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  1. #1
    Advertise here! Chuvak's Avatar
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    What's the diffirence?

    What is the difference between a single speed and fixed gear? From my understanding they both can't change gears, so what is the difference?

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    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    A fixed gear can't freewheel.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  3. #3
    Advertise here! Chuvak's Avatar
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    Meaning when the wheel turns so do the pedals?

  4. #4
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Chuvak
    Meaning when the wheel turns so do the pedals?
    Exactly. You cannot "coast" on a fixed gear in the same way as you would any bike that has a freewheeling hub. There are singlespeed bikes that are not fixed gear but all fixed gear bikes are singlespeeds... well unless you've got flip-flop hubs but that's a technicality.
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  5. #5
    Advertise here! Chuvak's Avatar
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    That's interesting! Doesn’t that mean that to stop you have to "force" your legs to pedal slower? Now that I know the difference I can say that I had a single speed. All though I had one of the old ones where you have to turn pedals backwards in order to stop. The brake mechanism was in the rear hub. Do they use this method in single speed bikes now or rim brakes are used?

  6. #6
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Chuvak
    That's interesting! Doesn’t that mean that to stop you have to "force" your legs to pedal slower?
    Yep. Many fixed gear bikes are used just for tracks like in a velodrome. There was recently a thread on the movie Breaking Away. The bikes they rode in the Little 500 were fixed gear.

    Originally posted by Chuvak

    Now that I know the difference I can say that I had a single speed. All though I had one of the old ones where you have to turn pedals backwards in order to stop. The brake mechanism was in the rear hub. Do they use this method in single speed bikes now or rim brakes are used?
    I think it depends on the application. And yes, most of us started out riding single-speed. If you've ever ridden a Big Wheel then you've even ridden a fixed-gear.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by khuon
    all fixed gear bikes are singlespeeds
    nope.

    sturmey-archer made a 3-speed fixed gear hub. very rare, difficult to find, and expensive when one is found, but they do exist.
    i ride bikes.

  8. #8
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by fore
    nope.

    sturmey-archer made a 3-speed fixed gear hub. very rare, difficult to find, and expensive when one is found, but they do exist.
    Ahh I forgot about that. I remember reading about it on Sheldon Brown's site a while back.
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  9. #9
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Mr. Chuvak...... now that you know the difference between a single speed and fixed gear, here are their most common applications... Practically all BMX bikes are singlespeeds. Most all kids' bikes and beach cruisers are singlespeeds. Most all one-geared mountain bikes are singlespeeds. Fixed geared mountain bikes, in most cases, are not practical. All track bikes are fixed. Some racers train on fixed gear road bikes or track bikes during their off season. Track bikes are popular on the street and many are equipped with front brakes. Many road bikes are converted to either fixed or singlespeeds, or are set up for both, using flip-flop hubs. Messengers you see on one-speed bikes are usually fixed, either on track bikes or road bike conversions. And so on....and so on....
    Last edited by roadfix; 06-23-03 at 12:51 AM.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  10. #10
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    Singlespeed and fixed gear MTBs are eminently practical if you live in flatland, esp if there is lots of mud. They are light, simple and dont get gummed up with pounds of sticky clay mud.
    Some fixed gear road riders only use the pedals to brake with, like on track racing bikes, but for safety (esp on decents) you should fit a front brake.

  11. #11
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Fixed gear MTBs are fine on flat trails.......but they are definitely not practical on technical single track due to obstacle interference against cranks. Also, you wouldn't be able to scream down that fireroad on fixed gear!......that's half the fun!
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

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