Single-speed/Fixed Gear FAQ
1) What's the difference between a single-speed (SS) bike and a fixed gear (FG) bike?
A SS bike is much like what you're probably used to but it only has one gear. A fixed gear bike is a single-speed bike, with the added of trait of the wheels and cranks being connected. When you pedal forwards, the wheel spins in the forward direction; when you pedal backwards, the opposite applies. Unless the bike is at a complete stop, the cranks will not stop moving. There is no coasting.
2) Hai guize, I wants a fixedgeer lol. Wat should i buy??
The following are all good beginner's fixed gear bikes:
Mercier Kilo TT: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/kilott.htm
Mercier Kilo TT Frameset: http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ls&ProdID=1084
Motobecane Messenger: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../messenger.htm
EighthInch Scrambler: http://www.eighthinch.com/mm5/mercha...ry_Code=frames
3) LOL COOL sum of these bieks have braks!!! I can ride brakless?
No. Get some front brakes. Here are some cheap, working ones: http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ils&ProdID=482
4) But wait my friend said it was cooler to convert old biek frames. Wat do i do??
There really is so much information out there about converting bikes to FG/SS, so I'm not going to try and elaborate. The following sources are very good compendiums of knowledge:
(Obligatory) Sheldon Brown: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
Bob's Garage: http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/colu...age/indexb.htm
You should know, though, that unless you have a bunch of parts just lying around or a co-op, it is usually cheaper and more worthwhile to just buy a complete bike.
5) Wats the difference between a nromal hub and a tarck hub?! What abowt a flippity floppity hubz?!
A single-speed hub only has threading in only one direction, because you can only apply considerable force in one direction (the direction that tightens the free wheel cog). A track hub has threading in two, opposite directions. Like a SS hub, the cog is tightened by forward pedaling, but resisting the forward motion (or skidding to stop it altogether) loosens the cog. Thus, there is threading in the opposite direction allowing for a lockring to be placed on top of the cog to prevent it from unscrewing. A flip-flop hub is simply one that has track threading on one side and a single-speed hub on the other.
6) How do gearing works? I wants lots of skid patchez for SKIDSLOL!
Take the number of teeth on your chainring and divide it by the number of teeth on the rear cog. Take this number and multiply it by 27. This number is called your "gear inches". 70-80 gear inches is generally accepted as ideal for city riding. 80+ would work if you live in a flat area. For example, 46 teeth up front and 17 teeth in back would give you 73.06 gear inches. (46/17)*27 = 73.06
To increase the gearing on your bike, you can either increase the number of teeth on your chainring or decrease the number of teeth on your cog. Doing the opposite has the opposite effect.
Skid patches are found by taking the chainring to cog ratio and reducing it to it's simplest form. The denominator is the number of skid patches. For example, a ratio of 46/18 reduces to 23/9. The denominator is 9, meaning you have 9 skid patches.
7) NUUUU MY BIKE CAME WITH 48/16 GEERING. I ONLY HAS ONE SKID PATCH?
It's okay. Just rotate your rear wheel after every ride and it'll move the skid patch around.
8) I bought/completed by biek! Wat should i buy now?
Get some good foot retention and just ride your bike. In general, people have better experiences with double gated clips as opposed to single gated clips. Plastic or metal both have their advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it come down to preference.
In regards to the other parts of your bike, if you don't know what to upgrade, chances are you don't need to.