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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 08-23-10, 11:48 AM   #1
a_feczko
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Fixed in a mountain state

I just moved from Cleveland to a city in Virginia and brought my two fixies with me to use as commuters. Things were fine for awhile, difficult moving up and down hills on a ratio designed for minimal elevation changes, but generally ok.

And then things started falling off my bike. I started losing chainring bolts (one or two at a time) with others loosening. Even more worrisome, my left crank arm started loosening all by itself. I've heard of stuff loosening before, but never something as substantial as a crank.

The hypothesis I've been running with for the time being is that the added strain of hard back pedaling + mashing up a ton of hills has been raddling things loose that would otherwise be solid.

Any suggestions for fixes would be much appreciated. I've gathered that steel might hold better, but I'd rather not have to replace crank arms, chainrings, and bolts all at once.

Cheers
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Old 08-23-10, 12:26 PM   #2
rustybrown
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Yikes, bro. LBS needed, stat.

Otherwise, it's a good habit to check the chainring bolts, axle nuts, chain tension and air pressure before each ride. It'll save you from a world of pain...and $$$.
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Old 08-23-10, 12:39 PM   #3
NinetiesKid
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Same thing happened to me when I moved from Florida to Atlanta. My Orgin 8 cranks are all wacky now.

Do you have a square taper BB and crank? Does the crank become loose again no matter how tight you seem to tighten it?

I think I've heard it is possible that the square hole of the crank can round off slightly messing with the fit of the crank to BB. Dunno about the chainring bolts though.
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Old 08-23-10, 02:36 PM   #4
patthepunk
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I hate to say it but.... Get a geared bike.
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Old 08-23-10, 11:58 PM   #5
dbwoi
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My chainring bolts used to loosen all the time, so I put a tiny dab of nail-polish on the threads. Has been working wonderfully since.
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Old 08-24-10, 12:32 AM   #6
CharneK
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Just make sure everything is installed correctly and check it every week if you ride a lot. Also you'll get to a point where you notice something isn't ideally set just by the way mashing feels. It will probably benefit you to keep a set of allen wrenches on your person/bike (or a multi-tool). Make sure one is an 8mm, for you cranks.
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Old 08-24-10, 01:30 PM   #7
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Solution One: Put a smaller freewheel cog and a larger fixed cog on your flip/flop hub. Use freewheel for longer/hilllier/fitness rides so you can mashu up and coast down. Use the fixed gear when in town/short rides. Carry a 15mm wrench.

Solution Two: Get a geared bike.

Crank: Has it been overtightened? If so, buy a new bottom bracket.

Chainring-bolts: Make sure they are greased. Ungreased Chairing-bolts come loose easily under strain. Get a proper chainring-bolt tool for a few bucks and use it once in a while.
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