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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 05-18-08, 08:53 PM   #1
JimmyJars
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Vertical dropouts: I am completely screwed?

I bought a lugged carbon fiber frame from the 80s off of cragilist not knowing it had veritcal dropouts (the guy said they were semi horizontal..) Is there a reasonable alternative to the $150 adjustable hub? Is it possible to use the power of math and measurement to figure out the size of rear cog/crankset that will work without adjustment? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy a full 105 groupo and make this a full on road bike?
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Old 05-18-08, 09:01 PM   #2
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Yep. Even the adjustable hubs don't really work all that great.

The "Power of math and measurement" to which you refer is called the Magic Gear. It might work OK for a singlespeed, but you need to be super, super lucky for it to work with a fixed gear since fixies require chain tension that is just right.

What you need to do now is get another bike. Something high end, Japanese, from the 80's. Make sure it has horizontal dropouts. Take the Shimano 600 drivetrain off that bike and put it on your vintage lugged carbon frame. You will then have a vintage lugged carbon road bike.

Then take the old Univega, Miyata, Bridgestone or Fuji frame and convert that bike to a fixed gear.

Best of all, you'll have two bikes instead of one. You can never have too many bikes.
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Old 05-18-08, 09:05 PM   #3
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put gears on it, ride it, and thank me later.
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Old 05-18-08, 09:09 PM   #4
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reasonable alternatives:
1) eno hub if you want to run fixed gear
2) chain tensioner if you want to run single speed
3) magic ratio if you want to run fixed gear
4) build it as geared bike
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Old 05-18-08, 09:11 PM   #5
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Just file the drops a little. Or put a flat spot on the axle. Cost is $0 and doesn't affect anything. " It is also possible to use a special "half link" or "offset link" to lengthen or shorten your chain by only 1/2". Another possibility would be to do a little bit of filing at the back of the dropout to let the axle move back just a bit.
It is also possible to grind or file a flat on each end of the axle to allow a bit more adjustment, like this: -Sheldon Brown
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Old 05-18-08, 09:28 PM   #6
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I had this exact problem about a month ago.
I resolved by just selling the thing.
Now I've got funds enough for a frame I want and maybe a wheelset too.
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Old 05-18-08, 09:29 PM   #7
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magic gear or ride it single speed with a chain tensioner.
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Old 05-18-08, 09:43 PM   #8
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do your homework and read sheldon brown
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Old 05-18-08, 10:05 PM   #9
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I'm mostly looking for a way to determine what the magic gear ratio is. I've scoured Sheldon Brown's site and as far as I can see there isn't anything as to figuring it out. I guess I could just remove links until I've gone too far then add a halflink. Or will that not be enough to achieve the proper amount of chain tension?
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Old 05-18-08, 10:08 PM   #10
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http://www.eehouse.org/fixin/formfmu.php
put your stuff in and go to town...you will need a ruler I think.
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Old 05-18-08, 11:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT tallbike View Post
Just file the drops a little. Or put a flat spot on the axle. Cost is $0 and doesn't affect anything. " It is also possible to use a special "half link" or "offset link" to lengthen or shorten your chain by only 1/2". Another possibility would be to do a little bit of filing at the back of the dropout to let the axle move back just a bit.
It is also possible to grind or file a flat on each end of the axle to allow a bit more adjustment, like this: -Sheldon Brown
Been there, done that! As probably a lot here have too.

Then eventually, a few months later and a hundred bucks or so for cogs, chains, half links etc you'll go out and buy a track/fixed frame and wish you'd done so in the first place.

No offence to the poster, and all good info, but just get the right thing for the job from the start and save yourself the trouble.
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Old 05-19-08, 12:08 AM   #12
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nah, i agree with the optimistic here. you'll get something to work out. i'm sure it'll be tough and labourious, but try with the grinding and gear picking. go to a bike collective if there's one near you (bikecollectives.org, i think) or a friendly lbs and try lots of cog teeth combinations and use their tools if you need. just do please be sure, since chain tension is bound to be slightly loose, to install a brake as well. my chain came off with no brake the other day on a big downhill with lots of pedestrians around, and i learned my lesson. i can adjust the tension regularly to be safe, but even then i'm considering re-putting a brake. good luck, brother. let us know how it goes!
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Old 05-19-08, 01:00 AM   #13
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i have vertical dropouts on my frame...a cannondale. I just tried different cogs until one fit...it was very annoying...but it works. Looking back on it, getting a different frame or buying that 150 hub is probably better, there's no telling when my back wheel might just fly off
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Old 05-19-08, 01:03 AM   #14
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just wondering, aren't there ecentric bb's too?

go with the eno hub



magic gear = temp solution, i have seen a buddy's SS lose the chain off of the smallest bumps due to chain stretch and a magic gear ratio
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Old 05-19-08, 01:11 AM   #15
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if you go magic gear use a chain thats been stretched already so that your magic gear stays magical and not just tricky
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Old 05-19-08, 06:28 AM   #16
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Is it an Alan or a Peugeot? Either way, sell that piece of crap. They're heavy and creak with every hard pedal stroke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Stuart~ View Post
just wondering, aren't there ecentric bb's too?
They require a larger bottom bracket shell.
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Old 05-19-08, 12:08 PM   #17
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Sell it. I have been down this path and you end up with a lot of specialized parts on the wrong frame for a bunch of money and the end product is sub-par.

Sell it, try again, and be happy. Or just by a TT or IRO.
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Old 05-19-08, 12:39 PM   #18
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+1... i started with a conversion ended up spending way more than it shoulda cost thinking i wouldnt spend an extra dime... save the trouble there are decent track bikes to be had for the cheap....

save you the trouble... get the right look... do it right the 1st time around
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Old 05-19-08, 01:00 PM   #19
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if you go magic gear use a chain thats been stretched already so that your magic gear stays magical and not just tricky
Since chains never stop "stretching", this will have no effect on how the chain progresses in the future.

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Old 05-19-08, 01:03 PM   #20
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Magic gear is not all that magic, I find. But sometimes it works right. The only real way to go about it is to have a couple of cogs that differ by one tooth and a couple of chainrings that differ by two or less teeth. And a half link. That gives you eight different permutations all in the same neighborhood. With a bit of luck, one will work well. And just commit to buying a new chain more frequently than you would have to otherwise.

Really not a big deal.

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