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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-14-05, 08:18 PM   #1
jk610
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Help out a fixed gear noob please!

Hey everyone. I recently bought my first fixed gear bike. Im fairly new to the bike scene, other than riding my $15 thriftstore bike to and from work, and need some help. My bike doesnt come with pedals and I dont know where to even begin searching. What kind of pedals do you recommend for a new rider? Also, a link to site would help! Thanks!

Heres a pic of my new whip!

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Old 06-14-05, 08:23 PM   #2
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applecart or cino59?

Before you even begin looking at links, see items 1-6 (3 and 5 should be omitted if you are not of legal drinking age):
first - check to make sure everything is seated properly: no loose screws, bolts, rings, etc.
second - make sure the brake works.
third - have a beer or two
fourth - what kind of pedals did you ride before? do you have shoes for clipless pedals?
fifth - yet another beer
sixth - post your responses below
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Old 06-14-05, 08:25 PM   #3
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applecart, haha.

Well Ive never ridden fixed before and I hear talk of clips and clipless and toe straps and all kinds of stuff and I dont know what I should use. The only bike I ride is my junker from the thriftstore, I dont know anything about bikes yet.
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Old 06-14-05, 08:28 PM   #4
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okay - I would seriously make sure that all bolts, screws, nuts, etc are in place. Check the chain for proper tension. Additionally, check the wheels to make sure they are true (i.e. - they do not wobble back and forth when they are seated in the dropouts properly). Also make sure that all bearings are packed well with grease.

You might want to take this to a local bike shop for this kind of check-up. I would think that most people in this forum would agree with me on this based on your just starting out. Or if you are ambitious, get some tools and dig in! But do some research too. Sites like http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ and http://63xc.com/ (check out http://63xc.com/faq/faq.htm) can be beneficial. You can also snoop around here as we have industry experts and DIYers alike.

As far as pedals, I think these may be a better start for you:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

pretty basic set-up. Toe Clips, straps and decent pedals. The only thing you would need to do is match your shoe size the the cage.
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Old 06-14-05, 08:29 PM   #5
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ooooo... boy.

First, don't listen to anyone who says to take that brake off. Not a soul. Leave the brake on no matter what.

As for pedals, you'll need to buy some. You want basic metal road pedals with toe clips. Clipless is something you may want to look into, and platforms are actually more difficult to work with than you'd think.

Check out your LBS, they probably have some pretty cheap ones, maybe even ones pulled off a new bike, even a MTB. Remember, basic platforms with toeclips. They'll probably install them for free, but if they don't, remember that the left pedal is reverse threaded. Turning the nut toward the front of the bike tightens it, turning it toward the back of the bike loosens it (this is true for both sides).

Have fun!

peace,
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Old 06-14-05, 08:31 PM   #6
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Alright thanks for the advice guys. And I will make sure to check all the parts.
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Old 06-14-05, 08:48 PM   #7
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It may seem to be a series of rather large tasks, which it is not. But I personally feel that in order to have the best possible experience, you should be familiar with what is underneath you. I loved building my first track bike, and continue to build them whenever I get the bug - even if it is just to turn around and sell them. It is cathartic, and I am naturally inclined to this type of process.
Just make sure you are prepared. Let us know what questions arise as you start off. Someone here can help, I am sure.
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Old 06-14-05, 08:59 PM   #8
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Don't listen to these guys about pedals. Those both will end up hurting your feet after a while unless you have really stiff soled (ie, cycling specific, work boots, etc.) shoes.

These are the pedals you want: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=36138

Many places sell them.
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Old 06-14-05, 09:02 PM   #9
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bahstintrevah has a good point about the pedals, although I never had problems with sore arches/bottoms of my feet. I ride in street shoes too most of the time.

I still recommend toe clips and straps.
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Old 06-14-05, 09:07 PM   #10
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I was actually going to recommend those same MKS pedals! But trevor found a better price. I too still recommend toe clips.

peace,
sam
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Old 06-14-05, 09:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [165]
bahstintrevah has a good point about the pedals
That's bawstin, pallie.
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Old 06-14-05, 09:48 PM   #12
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i bought some MKS touring pedals and they work great...kinda expensive i was lucky and got 'em on sale

i dont know what these people are talkin about sore feet-my pedals have sharp edges and don't hurt at all, i jsut have regular pair of shoes too
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Old 06-14-05, 09:48 PM   #13
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I bought an applecart bike, because I wanted the frame. A bit pricey with shipping, but all in all it worked out well. Three things that I had to fix right away. 1) The bottom bracket was totally rusted out, so I had my LBS overhaul it. 2) The headset needed adjustment and tightening, and finally 3) the redish for the rear wheel was way off center. I think he just eyeballs it. I ended up buying new spokes and rebuilding the rear wheel. The wienman wheels and hubs were nice, so I kept those, but since the rear hub isn't a true track hub I keep my front break on. Sorry, I know it's not about pedals, but you should get the bike checked out at your local bike shop for your peace of mind. You need to trust what's between your legs
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Old 06-14-05, 10:47 PM   #14
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I would watch out. Applecart sells bikes with converted road hubs, which arent threaded for a fixed cog. They dont have two sets of opposing threading for the cog and lockring which real track hubs have. He takes off the freewheel and threads on a cog, and then he uses a bottom bracket lockring to keep the cog in place. This may work for a little while and perhaps for a long while if you ride it lightly, but if you ride it hard or put on clips and straps and try to skid it is inevitable that the rear hub will strip out and you will be left with a useless piece of garbage which was once your rear wheel.

What irks me about applecart and the other guys who sell these rigs is that they do not disclose this fully in their description, and might even be a little bit vague on purpose. Here is all he says regarding the wheel/hub in the description:

"16 tooth Track Cog and Loc Ring, gear ratio is 16x42x170mm."
"27 inch clincher wheels are in good shape and the rear wheel has been re-dished for a single gear with the proper chain line alignment"

What newbie would know that this bike does not have real track hubs based on this description? I saw in his feedback that one buyer had his hub strip on the first ride. I'm sure more hubs have stripped after positive feedback was already left. I think this guy preys on people new to riding fixed who dont know exactly what they are buying.

I'm sorry if I made it sound like you bought a piece of crap it's just that this seller bugs me, since I think that he is somewhat of a scammer. I see his bikes everyday when I search for track components on ebay, it's annoying. I would say start thinking about getting a real track wheel as well as pedals. You can probably get one on ebay for under $100, (although I would recommend investing in a higher quality more expensive one).

*(edit) This does not apply to "magic hubs" which do not strip out ever.

Last edited by Erich Zann; 06-15-05 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 06-14-05, 11:38 PM   #15
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I've got the MKS GR-9 platform pedals with mini clips, I love them. I don't like straps so they work nicely.
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Old 06-15-05, 06:53 AM   #16
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Oh jeez well thanks for the heads up. I couldnt dish out too much $$$ for a bike at the moment so I thought this would work. Guess you get what you pay for. Anywho, Ill try to make the best of it. Ill take it to my LBS and have them check everything out first when I go to get pedals. I wont be riding my bike very hard, since I live in a small town and work, school and home are within 3 miles of each other. But that potential hub problem will have me worried. Is something like that fixable? If at some point I take the bike to the bikeshop and say I want a track hub is that something they could do?
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Old 06-15-05, 08:28 AM   #17
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jk610, you could get a track hub installed into your current wheel or you could just upgrade to a new wheel. it depends on whether your current wheel is worth keeping. if you have a bikeshop you trust, they can tell you. of course if it costs as much to have your rear wheel rebuilt as it would to get a new one...get a new one. Check out Sheldon Brown's web site (someone already listed it), it will answer many of your questions and make your head spin.

as long as your bike is all adjusted (as many have advised) it'll work fine for the time being. Once you get good at riding fixed and start to ride it harder (using more force to slow down, skidding, etc) you'll want to get a real track hub on there, and pronto.

it's a great way to get started. enjoy the ride!
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Old 06-15-05, 08:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostontrevor
Don't listen to these guys about pedals. Those both will end up hurting your feet after a while unless you have really stiff soled (ie, cycling specific, work boots, etc.) shoes.

These are the pedals you want: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=36138

Many places sell them.
do these pedals take regular ("full") toe clips? are they narrower than normal pedals (looks like they are)? i like toe clips but my straps get all smushed into the crankarm with regular quill pedals. so the MKS might be the ticket if they are a little narrower.

thanks.
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Old 06-15-05, 08:46 AM   #19
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They do take regular clips though the offset from the crank is pretty narrow so I end up buffing the ends of the crank with the straps.
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Old 06-15-05, 08:53 AM   #20
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"This may work for a little while and perhaps for a long while if you ride it lightly, but if you ride it hard or put on clips and straps and try to skid it is inevitable that the rear hub will strip out and you will be left with a useless piece of garbage which was once your rear wheel. "


I highly disagree that a freewheel hub is inherently destined to strip. A cheap track hub will strip just like a cheap freewheel hub.

Coming from 16 years experience riding hard on a freewheel hub.

(note : The whole 'spinning off the cog' is a whole difft can of worms which can be debated till the cows come home, but i never did that either).
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Old 06-15-05, 11:58 AM   #21
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Cheap track hubs do strip (suze basic, quando), but they are designed to have a fixed cog and lock ring on there unlike a freewheel hub which is designed to have a freewheel on it. Perhaps your hub is magic.
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Old 06-15-05, 12:10 PM   #22
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I want a magic hub. In addition to never ever stripping or spinning off the cog, it should have magic bearings that have no friction and spin forever!
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Old 06-15-05, 12:40 PM   #23
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Your local bike shop should be able to get you just about anything in 1 day or less. If I remember Correctly, one of the major distributors (I don't think it's QBP... J&B importers?) has a warehouse in West Chester... if not, you could always throw it on the rack of the bus that runs to Norristown and take the train into Philly during non-peak hours... Lots of good shops there.
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Old 06-15-05, 01:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk610
Oh jeez well thanks for the heads up. I couldnt dish out too much $$$ for a bike at the moment so I thought this would work. Guess you get what you pay for. Anywho, Ill try to make the best of it. Ill take it to my LBS and have them check everything out first when I go to get pedals. I wont be riding my bike very hard, since I live in a small town and work, school and home are within 3 miles of each other. But that potential hub problem will have me worried. Is something like that fixable? If at some point I take the bike to the bikeshop and say I want a track hub is that something they could do?

don't sweat too much over the rear hub. to make a really long story short, i helped a friend remove the cog from an applecart bike and it was well secured with loc tite. there are some folks here that think this is a bad set up but i'm going side with the folks that say they have been doing it for years with no trouble. from what i can gather, under normal conditions - and on into slightly abnormal ones - i don't think it is going to fall apart on you. just keep the brake on and use it rather than pushing back really hard on the cranks ... if you are nervous about it.

if you are still nervous, start saving up money for a new wheel set. what kind of wheels you ask? this is something that folks here decide to talk about roughly once a week. if you don't want to wait for it to come up agian, just use the search function (keyword: "IRO wheelset" should give you the hits you need) and then come back with specific questions. at any rate, your current set up should last at least until you've saved enough for something new.
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Old 06-15-05, 03:07 PM   #25
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i don't see any problems with the MKS track pedals - i've been using them for years with no problems, hot spots, or soreness.

houseoftrack.com has mks sylvan track pedals for $18, mks clips for $10 and currently no cheap straps, but they'll be getting them in soon. free shipping, too.

anyway, as stated above the "suicide hub" conversion is not a good idea if you plan to skid or skip stop or ride brakeless. $105 for on a new IRO rear wheel is money well spent. you don't want to strip the threads on your hub while riding in traffic.
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