    Quenton Guenther Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Hi echotraveler,

    The front brake has always been a drum type. The rear can either be a "coaster", a "band", or a "drum" brake. If the bike was the manual clutch version the rear brake was the "coaster" type. If the bike used the automatic clutch the rear brake was the "band" version. In the later production motorbikes the rear brake was upgraded to the "drum" stlye. The "band" brake with a little effort could be upgraded to the better drum system, and still use the same rear wheel assembly. The original "band" brake hub could be removed and repaced with the heavier hub [threaded] and the brake "pork chop" and heavier cable would produce a better rear brake.

    Consider the following...........
    The coaster brake hub used "pressed" on spoke flanges, and were subject to failure on many fronts. Most often the flanges simply pulled loose from the hub, on several of my personal bikes the inside finish of the hub was very crude and "locked up", destroying the bearings and bent the axle. All failures were due to quality control and design, not speed and or weight as often portrayed, in fact the vast majority of the problems I personally incountered were on 100% stock motobike with an average weight rider [160 to 225 pound].
    The band brakes were never impressive, and I have replaced several that the material seperated from the metal band. I even tried several where the stopping material was "glued" on the band , only to witness the material breaking off in "chunks".

    Having said all that, the upgraded rear drum brake system is by far the best solution. If you have the automatic clutch version, then simply purchase the much better rear drum brake system.

    If your bike has the "coaster" rear brake then either replace with a "vintage" Bendix, New Departure, or Morrow hub, or use a modern day Shimato, Worksman, or any with a one piece hub [do not use any hub where the spoke flanges are pressed on].

    None of these comments are intended to "bash" any person, persons, company, or vendor, just to help with safety of fellow riders.

    Have fun,
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
    stewyou likes this.
  9. uncle_punk13

    uncle_punk13 Guest

    I hear ya' there.
    My rear coaster is junk. It's almost done for, but I'm gonna push it till it pukes then lace in a higher quality unit. Probably a Shimano coaster unit as I don't wanna waste one of my vintage Bendix rb units... I'm not real nuts about the front drum either and when I finally kill that, I will lace a S/A X-FD in. I'm not hacking on any company or their products- I'm just saying my stuff was used when I got it, that I've put it through some hard paces, and these components have almost finished their life cycle. So when that time comes I want to use higher grade components than the stock units...
    I like the hoops and spokes they use, no problems whatsoever there! :cool:
  10. echotraveler

    echotraveler Member

    thanx for enlightening reply! i just read it, and already ordered a worksman with both rear coaster and front drum...im waiting for it to be built in NY
  11. bill green

    bill green Member

    HI all If you want good drum stopping power front and rear check out Kool whizzer on EBAY he still has some sweet hubs with big shoed brakes....Bill
  12. Quenton Guenther

    Quenton Guenther Motored Bikes Sponsor

  13. bill green

    bill green Member

    Thank you Quenton.....................Bill
  14. augidog

    augidog Banned

    revival of a good topic...

    the x-fd is the one, imo, a sturdy standard...and i'm noticing it cropping up on more and more serious builds. whatever kind of rear brake you've got, it'll feel much more effective paired with a ft drum.

    the shimano cb-e110 on 12G spokes is also pretty bullet-proof...use auto-grade grease and watch that bearing adjustment...i have one (from iride years ago, a "dyno" leftover i think) that's done well over 5k, with many HT's, a titan, & now my GEBE's...in other words i've really racked this wheel, & it keeps on ticking. even after all those installs & uninstalls, there's no bent spokes, & it runs totally true.

    next time i get to buy a fresh wheelset, tho, it's gonna be a sturmey-archer X-FD/-RD combo...i'm hooked on auto-clutch MB's, so why not make use of the missing lever? sealed bearings front and rear, ohyeah...freewheeling pedals will be a plus, too.

    for some fun window-shopping, here's S-A: http://www.sturmey-archer.com/hubs.php
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  15. koolwhizzer

    koolwhizzer Motored Bikes Sponsor

    Drum Brakes and Carbs for Whizzers

    Hi all,
    Thanks Quenton and Bill for the post. I received a few emails about the drum brakes i have for sale. I also have a few carbs i will be closing out shortly. I will post a new thread once i see what i have left. I sold a few already since the original post.
    Thanks again
    Al (koolwhizzer)
  16. Stoltzee

    Stoltzee Member

    If your talking about V or C brakes squealing. Use a thick rubber band on the back section of the pad to get a "Toe In." That's suppose to alleviate the problem. Also if you have Brushed Aluminum rims you can clean them up with wet n dry sandpaper, 220 or higher.
  17. My coaster locked up in a panic stop. Now it is toast. I bought a new wheel with a band brake. Debbie said they have a drum unit that will go on the same wheel with the band on it. I'm looking forward to one of those.
  18. Quenton Guenther

    Quenton Guenther Motored Bikes Sponsor

    The expanding brake is much better, however it is very difficult to install and adjust correctly. Every wheel I converted from band to expanding brake required removing the band hub, which most often must be "cut" off. The problem has to do with removing the band brake hub because the threads act like it is welded on. I have destroyed several rear hubs trying to remove the original band brake hub to insall the hub from the expanding brake assembly.

    It is also difficult to install the expanding brake completely in line with the hub and ofen a lot of spacers & washers are needed to obtain proper alignment. If the brake isn't installed completely straight, it won't work correctly.

    It will take a lot of work to install correctly, however it is worth the effort to do so.

    Have fun,
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  19. Thank you Quenton! I am not that crazy about the stock hoops anyway. The conversion sounds like I would lose too. I know a good wheel builder up in San Jose, Guy Doss. I have a Phil Wood polished hub with a disc brake, big SS spokes, Worksman rims and Kevlar tires. Guy designed new links for the Monarch fork and Phil made them polished SS. All of that is what your hot rod engine is rolling on. I love it all! Thanks to everyone for all your help and expertise.