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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 07-13-07, 02:34 PM   #1
thenathanator
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What's with trackends? why not horizontal dropouts?

why is everyone so preoccupied with track ends (I don't think I'm just speaking for myself)? I can get a tight chain with my horizontal dropouts, and it makes taking the wheel off a cinch. Is it just a matter of stopping all possibility of the wheel slipping forward? More gearing options?

I'm only asking, b/c as much as I like the way track ends look, they don't seem functional in the city.

(Really, I'm trying to talk myself out of feeling like I need an expensive new frame instead of my conversion...)
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Old 07-13-07, 02:41 PM   #2
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your question is backwards. trackends are the simplest solution to the problem of mounting a wheel so for track bikes, bmxs and single speed bikes they're the system used. but they're no good for bicycles with derailleurs, so for that situation horizontal and vertical dropouts were good solutions. your bike wasn't designed to be a conversion, so it has dropouts
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Old 07-13-07, 02:42 PM   #3
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I thought horizontal dropouts WERE track ends?
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Old 07-13-07, 02:42 PM   #4
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Is it just a matter of stopping all possibility of the wheel slipping forward?

you answered your own question . The wheel is direct drive so it will move in the direction of travel.

Wait til you experience the wheel actually coming off.

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Old 07-13-07, 02:44 PM   #5
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Tradition and pretties.

Sheldon has a bit to say on the matter.

"
Rear fork ends originally had the opening facing backwards, but in the 1930s, the "drop out" type fork end was introduced....
The old-fashioned rear-opening style fork ends are still seen on some single-speed bikes, mainly as a retro fashion statement. The revival of rear opening fork ends is an unfortunate fad, making the bikes that feature this design less versatile and less convenient than they would be if they used drop outs."
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Old 07-13-07, 02:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d2create
I thought horizontal dropouts WERE track ends?

nope
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Old 07-13-07, 02:45 PM   #7
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Seems it would also make it a PITA to change a tube on a fendered bike.
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Old 07-13-07, 02:49 PM   #8
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get some vertical dropouts and you'll really see start to like track dropouts, i'm forced to use 52/17 because its the only gearing that gets my chain tight.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:02 PM   #9
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Your wheel doesn't have to pop all the way out to still cause big issues (locking up against the stay, throwing the chain). just get your bolts tight and don't worry about it.

some track ends may be long enough to accommodate one more tooth difference in back cog before having to change chain length, but thats the only advantage i can think of.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:10 PM   #10
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Fork ends really only make sense on bikes intended to have tight clearances. For everyone else a long dropout is better.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiebrannan
but they're no good for bicycles with derailleurs
nope, they can be used with deraileurs without issue, and still show up once in a while on TT/tri bikes because of the tight frame clearances.

im having a frame built right now with track ends and a deraileur hanger.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:11 PM   #12
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That's true. I just remembered seeing the Felt TT bikes at the ToC that were ridden by Slipstream. They had track ends.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiebrannan
your question is backwards. trackends are the simplest solution to the problem of mounting a wheel so for track bikes, bmxs and single speed bikes they're the system used. but they're no good for bicycles with derailleurs, so for that situation horizontal and vertical dropouts were good solutions. your bike wasn't designed to be a conversion, so it has dropouts
I don't know how this works, but many TT frames have track ends. These bikes use derailleurs.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
That's true. I just remembered seeing the Felt TT bikes at the ToC that were ridden by Slipstream. They had track ends.
That's where I first saw it, while putting together a Felt DA in the shop.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:13 PM   #15
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fun fact: TT bikes have track ends so they can deal with distance regs between the seattube and rear wheel
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Old 07-13-07, 03:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceya
Is it just a matter of stopping all possibility of the wheel slipping forward?

you answered your own question . The wheel is direct drive so it will move in the direction of travel.

Wait til you experience the wheel actually coming off.

S/F,
CEYA!
Ceya, has this actually happened to you or to anyone you know? I think this issue is an internet myth. Whether you have track ends or horizontal drops, if one of your axle nuts goes kablooie, the wheel will hit a chainstay and send you into a skid. Right?
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Old 07-13-07, 03:43 PM   #17
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Semi horizontal trackends or dropouts are preferable if you're running a rear brake and change gear ratios frequently. Otherwise it makes no difference to me whether I have trackends or horizontal dropouts.
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Old 07-13-07, 03:50 PM   #18
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I ride track bikes, not road conversions. Therefor I do not ride a bicycle with horz dropouts. I frankly dont give a **** which kind a bike has. If the bike I wanted had horz dropouts I would ride it.
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Old 07-13-07, 04:05 PM   #19
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My '60s Geoffrey Butler path racer used to have a derailuer hanger on its track ends, but you can see where someone cut it off before it got repainted in the '80s.

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Old 07-13-07, 04:25 PM   #20
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track ends accomodate shorter chainstays.

i suspect that they're also stiffer because the force on the lower prong goes directly to the chainstay rather than around a long c-shaped bend to the seatstay. just a theory though, i haven't seen data one way or the other.

they also suck with derailleurs, rear brakes and fenders.

select based on your priorities.
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Old 07-13-07, 04:37 PM   #21
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Beat me to it. Track ends on track bikes are indeed intended to allow for the shortest possible chainstays.

I personally much prefer horizontal dropouts on a road FG or SS, as it makes getting the wheel in and out much easier. In fact, I would very much like to see more frames with angled horizontal dropouts to allow a flip-flop rear with widely different ratios, like the racers used in the 20s and 30s. (Flat dropouts mean that the brake doesn't line up with the rim when the wheel is moved back or forward. I know this doesn't matter to really cool guys, but for those of us who like the functionality of two brakes, it's very important.)

Rivendell did this on their Quickbeam, but the bike has funky geometry, an upsloped TT, cantilever brakes, and a Rivendell price tag. Oh well.
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Old 07-13-07, 04:43 PM   #22
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Beat me to it. Track ends on track bikes are indeed intended to allow for the shortest possible chainstays.

I personally much prefer horizontal dropouts on a road FG or SS, as it makes getting the wheel in and out much easier. In fact, I would very much like to see more frames with angled horizontal dropouts to allow a flip-flop rear with widely different ratios, like the racers used in the 20s and 30s. (Flat dropouts mean that the brake doesn't line up with the rim when the wheel is moved back or forward. I know this doesn't matter to really cool guys, but for those of us who like the functionality of two brakes, it's very important.)

Rivendell did this on their Quickbeam, but the bike has funky geometry, an upsloped TT, cantilever brakes, and a Rivendell price tag. Oh well.
Whenever I win the lottery and have Steve Rex build me my custom path racer, that's exactly what I'm going to do.
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Old 07-13-07, 04:47 PM   #23
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I'll bet a guy with a pic of Rene Vietto as his avatar is going to use wing nuts too!

I've come awfully close to having a frame made myself, but I just can't convince myself to drop $1500+ on such a single purpose frame. With all the $300 Taiwanese made single speed frames out there these days, I wish at least one of 'em could come with a more versatile dropout arrangement.
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Old 07-13-07, 04:58 PM   #24
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the op needs an expensive new frame with track ends
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Old 07-13-07, 05:01 PM   #25
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The only advantage track ends have over horizontal dropouts is that you can use a chain tensioner to keep the wheel from moving forward. The reason geared bikes have gone to vertical dropouts is the same, to keep the wheel from moving forward. I have never had the wheel move on my fixed conversion though, I just tighten it down as tight as I can. I have had the wheel move on my geared bike, but only cause I put the wheel on quickly and didn't tighten the QR down enough.
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