Wheels HD Wheel questions

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by redcard, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. redcard

    redcard New Member

    If this has been posted before, I apologize. I read through the other HD axle threads and didn't see my questions answered so I'm hoping I didn't miss it somewhere...

    So, in a week I'm planning on ordering one of the HD wheel kits. Since I'm new to bicycles, much less motorized bicycles, I really don't know whether I should order it with a 44, 48, or 56 tooth sprocket.

    I'm 250 pounds, and live in Denver so it's mostly flat with some rolling hills. I'm not looking to go 45 mph on this thing. In fact, most of the areas I'd ride in have a 30 mph speed limit so I'm guessing I'll be riding about that speed at the max.

    Basically, I'm looking for a utility / fun ride...not a how-fast-will-this-thing-go sort of ride.

    Also, I see that the drum / band brake it comes with isn't that highly regarded here. Is that because you all have higher standards than me, or do they really "suck"? Again, I'm not going that fast, so I was planning on using my clamp brake up front with the drum brake on back...both hooked up to the pyramid dual pull brake lever. Is this sufficient for lower speeds / standard riding? Surely it's as good or better than the coaster brake it's replacing right?

    I'm hoping that it will work for me, as I'm running out of money on this build so the idea of having to invest even more in rear brakes kind of makes me cringe, but I also want it to be a (relatively) safe ride.

    Thanks in advance for the help. :)

    Can't wait to get this bad boy running!

  2. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Personally, I haven't had a problem with 36 spoke wheels (and I'm over 300 pounds.) If you're mounting a sprocket with a rag-joint, wait 'till you hear back from HT owners, as to which would be best. (9 bolt holes would probably line up best on a 56 spoke hub...)

    As far as brakes: If it were the only brake you'll have, I would be leery of it. drum brakes tend to overheat, then fade, especially coming down hills. After they cool off, they're OK again. I ran a coaster brake for quite a while. Properly maintained, they can be very effective, but, on long hills, they can overheat also. With coaster brakes, after they overheat, you should re-pack them with grease again, because the grease probably ran off. (which is the main difference, IMO, between drum and coaster brakes - coaster brakes take more maintenance.)

    In either case, as long as you have both front and back brakes, you should be OK.

    I just don't like the idea of dual-pull brake levers for both front and back brake, because it gives you a single point of failure.
  3. redcard

    redcard New Member

    Ah...thanks for putting me at ease with the brakes. I feel much better about it now. It's been a long project because I've had to put it down a couple of times...but it's nice to finally see it coming to completion.

    Any HD axle owners able to comment about the sprocket size?
  4. pbeggs

    pbeggs Member

    based on what you want the thing to do (im assuming 26" wheel size) i think a 48 tooth sprocket would be best (not too fast ,.. better hill climb than 44)

    as for the brakes,.. if its the thin, thread on external to the hub band/drum brake they are not really all that great,.. and i wouldnt try using drum and caliper brakes on one brake handle ,..it will probably be difficult to adjust (matched brakes work best on the dual pull handles,.. ie 2 of the same type drum or caliper)
  5. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    D'Oh! for some reason, I thought he was talking about the number of spokes, not the number of teeth on the sprocket...:eek:o2ps:

    Most of the braking should come from the front brake anyway, and redcard's got caliper brakes on the front.