Newbie learning/commuting on a cheap 40-635 vintage style cruiser.

fvkklvv

Member
Location
Veracruz, Mexico
Hi, I used to bike for leisure as a child but I hadn't had a bike for more than 20 years.
I was currently broke AF and going through a nasty divorce but really eager to get back on my wheels so my roomie found me a cheap vintage style bike which instantly got ahold of me so I couldn't help but buy.
Anyway, it's a vintage English style bike made in India mainly intended for commuting but since it's my only one I'm using it for training too. My current rides are no more than 13km long and I average at 25Km/h with a couple of 30+sprints. It's mainly flat with a couple of short slopes.

I may be upgrading some parts focusing on safety and a bit on performance without breaking the bank. My biggest concern right now is braking since it only has coaster brakes but as you all may already know it is not safe to rely only on those and since I already got ran over last week by an idiot driving the wrong way (the bastard didn't even check if I was OK, he just sped away) I really need to install front-wheel brakes ASAP. Any suggestions?

As you may see my 28x1 1/2" wheels are fitted with Westwood rims so I'm really lost as to what kind of braking system should I install.

Cheers.

PS I live in Mexico and obviously not a native English speaker so please forgive any possible misuse of your beautiful language.
578007
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
If the front mudguard is held on with a bolt, then rod brakes banded on to the fork legs may be an optipn but they ain't great. Caliper brakes may be an option, if you can find some wide enough to reach around the guard or are willing to bend things so they do, but you will need a new wheel with a rim with a braking surface, such as Endrick or Westrick patterns.

If the front fork is sturdy enough, hub or roller brakes are other possibilities, but would also mean a new wheel or at least a rebuild of the Westwoods with new spokes, so more expensive.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
As @mjr says the best option might be a caliper brake mounted on a bolt passing through the fork crown. Might be difficult as the drop looks quite long but if you can find one that works it might be the easiest solution.

Hello and :welcome: to the forum.
 
OP
fvkklvv

fvkklvv

Member
Location
Veracruz, Mexico
If the front mudguard is held on with a bolt, then rod brakes banded on to the fork legs may be an optipn but they ain't great. Caliper brakes may be an option, if you can find some wide enough to reach around the guard or are willing to bend things so they do, but you will need a new wheel with a rim with a braking surface, such as Endrick or Westrick patterns.

If the front fork is sturdy enough, hub or roller brakes are other possibilities, but would also mean a new wheel or at least a rebuild of the Westwoods with new spokes, so more expensive.
I'm a bit aware of my options now but I'm still a bit unclear on advantages/disadvantages of each braking system regarding cost-effectiveness, looks and (above all) performance.

Thanks for your quick reply.
 
OP
fvkklvv

fvkklvv

Member
Location
Veracruz, Mexico
As @mjr says the best option might be a caliper brake mounted on a bolt passing through the fork crown. Might be difficult as the drop looks quite long but if you can find one that works it might be the easiest solution.

Hello and :welcome: to the forum.
I'm considering that option but that would require a new rim with a braking surface so I'm undecided between getting one or "just" getting my front wheel rebuilt with a drum brake hub or even a roller brake.

Thanks for reading.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
Even if you could find the parts, retro-fitting a rod-brake system would be difficult & time-consuming. The nearest to ideal way would be a drum brake & a wheel rebuild.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I'm a bit aware of my options now but I'm still a bit unclear on advantages/disadvantages of each braking system regarding cost-effectiveness, looks and (above all) performance.
In my opinion:

Rod brakes - look great, but expensive to buy now, very difficult to fit, often poor performance, pads wear out and eventually wear the wheel rim out.

Caliper brakes - ugly but fairly small, fairly cheap to buy, simple to fit if big enough, OK performance if modern pads on alloy rims with correct levers for the calipers, pads wear out and eventually wear the wheel rim out.

Hub/drum brakes - looks divide opinion, fairly expensive to buy and get wheel built, simple to fit if fork strong enough, OK performance, pads can last years with only basic maintenance.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
I think a drum brake with a wheel rebuild would be favourite. You might even be able to source a complete wheel from an old donor bike but might not be easy to find one down your way.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
I don't have any helpful advice but welcome to the forum
:welcome:
 
OP
fvkklvv

fvkklvv

Member
Location
Veracruz, Mexico
In my opinion:

Rod brakes - look great, but expensive to buy now, very difficult to fit, often poor performance, pads wear out and eventually wear the wheel rim out.

Caliper brakes - ugly but fairly small, fairly cheap to buy, simple to fit if big enough, OK performance if modern pads on alloy rims with correct levers for the calipers, pads wear out and eventually wear the wheel rim out.

Hub/drum brakes - looks divide opinion, fairly expensive to buy and get wheel built, simple to fit if fork strong enough, OK performance, pads can last years with only basic maintenance.
This is quite helpful. Thank you.
 
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