V brake ok on an ebike?

Ducky77

New Member
Region
USA
Hi all! We just bought a nice Bosch powered Electra Townie for my husband and now it is time for me to get a bike too. I am looking at a standard townie that I will convert. The bike comes with linear pull brakes. Are those ok, or do we need to upgrade them? If so, any suggestions? Thanks!!!!
 

David Berry

Well-Known Member
Region
Australia
City
Ipswich, QLD
Ebike you must have hydraulic brakes.
This is not correct. It is an unsubstantiated assertion.

If you use the Electra Townie in much the same way as its designers intended, albeit with the power source split between you and the motor, then its linear-pull brakes should be fine. The same applies to tyres, gears, chain, handlebar, and so on.
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
I converted a Breezer Downtown with v-brakes. I have since converted the front to a Sturmey 90mm drum brake because it stops better in the rain. A heavy cargo bike or fat tire bike would benefit from stronger brakes.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Hi all! We just bought a nice Bosch powered Electra Townie for my husband and now it is time for me to get a bike too. I am looking at a standard townie that I will convert. The bike comes with linear pull brakes. Are those ok, or do we need to upgrade them? If so, any suggestions? Thanks!!!!
I'd say the answer depends. I'm a big guy riding in an area with a lot of hills that are capable of letting me build a big head of steam before I get to the bottom. For me, disc brakes are a must have. OTH, if I weighed half of what I do, and never planned on leaving a subdivision I live in with no hills in sight, I wouldn't hesitate.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
People that live in dry climates as AZ, CA, AUS, are always posting how adequate rim brakes (v brakes) are. It rains here 220 days a year and I'm very glad the cable pull disk brakes I bought are capable of stopping after running through a puddle. With rim brakes in 2016 I ran into the side of a car at a 4 way stop that had run the stop sign. I had stopped already; I was only going about 3 mph. I estimate rim brakes lose 2/3 of their capability after running through a puddle. I only weighed 175 lb at the time and that bike weighed ~40.
Upgrade to disk brakes doesn't work. The holes in the forks & frame for the caliper mounts are missing.
I miss the backpedal brake feature of the coaster brake I learned to ride on, but not the single speed drive. An internal drum brake in a Sturmey Archer IGH (internal gear hub) was fine, but was not economically repairable when the pad wore out.
 
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tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Hi all! We just bought a nice Bosch powered Electra Townie for my husband and now it is time for me to get a bike too. I am looking at a standard townie that I will convert. The bike comes with linear pull brakes. Are those ok, or do we need to upgrade them? If so, any suggestions? Thanks!!!!
26” rims? 26” discs...;)
linear pull brakes are just fine on that bike. Good stopping distances at full speed.
They are a little heavier than either Cantilever or Caliper brakes. I’m familiar with that model and have several rider friends confirming, as well as my fat arse, 250lbs, riding and braking on one.
 
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tomjasz

Well-Known Member
I converted a Breezer Downtown with v-brakes. I have since converted the front to a Sturmey 90mm drum brake because it stops better in the rain. A heavy cargo bike or fat tire bike would benefit from stronger brakes.
I upgraded several bikes to better quality v brakes and use eBike labeled koolstop pads. Now that I’m riding 36Vbuilds again I stop just fine. My new trike has mechanical disk front. I may do a new motor with regen or fat least convert to Magura 4 piston front. I had a wheel built with SA IGH and drum brake combo but sold it. Good to read your happy with the drum. Thinking I may do the Ms. bike with the SA drum. 120lbs she easily hits 20mph with 36v 350W original BBS01.
 

Ducky77

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks guys! I think what I will do is upgrade the pads to kool stop. I’m not a heavy rider and won’t be doing any extreme riding… we’re talking cruising around bike paths in sunny Southern California. Yes, there are hills but I’m sure it will be fine.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I upgraded several bikes to better quality v brakes and use eBike labeled koolstop pads. Now that I’m riding 36Vbuilds again I stop just fine. My new trike has mechanical disk front. I may do a new motor with regen or fat least convert to Magura 4 piston front. I had a wheel built with SA IGH and drum brake combo but sold it. Good to read your happy with the drum. Thinking I may do the Ms. bike with the SA drum. 120lbs she easily hits 20mph with 36v 350W original BBS01.
Yes I went with the larger 90mm version after reading that’s what motorized bicycles used in the past, only issues I’ve discovered are 1) I recommend you replace 2 or 3-finger handbrake levers with the 4-finger one designed by Sturmey that does a great job of letting you grab a handful of brake when you need it, and 2) the fork retaining clip provided by Sturmey for the drum brake reaction arm isn’t very strong, mine broke, so I’m hoping I get the 700c Dutch bike fork I ordered last month that has a brazed on drum brake bracket. My Nexus 8 IGH on the rear can take a Shimano roller brake but I’ve kept the rear v-brake for now.
 
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tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Sturmey for the drum brake reaction arm isn’t very strong, mine broke, so I’m hoping I get the 700c Dutch bike fork I ordered last month that has a brazed on drum brake bracket.
Do you have time to elaborate? If not I’ll google and post my finds subject to your edits? Seriously really good builder stuff!

I’m firmly in what the dumb rating system calls Class 2 but with throttles and motors capable of 2-4 times the wattage. 250-500W 15A sippers with seriously decent mileage with the EM3EV 36V 17Ah. It can have a selector tied to the CA3 to have a “boost” mode and crank the amps.. But more for shits and giggles and then retire. Shoot, I just convinced my self to order the 9 Continent F-DD, Baserunner, and CA3. Thinking here is dangerous.
 

stanmiller

Active Member
Hi all! We just bought a nice Bosch powered Electra Townie for my husband and now it is time for me to get a bike too. I am looking at a standard townie that I will convert. The bike comes with linear pull brakes. Are those ok, or do we need to upgrade them? If so, any suggestions? Thanks!!!!
You'll be fine with v-brakes. But I would upgrade the calipers and pads.

I have an Electra Townie I converted to electric and it stops quickly and confidently. In wet conditions, I do regularly dry the brakes by lightly engaging, keeping them primed for a slow down or stop.

I have Shimano BR-T4000 calipers and use Clark 72mm anti-lock pads.

Shimano BR-T4000

Clarks 72mm pads
 

Code54

Member
Depends on what you are doing and where. Here in WV on large steep down hills, I will stick with discs. I have had v brakes on non electric bikes not produce enough stopping power on long steep downhills. Adding the weight from an Ebike would only make it worse.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
V-brakes are convenient to maintain, but I´m big & since there was a mount, I put a manual disc up
front & a HD caliper rear. A disc on the rear can make it a real chore if you need to change a spoke.
You may have to remove the disc & caefully manage the tiny screws just to get at some spokes.
Also usually entails readjusting the brake as well, simpler with the unmotored front wheel. I get a small
amount of slip in the rear that sort of acts like an abs. I feel safer having a front disc,
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Nice! Did you ever log a build thread? This is really good stuff! Thank you!
I made the component choices but had my local bike shop build the Sturmey brake wheel, I’m OK assembling the ebike kit but prefer to leave the bicycle components to a professional. As well as the fork (& stem) upgrade I’m mulling the cost of switching my IGH from the Nexus 8 to Enviolo Cargo or Trekking CVP. My bike has sliding dropouts so ought to be able to take the hub, and I’m finding the Nexus 8 can’t take the torque of my 36v 350w BBS01a.