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  1. #1
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    Are there Single-Speed or Fixed-Gear bikes that does not have coaster brakes?

    First let me ask a noob question...what's the difference between a fixed-gear bike and a single-speed? Does one have coaster brake and the other doesn't? I want to buy a single gear bike meaning there is only one gear and no shifter, but I want hand brakes/brake levers on the handle-bar. Also I don't want coaster brakes, I want the pedals to NOT follow the wheel as it spins...is there such a bike? Or all fixed-gear and single-speed bikes have coaster brakes? I don't want to be flying down a hill and lose control of the pedals and not be able to brake...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    A coaster brake is different than a fixed gear. A fixed gear has the rear cog attatched directly to the wheel, so however the wheel is spinning(speed and direction) is related directly to the speed of the pedals moving. So when the bike is moving forward so are the pedals. You cannot coast.

    A coaster brake is an internal mechanism that causes the brakes. It has the normal freewheel mechanism, so that you can coast. But when you pedal backwords it causes the internal parts cause the hub to stop spinning which means the whole rear wheel stops.

    What you are looking for is called just a single speed. Usually they are similar to road bikes, but with one gear and normal brakes. You have lots of options in all sorts of price ranges and qualities. Its a really open market depending on what you want, and how much you want to pay.

  3. #3
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    ok, here it goes:

    singlespeed / FREEWHEEL bikes have the ability to coast (ie peddles wont spin when bike is moving). they NEED a brake to stop. Coaster brake bikes are singlespeed/freewheel, but instead of a hand brake they have the coaster hub brake.
    FIXED GEAR bikes (technically also singlespeed since they have only one gear as well, but when people say singlespeed they are usually referring to coasting, freewheel bikes) are bikes where, as you say, "the pedals follow the wheel as it spins"

    there definetly freewheel singlespeed bikes without coaster brakes, they just have hand brakes for the front and rear (well, some people have just front but its safe to have both front and rear)
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  4. #4
    Radac!
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    fixed gear is fixed
    single speed is a single gear with flywheel

    coaster brake can be had on anything
    so can normal brakes

  5. #5
    Nü-Fred ichitz's Avatar
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    single speed is what u are looking for.
    Quote Originally Posted by dsh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fixedgear80 View Post
    once you go fixed.....
    ...you generally go back in like a year.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    also, MOST fixed gear bikes have what is called a "flip flop" hub, so you can have a fixed gear cog on one side, and a freewheel cog on the other......so many fixed gear bikes can be coasting singlespeed freewheel bikes by just flipping the back wheel around.
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  7. #7
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    And if you have a freewheel, you should have at least one brake. (This should be obvious, but judging from some of the Midtown hipster bikes I see around here, it's apparently not obvious to all.)
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  8. #8
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
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    Ride lots, have fun, skid often!

  9. #9
    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    so, now that has been answered. are you going to buy a singlespeed or convert an existing bike?

    cheapest/easiest conversion is to just remove the shifters. done.
    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

  10. #10
    So tragically hip. mickey_'s Avatar
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    Does anybody else think the OP is trolling?
    Quote Originally Posted by johnnytheboy View Post
    that looks like doodies on the bars. and doodie smeared all over the frame. doodie bike.

  11. #11
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    One of my favorite SS rides had coaster on the back and caliper up front. Some ol' sixties rig.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustachiod View Post
    so, now that has been answered. are you going to buy a singlespeed or convert an existing bike?

    cheapest/easiest conversion is to just remove the shifters. done.
    i'm going to convert my existing bike to a SS but if I remove the shirfters the rear wheel is still heavy with the rear wheel derailleur. How do I take that off? do I need to buy a new wheel with a single derailleur ?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickey_ View Post
    Does anybody else think the OP is trolling?
    no i'm not. what makes you think I am?
    Last edited by canonikon; 08-25-10 at 11:11 PM.

  14. #14
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Awww, I like the yo' mama action better!
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    Awww, I like the yo' mama action better!
    lol i'm gonna be nice.

  16. #16
    Nü-Fred ichitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonikon View Post
    i'm going to convert my existing bike to a SS but if I remove the shirfters the rear wheel is still heavy with the rear wheel derailleur. How do I take that off? do I need to buy a new wheel with a single derailleur ?
    pick a gear ratio.
    remove shifters.
    remove derailleurs.
    shorten chain.

    read: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html
    g'luck
    Quote Originally Posted by dsh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fixedgear80 View Post
    once you go fixed.....
    ...you generally go back in like a year.
    http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e1...ig_mercier.jpg http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e1...ig_3rensho.jpg http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e1...ig_peugeot.jpg

  17. #17
    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonikon View Post
    the rear wheel is still heavy with the rear wheel derailleur. How do I take that off? do I need to buy a new wheel with a single derailleur ?
    the rear derailleur is easy to take off. you will then have to shorten your chain to fit.

    for the wheel, depending on your current hub, you may be able to remove the old freewheel cogs and replace with spacers and single freewheel.
    otherwhise your options are buying a new hub and relacing the spokes or buying a new wheel. for me, at this point i just found a better bike on ebay
    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

  18. #18
    Senior Member illdthedj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canonikon View Post
    i'm going to convert my existing bike to a SS but if I remove the shirfters the rear wheel is still heavy with the rear wheel derailleur. How do I take that off? do I need to buy a new wheel with a single derailleur ?
    it shouldnt be hard to take off. connected with a hex or phillips bolt im sure....
    you dont use a derailleur with singlespeed.
    "Never argue with an idiot. He'll only bring you down to his level, then beat you with experience..."

  19. #19
    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    well, the derailleur could be used as a tensioner if you have vertical dropouts
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlespeed.html#vertical
    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

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