Ok guys, I'm thinking about going fixed, but I'm not sure. Please help me decide.
I've always ridden singlespeed junker bikes. However, I'm going to buy a folder to use as commuter and town bike. Derailleurs are out of the question. So that leaves me to decide between internally geared hubs and fixed/freewheel hubs.
I'm not considering going fixed because it's cool or because I want to explore the joy of cycling. I'm considering fixed because it may have practical advantages for me. (I'll be getting a frame with horizontal dropouts, btw)
1. Since this is going to be a folding bike that will be carried around, weight is extremely important. How much weight can I really save by going fixed gear? The Harris Cyclery flipflop hubs are 330 grams, while the nexus 3 speed internal hub with coaster brake is 1120 grams. From what I can tell, most fixed hubs and internal 3 speeds weigh about the same. Either way I wouldn't need a separate rear brake. Is that all the weight I'm going to save? Less than a kilogram? Am I forgetting something?
2. In general, internal hubs seem to cost about twice that of fixed hubs. Although low end internally geared hubs seem to cost about the same as high end fixed hubs, cheap internally geared hubs seem to to be double cheap fixed hubs and expensive internally geared hubs seem to be double expensive fixed hubs. Will that be the only money saved if I decide to go fixed?
3. How big of a difference in gearing can be used on a fixed/fixed hub? I know people generally say you can have a 3 tooth difference, but what if I want more than that? Is the only hassle that I need to retension the chain when I flip? Wouldn't I have to retension the chain after taking the wheel off anyway (even if there were only a 3 tooth difference)?
4. Can I add a quick release to make it easier to use a flipflop? How much weight would that add? Would it be easier/harder to adjust chain tension with a quick release?
I guess that's it. Apart from lower weight, lower cost, and the more precise control of the rear wheel, are there any other advantages of going fixed gear over internally geared?