Adding ebike lights & a drum brake for an all weather commuter

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Figured I need to upgrade my converted Breezer Downtown if I'm to ride it to work everyday in all weathers so am looking at adding ebike lights that run off the battery, and a front drum brake so I can stop in the rain, the Breezer has a steel fork so should take the torque of the brake reaction arm. First step adding ebike lights, Grin Tech have a neat Anderson tap that goes inline between battery and controller but I need to convert my connectors to Anderson power poles. Step 1 today was replacing the connectors and...it's alive, phew. Hoping to try out the Anderson tap tomorrow with the lights. Asked my local bike shop for a quote on a Sturmey Archer XL-FD 90mm drum brake laced into a 700c rim.
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
Grin Tech said they would send me a replacement rear light and I wouldn’t have to return the dud, great customer service!
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Discovered I had wired the Anderson tap incorrectly, purchased additional Anderson connectors & wired it up last night to the correct polarity, et voila front and back light are now working! My LBS are fitting the drum brake Thursday, looking forward to trying it out.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
What got me thinking originally about fitting a drum brake was my experience riding DC bikeshare ebikes and pedal bicycles fitted with this brake, on the left is the Helbiz bikeshare ebike based on the (out of business) Genze 200 model with some minor changes including a Sturmey Archer XL-FDD dynamo hub, also fitted to a small number of Capital Bikeshare pedal bikes (maybe 200 out of the 4,500 fleet). Having ridden both bikes, and appreciating the consistent braking power in all weathers, I felt confident this was the best solution for converting the front rim brake on my commuter. I chose the XL-FD hub because having decided to fit ebike lights I didn't need the dynamo. Note on the left side of my fork you can see the clip to attach the drum brake reaction arm to the fork, whereas the Helbiz/Genze uses a purpose designed drum brake fork with a tab brazed-on to attach the reaction arm. There are after-market forks available with a brazed on tab to replace the clip eg a 700c fork for a quill stem available from the Netherlands, which I might look at for a future upgrade.

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Clyde

Member
... and a front drum brake so I can stop in the rain...
What the Deuce? Are bike drum brakes significantly different from car drum brakes?

The Enlightened Master has this to say: https://boards.straightdope.com/t/wet-brakes-question/168913/3

Back in the days of drum brakes, driving through a puddle would cause the brakes drums to fill with water. If you stepped on the brakes either while in the puddle or right there after, the brake shoes would press outward against water instead of the brake drum. The co-efficent of friction of water is very close to zero point zilch. In other words you had little to no brakes until the water had a chance to work its way out of the drum. This could take several seconds.

Are modern drum brakes waterproof? Or just superior in the wet to rim brakes?

What got me thinking originally about fitting a drum brake was my experience riding DC bikeshare ebikes
Hello, Neighbor!
 

Clyde

Member
I'm a DC native, but currently living in the untamed wilderness of Reston. Before moving out here we were at the River House across from Pentagon Row. Nice to "meet" you!