Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Port Jefferson, NY
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fixed gear sprocket cluster
I went to my university's bicycle co-op today to help out and was shown an old 27-inch wheel where it had five sprockets on it, but no freewheel. Apparently it was from a very old bike which had the freewheel mechanism in the crank instead of on the rear hub. So effectively the rear hub is "fixed gear." The crank had been dumped, the frame repurposed, but the wheel remained.
I found this to be a curious idea; while thinking about it, I realized that means that the chain is moving even when coasting, and you could probably shift while coasting too. pretty neato, though definitely has all the downsides of a fixed gear for things getting caught in the drivetrain.
I was busy helping people so I didn't really get time to do more than just glance it over, but next week I'm definitely going back to see what I can do with it. So now, to the questions. Could sprockets be removed from this wheel but one, and have it be used to build a fixed gear bike? Would there be any huge caveats (like requiring a lockring removal tool which doesn't exist anymore, or not using standard threading) to doing this? Do these wheels have a name? Because I really had no idea what to search for on google; I just do not know the correct terminology for a threaded freewheel minus the freewheel.