Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Rodriguez Shiftless street fixie with S&S couplers, Kuwahara tandem, Trek carbon, Dolan track
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Hi, I've been riding fixed gears on road and track for over thirty years. When you set up the chainline, it has to be <dead on>. This is absolutely critical. If it is not, as you ride on the road, the chain will "stretch." Then one day, as you are spinning at high speed down a hill at about 140 rpm's, the chain will fall off the chainring. If you don't have a lock ring, the chain will jam around the bb and the rear tire, the cog will unthread, and you will coast/brake to a stop. If you use a lockring, the rear wheel will lock, the bike will fishtail, and you may crash. So on a road fixie, keep the brakes and toss the lockring.
On a track bike, you want the chainring dead on because then you can run a looser chain. Much faster. When the chain is set up properly, it's difficult to make it derail. This is also why you want to use a 1/8" track chain. They are made to run straight, not to easily derail in order to facilitate smooth shifting.