Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-18-08, 01:08 PM   #1
commutr4life
up hill both ways
Thread Starter
 
commutr4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: DC/Arlington
Bikes: KHS Flight 600 (sold); Giant ATX 760 (stolen, then retreived!); Schwinn Tempo; Schwinn Breeze (on loan), Lemond Fillmore, Cannondale Capo
Posts: 100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How important are horizontal dropouts?!

I was advised against building a fixie from an old steel frame that did not have horizontal dropouts. But I've seen (on this board and around town) plenty of fixies with all manner of dropouts...what gives? Why are horizontal dropouts desirable/necessary anyway? As you can tell, I'm new to SS/FX. Can someone drop some science on me?
commutr4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:12 PM   #2
peabodypride
No plan.
 
peabodypride's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: PA
Bikes:
Posts: 2,744
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are not "all manners of dropouts" -- they're either semi-horizontal (the dropouts open towards the front and slope down), vertical (one small notch with a hangar that allows for a multi-speed wheel's axle), or completely horizontal (track ends).

You don't want to use vertical dropouts because they cause a headache when adjusting chain tension. But old steel frames on the whole didn't have verticals. So I'm assuming you mean you have semi-horizontal dropouts, which are just fine to build with.
peabodypride is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:13 PM   #3
ShadowGray
I like my car
 
ShadowGray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Bikes:
Posts: 1,747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Because the chain is not going to be perfectly tight without having to move the wheel slightly forward/backwards, and the horizontal drop out allows you to do that. Vertical dropouts are designed to keep teh wheel in one place while the derailleur applies tension to the chain. You can mimic this with a chain tensioner: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true which can apply tension to the chain to keep it tight.
ShadowGray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:13 PM   #4
epschoenly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am going to go out on a limb and say they are probably more important than tires or handlebars.
epschoenly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:17 PM   #5
roadfix
hello
 
roadfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes:
Posts: 18,590
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Not having to deal with vertical dropouts makes life easier.
roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:20 PM   #6
kyselad
extra bitter
 
kyselad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes: Miyata 210, Fuji Royale II, Bridgestone Kabuki, Miyata Ninety
Posts: 1,560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowGray View Post
You can mimic this with a chain tensioner: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true which can apply tension to the chain to keep it tight.
For SS, yes. If going fixed as the OP mentioned, then you can't rely on a tensioner. Fixed is still possible with vertical dropouts (e.g. eccentric bb, messing with chainrings, cogs, and half-links), but I wouldn't endure that headache without some very compelling reason.
kyselad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:26 PM   #7
huerro
Villainous
 
huerro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Austin
Bikes: Trek 420, Cyclops
Posts: 1,894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What kind of frame is it? Old steel with vertical dropouts are often good quality. You might be able to trade it or sell it and buy something more suitable.
huerro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:39 PM   #8
commutr4life
up hill both ways
Thread Starter
 
commutr4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: DC/Arlington
Bikes: KHS Flight 600 (sold); Giant ATX 760 (stolen, then retreived!); Schwinn Tempo; Schwinn Breeze (on loan), Lemond Fillmore, Cannondale Capo
Posts: 100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It wasn't a specific frame, but I've been trying to find an old beater frame to build a cheap fixie to see if I like it. But I've found it hard to find any with horizontal dropouts for cheap...

Thanks for the responses so far.

Are horizontal dropout significantly better/easier to work than semi-horizontal?
commutr4life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:49 PM   #9
Hobartlemagne 
Spelling Snob
 
Hobartlemagne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Plano, Texas
Bikes: Panasonic DX4000, Bianchi Pista
Posts: 2,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Look around at garage sales, pawn shops, and charity shops. Most of the horizontal drops
bikes around were made in the 80's. Those places are where you'll find a lot of older bikes.
__________________

The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!
Hobartlemagne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:52 PM   #10
kyselad
extra bitter
 
kyselad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes: Miyata 210, Fuji Royale II, Bridgestone Kabuki, Miyata Ninety
Posts: 1,560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As already mentioned in post #2, semi-horizontal drop-outs are fine. They're actually termed "horizontal" dropouts and common to most conversions. Track ends are truly horizontal but uncommon outside of track frames. You can find the details on Sheldon's site: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html.
kyselad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 01:57 PM   #11
Hobartlemagne 
Spelling Snob
 
Hobartlemagne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Plano, Texas
Bikes: Panasonic DX4000, Bianchi Pista
Posts: 2,862
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyselad View Post
As already mentioned in post #2, semi-horizontal drop-outs are fine. They're actually termed "horizontal" dropouts and common to most conversions. Track ends are truly horizontal but uncommon outside of track frames. You can find the details on Sheldon's site: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed-conversion.html.
Very true!
__________________

The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!
Hobartlemagne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 03:58 PM   #12
vonzip
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
track ends are key when switching your gear ratio, aka swapping cogs, without messing with your chain. plus track ends are sexy
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-08, 08:43 PM   #13
kyselad
extra bitter
 
kyselad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes: Miyata 210, Fuji Royale II, Bridgestone Kabuki, Miyata Ninety
Posts: 1,560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vonzip View Post
track ends are key when switching your gear ratio, aka swapping cogs, without messing with your chain. plus track ends are sexy
?? By messing with the chain you mean removing it? This isn't necessary with horizontal dropouts either.
kyselad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 09:21 AM   #14
vonzip
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyselad View Post
?? By messing with the chain you mean removing it? This isn't necessary with horizontal dropouts either.
Sorry I'll be a bit more precise next time. when changing your gear ratio with track ends, adding or removing a chain link isn't usually necessary. if you have a road frameset with vertical or angled dropouts there isn't as much leeway.

hypothetically, your at the velodrome an you decide to go a gear higher, you could swap your chainring or cog, adjust the rear wheel and be back on the track before the practice session ends.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 09:40 AM   #15
shants
roll'em high
 
shants's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: columbus, ohio
Bikes:
Posts: 2,391
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Vonzip, both track ends and horizontal dropouts are available in a variety of lengths. Some track ends are obnoxiously short and some dropouts (e.g. Simplex and the Campagnolo 1010) are quite long. It is true that the longest track ends are likely longer than the longest horizontal dropouts, but you're really overestimating how much this matters. On a conversion that I own that has sizable horizontal dropouts, I can put on a cog with two more teeth with no problem, assuming that my chain was properly sized initially. If anything, when it comes to swapping wheels, horizontal dropouts make for faster changes.

That all said, I like the look of track ends and find them to be perfectly functional, but your argument that they're superior for swapping gearing is specious at best.
shants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 12:31 PM   #16
lanOGiro
son of a son of a sailor
 
lanOGiro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Long Beach, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If the bike has completely vertical dropouts, ditch it and start with another bike. You will hate your bike before you ever get to ride it.
lanOGiro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 12:38 PM   #17
bigbris1
One skid from blown knees
 
bigbris1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York City
Bikes:
Posts: 910
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just get a real track frame. You don't want to risk that rear wheel walking out from under you when you lock up your legs.

I personally despise conversions.

There. I said it.
bigbris1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 01:33 PM   #18
vobopl
re:member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cracow, Poland
Bikes: unknown make TT bike, fixed; Romet Sport, gone; titanium Pinarello gone;Colnago with Campy C-Record/Super Record,on it's way; Funny Gianni Motta; Buehler track, Polrad track chrome; titanium MTB on 28'', fixed; Tri Wheeler, fixed
Posts: 874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbris1 View Post
Just get a real track frame. You don't want to risk that rear wheel walking out from under you when you lock up your legs.

I personally despise conversions.

There. I said it.
Has any wheel ever walked out from under you?

I love conversions, especially with vertical dropouts and fenders.
vobopl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 02:00 PM   #19
bigbris1
One skid from blown knees
 
bigbris1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York City
Bikes:
Posts: 910
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vobopl View Post
Has any wheel ever walked out from under you?

I love conversions, especially with vertical dropouts and fenders.
Yes.

I became a bike messenger in NYC in 1992 using my father's bike, which was a 10 speed road bike. I don't remember the name but I know it was really nice. Eventually I went through a lot of frames riding SS freewheel conversions. When I switched to fixed gear in 1995, still with the conversions, I always had problems with the rear wheel moving, the chain getting loose, etc. especially under the daily grind working in the city. I had a wheel pop completely out, and since the seat tube is typically farther away on a road frame the wheel can travel more.

It was unsafe. Finally I scored a Miyata frame with horizontal dropouts. I then knew what riding fixed gear was all about. Now I will not even go close to a conversion. I know a lot of people disagree, and there are some frames that are beautiful to be used for conversions. But when you depend on your chain to stay tight & your rear wheel to stay put, it becomes a gamble.

But I feel like if it wasn't made to be ridden with a fixed gear, then it shouldn't be converted. Period.

But that's just me. You do what you like.

For instance, this wheel is just begging for freedom from the frame:

bigbris1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 03:28 PM   #20
pax139
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Cambridge, MA
Bikes:
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you have vertical drop outs, you can always get a White Industires Eccentric Eno hub. It's expensive but will solve your problem.
pax139 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 03:49 PM   #21
bigbris1
One skid from blown knees
 
bigbris1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York City
Bikes:
Posts: 910
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The frame is your foundation. Build on a solid one.
bigbris1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 03:58 PM   #22
vonzip
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by shants View Post
Vonzip, both track ends and horizontal dropouts are available in a variety of lengths. Some track ends are obnoxiously short and some dropouts (e.g. Simplex and the Campagnolo 1010) are quite long. It is true that the longest track ends are likely longer than the longest horizontal dropouts, but you're really overestimating how much this matters. On a conversion that I own that has sizable horizontal dropouts, I can put on a cog with two more teeth with no problem, assuming that my chain was properly sized initially. If anything, when it comes to swapping wheels, horizontal dropouts make for faster changes.

That all said, I like the look of track ends and find them to be perfectly functional, but your argument that they're superior for swapping gearing is specious at best.
point taken, but isn't asking 800 for a 580 frameset also a specious.. f a i l

an in the end, I'm always stoked to see a fixed rider no matter how much cash they dropped
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 04:41 PM   #23
dobber
Perineal Pressurized
 
dobber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: In Ebritated
Bikes:
Posts: 6,557
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbris1 View Post
Just get a real track frame. You don't want to risk that rear wheel walking out from under you when you lock up your legs.

I personally despise conversions.

There. I said it.
Pearls of wisdom from the poorly informed. If you have a rear wheel "walking out", then you haven't put it in correctly.
__________________
This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.
dobber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 05:12 PM   #24
bigbris1
One skid from blown knees
 
bigbris1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York City
Bikes:
Posts: 910
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobber View Post
Pearls of wisdom from the poorly informed. If you have a rear wheel "walking out", then you haven't put it in correctly.
What do you ride?
bigbris1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-08, 05:15 PM   #25
xxandyarmada
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
they're meant for the track....
because there isn't a chance of the hub slipping out of the drop outs in a sprint, it's possible for it to slip forward but not out.
xxandyarmada is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:16 PM.