Freewheel vs Coaster Brake bearings, which is better for long travel

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by cmb271, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. cmb271

    cmb271 Member

    Okay, I own a huffy cruiser 4 stroke on 26in rims with a rear coaster brake and a major issue I find is that the bearings within the wheel always wear down to the point the rim becomes useless. My brakes have become so soft that I have to put my entire body weight (around 145-150 pounds) just to slow down at a comfortable rate. I'm tired to tinkering with the brakes and bearings that I wondered what could fix my woes. I fear for going farther then 2 miles because I feel like the brakes or bearings are going to give out on me. I've herd freewheel rims are better for the constant speed because the simple bearing system compared to coaster brakes. Would investing in a new bike with a freewheel type rims and tires stop my burning bearing woes or is it just more trouble?

    By long travel I mean maybe 20 miles to my location and back.

  2. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Does your bike only have a coaster brake? Are you planning to put rim or disk on? These are sorta of important things to know before advice can be given.
  3. EZbeast

    EZbeast New Member

    I would reccomend buying some rim brakes for the front and back tires, you dont really need to buy a whole new bike. They are reletively cheap but still give you moderate braking power.
  4. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    coaster brakes are usually found on single speed bikes and are expected to stop the bike while traveling at 10mph or less - I have a lot of coaster hubs here in the shop that have failed to the point of ripping the end off the hub due to extreme heat of braking at 30-40mph

    bearings don't matter, as it is the heat damage the causes failure here - coasters are OK if two hand brakes are added & the coaster never used (my GF's bike is set up that way & no problems)
  5. cmb271

    cmb271 Member

    Braking isn't the main issue, it's the bearings that are giving me problems, I've gone through 3 wheels due to bearing failure, I don't plan to put any other form of brakes or invest in the bike due to the bearings constantly failing on me.
  6. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    have you been greasing your bearings?
  7. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    your bearing failure is probably due to the heat of braking - note: this heat also causes tiny cracks in the bearing race
  8. butterbean

    butterbean Well-Known Member

    There are several things that can cause bearing failure. The heat isn't caused by the speed, it's caused by the breaking. Not enough grease or grease that is not resistant to the temperature inside the hub is one possible cause for failure. Another is not properly servicing your hub every few hundred miles. That means taking apart, cleaning old grease off, putting new grease in, and properly adjusting your bearing cones with a cone wrench. I have used coaster brakes on 3 different motorized bicycles, and never had an issue as long as the hub was properly serviced, maintained and adjusted. On my last coaster brake, I ended up converting it to freewheel. What you do is take the hub apart, remove the brake shoes and the two-pronged spring and place 3 washers or however many it takes to take up the space that was occupied by the spring. Grease, reassemble, adjust your bearing cones and you're done. Then you can add a rear rim brake if you like. The bike I'm building now is getting a moped hub. I don't have anymore coaster wheels or I'd seem you one for cheap, but I traded my last wheel set away for the moped hub.
  9. cmb271

    cmb271 Member

    I grease them maybe once a month but it still doesn't stop it from seizing out on me.
  10. The_Aleman

    The_Aleman Active Member

    You may be loading the bearings too tight or using the wrong kind of grease. I've always used standard automotive "disc brake grease", myself.

    I have a set of wheels that have over 15K miles on them on one of my pedal bikes, they still looked great last time I rebuilt them.
  11. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    yep. my disc brakes get so hot sometimes that you can hear a pinging noise when the metal is cooling down, just like the sound a car exhaust system cooling down makes
  12. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Your rim and spokes should be OK, but your hub is Huffy crap.
    This is a well known issue and why I urge people not to start $100 Walmart toy bikes, you will spend another $100+ plus just to get to a $200 bike quality, and sadly the Huffy will still be a POS in other places.

    Yada Yada, plenty of people have Cranbrooks that still work, but ask them how much time and money they spend to keep them running.

    That depends entirely on exactly what you have now.
    Got pics?

    There are always good options for a new rear wheel or even just new hub but the decision to change bike base really does depend on what have and your budget.
    If you are deep into the Huffy it might just be best to keep replacing all the crap.