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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 10-17-05, 10:07 PM   #1
alcahueteria
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So, I bought me a single speed for $100 today. It's a raleigh super grand prix. The guy simply threaded a bmx freewheel onto the rear wheel so my chainline is a good bit off. I'm pretty happy with it though. Steel lugged, 700c rims, english threaded bb and somewhat horizontal dropouts. A bit more than I wanted to spend but it's got what I want and I have it now so I don't have to look anymore so I'm happy. I'm pretty stoked because it had bar-end shifters too, so there aren't any braze-on's on the downtube.


Now for the questions...

It's made in England and says TI-Raleigh 20-30 hi-tensile on the seat tube. Now from what I know hi-tensile is crappier than chromoly. Is this correct or is there something I'm missing?

What's a good gearing? I was told a ratio between 2.2 and 2.8 is good. Currently it's a 42/16, which makes it about a 2.6. Does all this sound about right?

Also, what's a good thick tire. I don't really care about weight or anything really besides flat resistance and long life? This bike is going to be pretty much, strictly a commuter. I heard maxxis fuse, or re-fuses are good?

Should I go with a regular SS, or make it a coaster brake single speed with no brakes, or just go fixed? I was leaning towards the coaster brake option. I read on hear that bendix (I think that was it) hubs were good for that. Or is one of the other options just that much better that I should really go with it?

how do you measure the chainline?

other than that, I'm totally open to any tips or tricks you guys would like to offer.

I think that's it for now. Also, I did some light searching but couldn't find too much in the way of these questions so I apologize if they've been asked a million times already. I couldn't find the answer.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-17-05, 11:47 PM   #2
r-dub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcahueteria
Now for the questions...

It's made in England and says TI-Raleigh 20-30 hi-tensile on the seat tube. Now from what I know hi-tensile is crappier than chromoly. Is this correct or is there something I'm missing?

What's a good gearing? I was told a ratio between 2.2 and 2.8 is good. Currently it's a 42/16, which makes it about a 2.6. Does all this sound about right?

Also, what's a good thick tire. I don't really care about weight or anything really besides flat resistance and long life? This bike is going to be pretty much, strictly a commuter. I heard maxxis fuse, or re-fuses are good?

Should I go with a regular SS, or make it a coaster brake single speed with no brakes, or just go fixed? I was leaning towards the coaster brake option. I read on hear that bendix (I think that was it) hubs were good for that. Or is one of the other options just that much better that I should really go with it?

how do you measure the chainline?

other than that, I'm totally open to any tips or tricks you guys would like to offer.

I think that's it for now. Also, I did some light searching but couldn't find too much in the way of these questions so I apologize if they've been asked a million times already. I couldn't find the answer.
Thanks for the info.
Hi-Tensile is crappier than cromoly, but for a beater bike or a commuter it's fine, unless you're a fool (like me.)

Proper gearing depends on: Your personal physical fitness, the terrain you plan to ride on, how fast you want to go, how much you care about cadence, etc. You're probably fine in that range. For a slowish commuter in a slightly hilly area I'd go around 2.2-2.4 personally.

Any cheap tire is fine.

Most of us around here love fixed. I do. Most of my bikes are fixed. I've also got simple single speeds, both with rim brakes and with coaster brakes. I like them all. If you've got a wheel with a coaster brake, put it on and have a blast. For a simple single speed you can also take off derailleurs and remove enough chain so that there's just enough to fit on the cog you choose out of your casette. Play around with that until you find the gear you want. Count the teeth. Get a ss freewheel that size, put it on the wheel.

For a bike like yours, chainline is best eyeballed. *This is also the method that I use for fixies that I race on, but some more anal (or maybe just less observant) than me like to 'calculate' things. I'm sure sheldon has a method for this.*

Speaking of, spend some time at www.sheldonbrown.com
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Old 10-18-05, 06:26 AM   #3
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Sweet, thanks for the info
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