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Bendix Red Band hub groans when stopping?

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Bendix Red Band hub groans when stopping?

Old 06-11-20, 10:46 AM
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Bendix Red Band hub groans when stopping?

I picked up a fairly clean old Schwinn Typhoon a while back out of a dumpster. The bike is pretty clean, not even a ding in the chrome fenders.
The wheels needed some truing but nothing major. I took the whole bike apart for a full clean and regrease.
When I first got it, the coaster brake would kick back a bit when trying to stop and wasn't very effective.
I took the hub apart and other than it having what was likely 50 year old petrified grease inside it didn't really show any wear.
I cleaned the hub out with mineral spirits, and relubed with Park bicycle grease. All the splines and internals look basically new.
Now all back together, it stops fantastic but it still 'kicks back a bit, and it sounds like a cow mooing when I apply the brakes. I rode it over to a local bike shop and the guy there handed me a complete new inner works to install. I put the all new internals in and I still have the same thing. As I apply the brakes, the pedals kick back a bit before the brakes engage, the arm isn't moving on the frame at all. The hub shell looks fine, (I've got a few others to compare it too as well), As soon as the brakes start to take hold I get a loud moaning, almost fog horn type groan from the hub. It feels like I'm grinding metal to meta as it stops. It does stop, and I can lock the back wheel up but gives me the feeling that something is grinding itself to bits inside. I took the hub apart again and found nothing wrong, no metal, no shavings, just clean grease. I've tried more grease, less grease, no change.
It's been a long time since I was on a bike with a coaster brake, and I'm certainly a good 250 lbs heavier than I was back then, but I don't remember one ever making this sort of noise.
I don't have another bike here with a red band hub or I'd swap the internals over to see if made the same noise but at this point I'm at a loss.
The hub is adjusted correctly, there's no bearing play and the parts are all installed correctly. I've had it apart now a half dozen times.

When spinning the wheel in hand, when I rotate the sprocket backward, it rotates about 1/4" forward before the brake grabs and stops the wheel. I can hear the groan even spinning the the bear wheel in hand and applying the brake.
I've ridden the bike about 20 miles so far like this, took it apart and found nothing out of the ordinary, although it sounds awful, its not making any metal shavings despite it sounding like a bad machine shop operation in progress.
Any ideas? Anyone ever have one that made noise like this?
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Old 06-11-20, 11:20 AM
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It sounds like you checked everything that you should normally check. And even with new internals, it still doing the same thing. My initial reaction is that the hub inside surface may have a texture or pattern on it that causes this noise. I'm thinking that because that is the only other part that you didn't change.

Another thought, as I was reading you original post is that the reaction arm was moving, however, you said that you checked that and have probably done it multiple times. The thing with the reaction arm is that when it moves it usually tightens everything up.

Your bearing surfaces, are important. When you apply the brakes the Bendix causes high forces on the bearings. Check your cones and races.

These hubs are simple and I know you have done the rebuild multiple time now, so you are good at it. You could probably do it in you sleep by now. I know you will figure it out. It may be the hub shell, in which case you will have to replace the wheel or try to refinish the bearing race, which is a touchy topic here.

Let us know how it goes. We don't talk too much about coaster brakes here but they do get some love for their simplicity. No cables required.

You probably know this already, we all respond better with pictures. Get some detailed picture next time you open the hub back up.
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Old 06-11-20, 02:45 PM
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I've worked on a bunch of coaster brake hubs but can't say I've ever encountered the particular issue you're having and can conceive of what might be making that sound. I actually think you should just ride it for a couple of weeks (particularly since you're not seeing metal shavings being created internally) and see if the sound goes away. Oh, yeah, and check on the neighbor's cow, that prankster.
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Old 06-11-20, 04:28 PM
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Just took it for a ride around the block and got caught in the rain heading home for about the last mile or so. When I came to a stop at the bottom of one hill I noticed the rain was sizzling on the hub surface. The thing was too hot to touch.
It stops fine, but the noise is really loud. My neighbor said she thought it was the trash truck.

If I spin the wheel in hand, really fast holding the reaction arm and axle, and gently roll the sprocket backwards, I can feel it jump or bounce forward on very light pressure, but it locks quickly if I commit and push back. I've tried running with the bearings a bit loose too but no change. The bearing surfaces are spotless.
The bike has a Schwinn Scripted cyclometer on the front wheel that works, it reads 66 miles on it.
The woman I got the bike from said her husband bought it years ago, rode it for a week and never moved it again.
It had the original Westwind tires still on it but they were too rotted to use. For now its got a pair of newer Carlisle tires on it that were still serviceable.

I have a slightly newer Typhoon too but its got a newer model 76 hub, and that stops fine, although I do get a bit of kickback from that too if I jump on the brakes hard.
I think I've got another set of S7 rims here somewhere, if I can find a new hub, maybe I'll just build up a new set of wheels for it, if for no other reason than to test with. I know I've got a few New Departure hubs, but I'm not sure if I have any new red band hubs in 36h here. I've always kept more prewar bits and pieces around then this late model stuff.
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Old 06-11-20, 06:00 PM
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To me the red band never did work as good as the '76. It never stopped as good and never locked up when trick riding. While its the same components as the '76 I don't think the shoes worked as good in the red band (And they are different, don't mix them up). Make sure you get a lot of grease in on them maybe try some cotton tape around the frame on the arm band if it is loose. Don't run the bearings loose, just with no play. Try a car bearing grease or marine bearing grease, not any fancy bike grease. I love Phil wood grease but that stuff doesn't cut it in a coaster brake.
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Old 06-11-20, 06:41 PM
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You know you pack the brakes in grease, right?
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Old 06-11-20, 06:44 PM
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If it sizzled, something is wrong. Maybe you didn't reassemble it right?
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Old 06-11-20, 07:12 PM
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Is this a 2-speed kick-backhub?
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Old 06-11-20, 09:16 PM
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That is the hub was used in the little five hundred and yes it did groan under hard braking conditions. I have had hundreds assembled and re-assembled in my life as a mechanic. It is a metal on metal brake system, and the steel can and will groan under hard braking conditions. As the hub and brake pads inside the hub age and harden they will make more noise,just due to the hardening. But they will always work even though noisy. I currently have three here in the shop to re-build and the all will need no new parts just a cleaning and rebuild. The design hasn't changed in 50 years and still works fine. HTH, MH

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Old 06-11-20, 10:07 PM
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Are you standing to brake and putting all your weight on the backpedal? Do you have another wheel with a coaster brake to compare the braking to? If you've packed the brake shoes and inner hub shell in grease and the hub is too hot to touch after braking, you are exceeding the capacity of the hub and you shouldn't ride on that hub.
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Old 06-12-20, 12:37 AM
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I'm not standing on the brakes very hard to make them stop, but on that one hill I do ride the brakes for a bit to get it slowed up and stopped. The bottom of the hill is sand covered so last minute stopping isn't an option and the bike gets moving pretty fast down that hill if I don't apply some brake on the way down.
I took my other Typhoon with the newer Bendix hub down that same hill and it too got pretty hot, far too hot to touch. That hub don't make any noise.

The hub is packed with Park grease. The one thing I did notice is that with less grease, I get less kickback at first, but more noise.
I've basically always just about packed the rear hub lightly with grease.
I dug around and found an original manual for these hubs, Bendix refers to this as the RB2, made after 1965. Is a single speed coaster brake hub.

Since I'm not seeing any damage or wear, I suppose the only thing to do is to just ride it a bit and see if the noise goes away or gets worse.

I've just never heard a coaster brake hub make noise like this does. The first time it did it, I pulled over and checked to make sure something wasn't coming apart.
I just can't imagine what in that hub could make that kind of noise and not leave a mark or make metal shavings.

If a bike like a Schwinn Typhoon can't handle it I don't know what can. I ride my Raleigh Sports all the time and its never had a problem, nor has my other, newer Typhoon.
I bought this bike because it was so much cleaner than my other one, which is 'well used' to say the least.
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Old 06-12-20, 08:26 AM
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Don't remember any of my Bendix hubs acting this way, I have had the Newer China made DC & Falcon CB Hubs do this exact thing, some were just needing a total teardown & repack with Marine Grease to stop all the Noise and that kick back feeling while others were just toast needing all the internals replaced ( NO Parts Avail). I have one Single Red Band Bendix out in the shop in a bin and a few model 76's if you need a part or the whole thing let me know. If you want to build a set of CB wheels, I have 2 or 3 NOS Shimano CB hubs, CB-110's and the others just say Shimano Coaster Brake on them, the CB-110 have a wider shell and axle made to fit frames that took 3spds as well as CB, these frames were used on cheap bikes like AMF or Murry..

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Old 06-12-20, 07:35 PM
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I already put a complete new internal assembly in this, it didn't change a thing.
I've tried both Park grease and Lucas wheel bearing grease, which is pretty heavy. I also tried some old school brown general purpose automotive grease, I think the can said Allstate Grease on the can.

I didn't try marine grease, I have some Lucas marine grease from Walmart here I use on trailer wheel bearings, the stuff is dark blue and real sticky. I didn't use that because I was afraid it would make the hub turn sluggish. The stuff is like tar.
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Old 06-13-20, 02:09 AM
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Back in my days at a bike shop in my teens we had a huge tub of yellow/brown grease we used for coaster brake hubs, the stuff was thick and waxy.
We would pack the hub, but grease the bearing races with something a bit lighter.
With a big load and some steeper downhill runs, a coaster brake will get pretty hot, you want a grease that won't boil or melt.
Inside that hub, the brake shoes are basically expanding and dragging the hub shell. If there's not sufficient lube, it'll squeal or vibrate, eventually galling the metal.
Fortunately those old hubs were made from good steel and they didn't wear very fast. The old guy I worked for used to sand the leading edges of the shoes a bit on noisey hubs, it almost always would stop the noise.
Kickback can be from either loose bearings, a loose reaction bar, or a hub shell that's badly out of round or worn. Its sort of similar to driving a car with warped brake drums.
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Old 06-13-20, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
Kickback can be from either loose bearings, a loose reaction bar, or a hub shell that's badly out of round or worn. Its sort of similar to driving a car with warped brake drums.
This!, I have had a few CB hubs that had this issue now that I was reminded, one Suntour and one Sachs Jet CB hub. The brake shoes on both had really weird wear marks when I cleaned them up, I changed out the Suntour pads with good used ones but it made the hub much worse, cleaned everything up real good and looking at the shell, you could see that the shell wear marks were uneven like it was egg shaped, I cut the hub out and striped it for parts. The Sachs was the same way but it took longer to figure out cause I had no parts to swap, finally gave up on it and built up a Shimano CB hub and laced it in there. I checked the hub with a T inside mic and sure enough it was warped, not by much but enough that it was noisy and grabbed hard when braking.

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Old 06-13-20, 06:00 PM
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If there are hills or hazardous traffic conditions along your ride, I would consider adding a rim brake to your bike.

A coaster brake not only limits stopping power to about one-third of what a front brake can generate, it also disappears completely if the chain ever breaks or falls off.
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Old 06-15-20, 03:16 AM
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A front brake isn't a bad idea if your in a hilly area but keep in mind people rode mostly nothing but coaster brakes for decades in the past. They far outnumbered caliper brakes 40-50 years ago.
I have seen a few RB and RB2 hubs with broken flanges, where one or both flanges come detached from the hub and either spin or shift toward the center of the hub. I had one cheap late model hub that had the shoes poking right through the hub shell too, the bike came in because "It wouldn't coast". It had blown apart and turned itself into a fixed gear hub. That was on some woman's beach cruiser. She finally told us that her grandkids had taken it out when they came to visit and it was never the same since then.

If the sprocket bounces or pulses when the brakes are applied, then the hub shell is out of round or has somehow gotten rough inside. I've seen them get pretty torn up after being used with old dried up grease.
Any good marine grease for the bearings and a good high temp wheel bearing grease for the brake shoes is all I use. I did a few of my personal older Bendix hubs with synthetic grease throughout with good results too. The idea was that it's not as likely to dry up like old school grease can.
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Old 06-15-20, 03:29 AM
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I'll echo what many have said already, but I'll also say that rebuilt hundreds - maybe even over a thousand coaster brake hubs, and I've never heard of this problem before. I'll be very interested in learning what it is.

On grease: Park grease is good grease, but in my opinion it is best used for assembly, and not for bearings. Any non-moly marine grease will work so much better for the extreme pressures encountered in a coaster brake.
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Old 06-15-20, 10:05 AM
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I would "deglaze" the inside of the hub shell with sandpaper, whatever you have laying around..
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Old 06-17-20, 02:41 AM
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I tried the deglazing with sandpaper, no change.
I fixed the problem, I tore the wheel apart and laced in another hub shell.
Its a shame because the hub I took out looks almost brand new.
The one I put in was out of an odd wheel I had here from a 26x1 3/8" bike.
I swapped all the inner parts over and its quite and don't kickback.
The funny thing is I can't find a thing wrong with the old hub, it just wouldn't work right.
I took a late night ride up and down that hill 5 times and not hardly a sound and it stops smooth like it should. The hub gets
warm but not sizzling hot. Same grease, same internals, just a new shell.

Here's some pics of the hub shell I removed, maybe someone can spot something? I went so far as using a dial indicator and the inner barrel is dead round, its shiny smooth with no gouges or rust, there's no grooves, no bumps, nothing. It looks brand new.
I'm starting to think maybe its why this bike never saw much use.





It took me 20 minutes to un-build both wheels, 10 minutes to clean up the second hub and swap all the guts over, and two hours to clean and polish all the spokes so the wheel looks brand new again.

It took me a half hour to dig out my old Hozan truing stand that was buried under a two years worth of junk on the work bench. Then another hour trying to find the right axle adapters to fit the coaster brake axle.

I'm glad it was quiet, it was almost 1am by the time I did the first test stop on the hill down the road. The big plus is there's no traffic around at that time.
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Old 06-17-20, 04:13 AM
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Yeah, I'm still scratching my head over this one, especially looking at the pristine quality of the insides.
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Old 06-17-20, 09:28 AM
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Maybe honing it would have worked, but probably not worth the effort.
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Old 06-18-20, 12:01 PM
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J. Higgins said the insides looked pristine. looks like a bunch of grooves to me.
like noglider says maybe honing is the answer
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