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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 10-13-06, 02:35 AM   #1
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What's Good about Vertical Dropouts

Seriously. I know that for building a fix, the answer is "nothing", but why did the bike industry move to them at all? I fail to see any advantage whatsoever. Is there one?
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Old 10-13-06, 03:03 AM   #2
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um........ adjusting your tension?
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Old 10-13-06, 03:08 AM   #3
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he said vertical, not horizontal.
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Old 10-13-06, 03:13 AM   #4
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Precisely. What the hell is the advantage in NOT being able to adjust your tension? Does it provide hitherto unheard of boosts to acceleration?
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Old 10-13-06, 03:24 AM   #5
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I guess makes it so mechanics adjust your chain tension, as opposed to the users?
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Old 10-13-06, 03:31 AM   #6
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Well, it makes it so the derailleur adjusts it. And it makes it so you can't adjust your wheel position. Maybe that's supposed to be a good thing? I've had bikes where with the wheel in the further forward positions, they would foul things like the front derailleur hanger. I'd still prefer to make my own decisions dammit!
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Old 10-13-06, 03:31 AM   #7
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I built up a GT Avalanche Pro to a singlespeed/fixed gear. The vertical dropouts weren't too much of an issuue. Some axle filing but i got the perfect gear ratio which gives me beatiful chain tension, even with the 4mm of adjustability. I am using a front disc hub for a rear fixie hub aswell, cheapest, lightest way to do it.
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Old 10-13-06, 03:48 AM   #8
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Yes, sure, sure, but seriously, WHY do they exist?
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Old 10-13-06, 03:50 AM   #9
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Because not everyone rides a singlespeed. Vertical dropouts make derailleurs and brakes easier to adjust and use, there is only one place the rim can sit/cogs can sit.
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Old 10-13-06, 03:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
With vertical dropouts, the axle cannot be pulled out of position, even if it is not properly secured.
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Old 10-13-06, 04:13 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Sheldon Brown]With vertical dropouts, the axle cannot be pulled out of position, even if it is not properly secured./QUOTE]

this is not true. i was riding a friend's road bike, started hammering
up a hill and *bam* rear wheel popped right out of the dropouts.
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Old 10-13-06, 04:20 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=travsi]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
With vertical dropouts, the axle cannot be pulled out of position, even if it is not properly secured./QUOTE]

this is not true. i was riding a friend's road bike, started hammering
up a hill and *bam* rear wheel popped right out of the dropouts.

It's not the dropouts fault that your friend couldn't set the QR properly :-D

Vertical drops just simplify things on geared bikes. Pop it in, cinch it up and go.
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Old 10-13-06, 05:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *new*guy
Vertical drops just simplify things on geared bikes. Pop it in, cinch it up and go.
Yeah. Vertical drops make quick releases a lot more secure for holding your wheel in place, at least with modern Aluminum-axled, exterior-cam crappy quick releases.
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Old 10-13-06, 05:46 AM   #14
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Indexed gears mean that the positions of derailleur and cluster in relation to each other are more important and so the vertial dropout means that this relationship doesn't change. In addition, I suspect that more accurate machining of components means that you don't need to fiddle things around as much on a geared bike as you used to.

I also think that the shift to specialisation allowed by current attitudes in our consumer societies has also contributed. For example, in the UK in the fifties and sixties it was very common to ride fixed in the winter and geared in the summer, all on the same bike. This provided good winter training and mean that expensive shifty bits didn't get nailed in the winter. Of course, this required a versatile bike with horizontal dropouts. Nowadays people will have a good road bike, a rain bike, a fixed gear, a track bike etc etc and so each one doesn't need to be versatile.
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Old 10-13-06, 05:59 AM   #15
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It makes wheel alignment idiot proof.

edit: OK idiot resistant.
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Old 10-13-06, 06:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattface
It makes wheel alignment idiot proof.

edit: OK idiot resistant.
True but then after a few crashes and your frame is slightly out of allignment you cannot fudge it in the drop outs.

Most of the better quality horizontal drop outs have a little set screw that you set in place so that every time you change a wheel it comes back to the same place so I don't think indexed shifting is a problem.
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Old 10-13-06, 07:34 AM   #17
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If you are running gears there is no reason not to have a vertical dropout.

Edit: I meant specifically for road bikes.

Last edited by Learn_not2burn; 10-13-06 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 10-13-06, 07:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learn_not2burn
If you are running gears there is no reason not to have a vertical dropout.
The reason is flexibility. That's what makes something like the Surly Crosscheck so appealing. It can be set up geared, SS, or fixed. Of course so can older Road bikes with horizontal dropouts, and that of is why so many here love the good quality older frames.
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Old 10-13-06, 07:48 AM   #19
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I know you guys talk mostly about road bikes here, but they are very nice to have if you are running disc brakes (coupled with an EBB). But it seems more sweet disc brake setup options come in from paragon all the time.
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Old 10-13-06, 08:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Kurt
I know you guys talk mostly about road bikes here, but they are very nice to have if you are running disc brakes (coupled with an EBB). But it seems more sweet disc brake setup options come in from paragon all the time.
I totally forgot about disc brakes, good point. It's possible to do horizontal dropouts with discs, but it's just way easier and less futzing to do it with vertical dropouts. Good call.
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Old 10-13-06, 08:36 AM   #21
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faster wheel changes
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Old 10-13-06, 10:45 AM   #22
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i think i heard somewhere that they also allow for tighter clearances, since you don't have to slide the axle backwards into the dropout. not sure if this is true.
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Old 10-13-06, 10:56 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by popdelusions
faster wheel changes
i think that's where this came from. i have no evidence to back me up on this - but a lot of technology comes from the racing side of things and i guess this is probably the same. when you're in a road race it's important to change wheels quickly and efficiently. you simply don't have the time to get the chain tension adjusted correctly when when you're on the side of the road and the peleton is riding away from you. ever watch a pro-team mechanic change a wheel in a hurry? it seriously only takes about 3 seconds.
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Old 10-13-06, 10:57 AM   #24
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True but then after a few crashes and your frame is slightly out of allignment you cannot fudge it in the drop outs.
Or, you could, you know, fix your frame.

OK, so this isn't a troll, verticals are the natural evolution for geared bikes. There are a lot of small reasons together that made them evolve the way they came to be, and unless you look at them in total, over time, it's easy to dismiss one or two and call it 'useless'.

Last edited by schnee; 10-13-06 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 10-13-06, 10:59 AM   #25
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Brakes and fenders.
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