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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 03-07-06, 06:12 PM   #1
Eatadonut
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So I just finished my first conversion

Brakeless, because I A) am a moron, and B) I tend to do things all-out.

I built the wheels myself (my first wheelbuild, too) on a pair of miche primato hubs I bought off jamtastic, paired them with a 631 frame I found junked that I've repainted, and some other misc parts I had laying around. It's got a double chainring right now, but the chainline is good so I'll probably leave it for a while.

It runs fine, but the chain goes slack when I resist. Reasons? Is this normal?


I took it to the girlfriend's apartment, her roommates were scared and confused when I showed them it had no brakes and could go backwards. The first words out of the girlfriend's mouth? "Oh! Can I ride it?" Yeah, I picked a winner The answer was no, unfortunately, she's about 8 inches shorter than me. Means I'll have to build her one of her own, eh?
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Old 03-07-06, 06:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Eatadonut
Brakeless, because I A) am a moron, and B) I tend to do things all-out.
but the chainline is good so I'll probably leave it for a while.
go ahead and buy a set of single stack bolts and just keep the ring that you use. it'll preserve the chainline.

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It runs fine, but the chain goes slack when I resist. Reasons? Is this normal?
if it slackens and stays slack, then you are probably having some slippage in the dropouts. don't be bashful - crank the ****ing track nuts down (you are using proper track nuts, yeah?). if it still goes slack (mind you, 1/2"-3/4" of vertical play when you lift up on the chain is fine - indeed, ideal), then you might want to look into a set of tensioners that'll work with your dropouts. others will need to chime in on what will work with horizontal dropouts, as i have no experience in the matter.

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I took it to the girlfriend's apartment, her roommates were scared and confused when I showed them it had no brakes and could go backwards. The first words out of the girlfriend's mouth? "Oh! Can I ride it?" Yeah, I picked a winner The answer was no, unfortunately, she's about 8 inches shorter than me. Means I'll have to build her one of her own, eh?
thumbs up.
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Old 03-07-06, 06:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by shants
go ahead and buy a set of single stack bolts and just keep the ring that you use. it'll preserve the chainline.
Didn't even think of that. I'll run by the LBS and see if they have what I need, they're pretty good about that kind of thing.

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if it slackens and stays slack, then you are probably having some slippage in the dropouts. don't be bashful - crank the ****ing track nuts down (you are using proper track nuts, yeah?).
Nah, it just jingles a bit at the instant I start resisting, and then stops. It's holding fine in the dropouts, thanks to my proper track nuts. I don't think I'll worry about it. Thanks.
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Old 03-07-06, 06:37 PM   #4
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is the chain new? if it's an old one it could be worn, which would cause the slack...
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Old 03-07-06, 06:46 PM   #5
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is the chain new? if it's an old one it could be worn, which would cause the slack...
It's been on 4 bikes, but only has about 500 miles on it, and a SRAM master link, so the rollers should all be fine.
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Old 03-08-06, 12:02 AM   #6
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jingles, like its hitting the stay? are you sure the frame is structurally sound? my chain is on the slack side of things and quiet as can be when i go to skid...
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Old 03-08-06, 02:29 AM   #7
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yeah, i think your wheel's slipping in the dropouts. resistance pulling on the chain, moving the wheel forward, creating slack...but you said it goes away when you stop resisting?

and check out a store that has bmx parts, i think that's probably the best bet for short stack bolts/bmx bolts (i like to say bmx, it's easier to say). then again, most bike shops will probably have **** to fix singlespeeds...ah, whatever.
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Old 03-08-06, 08:02 AM   #8
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i think he's just describing the little bit of slack every chain has that you feel when you put back pressureon the pedals.

sounds good to me!
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Old 03-08-06, 08:10 AM   #9
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Eatadonut....

Hey it could be the chainline is just slack and the extra length is hidden by gravity or centrifigul force when you are still or riding forward. Alternately, the chainring might be old and slightly ovalized, leading to slack sections that become apparent when you lock your legs in a certain way. Put it up in a stand to be sure, mostly just tighten the chain, overtight will slow you down but won't kill you like a jumped chain on a brakeless bicycle will.

Please use a brake till you get this sorted out though. Congrats on being able to ride backward already and say thanks to your cool supportive GF, mine is too but we all know guys whose GF need to be more supportive of our silly habits that keep us happy, healthy and thrifty.
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Old 03-08-06, 08:38 AM   #10
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Hey, thanks everyone. I figured out what the jingling was - one of the spokes in my rear wheel (remember, first set I've built) was unscrewing itself, and has now come completely out. Luckily I've got some time tonight I can get that all sorted out.
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Old 03-08-06, 09:11 AM   #11
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congrats. how about some pics?
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Old 03-08-06, 10:26 AM   #12
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Don't be a dumbass. Put a brake on there.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BostonFixed
Don't be a dumbass. Put a brake on there.
i usually like you, but shut the **** up about the brakes.

that said, you should learn to skip and skid before you rock the no-brakes jams.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:41 AM   #14
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that said, you should learn to skip and skid before you rock the no-brakes jams.
ergo- put a brake on.

If you wanna take it off when your all learned and stuff, fine. Really- you want to start with a brake.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:43 AM   #15
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damn, I thought it would only take 5 responses to get to a brakes/no brakes arguement. But it took 10? come on guys, you're slipping here.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:48 AM   #16
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damn, I thought it would only take 5 responses to get to a brakes/no brakes arguement. But it took 10? come on guys, you're slipping here.
Not an argument- a friendly suggestion.
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Old 03-08-06, 08:58 PM   #17
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ergo- put a brake on.

If you wanna take it off when your all learned and stuff, fine. Really- you want to start with a brake.

Learning is why the good lord jesus invented parking lots and empty country roads.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:46 PM   #18
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Normally I'd be in the "put a brake on it" category, but I wouldn't say anything. Then I noticed "Location: Texas or Oklahoma" and I figure you have plenty of space out there to slow down and stop.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:58 PM   #19
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Normally I'd be in the "put a brake on it" category, but I wouldn't say anything. Then I noticed "Location: Texas or Oklahoma" and I figure you have plenty of space out there to slow down and stop.
Yeah, the "traffic" I'll eventually take it through (this is my getting-to-class ride) will be soft and fleshy, and usually know to get out of the way. The amount of sudden stopping I ever do, with or without brakes, is minimal. Last time I can remember wanting to do an emergency stop, the brakes didn't help, not much does when you find black ice


Pictures as soon as my roommate takes 'em for me.
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Old 03-08-06, 11:01 PM   #20
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i usually like you, but shut the **** up about the brakes.

that said, you should learn to skip and skid before you rock the no-brakes jams.
it's weird....i've been riding fixed for a couple months now, and I started without brakes for a while....learned to skip and skid not too long after I started riding, so that definitely helped. And it's not like I had much of an option either... if you don't learn to skip/skid, or learn how long it takes for you to slow down just by applying back pressure, you're kinda effed. I put a brake on since then, but have seldom used it....on the other hand, I use the whole "wear it but don't use it" mentality, which makes perfect sense.....BUT, I think that starting brakeless gave me a different feel than if I had started with a brake. plus you're less likely to "fall asleep at the wheel" without brakes.... just my .02
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Old 03-09-06, 06:02 AM   #21
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they just want you to use a brake cos thats what they did. i say jump in at the deep end, you'll find out pretty quick if you like it or not- good luck.
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Old 03-09-06, 11:30 AM   #22
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Do what you want, just make sure you ride the damn thing.
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Old 03-09-06, 11:38 AM   #23
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congrats man. Let me know if you need help learning anything. I can meet up with you to help and hang out. I ride brakeless in norman and skipping skidding is just fine. But on the south oval you will have some close calls with the ipod wearers. They walk in the bike lane and cant hear ****.

Glad the hubs worked out for you. What ratio you running.
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Old 03-09-06, 11:50 AM   #24
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Brakes are for girls...juvi-kyle's putting a brake on his track bike due to this fact.
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Old 03-09-06, 02:03 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
ergo- put a brake on.

If you wanna take it off when your all learned and stuff, fine. Really- you want to start with a brake.

no....do not put on a brake...you'll learn how to ride without a handbrake more quickly and efficiently, cause the instincts will be more ingrained...
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