Drum brake vs Coaster brake


Active Member
Local time
11:01 PM
Nov 6, 2007
Southeast Pa
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?

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
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:
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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).
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.
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...

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,
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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:
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