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Beach Cruiser Coaster brake trouble
#1
I have 26" Beach Cruiser. Don;t know brand name..older used bike..
And I am in Philippines where cruiser parts are rare but excellent repair people.

When I apply the brake, most often pedal is stuck and back wheel is frozen thus gentle tap on pedal loosens wheel..no big deal..

Then (don;t know these are related problems??) SOMETIMES propelling forward pedal is pushed half to few turns but back wheel is not engaged thus bike moves very slowly. It;s no free spin but still spin with little tension...(compared to normally when pedal is pushed, tension grabs wheel and hardly no spin at all)
Now funny things is not all the time..Sometimes semi free wheeling then gradually tension increases and rides fine. Sometimes few turns and sometimes half turn before full tension and move on..

Now I did notice after braking (during a ride) semi spinning seem more frequent.

And here's the surprise...if I let bike sit a while after semi spin incident, all of sudden everything works perfect,,great tension on wheel, no spins ...???
then either spins again or after brake spin again.

So the question is ...is it matter of re-greasing??? I ride a lot..
Clutch is sticking?? spring inside is bad??
I found http://www.bikepartsusa.com m but need to know my hub brand name....How can I tell what brand I have???
If I replace entire back wheel, does it matter what brand?? Will any cruiser back wheel fit??
If I gut get entire coaster brake then as long as spoke count matches, will it work..regradless of brand....don;t worry labor is cheap here,,they can re-install spokes again..
Thanks
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#2
More information so you guys can help better...

Once before..in April 2012, (similar problem..semi spinning), repairman did take apart coaster brake hub and re-greased and "adjusted"..the it worked fine for several month, then problem returned now...

So I am thinking and hoping it's just that I ride a lot and time for re-grease and adjustment as regular maintenance...

But it is used bike and I don;t mind replacing with new hub.
Can I take any cruiser back wheel and replace my wheel ???
But I learned some hub don't have brakes, some are 3-speed (??).
Or I can find kids bike here and get inside parts for hub, then does it have to be same brand???
Thanks again
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#3
I'd replace the hub.

You need to know the Over-Locknut-Dimension; scroll down this link for the definition and how to measure: http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_n-o.html#old

Get a new hub with the the same OLD and same spoke count. The new hub might not have the same spoke hole circle diameter; so new spokes may be required.

Amazon is another source for hubs.

Yes, you can get a 3 speed hub with a coaster brake; much more expensive.
Nigel
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#4
I checked the rear wheel rim, XRIMS, Y303. Is there anyway to tell what brand Coaster brake hub is installed..????
After we opened the hub and saw the parts, it looks just like Shimano Type D..(then again Type E looks same as Type D..???)

Spoke count is 36, not sure about diameter...
So if I wanna get just the hub, as long as Over-Locknut-Dimension is same, then any brand is OK???

BTW once hub is cleaned and repacked with grease, does it need to be opened and cleaned again every few months as maintenance ??? OR never open the hub again until some problem is showing???

After we opened the hub, all looks fine (little rust and dried). except for Cone w/ Dust Cap(#16 part per Shimano Type D picture). It was worn.
Can I buy just Cone?? where??
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#5
Just buying the cones is very difficult for any hub. You might be lucky, but then again you might not. Regarding the dimensions of the hub, in addition to the OLD you need to measure the flange diameter (from spoke hole to spoke hole) as well as the distance of the flanges to the end of the lock nuts. The new hub should have the same size if you want to reuse the spokes. I usually do not reuse the spokes if the wheels is of lower quality. Bad wheelbuilding results in weakening of the spokes, resulting in braking of them and annoying me when I have to rebuild the wheel rather than being able to ride.
In general a hub (well, the bearings) need to be overhauled regularly, especially if riding in rain, mud, sand...
From your description the original problem sounds like gummed up pawls (the ratchet mechanism allowing you to coast). Those should not be lubricated with grease but rather with a light oil that does not gum up (so no WD-40 or Caramba!).
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#6
(11-08-2012, 10:23 AM)Tigerllc74 Wrote:  BTW once hub is cleaned and repacked with grease, does it need to be opened and cleaned again every few months as maintenance ??? OR never open the hub again until some problem is showing???

After we opened the hub, all looks fine (little rust and dried). except for Cone w/ Dust Cap(#16 part per Shimano Type D picture). It was worn.
Can I buy just Cone?? where??

A coaster hub should not need to be cleaned and repacked "every few months" unless you're doing something unusual with it like long down hills where you ride the brake and it overheats. Maybe every year or two at the most. If it was dry/rusty inside and you had it rebuilt recently, maybe the guy didn't really lubricate it properly. You want to use a good heavy grease, preferably waterproof. Automotive bearing grease is fine. And use a lot. You don't pack the hub full, but all the internal parts should get a good thick coat.

----
If you can find a fairly similar new hub, you may be able to just take all the internal parts out of the new hub and use them in the old hub shell to avoid having to rebuild the wheel. Everything has to line up and the parts on the old hub that remain need to be in decent condition. But this can be a good way to rebuild the whole hub since it is hard to buy individual parts.
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#7
Thanks all..I am learning so much very useful information.

Good to hear don;t need to repack every few months.
Is it OK just wait tiil something happens OR should I be proactive and repact yearly regardless ???
Rear hub was repacked in April 2012 and when we opened it now,,like I said parts were dried and rusted...Maybe in April not enough grease was used???
(BTW you and others say use plenty of grease..even Youtube..but this last guy said use only little since hub will attract dirt and water more IF too much grease is used. I am confused??)

Now this time front pedal crank shaft was repalced with new bearings and all..and repacked. Does it also need yearly repacking too?? I assume so..just repack both sides yearly as normal maintenance???

As for replacing hub parts, does it matter brands?? as long as it fits??
Then wouldn;t all 26" x 2.125" wheel rim have same size coaster brake hub thus inter changeable no matter the brand???
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#8
It's never a good idea to "wait until something happens" before doing maintenance. How often you need to do maintenance is a lot harder to predict though. Once you get it together, look at it in 6 months. If it's totally fine, repack it and wait a year, etc. "Pedal crank shaft" (I assume you mean the "bottom bracket" probably needs more often service than the rear hub, but that can depend on a lot of factors.

I don't see how less grease helps even if it did attract dirt and water. Even dirty, watery grease is better than none at all and it sounds like that's what you had in your hub. Dirt isn't usually a big concern in a coaster hub because they're reasonably well sealed. Moisture can get in if it's in the rain or you live in a humid place. Again, waterproof grease will hold up much better. Also best to avoid things like common white lithium grease which isn't really made to handle any heat.

As to swapping parts, brand itself doesn't really matter. But there are a couple different designs on coasters and even within one design, one company's hub will be slightly different than another's. The casing of the hub might be a slightly different diameter or width, the way the bearing races line up can be different, etc. I've been able to swap parts between hubs before, but you never know. If there's no brand markings anywhere on your hub, you may get lucky if they look pretty similar.

Finally, you might just check what a whole wheel costs. It may not be much more than just a hub anyway.
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#9
Thanks Dave for your kind informative replies...

I think what happened this time since April repack was not enough grease was used so between rain and humidity of Philippines, hub got dried up and rust set it thus my problems pedaling and braking.
It's kind of fun taking apart hub..so next time I will make sure plenty of grease is applied. Waterproof grease ??? I will make sure...

You are right and I thought about this too..in the end..best option is to replace entire rear wheel. Like I said, hard to find entire cruiser rear wheel here...But I am ordering one from US and ship it here..now I know much about the bike.

All in all..this has been a FUN experience..getting hands dirty and like a little kid fixing things OLD fashion way..and learn how things work....
Thanks to all.....
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#10
Just did Google on Waterproof grease..

Bel-Ray Waterproof Grease ?? for $7 ???
Phil Wood waterproof 3-Ounce Grease Tube ??
or any marine grease for trailer since they are subject to water
Sta-Lube Marine Grease (made for boat trailer wheel bearings), light blue??

Any thought ???

More I think about it now...maybe grease used in April was poor quality and "degraded" under heat, rain in just few month?? plus not enough was applied???
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#11
Marine Grease
The bike specific stuff might be slightly better for a high performance bike. But marine grease is probably more durable and you get a lot more for your money.
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#12
Agreed; I use boat trailer wheel bearing grease.
Nigel
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#13
Yes after a few revamps of some low end 12.5's lately I pack em with water proof grease. As far as the scheduled maintenance, the ones here are done quarterly (every three months) if they have been rode alot. Just really depends on many variables.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#14
SO I replaced with brand new hub in Nov 2012, now August 2013..

Last few months, similar problem as before..grinding noise when pedaling, brake sticks, etc. but still able to bike ok...just have to kick pedal loose everytime I bike now.

now 8/19/13, pedal is spinning, no tension at all and brake do not hold..no tension..this was after bike was parked (no problem till now) then out of no where, pedal spins and no brake

Funny thing is when I start, pedal had little tension but as I bike pedal gains more tension and I can actually ride the bike though no heavy tension like climbing hills...or heavy braking only slips

Anyway, now I need to replace hub again..New hub in Nov 2012, now Aug 2013, less than a year for new hub?? actually only six months before noise started...As I understand it hub should last me few years??? so why premature hub failure ??

So only thing I can gather is here in Philippines, I ride bike everywhere (3-4 miles everyday?? more mileage than US..), then sometimes ride thru rain and sand/dust, etc.., but all the time parked indoors thus no constant exposure to weather when parked.
Now I was told I apply the brakes heavy and often more than in US (riding on beach??), so maybe that contributes to hub breaking down early (??)

So two questions?? am I applying brakes too hard, and ride bike too much?? and bad condition here (rain sand dust) ?? (I got beach cruiser, single speed), also new chain stretches in few months (again due to heavy braking??)

Second?? Can I buy "heavy duty" coaster hub?? Existing is Shimano. What brand name?? What I ask for to get "heavy duty) hub?? Can I buy on eBay ??
Thanks
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#15
Contact this guy. He will build you a rear wheel & send it with spare parts including bearings, cones, spokes and nipples. You could request spare rear sprockets also. Don't just order from his site, contact him & he will custom build for you, or he will send every part you need with spares to have your guys make it.
1200 miles/ year is a lot more than average for a cruiser with a one piece pedal crank and coaster brake.
The black bike in the picture is a 3 speed, looks like a number of models with "pedal forward" technology. Is that your bike? If not please post a picture of your bike, we don't care how it looks, we just want to see it.
You say labor is good & cheap there? Then have them check to see if rim brakes can be added to the bike. If so get the new wheel with a rim with a brake track.
I have exceeded 3000miles/year a number of times on my 7 speed (not internal) cruiser with rim brakes. The bottom bracket wears quite a bit & needs adjustment & service 3 times a year. The cone on the drive side wears down quite a bit, so it will need to be replaced every few years, but that style of bottom bracket is super cheap to replace.
The bike & I weigh over 315lbs, so don't think that you brake harder than me. I ride in town, so you don't brake more than me either.

Tigerllc74 you need to know the rear OLD (Over-Locknut-Dimension), the width between the rear drop outs in the frame that hold the back wheel, in mm.
If you are stretching chains the chances are that you are wearing the rear sprocket which damages the next chain. If the chain has stretched badly you need to change the rear sprocket every time you change the chain. Enough miles with a stretched chain will damage the front chain ring (sprocket) also.
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