Brakes Is It Possibe to Disable Coaster Brake Function?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by rohmell, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. rohmell

    rohmell New Member

    I am thinking of doing a cruiser build, but I don't like the coaster brake idea, so I was just wondering if it is possible to open up the coaster hub remove or machine some of the parts inside in order to disable the coaster brake function and make the hub freewheel?

    Of course, the bike would have front and rear caliper brakes.

    I would also weld on a 5-speed sprocket and add a derailleur, not so much for the gearing it would provide, but to simplify adjusting the chain tension on the engine side, because I do not use the tensioner that comes with the kits. This way I can add/remove chain links, move the rear axle forward or backward to get the engine chain tension correct, and the derailleur would take care of the pedal-side tension.

    I have seen new cruiser bikes with the derailleur setup such as the Schwiinn Landmark, but if I find a yardsale treasure, I would have to roll my own.

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Well, you're absolutely right on that idea of doing away with the drive chain tensioner and allowing your derailleur to take that job. I've done that and it works very well.

    As for dis-abling the coaster brake; I'll bet it's doable. But I'll also bet that it's a pain in the neck. I haven't tried it. It just sounds like something that'll cause you trouble.

    One thing you might do is to move the chain tensioner to the pedal chain side.
    You'll need to add a few links to that chain and mount the tensioner upside down. This works. I've done it before. In fact, I posted a thread on here with photos. If I can find it, I'll come back with a link.

    This would have the added benefit of giving you two cantilever brakes plus one coaster brake.
  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    The tread wasn't worth it.

    But here's a photo

    Attached Files:

  4. rohmell

    rohmell New Member

    Well, I could still weld another sprocket to the existing one. They come in all different tooth counts, and I am sure that I could find one that would take up any chain slack.
  5. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I see what you mean about welding on a sprocket, I think. Are you thinking of a cluster of chainrings like on any multi-speed bikes?

    If it were welded on, then how would it free-wheel?

    And the existing axle (and chain-stay clearance) surely won't be long enough.
  6. rohmell

    rohmell New Member

    If the coaster brake function can't be disabled, then I would weld on a sprocket with the appropriate tooth count that would take up any slack that would be left after adjusting the motor-driven chain.

    If the coaster brake function can be disabled, then hopefully backpedaling would just be like freewheeling, and a sprocket or sprocket set could be welded on to the existing sprocket that is on the wheel, and a derailleur added so that it takes up the slack.

    The frame could be spread out slightly to accommodate the extra sprockets.

    Whether or not these ideas can be used or not would depend upon the frame found during the garage sale hunt.