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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 07-18-09, 08:04 PM   #1
akaerik21
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three chain ring single speeds

I see a lot of bikes w/ two different size chain rings on there rear hub and they call them ss. Its probably not worth arguing but Is having the option to change speeds on the bike still considered a "real single speed". even though there is no derailleur, in a pinch you can still hop off the bike loosen the rear wheel and change speeds.
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Old 07-18-09, 08:38 PM   #2
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In a way I guess it's a slippery slope. My late night web browsing bike-lust trains of thought usually go like this:

"Maybe I should pick up a freewheel for the other side of my hub."
"Ooh a dingle cog! If I got that and had two chainrings two teeth apart I'd have a trailer-pulling gear."
"Those White Industries Dos freewheels are pretty rad. Maybe I could set one up with a DMR chain tug/mech hanger and a derailleur and have a shift-able 4-speed IRO. That'd be neato!"
"Or... if I got that DMR hanger I could just build that old school 120mm spaced Campy Record 5-speed hub in the parts bin into a wheel!"

"Wait, I'll just put an Xtracycle on my IRO! 1x9 FTW! I wonder if those things accommodate track-ends? hmmm..."


So yeah, trying to versatilize [I just made a new word] your fixed gear leads you down a path that can only end with some sort of Big Dummy or downhill rig, haha!
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Old 07-19-09, 03:51 PM   #3
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Then anybody running a flip flop hub is obviously not running a single speed, they can take that rear wheel off turn it around put it back on, and change gears in no time!

Yes it's still a single speed, there is no mechanism that shifts the gears. You could put a million different sized cogs on a wheel, and if you had no way of mechanically shifting I would still call it a single speed.
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Old 07-19-09, 07:01 PM   #4
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after giving it a great deal of thought I have come to the conclusion that as long as the rider is not getting off the bike half way through a ride and swapping gears it is a ss, but if the rider does get off the bike and change gears mid ride he or she should have to wear a shirt that says "I am a derailleur".
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Old 07-19-09, 08:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by akaerik21 View Post
if the rider does get off the bike and change gears mid ride he or she should have to wear a shirt that says "I am a derailleur".
Or one of these: http://www.getprice.com.au/images/up...xtr-ss-med.jpg
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Old 07-19-09, 09:11 PM   #6
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How bout we just make it easy. If you at any point during your ride have access to a different gearing than the one you started with, be it on another riders bike (that you ride with, or just pass), a bike store (that you can at any point on your ride walk or ride to), etc, you are not allowed to consider it a singlespeed because you could theoretically change the gearing during your ride.

Seems easy enough to me.
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Old 07-19-09, 10:06 PM   #7
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What is this, some sort of competitive flagellation? I know cycling is generally a masochistic sport, but who cares? A bike without shifters yet with multiple gears offers basically all the advantages of a single speed and adds some advantages of a multi-speed with hardly any of the disadvantages.

I think a bike with a triple and a free/free flipflop spaced to carry a freewheel on one side and a pair of fixed cogs on the other side would make a bad-ass cross-country ride.
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Old 07-19-09, 10:44 PM   #8
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I think a bike with a triple and a free/free flipflop spaced to carry a freewheel on one side and a pair of fixed cogs on the other side would make a bad-ass cross-country ride.
...what's the point? the number of teeth cannot be that radically different from each other, otherwise you'd need multiple chains, no?

the way I see it is, if you need multiple gearings on your fixed-gear, you might be riding the wrong bike.
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Old 07-19-09, 10:55 PM   #9
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...what's the point? the number of teeth cannot be that radically different from each other, otherwise you'd need multiple chains, no?

the way I see it is, if you need multiple gearings on your fixed-gear, you might be riding the wrong bike.
I've had no issues going between a 15 and 18 with one chain, and 3 teeth is a decent difference.

And there are times when being able to switch is nice. If I'm going on a long flat ride (and feel like taking the fixed) I throw one on, but if it's going to have rolling hills or a lot of stops (traffic stops and the such) I throw the other on.
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Old 07-19-09, 11:02 PM   #10
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I guess it depends how long your chain is / how far your axle sits in the dropouts.

nevermind, then.
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Old 07-19-09, 11:05 PM   #11
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This is the most ridiculous thread of the night.

I like it.
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Old 07-21-09, 11:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by psirue View Post
...what's the point? the number of teeth cannot be that radically different from each other, otherwise you'd need multiple chains, no?

the way I see it is, if you need multiple gearings on your fixed-gear, you might be riding the wrong bike.
Think about it, dude. Each chain ring lines up with one of the three rear sprockets (the hub spacing is tweaked so that they do) then you pick the gears so that the same length chain works with each one.

For example, 38x18 uses the same length chain as a 42x14 within less than a chain link, with a 30% reduction.

Also, if I feel like riding a fixed gear then any bike with derailleurs is going to be the wrong bike, isn't it?

Last edited by Yellowbeard; 07-21-09 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Added last sentence.
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Old 07-21-09, 05:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Yellowbeard View Post
What is this, some sort of competitive flagellation? I know cycling is generally a masochistic sport, but who cares? A bike without shifters yet with multiple gears offers basically all the advantages of a single speed and adds some advantages of a multi-speed with hardly any of the disadvantages.

I think a bike with a triple and a free/free flipflop spaced to carry a freewheel on one side and a pair of fixed cogs on the other side would make a bad-ass cross-country ride.
Check this out

48-44T chainrings with 20-17 Surly Dingle and 18T freewheel on the flipside. I ride mostly in the 48-17. Don't have quite enough dropout for the 44-17 but the 44-18 singlespeed side works if I need a "low" gear.

Last edited by bbattle; 07-21-09 at 05:20 PM.
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