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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 09-25-06, 09:49 PM   #1
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need new crank advice for fixed/free steamroller

hi all....i'm building up a steamroller which i plan to run with a flipflop hub, fixed/free. i am confused on cranks and bb's. do i need to get a square-taper for it to be bomber? or is isis or octalink ok? io've heard that any splined system is a bad idea for fixed gear riding. (i'm not brakless tho...runnning a front brake).

i'd prefer to run a road crank with 39:17 gearing...so if anyone can reccomend a good crankset that will work i would really appreciate it. at this point i know i need a 170, and i know my gearing....but dont know what to get!

thanks in advance
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Old 09-25-06, 10:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xccx
hi all....i'm building up a steamroller which i plan to run with a flipflop hub, fixed/free. i am confused on cranks and bb's. do i need to get a square-taper for it to be bomber? or is isis or octalink ok? io've heard that any splined system is a bad idea for fixed gear riding. (i'm not brakless tho...runnning a front brake).

i'd prefer to run a road crank with 39:17 gearing...so if anyone can reccomend a good crankset that will work i would really appreciate it. at this point i know i need a 170, and i know my gearing....but dont know what to get!

thanks in advance
you might want to bump up the gearing if you plan on going downhill
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Old 09-25-06, 11:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by freeskihp
you might want to bump up the gearing if you plan on going downhill
gee thanks for the wisdom einstein.

where i live it happens to be very hilly with lots of dirt/fire roads that i plan to ride with this bike.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:57 AM   #4
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If you're going to go the big tire/offroad route, you might want to run 165mm for pedal clearance. Though I suppose the fat tires will help with that.
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Old 09-26-06, 06:06 AM   #5
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I'm going to throw in the obligatory recommendation to get a fixed-fixed flip-flop hub. You can still but a freewheel on it if you want, but if you strip one side's lockring threads (a common occurrence for first-timers), you aren't totally screwed.

Either type of BB will work, but you will have an easier time getting your chainline set with a square-taper setup since they come in tons of spindle lengths.
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Old 09-26-06, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xccx
gee thanks for the wisdom einstein.

where i live it happens to be very hilly with lots of dirt/fire roads that i plan to ride with this bike.

Considering you are asking for advice do not act like a jackass when poeple offer suggestions. Most people do not ride in Vermont.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:00 PM   #7
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Considering you are asking for advice do not act like a jackass when poeple offer suggestions. Most people do not ride in Vermont.
I do, and 70 gear inches works great for me. 39:17 might be great for SS, but it will be very slow for the downhill portions fixed. I'd probably recommend a smaller cog for the fixed sideof the hub.

As for the crank, I think splined cranks are fine for normal street/trail use. In fact they are used on the tracks as well. My take is that some folks are slower than others to let go of traditions and outmoded ideas.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:03 PM   #8
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P.S. have you been to Old Spokes Home? they are very fixed friendly, and they can fix you right up.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:07 PM   #9
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given your screen name, i assume we're talking offroad no?

39 - 17 is an awesome offroad gear. mine's a 42-20.

second the square taper, assuming you don't get very lucky (or buy new parts and do your homework and stil get a little lucky) you'll have a lot more options for replacing the bb.

fwiw i think there are several folks on here that ride the hell out of their octalinks with no problems.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:09 PM   #10
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www.chucksbikes.com has 6500 ultegra cranks in 170mm for 70 bucks, chainrings included.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:18 PM   #11
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I think the confusion came from the fact that the steamroller isn't usally considered an offroad bike. Perhaps the OP could have mentioned that he was going to be riding it in the dirt. As for dirty photon's advice, he is right about the square taper being easier to get a good chainline. If you are trying to use a double or triple crankset as a singlespeed, the bb length is the only way to adjust this. If you are looking at an ISIS/Octalink crank that is meant for singlespeed use, the chainline should be pretty close to 42mm (for road cranks anyway, i'm not sure about mtb cranks) and you probably won't have the same issues as with using a multi-ring crankset.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope
www.chucksbikes.com has 6500 ultegra cranks in 170mm for 70 bucks, chainrings included.
Since those are octalink, you'll be stuck with the chainline. It would be 41mm in the inside, 46mm on the outside. If you have the clearance on the chainstay (And given the small ring you are running, you should) using the inside position would work pretty well. 1mm off is not at all bad.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:28 PM   #13
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my friend is running those cranks on his steamroller, with the chainring on the inside. his chainline is fine. i'm not sure his bb length... probably the length for a road double.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:30 PM   #14
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www.chucksbikes.com has 6500 ultegra cranks in 170mm for 70 bucks, chainrings included.
Sh!tfück, that's what a Tiagra costs over here in a brick and mortar shop!!! (Or a Sora if you're unlucky)
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