Coaster Brake Comeback
Coaster brakes are generally thought of as being brakes for slow moving beach bikes and kid's bikes. The fact is, they are virtually bullet-proof, and they require no cables, levers and accessory mechanisms to function. They are also quiet when coasting. They require little to no maintenance. They work in rain, sleet or snow. You always have the ability to apply the brake, regardless of hand position. The coaster brake allows the use of the stronger, less stretchy 1/8 inch chain. On flat terrain, where multiple gears are frequently only used to get the bike up to speed, the coaster brake has the advantage of greatly reduced weight over all the extra gears, levers and components of a modern multi-speed velocipede. The simplicity of the bike allows the rider to enjoy the ride rather than fret over whether he is in the best gear.
I was cautioned about several things. First, I was told the narrow tires would have less stopping power with a coaster brake than a caliper. This is ludicrous. A caliper does not result in a larger rubber/asphalt contact patch, unless both a front and rear caliper brake used simultaneously is compared to the coaster brake. I was told the spokes would stretch and eventually result in a sloppy rim, as they are designed for braking by rendering the rim motionless rather than the hub. This has not been my experience. My 27 inch and 700c coaster brake rims have remained true and tight.
It looks like I am not the only person who has found a strange void in the types of bicycles available. If you want to experience the joy of uninhibited bicycling ease, yet are reluctant to take the plunge into wheel lacing and rolling your own, there is now another option.
Why didn't I think of that? ><((((º>