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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 03-21-08, 07:50 PM   #1
kmac27
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do fixies need chain changes?

Random question, do fixies need more or less maintenance on the chain? Do you even need to change the chain?
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Old 03-21-08, 07:54 PM   #2
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the best thing about riding a fix is that its unique frictionless and self cleaning drivetrain completely eliminate the need for proper installation, cleaning, lubing or replacing of the original chain!
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Old 03-21-08, 07:57 PM   #3
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and by that he means yes you do.
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Old 03-21-08, 08:03 PM   #4
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I don't know if chains wear out faster on a fixed, but you really want to change them before they fail. I threw mine on a down hill last summer and rode a skid for 60 feet when it jammed and locked the rear wheel. Only in hindsight did I realize I should have replaced that chain a while ago. I got lucky. If I haddn't managed to ride that skid, it woulda been my body leaving skid marks on the road.

By contrast I've ridden many a freewheel chain into the ground without any kind of major mishap.
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Old 03-21-08, 08:11 PM   #5
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just replaced mine. if you're riding brakeless you def want to replace it once it starts stretching (rule of thumb is 12 links for 12 inches/1 foot) because throwing the chain sucksssss. In general you want to lube and clean it pretty frequently (I ride in new england in the winter and lube it up at least once a week).

the drivetrain is the part of your bike that the proper maintenance of is a. required and b. can dramatically improve your ride (this and making sure the tires are properly inflated). The chain is probably the easiest thing to maintain on a bike (again, aside from pumping up the wheels) so clean that thing!
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Old 03-21-08, 08:20 PM   #6
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Fixie chains are all made of valuable metals that only break when exposed to really expensive perfume.
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Old 03-21-08, 08:50 PM   #7
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dear lord, yes. if you ride with a brake, not so much, but brakeless I'd say at least once every six months. with a brake, you lose your chain, big deal, you have a brake. break your chain while brakeless... not so little of a deal. learn to stop yourself using your feet against your front and rear wheels.
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Old 03-21-08, 09:57 PM   #8
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you comics, you.
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Old 03-22-08, 12:01 AM   #9
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Fixed gears don't need to change chains. Ever.
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Old 03-22-08, 12:50 AM   #10
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My fixer doesn't even use a chain that I've noticed? Wait... or was that my dog?

Im confused... but one of either my fixed gear, or my dog doesn't have a chain.
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Old 03-22-08, 01:42 AM   #11
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My fixer doesn't even use a chain that I've noticed? Wait... or was that my dog?

Im confused... but one of either my fixed gear, or my dog doesn't have a chain.
its definatley the fixie that doesnt have a chain. im sure of it.
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Old 03-22-08, 06:29 AM   #12
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yep just keep the chain line at a wierd angle, lube with elmers glue and sand, and you will never need to change that thing, it will never brake if you use breaks.

lawl. i love/hate these forums.
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Old 03-22-08, 06:42 AM   #13
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dear lord, yes. if you ride with a brake, not so much, but brakeless I'd say at least once every six months. with a brake, you lose your chain, big deal, you have a brake. break your chain while brakeless... not so little of a deal. learn to stop yourself using your feet against your front and rear wheels.
at the same time
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Old 03-22-08, 07:49 AM   #14
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dear lord, yes. if you ride with a brake, not so much, but brakeless I'd say at least once every six months. with a brake, you lose your chain, big deal, you have a brake. break your chain while brakeless... not so little of a deal. learn to stop yourself using your feet against your front and rear wheels.
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Old 03-22-08, 09:10 AM   #15
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1) yes, they need to be maintainenced regularly. i try to clean mine weekly, twice a month at the very least.
2) buy a chain stretch tool. this will eliminate the need for fancy calculations based on miles ridden, gear ratio, average speed and other voodoo related inaccuracies. since we don't shift, a stretched chain won't be as apparent as on a geared bike; this is a great way to measure how you're doing and prevent faster wear to the rest of your drivetrain.
3) beefy chains shouldn't be underestimated. True story: my cheap chain wore in ~5 months of riding. on the same bike, my "overpriced" chain hasn't worn out in eight months (and counting). Granted, i bought two bikes since then, but i still ride it frequently enough to bother mentioning it.
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Old 03-22-08, 09:14 AM   #16
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dear lord, yes. if you ride with a brake, not so much, but brakeless I'd say at least once every six months..
for realz??? holy crap. that means i have to throw away my $85 izumi now because its been 7 months...
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Old 03-22-08, 09:23 AM   #17
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beefy gaudy golden goodness!!

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Old 03-22-08, 12:30 PM   #18
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best gift ever given to me! (izumi chain)
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Old 03-22-08, 12:46 PM   #19
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nope, no maintenance required. I'm also lazy and would rather just replace a chain every 3-4 months
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Old 03-22-08, 12:59 PM   #20
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Actual information just for a change: given that the taut chain is simply not allowed to skip over the top of the cog teeth, you can get away with the lack of maintenance on a fixed and ride a chain a lot longer than on a geared bike without any trouble. It wears out the cog but then cog's aren't all that expensive.
I think a chain+cog could last 30000 mi with regular lubing and no cleaning.
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Old 03-22-08, 01:21 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by sp00ki View Post
1) yes, they need to be maintainenced regularly. i try to clean mine weekly, twice a month at the very least.
2) buy a chain stretch tool. this will eliminate the need for fancy calculations based on miles ridden, gear ratio, average speed and other voodoo related inaccuracies. since we don't shift, a stretched chain won't be as apparent as on a geared bike; this is a great way to measure how you're doing and prevent faster wear to the rest of your drivetrain.
3).

cool....thanks.

anyway any difference between this tool?

http://www.parktool.com/products/det...=5&item=CC%2D2

this one looks easier to use.

cheers
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Old 03-22-08, 01:29 PM   #22
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Yeah, going by time is silly. It's not like they go stale or anything.
Any decent chain should be able to last for several thousands of miles, especially if you're not locking your back wheel up as your only method of stopping. Get a ruler and check it - it's it's stretching, or is rife with frozen links, replace. Pretty easy.
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Old 03-22-08, 01:36 PM   #23
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Chains really should last practically forever on a single speed or fixed-gear bike. I've a chain that I pulled of a janky old ten-speed with probably 10,000 miles on it degreased and relubed, and I'm still using it today. I guess there's a possibility that a new chain might perform marginally better, but I doubt it's anything I'd notice.
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Old 03-24-08, 03:25 AM   #24
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That's the beauty of track ends. You just keep sliding the wheel back as the chain wears... instant tension! Just replace the chain when it gets to the ends of the dropouts.
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Old 03-24-08, 05:33 AM   #25
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I've never had any chain brake or fail on many bikes old and new. I thinks its another one of those ploys of scaring me into thinking bikes are really fragile. First the threads about stripping the thread from your hub, then this, seriously bikes are strong things, they don't spontaneously stuff up every time you overtighten or undertighten a screw.
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