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artsyhonker

Just Joined
Nov 16, 2020
3
3
I'm new to all this. I've been cycling for a good long while, mostly for practical purposes -- upright Dutch bikes, often with a trailer, out and about in East London and sometimes further afield.

I have chronic joint problems and some of my regular journeys involve hills; I've been putting off getting an electric bike for years, and just taking public transport on bad joint days, but with covid-19 that's not been something I want to do so much (some members of my household are at increased risk, so none of us have so much as set foot on a bus since early March!) and my two most common journeys both involve hills, not horrible hills but still significant.

Eventually I decided on a conversion for my biggest, heaviest bike, a traditional loop-frame Dutch bike with an 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub with coaster brake. The bottom bracket was busted anyway so it made sense. When I spoke to the local mechanic he said the Bafang system would work with the coaster brake, but when he completed the work, this turned out not to be the case (because it freewheels at the front). Grr. So he's added a rim brake, because I wasn't happy about riding with only a front brake, and I picked the bike up on Thursday.

So far, my knees are happier -- but I really, really miss my coaster brake. The rear rim brake just isn't a patch on it in terms of slowing down -- especially approaching a junction, where I want to indicate. And it felt a bit dicey using it to slow down at the bottom of a hill on the way to the allotment, and that was in dry weather, and without a trailer. A bunch of my journeys are with a loaded trailer, sometimes in the rain.

I'm going to give it another few days and see how I feel, but I currently think I'd like to switch to the TongSheng motor that's compatible with the coaster brake (can't remember the model and I'm writing this on my phone so not going to look it up now). If I do, I haven't decided whether to go back to the same mechanic, use someone else, or try to do it myself.
 
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artsyhonker

Just Joined
Nov 16, 2020
3
3
I'm new to all this. I've been cycling for a good long while, mostly for practical purposes -- upright Dutch bikes, often with a trailer, out and about in East London and sometimes further afield.

I have chronic joint problems and some of my regular journeys involve hills; I've been putting off getting an electric bike for years, and just taking public transport on bad joint days, but with covid-19 that's not been something I want to do so much (some members of my household are at increased risk, so none of us have so much as set foot on a bus since early March!) and my two most common journeys both involve hills, not horrible hills but still significant.

Eventually I decided on a conversion for my biggest, heaviest bike, a traditional loop-frame Dutch bike with an 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub with coaster brake. The bottom bracket was busted anyway so it made sense. When I spoke to the local mechanic he said the Bafang system would work with the coaster brake, but when he completed the work, this turned out not to be the case (because it freewheels at the front). Grr. So he's added a rim brake, because I wasn't happy about riding with only a front brake, and I picked the bike up on Thursday.

So far, my knees are happier -- but I really, really miss my coaster brake. The rear rim brake just isn't a patch on it in terms of slowing down -- especially approaching a junction, where I want to indicate. And it felt a bit dicey using it to slow down at the bottom of a hill on the way to the allotment, and that was in dry weather, and without a trailer. A bunch of my journeys are with a loaded trailer, sometimes in the rain.

I'm going to give it another few days and see how I feel, but I currently think I'd like to switch to the TongSheng motor that's compatible with the coaster brake (can't remember the model and I'm writing this on my phone so not going to look it up now). If I do, I haven't decided whether to go back to the same mechanic, use someone else, or try to do it myself.
Oh, here are a couple of pictures of what I have -- the Bafang mid-drive thing. (Still can't remember model number etc.)IMG_20201119_163942476.jpgIMG_20201119_164019554.jpg
 
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Benjahmin

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2014
1,761
1,155
66
West Wales
Can't see detail to see if they would fit, but have you considered Magura HS11 hydraulic rim brakes? Just the front would help a lot. They have a good progressive feel and are fairly easy to install if a bit fiddly to initially set up.
 
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artsyhonker

Just Joined
Nov 16, 2020
3
3
Can't see detail to see if they would fit, but have you considered Magura HS11 hydraulic rim brakes? Just the front would help a lot. They have a good progressive feel and are fairly easy to install if a bit fiddly to initially set up.
Thanks, Benjahmin.

I've considered hydraulic rim brakes, but:
- I use the coaster brake for slowing down in a controlled manner, not just stopping; the 'light touch' of a hydraulic brake is not a feature in that case
- a coaster brake is essentially zero maintenance, this is not true of any rim brake
- rim brakes of any kind don't work as well in the wet, and I cycle rain or shine
- my joint problems mean sometimes it's hard to feel my hands as well as usual, and on those days, coaster brakes are a lot easier (and safer) for me to control. If this problem gets worse, I don't want to be primarily relying on my hands for braking.
 
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
1,947
1,379
That's a shame. I see there is one Tongshen coaster brake compatible mid-motor (https://www.electrifybike.com/store/p25/TSDZ2-Coaster-Brake.html#/); not much help to you now but may be to anyone with similar issues in future. (p.s. Reading more carefully I see you have noticed that already.)

The HS11 is quite good for controlled breaking, but I can see you have good reasons not to want brake levers. (Personally I don't find the HS11 any better than decent cable operated V-brakes, and much more of a hassle to adjust.)
 
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Swizz

Pedelecer
Oct 1, 2017
206
145
45
Sk14
Hey lovely bicycle you have there!

I have Magura rim brakes on my eBike. Your frame does not have posts to mount them on in any case tho and I can see how much you will be missing the coaster brake - I bet stopping a heavy cycle & trailer with caliper brakes is not fun :(

The main difference with the Tongsheng is that it is a torque sensing motor, so it multiplies the effort you put into the pedals. Others have said elsewhere on this forum that torque sense systems are less suitable for someone with your issue who may prefer the more straightforward effort the Bafang can supply...

...but then as is the nature of internet forums, others are bound to disagree lol!

There is a great charity group website/blog that specialises in e-assist bicycles for people with mobility issues. I corresponded with them for doing some fiddling with my Tongsheng motor. Please check them out and ask them for some advice in the comment section of their posts - they responded really quickly to me & were super helpful! https://empoweredpeople.co.uk/

Best of luck!

Isla x
 

Swizz

Pedelecer
Oct 1, 2017
206
145
45
Sk14
P.S: have just had a look at one of the screenshots from when I changed the firmware on my Tongsheng. It looks like there is a setting to use the motor as a cadence sensing system (as is the Bafang) May be worth asking the Empowered People peeps about that too x