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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 08-11-08, 08:10 PM   #1
scale
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first fixed road bike ....need cogs

WEll im on the quest for my first fixed gear. I have a old timer raleigh road frame that fits me perfectly and is in great shape for being late 70s early 80s.

I just ordered a new wheelset and now need a cog for the rear. ANyone have any good fixed gear cog recommendations? Ive got a flip flop hub comming and my front sprocket will be 48 (the smaller of the 2 on my bike now....the larger is 52).

IM thinking i want to start around 14 tooth and see how that fits.

Im going to need the cog and the lock ring when my wheels show up.

Also...can you use the same chain and just remove links from it or do you want to run a totaly different chain at this point?
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Old 08-11-08, 08:25 PM   #2
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Invest in a better chain.. you can get a really nice chain for under $20.

48/14 is good if you're a gorilla. thats over 90 gear inches. Try a 17 tooth on the back for a more common ratio that's good all around. Hard to tell you without knowing your terrain though.

This will rule out Dura Ace cogs, but Milwaukee Bicycle Co. sells 17 and they are comparable and made in the USA (benscycle.net).
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Old 08-11-08, 08:42 PM   #3
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I agree. I started with a 48/17 and am currently running 48/16. It works fine for me in the city but when I move out to the suburbs or Manayunk/Roxborough (very hilly neighborhood around here) I struggle on the hills. By struggle I mean I choose my route to make the incline as gradual as possible.

If you live in a relatively flat neighborhood like me then 48/16 could work but may take some adjustment. If there are any significant hills or you are not in an urban area go higher.
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Old 08-11-08, 08:53 PM   #4
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Go to your local shop and ask someone who can see your bike. Its hard to tel without knowing the terrain or how you ride.

Make sure you get multiple skid patchs.

By this is mean the gear combination needs to reduce to multiple numbers if it evens to one every single time you skid it will be in the same place.

My friend had this issue and his tire exploded in a week.

You can get more info at sheldon brown's (RIP) website. Under skid patches.
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Old 08-11-08, 09:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by scale View Post
WEll im on the quest for my first fixed gear. I have a old timer raleigh road frame that fits me perfectly and is in great shape for being late 70s early 80s.

I just ordered a new wheelset and now need a cog for the rear. ANyone have any good fixed gear cog recommendations? Ive got a flip flop hub comming and my front sprocket will be 48 (the smaller of the 2 on my bike now....the larger is 52).

IM thinking i want to start around 14 tooth and see how that fits.

Im going to need the cog and the lock ring when my wheels show up.

Also...can you use the same chain and just remove links from it or do you want to run a totaly different chain at this point?

48x14 is way, way too high to start off on, IMO. Unless you have been training for an hour record, or have bionic quads, it is way too high for everyday riding. Personally, I would go with a 17 or 19 tooth cog.

Also, A cheap KMC chain is around ten bucks.
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Old 08-12-08, 02:32 AM   #6
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I like my 47/20 for the hills in Seattle. On a downhill or flat I can just barely spin fast enough to keep up with 25mph traffic, so that's not the best, but it's much easier on my knees than mashing up the hills with 47/16 which my bike came with stock.
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Old 08-12-08, 06:04 AM   #7
scale
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i have been riding the old bike in the gear ratio 42x16 consistantly and it feels "right"
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Old 08-12-08, 06:32 AM   #8
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48 x 14 rofl. Say goodbye to your knees in about 3 days.
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Old 08-12-08, 04:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by scale View Post
WEll im on the quest for my first fixed gear. I have a old timer raleigh road frame that fits me perfectly and is in great shape for being late 70s early 80s.

I just ordered a new wheelset and now need a cog for the rear. ANyone have any good fixed gear cog recommendations? Ive got a flip flop hub comming and my front sprocket will be 48 (the smaller of the 2 on my bike now....the larger is 52).

IM thinking i want to start around 14 tooth and see how that fits.

Im going to need the cog and the lock ring when my wheels show up.

Also...can you use the same chain and just remove links from it or do you want to run a totaly different chain at this point?
I have run 48 x 18 and 48 x 15. Soon I will be running 48 x 17.
* The 15 t was way to high for some of the hills. It can be done, but my knees hurt and I lose a lot of speed.
* The 18 t was great and I would go back but I will try 17 in order to get 17 skid patches with the 48 t front.
* A good 75-80 gear inches seems to work well all around for me. the 85 or so with the 15 didn't look like much on paper but trust me it is a big leap. 48 x 17 seems to be popular around here and you can always run a freewheel if you need it (I do) for downhills.
* Just get a new chain, they are cheap. I got a new SRAM 1/8" PC-1 for $10 on sale. Plus you can use the old chain to make a 1/8 chain whip (if ti was 1/8) or secure your saddle to the frame with it and an old tube.
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Old 08-12-08, 04:53 PM   #10
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I like my 47/20 for the hills in Seattle.
what!? is this a typo?
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Old 08-12-08, 06:32 PM   #11
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I agree with the 17 suggestion, but I would buy the tools for changing the cog as well. Learn to set up different cogs (esp. if you don't have flip-flop). Best way to dial it in is to try it out and adapt.
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Old 08-12-08, 06:55 PM   #12
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what!? is this a typo?
What's so surprising about that? It's 61-2 gear inches on 165mm carnks + 700x23 tires. That's a low enough gear for hill climibing, unless you're talking alpe d'huez.
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Old 08-16-08, 02:04 AM   #13
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Yeah its not a typo I ride 47/20, and I can still keep up with traffic downtown (it doesnt go very much faster than 25), and just about the only city in the USA that I hear has steeper hills is San Francisco. I live on one side of the ridge and commute over the other side, and let me tell you going downhill is not the most fun thing! But, considering the 700c wheels my ~62 gear inches is very close to the standard 63 for fixed gear "mountain" biking. I guess these foothills could be almost mountains!

Actually I don't really want to go much faster than that, it seems pretty dangerous considering how people drive around here, to go any faster. Despite practicing skids and using the front brake, if you are going too fast you just cant stop very quickly no matter what you do. Plus, I get great acceleration if you want to call it that.

- Miah
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Old 08-16-08, 07:52 AM   #14
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48 x 14 rofl. Say goodbye to your knees in about 3 days.
Funny ... I ride either my 48x16 or 48x14 side and my knees do not hurt.
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Old 08-16-08, 04:15 PM   #15
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I ride a gear ratio of 46/16. Its not bad actually would you consider this a knee killer?
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Old 08-16-08, 04:44 PM   #16
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What's so surprising about that? It's 61-2 gear inches on 165mm carnks + 700x23 tires. That's a low enough gear for hill climibing, unless you're talking alpe d'huez.
it seems too low to be practical. i would never go below maybe 73 inches on a bike intended for transportation. high rpm is one thing, but keeping even a 20mph pace on a 47/20 would require 110rpm. going 22 would require 120... his claimed 25mph pace would mean he's maintaining a cadence of ~135rpm.
obviously not improbable, but i can't imagine it being any fun.

Last edited by sp00ki; 08-16-08 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 08-16-08, 10:01 PM   #17
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it seems too low to be practical. i would never go below maybe 73 inches on a bike intended for transportation. high rpm is one thing, but keeping even a 20mph pace on a 47/20 would require 110rpm. going 22 would require 120... his claimed 25mph pace would mean he's maintaining a cadence of ~135rpm.
obviously not improbable, but i can't imagine it being any fun.

to me "keeping up with" means riding fast enough to flow with traffic and not impede it. not necessarily going the same speed. If I ride between 16 and 20 mph on a 25mph road like Broad St. I feel I am flowing, but obviously not necessarily keeping up (although sometimes for fun when I lived at Temple I would pick a "target car" and keep my eye on them while riding from TU to CC, I almost always beat them).
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