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  1. #1
    Senior Member steveymcdubs's Avatar
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    The Definitive Single-Speed/Fixed Gear FAQ

    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
    eHow: http://www.ehow.com/video_4975651_co...ixed-gear.html

    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.

    vs.

    In regards to the other parts of your bike, if you don't know what to upgrade, chances are you don't need to.
    Last edited by steveymcdubs; 07-24-09 at 06:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member steveymcdubs's Avatar
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    Reserved for future posts.

    I got tired of seeing the same exact questions asked on a daily basis, so I decided to write something that people will hopefully read before making reeeetarded threads and getting flamed. Excuse the lolcatspeek. I'm pretty high on post-surgery oxy and I'm having a good time.

    This is all I can come up with right now. Give me more suggestions for questions and I'll add them to the FAQ. And let me know if you find any errors because, contrary to popular belief, I am human.

  3. #3
    cab horn
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    Reinventing the wheel for the win!!1
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  4. #4
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    Thank you for this thread

    I found an old 10 speed that belonged to my dad in the garage, it needs a new wheel, so i figured why not convert to a fixed gear? So far this thread has helped with that question a lot.

  5. #5
    Senior Member steveymcdubs's Avatar
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    no problem

    i'll go through and remove the lolspeak when i get a chance

  6. #6
    Turgid Member TofuPowered's Avatar
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    lolspeak stays or ceiling cat shall smite thee

  7. #7
    extra bitter kyselad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Reinventing the wheel for the win!!1
    Seriously. If you haven't even glanced at the stickies, maybe it's not yet time to write a definitive FAQ.

  8. #8
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    the hipster myth.

    i practice vagabondery.

  9. #9
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    World's first gym rat, yo.
    I have a front brake, but I only use it for slowing or stopping.

  10. #10
    its that damned rap music oneangrytoast's Avatar
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    i appreciate the thread and +1 for the lolspeak, makes it even more enjoyable.

    cheers.
    -bread for destruction-


    Quote Originally Posted by Thetank View Post
    any way you can prove this or did you pull this out of your @$$?

  11. #11
    Yo!
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    Senior Member Yo!'s Avatar
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    7) NUUUU MY BIKE CAME WITH 48/16 GEERING. I ONLY HAS ONE SKID PATCH?

    It's okay. Just your rear wheel after every ride and it'll move the skid patch around.
    A typo? I don't get this

  12. #12
    its that damned rap music oneangrytoast's Avatar
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    yes, you can either move your tire around on the wheel, or you can pull the wheel out of the stays, off the chain, move it a bit, then your skid patch will have changed positions.
    -bread for destruction-


    Quote Originally Posted by Thetank View Post
    any way you can prove this or did you pull this out of your @$$?

  13. #13
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    IMO 48 x 16 is too tall for a noob. Not sure why a Kilo comes with that gearing. 81 GI is silly. 48 x 17 would be better.

  14. #14
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveymcdubs View Post
    Reserved for future posts.

    I got tired of seeing the same exact questions asked on a daily basis, so I decided to write something that people will hopefully read before making reeeetarded threads and getting flamed. Excuse the lolcatspeek. I'm pretty high on post-surgery oxy and I'm having a good time.

    This is all I can come up with right now. Give me more suggestions for questions and I'll add them to the FAQ. And let me know if you find any errors because, contrary to popular belief, I am human.
    I get tired of people not reading the sticky at the top of the forum: Fixed Gear/Single Speed - Start Here!

  15. #15
    means go allez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveymcdubs View Post
    It's okay. Just your rear wheel after every ride and it'll move the skid patch around.
    I accidentally my whole rear wheel...is that bad?

  16. #16
    its that damned rap music oneangrytoast's Avatar
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    maybe there should be a "ask your stupid questions here" thread, where no flaming is allowed. and the people who are jaded *******s, myself included (at times) just wont go in there. but mostly, as long as its not too long and out of hand, people can read that thread and maybe get most of their questions answered without people making them feel silly.
    -bread for destruction-


    Quote Originally Posted by Thetank View Post
    any way you can prove this or did you pull this out of your @$$?

  17. #17
    its that damned rap music oneangrytoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    I get tired of people not reading the sticky at the top of the forum: Fixed Gear/Single Speed - Start Here!
    yes, if you had clicked and read all the links, sure it would be a great thread, but i think this one is a "quick and dirty" version.

    also, im pretty sure it was at least partly started as a joke. so, yea, maybe check the "i have no sense of humor" thread too.

    sorry, best i could do. not a very funny response, but hey, i think u get my point.
    -bread for destruction-


    Quote Originally Posted by Thetank View Post
    any way you can prove this or did you pull this out of your @$$?

  18. #18
    Paste Taster Retem's Avatar
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    you forgot to warn anyone thinking about getting a fixed gear of any sort that there is little margin for error and parts failure

    which means at
    the bottom of the learning curve there is serious injury or death
    Wear a Helmet
    I am dyslexic so bear with my posts.... [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  19. #19
    Senior Member etothepii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneangrytoast View Post
    yes, if you had clicked and read all the links, sure it would be a great thread, but i think this one is a "quick and dirty" version.

    also, im pretty sure it was at least partly started as a joke. so, yea, maybe check the "i have no sense of humor" thread too.

    sorry, best i could do. not a very funny response, but hey, i think u get my point.
    IMO, paste the original post into that sticky. Best of both worlds, is all I'm saying.
    "I'm a loner Dottie, a rebel."

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  20. #20
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
    i see you have sisyphus. your doctor can prescribe you some pills for that.
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

  21. #21
    DRUNKDRIVER Zachee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveymcdubs View Post
    It's okay. Just your rear wheel after every ride and it'll move the skid patch around.
    Looks like you accidentally the whole sentence.

  22. #22
    Senior Member steveymcdubs's Avatar
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    Fixed the accidently.

    I know there's a sticky with multiple links but thought it'd be nice for all the simpler stuff to be condensed into one post. And as evidenced by Jaytron's post, someone's finding it useful.

    AYHSMB.
    Last edited by steveymcdubs; 07-24-09 at 01:16 AM.

  23. #23
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveymcdubs View Post
    Fixed the accidently.

    I know there's a sticky with multiple links but thought it'd be nice for all the simpler stuff to be condensed into one post. And as evidenced by Jaytron's post, someone's finding it useful.

    AHYSMB.
    Then why not make a FAQ for the FAQ? Or a TOC for the FAQ to the FAQ?

  24. #24
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retem View Post
    you forgot to warn anyone thinking about getting a fixed gear of any sort that there is little margin for error and parts failure

    which means at
    the bottom of the learning curve there is serious injury or death
    Wear a Helmet
    Do you mean pedal strike or your hub getting stripped and you're brakeless?
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  25. #25
    Paste Taster Retem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
    Do you mean pedal strike or your hub getting stripped and you're brakeless?
    these are things that happen with inexperience cheap or used parts and poor judgment

    pedal strike, hub stripping, lock ring stripping, handle bar stem breakage, chain breakage, bb spindle breakage, axel breakage, fork breakage, pedal/ toeclip/ strap breakage to name a few

    an ssfg is more simple with fewer factors but these factors have more gravity than in any other situation

    brakes or no any of those things above are enough to cause a spill that could result in serious injury
    I am dyslexic so bear with my posts.... [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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