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  1. #1
    Senior Member Morgie's Avatar
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    New Single-speed advice (thinking of getting flip flop)

    I bought a single-speed used off Craigslist, paid almost $100(hope I didn't get ripped off). Generally I'm happy, it seem to be an ok bike for my needs, except the rear wheel is a little wobbly. I think I need some sort of spacer or something but I'm totally new to single-speed/fixed gear so I dont really know. I'm coming from the world of road bikes but fixies and singles seem pretty different.


    I am considering getting a flip flop hub but I don't know how to tell if that means I need a new wheel or not. I'm a broke @ss college student so funding is lower then low.

    One problem is that I have only REAR brakes!
    All advice is welcome and wanted and the more detailed and descriptive the better.

    Here are some pictures:
    P.S. the pedals are going to be replaced tommorow!





    Help a newbie out.

    P.S. I'm in cambridge, ma so if you know a LBS with knowledge of SS/Fixies lemme know. I don't drive so outside the cambridge/boston metro area is outta my range.

  2. #2
    Reticient Recluse
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    This is probably obvious, but do get a front brake. If you're going to have only one it makes no sense to have it on the rear. Front brake has greater stopping power, and if you're going fixed then you can ditch the rear brake altogether.

  3. #3
    yo yo yo yo yo
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    move the spacers around so you get a good chainline from front to back, then redish the wheel to center it in the frame. if you want to get a flip flop hub you can use the old rim if it isnt too beat up, but you might find it cheaper to just get a new wheel. front and back brakes would probably be best if you are using a freewheel hub with a track cog or singlespeed.

  4. #4
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    It'll probably be cheaper to buy a new wheel instead of trying to rebuild that one. Then you have a spare in case of emergency too.

    However if you can wait for a second gear or to try fixed there is no reason not keep riding the current wheel until you can scratch together $100 bucks or so for flip-flop.

    Eitherway your first priority should be a front brake.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Morgie's Avatar
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    could you give me some more details about how this is done? or some links or something?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Morgie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    It'll probably be cheaper to buy a new wheel instead of trying to rebuild that one. Then you have a spare in case of emergency too.

    However if you can wait for a second gear or to try fixed there is no reason not keep riding the current wheel until you can scratch together $100 bucks or so for flip-flop.

    Eitherway your first priority should be a front brake.

    Hate to be dense but what to you mean by "second gear"? I'm gonna work on finding a front brake tommorow.. the real thing I'm worried about is the lose wobble in the rear wheel, it has to do with the hub I believe, becuase I can tell the wheel is not bent or anything of that nature

  7. #7
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    If you have a flip flop you could put a second gear on the other side. That or to have both fixed and free would be the only reasons to get one.

    Wobble could also mean that its out of true. Take the wheel and try to move it back and forth. If it moves crank down on the qr some and try again. If not then spin the wheel and see if there is still wobble if so it's probably out of true.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Morgie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    If you have a flip flop you could put a second gear on the other side. That or to have both fixed and free would be the only reasons to get one.

    Wobble could also mean that its out of true. Take the wheel and try to move it back and forth. If it moves crank down on the qr some and try again. If not then spin the wheel and see if there is still wobble if so it's probably out of true.
    I'm pretty sure the wheel is true, if I hold the bike up I can move the wheel from side to side (brake pad to brake pad)... it's not as if the wheel is bent

    Once again hate to be dense but could you tell me what "qr" is?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Morgie's Avatar
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    Quick Release

    figured it out... wow I feel dumb

  10. #10
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    did that solve it?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Morgie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    did that solve it?
    Unfortunately not... I have a feeling I'm not getting my question across well, probably due to my lack of knowledge of terminalogy and such...



    I have upload this pic to hopefully help.

    Red indicates the proper upright/straight position of the wheel.
    what happens is that if I wiggle the wheel it moves in a side to side manner (GREEN)
    So if I flip the whole bike upside down I can spin the wheel and it will spin ok in place but if I tap it it wobbles side to side (green)

    It seems to me that what I need is something in the Purple area and it will stop the wobble.

  12. #12
    Biggity-bam
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    Check to make sure your bearing lock nuts are tight enough, and the nut that the bearings ride on on the inside of the lock nut.

  13. #13
    Bulldozer GirlAnachronism's Avatar
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    Also, tighten up that chain! Read this, http://sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html#tension and then everything else on that website...
    You're not punk, and I'm telling everyone.

  14. #14
    Senior Member eddiebrannan's Avatar
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    i'm concerned about the space on the far side of the hub, between the non-drive side and the drop out. looks strangely unconnected. seems to me you may have a smaller hub width than is appropriate for your dropout width. seems to me a visit to the lbs is in order. any proper bike shop should be able to advise.

    if you're running ss the rear brake only thing is no biggie. but if you prefer to run the brake on the front then again your lbs should be able to help you switch the hardware so you can use the existing caliper on the front, and / or guide you to a cheap front caliper.

    fwiw running a rear brake only is no disaster. if you misuse it it you'll lock up and skid (as we all had mad fun doing as kids) and if you misuse the front you'll lock up and endo.

    brakeless fixed gear is rear-brake-only

  15. #15
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    Okay the wheel is wobbly because the bearings are not setup properly. This requires cone wrenches to fix, and is not to difficult, but is somewhat difficult to fix. I imagine a local bike shop (LBS) could do this rather cheaply for you. For instructions on how to do it yourself:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cone-adjustment.html
    Last edited by gorn; 09-24-06 at 08:34 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Morgie's Avatar
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    Local Bike Shope (ATA in cambridge) told me I need a new hub, they want 65 for a flip flop hub plus 70 for a new wheel which they say I need. I asked about using my wheel and it will be an addition 35 to use my own wheel... At the end they offered for 275 +tax to set me up with a flip flop hub BOTH wheels and tires. with tax that's gonna be like 300 for wheels/tire/flip flop... I REALLY don't have that kinda cash right now, anyone have any advice, I'm I getting screwed by these dudes?

  17. #17
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    maybe it depends what they are going to give you for $300, you can definetly get away with spending alot less though.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Morgie's Avatar
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    well what about the 100-115 just to put a flip flop on my existing wheel? is that reasonable... I've been trying to get on sheldonbrown.com but the site seems to be down... I live within driving distance Harris Cyclery(sheldon brown's), I don't have a car though, but I could get there if they well have solution that better fits my need. Plus if I'm gonna put down 100-300 bucks shouldn't I do it there just to support someone who is so helpful with info??? I guess I'll call them in a little while

  19. #19
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    it's probably not a ripoff but it seldom makes sense to rebuild a crappy wheel. check out the wheelsets under $200 thread(they are substantially under).

  20. #20
    I LOVE ME A GOOD FOIGHT octopus magic's Avatar
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    Running only a rear brake isn't that big of a deal. They make for super duper long skids.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Morgie's Avatar
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    WOBBLE FIXED... LBS number 2 (ace wheelworks, cambridge ma) was great. I went in showed them the issue and they asked how long it had been ridin then that condition and I told them the truth and the guy said he'd take a look. After a little tightening and replacing the spacer (the old one was the wrong size) it's riding great. $10 in labor and $2 in parts and now I'm good to go.... I've test ridin about about 2-3 miles and everything seems great.

    P.S. chain tenson was corrected to

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by octopus magic
    Running only a rear brake isn't that big of a deal. They make for super duper long skids.
    granted it's safer then riding brakeless but it's still not particulairly safe. And unlike brakeless it earns you no scene points and only a few macho ones.

  23. #23
    huh
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    You may also want to check out broadway bike school. They have a used parts section for those on a low budget.

    http://www.broadwaybicycleschool.com/
    "I'm the swinger and Dad's the pusher" - my son

  24. #24
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I would use that LBS again. That's good honest work.

  25. #25
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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